The JSOU paper cited in our first part demonstrates that on the information battlefield, the admonition to 'consider the source' is itself an avenue of attack. Raise ad hominem questions about an opponent's motive - even suggest that the opponent is working on your side - and you have thus neutralized the opponent's arsenal. There has never been a lack of rivalry and back-biting in the conspiracy theory world - but we can wonder to what extent such rivalry is the result of simple human frailties or of deliberate "shit-stirring" on the part of dissemblers.
A case in point: we wonder about the source of this hit piece on Sibel Edmonds...
EqualPartyUSA: Blowing the Whistle on Sibel Edmonds
We ask to what extent this site fits the bill: "information strategists can consider clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers or other persons of prominence already within the target nation, group, or community to pass the U.S. message...[or] hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message..." The site administrator James Laffrey's urgent request for help - "More help, please. No, not money! Just leave comments on other websites and encourage people to check us out..." - would indeed reflect the JSOU paper's focus on gaining prominence in the infosphere...
We find on Mr. Laffrey's about page that he is based in Vietnam as an English language teacher - it could be interesting to determine whether he is operating a Vietnamese language blog as well and what its overall message might be.
Incidentally, Edmonds was recently in Vietnam where she shot a rather disturbing video (not at all flattering to U.S. interests)
Boiling Frogs Post: Another Sorry Episode in American History: Agent Orange
Perusing his EqualPartyUSA site, there is little in the way of "scoops" beyond this hit piece on Edmonds, though Laffrey also attacks other prominent oppositional figures like Ralph Nader and Alex Jones. Otherwise it is the usual regurgitated "conspiraciology" as can be found on thousands of other sites. The Rothschild cabal is behind everything evil in the world and whoever fails to focus on this is providing cover for the the Rothschilds. (Or perhaps Mr. Laffery providing cover for the Rockefellers?) Some curious biographical points are raised about Mrs. Edmonds and her husband; and the sexy, creepy photo on the about page of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance - at which Edmonds volunteers - does raise eyebrows (but could this be a case of... "Hacking the site and subtly changing the messages and data—merely a few words or phrases—may be sufficient to begin destroying the blogger’s credibility with the audience..."?)
These biographical volleys at Edmonds do not go beyond highlighting mere curiosities, however; nothing substantial is offered to raise real doubts about Edmonds and her whistlebowing as an FBI translator. Ultimately, ye shall know them by their works, and Edmonds provides us with invaluable geopolitical analysis that is rarely matched elsewhere - her recent piece on the Kyrgyzstan situation for instance.
Consider another possible example of "cognitive infiltration" - to borrow Cass Sunstein's terminology - in a communication to Cryptome signed "Wikileaks Insiders," where the target would be Icelandic Parliamentarian Birgitta Jónsdóttir, who was instrumental in killing the "IceSlave" plan...
Birgitta Jonsdottir; a left wing Icelandic politician is being very economical with the truth; and is behaving true to her stereotype as a persistent and predicable anti American loud mouth. Many WIKILEAKS activists consider Birgitta Jonsdottir a liability to WIKILEAKS; responsible for introducing excessive political bias into our output. This was evident with her naming, editing, and commentary of the gunship video.
If this is such a case, however, the author has put less effort in establishing his/her oppositional cover, as it is delivered in the tone of a Rush Limbaugh.
A confounding case of source tainting revolves around the strange, and apparently heavily medicated figure of Adrian Lamo, the tipster who outed the alleged leaker to WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning. The cover story of how this came about is difficult enough to swallow, as noted by Glenn Greenwald...
Salon: The strange and consequential case of Bradley Manning, Adrian Lamo and WikiLeaks
(To further peruse this maze, see the time-line with citations provided at Cryptome)
This case took a confusing twist however when it was "revealed" in Forbes of all places that Lamo volunteered for a shadowy semi-private Internet snoop group known as "Project Vigilant". It appears however that this of itself is a false lead, as a little bit of investigating on the part of John Young showed Project Vigilant's website to be of dubious provenance...
Cryptome: Project Vigilant is a Fraud
Of course, this does not mean that there are no Special Ops groups, very likely private contractors, or perhaps foreign services, that engage in surveillance of U.S. domestic Internet activity. "Project Vigilant" and perhaps with it the entire Lamo/Manning/WikiLeaks/Wired/Salon/Cryptome/etc. affair is but a diversion, a "dual node network"* serving to draw attention away from the central battlefield where the information war is truly being waged...
EFF: Government Uses Social Networking Sites for More than Investigations
With the amount of personal information that Internet users wittingly or unwittingly volunteer in open source mode, much can be gleaned by government agencies armed with Internet tracking algorithms, and without needing to take recourse to domestic spying as such. "Netizens" have effectively lodged themselves in glass-walled domiciles, as in the One State of Yevgeny Zamyatin's We, whence the public/private distinction has been effectively subverted, and wherein the Fourth Amendment does not apply.
* The Invisibles: A Dialectic by Thibaut D'Amiens? F. Borishinski? (or some have speculated, John Harsanyi?) Horizon Press, 1976. Pgs. 42-53.
Update: Sept. 6
Our doubts about the "Wikileaks insiders" have proven accurate; or at least, John Young has come around to admit these doubts himself:
Cryptome: Wikileaks - Birgitta Jónsdóttir Clarifies Her Position
While a little bit unusual for Cryptome to dabble in the authenticity racket, wink, the "Wikileaks insiders" are likely imposters fabricated by a person or persons unknown. Jónsdóttir is correct in asking that these persons reveal identity.