Information deemed “maliciously harmful to government”.
A political website that contained stinging criticism of the Obama administration and its handling of the Fast and Furious scandal was ordered to be shut down by the Obama campaign’s ‘Truth Team’, according to private investigator Douglas Hagmann, who was told by ISP GoDaddy his site contained information that was “maliciously harmful to individuals in the government.”
Hagmann, CEO of Hagmann Investigative Services, Inc., a private investigative agency serving a roster of Fortune 500 clients, was given 48 hours by GoDaddy to find a new home for his website before it was deleted.
Hagmann was told the reason for the shut down was because the website featured “morally objectionable” material. After GoDaddy refused to identify the complainant, only saying that it was not “any official government agency,” further investigation by Hagmann revealed that the order came from a group tied to Obama campaign headquarters.
Speaking with the chief investigator in the GoDaddy Abuse division, Hagmann discovered, “Ultimately it was found that the complaint originated ostensibly with a group associated with the campaign to re-elect Barack Hussein Obama.”
Turning to his contacts within government, Hagmann then contacted spoke with another source who confirmed that the ‘Obama Truth Team’ was responsible for the shut down order.
“I’m laying this right on the doorstep of the Obama Truth Team,” said Hagmann.
The ‘Obama Truth Team’ is an outreach of the Obama 2012 re-election campaign that urges supporters to “help fight back against the attacks on President Obama and his record” by reporting supposed misrepresentations and lies. However, as ABC News reported, the ‘Truth Team’ has mischaracterized legitimate criticism as smears in an effort to chill dissent against Obama. It has also been caught fibbing on a number of other occasions.
The same methods of intimidation were also very much in force during the 2008 campaign season. Under the guise of the ‘Obama Truth Squad’, influential public figures in Missouri including St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, and Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer, promised to “respond quickly, forcefully, and aggressively” to “lies” about Obama.
As ABC News highlighted, this helped to create a chilling atmosphere in which “Missourians might be afraid of being prosecuted for criticizing Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.”
This is by no means the first time political websites have been shut down on a whim with no due process after official pressure is brought to bear on ISPs.
In December 2010 Amazon responded to pressure by Sen. Joe Lieberman and the Department of Homeland Security by axing the Wikileaks website from its servers.
GoDaddy itself is not renowned for its support for free speech. The company lost 37,000 accounts last year over its initial failure to oppose the controversial Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA).
Despite the fact that his son was getting married on the same weekend, Hagmann was eventually able to move his website – HomelandSecurityus.com – to another server before it was deleted by GoDaddy.
“It took an incredible number of man hours and it was a tedious (and costly) process, but I have successfully moved my site out of reach,” Hagmann told us.
Hagmann noted that his story from last month about a DHS inside source warning of coming mass civil unrest, which went viral on the Internet, was one of the primary reasons behind the effort to shut down his website.
Hagmann is now warning that any independent website which forcefully dissents against the Obama administration could be targeted next.
“I respectfully ask that you spread the word – that the Obama “Truth Team” is out in full force, scouring any U.S. based web sites of any size or influence (yet small enough to be pushed around) that contains any information deemed “objectionable” to the Obama re-election campaign. Perhaps it’s already too late. Regardless, people need to wake up now and listen to what we’ve been saying. There might not be a tomorrow,” Hagmann told us in an email.
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