Originally posted at: GOP Sleeper Cells Target Obama, Santelli went off first
If you thought Rick Santelli's infamous rant on CNN was spontaneous, think again. There's considerable evidence that Santelli was acting as an agent of a GOP sleeper cell and you'll see these sleeper cells waken and wage attacks as Obama's administration continues.
Santelli’s on-air call for a Chicago Tea Party was a coordinated effort to make him and an existing Chicago-based organization called ChicagoTeaParty.com look patriotic in the Samuel Adams mold.
Several other sleeper organizations across the United States are also awakening and are beginning to talk of nationwide protests over the administration's economic policies. I'm an ardent supporter of the First Amendment and have no problem if these combined groups want to organize and hold rallies and dump tea or derivatives (or whatever) from sea-to-shining-sea. But make no mistake; this is not some sort of grassroots movement. It is, in fact, an oligarchy-backed venture to discredit the President and Congress as they make a heroic effort to save the economy and the American way of life. And I'm not the only one to think so. Playboy, of all unlikely news organizations agrees that this movement seems rather fishy.
How did a minor-league TV figure, whose contract with CNBC is due this summer, get so quickly launched into a nationwide rightwing blog sensation? Why were there so many sites and organizations online and live within minutes or hours after his rant, leading to a nationwide protest just a week after his rant?
Uh, let me guess: Is it because Santelli is an unprofessinal media-whore with an agenda?
What we discovered is that Santelli’s “rant” was not at all spontaneous as his alleged fans claim, but rather it was a carefully-planned trigger for the anti-Obama campaign. In PR terms, his February 19th call for a “Chicago Tea Party” was the launch event of a carefully organized and sophisticated PR campaign, one in which Santelli served as a frontman, using the CNBC airwaves for publicity, for the some of the craziest and sleaziest rightwing oligarch clans this country has ever produced. Namely, the Koch family, the multibilllionaire owners of the largest private corporation in America, and funders of scores of rightwing thinktanks and advocacy groups, from the Cato Institute and Reason Magazine to FreedomWorks. The scion of the Koch family, Fred Koch, was a co-founder of the notorious extremist-rightwing John Birch Society.
Vast right-wing conspiracy? You betcha!
As you read this, Big Business is pouring tens of millions of dollars into their media machines in order to destroy just about every economic campaign promise Obama has made, as reported recently in the Wall Street Journal. At stake isn’t the little guy’s fight against big government, as Santelli and his bot-supporters claim, but rather the “upper 2 percent”’s war to protect their wealth from the Obama Adminstration’s economic plans. When this Santelli “grassroots” campaign is peeled open, what’s revealed is a glimpse of what is ahead and what is bound to be a hallmark of his presidency.
So, Santelli's rant on CNBC was an opening salvo, fired on a national cable channel and then repeated on every news channel, on every conservative blog, and by Rush Limbaugh, the leader of the Republikan Party. Limbaugh reported Santelli's comments on his show in a few short hours. The drug-addled talker was well prepared to back Santelli, arguing many of the same talking points. It was if Santelli and Limbaugh shared a brain. Oddly, a previously existing domain name (registed in August 2008), ChicagoTeaParty.com sprang into life as Web site that very same day. Read on....
ChicagoTeaParty.com was just one part of a larger network of Republican sleeper-cell-blogs set up over the course of the past few months, all of them tied to a shady rightwing advocacy group coincidentally named the “Sam Adams Alliance,” whose backers have until now been kept hidden from public. Cached google records that we discovered show that the Sam Adams Alliance took pains to scrub its deep links to the Koch family money as well as the fake-grassroots “tea party” protests going on today. All of these roads ultimately lead back to a more notorious rightwing advocacy group, FreedomWorks, a powerful PR organization headed by former Republican House Majority leader Dick Armey and funded by Koch money.
On the same day as Santelli's rant, February 19, another site called Officialchicagoteaparty.com went live. This site was registered to Eric Odom, who turned out to be a veteran Republican new media operative specializing in imitation-grassroots PR campaigns. Last summer, Odom organized a twitter-led campaign centered around DontGo.com to pressure Congress and Nancy Pelosi to pass the offshore oil drilling bill, something that would greatly benefit Koch Industries, a major player in oil and gas. Now, six months later, Odom's DontGo movement was resurrected to play a central role in promoting the "tea party" movement.
Up until last month, Odom was officially listed as the “new media coordinator” for the Sam Adams Alliance, a well-funded libertarian activist organization based in Chicago that was set up only recently. Samuel Adams the historical figure was famous for inspiring and leading the Boston Tea Party—so when the PR people from the Chicago-based Sam Adams Alliance abruptly leave in order to run Santelli’s “Chicago Tea Party,” you know it wasn’t spontaneous. Odom certainly doesn’t want people to know about the link: his name was scrubbed from the Sam Adams Alliance website recently, strongly suggesting that they wanted to cover their tracks. Thanks to google caching, you can see the SAA’s before-after scrubbing.
But that's not all that was scrubbed.
A cached page, erased on February 16, just three days before Santelli’s rant, shows that the Alliance also wanted to cover up its ties to the Koch family. The missing link was an announcement that students interested in applying for internships to the Sam Adams Alliance could also apply through the “Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow Program” through the Institute for Humane Studies, a Koch-funded rightwing institute designed to scout and nurture future leaders of corporate libertarian ideology. The top two board directors at the Sam Adams Alliance include two figures with deep ties to Koch-funded programs: Eric O’Keefe, who previously served in Koch’s Institute for Humane Studies and the Club For Growth; and Joseph Lehman, a former communications VP at Koch’s Cato Institute.