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FreedomWorks: We'll expose infiltrators at tax day tea parties is launching one of the stranger false flag operations of all time. Its leader, Josh Levin, is happily dishing about the group's plans to discredit the "tea party" movement by infiltrating the activists' tax day rallies on Thursday.

"Thanks to us," Levin told Evan McMorris-Santoro, "the next time you're at a tea party and you see a guy with a misspelled sign you'll have to say 'is this guy an idiot? Or is he just an infiltrator?'"

For tea party organizers, this is both an irritation and a godsend. Since the movement's outset, tea partiers have fretted about liberals infiltrating their events. And leaders have speculated that the signs that have most embarrassed the movement were created by liberals trying to discredit activists. Brendan Steinhauser of FreedomWorks, who's deep in the planning stages for Thursday's rallies, tells me that CrashtheTeaParty activists validate their arguments while creating an organizational headache.

"It gives us the opportunity to say, 'these are the guys doing this,'" said Steinhauser. "But overall it's not helpful. It's something we have to waste time and resources dealing with."

FreedomWorks has gamed out how to react to any show of violence or racism at Thursday's rallies. "We have a strategy to deal with them and a strategy to identify them," said Steinhauser. "Anyone who has a racist sign or an offensive sign, we'll ask them to put it down or leave. Under no circumstances are we going to allow the Lyndon LaRouche people to hand out their little signs comparing Obama to Hitler. We're going to film everything -- here's how it happened, how it went down." That last lesson, he said, was learned in the aftermath of the March 20 and 21 health-care rallies on the hill.

Steinhauser passed on a chance to critique the CrashtheParty strategy of discrediting tea partiers. "I'm not going to suggest what they'd do if they were smart," he said.

By David Weigel  |  April 13, 2010; 4:49 PM ET
Categories:  Tea Party  
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