Hearing Aid

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Hugh Hewitt's still on the warpath for a congressional inquiry into the CBS News bogus-memos story, and Rep. Chris Cox (R-Calif.) has taken up the call with a letter to the chairman of the House telecom subcommittee. Says Hewitt in reply to critics of the idea:

Congress has investigated the content of radio talk shows, and it didn't bother me at all, and it didn't chill the way I do my show, and if they investigate bloggers, I won't mind either. It is just another television appearance, another part of the great conversation. If you think you are right, and you aren't lying or cheating, there's nothing to worry about.

Emphasis added… hauling bloggers before Congress to justify their opinions? That would be an interesting sight… though without the pretext of public airwaves to ride on, it's (fortunately) unlikely. In any event, it's hard to decide what part of this is most off base: The notion that if he isn't chilled by something, there's no chilling effect? The insistence that there's nothing special about a "part of the great conversation" that takes place with a regulatory sword of Damocles suspended overhead? The ingenuous invocation of the old "if you're not guilty, what are you afraid of" line? Maybe we can launch a congressional inquiry. Then we can get around to the hearings Frank Lautenberg's requested into "corporate censorship" of Michael Moore.

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  1. CBS are screwed, but I find the whole “drag them in front on Congress” argument completely nuts. Who the hell wants to encourage any more meddling from that collection of mouth breathers. The marketplace will (hell, already has) punish CBS way more than any dog and pony show in front of some sub-committee ever will.

  2. This whole thing is absurd…from the donkey commercial: “For six months in 1972 he failed to perform any Guard service as required. . . . Where was he and why did he miss his physical?”

    Have we really descended into this granularity in a non-issue, to the end that a television commercial would ask that question and even think it relevant to a presidential election in 2004? What a fucking smokescreen. The media and the parties are going to keep you dazzled with this bullshit until the debates, then continue with this bullshit after the debates to help you forget them.

  3. I reacted quite negatively to Hugh’s call for congressional hearings, and remain skeptical of them. However, the investigation he seeks is to determine whether and how fraud (perhaps of the criminal variety) was committed. I think he believes Congress could/would compel CBS and/or USA Today to reveal the source. (And, since Hugh and many of us figure the provenance of these docs includes Democrat operatives, Hugh’s goal is partisan, but that does not mean it is not justified.)

    If such an investigation were simply focused on the ease with which modern technology can facilitate document fraud, and how fraud occurred in this case,I might consider its merits. But if Hugh has in mind regulating the media — including blogs — I’m just way, way opposed. I’ll keep reading him, but I have not joined him in calling and demanding investigations, yet.

    –Mona–

  4. I don’t understand the rationale for an investigation. CBS puts fake memos on the TV. What law has been broken? CBS could declare that the world is flat. What law has been broken there? Is it some sort of FCC thing like Boobgate? (But that was about indecency, not the truth or falsity of some claim).

    Whoever would have thought alleged conservatives would fall so in love with the federal government? I guess when you run it it’s fun.

  5. It’s not at all clear that there’s actually any criminal fraud involved here, though. And the idea of compelling revelation of the source here seems like a bad idea to me. We don’t know whether the source is the fraudster herself, was passing on documents she believed to be genuine, or what. We won’t know unless there is a forced disclosure. If it’s the former, CBS has incentive to burn the source on their own, and the public benefit of a forced disclosure is ambiguous anyway (well, assuming it’s not the Kerry campaign, which would be newsworthy). If it’s the latter, we send the signal that a whistleblower’s anonymity is potentially forfeit if any of the material they pass on is bogus.

  6. Which Congressional panel wouldn’t want to hear from an accredited expert on nuclear physics, pro football, macroeconomic trends, typography and cryptography, the best places to eat in Austin, and the doughy pantloadedness of Jonah Goldberg? And it just so happens that I’m available!

  7. I wouldn’t mind seeing the lefty CBS news squad hauled before Congress simply for some payback to the liberals for all their attempts to stifle talk radio and muzzle fox news.

    You can bet that if it had been Fox news that had been caught peddling forged documents that were damaging to Kerry, every liberal in Congress and the mainstream press woould be screaming for Congressional hearings out the ying-yang.

  8. Julian writes: “If it’s the latter, we send the signal that a whistleblower’s anonymity is potentially forfeit if any of the material they pass on is bogus.”

    That is a very compewlling point. The situation is analogous to many privileges in the law, i.e., atty/client, priest/penitent & etc. However, virtually all such privileges carry some narrow exceptions. Perhaps we need a conversation as to when a journalist may or should reveal a source, if ever.

    In the situation at hand, I’ve read that the Kerry Campaign has aired anti-Bush ads incorporating these forged memos. It certainly seems that these documents were timed to dovetail exactly with Kerry’s “Operation Fortunate Son” strategy. If the DNC or Kerry campaign are complicit in these forgeries, that is something the public has every right to know. How can we, unless the source is disclosed?

    So, let the conversation begin.

    –Mona–

  9. Gilbert Martin: I share your antipathy to CBS news, and also take some delight in its humiliation — the thought of dragging Dan and others before Congress for some grilling also evokes some pleasure.

    However, just because you are correct that if this were FOX, and if fabricated docs about Kerry were at issue, the left would rise in demand of investigations, does not mean that such investigations are a good idea. (Hell, it is really evidence that they are a bad one.)Julian is correct to explore the considerable potential drawbacks.

    I remain undecided.

    –Mona–

  10. I wonder if Hugh would be so quick to ask for a Congressional investigation (and so willing to appear) if the legislative and executive branches were controlled by people he supports. If it was 1993, would he support the same investigation?

  11. “I’ve read that the Kerry Campaign has aired anti-Bush ads incorporating these forged memos.”

    That’s not quite right. They’ve aired ads incorporating other, officially-provided documents that say much the same thing as these memos – that Bush went AWOL on his Guard obligations.

    But, as predicted, the existence of these memos is a great opportunity for Bushies to try to damage the credibility of ALL the AWOL charges against Bush.

  12. Just tossing this out. Beldar is also calling for hearings, and like Hugh, he is a lawyer. (Ironically, he successfully represented CBS up to the 5th Cir. Ct. of App. in a defamation action two decades ago.)

    Beldar’s quote and a link to his whole thing:

    –The first witness must be an appropriate custodian of records from CBS News, who must be directed to bring every shred of paper, every email, every piece of videotape, every computer file, every outtake, every script, every memorandum of staff meetings ? and every bit of advice rendered by inside or outside legal counsel to CBS News prior to the broadcast. There is no attorney-client privilege to shield advice rendered to assist a client in the perpetration of a crime or a fraud. See, e.g., Swindler & Berlin v. United States, 524 U.S. 399 (1998); United States v. Zolin, 491 U.S. 554 (1989).–

    http://beldar.blogs.com/beldarblog/2004/09/dan_rather_was_.html

    –Mona–

  13. Gilbert,
    When was Rush Limbaugh brought before for a Congressional hearing regarding inaccuracies regarding Clinton? When that happens, you can call this fair play.

  14. If such an investigation were simply focused on the ease with which modern technology can facilitate document fraud, and how fraud occurred in this case,I might consider its merits.

    Except this is the sort of generalization that invites folks like Jack Valenti to the stand, enabling laws like the DMCA. It sounds like a good idea, and in the hands of a reputable body of intelligent, honest individuals I’d support it. And while of course a percentage of the members of Congress likely fall into that category, as a whole they cannot be called reputable, intelligent, or honest. We’d be entrusting increased fact finding to the same body that couldn’t be bothered to read the entire Patriot Act before they voted it in as law. I’d rather take my chances at being fooled by a fraudulent document of irrelevant subject matter from 30 years ago, than provide the leverage for Congress to fuck up this process more than CFR already has.

  15. “Gilbert,
    When was Rush Limbaugh brought before for a Congressional hearing regarding inaccuracies regarding Clinton? When that happens, you can call this fair play.”

    LOL

    Totally irrelevant.

    Rush is not a network news organinzation or a “impartial” journalist and has never claimed to be.

    And, of course, he never said anything inaccruate about Clinton,

  16. This isn’t about “inaccurate” reporting. This is about passing _fraudulent_ documents as if they were verified and real.

    Citing Ben Barnes as some sort of disinterested whistleblower on Bush is inaccurate reporting. Limbuagh specualting on the Clinton’s involvement in this is unfair reporting. But the Killian memos are forgeries and would have never been noticed had the forger been slightly more skilled at his craft. Has our collective “toy cynicism” reached the point where we all collectively shrug “more partisan reporting” and move on?

    Even Michael Moore’s misuse of the Pantagraph doesn’t rise to that level of deception. Freedom of the press does not rise to the standard of presenting forged documents as if they were real, and it shouldn’t. If no law was broken here, I’d really like to know what the good reason is.

  17. I could be sympathetic to Hugh’s appeal if he can first convince a Congressional committee to don jammies and make house calls on bloggers.

  18. Mona,

    However, the investigation he seeks is to determine whether and how fraud (perhaps of the criminal variety) was committed.

    Fraud?

  19. Of course, CBS would not be hauled before Congress because of their editorial opinions. They are being lambasted for misreporting facts. Furthermore, CBS is the beneficiary of free airwaves given by the government. The government may have a public interest objective in whether those airwaves are being misused. Just a thought.

  20. Gilbert Martin,

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the lefty CBS news squad hauled before Congress simply for some payback to the liberals for all their attempts to stifle talk radio and muzzle fox news.

    What attempts (aside from nasty partisan remarks that is)?

    You can bet that if it had been Fox news that had been caught peddling forged documents that were damaging to Kerry, every liberal in Congress and the mainstream press woould be screaming for Congressional hearings out the ying-yang.

    What liberals (or anyone else) would do in this case has really no bearing on what should be done.

  21. Perhaps we need a conversation as to when a journalist may or should reveal a source, if ever.

    The Supreme Court has already ruled on these matters and there is a significant body of case law that deal with much of the nuances as well. Furthermore, the Executive Branch also has created criteria for when they may and may not compel a journalist to reveal a source. In other words, we already had this conversation.

  22. If it’s the latter, we send the signal that a whistleblower’s anonymity is potentially forfeit if any of the material they pass on is bogus.

    I’m having a hard time figuring out why that would be bad. What is the value in hiding the identities of people who give phony data to investigators?

    The point of “whistleblower protection” is to shield those who reveal wrongdoing from retaliation by the wrongdoers. But a person who gives out false information under the guise of “blowing the whistle” IS a wrongdoer; why should he be allowed to remain anonymous?

  23. Gilbert Martin,

    Totally irrelevant.

    Yes, its as irrelevant as this remark by you earlier:

    You can bet that if it had been Fox news that had been caught peddling forged documents that were damaging to Kerry, every liberal in Congress and the mainstream press woould be screaming for Congressional hearings out the ying-yang.

  24. I believe accusations of fraud, and conducting hearings of various sorts to determine truthfulness and intent (were they fooled or were they lying?) are, per the Constitution, adjucated in the judicial branch. The reason for this is that there are much more stringent guidelines that judges, juries, prosecutors, and defense attornies have to follow, compared to the legislative branch, which was deliberately designed to be the political clusterfuck people agree the proposed hearings would become.

    If there is a good faith reason to believe fraud was committed, an investigation should be opened by the FCC or some other law enforcement agency, and a grand jury convened. If not, bloviating by Congressmen isn’t going to achieve anything but political ends.

  25. I remember when the “Bin Laden Determined to Attack . . . ” memo surfaced and Condi Rice was in front of the 9/11 Commission, we heard all sorts of pissing and moaning from, um, certain quarters about how useless Congressional investigative committees were. Boy, did that tune get changed fast.

  26. “Yes, its as irrelevant as this remark by you earlier:”

    YOUR personal opinons as to what is irrelevant is irrelevant to me.

  27. Gilbert,

    When are various Fox News anchors going to be dragged in front of Congress for pushing the photo (since discredited) of Kerry and Hanoi Jane?

  28. joe,

    Well, the Congress could not impose a bill of attainder (per Art. I, sec. 9, cl. 3), but the Congress can “investigate” pretty much anything it damn well pleases. Indeed, the investigatory power is said to be inherent in a legislative body and broad in reach, and it will often trump the Executive power’s desire for secrecy (especially since the Congress holds the power of the purse as well).

  29. I agree with you, JOE, that this would just be an opportunity for bloviating of the worst sort.

    Besides that, this will all be long settled, whatever happens, by the time congress gets around to it.

  30. Gary writes: “The Supreme Court has already ruled on these matters and there is a significant body of case law that deal with much of the nuances as well. Furthermore, the Executive Branch also has created criteria for when they may and may not compel a journalist to reveal a source. In other words, we already had this conversation.”

    1. Then perhaps you could cite the relevant case law that controls this situation?

    2. This is not merely a legal matter, but also one of ethics in journalism. I’ve read various opinions from journalists about whether a confidential source who passes forged documents deserves protection, and it appears that their conversation continues.

    –Mona–

  31. Gilbert Martin,

    Quit complaining about others making comments about your comments, you whiny bitch.

  32. CBS and Rather have behaved despicably, but this is a spectacularly bad idea.

  33. I have indeed heard grousing from liberals about how it would be nice to put the muzzle on conservative talk radio and Fox News. However, to the best of my knowledge (please correct me if I’m wrong), the ante has not yet been upped with Congressional hearings.

    What Gilbert Martin wants to do is up the ante. That would be nice if it persuaded liberals that muzzling somebody is a bad idea. More likely they would feel the “chilling effect” and simply add this to their list of things to do if they ever retake control of Congress.

    In other words, Gilbert, don’t give them any ideas.

  34. Mona,

    1. Then perhaps you could cite the relevant case law that controls this situation?

    I expect you to do your own legal research.

    2. This is not merely a legal matter, but also one of ethics in journalism.

    Maybe so, but the fact remains that the needs of the court system often outweigh the promises of journalists.

    I’ve read various opinions from journalists about whether a confidential source who passes forged documents deserves protection, and it appears that their conversation continues.

    Oh yeah, they claim under the First Amendment that they have an inviolable right; but just because they claim that doesn’t mean that its true. There have been definitive rulings on these matters, and courts can force a journalist to cough up a source’s indentity.

  35. I’m more and more tending to agree with Will Allen, that congressional hearings are a bad idea. The lawyer in me says that there has to be something in the facts presented which falls under penal code(s). If so, that is where governmental action should be located, i.e., in criminal court.

    Many at Beldar’s blog are disagreeing with his proposed remedy, and one offers this:

    –Texas Penal Code 37.10 provides:

    ? 37.10. TAMPERING WITH GOVERNMENTAL RECORD. (a) A person commits an offense if he:
    ***
    (2) makes, presents, or uses any record, document, or thing with knowledge of its falsity and with intent that it be taken
    as a genuine governmental record;–

    If this statute, or any other state or federal law, covers the facts and actions at hand, then leave it to the prosecutors. I just do not like Congress getting involved in scandals pertaining to the press and trying to “fix” the media.

    Moreover, USA Today may well decide to burn their source — the ethics of the situation for journalists are most intriguing. That, or enterprising journalists in competing media will ferret him/her/them out.

    –Mona–

  36. Gary astonishingly offers: “I expect you to do your own legal research.”

    I assumed YOU had done yours, since you claimed the conversation was over per the Supremes. Since you apparently can offer no controlling case law, you seem to have been writing off-the-cuff. In any event, I decline to research in support of YOUR claims.

    –Mona–

  37. “Gilbert Martin,

    Quit complaining about others making comments about your comments, you whiny bitch. ”

    Complaining?

    I merely stated a fact: that your opinion as to what is irrelevant is irrelevant to me.

    And so it is – you pissant punk.

  38. Gilbert,
    And, of course, he never said anything inaccruate about Clinton

    LOL! You really crack me up.

    My comment re: Rush is to your claims about liberals attempting to stifle talk radio and Fox (speaking of Fox, K Drum brings up an interesting point. What about Hannity and the doctored Kerry-Fonda picture? No calls for Congressional investigations over that “fraud”.). Liberals bitch and moan (and conservatives do about MSM) about talk radio and Fox, but there haven’t been any attempts to shut them down or sue them for fraud, etc (some have called for CBS to lose licenses). If there have been, well I oppose that stifling as well.

    Do you really think this is the first inaccurate piece produced by 60 Minutes or CBS? I’m far more concerned about stifling free speech than about inaccuracy in the media. We’ve already seen that falsehoods can get flushed out without Congress stepping in, not to mention faster. Why let the gov’t step in, when it shouldn’t?

    And what’s with the sudden conservative belief that gov’t should meddle and the media is all of the sudden expected to be a bastion of truth. ABC has an interest in proving CBS is a fraud, so competition will help sort it out.

  39. But, Mo, they started it!

    Liberal: Did not!

    Gilbert: Did too!

    Liberal: Double did not! And you have cooties!

    Gilbert: Congressman, he’s being mean!

  40. “I have indeed heard grousing from liberals about how it would be nice to put the muzzle on conservative talk radio and Fox News. However, to the best of my knowledge (please correct me if I’m wrong), the ante has not yet been upped with Congressional hearings.”

    They’ve done more than “grouse”. They’ve tried to ressurect the defunct “fairness doctrine” and force programs like Limbaugh’s do give “equal time” to opposing (i.e liberal viewpoints).

    And, of course, the FCC hearings about the problems of “media consolidation” were motivated by lefty desires to reign in organizations like fox.

  41. Gilbert Martin,

    And so it is – you pissant punk.

    At least I’m a pissant punk with a backbone, unlike yourself.

    You remain a whiny bitch. Indeed, your statement can be summed up this way: “I can’t refute your statement, so I’ll put my fingers in my ears!”

    *chuckle*

  42. Dan-
    I think Julian’s point isn’t so much concerned about a whistleblower who’s telling all lies, but instead one who is mostly telling the truth about something, and happens to let out some demonstratably inaccurate/false information as well, possibly through the no fault of their own. Should we be willing to give up their anonymity (and probably all further good information with it) so easily?

  43. Mona:
    “I think he believes Congress could/would compel CBS and/or USA Today to reveal the source. ”

    Did he (Hugh) show the same enthusiasm to compel R. Novak to reveal his source?

  44. Mona,

    *yawn*

    Hey, if you’re a lazy researcher, that’s not my problem; anyway, here is the general nature of the case law (again, I am not going to do the legal research for you):

    In Branford (don’t ask me the opposing party’s name, because I can’t remember it) (early 1970s) the SCOTUS held that journalists must appear and must testify in grand juries when subpoenaed and that there is no abridgment of the First Amendment in such a requirement.

  45. I don’t know what they did to him up in the NYC, but J. Sanchez has been consistently kicking ass since the end of the convention. Hanging out with Republicans works wonders for the faculties of indentifying, exposing, and disposing of absurdities.

    Hewitt’s clearly a nut-job but it’s nice to see such a tidy and elegant demolition of his petty fascist proposal.

  46. MoveOn.org has, in fact, tried to get the govt to declare FOX is fraudulent in its claims about itself, and to get the govt to so decree:

    http://cdn.moveon.org/content/pdfs/ftc_filing.pdf

  47. Mona,

    Also, you can look at Garland v. Torrez.

    Most states have some sort of statutory or common law privilege, but they tend to have numerous exceptions.

  48. “At least I’m a pissant punk with a backbone, unlike yourself. ”

    Sez you.

    “You remain a whiny bitch. Indeed, your statement can be summed up this way: “I can’t refute your statement, so I’ll put my fingers in my ears!” ”

    YOUR personal opinon doesn’t need refuting, since it’s merely your opinoin – not an established fact.

  49. Mona,

    And Fox News stupidly tried to sue Al Franken for TM infringement, and thus “muzzle” him. It goes around and around.

  50. Gary submits: “In Branford (don’t ask me the opposing party’s name, because I can’t remember it) (early 1970s) the SCOTUS held that journalists must appear and must testify in grand juries when subpoenaed and that there is no abridgment of the First Amendment in such a requirement.”

    Uh, ok. And what is the case law you claimed ends the conversation as to whether a journalist may or should — whether in the course of litigation or of his/her own initiative — reveal a confidential source that passes 100% fabricated documents? That’s the conversation we are having, Gary.

    –Mona–

  51. This example of CBS’s pro liberal, pro Democrat bias, which is so extreme that it includes offering disinformation as news, should be no business of the government because the affair lies beyond its constitutional purview. (outside of outright fraud with material victims)

    The most effective reaction is one which their viewers may choose: just turn them off. I don’t use TV for much of my news acquisition but FOX’s Soviet style, Rah Rah coverage of the Iraq War, as well as their complicit coverage the government/neocon campaign leading up to the attack, caused me to lose respect for FOX.

  52. The law Mona cites would require showing intent to decieve on the part of the accused. How, exactly, could it be shown that CBS/Rather KNOWINGLY mislead their viewers, as opposed to being taken in themselves?

  53. Summary:
    Fairness doctrine – Shite
    MoveOn – Douches
    Fox News – Douches
    Rather – Douche
    Hewitt – Statist douche

    Thus concludes all the hearings that need to go on regarding the media.

  54. Gary finally offers semothing sensible and in a civil tone: “And Fox News stupidly tried to sue Al Franken for TM infringement, and thus “muzzle” him. It goes around and around.”

    I completely concur with that assessment. It was moronic.

    Anon: I don’t know what position Hugh took re: Novak, because I’ve only been reading him since the advent of the blog-lead attack on CBS’s forgeries. I watched the whole thing, as it really took off on Power Line (linking to a Freeper post) and with Instapundit, INDCJournal and Little Green Footballs contributing to the debunking, and it was utterly fascinating to observe what the blogs did percolate to the MSM and end with near-universal consensus that the memos are fakes. Until all this, I had not read Hugh, Beldar or LGF.

    I still do not read Free Republic, notwithstanding that the CBS meltdown began there. The few times I ended up there during the course of a google search on this or that issue, I found much that I read to be repellant — especially the homophobia.

    –Mona–

  55. Again it’s the “pox on both of their houses” approach masquerading as some sort of principled opposition.

    This isn’t about CBS’ bias, this is about out and out fraud committed by someone, the trail to whom starts at CBS’ office.

    I realize there are anarchists out there like Mo, who think any action by government for any reason in any circumstances is, by definition, wrong-headed. But some reasonable people disagree and that doesn’t make them right-wing “douches.”

    I see no reason to charge CBS with anything at this point, but certainly the original forger has done something that can at least be argued to be illegal. That person’s identity will be difficult to get at without CBS’ help.

    I don’t think congressional hearings on the media are the answer, but certainly the DOJ wouldn’t be out of line conducting a preliminary investigation into possible criminal activity by someone, because possible criminal activity has occurred. Such an investigation should be allowed to question CBS as to the extent of their involvement and request, at the very least, the actual documents that they obtained (even if copies they might be good enough to settle the forgery issue definitively once and for all).

  56. joe asks: “The law Mona cites would require showing intent to decieve on the part of the accused. How, exactly, could it be shown that CBS/Rather KNOWINGLY mislead their viewers, as opposed to being taken in themselves?”

    That statute likely would not pertain to CBS, since I very much doubt Rather & Co. participated in forging the docs. However, if these forgeries fall within the statute, then SOMEONE committed a crime, and CBS would likely have to spill what they know to get to the criminal. While I have not researched it, I doubt journalistic confidentiality can be invoked to protect a transaction with a reporter that motivates and abets a crime.

    But it may be this statute does **not** apply at all – I am not saying it does, merely that there may be a statute(s) that does. I have not read any case law annotations for that Texas statute, and that would be important to do. My point is simply that the fabrication of these documents may fall within any number of penal codes (including military ones), and if so, then that is where government action should come from.

    I presume lawyers with the relevant expertise are looking into it now, but I am not one such. I offered that snippet of Texas statute merely to show what kind of disucssions are going on, and the sort of govt remedy that would be proper. I am inclined to think Congressional hearings are not a proper route.

    –Mona–

  57. That sounds reasonable, Mona.

  58. I think it’s reasonable to.

    It’s just that whether criminal activity actually took place may or may not hinge on what information CBS has and has not yet revealed.

    Congressional hearings sound like a great way to jam everything up, I agree, but that doesn’t mean CBS should be completely free of ANY governmental meddling here.

  59. Mona,

    Uh, ok. And what is the case law you claimed ends the conversation…

    You can be as obtuse as you want to be; this doesn’t change the fact that I’m right and your’re wrong.

    Gary finally offers semothing sensible and in a civil tone…

    My comments are always sensible; as to lacking civility, that’s a non-issue. And you accusing me of lacking civility is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

  60. Maybe while they’re at it they can look into what happened to the rest of Bush’s military records. Specicically:

    Any pages from Bush’s flight log
    Records from the Flight Inquiry Board convened after Bush was suspended as a pilot
    Any evidence of Bush’s reclassification into another AFSC after suspension as a pilot
    Any photos of George Bush in a military uniform after 1972
    Anything at all from any Alabama unit with Bush’s name on it
    Any copies of form 44a from the Alabama National Guard certifying attendance
    Air Force Form 142 (Aviation Service Audit Worksheet)
    The contents of his UIF (Unfavorable Information File w/results from grounding)
    Anything proving service (not just receipt of pay) by Bush between May 1972 and May 1973?

    And finally, Texans for Truth has $50,000 for anybody who can show proof of Bush showing up at Danney Air Force Base in Alabama. Hurry, you capitalists – offer good until September 30!

  61. joe says: “That sounds reasonable, Mona.”

    Snowballs are freezing in hell. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  62. Gilbert Martin, you explained to Gary Gunnels that “YOUR personal opinon doesn’t need refuting, since it’s merely your opinoin – not an established fact.”

    How do you refute an established fact?

  63. Mr. Vee,
    Anarchist? Moi? Hardly. The person that forged this should get hung out to dry, by CBS. I just think Congressional hearings are the wrong way to go about it. If it turns out a law is broken because the forger tried to pass of fakes as federal documents, which I think is the case, then it is the DOJ’s job to get that out. But trying to get CBS for fraud? That scares the hell out of me, especially if the method is Congressional hearings. I doubt anyone here will disagree that will turn into a partisan clusterfuck.

    My main issue is that this isn’t the first time a major netwrok’s been defrauded by faked documents. Usually they aren’t part of a presidential race, but it’s not necessarily of unimportant things (remember the assault weapon faked shooting the cinder blocks?). CBS got exposed, it will get punished for this. People won’t trust them, they’ll lose viewers and advertisers and Rather’s head is going to explode. Hearings will do nothing, except scare legitimate sources for not using something they’re not 100% certain about.

    Most of the people ranting and raving for the DOJ or Congress to investigate were pretty much silent on the Novak case (as anon helpfully brought up). This mirrors thoreau’s first rule of picking a side on an issue, “Which team does it help?”

    I’m not an anarchist, but when it comes to the 1st Amendment, I want to be really careful about threatening it.

  64. Mona,
    I agree with you and Mr. Vee that the DOJ should investigate possible breeches of the law caused by the forger. This has nothing to do with fraud committed by CBS, but faking federal/military documents by the forger. Like I said, there needs to be a law broken before I want investiagtions to begin. If CBS showed Photoshopped pictures of Bush with blow all over his face, then I don’t want the feds within a country mile (how many city miles is that anyways) of CBS, since that’s not against the law.

  65. Gary writes: >>You can be as obtuse as you want to be; this doesn’t change the fact that I’m right and your’re wrong.

  66. “…that doesn’t mean CBS should be completely free of ANY governmental meddling here.”

    But, an investigation of fraud is the ONLY justified government involvement.

  67. Mona opines obtusely:

    I sincerely do not know what your point is.

    All you would need to do is merely read my statements to figure that out.

    Well, if I have been calling people names and otherwise trafficking in nasty ad hominems, then I have violated my self-imposed posting rules.

    Self-imposed? Not very well policed apparently.

    Very, very seldom do I violate them because doing so is not conducive to reasoned debate and discussion.

    On numerous occassions you’ve gone apeshit here; I point to your apoplectic commentary on the Swift Boaters for example; your outright lie regarding my stance on the Swift Boaters; etc. Sorry, but the evidence is against you.

  68. Mo,

    I think you misunderstand me, I don’t _think_ you should go after CBS for fraud. Aside: the recent comments by their document experts that they were ignored by CBS does raise a question or two particularly with regard to CFR, though I think we both agree CFR is an abomination.

    But CBS does hold the keys for discovering the identity of those who _may_ have committed the fraud. And I think it’s reasonable for the DOJ to conduct a preliminary investigation into a possible criminal act.

    The Nowak example isn’t quite the same because Nowak’s source was accurate (even if that source’s behavior may have been illegal). Because of this, Nowak has a better argument than CBS. Nowak would be protecting a source who provided him with accurate information. It’s also important that the White House and the CIA have done some level of public investigating on this issue (something CBS has thus far refused to do) and the environment in which that situation occurred is currently being addressed both by Goss’ nomination and the ongoing discussions of reform within the CIA.

    So while there are some similarities, there are some differences as well. CBS has not made any public attempt to investigate the issue, nor have they made any indication that they will make any attempt in the future to rectify the environment in which the issue was able to occur. Yes they haven’t had much time as of yet, but the early indications are not positive.

    I don’t think Congressional hearings are a good idea and I don’t think CBS or Rather should be charged criminally (based on what we know so far), but I also don’t think this is a clear “1st Amendment: Government Keep Out” situation either. The 1st Amendment doesn’t cover forgery and fraud, and thank god because if it did we’d likely see a lot more attacks upon it than we do.

    And finally, bringing up separate issues (like Nowak) is nice, but it doesn’t really address the issue at hand. Otherwise I could simply argue that CBS doesn’t have the right to invoke the 1st Amendment because they certainly aren’t nearly as gung ho about the 2nd Amendment.

  69. Mona,

    Since you are being so obtuse, I’ll point out the obvious; you made an erroneous claim about the nature of the reporter/source privilege, and I corrected you. You then started whining about my sources. When I gave you a few, you started whining about relevancy.

  70. “Gilbert Martin, you explained to Gary Gunnels that “YOUR personal opinon doesn’t need refuting, since it’s merely your opinoin – not an established fact.”

    How do you refute an established fact? ”

    By showing that it isn’t an established fact but merely claimed to be one of course. As in someone says that a particular chair weighs 35 lbs and you weigh it and show it actually weighs 38 lbs.

    However, statements as to what is or isn’t equivalently “irrelevant” comments on a message board are inherently nothing but opinion and unprovable.

  71. Rick Barton,

    “But, an investigation of fraud is the ONLY justified government involvement.”

    You could probably quibble over that due to bad law (like McCain-Feingold), but you are essentially right.

    Problem is that such an investigation more or less starts at CBS’ front door and continues from there. CBS might not have committed or even abetted fraud, but they sure as hell would be key in any investigation into finding out if anyone else did.

  72. Since you are being so obtuse, I’ll point out the obvious

    Jean Bart sure is in a bad mood today!

  73. It’s also worth mentioning that George W. Bush (the individual and not the POTUS) might have an arguable civil case directly against CBS. Of course his position makes him completely incapable of persuing such a case.

  74. Gilbert Martin,

    However, statements as to what is or isn’t equivalently “irrelevant” comments on a message board are inherently nothing but opinion and unprovable.

    Oh, I see! You get to tell everyone what is irrelevant to you, but when someone tells you that your comment is irrelevant you get to act like a whiny bitch. *chuckle*

    The fact is your comment was as irrelevant as the comment you stated was irrelevant; and they were irrelevant for the same reason:

    Because what Rush does or liberals do to Fox News is completely irrelevant to the original question posed. Both are non-sequitors.

  75. thoreau,

    My name is not Jean Bart.

    I’m in a great mood. ๐Ÿ™‚

    However, I am a bit concerned about my parents, since the eye of Ivan appears to be headed for their house and restaurant.

    Cheers

  76. Vee,
    I think we are in more agreement than it seems (like CFR). I did say I have no problem w/ a prelim investigation by the DOJ for the forgery. The Novak example I brought up was more of a pointing out of hypocrisy in the call for major investigation to reveal a source for breaking the law. If CBS broke the law, it’s because they lied. If Novak did, it’s because he told the truth.

    If I seem slightly anarchistic about this, it’s because this is one of those cases where the system is working without government intervention. Not a single subpoena has been served and no federal action has been taken. The truth is coming out on its own and I’d rather let it happen organically, than by fiat. CBS is reluctant now, but the rest of the world is tightening the screws.

  77. Gilbert

    If you “refute an established fact” by showing it isn’t one, you haven’t refuted an established fact.

  78. Gary claims: “On numerous occassions you’ve gone apeshit here; I point to your apoplectic commentary on the Swift Boaters for example; your outright lie regarding my stance on the Swift Boaters; etc. Sorry, but the evidence is against you.”

    That you did not like my defense of the Swiftees does not mean I typically engage in ad hominem and vulgar attacks on those who disagree with me. Nor did I ever “lie” about your stance on anything. I do not know what instance you are alluding to, but if I mischaracterized your position then I am genuinely sorry.

    I do argue fiercely sometimes, Gary, but not against the actual persons of those debating me. You, on the other hand, do so with frequency.

    Why you carry on like that so often I do not understand. Because you have the intelligence and skills to engage in productive debate, as you have also somtimes demonstrated. Why not stick with the more civil and adult approach, and leave Usenet behavior to that netherworld?

    –Mona–

  79. Gary claims:””Since you are being so obtuse, I’ll point out the obvious; you made an erroneous claim about the nature of the reporter/source privilege, and I corrected you. You then started whining about my sources. When I gave you a few, you started whining about relevancy.””

    I don’t know what conversation YOU are having Gary, but *I* am discussing whether and when a reporter may or should reveal — in court or under his own intiative– a confidential source who has passed on entirely fabricated documents. Cuz, you know, that’s the topic of this thread … CBS and its source for forged documents, and what Hugh Hewitt thinks should be done in part to get at CBS’s source. Are we on the same page here, Gary?

    But let’s say, aguendo, I’m obtuse — help me out here; please directly quote my “erroneous” claim and then directly quote your words of “correction.” If I misstated the state of the debate over whether and when reporters should reveal sources of fabricated documents, and you corrected me, I missed it. Please take me through it step-by-step.

    –Mona the Obtuse–

  80. Mona,

    That you did not like my defense of the Swiftees…

    It had nothing to do with the content of your defense as you here imply; it had everything to do with your lack of civility. As I stated, you went apoplectic during that debate.

    You, on the other hand, do so with frequency.

    I make cogent and compelling arguments frequently is what you really are alluding to. ๐Ÿ™‚

  81. thoreau tosses out: “Jean Bart sure is in a bad mood today!”

    While I agree that Gary sometimes displays a Jean Bartian style of “debate,” I honestly do NOT think he is JB.

    I do not recall JB ever evincing the least knowledge of American case law or the ability to speak any legalese. Gary has demonstrated a reasonable command of several intellectual areas that I never saw from Jean Bart.

    –Mona–

  82. thoreau just wants me. That’s why he is obssessed with this Jean Bart story. ๐Ÿ™‚

  83. Gary writes: “It had nothing to do with the content of your defense as you here imply; it had everything to do with your lack of civility. As I stated, you went apoplectic during that debate.”

    I was passionate, Gary, but I did not lack civility. (Drug warriors in other venues also often accuse me of not being civil, but they can seldom or never cite any actual name-calling. It is simply the intensity of my style that bothers them, and my ridicule of THEIR ARGUMENTS, but I do not ridicule their persons.) I called no other poster here names, questioned their intellect, & etc.

    You, by contrast, frequently engage in vulgar name-calling, and imply or explicitly state that others here are intellectually deficient. Sometimes, Gary, you are just plain nasty.

    –Mona–

  84. Mona-

    Until 2 pieces of evidence came out last Friday, I believed that the “JB=GG” theory was bogus, despite some similarities between the guys. However, people point to 2 pieces of evidence last Friday.

    1) In August 2003, somebody posted on another forum using the name “Jean Bart” and the email address that Gary is currently posting with on H&R.

    http://www.free-market.info/main9906b/messages/597975988.html

    I suppose it’s possible that last August somebody else posted this message precisely to create mischief, and then waited a year before it was exposed. However, a google search shows that in 2003 there’s only one forum where Gary and JB were both active: Hit and Run. At least through August of 2003 H&R didn’t require people to post email addresses. I didn’t wade through all of Gary’s posts in 2003, but a random sampling didn’t turn up any posts where he gave an email address. So one has to wonder how this prankster got Gary’s email address in August of 2003.

    Obviously anything is possible, but the theory that somebody using 2 aliases slipped up while posting on another forum is at least as plausible as the theory of a prankster who did this in August 2003 and then waited more than a year for this to come to light.

    2) Sadly, the link for this one isn’t working (probably deleted over the weekend during their web maintenance) but I found it on google:

    https://reason.com/hitandrun/005286.shtml

    In May of 2004, Gary responded to a post that was addressed to Jean Bart. He responded as though he was in fact Jean Bart. When asked about this he said that he and Jean Bart share a house and office, apparently joking.

    Admittedly the second piece of evidence is weaker than the first, but when you combine those with similarities in personality and style, it seems plausible to me that there’s a widely read law student out there who’s using 2 different aliases online.

  85. Jean Bart or Gary Gunnels, either way you spell it you still get a troll.

  86. Mo,

    I think we are basically in agreement. My only disagreement is that I think CBS News can stonewall indefinitely and only suffer moderate (and possibly only temporary) damage to their viewership. Obviously the only other way to break that stonewall would be from legal action.

    They currently are employing the Monty Python Argument Clinic defense by simply saying “no it isn’t” whenever the forgery issue is brought up. It may very well view leaving the issue perpetually in the air as preferrable to answering it.

    Oh and it is also worth noting that several right-wing blogs have also strongly disagreed with Hewitt’s call for congressional hearings (Glenn Reynolds is one and it seems the NRO guys concur) for a variety of reasons, most notably that it gives Rather a good excuse to clam up completely and play the victim. He’s trying to play the victim now, but he looks foolish when his beating is only being delivered by competitors and bloggers in pajamas.

    The Republicans in congress are pushing for it for partisan reasons so as to bring it to a head as quickly as possible in time for the elections (and not just for president but it could help congressional GOPers as well).

    If I seem to be a bit hawkish on this, it’s only because I think it’s a serious issue. If I find out either campaign is directly involved in the forgery (DNC for obvious reasons or Karl Rove in an attempt to set up Kerry), I will immediately cast my vote for the other side. My tolerance level for political shenanigans is high, but not that high.

  87. Mr Vee,
    Yeah, I noticed those same blogs have opposed it. NRO’s reasoning was that it would also cause the rest of the MSM to defend rather than attack CBS, which makes sense (I don’t expect people’s motives to be snow white).

    Thanks for the interesting, civil discussion.

  88. Also it appears congressman Joe Barton (R – Texas) has criticized congressman Christopher Cox (R – California) for calling for congressional hearings, arguing (as have others in this thread) that oversight is best left to the other news outlets and the public at large and that those entities appear to be persuing that oversight.

    We’ll see how this plays out, though my guess is that Bush probably would rather not politicize this by bringing about hearings. It all looks pretty good for Bush right now, I don’t see him trying to go for the kill shot.

    We’ll see how this plays out.

  89. thoreau puts me in my place: “Admittedly the second piece of evidence is weaker than the first, but when you combine those with similarities in personality and style, it seems plausible to me that there’s a widely read law student out there who’s using 2 different aliases online.”

    Well. I had missed all that. Not being Dan Rather or CBS, I hereby unconditionally concede that I was snookered.

    “Gary,” you dog, you. Henceforth I shall simply ignore the silly, game-playing troll, except maybe to address him as Jean.

    Well done, thoreau, and whoever else did the digging.

    –Mona–

  90. First of all, Rather and crew were lax in their verification of the documents. Second, Rather and crew have stonewalled any investigation into the authenticity of the documents. Third, ethics, the lack on the part of CBS is shameful.
    Should Rather and crew be brought before congress, no. Should Rathers peers and the public shun him, yes. Should the person who forged the documents be brought forth, yes.
    The person that forged the documents should be exposed as a matter of course to preclude this happening again. Lots of posters want to blow this off, but this is an election year and fraud must be exposed and the source brought forth.
    Rather and CBS are dupes, end of discussion for me. I want the person who started it made public. /R

  91. I found a working link to Gary Bart’s (or Jean Gunnels’) comment in May 2004:

    https://www.reason.com/hitandrun/2004/05/french_beef.shtml#005288

  92. Mona,

    I was passionate, Gary, but I did not lack civility.

    Actually, you were acting like a jerk.

    “Gary,” you dog, you.

    Gary is my name; don’t wear it out.

    Henceforth I shall simply ignore the silly, game-playing troll, except maybe to address him as Jean.

    The only troll here is you; which you readily admitted to during the Swift Boat discussions, and have since demonstrated at least once.

    Remember I asked you to look with a criticial eye towards their claims, and you in turn stated that you’d rather go with your bias (because it suited your partisan political choice), and not look at their claims critically. What was particularly hilarious was just how baldly you proclaimed your unwillingness to deal with the matter honestly.

    Then you chose to lie about my statements later on and claimed that I stated that the Swift Boaters were liars, when you know that I have been equally skeptical of the claims of both sides and have stated that I find that elements of both of their sets of claims wanting. Indeed, I went to some length to disabuse of the above notion because throughout the original discussion you continued to assume things that I did not state, etc.

    All of this of course makes you the troll of course. Go back into the stinking leper’s hole you crawled out of.

    Todd Fletcher,

    I’m not a troll; I have never, ever trolled anyone, and never will.

    thoreau,

    Your claims of evidence are quite weak and circumstantial at best (which you even admit to). That Mona is dimwitted enough to fall for them should tell you something about them from the start.

  93. thoreau,

    Still on about circumstantial and easily discounted evidence?

    Look, in your quixotic search for the holy grail here, would you mind actually producing some direct evidence?

  94. Gary Bart, sod off.

    –Mona–

  95. Mona,

    The truth hurts you, doesn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚

  96. thoreau,

    Honestly, I think you’re Jean Bart; by your quixotic quest alone you demonstrate that. Jean Bart is your own self-create white whale!

    I have the perfect Moby Dick quotation for you!

    “They think me mad – Starbuck does; but I’m demoniac, I am madness maddened! That wild madness that’s only calm to comprehend itself!”

  97. Yes Jean Bart, it is a bit annoying to think of how happy it must have made you to see me defending that you and Gary are not one and the same. That truth does indeed sting a bit. No honest person would have sat back and let me continue like that rather than admit the truth. You are not honest.

    You know, if you are going to use multiple identities, you might, in the future, want to keep their email addresses separate.

    Bye, Jean. Please go find another pond to piss in.

    –Mona–

  98. Mona,

    Yes Jean Bart, it is a bit annoying to think of how happy it must have made you to see me defending that you and Gary are not one and the same.

    To be blunt, I don’t give a rat’s ass what you say about the matter either way. Quite stupidly attributing emotions to me. What, are you claiming to be “psychic” now? ๐Ÿ™‚

    That truth does indeed sting a bit. No honest person would have sat back and let me continue like that rather than admit the truth. You are not honest.

    Actually, you’re the dishonest person here, as I’ve detailed above.

    You know, if you are going to use multiple identities, you might, in the future, want to keep their email addresses separate.

    And, of course, you might realize, that anyone in the world can post my e-mail address on a blog and claim that they are me. What a stupid little scamp you are.

    Bye, Jean. Please go find another pond to piss in.

    The only one pissing in the pond here is you (as I’ve detailed above).

  99. Mona,

    1. You state that Gary is a “very smart man” – could you prove that? If I were GG, I would ask for a link (never mind all the stuff about doing one’s own research – he always demands a link demonstrating stuff) ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Jean Bart has/had good knowledge of US case law and has cited cases from findlaw etc. to defend his position (e.g. when France was criticized w.r.t. some law, he showed that US did that too – how then France was superior to US was not addressed)

    [thoreau],

    I meant to say this before several times – your research ability (attention to detail) can come in handy over at CBS right now:-)

  100. Mona,

    What’s funny is that even Thoreau doesn’t state I am not Gary Gunnels; but you’re so stupid that you’ve been even more snookered by his crackpot notions.

  101. zorel,

    1. You state that Gary is a “very smart man” – could you prove that? If I were GG, I would ask for a link (never mind all the stuff about doing one’s own research – he always demands a link demonstrating stuff) ๐Ÿ™‚

    Well, that I am a very smart person is just a given; hell, everyone says it all the time here – then they start quibbling some point of detail about my argument that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. ๐Ÿ™‚

  102. Zorel advises thoreau: “I meant to say this before several times – your research ability (attention to detail) can come in handy over at CBS right now:-)”

    Agreed. Well, so I was bamboozled on this one. I don’t recall Jean citing case law, but then, I tended to ignore the JB avatar. The Gunnels incarnation adresses more topics I find engaging than did/does JB.

    This whole thing is rather funny, and not a little bit ironic. We have our very own H&R fraud issue being discussed in a thread about media fraud.

    Say, do you suppose Jean Gunnels ever tried his hand at crafting TANG memos? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    –Mona–

  103. Mona,

    Well, so I was bamboozled on this one.

    You continue to be bamboozled.

    I have committed no fraud.

  104. Mona,

    BTW, an element of fraud is of course that some harm has been inflicted on someone. Can you name that harm please? Or is this some bullshit out of your piehole? Er, or maybe your asshole?

  105. thoreau,

    BTW, here is a blog where I use my e-mail address, and its from June of 2003. That took me all of three minutes to google:

    http://www.command-post.org/2_archives/007531.html

  106. Gary,

    I believe you are Gary the redneck from Alabama:)

    “BTW, here is a blog where I use my e-mail address, and its from June of 2003.”

    So what? All that proves is you were using your ‘real name’ also to comment on blogs – and on that thread you wouldn’t be as effective being the French dude (JB) defending Paris and pissing on London. So you must have used the American ID.

  107. zorel,

    Its what thoreau wanted; he claimed that he couldn’t find such. You should direct your question to thoreau in other words.

    Such fantastic stories you conjure up; are you a fiction writer by any chance? ๐Ÿ™‚

    As to whether I’m a “redneck” or not, well, I probably far too “edikated” to be a redneck; plus, I share very little of the values of my redneck relatives. Sure, I can be coarse and curse like them and such, but I am neither a populist, nor a racist, etc.

  108. Gary:

    Look, in your quixotic search for the holy grail here, would you mind actually producing some direct evidence?

    That evidence is about as direct as you’re going to get in regard to a poster in an anonymous, nonregistered forum. Don’t worry though, you can just invent another alias and all will be forgotten.

  109. crimethink,

    Actually, its all indirect evidence, much of which I just discounted with the piece of “evidence” thoreau argued had eluded him and would disprove his theory.

  110. crimethink,

    Anyway, since my name is Gary Gunnels, I don’t see any reason to change my name; and I’m sure not going to change just because that batshit Mona thinks I’m someone else. ๐Ÿ™‚

  111. Gary-

    OK, so you were using your email address on blogs prior to August 2003. But why would somebody have made that post as “Jean Bart” in August of 2003?

    And now let’s examine what was said on May 8, 2004 in the thread “French Beef”:

    “a sudden Francophile” said to Jean Bart*:

    Woo-hoo! Slip off the gloves there, JB. One, no, I asserted nothing – I only said that Revel’s statement sounds pretty good to me. Now if you mean the statement that you seem pissed off by his breaking ranks (with an admittedly non-existent unified French front of insufferable anti-Americanism), then I’ll take your word for it that it’s not true, but it wasn’t an outrageous assumption to make.

    You, in your post, quoted all of that paragraph except the first 2 sentences, but I’m including them because they make it clear that the statement was addressed to JB. And you responded by saying:

    *chuckle* Sure it was an outrageous assumption; you don’t even know who I am, yet you are making judgments about my temperment and my motives for my statements?

    Let me reiterate: You, Gary Gunnels, responded to a message addressed to Jean Bart and said “you don’t even know who I am”.

    Care to explain? Or was that also a prank, just like the August 2003 message by “Jean Bart” using your email address?

    Anyway, I’m not Dan Rather. If the message on August 14, 2003 were the only thing I might dismiss it as the work of a prankster who found your address elsewhere (although it’s rather odd that the prankster kept quiet for 13 months). But there’s evidence of a second slip-up on May 8, 2004. We’ve got similarities in behavior (I admit the similarities aren’t exact, but a person creating 2 aliases probably won’t make them exact matches). And although your email address was out there before August 14, 2003, it apparently wasn’t on any forum frequented by BOTH of you. So I’d say I’m on pretty good ground here.

    Am I 100% certain? Of course not. I’m too good of a scientist to be 100% on anything. But I’m pretty damn confident right now.

    *The order of the posts in that thread has been scrambled. Over the weekend of September 11-12 a lot of old threads got their messages rearranged. I based the chronology solely on what people quoted.

  112. thoreau,

    OK, so you were using your email address on blogs prior to August 2003. But why would somebody have made that post as “Jean Bart” in August of 2003?

    How the fuck should I know? Look, you asked me to find such a posting, and I eventually got off my ass and I did. And this after you categorically stated that such a post didn’t exist.

    , Gary Gunnels, responded to a message addressed to Jean Bart and said “you don’t even know who I am”.

    No, someone posting as Gary Gunnels did; cart before the horse here I’m afraid.

    Care to explain? Or was that also a prank, just like the August 2003 message by “Jean Bart” using your email address?

    What, someone can’t be perpetrating a prank on me? Maybe someone like yourself?

    …although it’s rather odd that the prankster kept quiet for 13 months).

    How do you know that he/she kept quiet?

    And although your email address was out there before August 14, 2003, it apparently wasn’t on any forum frequented by BOTH of you.

    This statement doesn’t make any sense at all. Why would the real Jean Bart (whoever he or she is) have to be the prankster here (as you seem to be implying)? Why couldn’t someone not Jean Bart who frequents both the Command Post & Reason be able to perpetrate such a prank; someone like Shannon Love, who does frequent both sites.

    Am I 100% certain? Of course not. I’m too good of a scientist to be 100% on anything. But I’m pretty damn confident right now.

    Well, I am 100% sure that I am not Jean Bart.

    Look, we can go about this until the cow’s come home; you can think I’m Idi Amin’s pet goat for all I care. I’ve stated what I have to say on the matter and you can either take it or leave it; if you can’t get past that emotionally, well, then tough. That’s the end of the matter as I’m concerned.

    BTW, it would be nice if had a real e-mail address thoreau; I find it sort of funny that I’m being accused of having multiple personalities by an individual who isn’t even honest enough to reveal his own e-mail address.

  113. Gary in search of self.

  114. (I also posted this on another thread that got hijacked by this topic):

    As a result of thoreau’s fine investigative work and handling of the evidence that another provided, I now think that GG=JB. GG contended that all of it is “circumstantial and easily discounted evidence”:

    It is circumstantial, but it is certainly not easily discounted. In fact, the evidence is so strong that the burden of proof now resides with one who contends that GG is not JB. If it was a “prankster” responsible for using “Jean Bart” with GG’s email…

    http://www.free-market.info/main9906b/messages/597975988.html

    …this prankster would likely also have to be psychic as well as very patient! Unless it was this same patient “prankster” who was the one who initiated the GG/JB speculation!

    Also, in the thread where GG appears to slip up and answer a question posed to JB as if he was JB, and then when asked about it, he explains that they “share a house and an office upstairs.”…

    https://www.reason.com/hitandrun/2004/05/french_beef.shtml#005288

    …I think that perhaps this was not originally intended as a joke, but rather as an alibi…”same office” so same computer so same IP address.

    So, I now think that Gary Gunnels is the same person as Jean Bart. So What? I think that we should still address Gary Gunnels as Gary Gunnels.
    That’s the name he’s using and it is not respectful to him to do otherwise. Also, some people use alternate aliases rather more dishonestly; to manufacture someone who agrees with them. This is not the case for GG/JB. BTW, I always thought that people who resort to that kind of thing are implicitly conceding the weakness of their argument and try to make up for the weakness with numbers.

    GG’s posts should be judged on their merit, as with all our posts. I think that the points Gary Gunnels makes are often interesting and on target. Of course, I also know that Gary is ridiculously and needlessly abrasive with other posters from time to time. I got into it with him before as well. I even enjoyed the combative exchange that ensued but I also believe that his (or anyone’s) comments that attack the person rather than the content of the posts are not nearly as stimulating.

    In light of the thoreau’s assemblage of the evidence, the GG=JB theory is quite interesting, but so is the content of many of the posts made under the names GG and JB. In view of GG’s contention in this matter, and also the fact that GG does not use the posts of JB to support his own; I think that although this speculation is fair game on these threads, it is not respectful to directly confront Gary Gunnels with it or directly ask him about the GG/JB matter any more.

  115. 2) Sadly, the link for this one isn’t working (probably deleted over the weekend during their web maintenance) but I found it on google:

    https://reason.com/hitandrun/005286.shtml

    The URL is gone but the post isn’t. Our database conversion renamed all the posts. Presumably Google will have most or all of these respidered, with the updated URLs, within a few weeks. We’re also going to redirect some number (TBD) of the most popular posts. In the meantime the content of HAR going back to the beginning is still around–no small feat considering the number of posts, like this one, where the Algonquinesque repartee simply overflows.

  116. I think that we should still address Gary Gunnels as Gary Gunnels.

    Henceforth, I shall call Gary/Jean “Chuckles” – I saw someone else using it and it fits. It pays homage to Gary/Jean’s puerile habit of adding *chuckle* to posts and honors him/them with due respect.

    Or I could call him “Giggles”.

  117. Gary Gunnels says:

    “Oh, I see! You get to tell everyone what is irrelevant to you, but when someone tells you that your comment is irrelevant you get to act like a whiny bitch. *chuckle*”

    LOL

    Nope I get to tell you that you’re opinions are irrelevant to me. You can vainly attempt to categorize that as being “a whiny bitch” all you want. That is also irrelevant.

    “The fact is your comment was as irrelevant as the comment you stated was irrelevant; and they were irrelevant for the same reason:”

    Nope that is not a “fact” that is your opinion – an irrelevant one that is.

    “Because what Rush does or liberals do to Fox News is completely irrelevant to the original question posed. Both are non-sequitors. ”

    Not on YOUR say so, boy.

  118. Not on YOUR say so, boy.

    The trollery is getting rather thick in here.

  119. eskimo.com/~cwj2/chan-atheism/regulars.html

    so gary has tons of nicks. cool. more power to him.

    and there’s an anti war petition out there where GG signs, listing his nations as “US/ France”. he walks the walk here. he stood up. again, cheers!

    i had always thought he was andrew, gilbert martin, mo, jean bart and a few others… so what? i enjoy his comments, no matter the nom de plume. (i disagree with his observations of europe, and i wouldn’t say he “lived” in germany because he was only there for a few weeks, but so what. that’s what makes discussions good)

    and he says, through his various persona, tons of stuff we all probably wish we could say. bravo!

    back on topic: did anybody else get a chill with the “innocent have nothing to fear” sentiment here? first they came for the physicists…. and if gg is thoreau, too. nice. he and fyodor are the two posters with whom i agree most. so keep that up, too ๐Ÿ™‚

    cheers all, and still have fun here.

    Laz and Lefty: come back!!!!!!!

    cheers et amicalment,
    drf

  120. back on topic: did anybody else get a chill with the “innocent have nothing to fear” sentiment here?

    Absolutely. Sure, an investigation doesn’t automatically mean that penalties will be imposed, but when people with the power and demonstrated propensity to regulate start poking their nose in what you’re doing, even the innocent should be very afraid.

  121. hey thoreau,

    remember it would be much worse under kerry. and those long-time experts on typefaces and fonts finally have their moments in the sun. (yet nobody really questioned those same peoples’ “knowledge” of iraq or somalia or yugoslavia…)

    cheers and listen to some black flag!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    drf

  122. Maybe every one of these posts is by Gary Gunnels. How can we be sure?!?

  123. “where the Algonquinesque repartee simply overflows.”

    I’m not saying this isn’t funny, but is it wise to insult your readers this way, web editor?

  124. I suspect Walter Willis was Gary Bart, too.

    Back on topic, I don’t think Rather is toast. If, it two days or a week, he reports that CBS has conducted an exhaustive review of the document, and has concluded they were faked, they’ll have C’ed their A as far as the general public is concerned. Bloggers will rant and rave about what scumbag he is, and how corrupt the mainstream media is, but hey, what else is new?

  125. Rick Barton,

    In fact, the evidence is so strong that the burden of proof now resides with one who contends that GG is not JB.

    No, the burden of proof always remains with the accusing party.

    …this prankster would likely also have to be psychic as well as very patient!

    Why psychic? There are postings by me which precede that post by months that contain my e-mail address.

    Also, in the thread where GG appears to slip up and answer a question posed to JB as if he was JB, and then when asked about it, he explains that they “share a house and an office upstairs.”…

    That’s actually strong evidence for my claim that I have a prankster screwing with me, not the other way around.

    In light of the thoreau’s assemblage of the evidence…

    The quantum of evidence is thin to ssay the least; two pieces at best, and one of which thoreau even admits is very weak.

    Gilbert Martin,

    Nope I get to tell you that you’re opinions are irrelevant to me. You can vainly attempt to categorize that as being “a whiny bitch” all you want. That is also irrelevant.

    Well, you’re a whiny bitch. Sorry. That’s life.

    Nope that is not a “fact” that is your opinion – an irrelevant one that is.

    No, it is a fact; and now you’re being a whiny bitch about it.

  126. Wouldn’t a reporter who was taken in by a fake WANT to expose the perosn who faked him out? The reporter’s reputation has already suffered, you’d think he’d want to take the source down with him.

    Unless the source thought the documents wwere real, in which case I guess the reporter really can’t reveal his source.

    Off topic: I think Gary Gunnels is a rotating staff person from a different blog, possibly NRO. That’s why he is sometimes more arguementative than other times.

  127. Wouldn’t a reporter who was taken in by a fake WANT to expose the perosn who faked him out? The reporter’s reputation has already suffered, you’d think he’d want to take the source down with him.

    Unless the source thought the documents were real, in which case I guess the reporter really can’t reveal his source.

    Off topic: I think Gary Gunnels is a rotating staff person from a different blog, possibly NRO. That’s why he is sometimes more arguementative than other times.

  128. Who is Jean Bart?

  129. curious,

    Ok, this has gotten out of hand.

    Look, I am not from NRO; I am not Walter Willis; and I am not thoreau.

  130. I don’t think Gary is Walter Willis, for what it’s worth. Walter was COMPLETELY different from Gary Gunnels (or from Jean Bart, for that matter).

    By the way, Walter Willis never did refute my allegation that he’s a terrorist. See, Walter went around claiming things like “All of the soldiers at Abu Ghraib were Democrats!” and other crazy stuff. (That’s the only one I remember off the top of my head, but I know there were other things.) So one day I said “Walter Willis is a terrorist. Prove me wrong.”

    Walter, I’m still waiting. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  131. “Walter was COMPLETELY different from Gary Gunnels”

    True, but he was so batshit insane that I have trouble believing, in hindsight and knowing there’s a multi-name poster among us, that there was an actual person expressing those thoughts.

    Also, JB’s pride in dissenting from most of the French gov’t’s bad deeds, and his generally libertoid outlook, made his efforts to defend the headscarf ban look artificial.

  132. joe-

    “batshit insane” could describe a number of posters whom I will not name.

  133. thoreau,

    I honestly don’t even remember what Walter Willis wrote. And talk about trolling.

    joe,

    The headscarf issue is classic French secularism; its not difficult to understand why many Frenchman might support it – it goes along with the French culture’s secularist worldview (or at least how they would like to look at as an ideal).

  134. Actually, given how many bizarre accusations Walter would toss out with ZERO evidence, I think it’s obvious who he REALLY is….

    OMAROSA!!!!

    (Yes, Gary, I know, you think my posts on your identity are bizarre accusations, but at least I attempt to present evidence. You may dispute the relevance of my evidence, but at least I tried. Walter would just toss stuff out with zero support, so one day I decided to turn the tables on him for fun.)

  135. thoreau,

    Well, at this point, we can continue to disagree, but I think its a rather fruitless argument now, and we are likely annoying the hell out of a lot of people who probably don’t appreciate threads being hi-jacked this way.

  136. Gary-

    I don’t intend to bring it up anymore. I’ve said what I have to say, and I find some of your posts interesting regardless of your identity.

    I still think Walter Willis is Omarosa, however ๐Ÿ˜‰

  137. “and I find some of your posts interesting regardless of your identity.”

    hear hear!

    p.s., who or what is omarosa?

  138. Omarosa was a contestant on that reality show “The Apprentice.” She stirred up a lot of trouble and accused a lot of people of a lot of things. When it was whittled down to just 2 contestants, some of the other people who had survived late into the competition (including Omarosa) were brought in to help the 2 finalists with their final challenges. Omarosa basically sabotaged the guy she was supposed to be helping, and spent some time trying on crazy outfits with Jessica Simpson.

    I’m embarassed that I know all this. Blame my wife for getting me hooked on it.

  139. thoreau,

    I’m really Kaiser Soze. ๐Ÿ™‚

  140. I guess I’ll start calling you Kevin Spacey then ๐Ÿ˜‰

  141. Gary Gunnels:

    “Why psychic? There are postings by me which precede that post by months that contain my e-mail address.”

    I was speaking of a “psychic” prankster in regard to the GG=JB question being brought up months later. Psychic; unless it was this “prankster” who much later initiated the controversy. As thoreau pointed out, this would be an unusually patient prankster for sure. I used to think JB just split with out saying “goodbye”, WTF? I no longer think that. As indicated by my previous post; I also agree with thoreau in that, I find some of your posts interesting regardless of your identity.

  142. thoreau,

    Also, Walter Willis never acquitted himself of your accusations that he was responsible for the Spice Girls! This is an offence so heinous that it justifies a three-year ban from H&R. However, I was going to suggest that it be commuted to just two years because Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham) is drop dead gorgeous: http://tinyurl.com/6ayzh

  143. thanks thoreau!

    rick,

    don’t you ever sleep???

    cheers,
    drf

  144. drf,

    Well, 02:02 AM is “only” 12:02 AM, my time. But to answer your question; I don’t sleep nearly enough and it leads to some silly goofs on occasion when I’m posting very late. See the Johnny Ramone thread.

  145. hey rick,

    gotcha. there’s an evil eastern time conspiracy that affects us all…

    greetings from chicago.

    (and was listening to “beat on the brat”, “9 to 5 world”, “all is quiet on the eastern front”, and their remake of “let’s dance”)…

    check out “harmonyinmyhead.com” which is henry rollins’s radio program. fantastic.

    happy friday,
    drf

  146. Hi dfr,

    To you as well from Denver. Thanks for the hint. I’ll check it out.

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