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February 11, 2005

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» Catching my eye: morning A through Z from The Glittering Eye
Here's what's caught my eye this morning: A very nice post on prayer in Buddhism from Joseph Marshall of A Straight Shot of Politics. Gerard Vanderleun of American Digest tells us of The Laws of the Blogger (with apologies to... [Read More]

» Catching my eye: morning A through Z from The Glittering Eye
Here's what's caught my eye this morning: A very nice post on prayer in Buddhism from Joseph Marshall of A Straight Shot of Politics. Gerard Vanderleun of American Digest tells us of The Laws of the Blogger (with apologies to... [Read More]

» http://beautifulatrocities.com/archives/2005/02/daily_kos_shock.html from Beautiful Atrocities
DAILY KOS SHOCKER: GANNON HAD UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO NEWSPAPERS... [Read More]

» The Main Assertion in Gannonquiddick from INDC Journal
... is thin and weak, given the current evidence. The Kossacks, Marshall, et al, are getting riled up over the possibility that Gannon had special, illegal access to the secret Valerie Plame memo. The only problem is, his first mention... [Read More]

» They Just Can't Stop Lying For The Cause, Can They? from Daily Pundit
The Correct Way to Fix Mistakes Each of these false assertions damaged someone's reputation, and each ran on the front page of the L.A. Times.... [Read More]

» INDC Journal from Insulted
I'm gearing up for another run at Bill, one of my least favorite bloggers. I've posted about him four times, first mocking commenting policies (which I consider to be the antithesis of what blogging is allegedly supposed to be about),... [Read More]

» Spin of the Year nominee from Croooow Blog
Knock me down with a feather, the hypocrisy just got worse:Asked if digging into someone's personal and business activities was... [Read More]

» More On Jeff Gannon from Secure Liberty
Good grief. I'm still shaking my head over this one. It seems that more details of Jeff Gannon's life are emerging. (H/T Wizbang) The evidence suggests that he was a gay escort. So? I thought diversity was a good thing? Here's what the left has t... [Read More]

» POLITICS: Jordan and Guckert from Baseball Crank
I haven't blogged on either story thus far - I suppose I should have blogged about Eason Jordan when I first read the story in Opinion Journal's Political Diary - but Jonah Goldberg nails the difference between the two: Jordan,... [Read More]

» POLITICS: Jordan and Guckert from Baseball Crank
I haven't blogged on either story thus far - I suppose I should have blogged about Eason Jordan when I first read the story in Opinion Journal's Political Diary - but Jonah Goldberg nails the difference between the two: Jordan,... [Read More]

» Wouldn't The Jeff Gannon Story Be A Lot More Interesting If We Just Made A Bunch Of Wild Allegations Based On The Fact That We Want Them To Be True? from Right Wing News
Just when you seen the bottom of the feverswamp that the left loves to wallow in, along comes a story... [Read More]

» Wouldn't The Jeff Gannon Story Be A Lot More Interesting If We Just Made A Bunch Of Wild Allegations Based On The Fact That We Want Them To Be True? from Right Wing News
Just when you've seen the bottom of the feverswamp that the left loves to wallow in, along comes a story... [Read More]

» Wouldn't The Jeff Gannon Story Be A Lot More Interesting If We Just Made A Bunch Of Wild Allegations Based On The Fact That We Want Them To Be True? from Right Wing News
Just when you've seen the bottom of the feverswamp that the left loves to wallow in, along comes a story... [Read More]

» Wouldn't The Jeff Gannon Story Be A Lot More Interesting If We Just Made A Bunch Of Wild Allegations Based On The Fact That We Want Them To Be True? from Right Wing News
Just when you've seen the bottom of the feverswamp that the left loves to wallow in, along comes a story... [Read More]

» Wouldn't The Jeff Gannon Story Be A Lot More Interesting If We Just Made A Bunch Of Wild Allegations Based On The Fact That We Want Them To Be True? from Right Wing News
Just when you've seen the bottom of the feverswamp that the left loves to wallow in, along comes a story... [Read More]

» Wouldn't The Jeff Gannon Story Be A Lot More Interesting If We Just Made A Bunch Of Wild Allegations Based On The Fact That We Want Them To Be True? from Right Wing News
Just when you've seen the bottom of the feverswamp that the left loves to wallow in, along comes a story... [Read More]

» Jeff Gannon: Where is the Liberal Media? from Scribe
Reporter Jeff Gannon/James Guckert resigned last week from Talon News.Com.  The left seemed very pleased and prepared for the onslaught of liberal mainstream media coverage that would follow.  But they were quickly disappointed.&nbs... [Read More]

» Where was the softball outrage during the Clinton Years? from A Bluegrass Blog
For those worked up into a lather over semi-pseudo journalist Jeff Gannon (nee James Zuckert), comes a nice counterpoint at NRO, where Tim Graham looks at one Clinton press conference and notes that softball questions didn't raise much ire during [Read More]

» The real story of "Gannongate" from GayPatriot
Both Ellen (a straight reader of this blog) and Roger Simon alerted me to an excellent Powerline post on "Gannongate." (For some reason, the Powerline Permalink is not to the article itself, but to their February archives. You may need... [Read More]

Comments

creepy dude

"according to two people familiar with the memo..."writes the WSJ on 10-17.

But what if Gannon was one of the "two people" serving as Cloud's sources (the other presumably being Karl Rove)? Oh who really gives a damn.

You know, TM, with your relish for hunting down inconsistencies, hypocrisy and half-truths, you really ought to parse more Administration statements.

Take the newly revised statement that the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill will only cost $720 billion through 2016. It's a goldmine of snarky posts!

TM

Medicare? BushCo? A man's got to know his limitations.

Crank

Now, you don't want Dr. Josh to get any of those nasty 'fact' thingys all over his blog.

Ranger

"But what if Gannon was one of the "two people" serving as Cloud's sources (the other presumably being Karl Rove)? Oh who really gives a damn."

creepy dude

Well, if that is the case then he is the worst journalist in history. If he had access to the memo (which was devistating to Wilson's story) and did nothing but feed it to the WSJ. Then he turned around and used it himself 2 weeks after passing it along to someone else. Why not break the story himself instead of giving it to the WSJ? Of course, that could all be part of the plan, but that seems a little convoluted.

The simple answer is that he read the WSJ, picked up the bit about the memo, and then used it 11 days later when he interviewed Wilson. If the WaPo wanted to credit him with having the memo, why would he deny it publicly? It just helped build up his image as an important player in the Washington game. That's how the game is played, right?

Max Sawicky

Facts are stupid things.

tom scott

Thanks much for that post. I still don't know what to believe but I have a much clearer understanding of the situation. Thanks again.

Cecil Turner

TM,

Concur that the "internal government memo prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel" sounds suspiciously like the INR report that's been at the heart of the investigation since the beginning--and was most likely the initial source of Novak's information:

A senior State Department official confirmed that, while on the trip, Powell had a department intelligence report on whether Iraq had sought uranium from Niger--a claim Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson, discounted after a trip to Niger on behalf of the CIA. The report stated that Wilson's wife had attended a meeting at the CIA where the decision was made to send Wilson to Niger, but it did not mention her last name or undercover status.
The bad news for the conspiracy theorists is that, assuming it's as described, leaking it clearly does not violate the section on disclosing covert operatives (though ironically, it may violate the section on divulging diplomatic codes--which Wilson's initial op-ed may also have run afoul of--but a successful prosecution in either case seems remote).

If we are talking about the same memo that provided Novak's initial story, and it's been floating around for a while (as the WaPo article suggests), the whole Kos feeding frenzy was fairly ridiculous. Watching them leap from one unwarranted conclusion to another (e.g., "CIA memo" to "Administration plant") was entertaining, but not very educational. The end result seems to've been outing a marginally qualified gay reporter. It's more interesting that the Times (and Marshall, and Reps Conyers and Slaughter) apparently consider the Kosmonauts a reliable source.

creepy dude

But the larger questions remain unanswered:

Why did the CIA refer the issue to the Justice Dept.?

Why did Ashcroft recuse himself?

What the hell is the special prosecutor actually doing?

I'm just glad President Bush has vowed to get to the bottom of it.

Cecil Turner

"Why did the CIA refer the issue to the Justice Dept.?"

How could they not, if one of their agents' identities was divulged?

"Why did Ashcroft recuse himself?"

Whether there was an actual conflict of interest or not, there would certainly be an appearance of impropriety if the AG were to conduct an investigation of the Administration that appointed him. Not surprisingly, that's the story he's telling:

"The issue surrounding the attorney general's recusal is not one of actual conflict of interest that arises normally when someone has a financial interest or something. The issue that he was concerned about was one of appearance. And I can't go beyond that," Comey said at a news conference.
"What the hell is the special prosecutor actually doing?"

Looks to me like he's been spending a lot of effort tracking down how various news sources got information from the INR memo.

Lawyers and witnesses in the probe said Fitzgerald is interested in a story co-written by Pincus that appeared in The Post on Oct. 12, 2003. That story said that on July 12, 2003, two days before Novak's column was published, an administration official told a Post reporter that Wilson's wife had recommended him for the trip to Niger. The official said she was a CIA employee but did not disclose her name. An attorney for The Post declined to comment.
And again, if that's the source, it's hard to see how the covert agent statute would apply. Of course, I'm sure you could provide less charitable answers to the above, but there doesn't seem to be much evidence to support the more sinister interpretations. (Most of which rely on the word of Amb Wilson, whose credibility on the subject is less than sterling.)

jeff

Excellent job unraveling the Angry Left's memo-envy, or fill-in-the-blank-gate. I just hope Gannon takes certain lefty bloggers to the bank, as they seem unaware you can't smear & slander private citizens the way you can politicians.

creepy dude

My understanding is the CIA sends about 50 such referrals to Justice a year, i.e. where it believes intelligence has been compromised. So of about 200 since Bush took office-only this one morphs into a a special counsel inquiry. Interesting.

Again, I'm just glad Bush promised to get to the bottom of it.

Cecil Turner

"So of about 200 since Bush took office-only this one morphs into a a special counsel inquiry. Interesting."

Not really. How many of the others credibly alleged involvement of "senior Administration officials?" Again, there's at least the appearance of impropriety if the AG investigates the White House, so he should recuse himself.

"Again, I'm just glad Bush promised to get to the bottom of it."

Sounds a lot like "confess comrade" to me. I'd suggest he let the special counsel handle it, especially if the verdict is: no crime committed.

Pat Curley

The E&P interview also apparently clears up the issue of why the White House issued press passes under an "assumed" name. Gannon supposedly provided his real and his "work" name to the White House when requesting the passes.

They're left with having outed a gay man (although the E&P interview steers away from that subject), who registered some websites.

creepy dude

Yes but that's exactly the point. How many "senior administration officials" are there?

Why would Bush hire a personal attorney and let Rove, Powell and whoever else waste time testifying to a grand jury if he is satisfied that all of his senior officials did nothing wrong? Just tell whoever it who talked to Novak to identify themselves and explain themselves. Case closed.

I don't know anything myself. I just can't believe that it would have got to this point if something wasn't fishy.

Of course whether anybody gets busted is another issue entirely.

Cecil Turner

"Yes but that's exactly the point. How many "senior administration officials" are there?"

Depends on what you mean by "senior." But that's not the point. The point is that the accusation is enough to trigger a conflict of interest (and recusal)--even if there's nothing substantive.

"Just tell whoever it who talked to Novak to identify themselves and explain themselves. Case closed."

[Snort.] Riiiight. I suspect the vast majority of the left--including all the tinfoil hat crowd overrepresented at DKos--aren't going to accept a negative finding from Fitzgerald (assuming that's what happens). Suggesting they'd accept one from whoever contacted Novak (assuming that happened) is clearly not on.

" I don't know anything myself. I just can't believe that it would have got to this point if something wasn't fishy."

Guilty until proven innocent, eh? My point exactly.

MisterPundit

The problem with the Kos Kidz is that everything is a conspiracy to them ... bulge on Bush's back, stolen elections, planted reporters, bloggers working for the CIA. It's not just the average uneducated leftist, but college professors and so-called "academics". Hollywood has really done a number on those guys. It's only a matter of time before we start hearing about alien visitations at the Whitehouse.

creepy dude

Why are you snorting? Fitzgerald interviewed the President for 70 minutes!

If this is really a wild goose chase-that's really an unforgivable waste of resources.

Do you have employees?

I do. If the cops came to me and said one of your employees is accused of stealing, I would learn what I can. If I then had to spend 70 minutes being questioned-it would be somebody's ass either way.

creepy dude

Are you really saying the reason Bush can't order the officials who spoke to Novak to identify and explain themselves is because people at DailyKos wouldn't accept it?

Cecil Turner

"Why are you snorting?"

"Case closed" was laughable. Still is.

"If this is really a wild goose chase-that's really an unforgivable waste of resources."

Yep, sure is. Tell it to Mr Wilson.

"If I then had to spend 70 minutes being questioned-it would be somebody's ass either way."

Innocent, guilty, "who cares?" right? Finely tuned sense of justice ya got goin' there.

"Are you really saying the reason Bush can't order . . ."

Not quite. I'm saying that if the INR memo was the source, then no crime was committed (AFAICT). And if so, there's no point in the President saying anything, since his statement would rightly be perceived as self-serving. Mr Fitzgerald's, however, will be more acceptable to most Americans. (As to the Kossers, my belief is that they'll never accept a negative finding from anyone, as I thought I'd made clear.)

creepy dude

I see what you're saying.

I did absolutely nothing wrong tonight. But I can't say that-too self serving. So to prove it-let's have a special prosecutor appointed, a grand jury convened, and a months long investigation, so that, in the end, the special prosecutor can announce that I have, in fact, done nothing wrong tonight.

FWIW Wilson had nothing to do with starting this investigation. The CIA did. Furthermore, if anyone is to blame it's the "senior administration officials" blabbing to Novak. That's what I meant by kicking employee ass- either way, i.e. if they didn't commit a crime they wasted valuable resources.

Glad you believe Fitzgerald's statement "will be more acceptable most Americans" than Bush's. For me, the statement of a person selected at random from the Topeka phonebook would be more acceptable than the Presidents.

But since you've got the case solved-it was the INR memo in the library was it?-here's Fitzgerald's address and phone. Call him up and explain it to him-I'm sure he'd like to get back to more productive work:

U.S. Attorney's Office
5th Floor
219 Dearborn St
Chicago, IL 60604-1702
Phone: (312) 353-5300

Les Nessman

Keep flogging that dead horse, because Bushitler must be guilty of..of..well, SOMETHING!

Cecil Turner

"For me, the statement of a person selected at random from the Topeka phonebook would be more acceptable than the Presidents."

Yeah, I think we got that from the "guilty until proven innocent" stuff. But if he were to "Just tell whoever it who talked to Novak to identify themselves and explain themselves," the "Case [would be] closed." [Chortle.]

"FWIW Wilson had nothing to do with starting this investigation."

Riiight. And his very public accusations that the leak must have come from a close advisor to the President had absolutely nothing to do with creating an apparent conflict-of-interest with the AG either, eh?

"But since you've got the case solved-it was the INR memo in the library was it?-here's Fitzgerald's address and phone."

Not really necessary, I think Fitzgerald's already on it. But hey, smart guy, maybe you can come up with a plausible scenario in which there was an actual crime committed? Like explain to me how anyone at the White House got access to Plame's identity in the first place, if it wasn't from the INR memo? Or, if the source was the INR memo--which identifies Plame as a CIA agent, but not her covert status--how you get around the part of the statute that requires knowledge of her covert status?

Whoever, as a result of having authorized access to classified information, learns the identify of a covert agent and intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent's intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. [emphasis added]

creepy dude

Ok McGruff-if Ashcroft's recusal was based on Wilson's accusations and the appearance of impropriety-answer me this:

1.Did Ashcroft recuse himself before the investigation began or after after reviewing evidence developed by the FBI WELL AFTER the inquiry began?

2.Under your scenario-when would recusal have been appropriate?

3. Was the recusal personal or institutional?

Please answer before googling the truth.

creepy dude

As for the statute-I think Fitzgerald is looking more into 18 U.S.C. 793- the Espionage Act.

I believe even TM has discussed this angle.

Cecil Turner

"Under your scenario-when would recusal have been appropriate?"

Hmm, dunno. Some time after the facts of the case showed a conflict that could reasonably be expected to lead to an impropriety (or appearance of one)? And if the follow-up paperwork on the referral was completed in late September/early October, maybe . . . December? To be sure, some Democrats were calling for one earlier (e.g., from Oct 1) :

Democrats in Congress demanded that Ashcroft appoint a special counsel to avert any conflict of interest. "This is not just a leak, this is a crime - plain and simple," said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D., N.Y.), describing the leak as a "kneecapping."
It looks like Sen Schumer agrees with your punishment-followed-by-a-trial approach. And hey, how are you coming with the scenario of an actual crime? Or does the defense now bear the burden of proving the defendant innocent without even having a charge to refer to?

"Please answer before googling the truth."

Since I linked the recusal story in an earlier comment, do you think there's maybe a slight possibility that I'd actually read it, and didn't need to google?

Cecil Turner

"As for the statute-I think Fitzgerald is looking more into 18 U.S.C. 793- the Espionage Act."

Section 793? Seems a bit of a stretch to call Plame's identity a matter of "Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information," doesn't it? Seems to me Section 794 would be more applicable, but even that requires it be a national defense issue, which is a tough sell.

Now, applying that statute to Wilson might be workable . . .

creepy dude

Actually you said:

"Again, there's at least the appearance of impropriety if the AG investigates the White House, so he should recuse himself."

If that's the proper criteria, then Ashcroft should have recused himself immediately upon the referral from the CIA. Instead, he personally recused himself only after reviewing preliminary results of the investigation. The Attorney General's OFFICE is indeed investigating the White House. Thus, a U.S. Attorney interrogated the President for over an hour.

Why does that not represent a conflict of interest? Fitzgerald is Bush's employee.

I see no value in arguing statutory interpretation. We'll leave that to Bush's employee. later.

ed

Hmmm.

It never fails to amaze me that so many people have no clear idea how an administration works. The government isn't a homogeneous monolithic block consisting of a single political entity. There are appointed positions, that generally but not always goes to the reigning political party, and there are career positions held by non-political executives. Thus when someone uses the term "senior government official" it can literally mean anything. Or must I explain why George Tenet wasn't a Republican.

whatever.

Frankly this whole witchhunt against Gannon/Guckert has yet to be fully played out. A lot of really libelous things have been printed and I'm not certain at all if "New York Times vs. Sullivan" is going to cover it. Particularly since Kos, I believe, did an interview with Howard Kurtz that basically torpedoed any such "malicious" defense. I'm going to wait for the enormous out of cour settlement or a visible trial where Daily Kos, Atrios and crew get Racked.

Might be amusing if Guckert demanded ownership of the www.dailykos.com website as part of the settlement.

At any rate it's pretty obvious that there's some sort of juvenile penis-comparison thing going on between the lefty bloggers and the right. Not that there's any sort of participation by the righty bloggers in this, but you can see that there's something driving the lefty bloggers and that's a desire for scalps of their own. It's a shame that they attacked a guy for pretty much no reason but I'm sure it'll backfire on them pretty badly.

Somewhere out in America is a legal team chortling to themselves as they lay out the case.

Cecil Turner

cd,

"If that's the proper criteria, then Ashcroft should have recused himself immediately upon the referral from the CIA."

Well, Schumer would appear to agree with you. I'd say it would be more prudent to wait until the investigation credibly indicated a leak might actually have come from the White House. Or is "unforgivable waste of resources" no longer an issue?

"I see no value in arguing statutory interpretation."

I can see why you wouldn't, especially if your best evidence is: he-must-be-guilty-because-the-AG-recused-himself. But IMHO, if you're going to allege a crime, you really ought to specify one.

ed,

"A lot of really libelous things have been printed and I'm not certain at all if "New York Times vs. Sullivan" is going to cover it."

I'd love to see it, but recent history suggests a successful lawsuit from a public figure is practically impossible. I agree with you (and Pat above) that there's nothing praiseworthy in outing Gannon/Guckert, but neither was his double identity something that could be expected to hold up--it simply wasn't compatible with his WH reporting career.

The same could probably be said for Amb Wilson's editorial fame and his wife's NOC cover.

creepy dude

Schumer would agree with you. The criteria I'm referring to is yours when you said:

"Again, there's at least the appearance of impropriety if the AG investigates the White House, so he should recuse himself."

Now you say:

"I'd say it would be more prudent to wait until the investigation credibly indicated a leak might actually have come from the White House."

Ok-so now you think this is the reason Ashcroft recused himself? Because I agree. Ashcroft saw credible vidence the leak came from the White House and recused himself-not the AG's office.

Now whether anyone violated a statute or will ever be busted (two separtate issues) I have no idea; we'll all have to wait (till 2009?) for Bush's employee to finish his investigation.

Myself, I'm all for an INDEPENDENT counsel, like we would have already if this was a democratic administration. Fitzgerald is still subject to orders from Ashcroft.


creepy dude

Well actually not Ashcroft-now he's subject to orders from Bush's right hand man-Abu Gonzales. Wonderful.

BTW I'll give you the last word-so make your next comment extra devastating. Cheers.

Cecil Turner

"Schumer would agree with you. The criteria I'm referring to is yours when you said:

"Again, there's at least the appearance of impropriety if the AG investigates the White House, so he should recuse himself."" [emphasis added]

You, like Schumer, suggest it's a given that the White House was the source of the leak. In fact, the most likely source of a covert agent's identity was CIA (nobody else would be expected to have a list of agents' identities). Only after the investigation credibly pointed to the information originating from the White House would there be a conflict sufficient for the AG's recusal. (And unfortunately for the tinfoil hat crowd, it also suggests that if a crime was committed, it wasn't outing a covert agent.)

"Now whether anyone violated a statute or will ever be busted (two separtate issues) I have no idea"

Well if the answer to the first is "no," it becomes one issue, doesn't it? And if so, the whole thing is pretty much a collossal waste of time and resources, wouldn't you say?

TM

It occurs to me that prior to Ashcroft's recusal, a theory on the left was that Ashcroft was orchestrating the cover-up; in this view, the recusal ocurred after the case had been properly sanitized, so that Fitzgerald could come in as Mr. Clean and eventually announce that there was nothing to be seen.

IN that world, an early recusal would have been evidence of a crime; a delayed recusal was evidence of a crime; and no recusal would have been *proof* of a crime.

For myself, I have no problem with the idea that they kicked it around for a few months, finally realized there were no easy or obvious answers, and Ashcroft recused himself to avoid an appearance of conflict.

Maybe there is a real conflict, and a real crime, and the case is red-hot? Maybe. Not a lot of indications of that, and plenty of reason to think otherwise, but who knows?

Or, (let's get sinister) let's suppose that in reality, the WH are the goons that the Left imagines. But smarter - like, smart enough to deliberately out somebody in an act of revenge but cover their tracks.

IN that case, this investigation could take forever, or stall out and die. But keep hope alive - if Fitzgerald closes up shop with no indictments, that does not exonerate anyone, so we can pretend for years that this leak was a ghastly outrage against all decency.

creepy dude

TM-you don't have time to mess with Plamegate now-hop over to Kevin Drum where he just called all your anti-Krugman posts "bullshit."

Brennan Stout

creepy dude said "Why does that not represent a conflict of interest? Fitzgerald is Bush's employee.

I see no value in arguing statutory interpretation. We'll leave that to Bush's employee. later."

Patrick Fitzgerald doesn't work for the President. He works for the people of the United States. He is an officer of the law, appointed by the Senators representing the State of Illinois, to prosecute the violators of the law. His appointment of special counsel was made by Deputy AG James Comey.

As early as October 2003 experts on special prosecutors, like Wake Forest Poli Sci Professor Katy Harriger, were questioning the need for special counsel at the stage of the investigation.

Since you think that Fitzgerald is "Bush's employee" why don't you contact his office and ask him what he thinks of that assertion.

I still like observing the Bush critics through the colorful words of Seymour Hersh when is telling an audience at the Steven Wise Reform Synagogue in Brooklyn that the government is currently being run by an "8 or 9 member cult". He's not sure how they do it, but he's sure they are doing it. Perhaps Patrick Fitzgerald is warming up in the cult's bullpen.

ed

Hmmm.

"I'd love to see it, but recent history suggests a successful lawsuit from a public figure is practically impossible. I agree with you (and Pat above) that there's nothing praiseworthy in outing Gannon/Guckert, but neither was his double identity something that could be expected to hold up--it simply wasn't compatible with his WH reporting career."

*shrug* I don't think Guckert fulfills the definition of a "public figure" at all. As for the "outing", there's no evidence at all that there's anything to out. And a pen name is hardly a double identity. How long did it take Duncan Black to correctly identify himself? How many bloggers write under a pen name?

I think substantial damage has been done and there's going to be no easy out for anyone involved in it.

JorgXMcKie

Well now, if Kevin Drum called all the anti-Krugman (He *is* an economics god, after all)bullshit then you might as well give up. I mean, next only to Krugman, Drum is an economics god, and who would know the truth better than he? (And Krugman and MoDo, of course.)

Cecil Turner

"*shrug* I don't think Guckert fulfills the definition of a "public figure" at all."

Oh, I was assuming he did. If not, I agree with you completely. If so, I don't see him having much of a chance in court . . . I wonder if we can get a ruling from someone whose area of expertise this is?

"As for the "outing", there's no evidence at all that there's anything to out."

Not claiming any particular knowledge, my impression from the news stories (and his E&P bit), was that it was the personal stuff that made him resign. (Especially the web sites he helped set up that apparently never got going.) Reynolds summed it up nicely:

I also agree with Kurtz that it was the stuff about Gannon's personal life that led to his resignation, and that there's something rather sleazy about that.

Robin Roberts

creepy dude writes: "Myself, I'm all for an INDEPENDENT counsel, like we would have already if this was a democratic administration. "

Obviously creepy dude has forgotten that the Democrats decided that an independant counsel statute that bites Democrats as well as Republicans was defective. The statute was allowed to lapse during the Clinton administration. There is no longer independant counsels. Accordingly, creepy dude's claim that there would be one if this was a democratic administration is rather obviously false.

Les Nessman

something may have happend.
'AHA! AND WHY ISN'T IT BEING INVESTIGATED, HMM? COVERUP,COVERUP!'

o.k. the attorney general is looking into it.
'AHA! THE A.G. IS A BUSH CRONY! COVERUP!COVERUP!'

o.k. the A.G. recused himself.
'AHA! WHERE THERE'S SMOKE THERE'S FIRE! IF HE RECUSED HIMSELF THEY MUST BE GUILTY! COVERUP!COVERUP!'

o.k. ashcroft isn't A.G. anymore.
'ABU GRAHIB! ABU GRAHIB!'

ad infinitum....

Brennan Stout

Cecil Turner: Guckert cited the information gathering conducted into his background that had members of his extended family being questioned about him. In his interview with Wolf Blitzer he said that his parents, siblings were getting called about him and that people were showing up at his home in Delaware.

This is Guckert's word on the events so it is difficult to guage the veracity of them. However, if we are to assume they are true, then a resignation would be obvious. Perhaps a reporter with a multi-million dollar media company like the Washington Post or NY Times could confront a personal investigation that reaches into their reporters' extended families.

As far as Guckert's credibility goes, what was originally thought to have been false credentials to enter the White House turned about to be accurate credentials with the request that he be identified as Jeff Gannon. He's no Mark Twain, but Mark Twain wasn't even Mark Twain. He was Samuel Clemons.

capt joe

poor creepy dude, ouplayed, out manuevered, out classed

Rather weak little rejoiner on his way out. Sort of like "Kevin Drum will get you and your little dog too"

creepy dude

Brennan Stout-WTF are you talking about that U.S. Attorneys are appointed by Senators? They are tools of the Executive branch. Clinton fired every one of them when he assumed office (save one)-please tell me how the law has changed since then.

Robin Roberts-you actually are correct. I forgot that.

Capt Joe-WTF are you talking about period?

I had just graciously allowed Cecil Turner to have the last word, and then all you wingnuts crawl out of the shadows.

"Bring it on" if I may to quote the great leader.

Cecil Turner

"Guckert cited the information gathering conducted into his background that had members of his extended family being questioned about him. In his interview with Wolf Blitzer he said that his parents, siblings were getting called about him and that people were showing up at his home in Delaware."

Thanks Brennan, I saw that but it didn't ring true as the whole story--especially since a hard-hitting news reporter should thrive on controversy. Again with no particular knowledge, the stuff about helping set up the porn sites looked more embarrassing, he was defensive about further digging into his personal life, and I tend to believe that's a bigger reason. At any rate, he apparently relied on his pseudonym working, and since it got penetrated by the folks at DKos, I still think his approach was unsustainable.

Eva Young

As I posted on your site before, SusanG took Gannon at his word that he'd gotten access to that memo.

As I posted on your early thread, I posted over at Kos to get Susan's side - and this is what she said:

Got a response from SusanG here.

Hmmmm .... (none / 1)

I may have made the mistake here of believing Talon News' own report. (Head slap.)

Talon News was the only service identified by the Washington Post as having knowledge of the memo's existence.

Talon News cache. (no longer available)

I'll look into it later unless someone else wants to. If I got it wrong, I want to correct it.

The point is, she believed Gannon's own claim.... From the story (linked to the word "cache" in my post above):

Federal Grand Jury Could Subpoena Talon News Correspondent
By Jim Hauser
Talon News
March 9, 2004

WASHINGTON (Talon News) --

**************snip****************

According to a subsequent Talon News story by Bobby Eberle regarding the Washington Post piece, "The Washington Post cites an unnamed source who says, 'The CIA is angry about the circulation of a still-classified document to conservative news outlets.' They point to a memo referenced in a Talon News interview of Wilson that suggests his wife was instrumental in his selection for the fact-finding trip to Africa."

Talon News was the only service identified by the Washington Post as having knowledge of the memo's existence.

"I will tell you that the information did not come from inside the administration," Gannon told Talon News. "For something that is supposed to be classified, it seems that this document is easily accessible."

*****************
That's what she's looking into. She answered relatively quick.

EY: I think your post would be a stronger argument if you didn't rehash the refuted points you made before.

It doesn't take long to get a direct comment from the author of the Kos post you discussed.

Eva Young

BTW - I'm not a Kosite. I've been following this story - and the Eason Jordan story from the perspective of Blog swarms.

I also posted your comments on their timeline over on their site.

I do think it's worth pointing out that their source about the WaPO story was a story by Bobby Eberle in Talon News/GOPUSA.

foreign devil

Kos' blind ambition and need to be noticed have taken a big hit lately with all Markos' pet projects crashing and burning. He has seen an opportunity to recoup his losses and reputation and get some of the limelight back on him and has gone full tilt boogie on this very shaky, flaky story. It is going crash and burn too, BIGTIME! And when it does, we'll have Kos to thank for the rotten reputation it will give the blogs for years to come. The MSM will be dancing in the streets when Kos, singlehandedly with this insane vendetta against Gannon, wrecks the reputation many of the good blogs have. The MSM has been looking for a way to discredit blogs which are hurting their prestige. If this goes badly, as I fear it may, it won't just be Kos going down; it will be all of us. We'll be poison for the foreseeable future.

Someone needs to explain this to Kos.

Brennan Stout

creepy dude said "WTF are you talking about that U.S. Attorneys are appointed by Senators? They are tools of the Executive branch. Clinton fired every one of them when he assumed office (save one)-please tell me how the law has changed since then."

Long standing Senate Privilege holds that Senators nominate attorneys to become United States attorneys within their districts. The President does indeed nominate United States Attorneys, but Senate Privilege retains the power for Senators to place a hold on a nominee.

Patrick Fitzgerald's appointment was presented by Senator Peter Fitzgerald(no relation). It was supported by Senator Dick Durbin. It was supported by the President.

As much as you wish to believe - as is likely you have already convinced yourself - President Bush is not President Nixon.
/end

Talon News was the only service identified by the Washington Post as having knowledge of the memo's existence.

Eva Young: The Washington Post appears to have made a mistake considering the David Cloud piece in the Wall Street Journal. In other reports, Gannon says that he would not reveal his sources which led to the further rumoring that he was protecting someone in the administration. This was a jump to the conclusion that he had in fact seen the memo. But, as seen above in TM's commentary, it's likely Gannon "read the papers".

Brennan Stout

foreign devil: I don't connect very well with Daily Kos. However, it was not Markos conducting any of this investigation. This was diary users at Daily Kos. I understand that the anonymous nature of the diaries permits veteran oppo researchers to publish the work they could never attach their names to, but that's the Internet for you.

If Markos did anything over at Daily Kos it was a bunch of "Yea, what he/she said".

TM

The MSM will be dancing in the streets when Kos, singlehandedly with this insane vendetta against Gannon, wrecks the reputation many of the good blogs have.

I doubt that, but... if the Times ever admits to having been snookered (as if!), do you suppose they will characterize the source of the misinformation as (a) a blog; or (b) a left-leaning blog.

Hah! Why do I ask?

Mark B

Why does ANYONE listen to The Daily Kos? It's nothing but a left wingers to rant about how bad Republicans are. So they got the Gannon story wrong and destroyed a man's reputation in the process (he's a gay male prostitute who leaks classified documents and outs undercover CIA operatives). Nice. Well let's not forget how Kos got Rather-gate wrong (he was sure the documents were real), missed the Eason Jordan story, loves Micheal Moore, and supported nothing but losing candidates (Dean, Kerry, the Koz Dozen) in the last election. Has he been correct yet?

creepy dude

Yes, he didn't believe there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

ed

Hmmm.

I think the primary reason why Guckert resigned is that he's really not a hard-core journalist. Seriously. How many hard-core journalists ever worked for a software company recently? I can't say that I've dug very deeply, I really don't care all *that* much about this, but it really sounds like the guy weighed the pro and con arguments and found the pro ones wanting.

Then again I'd like for someone to point out any recent, within the last decade, journalist who has had to deal with people taking a Roto-Rooter to his/her life and family. Perhaps I've led a sheltered life, but I can't think of a single one.

I kinda wonder now if any journalist would put up with the kind of abuse this guy has taken.

Hmmmm.

ed

Hmmm.

"Yes, he didn't believe there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."

Actually then that means he was wrong. WMDs were found in Iraq, even if the MSM doesn't deign to acknowledge it.

Les Nessman

"Yes, he didn't believe there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."

You mean Bill Clinton lied when he said there were wmd's there? How dare you imply that!

TM

Yes, he didn't believe there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

OK, Creepy, pretty good. But, to quote Woody Allen:

"Oh God, Oh God, what hast thou done... lately?"

creepy dude

Glad you see the humor TM-this is a tough room.

Eva Young

Just to make things clear - I wasn't addressing the WaPo story, I was making the point that SusanG at Kos took her information second hand from Talon News - and yes, since she generally doesn't trust that source, it's ironic that she took this story - which confirmed something she wanted to believe - at face value.

Eva Young

Also it was John Aravosis at Americablog who did most of the research about the Gay Prostitute angle.

Wilson Kolb

Let's imagine that Clinton were in office, and say, sometime during the Kosovo situation it had come to light that a male hooker had been regularly admitted to the press office in a manner to evade the normal certification procedures.

Then let's further imagine that the hooker was working for a Democratic partisan group financed by people in Arkansas with long-standing ties to Clinton's prior campaigns. And let's further imagine that the hooker, while posing as a reporter, had been involved in the calculated smear of the spouse of one of Clinton's harshest critics, and that the smear had involved blowing the cover of a CIA agent.

And then let's further imagine that the hooker specialized in the wearing of military uniforms.

Now tell me that Fox News and CNN and every other network and newspaper wouldn't have been all over this story.

TM

Eva, I think you steered the LostKos Comedy Club away from a full train wreck on this one - Susan G did catch the mistake eventually, and the Kos press release was desperately watered down. And I really do have a bit of solidarity with any of my fellow bloggers who are willing to do the research and actually look at the evidence.

However, the timing was hard luck for the folks who missed the last memo, so it still gives folks like me (and, well, me, too) a chance to mock the NY Times (which is my life's blood.)

TomB

Now tell me that Fox News and CNN and every other network and newspaper wouldn't have been all over this story.

Did you ever hear about Barney Frank's old boyfriend who was running a gay prostitution ring out of his house?

No?

Hmmmmmm.

Cecil Turner

I'm not sure the Kos folks missed a train wreck, though EY may have kept the derailed cars from falling off the cliff.

It seems to me the main point they missed was not connecting the dots between the much-discussed INR memo and the "internal CIA memo." Or, as pithily phrased by TM:

I will boldly guess that the INR analyst's meeting notes referred to by the Senate Subcommittee are closely related to the memo described by the WSJ and the WaPo.
With that piece of information in hand, as well as the later revelations that it had been communicated to the President's Africa trip entourage (sometime during the week of 6-12 July 2003--suspiciously coincident to Novak's initial column hitting the wires on 11 July 03):
A senior State Department official confirmed that, while on the trip, Powell had a department intelligence report . . .that Wilson's wife had attended a meeting at the CIA where the decision was made to send Wilson to Niger, but it did not mention her last name or undercover status.
It'd have then been obvious all three stories were likely talking about the source of the initial leak, not some later damage control, and that Gannon had asbolutely nothing new to add (except perhaps that information from the INR memo was still out there a couple months after the initial leak). And considering he essentially quoted the WSJ verbatim when describing it (and mis-characterized it as a "confidential CIA memo"), it'd be logical to conclude he never actually saw it. You'd hope that'd have led them to conclude there was no story here, and dampened the zeal somewhat for chasing through his personal life.

anonymous

"Now tell me that Fox News and CNN and every other network and newspaper wouldn't have been all over this story."

Fox News and CNN and every other network and newspaper wouldn't have been all over that story.


Kardamena in Kos Expert

nothing to do with the island of Kos then? Oh well, never mind, should have used Google lol!

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