Nothing like a little intrigue to start one's day. On the off chance that someone came in late to the movie, let us first provide some background:
For weeks, Wayne Madsen has reported that Vice President Dick Cheney was a client of "DC Madam" Jeane Palfrey. Unfortunately, many people consider Madsen irresponsible.
Palfrey's lawyer, Montgomery Sibley, issued a cryptic not-really-a-denial of the Cheney rumor.
Out in Las Vegas, "Domina" Leola McConnell has -- for some time now -- claimed to have personal knowledge of a tryst between George W. Bush and his former roommate (and current ambassador to Poland), Victor Ashe. Leola claims that witnesses, as yet unnamed, can back her story.
About a week ago, a strange email entered my inbox, sent to me by someone named "David Anderson." I have no idea who he is. The email contained the text of a letter sent by Palfrey's lawyer, Montgomery Sibley, to Leola McConnell. He wanted her as a possible expert witness in the case.
I found out that other bloggers received the same missive.
I contacted Leola, who confirmed that the letter was real. I decided to keep the matter under my hat until Sibley said something about it. Apparently, the other bloggers came to a similar decision.
A site called BigHeadDC
has been scambling after every available scrap of info on the scandal. They published the Leola connection here
. After they did so, I decided to talk about the matter, on the theory that the toothpaste had already exited the tube.
Here's where things get odd.
BigHeadDC ran a follow-up story
: EXCLUSIVE: Rationale for “DC Madam” / “DC Domina” Connection
. Within that article, these words appear:
A credible source tells us that Montgomery Blair Sibley, the “DC Madam’s” civil layer, did not have to reach across the entire country to find an expert in BDSM, as Big Head DC revealed last night. Obviously, there are plenty of folks with an advanced knowledge of the subject on the east coast.
“I think Sibley is hoping that Leola McConnell can verify some specific allegation made by Deborah Jeane Palfrey or one of her ladies,” our Beltway source says. ”And since Leola has spoken about Bush and William Bennett — well. The possibilities become interesting, no?”
DC insiders, including investigative reporter Wayne Madsen, have said for weeks that Vice President Cheney likely used Palfrey’s services in the past. Our source is certain that Sibley contacted McConnell to “spook” a high-level VIP into making the government’s case against Palfrey go away.
Big problem here. The "credible source" is me
. And Rob Capriccioso, the main man behind BigHead, never talked to me.
Basically, Rob swiped a couple of speculative paragraphs from my own story (compare the above with what you read here
). The wording of the text is far too similar to allow for the possibility that the BigHead team had any other source. Here's what I wrote:
“I think Sibley is hoping that Leola can verify some specific allegation made by Palfrey or one of her ladies. And since Leola has spoken about Bush and William Bennett — well. The possibilities become interesting, no?”
Now take another look at Rob's "scoop," quoted above. This is as clear a case of plagiarism as you ever will find.
Furthermore, in my original work, I made sure to label my musings as speculation.
That was the word. You couldn't miss it. I have no problem with surmise as long as it comes clearly labeled as such.
It appears that a very irresponsible blogger took my attempts at tea-leaf reading and repackaged them as inside info from a "beltway" source.
This story is already slippery enough. Misrepresentation of this sort is inexcusable.
So who the hell are the clowns behind the BigHeadDC site? The editor is, as noted, Rob Capriccioso, and the publisher is BHR Omnimedia LLC. Rather odd for a mere blog to feel obligated to incorporate as an LLC. Capriccioso has worked for some big-deal operations -- Politico and, it seems, the Hill. I have contacted the former and will soon contact the latter.
My advice? If Robbie offers any further "scoops" on the DC Madam scandal -- DO NOT TRUST HIM
Oh, as for the letter itself: I remain mystified as to how a private email got passed around the blogger community. Sibley has told me that he did not leak the letter, and neither he nor I think that Leola had anything to do with it. Mysterious, eh?
(My original piece was poorly written and should have made clearer that the person who sent that email to me was neither the author nor the intended reader. I have slightly rewritten this
post for increased clarity.)