Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Jeff Gannon's "Internal Government Memo" Lie
(UPDATE - As a reader pointed out on my haloscan, a Daily Kos diary did indeed match Gannon's words precisely to the Wall Street Journal article beforehand. So a shout out to categorically imperative (and The Washington Post's Dan Froomkin and right-leaning blogger Tom Maguire who are linked at this diary: Guckert/Plame: No connection, after all?). His conclusion differs from mine. Categorically and Kagro X believe that Gannon did come clean to the FBI about his plagiarism but I still have my doubts.)
A reader named Margaret e-mailed me a very significant example of out-and-out plagiarism from a real live news organization that may have serious ramifications for ex-"journalist" Jeff Gannon.
No. You can't go to jail for committing the crime of plagiarism. But, in this case, you might be committing a major crime if you lie about it.
During Jeff's interview with Joe Wilson (the former U.S. diplomat whose wife was outed as a CIA operative by conservative writer Robert Novak, a possibly illegal action which is believed to have been prompted by the White House in order to get back at an editorial Mr. Wilson wrote for The New York Times), Mr. Gannon took one of his questions directly from a Wall Street Journal article written by David S. Cloud (WSJ cache and MND link , and in case the latter link disappears here's a cache snapshot taken by Light In The Darkness) and, yes, if it's that internal memo question:
Gannon: "An internal government memo prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel details a meeting in early 2002 where your wife, a member of the agency for clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested that you could be sent to investigate the reports. Do you dispute that?"
Cloud: "An internal government memo addresses some of the mysteries at the center of the White House leak investigation and could help investigators in the search for who disclosed the identity of a Central Intelligence Agency operative, according to two people familiar with the memo. The memo, prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel, details a meeting in early 2002 where CIA officer Valerie Plame...a member of the agency's clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested at the meeting that her husband...could be sent to Niger to investigate the reports."
Many of us bloggers have wondered why Jeff Gannon danced around the issue of whether or not he had somehow seen an "internal government memo" in an argument about why he was subpoenaed at the Free Republic Website (Justin Raimando even mentioned the WSJ article in this article on Gannon but he didn't quite add it all together) and, after resigning from GOPUSA, in an interview with Editor and Publisher: "I am not going to speak to that. It goes to something of a nature I do not want to discuss."
Jeff's "nature" is that, aside from anything else, he is a plagiarist and he couldn't very well come out and cop to that and admit that he never saw shit.
So if Jeff Gannon really told the FBI agents who came to question him about his perceived involvement in the Plame affair that he couldn't reveal his sources, he committed the serious crime of lying to federal agents since he had no sources, not one. And I'm not a lawyer (nor do I play one on this blog) but I think Jeff might also be committing the crime of impeding a federal investigation.
Will there be futher repercussions? We'll see.