#Weinergate: Going Where The Facts Take Us

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.

7 Comments

  1. Biggest problem with investigation to date is that so many of the “sleuthers” are strongly biased and it affects their analysis in stupid ways. they get one good fact, piece of evidence, or thought, and then extrapolate that too far without a critical eye. e.g., canonfire highlighted yfrog weakness, but then ran right to patriot as the culprit with unproven (and probably not true?) missing URL theory. only take the evidence as far as it can go.

    same thing goes for acesofspades, dailykos (stack = haystack at biggovernment? STUPID THEORY – stacks identity was never hidden, not really!!), charles johnson (to lesser extent – i’m biased on favor of charles due to rathergate success, though), etc

    patriot and goatsred have emerged as somewhat shady characters obessesed with weiner with an ax to grind. does this prove weiner did not send tweet? no. bias of bill burkett in rathergate documents did not prove documents fake – but they gave reasons to investigate farther.

    biggest problems with the dicktweet:
    (1) we can’t verify HOW it was sent on twitter, because patriotsusa76 and no one else seems to have captured that data. weiner was on tweetdeck evening of may 27, and had never tweeted a pic using tweetdeck. weiner only tweeted blackberry pics from “twitter for blackberry.” dicpic exif data suggests it may have been taken on blackberry, but exif data does not match pictures known to have been posted by weiner from his blackerry 9650 in beginning of May. if we knew how dicktweet was sent, it would be very useful info. if sent “via yfrog,” the yfrog security vulnerability may be in play.
    (2) as noted, dictweet picture exif does not match exif data of known weiner pics.
    (3) dictweet picture with exif data (the 800×600 pic) has a timestamp a few days after 5/27. that’s an unfortunate and unexplained anomaly. both good and bad explanations exist, but something had to cause that discrepancy.
    (4) we don’t know IP that dicktweet was sent from. this is crucial info. yfrog could release it, i can’t even get them to admit if they HAVE it. yfrog probably will not release w/o weiner consent, but no one is putting pressure on them to get at that info. (if you get IP of dicktweet, it could also help clear patriotusa76 if he’s not involved.)
    (5) dicktweet photo is on yfrog – a PUBLIC image posting service. weiner basically DESERVES to go down in flames if he was so stupid to post the picture publicly. to be clear, even if he was trying to DM the tweet, the photo WOULD BE PUBLIC. the press seems to totally miss the boat on the big problem with saying weiner would sent this by yfrog. any rational person would use email.
    (6) patriot and goatsred started a rumor on may 5 on twitter that a sex scandal for a top profile congressman from the northeast (with pics) was about to be exposed. patriot denies in his interview with ladd that he started the rumor. goatsred says patriot was source. this is crazy–they even suggested weiner (moreso than anyone else) may be who the scandal is about.
    (7) goatsred (and perhaps patriot) approached weiner’s young female followers to get dirt on him. one young girl claimed she had dirt on him – this excited patriot and goatsred beyond beleif.

    i swear, man, truth is stranger than fiction, so keep up your theorizing, lee.

    Reply
  2. Read my Patriot Games post about goatsred…

    I believe he’s a patsy that “Wolfe” manipulated at this point.

    Reply
  3. Lee, I get that speculation is fun and interesting, but none of it comes close to proving anything. We could have the answers to 1 – 5 — which would, by extension, answer how relevant 6 and 7 really are — in half a days time if only the “victim”, Rep Weiner, would call the FBI. For some reason, he refuses to do so. If we never find out the where, when and how of this incident we’ll never find out the who and the why.

    The only question that matters right now is this: what does Rep Weiner have to gain by NOT calling the FBI to investigate? Seriously, Patriot and goatsred only matter insofar as there is proof of a hack. We can only obtain proof of a hack by getting the FBI or other LEO agencies involved. Rep Weiner refuses to get any LEO agencies involved. Do you see where the evidence is really going? One guy can end this. One. Only one. And he refuses to. WHY? The answer to all other questions hinge on the answer to that single “why”. Answer that, and everything else will fall into place.

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  4. I’m absolutely confident about the URL issue.

    But to answer holygoat’s question…

    “Rep Weiner refuses to get any LEO agencies involved. Do you see where the evidence is really going? One guy can end this. One. Only one. And he refuses to. WHY?”

    I’ve already answered that. Weiner’s lawyers would have to be nuts to counsel him to do that. Any investigation, and certainly any lawsuit, would turn into an investigation of Weiner. First, it is unclear whether exploiting the Yfrog problem constituted a hack, in which case, there may be no grounds for FBI involvement.

    In a civil case, and probably in a criminal case, Weiner would be subject to deposition, under which circumstances he might be asked (on the record) whether he has ever traded naughty pictures with an online paramour. Or any number of other potentially humiliating questions.

    He would have to be crazy to walk into a nightmare like that. Obviously, the whole purpose of this escapade was to create grounds for a fishing expedition of the sort that Weiner presumably wants to avoid.

    Although looking at images of other men’s crotches is not my thing, I’ve been taking a close look at this one. There’s something about it that no-one seems to have noticed: The image is always reproduced upside down!

    Look at the table legs in the background, and you’ll see that you have to flip it 180 degrees. When you do that, the picture makes more sense. It’s also obvious that the subject is reclining. (The usual upside down version makes it seem as though the subject is standing.)

    One other thing becomes obvious — this guy is freakin’ HUGE. Porn star huge.

    Weiner isn’t. And he has said, quite clearly, that “he wishes” he were that size. That’s why he has spoken about photo manipulation. (Have you noted that the people who “quote” Weiner never actually quote him?)

    Speaking of porn: TSG gave some interesting background on Mike.

    Best to say no more. Mike takes (rather too much) pride in his computer detective skills, and he is probably reading this.

    I have reason to believe that he (or perhaps another member of his little group) has been taking an interest in my online activities. I can’t say more. Sorry if this sounds paranoid, but there’s a story here.

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  5. weiner only tweeted blackberry pics from “twitter for blackberry.”

    Milowent this is simply not true. As the tweet of his Bar Mitzvah pic shows Weiner did once tweet a pic using Yfrog.
    http://twitter.com/#!/RepWeiner/status/41228281701351424
    Notice not only the pic is “via yfrog” but so is the tweet itself. The Bar Mitsvah pic was an old pic which Weiner had to scan to get into digital form, save to computer and then upload. Naturally he would not have used Twitter for Blackberry for this process. Yfrog is the default pic handler for Tweetdeck. On one occasion, the sole occasion he used a pic saved to pc, Weiner did not use Twitter for Blackberry to tweet it but did use yfrog.

    Weiner has admitted, privately by reports, that he has taken such pics in the past which may have been used to frame him. It’s possible these pics were transferred from whatever old blackberry or camera he used to his pc. Most people will save pics taken to their pc when they get a new camera or are low on space on the camera or phone. An old pic from a different camera would explain the differences in exif data. The assumption all along has been that Weiner was sending sexual DMs and the dic pic was taken at that moment. But Weiner was on his pc using Tweetdeck. He could have simply used an existing dic pic he had which he uploaded and tweeted via yfrog similar to the Bar Mitzvah pic.

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  6. You’re certainly adept at maximizing the smoke and mirrors, Lee.

    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.

    Oh my God, some anonymous powerless private citizen lied on the internet! What a scoop! Congratulations, your Pulitzer’s in the mail.

    Perhaps when you’re done celebrating, you can focus again on the still-unanswered questions that started this whole thing:

    1. Why is a middle-aged, elected U.S. Government Representative who is married to a high-level State Department official sending out obscene pictures of his erect penis to college-aged journalism students half his age?

    2. Why is this same elected U.S. Government Representative who has repeatedly claimed he was hacked, who in fact claimed his entire system was hacked, refusing — in direct violation of the House rules — to allow the Capitol police, the FBI, or any other law enforcement agency to investigating this serious breach of security and track down the culprits?

    3. Why is this same elected U.S. Government Representative — who refuses to call the police when his computer is hacked — calling the police and asking them to harass reporters who come to his office and ask him for an interview?

    Reply
  7. Smoke — those are all valid questions…

    And I’ve asked all of them. Repeatedly.

    Reply

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