Monday, September 22, 2008

The Jawa Report stings the Obama Campaign

Grass Roots Efforts
Regular Joes and Janes starting an effort to support or oppose.

When professionals pretend to be regular Joes and Janes doing grass roots efforts, i.e. black ops using email, blogs, You Tube, or other means.

Astroturfing violates Campaign Finance law?
Does Astroturfing - if traced back to a political campaign - represents undeclared and hidden campaign activity which therefore violates Campaign Finance Law? What if allegedly amateur You Tube videos were shot and edited with professional equipment, professional direction, professional actors and voices? What if a blogosphere astroturf effort was conducted by either paid staff or hired surrogates?

Astroturf violates FTC guidelines?
Via publicizing smears which originate from political campaigns yet do not receive scrutiny for their truthfulness? Already the Obama Campaign has complained to a network about a McCain commercial, and the network resultingly did not air the commercial. However, no one scrutinizes the truthfulness of You Tube videos from average Joes and Janes.

Astroturfing crosses an ethical line which offends voters?
If the McCain campaign were doing widespread astroturfing, would NYT, WaPo, and every other media outlet be interested in the story? Would voters be offended?

I have noticed - for many weeks - Obama campaign surrogates in comment sections all over the blogosphere. They are deceptive. They claim to be, for instance, Conservative Christians who are "troubled" over some or other aspect of McCain or Palin. They even showed up, I suspect, in this lonesome The End Zone blog - in the comments of this blogpost. I'm kinda proud to have received over 15,000 blog visitors since April 2007. Nevertheless, The End Zone is a blogosphere gnat. If the Obama campaign showed up in The End Zone's comments, it suggests the Obama Campaigns' blogosphere operation is large.

The Jawa Report
is a highly regarded right blog which was formed to bring together hacker skills to identify and discover the bloggers behind Al Qaeda-supporting blogs. The Jawa Report (esp. Rusty Shackleford) turned their skills to suspected political astroturf. They found direct lines to a Dem-linked PR Firm which astroturf-promoted a series of You Tube smear videos about Sarah Palin. They found evidence the PR Firm was paid for their work.

Before The Jawa Report published their information, they joined with Ace of Spades to do "spiderwebbing". To wit: Ace of Spades, over a couple of days, began dropping hints of a coming revelation about the Obama Campaign. It wasn't going to be as big as Rathergate, but it was going to be big. Early last night, Ace said the revelation was going to be completed and posted at midnight. And so it was.

The big revelation was The Jawa Report's research about the PR Firm astroturfing. That happened at midnight. Within 90 minutes, the PR Firm videos were removed from YouTube. Other related info was deleted from websites; an Obama Wikipedia page was edited of references to astroturf. Of course, The Jawa Report hackers made screen shots of everything before publishing their report, therefore the information still exists.

But, the point which The Jawa Report emphasized via their spiderwebbing: no PR Firm is monitoring the Ace of Spades blog or The Jawa Report at midnight on a Sunday night. The spiderweb was a trap, and the Obama Campaign got caught up in it. Only a large operation - such as everyone believes the Obama Campaign has up and running - would've been monitoring Ace of Spades blog at midnight on a Sunday night. Only an operation with something to hide would've then made calls to the PR Firm. People were likely awakened approx. 12:30 AM. Fast phone discussions were likely conducted. Information began being deleted (by multiple operatives - remember Wikipedia and other deleted web material). Information deletion was completed by 1:30 AM - a textbook, and telling, timetable of responsive action.

Day by Day had their cartoon up somtime during the morning. Things happen fast. Maybe Ace or Jawa tipped the Day by Day cartoonist in advance.

The Cover Up Begins
In the criminal law business, we call evidence like that “consciousness of guilt.”

The Jawa Report:
Hope, Change, & Lies: Orchestrated "Grassroots" Smear Campaigns & the People that Run Them [Updated]

Ace of Spades:
Anti-Palin Astroturfing Traced Directly to Obama-Connected PR Firm

Michelle Malkin:
Bloggers sniff out anti-Palin astroturf campaign– and the cover up begins

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