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Zack Exley: Kerry’s Toxic Web Spider By: Lowell Ponte
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, August 31, 2004

THEY ARE A “FRONT GROUP” doing President George W. Bush’s “dirty work,” said Senator John F. Kerry. And this is illegal, charged the Democratic presidential candidate, because Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is a “527” group prohibited by the campaign finance laws from having any “coordination” with Republican presidential candidate President Bush’s campaign.  

Kerry, without offering concrete direct evidence for his charge, has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, asking it to take action against this group of 254 fellow Vietnam Swift boat veterans whose television ads have criticized him.

President Bush in turn has asked Senator Kerry to join him in demanding that all 527 ads be stopped, but this is something Mr. Kerry is unlikely to do. Roughly 90 percent of all such 527 advertising to date – more than $65 million worth – has been by unlimited “soft money” groups aligned with Democrats such as Americans Coming Together (ACT), the Media Fund, organized labor 527s and the 527 political action committee of MoveOn.org.


And how can Senator Kerry complain of Bush campaign “coordination” with such groups, ask critics, when the Director of Online Communications and Online Organizing for the John Kerry-John Edwards 2004 presidential campaign is Zack Exley? Until Kerry hired him last April, Exley held a similar top position with MoveOn.org. Is this not “coordination” between the controller of a major 527 and the Kerry campaign in the flesh?


MoveOn.org’s Executive Director Eli Pariser acknowledged that Exley will be able to use “what he’s got in his head” about the organization’s plans, reported NewsMax.com.  MoveOn.org also issued a statement that “federal election rules permit some forms of communication” between Exley and MoveOn.org.


Senator Kerry should fire Zack Exley immediately, but for far more reasons than Exley’s connections with MoveOn.org.


Exley, for example, was also trained by and worked as a “workshop facilitator” for the radical organization The Ruckus Society, which as this column recently documented has links to members of domestic terrorist groups like Earth Liberation Front and Earth First! and has trained leftwing protestors in a variety of techniques and planned to disrupt the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City. 


An early taste of the monkey wrenching of the GOP Convention happened Saturday, when a conspiracy of carefully-synchronized bicycle riders simultaneously blocked key intersections across Manhattan, grid-locking traffic and stopping ambulances, police cars and other emergency vehicles.


(Police in recent weeks, ironically, had noted several apparent attempts by potential terrorists to gather information that could facilitate the theft of ambulances for use as bomb delivery systems, as has happened many times in Israel.) These radical disrupters all chanted the same slogan: “Whose streets? Our streets!” (by which, as usual, these leftists meant theirs to the exclusion of the equal rights and equal access of all other citizens).


On Tuesday, August 31, radical groups reportedly plan to impede access to the GOP Convention with a mass “die-in” around 7 p.m. EDT to block doors and security checkpoints, potentially forcing police to remove thousands of limp, uncooperative protestors. The following day, rumors suggest, police will confront a variety of tactics likely to include protestor efforts to block or sabotage buses scheduled to bring delegates to the convention hall. The Communist-organized group Not In Our Name reportedly has planned a “rally” September 2 at a time and place “yet to be announced.”


Valuable prime time national airtime is the prize in these carefully-planned leftist attempts to grab network attention. Every primetime minute they can steal by seizing the eye of network TV cameras – worth perhaps $100,000 per minute in equivalent advertising – is a minute that the networks would otherwise have provided to Republican speakers or spokespeople.  As of Monday evening, the networks had already devoted many minutes more to protestors than they did during the entire Democratic National Convention in Boston. If every 10 minutes devoted to protestors instead of the GOP is worth a million dollars in equivalent advertising, the radicals shouting obscenities and waving red banners in the streets of Manhattan had by Monday evening already robbed

the Republican Party of national media coverage worth millions of dollars.


And these protestors, as the New York Sun reported, are dedicated leftists. Two-thirds of those cursing President Bush in the streets, according to this conservative newspaper’s polling, believe it is okay for Iraqis to be killing American soldiers in their country. Fully 62 percent of protestors polled oppose not only the U.S. incursion in Iraq but also the Bush Administration’s overthrow of the Taliban theocratic dictatorship in Afghanistan. The Taliban gave safe haven to Osama bin Laden and his group Al Qaeda’s international terrorist operations, including the one that struck the World Trade Center towers in New York City and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The Taliban also required women to live inside blue bags called Burkas and put to death any woman caught teaching other females how to read and write, an oppression of women apparently approved and supported by at least 62 percent of the anti-Bush protestors this week in New York City.


The head of the Ruckus Society was arrested in 2000 and charged in connection with protestor lawbreaking in a planned effort to disrupt that year’s Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. And in 2004 key organizers and planners behind the far-smaller-than-expected crowd of radical protestors (80 percent of whom came from the liberal fever swamps in and around New York City) now assaulting this week’s GOP Convention are apparently Ruckus Society-trained.


This leftist protestor tactic of shouting down and talking over the brief Republican opportunity to speak to America via media coverage of the GOP convention is worse than anti-democratic rudeness. It is also tantamount to giving the Kerry campaign a donation worth many millions of dollars. The fact that a high Kerry campaign operative has deep connections to the Ruckus Society that is behind this conspiracy to steal Republican airtime should outrage all decent Americans.


Who is this extreme young man at the center of Kerry’s web, who directs Kerry campaign communications and campaign organizing in the vast electronic community of the Internet? 


Zack Exley, born in 1970, grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut. In junior high school he became a computer geek. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts, Exley went through a training program for radical union organizers run by the AFL-CIO and then went to work as a subversive secret agent for labor bosses and the United Auto Workers.


“For seven months, he worked undercover at a Michigan auto parts factory,” wrote Los Angeles Times reporter Joseph Menn in May 2004. “The unionization effort there failed, but Exley later used a team of infiltrators to successfully organize large nursing homes in Minnesota.”


At age 29 Zack Exley quit his spy life of union organizing to work full-time as a corporate computer programmer, work that left him bored and unfulfilled. “IT workers work 45 minutes a day,” he told the leftist magazine In These Times. “I had a lot of time on my hands.”


Exley may have quit his job as a subversive union organizer, on the other hand, because he apparently found the work too trying for what he was paid. “Our goal in getting a union campaign going,” he told the business magazine Fast Company, “was to get all of the leaders together in a room to make a collective decision. To get them into that room together, we had to go knock on all these doors. That was tremendously time consuming."


Bored and eager to find a way to combine his radical politics with fun and excitement, Exley noticed web sites such as Salon.com and Slate.msn.com that were advancing leftist views. Browsing for domain names in December 1998, he discovered that GWBush.com was unclaimed and grabbed it. At this internet address he created a web site that mimicked the official internet site of Texas Governor (and soon-to-be Republican presidential candidate) George W. Bush.


Exley’s Internet site, created with friends at the San Francisco look-alike web site builder RTMark (pronounced “Art Mark”), featured bizarre articles purportedly written by Mr. Bush and, as the 2000 election neared, images digitally doctored to depict Gov. Bush as a drunkard and cocaine user.


“It was totally Beavis and Butt-head,” Exley told the Austin Chronicle, “just a couple of guys bored and coming up with a way to get a phone call from the Bush people.”


When Bush lawyers threatened to sue Exley for using copyrighted photographs digitally swiped from the official Bush web site, and when George Bush described Exley as “a garbage man,” the resulting publicity brought six million viewers to Exley’s site and made the young programmer an overnight darling of the left.


Exley quickly exploited this opportunity by offering an array of “Hate Bush” and “Hate America” products such as T-shirts and bumper stickers with slogans such as “Bush is a Punk Ass Chump,” “Imperialism: A Way of Life Worth Bombing For,” and (“oddly enough, for a site selling wares” noted Shawn Macomber in 2004 at FrontPage Magazine) “Capitalism: It’s Great in Theory, It Just Didn’t Work in Practice.”


“Just in case the radical content of the site has left you with any question over the political leanings of Mr. Exley,” wrote Macomber about another Exley web site called CounterCoup.com launched one month before the 2000 election, “he posts a prominent link to a conspiracy theory-laden article on the World Socialist Web Site, declaring it a ‘must read.’”


CounterCoup.com also left little doubt about the emotions bubbling on Exley’s surface. “One page shows a devil on the ground, a broadsword-wielding angel preparing to behead him,” observed Macomber. “The devil is labeled ‘Bush Coup,’ while the sword the angel sports is christened ‘The Spirit of Democracy.’ Another box displays a picture of a screaming lynch mob with the caption, ‘Sometimes Democracy Requires More than Voting.’”


In 2002 Exley was hired by Wes Boyd, Internet multi-millionaire creator of the “Flying Toaster” screensaver and other software, to work at Berkeley, California-based MoveOn.org. This web site had been created to echo President Bill Clinton’s slogan intended to rescue the Democrat from a flood of scandals – “America needs to move on and let me get back to the work of the American people.” But MoveOn.org quickly transformed into a vehicle for fund-raising and mobilization on issues ranging from gun control to anti-war and anti-Republican activism. It was pioneering new ways to use the Internet politically to advance the left. “In the long run,” said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, “MoveOn.org could be our Rush Limbaugh.”


Adolf Hitler was the same kind of media pioneer, exploiting the then-new media of movies and radio as tools of propaganda, using them to set people marching in lockstep with slogans and to program minds with hatred and stereotypes in order to dehumanize Jews. 


Exley and Boyd have used MoveOn.org to brainwash people much as Hitler did – exploiting a new, fast-growing communications technology not to encourage honest debate, knowledge and thought, but to demonize, ridicule and dehumanize all who do not share their ideology. Their main targets have been Republicans in general and President George W. Bush in particular.


MoveOn.org, for example, held a contest encouraging its audience to produce negative ads about President Bush. It posted on its web site two of these ads that commingled images of President Bush and Adolf Hitler, conveying a message that Bush and Hitler are the same. In much the same way, Hitler’s Nazi artists produced movies with bizarre caricatures of Jews that juxtaposed images of Jews with those of swarming rats and other vermin.


Both Hitler’s National Socialist propaganda and MoveOn.org’s contemporary socialist Internet propaganda are designed to elicit negative emotions and contempt while bypassing and short-circuiting rational thought and discussion. Such conjuring of blind, irrational hatred has always been inherent in all forms of socialism, which purports to love humanity as a collective mass (what Hitler called the Volk, as in Volkswagen) while despising and trying to eradicate all individual human personal and economic liberty.


Like Hitler, his fellow socialists today know that their ideology is so anti-human that it can never win politically by rational persuasion; it must be forced on people by manipulation, deceit and government power that stifles other points of view. The new campaign finance law outlaws media access for ordinary Americans during the 60 days before a general election but gives such access to groups like MoveOn.org and their wealthy leftist backers like the Tides Foundation and multinational billionaire George Soros. (Soros, an advocate of marijuana legalization, has written that America has too much power and influence in the world. Soros has given tens of millions of dollars to various leftwing 527s to run television ads against President Bush precisely because a Bush defeat and John F. Kerry presidency would weaken the United States in the world.)


The election of George W. Bush as President in 2000 left Exley angry, frustrated and adrift. How could someone whom MoveOn.org had depicted as so stupid have outsmarted superior beings like himself? It was embarrassing, humiliating, and could not be accepted as a legitimate repudiation of the left by voters. Bush must be a demon, Exley and his comrades believed, whose victory could only have happened through cheating. When one dehumanizes the other side in order to beat them, genuine democracy, reasonable compromise and mutual respect become impossible – and this is where those like Exley and MoveOn.org are taking America.


In 2001 Exley’s book about radical labor (and Internet) organizing, Trust the People, was published by the small Brooklyn-based left-wing publisher Soft Skull Press. This press has produced such titles as Confronting Capitalism, a collection of essays by radical political cult leader Noam Chomsky, Marxist Alexander Cockburn, socialist Barbara Ehrenreich and other radicals; How to Get Stupid White Men Out of Office; and Wake Up, You’re Liberal!: How We Can Take America Back from The Right by leftwing hate-monger Ted Rall (foreword by George McGovern).


Exley’s aptly-named publisher Soft Skull Press also keeps in print the hate screed Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President by James Hatfield, a book that claimed Bush had been arrested for possession of cocaine but that his father George H.W. Bush intervened to erase all records of the case. St. Martin’s Press halted its printing and recalled copies of this book after Hatfield turned out to be a fraud and two-time felon whose wild allegations were untrue. An eccentric 2002 documentary about Soft Skull Press and Hatfield titled Horns and Halos includes footage of one of Hatfield’s closest friends repeatedly giving him advice. That friend is Zack Exley.


“Don’t blame 9/11. Don’t blame the Greens. And sure…don’t blame the American people!” wrote Exley on a short-lived new web site angrydems.com after Democrats lost the 2000 election and two years later lost even more ground in the 2002 congressional elections. “Blame the Democratic Party leadership. Terry McAuliffe is an idiot.”


But money and ego would soon buy Exley’s services and subservience as a Democratic political storm trooper. In 2003 he was employed to help develop the web-based presidential campaign organization of anti-war leftist former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. On April 16, 2004 Exley was hired by John Kerry for an undisclosed amount of money to run Internet activities for Kerry’s presidential campaign. By retaining Exley, Kerry has in effect “coordinated” his campaign with Exley’s previous employer MoveOn.org and its 527 organization the MoveOn.org political action committee.


Exley brought to the Kerry campaign his experience as a subversive dirty trickster, undercover agent and liar-for-hire for organized labor, the AFL-CIO and the United Auto Workers. Exley brought, too, a long past of defying the law, of pilfering copyrighted materials, of doctoring photographs to produce false and dishonest images, and of propagating lies, slander and outright hate literature and images via the Internet.


One of Exley’s close friends is the author of an utterly discredited, disreputable smear book that makes unverified wild drug accusations against the President of the United States, and in the wake of this book’s public discrediting Exley appeared in a documentary giving support to its author.


And Exley has been associated with MoveOn.org, which posted on its web site audience-made ads linking President Bush to Adolf Hitler and other dehumanizing, democracy-poisoning propaganda.


In June 2004 the Kerry campaign, to its credit, officially denounced the Hitler-Bush ads posted on MoveOn.org and called them “disgusting.” But Kerry knowingly hired and continues to employ Zack Exley from the same organization that put these ads on its web site. Exley has refused to apologize for this Bush-Hitler propaganda, dismissing the controversy surrounding this issue as “Typical Republican Bulls—t.” Once again, John Kerry’s actions in retaining Exley speak louder than his words.


How can anything Senator Kerry says be believed when he knowingly continues to employ a deceiver with a long track record of dishonest, subversive behavior and dehumanizing propaganda – the mind-seeds from which terrorism, violence and the disintegration of democracy grow – to run his Internet campaign? 


How can Senator Kerry be trusted to fight terrorism when he knowingly employs as one of his highest campaign staffers an extremist who has been trained by and facilitated the training of others for the Ruckus Society, which taught radicals ways and means to disrupt the 2000 and 2004 Republican National Conventions and has links to members of domestic terrorist groups? Given Exley’s connections with the Ruckus Society, how can the Secret Service allow Exley to get anywhere near the Democratic candidate it is charged with protecting?


Mr. Kerry’s retention of Exley tells something about the real values, morals and ethics of John Kerry.  Truth be told, Senator Kerry probably has little to fear from fellow leftists at the Ruckus Society. This organization has been given tens of thousands of dollars by the Tides Foundation, which has been given hundreds of thousands of dollars by the Heinz Foundation, which is controlled by Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of the Democratic candidate. In effect, the Ruckus training of some of the protestors in New York City this week has at least in part been funded via Kerry’s own family and facilitated by Kerry campaign operative Zack Exley.


If, God forbid, violence and disruption intensify against the 2004 GOP Convention in 9/11-ravaged New York City, some of the spider web connections that wove this toxic domestic terrorism might very well thread back to John Kerry’s wife and to his national campaign headquarters and the Kerry-Edwards toxic webmaster Zack Exley.

Mr. Ponte co-hosts a national radio talk show Monday through Friday 6-8 PM Eastern Time (3-5 PM Pacific Time) on the Genesis Communications Network. Internet Audio worldwide is at GCNlive .com. The show's live call-in number is 1-800-259-9231. A professional speaker, he is a former Roving Editor for Reader's Digest.

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