Welcome to Karl Rove’s Funhouse Halls of Mirrors and Mazes - II
The earliest recorded sighting on Gannon at a WH press briefing was on 2/25/03. Three days later on 2/28/03 Gannon asked a question of Ari Fleischer. Gannon was allowed to continue asking questions until at least 3/21/03. Then there’s a gap until at least 4/10/03, but Gannon was getting called on again by 4/15/03. link
This would correspond with Fleischer’s recent statement that he quit calling on Gannon because he had concerns about GOPUSA being a news operation that he only later became satisfied with that they did qualify as such. Talon was created on 3/29/03 and the “news” section of GOPUSA was spun off to Talon on 4/1/03. What did Ari really know and when did he know it?
Once Gannon was safely ensconced as a WH “reporter” for Talon News only one other glitch surfaced. That was when Gannon attempted to get credentialed as a reporter on the Hill. Gannon’s volunteer status with Talon disqualified him from consideration. So, somewhat late in the game, GOPUSA coughed up a stipend for Gannon. An application was submitted January 2004, but Gannon was still rejected a couple of months later because Talon News was not a news service. Think about the first part of this. GOPUSA sponsored a conference in DC in September 2003 but was not flush enough to pay Gannon a salary. Was Gannon still turning tricks at that point to support his hobby for rightwing politics, so intense that he showed up for boring WH briefings on a daily basis?
What was Jeff Gannon doing once he had secured a pass to WH press briefings? Building his credibility and broadcasting WH propaganda. He soon (before 6/23/03) had a webcast radio show, "Jeff Gannon's Washington" on Rightalk, part of the Free Republic internet operation. Gannon also began working the Free Republic boards to direct readers to Talon News and his websites theconservativeguy.com and jeffgannon.com. He also came to the aid of a website called probush.com run by a very young man named Marino in PA that published what was labeled as a “traitor’s list” that included Abourezk, a former SD Senator who initiated a suit against probush.com on 5/27/03. Was Jeff Gannon writing his own questions for the WH Press Secretary or writing the articles that appeared under his byline at Talon? The boastfulness of being a WH reporter and therefore, “in the know” as seen in his comments at Free Republic as well as what he disclosed to members of the TKE fraternity Alumni Board at West Chester University - TKE - suggests that these did come from Guckert.
All Gannon’s efforts to raise his profile as a WH reporter would seem to have paid off when he snagged an interview with Joe Wilson in October. Wilson seems not to have been suspicious about Gannon approaching him directly for this. SusanG. One question by Gannon in the interview raised eyebrows: TN: An internal government memo prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel details a meeting in early 2002 where your wife, a member of the agency for clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested that you could be sent to investigate the reports. Do you dispute that? Since publishing the first part of the interview at Talon on 10/289/03 Gannon/Gucker’s responses to what information he used to ask this question have been all over the place – from hints that he had seen such a memo, to claims even fairly recently that memo had been widely circulated to his most recent story that he read it in the WSJ, the only place where the existence of such a memo surfaced before the interview. (Gannon/Guckert has also led others to think that he’d been subpoenaed for the Plame Grand Jury but now claims that the FBI only interviewed him. Gannon Subpoenaed? atrios
We know he lies; we just don’t know which ones are the lies or if he’s ever spoken the truth on this. For someone who cribbed from Rush when he was allowed to ask GWB a question, I find it a bit of a stretch to accept that he did his research and read the WSJ before his interview with Wilson and never remembered that he had done so until only days ago. It is also interesting to note that many of his questions in that interview included the public sourcing. Overall, it appears to me that someone else scripted the questions for that interview and continues to provide Guckert with scripts to this day.
With a WH correspondent and having sponsored a conference in DC, it would seem that GOPUSA was becoming a factor in the rightwing on-line propaganda machine. Unfortunately even the most recent data on traffic at both Talon and GOPUSA was at best only a few thousand (although the army of liberal bloggers during the past three weeks has boosted those numbers) - dKos. It would not be unreasonable to postulate that the numbers by early 2004 were even more pathetic. That may have played a role in why GOPUSA purchased millionsofamericans.com (MoA) from Bruce Eberle on 3/24/04. MoA was originally created in the aftermath of the 2000 election as algorelost.com by Bruce Eberle Assoc, and was most likely a direct e-mail fundraising operation and claimed the contact list was in excess of 40,000. In announcing the “merger,” Bruce Eberle was coy about his familial relationship to Bobby and the relationship, if one exists at all, remains undefined. Bruce Eberle is, however, not undefined. His operations are both money making scams that McCain (not one someone I admire) criticized and he raised money for Paula Jones, little of which she saw and none of which her attorneys saw, as well as having fundraising ties to Ashcroft. It’s important to recognize that Rove worked in this “business” sector to build his GOP ground operations and Richard Viguerie (the GOP direct link between Rev Moon who bailed him out from certain bankruptcy a couple of decades ago) who links to Bozell and that side of the current rightwing political infrastructure. That leads directly to The Heritage Foundation and the other think tanks as well as the evangelical operations. Many of these operations are supported by rightwing foundations, including that of Scaife’s, but they all also work the small donor base hard and mostly float under the radar screen of average Americans. Only they know how much their operations are based on GOP love or money love, but I suspect that latter plays a larger role than what they represent it does. Let’s also not neglect to note that all of these rightwing organizations and foundations along with the GOP are funding and facilitating rightwing operations on college campuses designed to destroy liberal thought, including gay and lesbian academicians (See: Brown Shirts in Cyberspace) and the most recent attack on Churchill at Colorado University. The media attack by these groups remains as intense as ever and with the take-down of Dan Rather and recently Jordan Eason they are now empowered to intensify their efforts.
Remember all those website domains that Guckert/Gannon was setting up? All of them from Phase II mimic those from all the various directions from which the rightwing is waging its war against liberalism. However, were these planned to form a part of the rightwing infrastructure disseminating radical rightwing messages or were they only intended to look like them to cash in on contributions from all the little people who fund such operations? The Free Speech Foundation was activated and is registered with the IRS as a non-profit. As of this writing, researchers are still working on identifying the directors of this operation and how much money was raised and from whom. (Jeff's Phase I website domains have recently been offered for sale.)
Why Jeff Gannon? Why was somebody in a GOP or rightwing political operation making use of this man? Not as an underground, dirty tricks operator but as a public face for very “conservative” politic views. This isn’t a man who worked his way up through any political organization or operation. This isn’t a man who was a journalist by any stretch of the imagination. This isn’t even a man from Texas like all the others that formed the core of the GOPUSA operation in its early years. Why would GOPUSA even want him on their team? Why would the WH waive such a man through the press door?
Consider for a moment how this WH operates and manages to skate when they are caught in a bind and unwittingly unmasks itself. WMD. Those who never bought into the great WMD hoax were not blinded by all the razzle-dazzle that masked the fact that the WH knew there were no WMD in Iraq. The US marched into Baghdad making sure that the oil fields were secured and never bothered to secure any of the alleged WMD sites. Only belatedly when a few people began to ask, “Where are the WMD?” did they even bother to send in a WMD inspection team. The WH propaganda slowly morphed from “We know right where they are” to “Oops, bad intelligence” to the final Duelfur report that confirmed that GWB has been misled by bad intelligence. Poppycock! The inspections were nothing more than a show trial. Any head of any large organization that makes a huge blunder based on the errors made by lower level staffers would have the heads of those staffers on a pike. GWB not only didn’t call for any heads but also rewarded Tenet with a medal.
Did the WH react to the news that a faux reporter representing a faux news service had infiltrated the WH press briefing room for two years? No. Did they react when the faux reporter was shown to have been soliciting men for “escort services” and graphic nude photos of him existed on the internet? No. My friends, in mysteries this is call the “dog that didn’t bark.” It is the clue that solves the riddle.
James/Jeff Guckert/Gannon is a male prostitute hanging out at the WH, and the WH has “no comment.” An organization that had nothing to hide would have been calling for answers from the Communications Office the day it was demonstrated that a faux reporter operating under an assumed name had been in the pressroom for two years. Even if we allow for the possibility that the procedures in the Communications Office were the shoddiest possible they would have been called on the carpet for admitting someone under an assumed name. An operation that prides itself on values, ethics and morals would have gone ballistic with the disclosure that Guckert/Gannon was a male prostitute. The WH silence on this is deafening; so deafening that it informs us that someone very high up knew who Jeff was and was instrumental in placing Jeff in the WH press corps.
Early on in this investigation of this matter, there was one working hypothesis that Gannon was Psy-Ops and the first phase was designed to entrap gay men in DC and the military. The first stumbling block with this one is that the operation started before the selection of GWB in 2000. That was before Rummy and his buddy Poindexter were on board; so, that argues against a DoD operation. It could have been an FBI sting operation and I wouldn’t put anything past Freeh. Where this totally breaks down is with the nude photos of Guckert. It’s too much of a stretch to believe that an undercover operative would pose for such graphic pornographic pictures.
A second one is that Eberle is some well-heeled and well-connected GOP operative. He doesn’t appear to have been either. But say he was, why Guckert? There is no shortage of people with credentials far better than anything Guckert could present who would have been happy to perform exactly as Guckert had as a WH “reporter.” What did Bobby know, when did he know it and how much was he paid?
Another one is that Gannon has something on someone in the WH and used that information or pictures to blackmail his way into the WH press corps. That would probably be the first recorded story in history of someone blackmailing his way into a unpaid gig that mostly sucks. Then how to explain that Gannon came to be a part of the Daschle takedown operation? Someone being blackmailed wouldn’t risk using Gannon in such a way. An alternative explanation is that Bobby was running the GOPUSA/Talon piece of the takedown Daschle operation and enlisted the cooperation of Gannon. Possible, but begs the question of who was running Bobby and how everything interacts.
KISS! Guckert came first. A high level WH official fucked Guckert, an attractive man in that macho, shaved head, military sort of way. He’s well endowed and had many satisfied customers. He services men who require confidentiality – and he has honored that bargain in the past. If he began to make any noises at all with his WH john, money is the standard currency to zip the lips of prostitutes. If Guckert was holding out for a job, this WH has no shortage of business associates who would be happy to install Guckert in a sinecure with no questions asked. Why keep Guckert close by, set him up in a position that sooner or later was bound to cause somebody to ask questions and give him important assignments like trying to trap Joe Wilson in an interview or tangling in the take-down Daschle plan?
Only someone in madly in love or madly in lust would even consider such a high-risk option. Gannon likely returned that love and would do anything to demonstrate it. If Rove could turn an alcoholic failed business-man into POTUS in eight short years, how hard could it be to turn a male prostitute into a WH correspondent?
There exists a world of high-powered closeted gay men that is invisible to the rest of us. A code of silence pervades this world. Even those who can no longer stomach the secrecy and political machinations of those involved and leave say almost nothing about it or those involved in it. Roy Cohn, one of the most despicable people ever to infect American politics, lived in that sub-group for years after his boss Joe McCarthy was gone. The code of silence follows some of them to the grave with no public acknowledgement of having died from AIDS. These are not men who want equality and freedom to marry their male lovers; they like the subculture they inhabit. I don’t pretend to know much about it nor do the wonderful openly gay men that I know. For a description of this, suggest the “Republicans and their Gay Underworld” section of this piece.
It has struck me for years that there is something highly homoerotic about the imagery and symbolism used by the Bush Administration. It goes all the way to how GWB is presented in the media and to the public. GWB swaggers instead of walks, and it is not a swagger that appeals to women. His “Top Gun” “Mission Accomplished” stunt was pure theater for men. Men like Chris Matthews practically drooled watching it and are unlikely to have any recognition of the homoeroticism they were responding to. Women in this administration are Phyllis Schafly drones, Stepford Sisters like Laura or sexually ambiguous like Rice. Nowhere do I see the normal passion of a couple like Al and Tipper Gore or John and Elizabeth Edwards in this administration. It’s as if the conventional form has been retained but nothing “normal” supports it.
The affair of Guckert’s lifetime began after 9/11. That is one statement he made that has a kernel of truth to it. He moved to DC after 9/11, not because of that event but to be closer to someone. Through his lover he began to articulate a radical rightwing political thoughts and politics began to become important to him. He may be dominant in the act of sex but when it comes to love he is submissive. His alter-ego developed during the next few months as he morphed from theconservativeguy and plain “Jeff” into Jeff Gannon. Jeff Gannon who still wanted to be somebody more than just a kept man.
Jeff may not have had the skills necessary for a job in the WH but that was a minor impediment compared to getting him through an FBI background check. So, a WH position was out of the question. Sticking him in the bowels of the RNC national office or at any one of the “conservative” think-tanks etal around DC probably didn’t appeal to either Guckert or his lover for a variety of reasons, but most importantly because others would be in a position to evaluate his performance. Who knows, maybe Guckert harbored some fantasy of being a big time reporter. Maybe Brian Williams was a role model for him. Who knows how this idea developed? Ideas, goals and plans are not as linear as they seem to appear in retrospect; they are always more organic and develop slowly.
Once it did develop, the mechanics were relatively simple. (Simpler might have been to send him to the NJC for an internship, but that would have required that Jeff work and if he can’t write, that might have been exposed and ended his new career right then.) The word goes out to Bobby and/or Kerri Houston that somebody high up likes what they see about GOPUSA and thinks it could become a force in conservative on-line political operations. If only they had a guy in DC working for them. Then they give him the guy along with couple of articles and the suggestion that they get a few published elsewhere before “hiring” him. Gannon then shows up at the WH press door and with a word to McClennan or somebody else gets a daily pass. Ari most likely smelled a rat after a few weeks which would explain why he kicked up some dust. Another word to Bobby and an on-line news service magically appears on the internet. Did it take a word to Ari to get him to back off or did he do it all on his own once Talon came into existence and he could claim plausible deniability? Ari is no dummy and he knew that someone senior to him had authorized Gannon’s day pass.
Did Bobby get money? Or was he satisfied merely to feel as if he was rubbing shoulders with someone important and advancing the aims of “conservatives?” Or maybe he was led to believe that his rewards would come later if his operation proved successful. The GOPUSA sponsored conference in DC in September 2003 may have Bobby’s first reward. Bobby didn’t need to know anything other than “hands off” Gannon.
It worked beautifully for two years. Most likely, far better than originally envisioned. Early on the hoax could easily have been jettisoned if a glitch surfaced – blamed on poor procedures in the WH press office and nobody would have noticed. Jeff got to ask questions, increasingly more blatantly partisan as time went along. Care was taken not to have GWB call on him until he was a fixture in that room. If Dana Milbank is to be believed (from his interview on Olbermann), the press wasn’t even disturbed by Gannon’s question of GWB in January – they thought it was amusing. Jeff was building a resume and attending all the functions that WH correspondents do. His Pygmalion was likely proud of him.
Rove’s fingerprints are all over the execution of this, and he would be in the best position to keep all the components in place. However, while it could not have been done without Rove, that doesn’t mean that Rove is Gannon’s love, only that he played a role in the creation of Jeff Gannon Super WH Reporter. Billmon says this better than I could: do not miss This WH is also notoriously sloppy when they vet anyone they want, and therefore, it’s unlikely that they knew that Guckert solicited business via male escort websites. Had they known of those, those sites would have been scrubbed years ago.
Nobody is now saying, “I did not have sex with that man, Mr. Guckert/Gannon.” Oddly the WH is still not distancing itself from Guckert who is getting supprort from the freeper community and lots of words penned by the rightwing media like Ann Coulter that liberal bloggers have invaded the private life of Gannon. (Odd, since prostitution is normally considered the oldest profession in the world.) The Mighty Wurlitzer has been cranked up and is blaring that this is a non-story and liberals have gone too far. Why are they not saying, “Jeff, who?” And instead only saying, “Bobby, who?” – The Man Who Wasn’t There -- and thereby confirming that Bobby doesn’t know much and can be cut loose.
Somebody wants “Jeff “ to survive this scandal and go on to prosper as G. Gordon Liddy and Ollie North did before him. Only someone madly in love could fail to see the differences. Liddy’s and North’s fans are more likely to stone him than tune into him.
In BushCoLand, up is down, right is left and restoring honor and dignity to the White House is embedding male prostitutes in the WH press corps. Guess the WH figured that with all the other whores down in the pressroom nobody would notice one more, and they were right. How ironic that they all sold out for access and the only one who gets any respect from the WH is the one who at one time had the honesty to advertise his price by the hour. Maybe they should stop gazing into Unka Karl’s mirrors that whisper “You are the fairest reporter of all.”
21st Century Deep Throat -- wherever you are -- please step forward and break the spell of the Wicked Warlocks. Your country needs you now!