February 13, 2011
The New York Times has a story on a series of leaked documents that at least some view as implicating the Chamber of Commerce and other large corporations in various smear campaigns designed to undermine opponents.
[A] PowerPoint presentation prepared for Hunton & Williams said the research that HBGary Federal and its partners could do for the law firm on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce would “mitigate effect of adversarial groups” like U.S. Chamber Watch. . . . [T]he goal of its research would be to “discredit, confuse, shame, combat, infiltrate, fracture” the antichamber organizations.
Apparently, the tactics discussed included planting fake documents, threatening people's careers, and using data such as group affiliation and family composition.
Jonathan E. Turner, who runs a Tennessee-based business that gathers intelligence for corporate clients, said that companies nationwide relied on investigators to gather potentially damaging information on possible business partners or rivals.