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Mowing Down The Astroturf

Whoa... I've always had a lot of respect for Rusty Shackleford and The Jawa Report, but they've completely blown me away this morning. They've done some amazing investigative work, and they've uncovered what appears to be a very professional, very covert operation by some very high-powered persons on the Democratic side of things to smear and attempt to destroy Sarah Palin.

I say "appears" because there is no absolute smoking gun, but the circumstantial evidence seems so strong that, if it were mere coincidence, it would be about as likely as, say, me winning the lottery three times, then getting struck by lightning and hit by a meteorite right after I spontaneously combusted.

This is exactly the kind of thing that the mainstream media ought to be investigating -- not how many cars John and Cindy McCain own or other equally critical matters.

Will there be an investigation into this? Will someone in the mainstream media take the work of the Jawas and take it even further?

As far as I'm concerned, if it isn't followed up in the mainstream media, then I'll take that as affirmation that every single thing Rusty and crew allege is not only 100% accurate, but their speculations are also true.

And I'd recommend that others take the same approach. These people -- Publicis Group, David Axelrod, the Winner family, Jared Liu-Klein, Democratic Underground, Daily Kos, Jesus' General, and a cast of thousands -- have long forfeited the benefit of the doubt.

What gets my attention the most, though, is how this is PRECISELY the sort of political ratfucking that we've seen attributed to Karl Rove by these sorts of people for about a decade, but never -- NEVER -- has it been so carefully laid out, with names, dates, and thorough documentation that we have here. It could be an indication of just how good Karl Rove really is, that he never left the kind of fingerprints that these assholes did, or it could be the ultimate form of "projection" -- they actually buy into their bullshit that they say about him so much that they feel that it is not only acceptable, but necessary that they do it themselves.

Go over to Rusty's. Read. Read it with the utmost skepticism. Pore over every detail, every nuance, every allegation with the most jaundiced eye. Search for the slightest weakness in the chain of evidence that would pull his whole carefully-crafted conspiracy theory apart.

I tried. I wanted to debunk his story. I didn't want to think that people with this level of power, of influence, would have the sheer lack of scruples and integrity, and would do something this despicable purely for the sake of political gain.

I failed. Rusty sold me that it's all true.

As far as I'm concerned, the only unresolved question is how closely this comes to the Obama campaign itself. I'm convinced that Obama's Chief Media Strategist, David Axelrod, had at least a part in the whole thing. And if that comes out, he'll go under the bus in an attempt to distance Obama himself from this whole disgusting mess.

I dunno if any laws were broken in this action. I find myself hoping some were, because I'd love to see some of these bastards spend time behind bars for what they've done.

Update: For those who need it spelled out (and it does get complicated quickly), Patterico has a very nice bullet-pointed summary of the whole mess, Ace has his usually-entertaining take on the matter, and Dan Riehl adds even more to the whole story. It's almost unbelievable.

It ought to be. I wish to hell it was. But it's all too plausible, in this day and age.


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Comments (29)

I waited for this story to ... (Below threshold)
Denise:

I waited for this story to break and it is incredibly researched and sourced.
My concern is that is seems so complicated. There needs to be a concise description of what happened with links to the proof that we could get out to many sources.

Kudos to Jawa for their fantastic report.
I love that the alleged perps are pulling their videos and information as fast as they can....wonder why??!!!! (sarcasm alert)

While it is a great report,... (Below threshold)

While it is a great report, my BS detector is standing in the corner, giving me a funny look....

Why would all of these "bright" people use their own names on this type of campaign? You could of could called them naive, but PR firms like this usually don't survive too long when they don't have bright people. Two obscure username changes later and this would be completely untraceable.

I guess I always underestimate how clueless people in power can be....I hope this is another one of those circumstances.

Part of that, Brian, is the... (Below threshold)

Part of that, Brian, is they figure if they win in November they'll be rewarded greatly. If Obama loses - nobody will really care about who did what, and so they sign their names with impunity. It's a dumb move.

You saw the same sort of stuff with the folks who collaborated getting Communism established in countries it took over. They did it with expectations of reward, and they got something all right... usually a bullet in the back of the head once the political officers moved in.

They were, after all, organizers of the people - and they could not be allowed to live and possibly organize the people AGAINST the State when they saw what Communism really was.

Remember 4 years ago when t... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Remember 4 years ago when the media came up with the "flow chart" of connections to the Swifties? At that time it was alleged that those connections showed that the Bush Campaign was violating election law by supporting the Swift Boat Veterans.

So I am sure the media will be right on top of this story just like they were then.

This is your reasoning Jay.... (Below threshold)
JFO:

This is your reasoning Jay.

I don't like Obama so he must be behind it. Keep up the good work.

I think you struck a nerve ... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

I think you struck a nerve on JFO, Jay Tea.

I've seen some of the members of the left starting to have their doubts about Obama. Even in a population of knuckleheads like JFO who pride themselves on being individiualistic and intellectual, while actually being neither, there's going to be a few capable of critical thinking. With as much dirty tricks being tied to his campaign, he's starting more and more to look like the machine politician he is rather than any kind of agent of "hope and change."

As a concerned and commited... (Below threshold)
Dan Patterson:

As a concerned and commited Christian, and long-time Republican, I am voting for Obama/Biden because I am shocked at the level of...Dammit!

Nevermind. I can't pull it off.

Excellent work from the Jawa. Should make a big difference, but will it?

Dan Patterson
Arrogant Infidel

Again, JFO does not have th... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Again, JFO does not have the ability to comprehend what he reads. ww

I asked that question too, ... (Below threshold)

I asked that question too, right off the bat - Why would they use their own names? But remember, ego is a demanding mistress. Many people have been brought down because they could not resist the urge to claim credit for things they should have not.

What needs to be found is a money trail. Did they accept money to make the ad and from whom. At the very least, what is almost undeniable is that we have owners and employees of a major PR firm deliberately spreading a verifiable lie. Not a mischaracterization or a distortion, but a lie by electronic means. And to go one step further, they've engaged in what is termed as libel. (Which can land one in court if I remember correctly.)

Or ... Karl Rove did it :)

Wel, now WW, that's assumin... (Below threshold)
epador:

Wel, now WW, that's assuming he did read.

But assuming he did, then he agrees JT's friends have uncovered truth, he is scared of it, and trying his damnedest to distance his candidate from the trail of cookie crumbs leading from the broken cookie jar.

The left's initial attack o... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The left's initial attack on Palin backfired in their faces and internet savvy voters are aware of the facts to a degree that many of the comments about the video disputed it's claims. It's frustrating for the left because the main stream media has been their dependable ally for over 40 years, but its ability to deliver has been greatly diminished by the internet. An now they're not even able to run covert attacks on their opposition, which is another nail in the coffin of the scam the Democratic party has become.

Little wonder we see the left getting more and more desperate as they see their ship sinking.

Well that would explain how... (Below threshold)
fg:

Well that would explain how Obama spends so much money so fast. He certainly doesn't have any more ads than McCain does at 1/3 of the funds. I bet Obama's balance sheet is long and distinguished.

And dont forget the link be... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

And dont forget the link between the hacker, and himself.

Seems as if the hackers Dad, and the campaign manager for himself are buddies. Coincidence?

Well go figure - conservati... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Well go figure - conservative McCain supporters pshawing about lies in a campaign.

The faux outrage of you folks would be amusing were it not dripping with hypocrisy.

Heinlein said it bes... (Below threshold)
Larry:


Heinlein said it best; you can lie by telling only a part of truth. He also said, you can tell the truth so ineptly that everyone thinks you are lying. The first is the favorite tool of politicians and current main stream media, the second doesn't get much play except when Biden is. . . oh nevermind.

Leave us reverse this; you can tell a lie so ineptly that everyone thinks you are telling the truth, or a lie that is told so well, everyone thinks it is the truth? Wow, MSM rides again.

I am puzzled:

How is it that a major PR firm; need I say highly paid, is so inept? Was this a sophisticated Heinlein lie or where they truly complete idiots? I mean those guys get paid major bucks to run campaigns of this exact sort to prop up all sorts of corporate fumbles and positions.

I guess that will be the defense; how could such a major PR firm do things so stupid. Answer, it must be a Rove plot.

I have a better answer. People like the Winners [sic] live in bubble worlds. They work for Palme, Axelrod, Exxon and whoever either has the right story or the right money. They read Yachting Magazine and go to the right dinner parties. They don't go to the small town coffee shop and talk to real people.

And as much as they have used the Internet for fund raising, they really don't understand how it works.

One word is good for eswinner and ilk; Gotcha!

I can't help but wonder wha... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

I can't help but wonder what point Kos became involved. He did allude to something last week in this post (not linking Kos directly but via JT's post on Kos' message):

http://wizbangblog.com/content/2008/09/16/kos-to-kossacks-we-havent-been-scummy-enough.php


The faux outrage o... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
The faux outrage of you folks would be amusing were it not dripping with hypocrisy.

An amusing property of hypocrisy is that in making the charge one often become guilty of it themselves.

Unless this is all made up ... (Below threshold)

Unless this is all made up (can YOU imagine spending that much time inventing all these sources/links/etc), the removal of the source accounts is rather damning, if indirectly. Question is - how to make that next link that Rusty admits he didn't know how to do - get through all the funding hoops to find links, if any?

"Time behind bars..."? Are ... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

"Time behind bars..."? Are you kidding. Dems own 4 rent subsidized apartments and it's OK. They don't pay taxes and it's OK. They have 90,000 in cash in a fridge and it's OK. So they'll go to jail for a story which will never see the light of day, except on the web??!! Sure!

"... or it could be the ult... (Below threshold)
Mike:

"... or it could be the ultimate form of "projection" -- they actually buy into their bullshit that they say about him [Karl Rove] so much that they feel that it is not only acceptable, but necessary that they do it themselves."

Actually the Dems seem to be the kings of slime; remember, they were the inspiration for the term "Borking." Are there any examples of Republicans engaging in the kind of mudslinging and smears that Democrats have directed at Bork or Clarence Thomas or Samuel Alito or Sarah Palin? Any? I'm not talking about local elections, either. I'm talking about the national scene, involving the highest ranking members of the Democratic party, the press, and liberal pundits and bloggers. Anything? The Swiftboat gang didn't include the highest ranking Republican congressional leaders or the cream of the mainstream press. Anything else?

It seems to me that the Democrats aren't trying to project "Rove" onto their own party so much as they are trying to project their own party's dirty politics onto "Rove" (or Lee Atwater, or whoever the mythical GOP whipping boy du jour is) and then use that empty projection to justify their own dirty tricks.

Perhaps the relationship is... (Below threshold)
Burt:

Perhaps the relationship is backwards. Obama is not using the tool--he is the tool. A hammer does not fully understand its own function.

Today is the first time I h... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Today is the first time I have ever heard the expression "AstroTurfing." Ya learn something new...

#15 larry:Think ab... (Below threshold)
Mikey NTH:

#15 larry:

Think about John Kerry's response to the SwiftVets. He didn't have one because no one had called him on his guff for years, and when he needed that response - he was left SOL.

Same thing here, I think. No one had ever traced this sort of stuff back before, so this firm didn't think about a response. And when the response was needed there was no time to put one together.

simple hubris, really.

This doesn't surprise me at... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

This doesn't surprise me at all, in fact, I thought this was a common political tactic.

I have linked to your post ... (Below threshold)

I have linked to your post from Astroturf campaign - AIP - An October surprise against Palin? Scooped ... these attacks against Palin and politically active Christians are not going to help Obama.

They have laid out enough c... (Below threshold)
marc:

They have laid out enough circumstantial evidence that if this amount were presented in a murder case the perp, or perps would hang. Without a body ever being found.

What I found interesting, the video they have onsite was linked to by some nutcase in a thread here at Wizbang 10 days or two weeks ago.

At the time the nutcase made the claim the video was of Palin "giving a speech" at the AIP convention.

Obviously false as you can see plainly it was shot in her office.

Also he/she/it posted a version that didn't have all the "fancy" opening graphics added to it, so obviously this video has been around a while, and axelrod and co. grabbed it added the opening graphics and went viral with it.

"This is exactly the kind o... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"This is exactly the kind of thing that the mainstream media ought to be investigating -- not how many cars John and Cindy McCain own or other equally critical matters." -- Mr. Tea.

Uh, Jay: President >>> more critical than >>> vice president. And if John McCain is having trouble remembering how many houses he has, and wastes his money on 13 redundant cars when he can only be a passenger in one car at any single point in time, how well will he exercise fiscal restraint when managing the nation's budget?

herman - "And if John M... (Below threshold)
marc:

herman - "And if John McCain is having trouble remembering how many houses he has, and wastes his money on 13 redundant cars when he can only be a passenger in one car at any single point in time, how well will he exercise fiscal restraint when managing the nation's budget?

Nothing like a pointless point.

Let me get this straight herman, you're afraid McCain will purpose a budget so full of pork and unneeded junk that the DEM controlled Congress, that EVERYONE is predicting will gain more DEM members in Nov will just rollover and approve it.

Is that correct?

Addendum, just for ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Addendum, just for herman

Biden from his just completed interview with Katie "I'm a simulated journalist" Couric:

Biden: "When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on television..."

Franklin Roosevelt wasn't president in 1929 when the market crashed and when he was in office his "fireside chats" were on the radio.

Joe Biden voted against the 1991 Gulf War. He opposed the surge. He wanted to partition Iraq into three separate groups. Advocated for U.S. military action in the Balkans in the 1990s and U.S. troops are STILL there. (bring the troops home now the moonbats scream at Bush)

In arguably the four most important foreign policy issues of recent vintage has BEEN WRONG on every one.

Now go ahead herman point at some shiny object to distract attention from the obvious. Biden in more ways than one is a worse pick than Palin.




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