One of the more interesting documents on HBGary et al’s partnership with the Chamber of Commerce details the prices they wanted to charge. Now, other emails make it clear that the Chamber balked at what the team originally proposed would be $2 million of work–the Chamber didn’t pay these rates (indeed, they probably haven’t paid for any of this).
But I was particularly interested in what HBGary’s Aaron Barr proposed charging for the work of what they called a “Social Media SME.”
Social media sme ($250 per hour) – experienced in social media link analysis. Personna development. Content management. Social media exploitation techniques.
This is a social media consultant, someone we know from the team’s plans they intended to deploy on Facebook and Twitter in false personas ultimately aiming to destroy the credibility of anti-Chamber activists.
These are just reasonably skilled trolls.
And for that, they wanted to charge $2,000 a day.
To put it in even more stark perspective, consider one ultimate target of the campaign: the men and women SEIU organizes pushing back against the anti-worker policies of the Chamber. Many of these workers–the kind of people who keep your building clean or care for you when you’re sick—make as little $12/hour or less (though the wages for nurses and other skilled medical care providers are higher).
These corporate spook assholes–in addition to targeting Americans for political activism–also think they’re worth 20 times as much as the people who care for the sick.
As the Palantir employee working with Barr on these numbers put it, “Most of all that we are the best money can buy! Dam it feels good to be a gangsta…..”