The chairman of Gathering of Eagles (GOE), Ret. U.S. Navy Captain Larry Bailey (he was a leader of GOE’s protest of Cindy Sheehan’s Journey For Humanity & Accountability in Charlotte, NC on July 17), was the president of the Vietnam Vets for the Truth, "which attacked 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate Senator John Kerry's military record, on the heels of the more well-known" Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. (Raw Story). He reorganized the group as The Vets For The Truth in 2006 (& VFTT accepted donations on behalf of GOE). Bailey is a member of the DC chapter of Free Republic.
The GOE’s press contact Kristinn Taylor is a co-leader of the DC chapter of Free Republic. His bio on the FR site refers to him as “Warlord of the D.C. Chapter of FreeRepublic.com” and having been a member of FR since 1998.
Free Republic (FR) has a Gathering Of Eagles section on their website/“forum”, which is included in the menu at the top of their site. Free Republic is an openly right-wing, pro-Republican blog/forum type website and organization. Kristinn Taylor has a recent posting on FR concerning the DC Free Republic’s plan to disrupt the July 23 March from Arlington Cemetery to Rep. Conyers for Impeachment, being led by Cindy Sheehan.
In fact, it appears Free Republic is a main driving force behind Gathering of Eagles, which serves as an umbrella group for FR and the organizations they are related too.
Key organizations that promoted and participated in the launching of the Gathering Of Eagles & their first counter-protest at the March 17, 2007 March on the Pentagon are Move America Forward, Free Republic, and Rolling Thunder.
Conservative journalists that promoted and covered the GOE creation/counter-protest include Front Page Magazine’s Jaime Glazov and syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin. Malkin had articles published in places such as National Review Online and The New York Post and, of course, posted on Free Republic.
In a Feb 28, 2007 article Malkin wrote:
"Sgt. Artie Muller, founder of Rolling Thunder, the POW/MIA advocacy group, has called on his 80-plus chartered chapters to turn out. Move America Forward, a grassroots, nonprofit, pro-military charity, is launching a caravan from California March 8 to join the Eagles and will bring flags from across the country for the event.”
Move America Forward (MAF) is lead by California Republican activists, talk show hosts and staff members of the public relations firm Russo Marsh & Rogers. MAF’s California Articles of Incorporation registration address was that of PR firm Russo Marsh and Rogers (their first .com web address was also registered under the name Russo Marsh and Rogers). The firm has strong ties to the Republican Party.
Move America Forward’s “Chief Strategist” Sal Russo is the founder and principal of Russo Marsh and Rogers, though he chooses not to list that on his MAF bio.
Melanie Morgan is the chairman of Move America Forward. She is a columnist for WorldNetDaily and conservative radio talk show host at KSFO in San Francisco. She has, or at least had, an email address with the PR firm Russo Marsh & Rogers, Melanie@RMRWest.Net.
Rolling Thunder claims to be a POW/MIA advocacy organization. However, their ardent support of right-wing, pro-Republican organizations and their active role in organizing and participating in their “events” reveals another agenda as well.
At Rolling Thunder’s last rally in Washington, DC on May 27, 2007, two of their featured speakers were “Capt. Larry Bailey USN, Retired” and “Kristinn Taylor freerepublic.com”. The leader of their group met privately with President Bush prior to their rally.
This is just a small sample of the close connections between Gathering Of Eagles, Move America Forward, Free Republic, Rolling Thunder and the Republican Party and conservative media. There is much more information available in the public domain, mostly from these groups websites and conservative media outlets.
Gathering of Eagles’ website
Move America Forward’s website
Free Republic’s website
Rolling Thunder’s website
Russo Marsh and Rogers’ website
National Review Online
New York Post
Front Page Magazine
David Dixon is founder & coordinator of the social justice organization Action Center For Justice and OperationImpeachment.org. To learn more see www.CharlotteAction.org, www.OperationImpeachment.org or call 704.492.8527.