UPDATE: Admitting To An Online Hit

Posted May 25th, 2012 at 11:33 am (UTC-4)
4 comments

Co-Owner of a Pentagon Contracting Admits To Online Smear

Doug Bernard | Washington DC

Earlier this month we posted a story involving Leonie Industries, a private firm that’s been awarded around 120 million dollars in Pentagon contracts for services they call “information crafting,” but what most people would call propaganda. Leonie had become the target of two USA Today journalists, Tom Vanden Brook and Ray Locker, who were asking questions about oversight of those Leonie contracts, and the effectiveness of its work. Additionally, they reported that Leonie co-founders Camille Chidiac and Rema Dupont owed a significant amount of unpaid taxes – a claim not quite disputed by Leonie, but countered when those tax bills were suddenly paid up.

Graphic image from Leonie Industries webpage

At almost exactly the same time, Locker and Vanden Brook became targets themselves; this time of an online smear campaign meant to discredit the reporters. “Something I’ve never experienced in thirty years,” Locker said of the Internet attacks.

In our earlier post, we reported on speculation in the media on who was responsible for the smears. Gawker‘s John Cook pointed the finger squarely at Leonie, citing an unnamed source. A post on Leonie’s blog denounced the smears, saying “While Leonie has no reason to believe that any employee was involved in this activity, an internal investigation is being conducted to determine whether any employee was so involved. If that investigation determines that there was such involvement, appropriate action will be taken.”

Now we can report that it was, in fact, someone at Leonie who led the attacks. Specifically, it was Camille Chidiac, the co-founder who owns 49% of the firm.

A late Thursday post on Leonie’s blog says Chidiac admitted to “involvement” in the attacks, and says he was the only person responsible. “In 2008, Mr. Chidiac resigned as an employee of Leonie, and since then, he has not been involved in any way with the operation and management of the company and its contracts,” reads the post. “Accordingly, Mr. Chidiac does not have access to Leonie’s bank accounts and other financial resources, derived from government contracts or otherwise, and he used non-Leonie funds to participate in the online activity.”

The language used by Leonie is careful chosen – precisely what one would expect from a firm built to influence opinion. “Involvement in the online activity” isn’t quite a guilty plea, but it’s clear Leonie is doing its best to distance itself from Chidiac.

For his part, Chidiac is less sanguine. In a statement on his own website, Chidiac says after “unfair, personal attacks” on him and his family by the two reporters, he merely registered “unofficial fan sites” for the two:

“They…were not ‘fake websites’ and were not intended to ‘smear’, mislead or misinform anyone. Instead, they were intended to create open dialogue in an open forum related to the reporters past articles. Due to the un-moderated nature of the forums, some of these discussions quickly degenerated from legitimate criticism to immature and irrelevant rhetoric by unknown users.”

Of course, the online attacks on Locker and Vanden Brook involved much more than just a couple “unofficial fan sites” – fake Twitter and Facebook accounts were registered in their names, derogatory information began appearing on Wikipedia and other sites, and other online smears were launched, clearly targeting the two. In the words of one observer quoted in USA Today, it was a “sophisticated reputation attack.”

An official Pentagon inquiry is reportedly already underway.

4 Responses to “UPDATE: Admitting To An Online Hit”

  1. Bob Levin says:

    No surprise, for years, the U.S. government has hired private companies and individuals as assets or shadow intelligence entities to affect counterintelligence reverse tactics to discredit specific and randomly targeted individuals. These fractionalizing practices employ psychological warfare tactics with the initial intent of herding a person onto a desired square on the PsyOps chessboard where they are forced into arguing a negative. In other circles this has been coined “no touch” invisible physical torture while recognizing the use of the four principle components comprising the CIA Torture Paradigm with it ultimate intent of causing self-inflicted harm in a variety of forms relating to that meaning. The primary earmark of CIA torture programs is causing self-inflicted harm. What happened to these two journalists at USA Today is criminal. However as a validated FBI Whistleblower with an outed clandestine security clearance, the political sanctions that have been brought against me for over twelve years through acts of covert and overt torture and terrorism by known actors with the U.S. government is treason. Their actions have erased the pathways that make me a person and vested American citizen. By year’s end I will have liquidated all material goods down to a minimum and leave the U.S. There is no equal justice under the law and legislating laws has become the means for legalized criminality by congressional capos and their corporatist pimps. The dream and promise of America has become the guarantee of a virtual death camp environment. Mazel tov to you all.

  2. Bob Levin says:

    Agent provocateurs, often anonymous and/or posing with a multitude of made up names, are paid or programmed to do cyber drive-byes with one line negative remarks intended to waste your time arguing a negative. Having applied the same reverse technique while an agent of the U.S. government investigating criminal targets, I recognize these antics from the swallow end of the treason cesspool. These small feckless manure eaters believe they are part of the power base while reacting to their own cowardice, but historically and statistically these same actors will be destroyed by their masters. What is happening is the central banks are the parasites acting as a shadow government to control all public governments as the new world order.

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