Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Kochs in-house Political Spy Organization. Mayer, and Vogel - 2015

The amount of disturbing information is overwhelming.  Here are excerpts from another New Yorker article by Jane Meyers, describing the Koch in-house political surveillance operation.  It's followed by Politico's Kenneth Vogel's reporting on the unit's operation along with looking into the strategy and thinking that drives these people.   

I'm sharing this because I think the Democrats of La Plata county should be able to take a crash course on what they are up against with this oh so friendly sounding "Americans for Prosperity" who have moved into town with their silver tongues masking sinister intent. 

Do the Kochs Have Their Own Spy Network?

Five years ago, when The New Yorker published my piece “Covert Operations,” about the ambitious and secretive political network underwritten by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, the Koch brothers complained mightily about the story’s title, protesting that there was nothing at all covert about their political activities. Since then, the two have embarked on an impressive public-relations campaign meant to demonstrate their transparency and openness. 

But today, the Politico reporter Kenneth Vogel came out with a blockbuster scoop suggesting that the brothers, whose organization has vowed to spend an unprecedented eight hundred and eighty-nine million dollars in the 2016 election cycle, are more involved in covert operations than even their own partners have known.

After culling through the latest legally required disclosures, Vogel unearthed a new front group within the Kochs’ expanding network of affiliated nonprofit organizations—a high-tech surveillance and intelligence-gathering outfit devoted to stealthily tracking liberal and Democratic groups which Politico calls the “Koch Intelligence Agency.” The sleuthing operation reportedly includes twenty-five employees, one of whom formerly worked as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, and follows opponents by harvesting high-tech geodata from their social-media posts.

According to Vogel, the effort is so secretive that very few people know of it even within the Kochs’ own sprawling political operation. Housed with other Koch nonprofit organizations in a bland office building in Arlington, Virginia, the outfit is managed by a limited-liability partnership called American Strategies Group, LLC. The company is part of the Kochs’ main political group: a circle of ultra-conservative donors called Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, which describes itself as a “business league” and so claims that it can legally hide the identities of its members.

For the rest of the article visit: 

The Koch intelligence agency
As the billionaires’ network works to reshape U.S. politics, it keeps a close eye on the left.


The political network helmed by Charles and David Koch has quietly built a secretive operation that conducts surveillance and intelligence gathering on its liberal opponents, viewing it as a key strategic tool in its efforts to reshape American public life. … 

The competitive intelligence team has a staff of 25, including one former CIA analyst, … It has provided network officials with documents detailing confidential voter-mobilization plans by major Democrat-aligned groups. ..., according to documents reviewed by POLITICO and interviews with a half-dozen sources with knowledge of the group. …

The increasingly robust Koch network has seized on significant tactical advantages afforded to big-money independent organizations ― but not party committees ― in modern politics. …

The Opposition: Understanding Their Strategy and Infrastructure

The Koch network’s interest in intelligence on the inner workings of the left was revealed by a secret audio recording of a panel at a June 2014 closed-door donor gathering at the tony St. Regis hotel in Dana Point, Calif. The session, called “The Opposition: Understanding Their Strategy and Infrastructure,” focused on the group that the Kochs’ inner circle regards as the Rosetta stone for figuring out, and ultimately neutralizing, the big-money left ― the Democracy Alliance.

… One such briefing … It’s the sort of granular briefing that could be used to help the Koch network decide the most impactful ways to direct its own election spending. …

… posting anonymous messages to Reddit, proclaiming that he worked for the Koch brothers but despised their stances. Within 48 hours, the team had sleuthed out the offender and his contract was terminated.  “They were scared to death of moles,” said the former executive. …

… Holden told the donors at the St. Regis that the big-money liberal groups in the Democracy Alliance were pursuing a two-pronged strategy that bears some similarities to the tactics of the Koch network. “What they do is they try to build a permanent infrastructure to win elections, and they obsess about us ― all of you,” 

Holden said. “And it’s the old quote ― first they ignore you, then they mock you, then they attack you, and then we win. We’re close to winning. I don’t know how close, but we should be, because they can’t attack the ideas. (Why is it so difficult competing with ideas that depend of gross omissions and lies to justify themselves?) They don’t have the real path. (What about honestly facing geophysical and historical realities?) All they do is target and they just try to silence people. You know, they’re afraid of us. They really are. They’re afraid of this room.”

For the complete story visit:

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