Saturday, June 04, 2011

It's a conspiracy. Yes, that IS the right word (Important update)

In light of the new information that has come out, anyone who doesn't acknowledge Dan Wolfe's guilt must be ignorant, insane or purchased. We now have a better understanding of why Breitbart has turned on Dan Wolfe.

It seems that Dan had cohorts. Of course, we've known that fact all along; but we're learning more about the other conspirators.

Update: The Smoking Gun has lots of new info on Mike Stack, Dan Wolfe's partner and fellow zealot. Very pertinent stuff...
Stack fought frequently with a woman who accused him of stalking her online, and alleged that he admitted to opening numerous Twitter accounts posing as her.
In one 2009 post, Stack fired back at some of his online enemies, warning them to “be careful of what you say.” He claimed, “I can find out anything about anyone. The software and programs that I have at my disposal, in addition to the people who work in the wi-fi and technology field that I am partnered with make me a virtual cyber detective.”
So: Stack had the know-how to get the photo onto the account. And he has posed as other people before. The net closes...

And now back to our post:

Tommy Christopher delivers a great deal of truly new information about the events of that evening. I hope both Christopher and the readers will forgive lengthy quotation (a bad blogging practice which this site usually eschews):
It was Betty [pseudonym for an underaged Weiner follower] who pointed out the activities of Dan Wolfe (@patriotusa76) and his clique, including a man named Mike Stack (@goatsred). She had a lot of information that I could not verify, but those facts that were independently verifiable formed the basis of our reporting on Wolfe Sunday afternoon. Wolfe and Stack, along with several others, had engaged in a campaign of harassing young, mostly-underage girls who were being followed by Rep. Weiner, as well as a constant stream of vitriol, homophobic innuendo, and rumormongering against Rep. Weiner. Betty was one of those young girls, and their unwanted attention, she says, caused her to shut down her Twitter feed.

Betty’s mother (we’ll call her Mrs. Betty) says that she and her husband monitor all of Betty’s internet usage, and were incensed by this group’s behavior. Rep. Weiner, she confirms, never contacted Betty privately, with the exception of a Direct Message welcoming her to his Twitter stream, a message Mrs. Betty assumed was automatically generated.
Another underaged girl, named Veronica, became desperate for attention and decided to start telling lies. She told Mike Stack (Wolfe's partner) that Weiner had made inappropriate comments to her and Betty. This was not true. (This is the stripped-down version of a complex tale.) Veronica's false story was part of what Dan Wolfe referred to when he said "We have more!"
Once we published our story about Dan Wolfe, Andrew called me again, and it was clear from the conversation that he had genuine concerns about Wolfe as a source, and that he had been unaware of his prior activity on Twitter. Through our contemporaneous conversations throughout this story, it has been clear that Andrew Breitbart followed leads that were submitted to him, rather than that he engineered any of this, and as far as presentation of documentary evidence, has acted responsibly throughout.
I disagree with this exoneration of Breitbart. No mainstream or "new media" journalist should ever use a source like Dan Wolfe.

Mediaite then goes on to excoriate Markos Moulitsas for printing the names of the two underaged girls mentioned above, one of whom (Betty) had nothing to do with her friend's fabrications. You gotta read the exchange between Christopher and Moulitsas, who proves to be utterly infuriating and flabbergasting.

I've long despised Moulitsas, but after reading this outrage, I would like to....hmm. How to word this? Let's be careful: I hereby promise never to punch Markos Moulitsas in the face or to commit any other illegal acts against his person. But if someone else were to come up to MM and insure that, behind those super-sized lips, a few teeth went missing, I would like to buy that individual a fine bottle of ale.

Now let's get back to the conspiracy. The following comes from a statement offered by Betty's mother:
When Rep Weiner followed my daughter the one and only message he sent her was welcoming her to his twitter followers and suggested he go to his website for more information. My husband and I were delighted with this message as it furthered our daughter’s interest in learning about government. We were very grateful to Rep Weiner for this and saw nothing wrong or inappropriate with this message.

This was the one and only message that Rep Weiner sent our daughter. Our daughter sent a message thanking Rep Weiner for following her and thanking him for the welcome message. This was the one and only message our daughter sent to Rep Weiner.

Soon after she was following Rep Weiner, a group of grown men and a few grown woman who described themselves as “concerned mothers” began harassing my daughter. I can assure you, as a mother, I’ve never heard of such disgusting behavior. My daughter, with our permission, responded to these attacks on Rep Weiner following her with grace and maturity – which is something that cannot be said for these “mothers” and their fellow grown men involved in the attack.

These mothers and their grown male friends attacked the intentions and character of Rep Weiner to our daughter and suggested that he was somehow perverse for following her. This disgusted myself and my husband. They were attacking a man, who has done nothing to them and has done nothing wrong.

Ultimately, Rep Weiner had to unfollow our daughter as a favor to her so these attacks would stop. We were sorry that these bullies caused this and we were disgusted to see that even after he unfollowed her, this group of so called mothers and grown men — continued to try and contact my daughter.
The following comes from Betty:
I was so excited because we were learning about politics in school and he is a great hero of mine. This excitement turned to fear when a group of women and men started harassing me for following Rep Weiner and for being followed by him. They said the most terrible things about him.

He was forced to unfollow me so they would stop harassing me. But they did not stop. One man, goatsred – tried to contact me. I locked my account. After I locked my account he tried to follow me and I denied him. My parents made me shut down my account as a result.
In light of this, how can anyone not think that these conspirators -- that much-abused word is here perfectly appropriate -- are responsible for the "crotch shot" upload? Consider the facts:

1. At the time of the upload, there was -- incontestably -- a conspiracy to besmirch Congressman Weiner. The conspirators were zealous, paranoid, and organized.

2. The political operatives involved in this conspiracy were so thoroughly unscrupulous that they harassed and stalked underaged girls and attempted to get them to make false accusations.

3. The members of this conspiracy had noteworthy computer skills. We may presume that they possessed enough tech savvy to use the Yfrog exploit described in earlier posts (and which apparently has been known to computer security experts for some time).

4. The conspirators were also willing to adopt fake personas and to tell false stories in order to get the information they sought.

5. Conspirator Dan Wolfe "happened" upon the crotch shot immediately. He drew attention to it via various tweets -- tweets which hardly read like he had accidentally stumbled across the thing.

6. Conspirator Dan Wolfe lied about the 640x480 version of the picture, which ought to have been in his browser cache. Based on experiments published in earlier posts, we have very good reason to believe that the 640x480 version of the image probably would have the EXIF metadata indicating camera make and date creation.

7. Conspirator Dan Wolfe lied when he said that he found the 800x600 version of the image in his browser cache. The image bears a date stamp of May 30. There is no innocent explanation for this -- at least, none that I can conceive of. (Odd, isn't it, that Weiner's attackers never talk about this problem? Arguably, that image is the only piece of hard evidence in the case -- and the date stamp is all wrong!)

8. The format of the Yfrog page indicates that an outsider uploaded the offending photo.

9. Conspirator Dan Wolfe lied when he said that he has nothing to hide and that he welcomes an investigation. He has, in fact, gone into hiding. He won't reveal his real name. (It may not be Dan Wolfe.) He won't communicate. He deleted his Twitter account. I accused him in print of framing Weiner and then invited him to sue me, with the understanding that I would exercise my right of discovery. He has not contacted me.

10. Judging from this tweet, Breitbart himself now believes or suspects that Dan Wolfe is responsible.

11. Dan had predicted the sex scandal with the jackass confidence of one who intended to make his prophecy come true. He later said that he had heard a rumor that a scandal was in the offing, but that he did not know that Weiner was involved. Once again, Dan Wolfe lied. On May 12, he wrote that "top5 RightWing blogger has sexscandal pics" of Weiner. (Emphasis added.)

12. Dan's use of the word "has" indicates the present, not the future. If the photo existed on May 12 -- as Dan's statement strongly implies -- then the fraudulence of his account of May 27 becomes incontestable.

I am curious about this "top5 RightWing blogger," who may hold the key to unraveling the mystery.

As readers know, I've suspected for a while that the photo was obtained from one of Anthony Weiner's former lovers. If this theory is true, Weiner may have been sleeping when the shot was taken.

I now suspect that this photo (and others?) were given to a conservative blogger on May 12. The conspirators may have decided that the story would have done no significant damage to Weiner, and that it would be better to use it in a much more devious way. The "top5 RightWing blogger" is thus a co-conspirator.

Any guesses as to the identity of that blogger? I note that Michelle Malkin is a follower of George Gooding. If that lady has scruples, they haven't been brought to my attention.

I have to give these conspirators credit: They somehow knew that the media would tell and retell false versions of this story. Take, for example this story, which is filled with lies -- including the presumption that Weiner and Gennette Cordova had an online romantic relationship. In other words, the writer claims that Gennette's statement was false. She should sue.

We saw a similar aura of dangerous smugness in the early days of Whitewater. Back then, writers and journalists radiated false hipness: Oh, everyone knows the Clintons are guilty; of course they are; don't be naive...

One last word about Breitbart and "new media" ethics. This entire story was based on Breitbart's willingness to accept the word of a man he had never met, a source whose voice he had never heard and whose real name remains unknown. No "lamestream" journalist would have contemplated using such a source. Breitbart cannot be absolved.

By contrast: For over two years, I have sat on a real "extramarital" story involving a member of the Obama administration. The tale is rather tawdry but in no way criminal. My decision to let the story lie dormant has nothing to do with any love for this administration; regular readers know my feelings. What keeps me from pursuing the matter is the fact that I have only one source. I've met her and do not believe her to be a fantasist. She is an infinitely more credible source than is someone like Dan Wolfe. But a single-source story is, in the end, a single-source story. Besides, I have no desire to place this woman in a position where she must confront hordes of reporters.


Mr.Mike said...

Michael Savage was in full howl last night calling Rep. Weiner any number of names. The AM talk republicans will ride this one into the dirt knowing that their listeners won't bother to check for themselves.

Have you contacted this Luke Broadwater's editor to file a complaint? You and other Sun readers should. Don't let them get away with a correction and or apology buried in the "Fish Wrap" section of the paper.

Hoarseface said...

Congratulations on a story well broke and a job well done. I hope you feel a bit more vindicated in your blogging efforts as compared to a week or so ago.

Anonymous said...

As readers know, I've suspected for a while that the photo was obtained from one of Anthony Weiner's former lovers. If this theory is true, Weiner may have been sleeping when the shot was taken

are you serious? have you looked at the photo?

Joseph Cannon said...

Anonymous, I let your comment through (even though I reserve the right to delete anonymous comments) because you asked an interesting question.

Have YOU looked at the photo?

I've noticed some odd things about it.

Alix said...

My question is... why should I even assume that the photo is of Cong. W? It could be any man in gray briefs. (Circumcised, that much I can see, but that doesn't mean much.)

It seems to me that it would be a lot easier just to use a stock photo or something grabbed from another site or a photo of Wolfe himself than to somehow get into someone else's computer and find a crotch shot. But I figure I'm missing something that says this photo came off the cong's PC?

Joseph Cannon said...

Alix -- well, a lot of people are saying that the Congressman's refuals to deny that it could be him is an admission that it IS him.

But oddly, when people quote Weiner, they don't really quote him. Have you noticed that?

Weiner has said pretty clearly that he isn't that big. As he said to Maddow: "I wish." He has also said (and nobody has noticed this) that he didn't take the shot.

Which, of course, leaves open the possibility that someone else took it. Maybe while he was asleep.

Or maybe it's not him at all. I'm now leaning that way.

I've noticed something odd about the photo, and I might as well reveal it here: It's always reproduced upside down. The upside down version makes it seem as though the subject is standing. Turn it 180 degrees and it becomes clear that subject is reclining.

(How do we know that we should orient the shot in that way? Look at the table legs in the background.)

When you orient the thing properly, one thing becomes clear: This guy's package is MASSIVE.

Porn star huge.

Anonymous said...

It's possible, you know, that Mark Furman is a racist AND OJ is guilty. It's possible that Stack and Wolfe are creepy AND Weiner tweeted his dick.

Alix, some Kos user (can't remember who) has already searched all the stock galleries high and low and came up with no match for the famous dicpic.

Joseph Cannon said...

arhooley, you don't know how the porn industry works. There are TONS of images behind password protected walls. And there are TONS AND TONS of stills taken during shoots that never get published.

Anonymous said...

I still maintain that that "package" isn't what it's supposed to be and is instead a foreign object -- to me it looks like some idiot stuck a microphone with the handle wrapped in kleenex in their shorts and took a photo.

Regardless -- anyone who'd attack kids online simply because they've followed a politician on twitter are about as sick and disgusting as it gets. To try to call themselves "concerned parents" while doing so just makes it even more obscene. You don't harangue kids to show concern, that's just ridiculous. I would love to see the kids parents sue the creeps who did that to their daughter... isn't cyber stalking illegal now? The "adults" who did that should be charged.

b said...

Isn't it easy to edit an image file's metadata?

Stef from DK said...

Mike Stack, in an interview last night with Lee Stranahan, said that Dan Wolfe told him the Top 5 blogger was Drudge. Of course everything Dan Wolfe says is a lie, so who knows. Stack said he got the from Wolfe and Wolfe alone. He says the email that came to him was from Wolfe, it was not a forward as Wolfe asserted in his Ladd interview. Interview here: