Domestic Spying and Sabotage

DC Politics Ideas and Issues

New Orleans       It’s really getting crazy out there, but crazy, serious and scary, not crazy, funny and weird.  Let’s start with the cast of characters who want to be the Spy Boys of the right wing:  Richard Seddon, Erik Prince, and our old friend, James O’Keefe.  What a crew!

Always follow the money first, so that starts with Erik Prince, notorious as the founder and director of the now defunct subcontractor killing operation, Blackwater of Iraq and other infamous episodes.  Prince is conservative and a rich blueblood as well as brother of public schools’ nemesis, Betsy DeVos, most recently Trump’s Education Secretary and charter school cheerleader. Their deep, deep pockets go back to their roots in Michigan’s Amway direct sales operation.  It pains me to say that Prince has a ranch in Wyoming which looms large in this wacky story as well.

Richard Seddon is a former British spy and friend of Prince.  He’s a prepper ready for end times, but that would be relatively harmless except for the other stuff.  Prince funded Seddon, as we know from reports over the years, to try and train O’Keefe’s minions in spycraft on his Wyoming ranch for Project Veritas’ mission of undercover video scams against rightwing targets.  O’Keefe, as we all know, made his sordid reputation with his unforgiveable attack on ACORN in 2009.

None of this is all that new, but the New York Times now has managed to interview folks and get its hands on reports and emails that outline just how toxic this sketchy triumvirate has become.  Prince it seems became a pitchman for Seddon to raise money to go after a wide range of progressives, but as an expert in collateral damage and circular firing squads, he and Seddon wanted to go after Republicans who they deemed were not Trumpy enough for their likes.  Their first targets were amazingly in Wyoming.

Let’s stop there for a minute, because I hesitate to say, I take this a bit personally.  I was born in Wyoming, and still have an Airstream trailer in the central part of the state on a friend’s property.  My family loves Wyoming, just as I do.  At the same time, there’s no argument anywhere that Wyoming is in all likelihood the single most conservative state in the USA.  To target Wyoming politicos as not far enough on the right side of the street just seems preposterous.  Nonetheless, Prince and Seddon seem to have tried to raise money from a couple of billionaire Wyoming wingnuts for this scheme.  Amazingly, it is unclear if they succeeded, even though one of them had lost in a race for governor to another Republican, he deemed a Democrat in wolves’ clothing.

We need to know more, but enough! It may seem like Keystone cops to some, but let’s be honest about this affair.  We’re talking about domestic spying whose purpose is to undermine our electoral system.  O’Keefe almost looks like the choirboy here, since his aim seems largely publicity and a lot of it is simply all about him.  The others want to be deep undercover and throw plenty of rocks and hide their hands.  None of this is fair play politics.  How can it even be legal?

The Justice department is supposedly looking into Prince, but given his career that could be about just about anything.  What is left of good government in Wyoming and political watchdogs in Washington need to get on this and stop all of it now before we have more election mess and January 6th insurrections. This stuff is off the chain!