As Sir Walter Scott warned two centuries ago: "Oh! What a tangled web we weave/ When first we practice to deceive!"

As Sir Walter Scott warned two centuries ago: “Oh! What a tangled web we weave/ When first we practice to deceive!”

He could’ve been writing about those four right-wing twentysomethings who thought it’d be cute to pull off a political sting in Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu’s New Orleans office. Posing as a telephone repair crew, their fraudulent entry was supposed to embarrass the senator and get the four interlopers on Fox News – but, alas, the boys bungled the caper and got arrested.

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It turns out they are not mere pranksters, but trained products of a secretive web of far-rightest organizations that are quietly funded by major corporate interests.

Two of the intruders, for example, had started right-wing newspapers at their respective colleges, receiving start-up money and training from an outfit called the Leadership Institute, where both went to work after graduation. This operation has recruited and trained thousands of students to become right-wing activists, including Karl Rove. Its campus offshoot the Collegiate Network, supports more than 100 right-wing campus papers. In turn, it is “administered” by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a publishing unit that grinds out right-wing dogma and political strategies for youngsters to absorb.

The common link for these groups is bundles of money derived from such corporations as Amway, Coors, Koch Industries, and Olin Industries.

The New Orleans foursome is also connected by the Pelican Institute, a Louisiana front group funded by some of the same corporate interests. One of those arrested works for Pelican, and the ringleader of the caper was brought to New Orleans by Pelican for a how-to address on video attack stings.

Ironically, by messing up, these bumblers have exposed a corporate-funded network specifically created to train young people to do such political stunts.

“After Arrest, Provocateur’s Tactics are Questioned,” The New York Times,” January 28, 2010.

“The Far-Right Funding Behind The Alleged Phone Buggers’ Collegiate Network,”, January 27, 2010.

“Landrieu Phone Tampering Case: What Is The Pelican Institute?”, January 26, 2010.

” Before Caper, O’Keefe And Co. Crashed At House Of Activist ‘Mentor’,”, February 1, 2010.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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