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Okay, I have to get this off my chest so pardon the rant.  One aspect of the whole Gannuckert issue that really worries me is the possibility that it's a trap.     More below...

Remember when CBS News went to the White House seeking comment before going to air with the TANG memos?  One thing at the time that struck me as odd was that bizarre look on Bartlett's face.  It was not so much a Crap-This-Could-Be-Bad look, but more of a We'll-Let-You-Run-With-This-Because-We-Know-Something-You-Don't-About-Those-Memos look.

Followed by a deafening silence.

I'm getting that same feeling again.  

Think about it. What if the WH knows something about this that could destroy their opposition?  In this case, wouldn't, the most effective approach be complete silence - letting the blogosphere find it?  First let the story build with opponents jumping aboard. Then leak the devastating final piece of the puzzle.  For example, imagine Gannuckert has a little black book and, by chance, he only keeps the names and addresses of Democratic clients.  Shit like that.

I'm less inclined to think the press is scared, or even that this is a non-story than to think the press folks either don't understand the scope of the story yet -OR- they know something that we don't.  In my dreams they are silent right now because they are currently checking and double-checking sources, photos and videotapes before breaking the Dubya/Gannuckert sex-in-the-Lincoln-bedroom scandal.  But in the real world, I feel there is something else going on.  Because the Washington press pool is full of ambitious, competitive IveGotMine-ers, I'm finding it hard to believe it will stay quiet for very long.  And I'm not so sure we're all going to be happy when whatever it is does come out.

Am I a tad paranoid?  Maybe.  But there is very little that I wouldn't put past the folks in the WH these days. Never, ever forget that Rove et co. can be pretty crafty and have no restraints (ethical or otherwise) to hold them back.

I think our biggest strength is the openness of this discussion.  With this accessibility, we have the power of numbers on our side.  Many people bring many different points of view, ideas, resources and experiences.  But I also think this openness is our biggest weakness. Being this open and public allows the other side to anticipate any moves we make and any directions we go - permitting a cover-up that may otherwise be unsuccessful.

So what should we do?  Do we take the investigation underground?  Restrict access to gathered information? Dismiss my concerns as more tin hat stuff?  I don't know. Someone else was asking WWRD (what would Rove do).  I think that's a good starting point.

Ideas or comments anyone?  Again, sorry for the rant.

Originally posted to Blech on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 02:09 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  How smart is Rove? (none)
    I have to admit this has crossed my mind as well several times during the current scandal (can it be  called a "scandal" if no one's paying attention?).

    The one oddball is Ari Fleischer commenting on his suspicions of Gannert fairly openly. You'd think he'd be in on the conspiracy of silence.

    While there's a story here, it's important to take the good counsel of many other Kossacks and not get too wrapped up in the scandal, while continuing to work on it. If it's a decoy, then we've certainly burned a lotta cycles on the story which could be profitably emplyed elsewhere.

  •  Too much doublethink. (none)
     You're positing that Rove not only would have a two term president, but that he would plant a phony in the White House press corps to reveal himself in such an obvious way at exactly the right time, with the correct information planted about his male escort service prior -

     - for the news media to not report it.

    I Jumped Out The Window To Get To The Parking Lot//I'm Writing This Little Song On My Way Down.

    by Anderson Republican on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 02:19:27 PM PST

    •  not at all... (none)
      I was unsure at first, but I'm more and more worried about it.  Like Ramona says below, it's falling into place a little too easily... with just one little bit missing.  And that little bit will define the whole affair.

      Oh, and there is no such thing as too much double-think when you're dealing with these folks.  Remember, Rove is supposedly the guy who planted an electronic bug in his own office to blame the opponent's campaign to distract from the bad performance of his own client at a debate.  What's that?  Triple-think? (see Bush's Brain)

      About the timing, I don't think it's a matter of "exactly the right time" for Gannuckert to be outed.  It could have happened at any time (post-election).  The narrative would still be the same.

      On the other hand, of course, this whole thing could just be one person's monumental fuckup.

      I've got to go read some more diaries and see what else I'm missing here. Anyhow, here's hoping I'm wrong!  Chicken little out!

  •  Not analogous, in my opinion (4.00)
    I remember thinking as soon as the blogs starting going crazy that the Tang memos thing was a Rove trick. There the angle was obvious: cast doubt about the content of the real memos by distracting everybody with noise about the "fakes".

    It's hard to think of what the angle could be here, however. So, Guckert comes out and says he's been a boy-for-hire for some democrat(s)? So what? He's still a male prostitute, with a patron in the White House, posing as a reporter.

    The White House press corpse may be full of ambitious scheemers, but that does not mean that they're journalists.  That's not the way the game is played anymore, and they know it.  Tim Russert and the other Big Bucks talking heads did not get where they are by breaking big stories and challenging the status quo.  They got where they are by buying into the status quo and sustaining the dominant narrative.  This story falls outside of that narrative, so it's going nowhere.

    yr frn,

    Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Cheap Compl

    by jsundman on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 02:25:51 PM PST

  •  tapes were (none)
    a setup. CBS asked the whitehouse and they said they "looked like the real thing". The bells should have gone off then. I think you are 100% correct, Rove has something he is holding back.
    •  No, that was correct. They were (none)
      "true copies." The trouble was that nobody knew what that meant (except the lawyers) and once people started screaming they weren'e the originals, it was impossible to say "yes, but...."

      Once you have to say 'yes,' the 'but' is lost.

      Anyway, NBC did an "in debth" on bloggers tonight and gave "credit" for sinking Rather and Eason, etc.  No mention of Guckert.  And it wasn't a nice report.  Bloggers are obviously the competition that they haven't quite figured out how to dispose of.  That blogs are holding politicians' feet to the fire seemed to pass muster, but there were far too many pictures of Bush for my liking.
      Or maybe that was a subtle hint that we are going after him next.


  •  I'm not worried about the Democrats (none)
    I'm worried about us.

    I think that the trap may be for us.

  •  I wouldn't worry. (none)
    Republican politicians are generally closet-dwellers.  Democrats--Barney Frank for instance--are usually open about their orientation.  Ask Rep. Frank if there is a reason to worry.

    So many wingnuts, so few bullets.

    by slip kid no more on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 02:36:20 PM PST

  •  My take on Gannongate.. (none)
    Is that they picked Gannon to out Valerie Plame becuase they KNEW he was vulnerable. If he ever tried to talk or betray them, they'd bring out the porn sites to discredit him, say he deceived them etc. It would still look bad but discredit him enough to make him not trustworthy. Under this scenario, whoever, JG's gay lifestyle would be a major story on the 700 Club.
  •  You need to read the whole bunch of diaries (none)
    All the answers to your concerns are in there-

    How could this be a trap if the person that made up the website ID'ed Gannon.

    Come on now - have some faith in the good work that SusanG and Co, have been breaking their backs to get out.

    SpongeBush SquarePants: SpongeBush lives in a bubble in D.C./absorbent and shallow and porous is he! - - Maureen Dowd

    by sara seattle on Sat Feb 26, 2005 at 03:03:00 PM PST

  •  Have had the same worries (none)
    I've read and admired all the work done by the terrific people here.  Still, I've worked on the Hill and my husband and I had a combined 80 years in the daily newspaper game (he's now deceased).  I've also done radio for NPR.

    The last time I saw all this inexplicable sort've crap going on was back in the Nixon admin.  At the time, we thought it was our imagination...crazy crap.  But no, it wasn't our imagination; it was happening, okay.  The difference between then and now is that there was a whistleblower handing stuff to Woodward and Bernstein.  I don't see that now.  And given Rove's history, anybody who'd trust what was thrust in their hands would be nuts.

    We must never forget Atwater and the fact that republicans do not consider ethics in what they do.  It's no-holds-barred dirty politics.  Worse, the MSM now belongs to corporate interests who can stifle news that citizens need to know if it conflicts with stockholders' interests.

    IMHO, the Gannon story came unglued uncomfortably easily.  That's not to demean all the good work done here.  Still, one day Gannon's a noplace goon whose press pass fell out of the sky ; the next day he's  a non-journalist with nudie websites.  Doesn't pass the smell test.

    Having worked in DC, I'll never be convinced that Gannon wasn't vetted out or recommended by some impeccable source.  Nobody gets that close to the President otherwise.  The WH knew precisely who he was and why he was there.  His history was known, too.

    Now it's up to us to figure out why he was there--and it wasn't to ask those assinine stupid questions.  The WH could've gotten ANYbody--some intern--to ask those questions, but for some reason they selected a jerk who was riddled with baggage including lurid websites.  It just doesn't add up.  

    Yeah, yeah I'm wearing my tin-foil...

  •  Where is the MSM (none)
    if this is a trap?

    I have to admit that some things about Gannon don't add up.  

    Why the silence, the shunning, the scrubbing?  This feels like a chess game - the object is to defend the queen.  You want to sacrifice as few pieces as possible. If you have to sacrifice pieces, you want to sacrifice the fewest, the weakest and the least strategically important pieces.  Right now the black side is in a waiting game.  There is a possiblity that the Gannon story will quietly melt away and Black will not have to sacrifice any pieces.  If the Gannon story does not go away, Black will have to decide what piece to sacrifice in hopes of appeasing calls for an investigation.  Our job is to make Black's sacrifices as many and as strategically painful as possible.  Even if the Gannon story does not go where we hope it can, we can cost Black in material, momentum and room to move.  

    My apologies to the non chess players.

    •  The game continues (4.00)
      My brain won't let this go.

      We know that Gannon and Eberle are pieces in this game.  Black has sacrificed Bobby Eberle, he is no longer part of the game.  But Black has not sacrificed Gannon.  Although Gannon did resign his job, instead of being denounced by his associates, there is a curious silence.  Gannon has even started his blog up again.  The implication is that Eberle was a completely expendable piece, of low value and no strategic importance.  Gannon would appear to be a low value piece as well but of significantly more strategic importance.  Gannon is still in the game.  Why?

      Given: Blackmail & extortion are being used as a tool by Black.  Presumably Gannon was a part of that intrigue.  A good blackmailer does not use all his information on the first demand for compliance or money.  He husbands it carefully, using it bit by bit, byte by byte.  He uses the least damning evidence first and saves the worst for when his victim grows more resistant.  He may have the goods on people that he has never tapped, because he has never needed to.  For those people who have secret meetings with Gannon(or possibly others), Gannon's mere presence is a threat in itself.  The suspicion that Black might have evidence may well make someone with a guilty secret toe the line without ever being threatened with anything of substance.  So keeping Gannon circulating could be an asset for Black.

      The bad news for Black is that by now his victims should have realized that they are not alone.  The best thing that could happen for White is if Black suddenly finds that some of his pieces have changed color.  It could happen and all it takes is for one person to have courage.

      In Europe, politicians have had sexual scandals break.  It turns out the best way to defuse them is not to deny the accusations or attack the accusers.  The best way to defuse a sex scandal is to admit the wrongdoing in public, grovel before the public, apologize to all the injured parties, repent and swear never to trespass again.  Honesty and sincerity are the keys.

      So if one tremendously brave person would come forward, admit to mistake(s)in judgement, accept responsibility for their actions and be prepared to take any appropriate punishment, they should be crowned a hero.  At the very least they should treated with tolerance and compassion.  This could crack the dam.  If we don't shred the first one in public, we could see the more timid victims come forward with their stories.  At least I can hope.

      My fervent hope is that those victims of extortion and blackmail have realized that they are not alone and are carefully and quietly seeking each other out.  I hope that they realize even if they do not have the courage to confront cowards and bullies alone, that together they can summon up that courage.

      My message to them is this:  

      I realize that this irreversible step could devastate careers and relationships.  But we need you to remember why you wanted to be in government. Some are in it for personal gain, but others are in to help people, to speak for those without a voice and to help their nation grow in strength and wisdom, justice and equality.  This is our nation, our hope and our future. We need you to defend it not to betray it!  Please help us.

      Okay, I think I am finished.  Now that I got this out of my head, I hope I can go to sleep.  

      Peace and Blessings.

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