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Gannon To Be Charged Under Espionage Act?

Posted in the database on Saturday, October 08th, 2005 @ 19:07:51 MST (1516 views)
by SusanG    Daily Kos  

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Joe Conason has an article up at Salon speculating that Fitzgerald may be casting his net wide with the 1917 Espionage Act - and that one fish that may be pulled in is our favorite fake reporter, James Guckert/Jeff Gannon, former auto body manager/White House "correspondent" for fake news outlet Talon News.

SusanG's diary :: ::

Another intriguing possibility in the leaks case brings back the baroque personality of right-wing pressroom denizen Jeff Gannon, born James Guckert.

The New York Times reported Friday that in addition to possible charges directly involving the revelation of Valerie Wilson's identity and related perjury or conspiracy charges, Fitzgerald is exploring other possible crimes. Specifically, according to the Times, the special counsel is seeking to determine whether anyone transmitted classified material or information to persons who were not cleared to receive it -- which could be a felony under the 1917 Espionage Act.

One such classified item might be the still-classified State Department document, written by an official of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, concerning the CIA's decision to send former ambassador Joseph Wilson to look into allegations that Iraq had tried to purchase uranium from Niger. Someone leaked that INR document -- which inaccurately indicated that Wilson's assignment was the result of lobbying within CIA by his wife, Valerie -- to right-wing media outlets, notably including Gannon's former employers at Talon News. On Oct. 28, 2003, Gannon posted an interview with Joseph Wilson on the Talon Web site, in which he posed the following question: "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?"

Conason points out that Guckert/Gannon has been "coy" when asked directly about his access to the INR memo, and ePluribus Media did an analysis of his various "evolving" stories regarding that crucial memo here in July. His main defense has been that he read about the memo in an October 2003 Wall Street Journal article.

Yet let me remind readers that on his current website, Guckert/Gannon claims:

I acquired knowledge of the memo and the Wall Street Journal reported on it, but no other media outlet mentioned it. I confronted Wilson about it in a September 2003 interview, for which I was rewarded by a visit from two FBI agents.

Hmmm ... a September 2003 interview mentioning the INR memo, a month previous to the WSJ publication.

Fitzgerald may believe Guckert/Gannon has some `splaining to do.



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