media prostitute: pimping to power
sexual blackmail and the Bush White House - Republicans redefine Media Whore
"He actually had two jobs - one was sleazy and shameful, the other was a gay male prostitute."
-- comedian Bill Maher, February 18, 2005
This link has a 6 minute quicktime video clip from the show - hilarious, worth watching. Refreshing to see a mainstream media journalist (Leslie Stahl) and Democratic Senator Joe Biden raising serious questions.
- Karl Rove: Bush's Brain www.oilempire.us/karlrove.html
- George W. Bush: "my Scott is prettier than your Scott"
This is a bizarre story that had considerable potential to disrupt the second Bush term. (It's sad that the volumnous credible evidence for 9/11 complicity, the massacres in Iraq and Afghanistan, setting up a network of concentration camps, sado-masochistic sexual torture, massive financial looting of trillions from the federal budget, tampering with the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections, the Wellstone "plane crash," the anthrax letters sent to the Democratic leadership in the Senate and the media, and many other scandals have not yet been sufficient to achieve accountability. Oil we are saying - is give impeachment a chance!)
The "war on gays" seems similar to the "war on drugs" -- some of its proponents secretly dabble in the forbidden fruit. Tens of billions are spent to supposedly stop drug production and distribution even as US wars in Asia and Latin America rely on secret funding from the drugs trade.
The "Gannon" story, and the previous call boy scandal in the Bush White House in 1989, suggests the use of homophobia as a tool of control over elites by elites in government circles. The notorious FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who viciously used bigotry to smear public (and private) figures, was secretly in a de facto gay marriage with Clyde Tolson, his deputy at the FBI. Roy Cohn, the vicious red baiting assistant to Senator Joe McCarthy, was exposed late in his life as another closeted gay fascist (he died of AIDS).
A similar story involved some of the principles in the conspiracy to kill President Kennedy -- a couple of the plotters came from the homosexual underworld of New Orleans (David Ferrie, Clay Shaw). That story was partially told in Oliver Stone's film JFK. (To his credit, District Attorney Jim Garrison, who prosecuted Mr. Shaw for his participation in the plot, chose to avoid discussing Shaw's homosexuality -- but it is virtually certain that Shaw's covert controllers used his full identity as a form of blackmail.)
Perhaps the blatant hypocrisy of these scandals will cause many in our society to re-examine these prejudices, but such a positive outcome would remove the ability of this particular flavor of hate to be used as a perverse form of social control and domination (just like drug decriminalization or legalization would reduce the "need" for repressive laws, increased prison budgets and make it more difficult to funnel untraceable cash to covert wars around the world).This website hopes that Mr. Guckert, or whatever his real name is, has made copies of whatever materials he has to reduce the risk that he will be found "suicided" as is the practice in Washington to dispose of troublesome eyewitnesses.
also from the humorous department - "The Creation
a spoof of a VERY famous piece of art -- click here
Secret Service records raise new questions about discredited conservative reporter
By John Byrne RAW STORY Editor
Bush's Texas neighbours welcome the man and the mindset
By ALAN FREEMAN
Wednesday, March 23, 2005 Page A4
CRAWFORD, TEX. --
Mr. Bush comes by the restaurant occasionally, the last time was the Friday after U.S. Thanksgiving. The routine is always the same.
"The Secret Service comes first. They secure the area. We turn the fuel pumps off and they bring in the dog. They're very discreet.
"Then they come in and he signs autographs and visits with the people," she said, bringing a framed collection of 12 photos from the November visit.
"He loves rubbing bald heads. He says it brings him luck."
Feb. 22, 2005, 8:10PM
If Newt is warning DeLay about ethics, times are bad
By CRAGG HINES
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle
Given his own aggressively partisan background, [Newt] Gingrich expressed surprise that Democrats aren't piling on more on issues such as Republican contracts with conservative commentators and the White House's admission of a pro-Republican male hooker to the press corps.
parallels to a similar call boy scandal in the first Bush administration White House.
The Gannon scandal may not be that he was undeserving of accreditation, or a shameless cheerleader, or even a prostitute. (It ain't for nothing that members of the press are called "media whores.") The scandal may be that "Jeff Gannon" was a honey pot: a lure, floated in the press pool by the White House to compromise persons of influence. Something Gannon, or rather Jim Guckert, certainly was not.
and a comment posted by a reader of that page:
There is evidence that Hitler used latent homosexuality to maintain fear-based control - the fear of being "outed" and shipped off to the camps with the Jews. The party that is most against homosexuality is likely creating an atmosphere where any non-straight tendencies could compromise one's career. Sort of like the Catholic church - denounce pedophilia while harboring a great number of them. It's a great method of control, from their perspective.
I bet this is just the tip of the iceberg and it extends throughout the party. If the GOP could just come out of the closet, I bet they've advanced more gays to positions of political power than the democrats have.
did the [Washington] Times initially play this story as big as it did in order to win influence over the Bush White House? In other words, Look - we got the goods - what you gonna do about it? The Times said it had the names of Spence's clients, and that they included politicians, as well as military, media and business figures. Blackmail, it's called in impolite circles. This could explain why the scandal was made to go away virtually overnight, the names undisclosed. Because, they did something about it.
The Franklin Coverup Scandal
The Child sex ring that reached Bush/Reagan Whitehouse
Reporter with prostitution links and false name got access to Bush; Questions surface on relationship with White House staff
Questions fly on Guckert’s relationship with White House
Sex Lies and Jeff Gannon
This story isn't about sex – although Gannon's reported sideline as a gay escort (or was his "journalism" the sideline?) could figure even more prominently as the personal and the political meet and merge in this case. It's about a bitterly fought internal power struggle inside the Bush administration, pitting the neoconservative clique centered in the office of the vice president and the civilian upper echelons of the Pentagon against the remnants of resistance in the intelligence community, in the top ranks of the military, and in the diplomatic corps. It's about the lies the former told in order to bamboozle Congress and the nation into a disastrous conflict in the Middle East – and the crimes they committed in covering up the lies. It's a story about the neocon "alternative" media – such as "Talon News" and its many proliferating clones in cyberspace and the world of print and television – the purpose of which is to refract and distort images of an unjust and increasingly troubling war into the illusion of "victory." It's about payola pundits and media whores who swallow the party line without question and without even charging a fee. If Gannon is a plant, then what about the other right-wing screamers and ranters with an identical agenda and tactics who are, in many cases, just as sleazy?
Who planted Gannon in the White House press pool, and gave him all that access – and to what purpose? Clearly part of the scheme was to lob softball questions at a beleaguered White House press secretary facing a barrage of pointed questions about the war and the Bush administration's many scandals. However, the idea was also to debunk and distract attention away from the questions that were beginning to be raised not only about the Plame matter, but also about the series of outright fabrications that represented a great deal of this administration's case for going to war. That case had been made by influential neocons now facing scrutiny from Congress and the Justice Department, and Gannon served as their personal pitbull, going after Wilson and other debunkers of the neocons' war myth.
Jeff Gannon and Valerie Plame scandal
Gannon and CBS "memos" scandal?
GOPUSA (the parent organization sponsoring "Jeff Gannon" and "Talon News" thanks Karl Rove for personally helping them in 2004.
How come no one is asking the obvious question in all of this?
If our intelligence services see all and know all...and if Mr. Guckert/Gannon is the PERFECT intelligence asset (Compromised by his sexuality, broke, conscienceless, ex-military...perfect.), then just where do the spooks come down in all of this?
If there is a war going on between the old line of the CIA...the left wing of the right wing, so to speak...and the neo-cons (plus their NEW intelligence boys who have been put in to act as company cops for the administration), then on which side does Guckert really reside?
Is he a plant simply put there to drop softball pitches in for the Semi-President to hit out of the park?
Or is he an incompetent patsy placed there by those who would like to take the neo-cons down?
I'm all for the latter result, myself, but let's get real here.
If his appearance on the CNN news Friday is any indication, he is a BIG time loser.
The PERFECT patsy.
Eyes darting around the room, mouth making obscene little gestures like the maw of a lamprey suddenly deprived of a meal...so unappetizing as to be a casting director's dream.
"Hold it Sid!!! We've got our David Ferrie right HERE!!!"
He would fit right into any number of supporting roles in the JFK thing, in Watergate...
So who is this guy, really...?
During the JFK and Watergate investigations, there was NOTHING that resembled the power of the internet.
But now...there are THOUSANDS of us. Let's really find out who this man is.
What's his military record?
Has he disappeared from sight for any length of time?
Has he made any other mistakes?
And most importantly...where does his money really come from?
Who supports Talon News and GOPUSA?
REALLY supports them.
Follow the money to find the rainbow.
Follow the rainbow to find the storm.
it is the hypocrisy that is such a challenge to grasp in this story. This is the same White House that ran for office on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. While they are surrounded by gay hookers? While they use a gay hooker to write articles for their gay hating political base? While they use a gay hooker to destroy a political enemy? Not to mention the hypocrisy of a "reporter" who chooses to publish article after article defending the ant-gay religious-right point of view on gay civil rights issue.
Who in the White House is at the center of all of this? Who allowed this to go on in the People's House? Who committed the crime of exposing Valerie Plame? Jeff Gannon has the answers to these questions, and boy we know he loves to talk.
Did George W. Bush Have Sex with That Man, James Guckert?
www.bettybowers.com/isbushgay.html parody site - get your Male Prostitute White House Pass here
CBS suggests a link between Karl Rove and "Jeff Gannon"
National Field Director for Republican Party sought unsafe sex, multiple partners online; Admits to profile but can’t recall content
By John Byrne | RAW STORY Editor 11/16/2004
The National Field Director and deputy political director for the Republican National Committee Daniel Gurley solicited unprotected sex and multiple sex partners in an online profile at Gay.com, in seeming contradiction with the Party’s call for abstinence and positions on gay issues.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Is Ken Mehlman Gay? (Republican National Commitee chair)
from The Progressive Review, February 18, 2005
ALL JEFF GANNON ALL THE TIME
IN AN ABRUPT and somewhat tardy move, the Review has started to pay attention to the Jeff Gannon story. We originally thought it nothing more than a case of some guy being paid to ask softball questions at a White House news conference, hardly more despicable than the far more common practice of reporters asking them for free. But then came the sex angle and the realization that the only remaining grounds for termination of public office in Washington are an illegal nannie or gay sex.
Since DC has a large and happily out gay community it may seem a bit odd that a straight eye for a gay guy could get into such trouble, but these acts are sometimes accompanied by less pleasant activities such as bribery for governmental favors or blackmail. Further, there have been persistent reports, as Wayne Madsen writes, of a GOP pedophile and male prostitution ring.
Sex and corrupt politics in DC is nothing new. For example, during the Civil War there were 450 brothels in the capital. Part of the mythology of Washington, however, is what might be called the Jim Lehrer Illusion, which is to say that all people in DC do is sit around and rationally debate policy alternatives. In fact, Washington politics is also heavily driven by cowardice, bribery, blackmail, deceit, fear, loyalty to old buddies and even older bodies, cooptation, sex, and just plain crime. Journalists who pretend otherwise either don't understand what is going on or are covering for someone.
The public often misunderstands the importance of Washington scandals, assuming them to be a simple dalliance, individual failing, or private offense. What makes both sex and crime in DC different, at least when those in power are involved, is that there is far more opportunity for blackmail and far more skill at covering things up.
The blackmail may be used by members of one branch of government against those of another, by lobbyists against members of Congress, by the police against whomever they wish, and by foreign powers. For example, one way to keep a congress member bought is for a lobbyist to provide him with high class prostitutes. And it is noteworthy that both the Israelis and Boris Yeltsin apparently knew about Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky before the American public did.
The city's ecology lends particular importance to gay sex simply because greater public antipathy makes it an even easier target for the blackmailer, witness the case a few years back when DC police officers were found to be running an extortion racket against those who visited gay bars.
Finally, the exposure of impropriety almost inevitably raises the issue of hypocrisy since the participating official often has inveighed against the discovered offense or attempted to ban, punish, or otherwise suppress the revealed practice. One of the more ironic examples was when, during the 1960s, a white southern senator was caught with a black prostitute. Said a civil rights leader, "Oh he's just one of those sunup to sundown segregationists." Washington is full of sunup to sundown moralists.
There is this quality to the tale of a gay plant at Bush news conferences. One wonders, for example, if in the wake the Gannon matter George Bush will now come out in favor a Sanctity in News Conferences amendment to the Constitution.
Further, the military subtext of Gannon's site suggests similar ruminations. One might even speculate on the homoerotic themes of military service and behavior or even on war as the ultimate closeted gay sado-masochistic affair. If so, what a price the world has paid for its homophobia.
The ability to cover up scandal or crime is also much greater in Washington. This may be accomplished by relying on the social club rules of the federal city, through the aid of acquiescent journalists, by official spin or censorship, or by resort to the capital's various law enforcement agencies, each one beholden for budget and top appointments to some federal department.
For example, both the Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney (who handles all DC crimes) are appointed by the president. The FBI, DEA, National Park police and the Secret Service, not to mention the Aqueduct police, all work for the president. And the Metropolitan Police Department and the Capitol Police are under the thumb of Congress, which approves their budgets and exercises behind-the-scenes authority. There is not a single police agency within the boundaries of Washington that does not report to the politicians of Congress or the White House.
Progressive Review, Feb 21
JEFF GANNON CASE
J H BUSHWAH - One might recall that years ago in Nazi Germany, a favorite tactic of ferreting out opposition and 'undesirable elements' was to create organizations that feigned sympathy and/or support of the interests of those same opposition and 'undesirable elements'. In short, a sting. Obviously Guckert-Gannon is highly connected. Is not beyond reason that his provocative web sites may have been created as part of some type of a DOD sting directed toward military personnel - Don't ask, don't tell. . . don't surf the net!
Gannongate threatens to expose a huge GOP pedophile and male prostitution
By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer
February 18, 2005--Now that is has been discovered that "Jeff Gannon" (real name James D. Guckert), a "reporter" for Talon News Service, a front operation run by the conservative Republican-oriented GOPUSA.com, was using an alias as a cleared White House reporter, details are emerging that threaten to immerse the Bush administration in a major scandal.
"Gannongate," which is only now being mentioned by the mainstream news media, threatens to expose a potentially damaging GOP pedophile and male prostitution ring dating back to the 1980s and the administration of George H. W. Bush. James D. Guckert, using the name Jeff Gannon and possibly other aliases, was also running gay porn sites, one with a U.S. Marine Corps theme that solicited males for prostitution.
White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said he did not realize Gannon was using an alias until recently. However, rumors in the gay community are circulating about McClellan frequenting gay bars in Austin, Texas. Gannon bypassed established Secret Service security controls, including a background check requiring a social security number, to obtain a White House press pass that identified him by an alias, an action seen by many seasoned Washington journalists as only being possible if he had favorable treatment from White House staff, especially McClellan.
Gannon bypassed established Secret Service security controls, including a background check requiring a social security number, to obtain a White House press pass that identified him by an alias, an action seen by many seasoned Washington journalists as only being possible if he had favorable treatment from White House staff, especially McClellan and his predecessor, Ari Fleischer. One White House reporter expressed revulsion over the fact that it was Fleischer who took away press credential from the late long-time White House correspondent Sarah McClendon and handed them to Gannon.
GOPUSA.com is run by a right-wing Texan and Bush friend named Bobby Eberle. In 2003, GOPUSA.com launched a vicious anti-Semitic attack against international financier George Soros, a leading philanthropist for progressive causes and a major contributor to the Democratic Party.
In 2003, Gannon was reportedly given access by White House staff to a classified State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research memorandum regarding a CIA meeting involving the dispatch of former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson to Niger to investigate claims, which turned out to be false, that Iraq had attempted to procure yellowcake uranium from the West African country. The Wilson case ultimately led to a leak to the media by unnamed White House staff of Wilson's wife's name and identity as a covert CIA agent.
It was also revealed that Jeffgannon.com had been registered by the same Delaware-based company that had registered other Republican-oriented web sites, along with those catering to pornographic military gay themes and male escort services.
TalonNews.com and GOPUSA.com are both registered to Endeavor Media Group LLC, operating from Post Office Box 891354 in Houston, Texas. The phone number provided is 999-999-9999. The registrant for a series of web sites, including Jeffgannon.com, Theconservativeguy.com, Exposejessejackson.com, Militaryescorts.com, militaryescortsm4m.com, and hotmilitarystud.com is Bedrock Corporation of 4001 Kennett Pike in Wilmington, Delaware. Bedrock is owned by Jim Guckert, the apparent real identity of Jeff Gannon. The administrative contact for Bedrock was listed as "J. Daniels," possibly another alias.
After the Gannon story broke, militaryescorts.com and hotmilitarystud.com were redirected to a secure log-in site at Cupertino, California-based www.dividezero.net/, which was registered to GKG.Net, which had a contact email in College Station, Texas, the home of Texas A&M University and the George H.W. Bush presidential library. Dividezero.net had a secure log-in window but no subscription information. Experts who track illegal content on the web, including child pornography, report that such sites are common where log-in information is provided separately by regular mail so that the identities of subscribers cannot be easily tracked by online enrollment and entry of credit card information.
Gannongate is reminiscent of a huge political scandal that surfaced in Nebraska in 1989 when it was learned that Lawrence King, the head of Franklin Community Credit Union in Omaha and a rising African American star in the GOP (he sang the national anthem at George H. W. Bush's 1988 nominating convention in New Orleans), was a kingpin—along with top Republicans in Nebraska and Washington, DC, including George H. W. Bush—in a child prostitution and pedophilia scandal. King was later convicted and jailed for fraud but pedophile and prostitution charges were never brought against him and other Nebraska Republican businessmen and politicians.
The scandal, investigated by Nebraska State Senator Loran Schmit, his assistant John DeCamp (a former GOP state senator), State Senate Committee investigator Gary Caradori, and former CIA Director William Colby, reached the very top echelons of the George H. W. Bush administration and GOP. Child prostitutes from Boys Town and other orphanages in Nebraska as well as children procured from China were reportedly flown to Washington for sexcapades with Republican politicians. GOP lobbyist Craig Spence and a number of GOP officials in the administration and Congress were implicated in the scandal, including Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole's liaison to the White House. Young male members of the military in Washington, DC, were particularly sought after by the prostitution ring. During the early 1980s, a number of naval officers were implicated in a child pornography ring that extended from Oregon to the San Francisco Bay area and to Chicago and Washington, DC. The story about that ring was covered up by then-Secretary of the Navy John Lehman.
The Nebraska pedophile scandal was similarly covered up on orders from the highest levels of power in the senior Bush White House. Caradori and his young son were killed in a suspicious plane crash in Illinois in 1990. Colby was found floating dead in the Chesapeake Bay, near his home, in 1996. Craig Spence allegedly committed suicide in 1989. Witnesses, many of whom were abused themselves, were intimidated and subsequently jailed in Nebraska and the investigation of the pedophile scandal eventually collapsed. The entire military aspect of the King-Spence scandal is now being repeated in Washington in Gannongate.
Last year, a senior source on the Washington Times editorial staff (the same paper that broke the GOP pedophile scandal in 1989) linked White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove to gay activities involving top Republican political strategists in Washington, DC.
Gannon (Guckert) has been a major player in GOP and fundamentalist Christian politics in Washington and around the country. In 2004, "Jeff Gannon" was a featured speaker at a Capitol Hill Bible reading sponsored by anti-abortion Operation Rescue head Reverend Rob Schenk. In 1995, Schenk was the spokesman for the American Center for Law and Justice, an anti-abortion group funded by Pat Robertson. Schenk was also a major supporter of former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, who was removed from office for refusing to comply with a federal court order.
Schenk, who attended prayer meetings at John Ashcroft's Capitol Hill apartment after Ashcroft came to Washington in 1994, established his Pentecostal National Community Church at the dilapidated Giddings School in a crime-ridden neighborhood in Southeast Washington. One of his congregants was Ashcroft. The Hill newspaper ran an article on July 30, 2003, about a controversy surrounding plans by the community development Eighth Street Main Streets Project to place park benches in a small triangular park at 8th and I Streets in Southeast Washington, opposite the U.S. Marine Corps Barracks. The paper reported that a "community activist" named Jeff Gannon vehemently opposed the park bench plan claiming it would attract "vagrants, alcoholics, and other 'problem personalities.'" The park is located just five blocks from the school where "reporter" Gannon's friend Schenk first located his Pentecostal church.
Gannon hosted a web-based radio program called "Jeff Gannon's Washington," broadcast on his own web site, Jeffgannon.com, and Righttalk.com, a conservative GOP site whose registrant is based in Watsonville, California. Gannon's only journalism credentials were his attendance at a two-day seminar at the Leadership Institute's Broadcast School of Journalism in Arlington, Virginia. The head of the Leadership Institute is Morton Blackwell, a former Reagan administration official and a one-time head of the College Republicans, a post that Karl Rove also filled.
Gannon seemed particularly interested in South Dakota politics. GOP Senate candidate John Thune appeared on Gannon's radio webcast program. On February 4, 2004, while being served softball questions by Gannon, Thune called Daschle an "obstructionist and antagonist to President Bush."
According to Roll Call, Gannon also served as an official of the Free Speech Foundation, an organization that helped defend ProBush.com from a lawsuit by former South Dakota Democratic Senator James Abourezk. The web site features a "Traitor's List" that includes Abourezk. The former senator and Navy veteran sued ProBush.com for defamation. Abourezk asked for $5 million in damages and a public apology after sending a cease and desist letter to the web site owner, a 21-year old suburban Philadelphia resident named Mike Marino, who registered the site using a post office box address in West Point, Pennsylvania. After Abourezk's lawsuit threat, Gannon came to Marino's assistance. Other names on the Traitor's List include President Jimmy Carter, Susan Sarandon, Viggo Mortensen, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Howard Stern, John Kerry, Edward Kennedy, Martin Luther King III, Rep. Cynthia McKinney, Michael Moore, The Dixie Chicks, and former Democratic Rep. Gary Condit of California.
Gannon was also wired into the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He wrote a pro-Iraq war article for the March 1, 2004, issue of their magazine, American Enterprise. AEI employs such ardent neo-conservative figures as Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen, and Lynne Cheney. Ironically, many of Gannon's articles were anti-gay rights, such as one that insinuated that John Kerry's "pro-homosexual platform" would make him the nation's "first gay president."
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author, and columnist. He is the author of the forthcoming book, "Jaded Tasks: Big Oil, Black Ops & Brass Plates" and wrote "Genocide & Covert Operations in Africa: 1993-1999" (Mellen Press).
The views expressed herein are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of Online Journal.
Copyright © 1998-2005 Online Journal™. All rights reserved.
A hireling, a fraud and a prostitute
Bush's agent in the press corps has given spin a new level of meaning
Thursday February 17, 2005
The White House press room has often been a cockpit of intrigue, duplicity and truckling. But nothing challenges the most recent scandal there.
The latest incident began with a sequence of questions for President Bush at his January 26 press conference. First, he was asked whether he approved of his administration's payments to conservative commentators. Government contracts had been granted to three pundits, who had tried to keep the funding secret. "There needs to be a nice, independent relationship between the White House and the press," said the president as he called swiftly on his next questioner.
Jeff Gannon, Washington bureau chief of Talon News, rose from his chair to attack Democrats in the Congress. "How are you going to work - you said you're going to reach out to these people - how are you going to work with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?"
For almost two years, in the daily White House press briefings Gannon had been called upon by press secretary Scott McClellan to break up difficult questioning from the rest of the press. On Fox News, one host hailed him as "a terrific Washington bureau chief and White House correspondent". Gannon was frequently quoted and highlighted as an expert guest on rightwing radio shows. But who was Gannon? His strange non-question to the president inspired inquiry. Talon News is a wholly-owned subsidiary of a group of Texas Republicans. Gannon's most notable article had asserted that John Kerry "might some day be known as 'the first gay President'".
Gannon also got himself entangled in the investigation into the criminal disclosure of the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame. Plame is the wife of former ambassador Joseph Wilson, who was sent by the Bush administration to discover whether Saddam Hussein was procuring uranium in Niger for nuclear weapons. He learned that the suspicion was bogus; appalled that the administration lied about nuclear WMD to justify the Iraq war, he wrote an article in the New York Times about his role after the war.
In retaliation, Plame's CIA cover was blown by administration officials. Gannon had called up Wilson to ask him about a secret CIA memo supposedly proving that his wife had sent him on the original mission to Niger, prompting the special prosecutor in the case to question Gannon about his "sources". His real name, it turned out, is James Dale Guckert. He has no journalistic background whatsoever. His application for a press credential to cover the Congress was rejected. But at the White House the press office arranged for him to be given a new pass every single day, a deliberate evasion of the regular credentialing that requires an FBI security check. It was soon revealed. "Gannon" owned and advertised his services as a gay escort on more than half a dozen websites with names like Militarystud.com, MaleCorps.com, WorkingBoys.net and MeetLocalMen.com, which featured dozens of photographs of "Gannon" in dramatic naked poses. One of the sites was still active this week.
Thus a phony journalist, planted by a Republican organisation, used by the White House press secretary to interrupt questions from the press corps, protected from FBI vetting by the press office, disseminating smears about its critics and opponents, some of them gay-baiting, was unmasked not only as a hireling and fraud but as a gay prostitute, with enormous potential for blackmail. The Bush White House is the most opaque - allowing the least access for reporters - in living memory. Every news organisation has been intimidated, and reporters who have done stories the administration finds discomfiting have received threats about their careers. The administration has its own quasi-official state TV network in Fox News; hundreds of rightwing radio shows, conservative newspapers and journals and internet sites coordinate with the Republican apparatus.
Inserting an agent directly into the White House press corps was a daring operation. Until his exposure, he proved useful for the White House. But the longer-term implication is the Republican effort to sideline an independent press and undermine its legitimacy. "Spin" seems quaint. "In this day and age," said press secretary McClellan, waxing philosophical about the Gannon affair, "when you have a changing media, it's not an easy issue to decide or try to pick and choose who is a journalist." It is not that the White House press secretary cannot distinguish who is or is not a journalist; it is that there are no journalists, just the gaming of the system for the concentration of power.
Sidney Blumenthal is former senior adviser to President Clinton and author of The Clinton Wars
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005
The New York Times
February 17, 2005
Bush's Barberini Faun
By MAUREEN DOWD
WASHINGTON -- I am very impressed with James Guckert, a k a Jeff Gannon. How often does an enterprising young man, heralded in press reports as both a reporter and a contributor to such sites as Hotmilitarystud.com, Workingboys.net, Militaryescorts.com, MilitaryescortsM4M.com and Meetlocalmen.com, get to question the president of the United States? Who knew that a hotmilitarystud wanting to meetlocalmen could so easily get to be face2face with the commander in chief?
It's hard to believe the White House could hit rock bottom on credibility again, but it has, in a bizarre maelstrom that plays like a dark comedy. How does it credential a man with a double life and a secret past?
"Jeff Gannon" was waved into the press room nearly every day for two years as the conservative correspondent for two political Web sites operated by a wealthy Texas Republican. Scott McClellan often called on the pseudoreporter for softball questions.
Howard Kurtz reported in The Washington Post yesterday that although Mr. Guckert had denied launching the provocative Web sites - one described him as " 'military, muscular, masculine and discrete' (sic)" - a Web designer in California said "that he had designed a gay escort site for Gannon and had posted naked pictures of Gannon at the client's request."
And The Wilmington News-Journal in Delaware reported that Mr. Guckert was delinquent in $20,700 in personal income tax from 1991 to 1994. I'm still mystified by this story. I was rejected for a White House press pass at the start of the Bush administration, but someone with an alias, a tax evasion problem and Internet pictures where he posed like the "Barberini Faun" is credentialed to cover a White House that won a second term by mining homophobia and preaching family values?
At first when I tried to complain about not getting my pass renewed, even though I'd been covering presidents and first ladies since 1986, no one called me back. Finally, when Mr. McClellan replaced Ari Fleischer, he said he'd renew the pass - after a new Secret Service background check that would last several months.
In an era when security concerns are paramount, what kind of Secret Service background check did James Guckert get so he could saunter into the West Wing every day under an assumed name while he was doing full-frontal advertising for stud services for $1,200 a weekend? He used a driver's license that said James Guckert to get into the White House, then, once inside, switched to his alter ego, asking questions as Jeff Gannon. Mr. McClellan shrugged this off to Editor & Publisher magazine, oddly noting, "People use aliases all the time in life, from journalists to actors."
I know the F.B.I. computers don't work, but this is ridiculous. After getting gobsmacked by the louche sagas of Mr. Guckert and Bernard Kerik, the White House vetters should consider adding someone with some blogging experience.
Does the Bush team love everything military so much that even a military-stud Web site is a recommendation?
Or maybe Gannon/Guckert's willingness to shill free for the White House, even on gay issues, was endearing. One of his stories mocked John Kerry's "pro-homosexual platform" with the headline "Kerry Could Become First Gay President."
With the Bushies, if you're their friend, anything goes. If you're their critic, nothing goes. They're waging a jihad against journalists - buying them off so they'll promote administration programs, trying to put them in jail for doing their jobs and replacing them with ringers.
At last month's press conference, Jeff Gannon asked Mr. Bush how he could work with Democrats "who seem to have divorced themselves from reality." But Bush officials have divorced themselves from reality.
They flipped TV's in the West Wing and Air Force One to Fox News. They paid conservative columnists handsomely to promote administration programs. Federal agencies distributed packaged "news" video releases with faux anchors so local news outlets would run them. As CNN reported, the Pentagon produces Web sites with "news" articles intended to influence opinion abroad and at home, but you have to look hard for the disclaimer: "Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense." The agencies spent a whopping $88 million spinning reality in 2004, splurging on P.R. contracts.
Even the Nixon White House didn't do anything this creepy. It's worse than hating the press. It's an attempt to reinvent it.
JOHN ARAVOISIS, AMERICA BLOG - A news producer for a major network just told me that Gannon told the producer the US was going to attack Iraq four hours before President Bush announced it to the nation. According to the producer, Gannon specifically told them that in four hours the president was going to be making a speech to the nation announcing that the US was bombing Iraq. The producer told me they were surprised that Gannon, working with such a small news outfit, could have access to such information, but "what did you know, he was right," the producer said today. The producer went on to say that Gannon often had correct scoops on major stories. . .
MEDIA MATTERS - The American Enterprise, the monthly magazine of the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute, published a "Short News and Commentary" article by former Talon News White House correspondent Jeff Gannon (aka James Guckert) in its March 2004 issue. . . Scholars and fellows at AEI include former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA); author, National Review contributing editor and former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum; Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney; and author John R. Lott Jr. http://mediamatters.org/items/200502170003
JOE STRUPP, EDITOR & PUBLISHER, FEB 15 - James D. Guckert, the former White House reporter who's been accused of everything from asking partisan questions to being a male prostitute, is no longer speaking to the press, claiming it does not help his cause, he told E&P this morning.
"I talked to attorneys, and I am no longer talking to anyone [in the press] anymore," said Guckert, who has used the alias Jeff Gannon. "It doesn't seem to clarify anything any longer. Everything I say, people start a new conspiracy theory. I am not going to answer any more questions. It seems to distract from what is really going on." That approach is a shift from Guckert's activities in the past week, when he has appeared on CNN and National Public Radio and allowed several other news organizations, including E&P, to interview him.
Guckert, who says he is 47, said he was not planning any specific legal action related to recent events but had contacted an attorney just in case. "It's always good to have an attorney hanging around," he told E&P. "I'm not expecting anything, I am just listening to good advice."
. . . In addition, evidence emerged on the site Americablog yesterday suggesting that Guckert not only set up sex sites but also offered his services as a male prostitute. When asked by E&P today about such accusations, Gannon declined to confirm or deny. "I am not going to talk about that," he said.
JEFF GANNON'S SITE
SEX IN DC
[Excerpts from our ever-popular web page: Sex and Crime in DC]
CHANDRA LEVY CASE
PROGRESSIVE REVIEW -
One of the leads being investigated in the Chandra Levy case is that Levy was murdered by a professional hit man involved in the local gay S&M scene. Whether or not this proves to be the case, the mere possibility has created unusual problems on Capitol Hill and for the DC police. We hear that some big names on the Hill are extremely nervous at the moment - not because of the Levy mystery itself but because what such a solution might reveal. The MPD could also face possible blowback because of its involvement a few years back in a major gay blackmail scandal, perhaps involving some of the same players. . . The story is being kept under wraps by news media lawyers - Newsweek and the Village Voice have both spiked articles - but this much can be told:
A former Republican congressman wrote a lurid account for Newsmax, allegedly based on knowledgeable sources, that claimed Levy to have been the victim of a gay prostitute who has since returned to his native country. Newsmax quickly removed the story, but it has been the subject of intense media investigation since.
BETSY ROTHSTEIN, THE HILL:
Infidelity on Capitol Hill is as old as the institution of Congress. For many Capitol Hill staffers, such behavior remains a fact of life. "Hang out one night at the Tune Inn or the Capitol Grille and you'll see 'em parade in - the members and the girls," said a Senate male Democratic aide . . . "Most politicians that I've ever met are more than willing to sacrifice their families or their marriages so that they can be a rock star in Washington," remarked Chuck Conconi, a Washingtonian columnist . . . Clara Alexandra Frenk, Interactive Editor with USA Today, is not surprised that women often don't divulge their experiences with older politicians. "It's a small town," she said . . .
In the late 1980s, she worked alongside Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter, Mary, as one of two female drivers for Williams and Jensen, a D.C. lobbying firm. Frenk said she and Cheney were instructed never to drive alone with then-Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.), who left Congress in 1994 after eight women came forward and accused him of sexual harassment . . . Her summation of the liaisons between some older men and young women on Capitol Hill: "It's very bizarre." . . .
House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas) was once known as "Hot Tub Tom" for parties he threw in his Texas Legislature days when, by his own admission, he drank up to 12 martinis a night. He fought hard to impeach President Clinton in 1999 and made his name on family values. When asked if he had any advice on keeping a marriage together in Washington, DeLay replied, "Yeah. Move your family here. Don't leave them at home."
BLACKMAIL AND BOYS AT THE APEC SUMMIT
TIMOTHY MAIER, INSIGHT, Oct. 20, 1997:
Blackmail, lies and deceit may be
the only fitting description of the 1993 Seattle Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, summit where dignitaries from 17 countries are reported to have been placed under electronic surveillance by American agents. As Insight first reported last month, the Clinton administration is said by intelligence and security specialists -- who admitted being involved -- to have bugged the conclave and then provided classified secrets to the Democratic National Committee. This in turn allegedly was used as bait to barter with potential big-buck donors for large contributions to the Democratic coffers, sources in and out of government claim. . .
Insight also detailed in earlier reports a series of alleged criminal activities, including the procuring of boys to engage in sexual activities with diplomats; FBI agents accepting thousands of dollars of kickbacks; and, the most serious offense, the White House providing top-secret trade information to two West Coast law firms working off the books for the DNC . . .
The FBI is believed to have bugged more than 300 locations, with electronic audio and video surveillance devices used to monitor 10,000 to 15,000 conversations -- much of it real-time data that was bounced from satellites to the NSA. The monitoring stations usually were placed near a Secret Service perimeter or Naval Intelligence facilities. And many of the targets concerned large contracts with Vietnam, sources say . . .
The boys are believed to have been 15 to 17 years old. As shocking as this may be, some say it's routine. A former Bush economic adviser observes, "The sex? That's done all the time. If a foreign diplomat wants a companion, the State Department provides it. It doesn't matter if it's a man or woman. They have a special fund set up for that."
Another former NSC official who requested anonymity says other countries also do it. "I was offered every sexual favor you can imagine. I turned it down all the time. After a while they left me alone and stopped offering me."
THE 'FAIRY SHAKING' SCANDAL OF THE 90S
MICHAEL POWELL, SARI HORWITZ, TONI LOCY, WASHINGTON POST: November 30, 1997 -
A type of extortion scheme known crudely as "fairy shaking" led to the arrest of a D.C. police lieutenant and toppled the police chief of the nation's capital. It's quite simple as extortion goes: Trail a married man out of a gay sex club. Take his license plate number. And later threaten to expose him unless he pays hush money. The term "fairy shaking" needs no definition within certain circles of the D.C. police department: A few rogue cops have been doing it for years and getting away with it, several law enforcement sources said. And it stands at the center of the case against Lt. Jeffery S. Stowe, until recently the roommate of D.C. Police Chief Larry D. Soulsby . . .
It's common knowledge that men go to the clubs that line a secluded block in Southeast Washington -- clubs such as the Follies Theater and La Cage -- to relax, listen to music and have sex . . . In September, someone was watching for the most vulnerable among them. The observer noted which parked cars had baby seats and bore other evidence of the straight, married life. And he wrote down the license plate numbers. In the days that followed, three men who were married with children received anonymous letters saying they had been photographed at the gay sex clubs. The letters demanded $10,000 cash from each in exchange for keeping their secrets. This wasn't your typical, everyday extortionist, authorities say. He knew the extortion game better than almost anyone in town. He was, according to an arrest affidavit, Lt. Jeffery S. Stowe, commander of a D.C. police unit that investigates extortion and other crimes. Within two hours of Stowe's arrest last Tuesday, his best friend on the force resigned: Chief Soulsby.
MALE PROSTITUTION IN THE REAGAN-BUSH ERA
PAUL M. RODRIGUEZ AND GEORGE ARCHIBALD WASHINGTON TIMES, 1989:
A homosexual prostitution ring is under investigation by federal and District authorities and includes among its clients key officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, military officers, congressional aides and U.S. and foreign businessmen with close social ties to Washington's political elite, documents obtained by The Washington Times reveal.
One of the ring's high-profile clients was so well-connected, in fact, that he could arrange a middle-of-the-night tour of the White House for his friends on Sunday, July 3, of last year. Among the six persons on the extraordinary 1 a.m. tour were two male prostitutes . . . Reporters for this newspaper examined hundreds of credit-card vouchers, drawn on both corporate and personal cards and made payable to the escort service operated by the homosexual ring . . .
Among the client names contained in the vouchers - and identified by prostitutes and escort operators - are government officials, locally based U.S. military officers, businessmen, lawyers, bankers, congressional aides and other professionals . . .
KARLYN BARKER, WASHINGTON POST, JULY 24, 1990:
The alleged leader of what authorities have called the largest male prostitution operation in the Washington area surrendered to federal agents yesterday and pleaded not guilty to racketeering charges that have been filed against him and three alleged accomplices. Henry W. Vinson, 29, of Williamson, W.Va., a coal miner's son accused of setting up the homosexual escort service, was arraigned in U.S. District Court here yesterday afternoon after turning himself in to Secret Service agents . . .
At a news conference after the arraignment, [U.S. Attorney Jay] Stephens said the investigation into the alleged prostitution ring "is concluded" and that the indictment, which was unsealed yesterday, focused on those who allegedly set up the ring rather than on clients who reportedly patronized it. Asked about earlier reports that some of those clients included high-level officials in the Reagan and Bush administrations, Stephens said the investigation had not revealed "additional conduct which suggests criminal conduct on behalf of other people." . . .
The Vinson case provoked additional notice after The Washington Times published reports last summer suggesting that the alleged prostitution ring had been patronized by government officials. The Times named as clients several low-level government employees and Craig J. Spence, a Washington lobbyist and party-giver who, the paper said, took friends and prostitutes on late-night tours of the White House. Spence was found dead in a Boston hotel room last fall, and authorities ruled his death a suicide.
1987: Three weeks into his presidential campaign, a news team stakes out Gary Hart's Washington house. The team will report that Hart has had a rendezvous with a young woman while his wife is away. A photo of the woman, Donna Rice, sitting on his lap near a yacht named "Monkey Business," also surfaced and Hart's campaign was sunk.
1980 - Rep. Dan Quayle goes on a Florida golfing vacation with seven other men and Paula Parkinson -- an insurance lobbyist who later posed nude for Playboy. Parkinson describes Quayle as a husband on the make, but says she turned him down because she was already having an affair with another congressman. Marilyn Quayle says, "anybody who knows Dan Quayle knows he would rather play golf than have sex."
1976: Elizabeth Ray says she has been paid $14,000 a year in public funds by Ohio Rep. Wayne Hays, chairman of the House Administration Committee. "I can't type, I can't file, I can't even answer the phone," Ray tells the Washington Post. "Supposedly, I'm on the oversight committee," she said. "But I call it the Out-of-Sight Committee." Hays is 64; Ray is 27.
1974: Rep. Wilbur Mills is stopped by Washington police at 2 am for erratic driving. He is intoxicated and his face is scratched. A burlesque dancer known as "Fanne Fox, the Argentine Firecracker," leaps out of the car and dives into the Tidal Basin. Her rescue is filmed by television reporter Larry Krebs. Mills is reelected but loses his chairmanship.
THE 1920s and 1930s
THE CAPITAL UNDERWORLD, 1932: "Compared with New York and Chicago, Washington is not a wicked city. It experiences brief flashes of gang warfare which the local press tries to play up as important. . . The capital may witness few crimes, but in few cases is the culprit ever brought to justice. Another distinction is the complete and unrestrained freedom of the neighboring counties of Maryland, where an amazing White Slave traffic, operating through a chain of tea houses, furnishes recreation to capital residents.
THE 19TH CENTURY
In 1863 General Meade replaced General Hooker three days before the Battle of Gettysburg. Meade will only have a fort named after him, while Hooker lends his name to a whole synonym. The following is from a report by the Smithsonian Institution on archeological work done near the site of the National Museum of the American Indian:
"With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, the sleepy town of Washington was dramatically transformed as its population swelled with newcomers. The new arrivals included many men who had signed up to fight for the Union. Throughout the war, thousands of soldiers were encamped throughout the city, either awaiting orders to fight, manning forts to protect the Union capital from Rebel attack, or languishing from disease or wounds in hospitals throughout the city. Along with the soldiers came government bureaucrats, freed and escaped slaves, businessmen, salesmen, and con men, as well as the camp followers and prostitutes who sought to profit from the increased demand for their services. The Army's provost marshal, who kept a list of the city's bawdy houses during the war ostensibly to keep them under surveillance, concluded that there were 450 registered houses in Washington in 1862. While some prostitutes worked in brothels, the majority probably plied their trade as streetwalkers. By 1863, the Evening Star newspaper estimated that Washington had about 5,000 prostitutes . . .
When the war came to a close, Washington remained overcrowded, and its roads, parks, and the canal were in shambles as a result of four years of overuse and neglect. The area between Pennsylvania Avenue and the Mall, which is presently occupied by the Federal Triangle complex, had become an infamous crime-ridden neighborhood rife with the stench of the nearby canal, which had become little more than an open sewer. Known for its rampant prostitution, the area was widely referred to as Hooker's Division, a wry double entendre. Indeed many of its occupants were "hookers," a term for prostitutes used since the early nineteenth century. Furthermore, the region was reported to have been visited frequently by the troops in Union General Joseph Hooker's division, which was encamped nearby."