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It now appears that Jeff Gannon could be the thread that unravels the real story behind the TANG/CBS forgeries.  I have put together a case here that if looked at carefully by the blogosphere would show that the TANG forgeries were made by the White House, probably Dan Bartlett, and then given to Bill Burkett by a former associate of Karl Rove, Roger Stone.  Stone's wife, Nydia, who is Cuban, was most likely the Hispanic lady on the phone who convinced Burkett the documents were real and that he should burn them after copying them to protect her honor.

The hot rumor in New York political circles has Roger Stone, the longtime GOP activist, as the source for Dan Rather's dubious Texas Air National Guard "memos."
. . .
    Reached at his Florida home, Stone had no comment. [NY Post]

Gannon was apparently used by the White House to ID Mapes as the CBS producer and to try and conflate the Abu Ghraib photos she revealed as sourceless as the TANG docs.


The FULL STORY on the flip.  

The main point of this diary is that Gannon was being used by the White House to ID Mapes to send the news media in a certain direction on that story --very similar to showing him the CIA memo on Plame and the Shock and Awe scoop.  In all instances, it's Gannon who is given hot information to help orchestrate the story.


First I give Jeff Gannon attempt to conflate the photographs at Abu Ghraib with the forged TANG documents, then there's HANNITY transcripts:

Mapes is no stranger to controversy as she also obtained the photographs of inmate abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The source of the photographs as well as the documents now in question has never been revealed. (scrubbed Talon News article 9/13/04)

Gannon also went after Mapes in this 9/23 Talon News story--now scrubbed:

HANNITY: Now, Jeff Gannon, who is a terrific Washington bureau chief and White House correspondent for Talon News, actually shot me an e-mail today, and he's about to break a story in an exclusive about these CBS documents. [The Sean Hannity Show, 9/10/04]

HANNITY: And apparently they're also, according to Jeff Gannon, the -- Talon News -- this woman, Mary Mapes, this Dallas producer, is under pressure for the [CBS] network, and now there's doubts about their authenticity has taken place.  [The Sean Hannity Show, 9/7/04]

Roger & Nydia Stone: The Unknown Man with the Envelope and Lucy Ramirez?

This is why Gannon was used to steer the story toward CBS and away from a rumor that Roger Stone, the GOP operative was responsible. Even Terry McAuliffe repeated the Stone/TANG charge. The WH wanted the press to focus on CBS, not on Roger Stone and who might have forged the documents--for it is a federal crime to forge official documents. Had the press focused on that it might have turned out differently--but the WH with Gannon and Hannity's help made the story the fall of Dan Rather.

We all now know that Bill Burkett says he was told about the TANG documents by a certain "Lucy Ramirez" and that he was given the forgeries by "an unknown man with an envelope" who turned and left after making the hand-off in Houston.

Let us consider that Roger Stone, the infamous dirty trickster of the Nixon, Reagan and Bush eras, where he worked with Rove, is well known for forging documents, planting them inside opponent's campaigns and then immediately alerting the press.

Mr. Stone's wife Nydia Bertran-Stone, a fiery Cuban rightwinger, incidentally helped him arrange for Cuban righties to come down to the Miami courthouse, riot, and steal the election for George W. Bush in 2000.  Stone was personally asked by James Baker to come down and oversee the illegal tactic.

Voice article on Miami Riot

And guess who James Baker also asked to come and riot, Harry W. MacDougald, the "eagle-eyed" Buckhead, who announced the TANG documents were forgeries almost immediately, as if he had been forewarned.  So Stone and Buckhead rioted together. Harry W. MacDougald is actually part of a gang of Republican lawyers who will do almost anything for the GOP.(see RAW STORY link above)

Mr. Stone is notorious for his electioneering dirty tricks for years.  His first election fraud was to open a bank account with a phony name called The Young Socialist Alliance and send a campaign contribution to Pete McCloskey, an antiwar Republican in the Seventies, who was thinking of running against Nixon in 1972.  As soon as the check cleared Stone then promptly called the press, claiming funding from Socialists for McCloskey.

Mr. Stone next honed his dirty tricks skills while working with Karl Rove in the Nixon White House.

We also know Mr. Stone planted an Buchanan child story in the Washington Post to sink Pat Buchanan's 1992 campaign for President and then made a flyer about it, according to Mattie Lovlar, on retainer to Stone at the time who said he "worked at planting the story". Stone denied it saying: "I remember getting a call or two saying this stuff was out there. If there was a flyer, it wasn't from Roger Stone." (Link in Post#1)

In 2000, Baker calls MacDougald, and Stone to Miami to organize the riot that stole the election for Bush.  Nydia Stone organizes the Cubans who participated.  Afterwards Dick Cheney himself called Mr. Stone and asked him what he wanted for his sterling service to the gang.  Stone soon had lucrative consulting contracts adding up to tens of millions of dollars from Indian gaming concerns.

Voice Article

From this point on, Roger and Nydia Stone were Karl Rove's top covert operatives, off the payroll but paid off in substantial consulting contracts on the side, especially with the Indian casinos.

 In 2002, Stone disrupts the career of BIA Deputy Undersecretary Wayne Smith who might have opposed his clients on a casino case.  A fake letter and the planting of a story with Time Magazine through a Democratic operative was involved, Mr. Stone's Modus Operandi.  Stone denied it, however, saying: "Mr. Stone believes that an individual by the name of Mike Copperthite is claiming to have provided the information to Time magazine at Mr. Stone's instigation." The statement says this claim is "false in all respects."

Next, Mr. Stone actually became the campaign manager for Democrat Al Sharpton, probably at the request of Karl Rove. This was a blatant attempt to conflate Sharpton with the word "Democrat" and sink the ticket by a more impressive and funded Sharpton campaign.(VV link in Post #1)

During the Democratic primaries, the AWOL charge came up. Karl Rove, alarmed at this turn of events, likely decided to forge documents that were based on real documents, with truth in them that reflected badly on the President, but that were fake. If he could get the DNC or the Kerry campaign to run with them, the cry of forgery could be used to shut down all talk of Bush's National Guard service, once they were exposed. A simple plan.

Only Rove, with Bartlett's help, could have made the forgeries, for Bartlett was an expert on the TANG records and had documents not yet released to the press, including no doubt the Knox memos. Rove would have kept the forgers' circle small, with as few in the know as possible. They forge the memos, originally typed by Mrs. Knox on an old Olympia manual, on a military electric typewriter of the time.

Rove and Bartlett knew that whoever received the fake documents, an authentication process would have taken place no matter who the forgeries were given to.  So they used a typewriter.

The real part of proving forgery lies not in fonts or spacing but in the content, as Staudt was named in the memos as still having command power long after he had left. Plus Mrs. Knox had an old Olympia manual typewriter that she says she typed something similar on. So there were real memos at some point but they are on an old manual.


The Staudt mistake was a deliberate Rovian falsity planted by Rove to discredit the whole batch to the press later.

With the forgeries in hand, Rove or Bartlett would only have to call up Roger Stone--someone who would never talk and the only person Rove could give this particular job to.  Rove then gets Stone the TANG forgeries. Nydia Stone, who has a Cuban accent, and has a long history of right-wing politics, having been Nixon's personal photographer and a photographer at the Reagan White House, offers to play the part of the damsel in distress, Lucy Ramirez. The Stones, who love to put on a good show, are thrilled to be "back in action".

Bill Burkett was the perfect patsy selected by Rove and Bartlett, having had a history of mental illness and known to hate Bush.  A Democratic plot would have never chosen him to be the source.  

"Lucy Ramirez", really Nydia, calls Burkett from Houston and tells him of the documents, telling him he must get them to Kerry, but that he must promise to destroy the originals as soon as copies them for her sake (So the Stones were telling him to get Bartlett's forgeries to Kerry). Burkett agrees and arranges to meet her at a huge livestock event in Houston.

But Lucy doesn't show up. Not wanting his wife to be the one to make the handoff--it must have been Roger Stone delivering the hottest envelope of 2004 to Bill Burkett. Stone then turned around and left without saying a word. Burkett, being an honorable man, obeyed the damsel in distress pleas and burned the originals after copying them. "Lucy Ramirez" and the "unknown man with the envelope" disappear, with USA Today unable to track them down.

The trap is set, only Burkett doesn't call anyone about the documents until the swift boat ads appear 5 months later.  He calls Max Cleland but the Kerry campaign never calls him back, likely knowing his history of mental illness and Bush hatred.  

Mary Mapes of CBS, however, tracks Burkett down in late August and asks if there is anything else he knows, as CBS prepares to air a story on the National Guard issue.

When the promos for the CBS report come on, Roger Stone or someone else phones MacDougald and the trap is set. Within hours, MacDougald has every main point in play and the game begins.  

But Buckhead was tipped off just that the docs were fake and so Buckhead tried to squeeze them into a forgery produced by a word processor.

That will no longer hold up. But it just means that Rove had them typed by Bartlett on an electric typewriter of the day to replace the Knox memos that Bartlett must have also had--as he has always been in charge of the National Guard docs for the White House.

AGAIN THINK--Why would a Democrat give forged documents to a source like Burkett who could be easily destroyed as a witness? But Burkett, on the other hand, is a perfect Rove patsy.

Only a Republican would do it and Roger and Nydia Stone have been in the middle of top-level dirty tricks for years. Nydia even put Al Sharpton over the top with a $250 contribution from herself and friends, when he almost didn't make the matching fund threshold. Contribution

She is as big a right-winger as her husband is. She is the most likely candidate for Lucy Ramirez, and what I have laid out here before you is the most probable solution to the whole case, no matter how unlikely that may seem--given Rove and Bartlett's position.

The final sign that this was a White House forgery came when the reporter interviewing Dan Bartlett noted that Bartlett's statement that he had "no reason to doubt the memos were authentic" was emphasized so much the reporter noticed it as standing out. Bartlett even cancelled all his appearances at the time, possibly to avoid questioning by the other side.

Even though Rove and Bartlett were taking a tremendous risk, as Sherlock Holmes said: "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."  And a Democrat doing this is impossible--it MUST be the White House.  Roger Stone would never do this without the orders of Rove.

Roger Stone is the most likely candidate to be the "unknown man" who gave Bill Burkett the envelope with the TANG Forgeries and Nydia Stone is then "Lucy Ramirez", who talked Burkett into believing the forgeries we real and into burning the originals.  This was so annual watermarks on the paper did not give away the game too early to reach the broadcast of the fakes.

Of course, Mr. Stone has issued his predictable denial, sounding much like all his other denials of his dastardly deeds: "I have nothing whatsoever to do with this," Mr. Stone told USA TODAY. "I'm a firm believer in political hardball, but I draw the line at forged documents."

If it is he, Mr. Stone almost certainly made the drop of the fakes himself--to follow Rove's command to keep the circle of those in the know as small as possible.  Plus Stone would not want a repeat of 1992 when he was accused by an accomplice of "planting the story".

To help the White House, Gannon/Guckert hits this story hard with an exclusive leak of who was responsible at CBS when no one else knew.  Both he and Buckhead were on the story inmmediately, Buckhead within 18 minutes for his first post on it being phony. They must have been tipped off by Rove or someone in the gang. And then the White House DELIBERATELY withheld a key TANG document that showed the TANG memos to be forgeries (RAW STORY link above), just to really let CBS hang itself.

If we keep tugging on this thread it will unravel the whole sweater.  



This is more than softball questions, like the Plame case Gannon was deployed to help cover-up real crimes (like Wire Fraud in this case).

Originally posted to RegenerationMan on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 09:20 AM PST.

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