About 38 years ago, when Watergate was making a splash across the news media, one Bob Woodward was directed to California, by one of the plea-bargaining culprits and told to speak with an ex-JAG lawyer named Donald Segretti.
Segretti was a college chum of Dwight Chapin and something of an accomplished practical joker. Chapin worked in the Nixon White House. Segretti was recruited, based on his funny-haha reputation for trick-playing as the official Dirty Trickster for he Committee to Re-Elect the President, the aptly nicknamed "CREEP."
Segretti, using CREEP funds and other things, accomplished a great deal during his tenure as the Head Evil Jester at the court of King Dick. The object of the exercise was to provide the Republican party with the weakest possible Democratic contender for 1972. Segretti's merry men, amongst whom there numbered a couple of college kids named Karl Rove and Lee Atwater, managed to bring Edmund Muskie to tears in defence of a slander perpetrated against his wife, and they also managed to start a whisper campaign that Scoop Jackson of Washington had fathered an illegitimate child with a teenage girl.
But that's not all they did. Segretti told Woodward that various young Republican operatives went "undercover" and infiltrated Leftwing student protest groups and actually incited and provoked violence. The object was to present these groups in an even more pejorative light than ordinary viewers perceived them to be. They were of the Left, a young Left which was coming of age and becoming involved politically, and, therefore, they would be perceived to be part and parcel of, if not associated with, the Democratic Party.
Such species of dirty tricks, Segretti called "ratfucking," and especially that term has come to mean any person of one political persuasion (usually from the Right) who infiltrates, in order to sabotage, another political party (usually the Left) in order to undermine.
Arianna Huffington, I would say, has ratfucking down to an art.
Fast forward to October 2011. Last weekend, when anti-war demonstrators forced their way into the Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, one of the assistant editors of The American Spectator was found in their midst. Patrick Howley was there deliberately and for a purpose, as he explained, himself in an article in his journal:-
[A]s far as anyone knew I was part of this cause—a cause that I had infiltrated the day before in order to mock and undermine in the pages of The American Spectator —and I wasn't giving up before I had my story. Under a cloud of pepper spray I forced myself into the doors and sprinted blindly across the floor of the Air and Space Museum…
Of course, the article was later removed from The American Spectator website. Well, it would be, wouldn't it? I mean, a self-respecting ratfucker can't go around outing himself, can he? That defeats the purpose of ratfucking.
Now this past weekend saw some spectacular riots in Rome, allegedly stemming from OWS's global protests. Cars were burned and private businesses demolished by sledghammer-wielding, petrol-bomb-throwing, masked youths. But as The Times reports, the police didn't break their backs, at first, trying to stem this. The underlying suspicion is that, in addition to the usual anarchist suspects, ranks of the violent were enhanced by paid Rightwing thugs, doing what they do best in the service of Silvio Berlusconi, the Prime Minister and criminal, who'd just squeaked by a no-confidence vote.
Result? Everybody's talking about the violence (and blaming the Left), and no one's whingeing that Berlusconi is still in power. After all, Berlusconi would smile and shrug, if the Italians didn't have him in power, look what would run rampant from the Left.
Ratfuckery, meet scare tactics.
Recently, this person was captured on film and in photo, slithering around the OWS crowd in New York City:-
In case you don't recognise him, this is James O'Keefe - Mr Acorn-Pimp-Bug-Mary-Landrieu's-Office-Breitbart-Boy, himself. Ne'mind the fact that he seems to have violated his probation in attending the demonstration. One thing for certain: where O'Keefe is, you can be sure he's there at the bidding of Andrew Breitbart, and he's there at this demonstration, really, for one reason only: ratfuckery.
Make no mistake: yes, there is an anarchist element at work within the OWS organisation. It's they who are pushing the "voting-isn't-worth-it-we-can-take-control-by-other-means" meme; but they are being aided and abetted, perversely, by ratfuckers, paid for and financed by various GOP-supporting conservative organisations - probably even the Koch brothers. And you can be sure that the current Crown Prince of Ratfuckers was there checking out how his ruse was going.
Please tell me this: How is it that, in forty years, the Left has learned nothing?
And please note ... "Segretti" is the Italian word for "little secrets." No shit.