CBS NEWSRove-Gannon Connection?Sat Feb 19, 2005 05:0922.214.171.124Video of Gannon on Anderson Cooper
WASHINGTON, Feb. 18, 2005
Karl Rove took a victory lap at an SRO lunch at the Conservative Political Action Committee meeting at the Ronald Reagan building in Washington on Thursday. After a glowing introduction by Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, Rove proclaimed "conservatism as the dominant political creed in America," but warned Republicans not to get complacent or grow "tired and timid." He recalled the dark days when the Democrats were dominant and cautioned that that could happen again if they let down their guard. The new White House deputy chief of staff also called on conservatives to "seize the mantle of idealism."
Tired and timid are two adjectives never applied to Rove. The architect of the Bush victories in 2000 and 2004 came through the ranks of college Republicans with the late Lee Atwater, and their admitted and alleged dirty tricks are the legends many young political operatives dream of pulling off. So when Jeff Gannon, White House "reporter" for Talon "News," was unmasked last week, the leap to a possible Rove connection was unavoidable. Gannon says that he met Rove only once, at a White House Christmas party, and Gannon is kind of small potatoes for Rove at this point in his career.
But Rove's dominance of White House and Republican politics, Gannon's aggressively partisan work and the ease with which he got day passes for the White House press room the past two years make it hard to believe that he wasn't at least implicitly sanctioned by the "boy genius." Rove, who rarely gave on-the-record interviews to the MSM (mainstream media), had time to talk to GOPUSA, which owns Talon.
GOPUSA and Talon are both owned by Bobby Eberle, a Texas Republican and business associate of conservative direct-mail guru Bruce Eberle who says that Bobby is from the "Texas branch of the Eberle clan." Bobby Eberle told The New York Times that he created Talon to build a news service with a conservative slant and "if someone were to see 'GOPUSA,' there's an instant built-in bias there." No kidding.
Some of the real reporters in the White House pressroom were apparently annoyed at Gannon's presence and his softball, partisan questions, but considered him only a minor irritant. One told me he thought of Gannon as a balance for the opinionated liberal questions of Hearst's Helen Thomas. But what Gannon was up to was not just writing opinion columns or using a different technique to get information. He was a player in Republican campaigns and his work in the South Dakota Senate race illustrates the role he played. It is also a classic example of how political operatives are using the brave new world of the Internet and the blogosphere. Gannon and Talon News appear to be mini-Drudge reports; a "news" source which partisans use to put out negative information, get the attention of the bloggers, talk radio and then the MSM in a way that mere press releases are unable to achieve.
One of Gannon's first projects was an attempt to discredit the South Dakota Argus Leader, South Dakota's major paper, and its longtime political writer, David Kranz. According to the National Journal, which reported on this last November, Gannon wrote a series of articles in the summer of 2003 alleging that Kranz, who went to college with Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle, was not only sympathetic to him but was an actual part of the Daschle campaign. These articles then got a huge amount of play on the blogs of John Lauck and Jason Van Beek, and were picked up by other conservative sites and talk radio. The paper was bombarded with messages about its bias and acknowledges that these had an impact on its coverage.
Daschle opponent John Thune's campaign manager was Dick Wadham, an old political crony of Karl Rove's; the kind of pal Rove could ask to hire his first cousin, John Wood, a few years back. Wadham put the bloggers on the campaign payroll and the symbiotic relationship between the campaign, the bloggers and "reporter" Gannon” continued. On September 29, Gannon broke the story that Daschle had claimed a special tax exemption for a house in Washington and the bloggers jumped all over it. According to a November 17 posting on South Dakota Politics – a site that Van Beek, who has become a staffer for now-Sen. Thune, has bequeathed to Lauck – "Jeff Gannon, whose reportage had a dramatic impact on the Daschle v. Thune race (his story about Sen. Daschle signing a legal document claiming to be a D.C. resident was published nearly the same day Thune began to run an ad showing Daschle saying, "I'm a D.C. resident) has written an analysis of the debacle."
Daschle aides told Roll Call, "This guy (Gannon) became the dumping ground for opposition research." The connections are so strong that there is an FEC challenge which could be a test case on the limits of the use of the Internet in federal campaigns.
Gannon also had Thune on his radio show "Jeff Gannon's Washington," and the White House correspondent for Talon became touted as the "resident D.C. expert on South Dakota politics" by the bloggers. Thune and Wadham (who has been hired by aspiring White House Republican Sen. George Allen) have become go-to guys on the use of blogs in campaigns. Thune was cited in The New York Times as introducing "Senators to the meaning of 'blogging,' explaining the basics of self-published online political commentary and arguing that it can affect public opinion."
This week Democrats, who have serious case of Rove envy, went a little nuts and started sending around information and graphic pictures of Gannon and his porn Web sites. But it is the more routine part of Gannon's life that deserves serious scrutiny. Planting or even just sanctioning a political operative in the WH press room is a dangerous precedent and Karl Rove's hope to become a respected policymaker will be hampered if the dirty tricks from his political past are more apparent than his desire to spread liberty around the globe.
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The Pink Triangle: Homosexuality Rampant in top Republican Circles: White House Staff’s Involvement
Underage Homo Prostitutes Return To The White House
Memories Of Franklin Coverup As Jeff Gannon, Republican CIA Operative, Removed From White House Press Core Over Gay Porno Links
February 12, 2005
Washington, DC -- A member of the White House press corps who had access to secret CIA memos was removed from his position after it was discovered he was involved in a gay prostitution service that offered sex with underage boys.
Jeff Gannon's resignation is not the first time that gay and child prostitution has tainted a Bush White House. In 1989, during the first Bush administration, a senior Washington Times editor, who had also been involved in a 1970s scandal involving underage gay prostitution and a Maryland Republican Congressman, was reassigned to editor-in-chief of the Montgomery Journal, and several Secret Service officers and lobbyists were punished or arrested after it was discovered that they had been bringing underage boy prostitutes into the White House for sex with parties whose identity is still undisclosed.
[Bill: Copies of the Washington Times and New York Times articles here: http://www.thelawparty.com/FranklinCoverup/franklin.htm ]
Republicans have also been accused of involvement in international child sex rings, including those linked to the Zionist Entity and Jewish organized crime. Such rings have been the source of embarassment to Zionist officials when they have been discovered in Brazil, Russia and Italy, and a huge scandal that led to the arrest and conviction of Republican fundraiser Larry King (no relation to the TV talk show host) was swept under the rug when senior Republican Party officials were implicated.
A larger excerpt of the story involving Gannon follows:
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Stirring the White House honey pot
Why, when I read the name - actually, pseudonymn - "Jeff Gannon," do I see the name Craig Spence?
It's unlikely you've missed this 24-hour flap, but in a nutshell, so to speak, here's the story. At least as it appears for mainstream America's tabloid consumption, which is the only way most Americans will see it.
"Jeff Gannon" and Jim Guckert:
Today's New York Daily News:
Bush Press Pal Quits Over Gay Prostie Link
A conservative ringer who was given a press pass to the White House and lobbed softball questions at President Bush quit yesterday after left-leaning Internet bloggers discovered possible ties to gay prostitution. ...
Gannon began covering the White House two years ago for an obscure Republican Web site (Talon-News.com). He was known for his friendly questions, including asking Bush at last month's news conference how he could work with Democrats "who seem to have divorced themselves from reality."
Gannon was also given a classified CIA memo that named agent Valerie Plame, leading to his grilling by the grand jury investigating her outing.
....online sleuths at DailyKos.com figured out that his real name was Jim Guckert and he owned various Web sites, including HotMilitaryStud.com, MilitaryEscorts.com and MilitaryEscortsM4M.com.
On his TalonNews Web site, Gannon had written that liberals were out to get him because he's a white conservative man who owns a gun, drives a sport- utility vehicle and is a born-again Christian.
"The issue here is whether someone with connections to male prostitution was given unfettered access to the White House and copies of internal CIA documents. For a family values administration, that's pretty creepy," said John Aravosis, one of the bloggers chasing the story.
Well no; not quite. The issue is far more serious than the creep-factor for a - give me freakin' break - "family values administration."
Gannon wasn't much of a journalist, not even of the pretend kind. Not much of a White House shill, either. Though the Bush team couldn't fault him for his slavish devotion to the party line, he wrote for the very limited cyber readership of "TalonNews," which appears now to have folded up and blown away, like every good cut-out once its cover is blown. The White House does not want for friends in corporate media with far greater reach. And the CIA's Operation Mockingbird, we recall, served up far bigger fish than the likes of Gannon. So why did the virtual one-man show of TalonNews receive such pride of place?
To answer that, we should probably ask the rhetorical question: what other purpose could a male prostitute possibly serve in the White House press corp? Or, I suppose, whom could he serve? (Wolf Blitzer had better be careful. His blustery defence of Gannon yesterday had the ring of someone protesting too much.)
Which brings us to that Craig Spence fellow.
Spence was a conservative lobbyist during the Reagan-Bush years. The New York Times called him "Washington's ultimate power broker." He was also running a gay prostitution ring which employed adolescent boys. As perks of the job, he treated his boys to after-hour tours of the White House. In The Washington Times of August 9, 1989, Spence "hinted the tours were arranged by top level" persons, including Vice President Bush's National Security Advisor Donald Gregg, whose name also figures prominently in the October Surprise story. The paper added that "Spence, according to friends, was also carrying out homosexual blackmail operations for the CIA."
David McGowan writes that one of the White House tours "occurred just after Spence stopped by the Nightline studio to see his friend, Ted Koppel. Spence reportedly introduced Koppel to a 15-year-old boy, whom Koppel later claimed Spence had introduced as his son. Koppel though had been a close friend for over 20 years and surely knew that Spence did not have a teenage son."
Any wonder why this scandal - a sex scandal, even - died one of the quickest and quietest of deaths? Only briefly, and not everywhere, was it was front page news. As when it broke, on June 29, 1989:
From a follow-up story of June 30, 1989:
Among the clients identified in hundreds of credit-card vouchers obtained by The Washington Times - and identified by male prostitutes and escort operators - are government officials, locally based US military officers, businessmen, lawyers, bankers, congressional aides, media representatives and other professionals.
Mr. Spence's influence appeared unlimited, aptly demonstrated by his ability to arrange midnight tours of the White House, according to three persons who said they took part in those tours. ...
After arriving in Washington in the late 1970s, Mr. Spence was hosting parties during the early Reagan years attended by, among others, journalists Eric Sevareid, Ted Koppel and William Safire; former CIA Director William Casey; the late John Mitchell, attorney general in the Nixon administration; conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly; Ambassador James Lilley; and Gen. Alfred M. Gray, the commandant of the Marine Corps. ...
According to many current and former friends, Mr. Spence was a dangerous friend to cultivate. Several former associates said his house on Wyoming Avenue was bugged and had a secret two-way mirror, and that he attempted to ensnare visitors into compromising sexual encounters that he could then use as leverage. ...
Several friends said Mr. Spence bragged that U.S. military personnel, for whom he had built a gymnasium in El Salvador, had smuggled cocaine back to him when they returned to the United States. ...
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials said this week they had no evidence of any such operation. ...
[An acquaintance] described Mr. Spence as "strange," saying that he often boasted that he was working for the CIA and on one occasion said he was going to disappear for awhile "because he had an important CIA assignment."
According to the businessman, Mr. Spence told him that the CIA might "doublecross him," however, and kill him instead "and then to make it look like a suicide."
It should probably be noted here that it wasn't until November of that year that Spence's body was found in a Boston hotel room, his death ruled a suicide.
From David McGowan's Pedophacracy:
The Spence story never really registered on the national media’s radar screen. Despite being a largely Republican scandal, it was completely ignored by such pillars of the purportedly liberal press as the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. The story soon disappeared entirely and Washington and the media proceeded to pretend as though nothing had ever happened. According to a Washington Times reporter, the paper trail was quickly covered up. Some 20,000 documents pertaining to the case were sealed by court order and the U.S. Attorney’s office issued a gag order on the release of information. By the time that Craig Spence turned up dead in a Boston hotel less than five months after the story first broke, he had been all but forgotten. He had earlier told a friend: “I may be disappearing soon. It will be sudden. It may appear to be a suicide, but it won’t be.”
Spence was reportedly found lying on his bed in room 429 of the Ritz- Carlton Hotel, wearing a tuxedo and with a telephone cradled to his ear and a Walkman headset around his neck. He had, according to the Independent, “no obvious signs of injury,” and “police refused to comment on the cause of death.” The door to the room was barricaded. Written on the mirror were several messages, one of which read: “Chief, consider this my resignation, effective immediately. As you always said, you can’t ask others to make a sacrifice if you are not ready to do the same. Life is duty. God bless America.” Another was an apology to the hotel: “To
- Gannongate threatens to expose a huge GOP pedophile ring... Wayne Madsen, Sat Feb 19 20:32
- Gannon/Guckert talks to Wash. Post (and so does Aravosis) Joe in DC, Sat Feb 19 05:23
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