I sent the following out to a handful of bloggers this morning -- and received but one reply. Seems that my campaign to be known as the most unlikeable entity in human history has born fruit. Still, a good idea is a good idea, even if Satan himself proposes it. And this, methinks, is a good idea...
* * *Anyone up for a little vengeance?
This morning, I re-read a piece that I wrote
...and a piece that Brad Friedman wrote
...and I thought: Instead of stewing in our juices about the wrongs done to each of us, why not achieve some justice?
Brad's piece is about the Chamber of Commerce plot to harass bloggers by spying on them, planting malware on their systems, and using "personas" to create the illusion of consensus on various internet forums. The "persona management software" suggested for this scheme apparently has existed for some years and has been used by DOD and the intelligence community.
Leading Democrats have asked Darrell Issa and other Republicans to investigate the issue. The text of the letter is on Brad's site.
I don't think that Issa will do this. He is an intensely partisan creature, and an investigation is not advantageous from a partisan standpoint.
But what if we sweetened the deal for him by asking him to look into Axelrod's exactly similar tactics on behalf of the Obama campaign in 2008?
Realistically speaking, we all know what Axelrod did. He runs an "astroturf" company called ASK. ASK used persona management software to create the pro-Obama, anti-Clinton firestorm throughout the progressive blogosphere.
In my case, malware was planted on my system by way of a fake email which I thought had been sent to me by Evelyn Pringle, the anti-Obama investigative reporter.
I know what you are thinking: "Yeah, that's what happened. At least, that is what we think. But we can't prove it."
That's the point.
The only way you are going to get courtroom-quality proof for a thing like this is to ask someone to mount an official investigation.
I propose that we ask Darrell Issa to do just that.
It's a controversial move. Let's face it: Issa is -- well, he is what he is. One does not want to ask such a person for favors.
On the other hand, a congressional inquiry is the only way of establishing the facts behind a scurrilous campaign of political intimidation. If we are committed to replacing Obama as the Democratic standard bearer, and (more importantly) if we want to assure that such ghastly behavior does not mar future elections, then we must expose what his campaign did to us in 2008.
We have an excellent opportunity here to awaken the public to the dangers of mass opinion manipulation. Campaign "attack dogs" of both parties will not be able to get away with using persona software in future elections.
We're all in favor of clean campaign fights, aren't we?
I'd like your feedback. If most of you think this is a good idea, I'll research what to do next.
And Brad (if you're reading this) -- by sweetening the pot for Issa, by giving him a partisan reason to launch an investigation, you would also increase the chances of Aaron Barr being forced to undergo congressional grilling.
-- Joseph Cannon