Patterico's Pontifications

6/4/2011

#Weinergate: My Interview With Mike Stack

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 4:23 pm

[Guest post by Lee Stranahan]

More reasons to question the story of @PatriotUSA76 and his involvement in the Rep. Anthony Weiner story.

In his online interview with FilmLadd, “Dan Wolfe” says…

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

Got that? A “got forwarded of a forward of a forward of a forward to me”? But as Patterico asks

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?

In this interview Stack says that this is not at all what Patriot told him  and answers other questions about the anonymous persona who ‘threw him under the bus”…and denies any involvement with the reported (and alleged) hack on Weiner’s account.

 

I’m pretty sure I mangle Ladd’s name in the interview. Sorry, Ladd.

- Lee Stranahan

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: In case you didn’t listen: in the interview, Stack says that Patriot claimed that the supposedly forwarded e-mail regarding the rumor was not forwarded. Stack says Patriot disappeared and threw him under the bus, tossing him away like a piece of garbage. Stack says he has received many tweets where people say they have his address and his e-mail. The Smoking Gun has published information about him. He is getting e-mails from different reporters. One person told him he has seen his house and knows where he lives, and that he has seen a Google view of his house. People are talking about his role in “framing” Weiner, which he denies. He says he was away from a computer until Monday. He reads some of the tweets. He says he feels like Patriot put him in this position, and has gone underground and left him holding the bag.

He say Patriot drove the discussions about Weiner. He says Patriot had talked to them about the evils of Anthony Weiner.

Lee finally asks Stack whether it’s possible that Patriot had something to do with the appearance of the tweet. Stack says he is on the fence, but that he thinks there is a chance.

Question About That Dan Wolfe Interview

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:06 pm

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.

Right?

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?

We don’t.

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.”

#Weinergate: Patriot Games

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 7:05 am

[Guest Post by Lee Stranahan]

I’m loath to link to this piece in The Smoking Gun because it’s ‘personal destruction’ brought to a new low. It brings up a lot of stuff that’s totally irrelevant to the Weinergate story about someone who really hasn’t put themselves into the public eye about this story. It’s so over the top and clearly off-topic that it s fair I think to ask if there is a political motivation for going after him?

But – I link to it because it tells a story that illustrates why I called Patriot a liar and manipulator.

Some people have wondered about a tweet sent out a few weeks ago that seems to have predicted the photo scandal. The tweet was not sent by Patriot aka Dan Wolfe – except, it really was. Patriot is the one who claims to have had the info but he didn’t send it out himself.

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. He also vehemently denied that he was Wolfe.

To review: Patriot got Mike to tweet something, which Mike did. Patriot retweeted it – in order to make it appear as though he was merely retweeting something somebody else had said. Anyone looking at the record would attribute the origin of the rumor to Mike, not Patriot.

Mike is a victim of Patriot – a fake internet persona, that nobody seems to have ever talked to or been able to track down any evidence about. Patriot / Dan Wolfe isn’t real. 

There was a time that I considered the possibility that Mike WAS Patriot. Now, I know with 100% certainty that that is not the case.

Mike is a real person. That’s clear from the piece and I talked to him several times on the phone. He is flesh and blood – I might not agree with his politics or his baseball rooting (he’s a Yankees fan, I’m BoSox) but I’d have a beer with the guy. He strikes me as very sincere.

The fake Dan Wolfe abused the trust of the real Mike Stack – who is now splashed on the pages of The Smoking Gun for no good reason.

The people defending ‘Dan Wolfe’ need to stop and seriously reconsider why they are defending someone who isn’t even honest about who they are. The ‘Dan Wolfe’ they are defending engaged in a long vendetta against Rep. Weiner and wasn’t even honest with with his ALLIES in that endeavor about who they were.

And as soon as the shit hit the fan, Patriot vanished to leave other people holding the bag. Defend THAT.

- Lee Stranahan

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: As I say in a post below, I’m personally convinced Wolfe is a man, based on the FilmLadd interview, in which Wolfe comes across as a crotchety, annoying, stubborn, not very bright, no-you-listen-to-ME type of older white male. He could probably have a great career on talk radio if he has an annoying voice, as he reminds me very much of a certain radio host. If he is a woman or some kind of corporate conglomerate then she/they are a hell of a great actor(s).

Lee’s post, as many of his posts lately, seems to be based on undisclosed facts. And maybe it is. If so, I think he should be more clear about that point. Until I hear something new, my assumption is that Dan Wolfe, with his LMAOs and LOLs and other irritating Internet tics, is an obsessive and dim-witted distraction.

UPDATE x2: Lee has appeared in comments and sounds as confident as ever. Obviously he’s got something.

It will be interesting to see what that is.

UPDATE x3: Here is Lee’s comment:

I’m going to get credit from people when it turns out my concerns about Patriot are well founded, correct?

Just asking — I’ll take the slings and arrows now as long some of you are going to promise to be big enough to admit you were wrong.

You know what? I think I’m going to stop issuing opinions about this and let it all play out. It’s clear from his comment that Lee thinks he has something. Let’s see what that is and give him some credit.

#Weinergate: Going Where The Facts Take Us

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 6:25 am

[Guest post by Lee Stranahan]

To my mind, not being biased in an unfolding story like #Weinergate means not having a fixed conclusion in mind that you’re trying to ‘prove’. It’s a matter of approach. If you are keeping an unbiased, open mind toward a conclusion, it’s part of the process to come up with theories that explain the available facts. But these are theories. You test them, poke at them and if new facts available that contradict them, you abandon the theory.

A biased process abandons facts, in order to save the theory.

An unbiased process will often have multiple theories. That’s not a flaw or a weakness. It’s a virtue in the investigative process. It’s an acknowledgement during the course of unwrapping an evolving mystery, the facts may point in a few different directions logically. As more facts come out, these possibilities become winnowed down.

I approach this story the same way I try to approach all stories – by keeping a mind open to any conclusion, but in a constant and actively inquisitive process that tries and abandons possibilities based on the facts.

So, let’s talk about Patriot for a moment.

I have suggested that it’s possible Patriot is a woman. The recent interview with Ladd doesn’t provide a single fact that would prove or disprove that. It doesn’t do anything to answer the thing that raises the question in the first place, which is Patriot’s refusal to talk on the phone. Patriot didn’t talk to Ladd on the phone. Ladd asked many times about why Patriot hasn’t spoken to anyone on the phone and Patriot’s answers still don’t make any sense.

What we know for a fact right now is that nobody seems to have ever talked to Patriot on the phone. Not after this story broke and not before. Nobody. Ever.

Am I saying Patriot is a woman? Nope. I never said that. I said Patriot MIGHT be a women. That would explain the reticence to get on a phone call. That’s what I’ve said and so far, it’s still a valid, active theory with no facts that contradict it.

But it’s not the only theory. They might have an identifiable voice or accent. They might not have a phone. They might be a deaf-mute. They might be a paranoid techy who worries about the call being traced.

I raised the ‘woman’ possibility because there are OTHER facts in the story that might lend some credence to it.

Is Patriot a man or a woman? A group of people? I don’t know and I’ve never claimed to know. Nobody I’ve encountered except “Patriot” knows. That is a fact. Nobody knows. There’s a reason for that.

The facts gathered so far tell me one thing I’m sure about: Patriot is a liar and a manipulator. I’m 100% sure on that.

None of this means that Rep. Weiner isn’t hiding something. I’ve never said anything other than that so I’ll say it again so I’m not misrepresented – I believe that Rep. Weiner is hiding something. I’ve written at length about it. And it’s entirely possible that he is hiding something fairly major.

But I can write about more than one thing. I can pursue multiple lines of inquiry. In fact, I feel honor bound to look at the story Patriot is telling with the same skepticism that I look at the story Anthony Weiner is telling.

Both Patriot and Weiner have acted in bizarre ways and made statements that only serve to raise further questions. I reject completely the idea that either story isn’t worth investigating.

Getting to the truth of this story will ultimately require that the truth comes out about both Weiner and Patriot. Until we get to that truth, I’ll continue to examine both.

- Lee Stranahan


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