Monday, September 3, 2012

Stratfor-founder George Friedman slams Tea Party in leaked emails from March 2010: "I'm pretty hard right and I'm offended", "You are living in a country where disagreements degenerate into massively uncivil behavior", "Physical attacks on people and places you don't agree with has become acceptable" - Friedman compares Tea Party to "Hitler and Lenin", other analysts also make comparisons to Nazi-movement

By Patrick

On March 20, 2010, Fox News reported that the Tea Party is making a "last stand" at the Capital in Washington against the healthcare reform. On this day, ugly scenes happened: An angry and abusive crowd gathered around the Capitol when lawmakers, with surprisingly little protection, entered the building. The Washington Post reported:

"Members of the Congressional Black Caucus  said that racial epithets were hurled at them Saturday by angry protesters who had gathered at the Capitol to protest health-care legislation, and one congressman said he was spit upon. The most high-profile openly gay congressman, Rep. Barney Frank  (D-Mass.), was heckled with anti-gay chants."

Whether the protester intentionally or just accidentally spit on Congressman Emanuel Cleaver has since been subject to debate, but this question ultimately is not important. The video of this incident takes you back to the heated atmosphere on March 20, 2010 - when the Tea Party probably was at its "peak": 

A few days later, the Tea Party brought the protest to Harry Reid's hometown, with about 10,000 protesters  attending - including Sarah Palin as a featured speaker, giving one of her biggest "screeches" ever. "Don't retreat, reload" - yes, we remember.

So this happened 2 1/2 years ago, and although the big crowds are gone, the Tea Party is still there. Congress now is full of "Teabaggers", and the Republican VP-candidate Paul Ryan is clearly a Tea Party guy - bought and paid for by the Koch Brothers, the "financial engine" of the Tea Party movement. Also, don't forget all these new "Tea Party Governors."

Back in March 2010, it was not very popular to point in public that the teabaggers are mainly a bunch of extremists (which are being manipulated and exploited by the billionaires and their fake grassroots groups, as it later turned out). In March 2010, the Tea Party and their nasty protests were still quite a novelty.

Therefore it is fascinating to discover that in the leaked Stratfor-emails, to which Wikileaks granted us full access several weeks ago, not only the CEO of Stratfor, George Friedman, but also other analysts already had very strong views about the Tea Party in March 2010 and had no hesitation to compare them to "Hitler", "Stalin" or the Nazi movement - even quite directly comparing Sarah Palin to Hitler! And I thought we were the only ones at "Palingates" back in 2010 who did that...

As most of you already know, Stratfor is a controversial private global intelligence company. Their emails had been hacked by Anonymous and were then published by Wikileaks (just excerpts of it, in an ongoing process, apparently due to the sensitive nature of the material).

Stratfor CEO George Friedman in particular regarded the Tea Party as a threat to Democracy - despite being politically "pretty hard right", as he says about himself.

In a long email exchange from March 25, and 26, 2010 George Friedman and some of his analysts discuss the Tea Party in a way that has rarely been seen before. If the USA had a truly free media, such an email exchange would be not interesting at all. However, with the "Tea Party" being treated with "kid gloves", things look very different.

Chillingly, this email exchange proves that the Stratfor-analysts foresaw that a terrorist right-wing movement could emerge out of the Tea Party - and we already have more than enough evidence that this did in fact happen. 

Another episode from the series "What the corporate MSM won't tell you."

Read the full exchange - it starts from the bottom:

I highlighted some the quotes in bold which I find particularly revealing:

Re: [OS] US/CT/CALENDAR- Teabagger protest at Harry Reid's house 3/27
Date 2010-03-26 14:01:55
Others Listname:
MessageId: <>
Besides the racial slurs & other epithets hurled at elected officials, and
the severed gas line at a congressman's brother's house, and bricks
through windows, there's this shining example of the kind of reasoning to
be found among the Tea Party people -- threatening voice mail messages for
Bart Stupak. He was one of the Democrats who got federal funding for
abortion cut out of the health care reform bill, and he's being called a
baby-killer. Also included are hopes that he bleeds out his ass and dies,
and one woman saying that bad things will happen to him simply because so
many people are *wishing* for them to happen.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Marko Papic"
To: "Analyst List"
Sent: Friday, March 26, 2010 7:56:00 AM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central
Subject: Re: [OS] US/CT/CALENDAR- Teabagger protest at Harry Reid's house

My gut is to say that Palin couldn't tie her shoes alone... but I am sure
that is probably very similar to what Von Papen and other German
conservatives said about Hitler, so I am just going to shut up.

Sean Noonan wrote:

Uh, Palin?

Nice use of the Godwin principle. David Frum just left AEI, I haven't
looked into the details, but if this is any indication of the
republicans replacing smart conservatives with teabaggers, that adds
weight to your argument.

Marko Papic wrote:

nother thing that I have gathered is that there is a decent percentage
that are ex-military such as Timothy McVeigh and that are mostly
recently returned from Iraq/Afghanistan, which ads an obvious
militaristic and skilled element to their capability and mindset.

This is really the key point and the reason I did not think that the
DHS report from early on in Obama's administration was ludicrous, the
one that said that there is an increased threat from ex-military
joining militias.

I agree with Stick and George that the Tea Party movement is something
new and scary. I did not want to use the Nazi Party example due to the
Godwin's principle, but since George did I will run with it.
Basically, the Nazi Party also had extremely real grievances and began
gathering support among the low-middle class conservatives. The Weimar
Conservatives led by von Papen and von Schelicher (and I guess
Hindenburg) thought that they could use the grassroots of the Nazis
and their "energy" to take out the Social Democrats and the rising
influence of the Communists. They looked at the followers of the Nazis
exactly how Republican elites look at the Tea Party today, with
contempt, but salivating because of political gains they thought they
could capture. They also thought Hitler was a stooge, an idiot, an
extremist and someone they could manipulate. Obviously they were
wrong. The danger for me is that the Republican Party makes the same
mistake. It gets desperate enough because of a loss in 2010 (which I
think is coming) to completely encapsulate a radical, anti-federalist,
movement and then gets eaten from the inside.

But there are two major differences. One is that there is no Hitler in
the Tea Party movement. There is no charismatic leader who is also a
brilliant political tactician.

The second is the fact that there are no "Brownshirts". One of the
reasons the Nazis were so effective is because the Sturmabteilung
would kick your ass in the street if you called them "Tea Baggers".
Eventually Hitler would turn on the "Brown Shirts" in the Night of the
Long Knives because he no longer neeeded a milita movement once he
controlled the state. But the point is that they were an extremely
important part of the Nazi power's rise to power.

This is why the mobilization and organization of ex-military elements
who are pissed off at the government and joining the Tea Party
movement is so central to this issue.

All that said, there is a third element in all of this and that's the
illegitimacy of the Weimar Republic and its internal weakness. The
Weimar had nowhere close to the security apparatus that the U.S.
federal government possesses. Nonetheless, a militia movement
associated with a wide-ranging popular front would be an explosive
situation. Interestingly, both the Nazi Party and the Tea Party had a
very important racial component. The Nazis associated the Jews with
Communist/Socialist movements since a lot of the prominent Communists
(in Russia and in Germany) were Jews. Similarly, the Tea Party is 99.9
percent white and it is beginning to associate the Democratic Party in
power with minorities (which again is not untrue, since it took the
mobilization of minorities and swinging of the Hispanic vote to the
Democrats for Obama to actually win).

Chris Farnham wrote:

I came across some of these whakos on a street art internet forum a
few years ago and have been discussing their political views with
them for a while. I'm getting the impression that they are only
fringe by belief, not particularly by number. Another thing that I
have gathered is that there is a decent percentage that are
ex-military such as Timothy McVeigh and that are mostly recently
returned from Iraq/Afghanistan, which ads an obvious militaristic
and skilled element to their capability and mindset. Unbending in
belief and unbending in nature.
As has been thrown around in this conversation already, the swelling
and visibility of the tea party movement is adding group think and
polarizing tendencies to these guys and they are becoming more
belicose and motivated in their discussions. I'm seeing slogans like
"We are the ones we have been waiting for" and other such stuff
coming up a lot more. The second anyone in the Dems starts talking
tighter gun controls the game is going to change.
As an outsider looking in on all of this constitutional,
libertarian, conservative craziness, I think you lot might have a
few roos running loose in the top paddock!!
----- Original Message -----
From: "scott stewart"
To: "Analyst List"
Sent: Friday, March 26, 2010 8:20:15 PM GMT +08:00 Beijing /
Chongqing / Hong Kong / Urumqi
Subject: RE: [OS] US/CT/CALENDAR- Teabagger protest at Harry Reid's
house 3/27

90.1 is not what scares me. They are a small fringe of whackos. The
tea bag people are pulling thousands to their rallies.

[] On Behalf Of Marko Papic
Sent: Friday, March 26, 2010 8:14 AM
To: Analyst List
Subject: Re: [OS] US/CT/CALENDAR- Teabagger protest at Harry Reid's
house 3/27

Please do... in fact, I think we all should start listening to 90.1
more often. I have been doing it for 2 years and it has gotten
progressively worse.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Sean Noonan"
To: "Analyst List"
Sent: Friday, March 26, 2010 7:01:19 AM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central
Subject: Re: [OS] US/CT/CALENDAR- Teabagger protest at Harry Reid's
house 3/27

As I said in the previous email "a line has been crossed" ;-)

Austin may have been one of the first events, yes. But with the
healthcare bill passing, and a bunch of crackheads getting angry
again and mislabeling it 'obamacare,' the rhetoric, and chance for
horrible consequences has increased. My point was not about when
exactly the line was crossed, but when there is momentum for more
such attacks. That momentum seems pretty high right now.

Time to listen to 90.1 on my way in.

Marko Papic wrote:

If all it takes is one person, hasn't the line already been crossed
with the terrorist attack in Austin?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Sean Noonan"
To: "Analyst List"
Sent: Friday, March 26, 2010 6:15:38 AM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central
Subject: Re: [OS] US/CT/CALENDAR- Teabagger protest at Harry Reid's
house 3/27

One point I want to add-- Marko and Matt are right that violence has
been limited--bricks through democratic offices. But someone did go
and cut the gas lines in what they thought was the house of a
Virginia Congressman--no one was hurt, but that could have been

But the thing here is that the rhetoric and ideology is the same
(and from the same people in many instances) before Timothy McVeigh
bombed the Federal Building. It is the risk of something like that
happening that I am deathly, deathly afraid of. A line has been
crossed- the principle of not using violence- now we must wonder
what happens next. All it takes is one person. wrote:

There was an op-ed in the nyt a couple of weeks ago called "walmart
hippies" that drew a comparison between the tea partiers and the
radical left in the 60s and 70s.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


From: George Friedman

Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2010 23:23:13 -0500

To: Analyst List

Subject: Re: [OS] US/CT/CALENDAR- Teabagger protest at Harry Reid's
house 3/27

When we look back on the south and the anti-war movement, a number
of stages existed. First, small groups of extremely passionate
people. Then the generation of substantial public demonstrations.
Then interference with daily life and intimidation of those who
disagreed with them, in some cases leading to violence. Along side
this, there developed a group of politicians seeking to cater to
their interests.

Neither movement (segregationists and anti-war) had a single,
coherent organization. And neither really could define what they
wanted in practical terms. Both focused on their hatred of the
government. But it was the combination of incoherent rage, with
smaller groups of thugs that created massive crises of confidence in
the country.

Politicians emerged to take advantage of this feeling. George
Wallace and George McGovern as examples. Interesting, the
politicians that arose all failed. The segregationist movement had
a lot to do with JFKs election. The anti-war movement elected and
re-elected Nixon. So the impact is not on who runs the country.
Neither every came close to national power. The impact is in the

Part of that destabilization came from the illusion that they
represented the majority, and the presentation of the government as
a rogue enemy that had to be bought down. So democratically elected
presidents like JFK, Johnson and Nixon were represented as if they
were somehow usurpers, and the segregationists and anti-war movement
represented the people.

It was this reversal that was weird. Kennedy and Nixon were both
treated as illegitimate in spite of the fact that they were
democratically elected and quite popular. The movements pretended
that they really spoke for the country.

It got ugly and it got weird. Tea Party's claims that it represents
the people, when none of them ever won an election, but that the
people who did win the election don't speak for the people reminds
me of them. Along with their tendency to shout down whoever

Churchill defined a fanatic as someone who can't change his mind and
can't change the subject. That was the segregationists, that was
the anti-war movement and Tea Party sound like that to me.

I really get uneasy with a movement that contains people who were
never elected and couldn't be elected, claiming political legitimacy
greater than those who do get elected. Speaking for the people
under those circumstance is what Lenin and Hitler did.

Marko Papic wrote:

I have actually brought this question up before the Tea Party
emerged... the anti-government rhetoric has been ratcheted up before
the Tea Party become a key movement. The question is when does this
coalesce into a threat and what is the breaking point.

----- Original Message -----
From: "George Friedman"
To: "Analyst List"
Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2010 11:02:40 PM GMT -06:00 US/Canada
Subject: Re: [OS] US/CT/CALENDAR- Teabagger protest at Harry Reid's
house 3/27

But sometimes an economic argument, like healthcare, becomes a
political issue, as when it leads to massive civil strife. Apart
from my reaction to the Tea Party, and its swung from mild sympathy
to contempt--the real question is whether this will lead to the kind
of civil unrest we saw in the south in the 1950s, and in
Universities in the 1960s, when civil authority was seriously
challenged and at some points cracked. I can't imagine this going
further than that but those were pretty serious events. Both for
example led to the calling out of National Guard and troops to
control their behavior, massive resistance to democratically reached
decisions, and significant weakening of basic institutions. They
were no jokes.

Were this to happen in the United States this would have huge
geopolitical implications to the ability of the United States to
help. So this is a question of where we put our bandwidth. If you
want to beat a dead horse, go take another whack at health care.
That one is over and done with. The important question now--and
this is really important--is whether the Tea Party will evolve into
a decade long massive civil unrest movement. That's what we need to
answer now as an organization. That question just dwarfs the
healthcare question in importance.
Robert Reinfrank wrote:

To be fair though, my main thrust was about the political reaction
to an economic reality. And it's not that we're not students of
geopolitics, it's just that the question was whether, with
healthcare passed, Obama would have more bandwidth, although I agree
there are more geopolitically relevant aspects that we should be

George Friedman wrote:


Robert Reinfrank wrote:

who do you think

Marko Papic wrote:

Who was talking about economic repercussions? My point was purely

----- Original Message -----
From: "George Friedman"
To: "Analyst List"
Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2010 10:18:35 PM GMT -06:00 US/Canada
Subject: Re: [OS] US/CT/CALENDAR- Teabagger protest at Harry Reid's
house 3/27

The economics of this is far less important than the social and
political implications of the response. The lack of civility on TV
has now spilled over into the streets. Physical attacks on people
and places you don't agree with has become acceptable. The
fundamental and absolute principle of a democratic republic is that
while your position may be defeated, and you can continue to argue
your point, you do it without demonizing your opponents and without
ever threatening harm.

Whether this is a small fraction of the movement or large is
unimportant to me, as is the argument about healthcare. This
behavior is more frightening that the largest deficit I can
imagine. We use fascist and communist casually, but he definition
of each was that it did not absolutely abjure political
intimidation. I have not seen anything like this since the
segregationists in the south and the anti-war movement in the 1960s.

Both triggered massive political counteractions fortunately, and the
segregationists and anti-war movement was politically crushed. I
certainly hope that the Tea Party has the same fate.

You are both supposed to be students of geopolitics. Approach this
geopolitically. You are living in a country where disagreements
degenerate into massively uncivil behavior. Yet you are both still
arguing the issue. That issue is trivial compared to the way the
losers are responding. I find the language they use offensive in a
civilized polity, and the intimidation tactics of some of them is

You should both be far more worried about the political dimension
than the economic. We will survive the economic. We can't the
political. And as a practical matter, this is the best friend the
Democrats have. I'm pretty hard right and I'm offended. Imagine
how people more moderate than me look at this. These people are
guaranteeing Obama's re-election.

If this is not educational, I don't know what is!

It is interesting to note that it took several more months before the involvement of the Koch Brothers finally was revealed in greater detail - especially through Jane Mayer's ground-breaking article in the "New Yorker" from August 20, 2010.

George Friedman and his analysts focused on the "raw nature" of the Tea Party movement in this email exchange, and were not "distracted" by the fact that the billionaires more or less secretly finance the Tea Party. However, it would probably have strengthened the Nazi-comparisons, as the Nazi-movement was also infamously financed by industrialists.

At the end of the email exchange, a CBS-clip is being mentioned, with recordings of threats against Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak. I uploaded it to youtube for easier viewing:

Finally, I would like to add the documentary "The Billionaires' Tea Party" by Australian filmmaker Taki Oldham. Please buy the DVD! There is also a longer, previous version for sale: "(Astro) Turf Wars."

1 comment:

  1. How DARE you make a historical analogy between two political "populist" movements? We have to forget history! Otherwise we'll be doomed to not get to do the same stuff ourselves.

    What's next, comparing Joseph Smith to Moses? How DOUBLE DARE you? There is NO comparison between stone tablets and golden plates.

    Jesus wept...