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  • Thursday, February 17, 2005


    Jeff Gannon/James Guckert Brouhaha

    In the grand scheme of things I don't really think the affair of the so-called reporter named Jeff Gannon (real name: James Guckert) who asked softball questions at White House press briefings is very important. However, since AmericaBlog (which I read regularly) was instrumental in bringing the, um, discrepancies of Gannon's past to light, I thought I'd provide a link to a fairly good overview here. Warning: This is not entirely work-safe. There are screenshots from male "escort" websites and links to some of them. The images have been edited to remove genitalia but some of the details still contain slightly explicit language.

    One of the issues of importance in this matter is the question of security passes to the White House. This is from one of John Aravosis' recent posts on AmericaBlog pointing this out.
    As for Court TV. I found out 20 seconds before we started that I was apparently debating someone else. That was a bit of a surprise. Catherine Crier was amazing, as you've probably already seen. She gets it. As for that other guy. I'm not sure if he knew what side he was arguing. This case raises serious issues, he tells us, but also shows how bad the word of the liberal bloggers is. Why? He never tells us.

    He does inform us, rather pedantically at that, that Gannon's day-pass security clearance was different from the security clearance he and I had to get for our top secret clearances. No shit Sherlock. That's my point. To get daily access to the White House for 2 years you HAVE to get a hard pass. To get the hard pass you have to get an FBI background check that takes 3-4 months, and involves filling out scary as shit paperwork about your life for the past 10+ years. When I got my security clearance while working on the Hill, they talked to my relatives in Greece. They grilled me about my student loans, even though I was paying them just fine. Gannon, on the other hand, didn't have to get the kind of background check we got, simply because he skirted the system. He operated under a daily pass while having a de facto hard pass. And had he gotten the FBI background check he should have had for such regular access, there is no chance in a million years a hooker $20,000 in debt to the state, and in default, would get that clearance. So anyone who tries to say these facts aren't relevant, when it's these very facts that, had they been known, would have excluded Gannon from the White House, is smoking something.

    Of course, there's an easy way to resolve if everything the blogosphere has discovered is much-ado-about-nothing. Simply ask the White House if, knowing what they know now, they would extend Gannon another daily pass. Then tell me with a straight face that what we've uncovered is irrelevant.

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