When I read FilmLadd’s interview with Dan Wolfe, one thing about their talk raised questions in my mind.
But before I go into them, I think it’s very important to explain why it could matter. Why would all of this matter? I concluded last night, after reading the FilmLadd interview, that Patriot was who he said he was. But then Lee Stranahan appeared in comments sounding very certain that he has information, not yet revealed, that will show he is right about all this. So I’m back to being agnostic. I’m going to ask questions and let it all play out.
And while I am asking the questions, I want to address the important issue of why it could matter. So let me start with by taking issue with the analysis of the one guy whom Patriot termed a genius on all of this — Ace of Spades — and suggest that Ace’s analysis is not necessarily correct.
So we’re all interested in PatriotUSA76 for only one real reason: Did he do a hack?
That’s the only real way that PatriotUSA76 becomes relevant as regards Weiner’s guilt. If PatriotUSA76 did not just monitor and stalk Weiner’s account, but actually hacked it, then PatriotUSA76 is very relevant.
If he didn’t hack it, he’s irrelevant. Maybe there’s an interesting story here about a campaign tracker, and I’d like to read that story, sure, but that story is irrelevant to Weiner’s guilt.
A tracker doesn’t get him off.
Only a hacker gets him off.
So: Was there a hack? Let’s begin with the question we’re trying to answer. Because we actually can answer it.
I don’t see how you get around the fact that if Weiner doesn’t call the cops, that means he knows there’s no hacker.
This is like Poker. You know your opponent’s cards through his behavior.
You can’t see his cards, but he can see his cards, and you can see the bets he’s placing and his demeanor.
From his behavior and bets, one card Anthony Weiner is NOT holding is the “Hacker” card.
If he held the Ace of Hack, or the King of Hack, or even the Deuce of Hack, he’d play it and call the FBI.
I love Ace, but his analysis has a gaping hole big enough to drive a truck through. Patriot could have hacked Weiner’s Twitter and Weiner would be behaving the same way — if the information Patriot had was information that Weiner didn’t want the FBI looking into.
Isn’t that obvious? Weiner’s behavior shows that he doesn’t want the FBI looking into all this. That much is obvious. But is it obvious that the only possible reason is because he sent the picture? What if he didn’t send the picture — but the picture is evidence of something else that he is trying to hide, like an affair? [UPDATE: Or, that he sends these kinds of pictures out to young girls all the time?] Wouldn’t he behave the same way?
I submit Weiner’s behavior shows he’s guilty, but we’re not entirely certain of what. And that is where Patriot comes in. His behavior, as the person who broke the story of the tweet of the picture, and as someone who seemed to have foreknowledge of the picture, may or may not shed light on what Weiner is guilty of: sending out a picture of his shorts, or something else.
So the questions are worth asking.
I found this part of the interview interesting:
Filmladd (4:49:08 PM) [asking a question from Ace]: “How did he know that a “top 5 blogger” had some sex scandal on Weiner, two weeks before this incident? I know he says it was a retweet; but what did he know of this? Who floated this, and did he have further details about it? If no details, what did he suspect?”
danwolfe7676 (4:49:48 PM): A rumor came floating around the net and I am actualy surprised more people didn’t get it
danwolfe7676 (4:50:02 PM): I don’t know where the original source was
danwolfe7676 (4:50:15 PM): It got forwarded of a forward of a forward of a forward to me
Does anyone know what he’s talking about? I never heard any such rumor. Did any of you — before Mike Stack and Dan Wolfe started talking about it?
One more thing. That Smoking Gun article about Mike Stack contains the following passage:
Stack also contended that while he sent out the May 5 tweet first hinting that a “big time” Congressman was about to be ensnared in a sex scandal, he claimed that Wolfe actually provided him that information. Wolfe, Stack said, told him that he had heard the rumor from a source who worked for a well-known conservative web site.
After Stack sent out the initial tweet, Wolfe quickly ran with the rumor, attributing it–“via@goatsred”–to his online buddy. In retweets, Wolfe immediately attached Weiner’s name to the rumor, wondering “@RepWeiner are you this Congressman?” Stack did not have an explanation as to why Wolfe sought to launder the rumor through him.
If Stack is telling the truth — which we don’t know — then Wolfe wanted to disguise his status as the provenance of the rumor. Why would that be? Because he didn’t want people asking him questions about where he got his information, I would assume.
Maybe it’s just because he’s paranoid. I don’t know. Is that why Wolfe deleted his entire Twitter account yesterday? I don’t know. It was considered to be suspicious when the woman in Seattle deleted hers. Her proffered explanation was privacy; Wolfe’s no doubt would be as well. Do we know? I don’t know.
Lee Stranahan has hinted in comments here that he has information yet to come to light. What is that? Again, I don’t know. But last night Stranahan published this mysterious post on his site accusing Wolfe of dishonesty:
But here’s my short response, directly to Patriot – you lied to people who considered you a friend and then you threw them under the bus to take the fall for your own long-term resentment towards Rep. Weiner. That’s not cool. man.
Wonder what he’s talking about there?
There is enough here of interest that I am going to wait it out and see what Lee comes up with. I know only one thing: none of this lets Weiner off the hook. Not by a longshot. There is NO WAY that his behavior is consistent with that of an innocent person. He’s guilty, all right.
The interesting question is: of what?
UPDATE: I’m starting to think that the heart of the Weiner scandal lies in Tommy Christopher piece about Patriot’s buddy, goatsred aka Mike Stack, who contacted girls who said they had compromising DMs from Weiner. Christopher says that one of them (“Veronica,” whose real name is out there on the Internet; I know it) “admits” she had lied to Stack.
Admits? Or claims?
How do we know she wasn’t telling the truth to goatsred/Stack?
How do we know goatsred, and Patriot, didn’t get that picture from these girls?
And SarahW points out something very telling in the comments:
As an aside about that being “lies, all lies..”
It struck me this am that Betty and her parents, now insisting that Betty received only a “welcome” DM from Weiner, implied something more than that type of message or correspondence with Weiner when she was first followed.
It was a tweet she made that really piqued the interest of DW and MS –
@[Betty]: seriously talking to Rep Weiner from New York right now! is my life real? [UPDATE BY PATTERICO: This may not be "Betty." See below.]
(above taken from @TommyXtophers copy of DW’ twitter stream and DW’s retweet of @[Betty]‘s tweet)
Ok. To me That sounds more conversatin’ than “Welcome to my twitter stream” followed by eternal crickets; and I would guess if announced on twitter, she was DMing back and forth with him, though email or phone or other method is always possible.
The real scandal here may turn out to be that Rep. Anthony Weiner has been tweeting pictures of his erect penis to numerous women. Not just one.
UPDATE x2: Christopher is claiming on Twitter that the above tweet is not Betty. Whether he is protecting his source, a young girl, or telling the truth, I don’t know. I would generally not accuse him of lying, but given his feelings about protecting young girls, I can imagine him lying about this if he thought he was protecting his source.
UPDATE x3: I am willing to accept what Christopher has said regarding that quote not being a quote from “Betty.”