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BREAKING NEWS: Gannon reportedly knew about "Shock and Awe" four hours before it happened

According to John in DC - AmericaBlog:

A news producer for a major network just told me that Gannon told the producer the "shock and awe" campaign launching the Iraq war was about to happen four hours before President Bush announced it to the nation.

According to the producer, Gannon specifically told them that in four hours the president was going to be making a speech to the nation announcing the "shock and awe" campaign had begun. The producer told me they were surprised that Gannon, working with such a small news outfit, could have access to such information, but "what did you know, he was right," the producer said today. The producer went on to say that Gannon often had correct scoops on major stories, including information about Mary Mapes and the Dan Rather BUSH/AWOL scandal that this news outlet got from Gannon before any had the information publicly.

I have nothing to add but AmericaBlog poses some questions:

This [sic] more than a few questions and points:

1. Assuming this news producer is telling the truth, and I have no reason to believe they are not, how did Gannon get access to such highly classified information as to when the Iraq war going to begin?

2. Even if Gannon were part of a press gaggle that was told embargoed information about the upcoming war by the White House, this producer alleges that Gannon broke the embargo, which is a security risk to the operation, and more generally shows that concerns about Gannon's White House access posing a risk to national security are now warranted.

3. How would someone on a day pass, who hadn't gotten the requisite 3-4 month FBI background check that other full-time White House employees get, get access to such highly classified information? Certainly the White House didn't include someone with simply a day pass in the highly-classified pre-briefing about when the war was happening (assuming such a briefing even occurred)? If the White House did a briefing and Gannon were included, this would mean ANYONE could walk in off the street, say they're a reporter, and provided by they don't have a criminal record, the White House will simply tell them at what hour we're launching a major war? And if there was no briefing for reporters, then how did Gannon allegedly find out?

4. How would Gannon get inside information on the Dan Rather scandal BEFORE the rest of the major media? Assuming the producer is correct, did it come from a White House source, and if so, what does this say about possible White House involvement in creating this scandal in the first place?

According to my source, Gannon's insider tidbits were always on the mark. "Gannon's stuff was always golden," the producer says. My source says they kept asking themself, "how does this small news outfit get this info?"

How indeed.

Posted at risk: without commentary. Thought this should be "out here". Surely there are more questions, no?

Originally posted to libby on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 07:39 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Risk away... I won't have seen (none)
    it this early otherwise.


  •  This is big (4.00)
    Plame, Rathergate and SHock and Awe

    Thats three things he was in on before most of the main stream media I think we have more then a shill we have a leak shill.  

    I also believe Gannon would not have spread anything that wasn't in the best interest of the Republicans to release I think he was given information with the express intent that he would spread it.  He was perfect becasue real reporters would have taken there time but if a white house correspondant said it was true it becomes releasable.

    He was a tool they used and his reward was sitting in the briefings.  He also had to be there so that he had some sort of legetacmy (sp)

    •  Curiouser and curiouser (none)
      We really need to figure out who's pulling the strings.
      •  I'm thinking more and more this is tied (4.00)
        to Ketchum and the PR "subcontractors", probably through one of Bruce Eberle's companies that subcontracted work to

        This is seriously starting to sound like something a PR company would come up with - some type of "new media" blog news company that looks and feels like the pajama brigades, because they won't have the taint of Corporate Media attached to them.

        In other words: the perception would be that they would be more trustworthy than NY Times, ABC, CBS, CNN and even Fox News, because they're just small time guys who volunteer all of their time to finding the truth...

        I don't think Ketchum started this thing up, but I think they were looking for it and it is reasonable to assume with Bruce Eberle's connections both to the GOP, the Bush administration and to that he may have suggested to someone who suggested to Ketchum that fit the bill.  That would explain why Talon News just sprang up overnight, as it would take a professional to see that you need that extra layer to persuade people that they are getting "objective news".  I doubt Bobby Eberle had that type of media savvy when he started this whole thing.

        "It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence." Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by grannyhelen on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:28:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ketchum (4.00)
          I did some research on Ketchum:

          There Washingto group's CEO and Present of Public Policy just happens to be the Keynote speaker at the 1996 Republician Convention.  funny how that works.

          Take a look for yourself Google Ketchum and Washington group and read her profile it's scary, she in congress for many years.

        •  It would be interesting to find out (4.00)
          If Ketchum subcontracted any federal work to Eberle or an Eberle subsidiary.
        •  Viral marketing? this might explain everything (4.00)
          it reminds me a Lot of the viral marketing techniques used by some of the edgier ad agencies.  Essentially you pay someone to join a crowd, gain its trust and then start being a mouthpiece for the product they want to sell.  You see it a lot in demographics with a strong sense of group identity like teen-agers or young urban hipster crowds....

          And come to think of it  that answers the most nagging question of the whole affair.   What did the WH have to gain from this that justifies such an extraordinary risk?   They already had Fuax news if they wanted partisan shilling, and they already had folks like Les Kinsolving if they wanted a friendly face in the briefing room.

          Gannon was a plant alright  but one aimed not at the American people but other reporters.  The simple fact is that reporters really do have a pack mentality, they live in constant fear that someone is chasing down a big story and they will get scooped.   Play on that fear a little and you can manipulate the press into covering all sorts of things while overlooking others.

          So, you plant Gannon in the WH press corps;  give him a few BIG scoops to bolster his credibility with the other reporters,  and Bam he's in a great position to whisper in ears around the Press Room Coffee Pot, and start media frenzy's (or cool them off)

          That it didn't work may have been only that Gannon got a little too full of himself, and couldn't resist hearing the sound of his own voice at the Press conferences....

          Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

          by Magorn on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:41:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's EXACTLY what I was thinking... (none)
            Viral marketing is the hip thing in advertising and PR.  Blogs and new media are the hip thing in news and information.

            Why not blend the two?  Definitely sounds like a PR strategy.

            IF Bruce Eberle/ were somehow Ketchum subcontractors - or subcontractors of subcontractors - that would also explain why Gannon wasn't subject to the usual scrutiny of other reporters, or why the extensive background check may have fallen between the cracks (the WH thinking this was Ketchum's job, Ketchum thinking this was the subcontractor's job...etc.).  This would also explain how Gannon could have been working as a male prostitute while covering the WH - everyone thought it was someone else's job to check into his background.

            The 64,000 question, of course, is how to lay one's hands on Ketchum's subcontractor lists, which better connected folks that I have tried to do and failed...

            "It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence." Martin Luther King, Jr.

            by grannyhelen on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 09:22:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Another diary makes important connections (none)
            to this issue, the patron question, and the current crop of undercover GOP ratfuckers.  Check it out!.

            Chilling. The pieces are coming together. Also, If JG was in the marines, retiring can be a euphemism for moving to a more clandestine branch of the military. Moving to DC anfter 9/11 may coincide with the creation of the pentagon's new propaganda dept., whose first task was to announce that they didn't exist!

        •  Absolutely! (none)
          Unravel the PR nexus, because that's where the big story is.  The Rove White House has made PR-style disinformation tactics not just an adjunct to governing but a substitute for it—propaganda replacing policy.  There've been hints and rumblings of this since we first heard about the Mayberry Machiavellis.  Search out the details of Rove's PR operation, and you're bound to find illegality and corruption enough to bring this administration to its knees.

          "Pain always produces logic, which is very bad for you" -- Frank O'Hara

          by drenglish on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 09:32:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Along the PR lines (none)
          I've no idea how this could tie in together, but since Ketchum is being brought up, I thought I'd reiterate findings from this early Gannon diary by BaltimoreTim looking into the Leadership Institute, which has the infamous $50 jounalism school.

          Craig L. Murphy is on the board of the Leadership Institute. He's a Republican strategist guy in Texas who has worked many, many campaigns. His firm is called Murphy Turner.

          He owns a home in Arlington, TX with someone named Janise Murphy. This address matches up with LI documents. I think it's safe to assume this is his wife, although I have no proof of that. Could be his mom, or someone who coincidentally has the same last name and happens to be on the tax rolls with him on the house. (I hate making assumptions.)

          There's a Janise Murphy in Texas who, as recently as August 2004, was a regional director of Fleishmann Hillard - and her region includes the Arlington, TX area. Again, I have no proof that this Janise Murphy is the same person that owns the home with Craig Murphy, who sits on the board of LI, but it's not a huge leap to assume that's the case and work that assumption.

          Fleishman Hillard is part of Omnicom. So is Ketchum. Another note regarding Omnicom: a man named David Hudnall, President of Omnicom Management Services, was one of Bush's "Pioneers"  during the 2000 election cycle. (I don't know if Hudnall is still with Omnicom or not - haven't looked.)

          This is all just food for thought. Like I said, I don't know how, or even if, this could all tie in. But the info might come in handy somewhere if someone is trying to connect some dots.

          Oh well, I wasn't using that civil liberty anyway.

          by think2004 on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 12:26:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks! Only problem w. Ketchum (none)
            is that Omnicom/Ketchum is so friggin HUGE I'm sure you could find similar connections between them and noted liberals and Democrats.

            This is all good to know, but I think to really establish the connection you need to find the money trail, which is pretty hard to do...sigh

            "It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence." Martin Luther King, Jr.

            by grannyhelen on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 12:49:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Very true (none)
              Omnicom is everywhere, and has their hands in sooo much. To put it into perspective, I myself have done freelance work for one of Omnicom's ad agencies, at the offices that Hudnall runs (or ran). Take that a step further, play the six degrees of separation game, and I could connect myself to Bush in much fewer than six degrees.

              Eeewwww. I haven't thought of that before. Excuse me; I must go shower now.

              Oh well, I wasn't using that civil liberty anyway.

              by think2004 on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 01:00:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Or it could be (none)
      that G/G just couldn't resist bragging that he had inside info.  I mean, what's the point of being given classified information that no one else has if you can't tell anyone about it?  G/G seems very much like the small-time-wannabe type who would have to boast about his knowledge.

      A man compounded of law and gospel is able to cheat a whole country with his religion and then destroy them under color of law. -Benjamin Franklin

      by Leslie in CA on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:35:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (none)
        I'm pretty much convinced that "G" is just a 2-bit nobody with a big mouth. Got involved with the right (actually, wrong) crowd because of his sex business, and found himself in way over his head.  Got cocky (no pun intended) with all the attention, and started wandering off script to the extent that the "hey wait a minute..." questions started.

        He has oil. He tried to kill my daddy.

        by kensa on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:38:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree (none)
          He may have a big mouth, but how did he get that information.  He could have a big mouth but why was he right and why did he know things other media didn't?  
          •  I don't think we disagree (none)
            His being a big mouth is not incongruent with having inside information. In fact, if his claims of knowing things ahead of anyone else are true, these pieces reinforce each other.

            In other words, he got pillow talk from someone way high up with inside information, and was such a big mouth jerk he couldn't resist bragging about what he knew.

            He has oil. He tried to kill my daddy.

            by kensa on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:48:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  If JGJG's questions had been off script, (none)
          McClellan wouldn't have kept calling on him (and the time Bush called on him was shortly before he was revealed too.)

          I strongly suspect JGJG's questions were precisely on script.  Weird that they couldn't have been made at least a bit more subtle.

    •  Again We Have To Find Guckert's Patron (none)
      I've been posting this comment on a number of diaries the last day or so.  Someone HAD to grease the skids to get Guckert into the gaggle before Talon was ever formed, and to get him on the email list for the 9/6/01 PDB before the White House ever disclosed it, and now apparently to get him the information about shock & awe four hours early. Whether the Patron's motive was simply "covert propaganda" or included a sexual motive (or probably both) isn't all that important except to the extent that full consideration of ALL possibilities will be necessary to FIND THE PATRON.  And, that, my friends, is what we have to do.

      Fuzzy only works for pets.

      by NotFuzzy on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:48:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  agreed but how? (none)
        I don't think a buch of FOIA requests are going to do it.  

        Best way is to throw Jeff a lifeline.  The guy is starting to be raked by the conservative press, and it's only going to get worse for him.  But we've got the big tent.  We, despite, the understandably nasty tone of a lot of comments around here lately, are the party of tolerance and individuality, and we are quite willing to welcome Jeff over to our side, and protect him from all those nasty wingnuts gunning for him.  All we ask in return is a name or two, and some credit card vouchers or a photograph.

        It wouldn't be the first time somebody changed teams.  There's Brock and advisor Jim, for starters, though obviosly Jeff isn't anywhere near as smart as those guys.

        •  I Think What Georgia10 and SusanG (none)
          are doing is the key -- tracking back over his life prior to GOPUSA.  Apparently he was involved with the attack campaign on Dashle, and involed in gay parties in Leesburg, etc.  Figuring out his early connections in those "episodes" will lead us eventually to the Patron.

          I really doubt Guckert will belly up to the bar of truth on this without a subpoena, and maybe not even then. Google "Craig Spence" is you want to know why.

          Fuzzy only works for pets.

          by NotFuzzy on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 09:08:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  yeah, I saw that. (none)
            How easy is it to get military and or criminal records.  I would think this guy's military history might be of  interest, and it wouldn't be unusual for somebody in his line of work to have run into the law at some point.
      •  anyone think (none)
        that the person who greased the skids for guckert is also the one who leaked the plame info?

        "The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." ~ George Washington

        by guyermo on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 12:49:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Pillow talk. (none)
  •  Shock & Awe campaign (4.00)
    Launched March 22, 2003 if I recall.

    Over a week before Talon News was created.

    How do I get me one of those White House Press Pass thingies?

    by Georgia Logothetis on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 07:51:17 AM PST

    •  I've always thought that the invasion of Iraq (none)
      was a pivotal point in the Gannon story. The Bush admin saw the world wide protest against it. Bush may have dismissed it as 'focus groups' but I think it had a profound effect on them. I remember Nixon getting furious over ONE man carrying a sign in front of the White House. The admin needed to shore up their own propaganda machine to counter the massive protests especially those within the United States.

      To thine own self be true - W.S.

      by Agathena on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:02:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pillow talk? (4.00)
        How else would someone like that know so soon?
        •  my thoughts (none)
          exactly: Guckert's "friend" in high places told him
        •  Easy... (none)
          Let's say Guckert (a former Marine) maintains his ties with his former Marine associates. He then decides to become a wingnut journalist, perhaps in part because he knows he's got these inside angles into the Corps.

          Anyway, somebody he's maintained contact with since leaving the Corps happens to be working either at MacDill or in Qatar and is under strict instructions to give Guckert a call - perhaps with the understanding that Guckert only wants to know so he can brag about it to his friends.

          Once the order comes, it is disseminated throughout the military and reaches, by default, plenty of ears who A) don't have a security clearance and B) have enough anonymity to know that they could probably leak something without getting caught.

          One wouldn't have to know anyone that special in order to know about the strike order a few hours before Bush announces it to the whole world. He could easily have gotten a phone call from some Marine buddy working the tower at Incirlik. Or an email from a Marine who's on an aircraft carrier. Or in about two thousand different ways.

          Sorry to check reality. But this won't blossom into what we want it to if we continually go tinfoil over things that can be defended (like the now-debunked video blow-up of Guckert's Talon badge).

          •  What??? (none)
            I was unaware that the 'badge' had been disproven.  Do you have a link or a comment for this?

            The `Mayberry Machiavellians' never bothered to fully read The Prince.

            by RichM on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:55:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Perhaps (none)
            But Occam's Razor says it is likely to be the simplest explanation. Seems like those Marines would not have declared that info to the world and not to a "jeff gannon". If it was a PR operation, why not use a creditable news agency?  The producer mentioned questioned how this tiny 'news' organization can get such a scoop. They could have bought someone bigger if that was the plan. The fact that Gannon was a $1200 hooker HAS to play into this. I'm hoping he was Rove's boytoy or better yet, Bush's.
          •  the badge has only been "disproven" (none)
            by the fringe rightwingers that have been tasked with trying to keep this story from building steam.

            Your story about JG getting the info from a field soldier is just not credible.  When you look at all the other things JG knew and when, it is absurd to imagine other ways he could have gotten the info.  He got it from his patron in the WH, who he was also probably fucking, just like all the other info he had that he shouldn't have.

            Deal with it.  This is not a tinfoil story.  This is Watergate and Monica rolled into one.

        •  Which is not to say... (none)
          ...that these conjectures are bad. They are, in fact, the newsroom banter of community journalism.

          We just need to make sure to put new ideas to the test. And not get offended when somebody gets skeptical.

      •  I keep coming back to Gannon's claim (none)
        That he moved to DC in response to 9/11. If he has been in someone's employ as a propagandist since then, then it likely has to do with pretty grandiose plans.
        •  what was G/G doing (none)
          between 9/11/01 and joining the WH press corp?  Where did he live?
          •  Good question (none)
            I'm about to go on vacation, but when I come back, I can check the DC library for old phone books.  There won't be addresses (not sure if I can get a reverse lookup directory) but we can at least find out if he was listed in the DC area back then.

            Of course, by the time I get back, y'all will already know. :)

            We were marching for the children, we were marching for the poor. Now we're marching for self-interest-- we'll march forevermore.

            by andlorr on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 09:13:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Wasn't the speech (none)
      March 19?

      I remember the war ruining my St. Patty's day.

      •  March 19th Is Usually the First Day (none)
        I begin to remember events around St. Paddy's Day ;)

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 09:16:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Me, I'm really cloudy TODAY (none)
          Because I had a little pre-emptive St. Patties day yesterday in celebration of my Irish citizenship coming in the mail.

          So I've got Saint Patrick and his lovely mead on my brain, literally.

  •  Is it just me... (4.00)
    Or does this almost seem...too easy.  I mean he there are now connections between JGJG and:

    • Plame
    • Rather
    • Shock and Awe
    • The Goring of Daschle

    I don't know.  I mean, why would Rove (and I am almost 100% convinced it is all Rove) choose a gay military prostitute to be the bag man on all of the dirty tricks and public propaganda that has come out in the last 4 years?  It really feels like a set-up.  We need to keep pursuing, but somehow, I feel like we're being set up to be punk'd.

    The `Mayberry Machiavellians' never bothered to fully read The Prince.

    by RichM on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 07:52:16 AM PST

    •  Agree. (4.00)
      There's the need to be cautious about this.  We aren't lacking in other evidence of wrongdoing, rushing to this one can't help much and can certainly hurt.

      Proceed with care.  This isn't proof of anything, just hearsay, thus far.

      Even Lt. Chekov knew how to say 'nuclear'..even if he couldn't say 'vessels'.

      by Stymnus on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 07:55:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely (none)
        This latest bit of information seems a little too neat.  Could be a set-up to try to discredit the entire story.
      •  Rove leaves nothing to chance... (none)
        He must have an emergency plan in place in case something like this happens.  I cannot accept that they are so arrogant as to think that no one would every question Gannon.  I mean come-on, the guy's picture is on the web in porn sites that he owns.  This is the most bizzare thing ever in the history of this country.

        The `Mayberry Machiavellians' never bothered to fully read The Prince.

        by RichM on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:00:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's the word 'arrogance' (4.00)
          It's quite possible that in their arrogance, they never dreamed they would be found out. A very clever and arrogant man like Rove likely disdains the stupidity of others. And their schemes worked for so long without anyone able to trace them to the White House.

          To thine own self be true - W.S.

          by Agathena on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:08:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You may be right... (none)
            And I hope you are.  But we are starting to see that Gannon is the central point in a lot of scandals in BushCo's closet.  I can't believe that they wouldn't have compartmentalized him.  Somehow had a plan to cut him off cleanly if he were ever caught.  It just seems sloppy.  Maybe they figured that all they had to do was get re-elected with a majority of Repugs in congress.  If he were found out, they would just take the temporary publicity hit and keep going.  It still doesn't seem right.  Maybe it's like pulling back the curtain and seeing a little old man pushing the levers...

            The `Mayberry Machiavellians' never bothered to fully read The Prince.

            by RichM on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:15:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Republican psychology (4.00)
      I think it is entirely possible that the White House folks using Guckert just didn't know about his unsavory other life.

      For one thing, there are clearly a great many gay men in positions of power in the Repub party. It may seem a shocking hypocrisy to us, but to them it was all part of a normal situation.

      Second, with these guys, as long as you are "one of them", you're cool. It is very hard to impersonate a Republican. They read each other's tells almost intuitively. So they knew Guckert was a good old boy, and there simply never was the kind of digging that would have turned up his turgid online resume.

      I don't want to get too giddy, but we may have stumbled upon their naked little Achilles heel, almost by accident. Which, when you look at history, is exactly how these kind of debacles usually start.

      •  Sorry... (none)
        Not buying it.  JGJG wasn't just a closeted homosexual, he was a gay prostitute.  He sold himself to other men for money.  It is too sloppy.  It is one thing to hire a gay man who is trying to 'reform' himself or is deep in the closet.  It is another who has web-sites set up for solicitation.  Something smells funny.

        The `Mayberry Machiavellians' never bothered to fully read The Prince.

        by RichM on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:03:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Rove isn't god (4.00)
          It took weeks to turn up those websites. They didn't pop up by typing Jeff Gannon into Google.

          You're giving Rove too much credit. What is the angle here? They decide to get themselves an apparatus to leak info to the press, and they use this guy, who obviously is a friendly dude that was allowed to develop real relationships with White House insiders. If they felt they needed to keep it secret, in the first place, wouldn't they hire someone a little more skillful at hiding his ideology, a little better buried than at some flimsy "news" website, a little less recognizable (that shiny head!)...

          Your point is they figured if he did get discovered, he could be discredited because he sells himself to sailors? How is that a cover for them? They were giving inside secrets to a gay whore...who does this discredit? Not the whore, but whoever was the john in the WH. Can they call Guckert a loony deviant? Sure, but how does that help them? They let him in and gave him secrets for YEARS.  

          •  How about Novak? (none)
            he drives a hot car at how old is he mid 70s? Late mid life crisis? Novak is someone that is connected to Rove and so many other wing nuts in the food chain..
          •  My question is more... (none)
            Why Guckert?  Why someone with such a salacious past?  I am beginning to believe it is because someone very high up in the WH (Rove, Libby, Rummy or Dubya himself) was availing himself of Gannon's services.  It's the only thing that makes sense.  Either Rove was smitten by love, or someone insisted on using Gannon.  But it still seems sloppy.

            The `Mayberry Machiavellians' never bothered to fully read The Prince.

            by RichM on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:20:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  yeah but (none)
              how is sitting in at WH press briefings a reward for a lover? It's really not that glamorous. You get to be on C-SPAN sometimes. Big whoop. He wrote for a website that was barely known and got to brag on Free Republic. The press conferences with the President rarely happen.

              Then again, maybe JG was a big fan of The West Wing or something, though that would seem odd given his politics (of late).

              •  Good point (none)
                It seems like they could have snuck him in the WH and noone would have seen him if he was someone's boytoy. But maybe, if he were a reporter this gave him greater access. Or maybe he wanted to contribute to the cause. It would be good to know if he were only at news type events or if he showed up elsewhere. And it could be he came in with GOPUSA and then hooked up with his 'mentor' and continued the reporter part. But giving him classified information makes no sense to me. He appeared to be a braggard on FR but WHY/HOW did he get access to the classified stuff?
              •  argg! (none)
                It's not a reward for a lover.  It's how you get your lover into the White House so he and you can screw around.

                It's possible that the patron was keeping the sex thing on the down-low even from his fellow high-ups.  (i.e. Rove may have been upfront with Cheney about the fake reporter stuff, but not mentioned that he's also getting jiggy with JG.)

                People who otherwise have good judgement often have bad judgement about sex.  

                There were 1000 more qualified  and less politically dangerous people to do the propaganda work.  Whoever the patron is, he choose a male prostitute because he WANTED a male prostitute.

          •  Agree 100% (none)
            They'll spin and backtract till they get dizzy but they have no benifit from this getting out.  They want to scare us and push us aside and liberal bloggers etc.  I'm actually happy the MSM doesn't always give us credit for this, there using information we discovered but by mentioning us they give wingnuts the usual complaints about bloggers.

            We have facts fokes that look bad on the GOP.

            They may try and spike our efforts by feeding us inncorrect info but that means we look into things carefully.  But we still look.

            •  Really off topic but offered with kindness: (none)
              they're - contraction of 'they are', as in 'They're using information....'

              their - possessive of 'they', as in 'Their problem is..."

              there - not 'here', over 'there'

              I appreciate your posts and hope this is not out of line. I mention it because I see these three terms fequently mixed up in posts, not just because of this particular instance.

          •  Right, and... (none)
   can't vet everybody.

            It's like Bush said w/r/t Social Security two days ago: if you share our goals, we'll listen to you.  If you overtly share the White House's vision for the future, access is a breeze.  Come on board, do your part, be a foot soldier for Georgie.

            Problem is, just because someone shares your vision doesn't mean they share your judgment, or your tactical acumen, or your roadmap.  And it certainly doesn't mean they don't have many more skeletons in their closet.  In the rabid hysteria to run up the score, that shit gets lost.  That's what I think spawned this whole Guckert mess.  Hubris and inattention to detail.

            Two-step, lockstep, goosestep: Herr Busch's three-step plan to a righter tomorrow.

            by The Termite on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:24:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  If he got discovered (none)
            I think one of the critical issues is that he'd be really easy to discredit as a legal witness. I really don't think it'd be hard for Ted Olson to discredit Gannon as a witness in a federal trial.
            •  Splitting hairs (none)
              OK.  But I do think maybe Rove is arrogant enough to believe that this would never get in front of a federal prosecutor.  He doesn't do the legal stuff, he does the PR stuff.  My question is simply this: what traps are being set to allow them to spin this so that Dubya comes out OK in the end?  I am not saying that all this work, these discoveries, the bottomless pit is for not.  I'm just saying that we should put some working hypothesis around why Gannon, how Gannon and what are the possible scenarios that would play out if this guy was `discovered'.  As we like to say on this blog, Hope is not a Foreign Policy.  Hoping that Rove got sloppy on this one is not a good strategy.  But it may be all that we have.

              The `Mayberry Machiavellians' never bothered to fully read The Prince.

              by RichM on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:45:02 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If they had a canned response... (none)
                ...we'd have seen it already. I'm sure the lapdogs at Fox are sitting there with big droopy eyes just waiting to be told how to spin this. And so far? Stone cold silence. Fox isn't even touching this in a peripheral, surface way. They are ignoring it completely. That speaks volumes.

                I think they don't know how to handle this. They are freeeeeeeking out behind the scenes. I just hope no one ends up having any "accidents".

                •  Well... (none)
                  It isn't all that big right now, is it?  Is it the lead story on the nightly news?  Is it the subject of Larry King or Hardball?  If you walked into the hall of your work and said 'Jeff Gannon' would anybody know who the hell you were talking about?  They may be hoping that it blows over in couple of weeks, or maybe the 'orange alert' will distract the media enough to turn the other way.  Keeping their powder dry in case it really does turn ugly.  I guess after two years of outrage, I am a complete cynic and a little paranoid.

                  The `Mayberry Machiavellians' never bothered to fully read The Prince.

                  by RichM on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 09:07:47 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Gannon was discussed (none)
                  by the panel on "Fox News Sunday" last Sunday.  Brit Hume said it was no big deal, saying "Gannon" was no worse than Helen Thomas.  Juan Williams vehemently disagreed.
        •  I'm tending to agree (none)
 is a little too neat.  John at Americablog is clearly after this story with a vengeance...I'm hoping he doesn't let the story lead him...

          ...however, the Daschle dirty tricks link seems solid as a rock.

          But...could Gannon be a distraction from something else?

          I'm not sure but this story can't go away...not just yet.  Even at its most basic, a Repub plant without credentials was given free reign to the Whitehouse.

          And one thing indicating this WAS perhaps an accidental "outing" -- Gannon WAS in for 2 years before he was caught.  Perhaps - just perhaps -- they thought they were out of the wooods.

          (I'm sorry, but the punning with this story is unintentional but seemingly endless...)

          "Our particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to God alone."--Thomas Jefferson

          by hopesprings on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:58:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Reminds me of the Woody Allen film, 'Zelig' (none)
      Where Woody shows up in film and photos with every famous historical figure going back to Hitler.

      Perhaps we should refer to Guckert as "Zelig."

    •   DITTO (he added jokingly) (none)
      while i do think that Rove and co probably were arogant enought to think they could get away with it, he isnt so stupid as to NOT have additional tricks just in case, one being that the hard core base simply will not believe that their godlike leader would have ANYTHING to do with such a heathen as gannuckert (which might be getting shakier)...

      And now it IS possible that this could be a plant to kill the joy heading into the weekend, so by monday none of the mainstrean newsies will be willing to touch it...  i agree we have enough evidence without having to add hearsay...  if it ends up being substantiated (which will be hard unless multiple hits come up on this) then YIPPEE  otherwise..  do we need it...  will this add strength to the already detailed direct links..    while this is great to keep the true believers cranked...  lets keep it low key and just for true believers now

    •  Another perspective (none)
      I agree.  I am leaning toward another view.

      This guy Jeff/Jim appears to be a real loose cannon with a bit of megalomania thrown in.  In his posts to blogs, he uses knowledge to enhance his image, i. e. "Look at me -- I know something you don't know."

      I see him as someone who got into a close relationship with someone in a position of power -- and it's easy to see how that could happen given Jeff/Jim's side business.  Then the person in power lost control of him.  Maybe Jeff/Jim is also a blackmailer.

      I just don't see this guy as being controlled.  The White House would never use someone like this. I think Jeff/Jim has someone by the balls, so to speak.

      •  Just a Republican anecdote: (none)
        When I was in college, I had a Republican co-worker, who was editor of the local "Campus Review" paper.

        He wanted to impress me, so he told me all about how he was getting slush funds from MACPAC to run smear articles about Harkin in his stupid paper. The cover was that he was being paid as one of their "telemarketers" calling rich folks for donations, but he told me he didn't do any calling - he just wrote and published their disgusting lies.

        He eventually found out that I'd tipped this information to some folks on the "left" side of things (and I told them they had to find independent verification, since this guy was such a jerk, I didn't know whether to believe him). He started calling me and threatening me, until I had to have a public confrontation with him, backed up by some folks who knew how to get him to back down.

        It was such small potatoes. But of things like this is the VRWC made, I guess.

        To none will we sell, to none deny or delay, right or justice. Magna Carta 1215

        by Robespierrette on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 09:21:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Possible Guckert WH Sighting - 11/13/02 (4.00)
    Not sure if this was well publicized before, but these screenshots from a presentation to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the West Wing on November 13, 2002 look to be Mr. Guckert.  Please follow the link:

  •  Who can you trust (none)
    Even if JGJG said these things can we:

    1.  Trust that he is being honest?  He may be trying to impress people with his journalistic acumen.

    2.  Get too overeager to push this?

    3.  As mentioned above, afford to ignore Rove in all this.

    My concern is, if we first try to discredit JGJG, then how can we use his words and give him credit?

    And in terms of Rove, we have experience on what a master of deflection and discrediting he is.

    Remember Rathergate.  One relatively smallaspect of a report was made suspect.  Never proven the memos were fake, but just made suspect.  The rest of the report was solid and reinforced the message that Bush had not fulfilled his requirements.  But by discrediting that one element, the rest of the story also lost credit.

    The same thing can be happening here.

    Where it can backfire is that if JGJG is discredited by the administration, it becomes even harder for them to justify having him there to begin with.

    Bush, so incompetent, he can't even do the wrong things right.

    by JAPA21 on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:06:52 AM PST

  •  While we have to be careful (none)
    I think that gannon was a plant, but I don't think this is a set up.  If it is it's a preatty bad one.  The undisputatble facts look bad on the GOP.   I think that they thought they could get away with it based on the fact that GOPUSA and Talon had some room between them and the Republican party.  

    How could this turn around on us.  Lets say the websites are fake, and they blame liberal hackers for setting up the sexual evidence.  Well in fact gannon has admitted to at least setting them up for a client. the foucs goes back to him.  What if the leaks go back to no one and they turn out to be boasting by Gannon, thats just not possible becasue he knew facts not in the public domain, so someone must have told him.  He wasn't just being a blowhard he was getting information.

    Take things slow, vet information in the open and look into it but don't all ways look over your shoulder for Karl Rove pulling your strings.

    •  I just don't think there's any way... (none)
      That the WH purposely are dropping this guy into our lives as a set up.  Gay Hooker in the White House is just not the story they want on anyone's lips.

      I can't tell you how many people I've talked to about this.  And I always open with: "so have you heard about the Gay Hooker in the White House?"

      They always seem to want to know more...

  •  Is it just me? (none)
    Or is this really getting good?
    Thanks to Americablog and Kos, this wh is going to be reveled for what we all know it to be.
    Anybody tell Falwell about this shit yet?
  •  Here's how he got his information (none)

    Straight from Sauron himself.

    "My philosophy, like color television, is all there in black and white"

    by LionelEHutz on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:18:28 AM PST

  •  Meta-story (4.00)
    It's pretty clear that there is a significant meta story here, beyond plame, thune, shock and awe.

    This guy simply had acess. the When, and the why seem pretty obvious and are laid out. The HOW is missing.

    Is his homosexuality related to this or coincidence ?
    Is his prostitution related or coincident ?

    Was he having an affiar and got the info that way ? Or was he simply a GOP shill getting access ?

    Personally I would find it incredibly impossible ot believe that one aspect of his life is unrelated to another. This WH knows everything.

    I don't see any WH advantage in giving the shock and awe info out ot him 4 hours early, so i would guess that gannon was fucking somone in the ass who had loose lips, and may also have used him to leak out information.

    Bottom line, I think we need a blue dress moment.

    Let the Democratic Reformation Begin

    by Pounder on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:22:05 AM PST

  •  can we recommend the press release (none)
    to keep it on the list? it slipped off.  i know we're familiar with what's in, but a lot of media peeps are coming around the site, and it would help to have maximum exposure.


    How do I get me one of those White House Press Pass thingies?

    by Georgia Logothetis on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:22:23 AM PST

    •  Other news websites created? (none)
      What other news websites were created around the same time?  That would be interesting to look into.  It would be interesting to see what phrases and press releases those orgs are using, and where their reporters are.
  •  via rawstory (4.00)
    "Developing: Gannon's own statements suggest he quietly acted as 'plumber' for Administration... Bragged of feeding stories to mainstream outlets..."

    How do I get me one of those White House Press Pass thingies?

    by Georgia Logothetis on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:24:52 AM PST

  •  So Gannon was chummy with a news producer? (none)
    This has to mean he was

    a) Trying to schmooze w/the faux news team (and he did like to get his name mentioned by Hannity)
    b) That he was sharing his precious knowledge with the "liberal media hacks" he apparently loathed.

    If a, then it's possible that he was merely set up as a way for the WH to sneak info to Fox under the radar, if B then he might very well have been doing quid pro quo for the WH (e.g. the WH knew the details of the TANG story because Gannon was calling in a favor at CBS...) Either way, it's scary...

    "So let me get this straight- they believe in Social Darwinism, but not um, actual Darwinism??"

    by bonobo on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:25:10 AM PST

    •  Now we have to find out.... (none)
      Who gave him this information.

      I don't believe he would have done anything to hurt republicans....if he had secret info it only spead it with there consent to spread it.  They used him to control the media and focus it on stories that they wanted spread but couldn't.

      •  It is clear, however, (none)
        ...that he doesn't have the best judgement when thinking on his feet (Gannon that is.)

        His follow-up after scandal interviews were filled with inconsistencies and idiocies which could quickly be disproven.

        And he certainly didn't sound brilliant when he phrased his partisan questions in the room.

        Maybe he leaked to the MSM news producer (assuming that MSM news producer is telling the truth) just to show off.  I mean, look at the guy's m.o. up to this point, read his posts on Freeper.  He's puffed up and not exactly the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

        "Our particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to God alone."--Thomas Jefferson

        by hopesprings on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 09:07:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My question (none)
          Why Gannon? Why him? Like you say he isn't brillant or particularly articulate. He didn't have great credentials.

          They could and did buy bigger talent so why risk classified information on a nobody? Why were they blind to the risks of this guy?

          Without the bloggers, this would not be a story. The WH probably didn't foresee this aspect of news. They knew they had the MSM under control. They didn't count on the bloggers.

          So they are likely scrambling to fix this (hence no spin from Fox). What can they do? To this point, the plan is ignore it and it'll go away. There are also some of the shrills calling it a non-story.

          They may not know how to deal with the story breaking this way. After all, they have had little experience with real journalism going after this administration. My guess is they will try to discredit the blogs but it isn't as simple as discrediting a single person.


          •  Good point - (none)
            Can't discredit ALL bloggers - (although they do label us the "ultra radical left") - especially when there's facts.

            BUT - they SHOULD've known better.  After all, ref. the Conason-Gannon-Daschle story at Salon, they certainly knew how to manipulate the right blogs to their advantage.

            "Our particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to God alone."--Thomas Jefferson

            by hopesprings on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 10:44:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Let's make sure Louise Slaughter see this (4.00)
    It would add urgency to her request for an explanation from the White House if Gannon was really peddling national security secrets.
  •  Point three (4.00)
      Ameriblog's third point gets at something quite important. You cannot just walk in off the street, flash a driver's license and get a daily pass. It doesn't happen.
       To get a daily pass you have to call ahead, give your Social Security number, get clearance, the whole bit. The whole process is a pain in the butt. And you have to do it every single time you want to get a daily pass. The point is, the White House press office knows who you are and who you work for and what you're doing there.
       One other thing: to obtain a daily White House pass, you usually have to have a Congressional press pass. At least that's the way it was when I got daily passes during the Carter admin. And, as we all now know, Gannon was refused Congressional press credentials because he didn't work for a legitimate news organization.
       This thing really really stinks.


    •  Funny thing about Ari interview (none)
      He knew from the beginning that Gannon worked for GOPUSA and was worried about that but didn't know he was using a fake name.   Wouldn't the same form that lists his employee list his SSN and his real name >?
    •  Daily pass (none)
      Somewhere in all these Gannon diaries, there have been comments that for the daily pass, you only had to work for a "regularly publishing" (McClellan's phrase) news organization.  What you say above about the Congressional press pass was cited as a prerequisite for the hard pass, but not the daily pass.

      It's possible that they've changed the guidelines since you were there--or it's possible that they made an exception for G/G (maybe we should just call him Gigi?).  But either way, it's obvious his access was incommensurate with his qualifications, so it still stinks.

      A man compounded of law and gospel is able to cheat a whole country with his religion and then destroy them under color of law. -Benjamin Franklin

      by Leslie in CA on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:49:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Best Gannon article (none)
    Best Gannon article EVER here

    Here is but one excellent quote:

    "There has been a never ending drumbeat from the right that there is a liberal media bias. While this may have been true decades ago, it has not been true in recent times. The recent Propaganda-Gate stories have proven beyond all doubt that today's media is but a toothless version of it's former self. What they truly reveal is what is becoming a dangerous prospect for all Americans. Without a truly free press, we are left far too vulnerable to a government that already is precipitously too unaccountable. "

  •  Be careful about (4.00)
    al Gannon stories from now on.

    The right will plant false Gannon stuff attempting to shut down the story the way they did brilliantly in Rathergate.

    The sources on this story are according to John very good. But we should check sources as carefuly as possible before spreading stories from now on. Because I guarantee you, this is how they will try and kill this story.

    But on John's Shock and Awe story, according to him the sources looks good.

  •  Just because we're paranoid... (none)
    doesn't mean he's not after us.

    It hurts my cold-addled brain right now, but I can't help but think somehow this is all playing out according to plan for Rove et. al.  Mostly because it's hard to imagine them being this sloppy.  Kerik anyone?  But for the life of me I can't see the endgame.  Any takers on how Rove can spin and win this one?

    •  I think the timing shows (none)
      That this wasn't a long term plan of Roves to catch us.

      -I think Gannon did a "good" job on daschle
      -He was usful during the run up to the war
      -no one from MSM was questioning him so they let him come on in.
      -the leaks they used him for never got connected to him fully
      -They just kept on using him

      The whole sex stuff may have gone below the radar maybe there small minds never thought a marine that was tat conservative sould have done that.

    •  I agree... (none)
      See the thread that I started above.  There is something a little too cute about all this.  It's like walking through Aladin's Cave of Wonders.

      The `Mayberry Machiavellians' never bothered to fully read The Prince.

      by RichM on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 09:02:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting subtext about the Blog Revolution (none)
    The anonymous source's decision to share his information with a blogger suggests that not only is the MSM recognizing bloggers as the new free press, but is even using them to tell stories that their own medium won't allow them to tell.

    I didn't phrase that very well but you know what I mean?

    The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

    by SensibleShoes on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 09:05:06 AM PST

  •  Gannonymous (none)
    The whole "Jeff Gannon" thing smacks of other White House trickery -- letting private contractors do things forbidden by the code of military justice; defining "enemy combatants" so that they're not subject to Geneva Convention protections.  This is a twist on that tendency for redefinition.  I think someone hatched a plan to create a "journalist," entirely beholden to the party and to nobody else, who could fall back on established journalistic protections if things got too hot.  He could receive leaked information without having to answer any higher-ups' questions about how he became privy to it.

    Now, none of that would explain why it had to be Jim Guckert and not Joe Schmoe, but it could be, like others have said, that the White House knew they could burn him back if he got out of line or carried away.

    •  You make an excellent point! (none)
      All their "questionable" (I'd use a stronger word, but you know what I mean) actions in regard to fake news, missing 9 billion in Iraq, blocking the showing of caskets...even the torture stuff -

      - has gone by with them barely getting a slap on their wrists.

      If JG/JG was in there for two years without a peep from the MSM, why WOULDN'T they think they'd get away with it?

      They got away with far worse - torture photos, torture memos, and still Abu Gonzales is in office.  Why wouldn't they think they couldn't get away with something so "minor" as this?

      "Our particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to God alone."--Thomas Jefferson

      by hopesprings on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 09:13:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Are We Missing the Big Picture? (none)
    access to such highly classified information

    It strikes me that this might be the only important issue to frame and promote.

    I think the words highly classified ought to motivate the MSM more than any other aspect. They starkly illustrate that all the misbehavior is a direct threat to the nation.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 09:22:36 AM PST

  •  Who Did He Blow and When Did He Blow Him? (none)
    Guckert had to have a patron, and it had to be someone higher than WH press secretary. I bet Scooter Libby or the Dickmeister himself.

    We the undersigned urge you to support Federal funding for research using human pluripotent stem cells. -80 Nobel Laureates to Pres. Bush

    by easong on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 09:40:03 AM PST

  •  an intersting tidbit (none)
    Top/bottom is used in two ways.

    For the less kinky gays it can merely mean who is the fucker and who is the fuckee.

    In the BDSM community it means who beats, ties, or humiliates the other. After looking at his ad it is apparent that Guckert was referring to the BDSM version of top in at least one ad.

    from his ad on Americablog:


    That implies beating, or at least spanking.

    Perhaps we should be looking for his submissive.

    •  Maybe Just a Verbal Top (none)
      "Come here, Dick, you sniveling dog -- on your knees -- I'll make your heart skip a beat."

      We the undersigned urge you to support Federal funding for research using human pluripotent stem cells. -80 Nobel Laureates to Pres. Bush

      by easong on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 12:42:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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