Friday, May 30, 2008

Lieberman forced to resign from "Vets for Freedom" Board

How many bloggers can say that they forced a powerful US Senator to resign from an influential position? Well I can't claim to have achieved such a feat, but the events are interesting to follow.

A few days ago I posted an article on Digg that claimed the group "Vets for Freedom" is a front group for Joe Lieberman and the Israel Lobby. The posting went viral as noted in my blog, and a few days later Senators Lieberman and Graham both resigned from the Advisory Board of the group.

This happened without any campaign within the MSM (mainstream media). The only other organization that had openly spoken out regarding this issue with any forcefulness was The Huffington Post. The Obama campaign is being quoted in articles after the resignation that it applied pressure to have Lieberman and Graham removed, but I can't find any evidence of that pressure other than some comments after the fact.

Of course my original Digg post was a video link to an appearance that Senator Durbin made on Face The Nation. But Durbin's comment were buried in the interview and received no follow-up until I brought them to attention.

Of course the real credit goes to the diggers that supported this post. Especially the first group that made the article "popular" in the first place. Once an article becomes popular on digg and begins to appear on the front pages, then there is a viral effect that easily takes over - it becomes more popular because it's popular.

I posted some follow-up articles regarding the actual announcement of the resignations, but to my surprise these never achieved popularity. Meanwhile "Vets for Freedom" released a second attack ad.

I was doing some follow-up research on Google news and came across a reference to a SourceWatch article on "Vets for Freedom". I had made the connection between the group and the Israel Lobby based solely on the presence of Lieberman on the board, but here was conclusive evidence of the ties between the group and the Israel Lobby.

SourceWatch describes "Vets for Freedom" this way, "It was, in essence, a Republican front group managed by Republican-affiliated public relations, media, legal, and political consultants, including former White House spokesman Taylor Gross, to defeat candidates who advocate an end to the US occupation of Iraq." (link)

They also provide a section in the article titled "Non-partisan, bi-partisan or neocon lobbyists?" (link) So my basic instincts proved to be more correct than I could imagine. No doubt Lieberman was on the Board for fund-raising purposes. It helps when your requesting donations from the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) to be able to point to Jewish pseudo-Republican Lieberman on the board.

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