Friday, July 21, 2006


Glenn Greenwald -- Anakin to Rove's Yoda?

So there's this guy Glenn Greenwald. He's a lefty. Has a popular blog. Annoys conservatives. Paul at Wizbang, a guy I respect, says he's "a lying, hypocritical piece of dung." That's good enough for me. And believe me, I know the temptation to smite mine enemies. Ohhhhh, how I know that temptation. Did I mention he has a knack for really, really, annoying conservatives?

In the last day or two, the possibility of catching Glenn in the act of sock puppetry emerged. Sock puppetry is the act of arguing, defending, or promoting yourself or your blog under all sorts of different names, creating the false appearance that there are any number of people who agree with you. If done in a substantive way on substantial issues or points, sock puppetry is very taboo, underhanded, and intellectually dishonest. Catching your enemy doing it is the sweet, sweet heroin of justice. You catch the sock puppeteer by discovering that several comments of this sort are left by different people, who all conveniently have the same IP address. Several sock puppets were found to be posting from Glenn's known IP address in Brazil. He has another address when in New York.

Our guys pounced on this blood in the internets like Jaws' bigger, meaner brother. Glenn's denial:
A new accusation is that I've been engaging in so-called "sock puppetry" by leaving comments in response to posts that attack me under other names., i.e., that I use multiple names to comment and the same comment was left at several blogs by the same IP address under different names.
Not frequently, I leave comments at blogs which criticize or respond to something I have written. I always, in every single instance, use my own name when doing so. I have never left a single comment at any other blog using any name other than my own, at least not since I began blogging. IP addresses signify the Internet account one uses, not any one individual. Those in the same household have the same IP address. In response to the personal attacks that have been oozing forth these last couple of weeks, others have left comments responding to them and correcting the factual inaccuracies, as have I. In each case when I did, I have used my own name.

The new direction of the investigation is the timeline scenario at Ace of Spades:
I will put you on notice that every posting by "Ellison," "Thomas Ellers," "Ryan," and "Wilson" [all sock puppets- LF]is as we speak being time-checked.

When it turns out, as I suspect it will, that a "Glenn Greenwald" comment is made at one time and a "Ryan" comment is made within three minutes of the Glenn Greenwald post, followed quickly by another "Glenn Greenwald" post, it's going to be more difficult to maintain that your boyfriend just scooted on to the computer for those three minutes to make a quick post in your defense before relinquishing it back to you... won't it?

Now I see this post from Kevin at Wizbang, someone else I respect. Kevin received an email that may prove that Glenn sent an email from his American IP address, at or around the same time that some potential sock puppetry from the Brazilian IP address was going on:
If it turns out (as appears likely) that he was not in Brazil when every single "sock puppet" comments were made then the increasingly convoluted theories being advanced to explain the story fall apart, because (at this point) the claims still seem to be that ALL the comments were made by Glenn.

Think back to the Rathergate story. Remember the straining on the left to prove that there was some device from the 1970's that could have produced those memos? Machine by machine each new theory was shown to be improbably then impossible. In the end the simplest solution - that the documents were created in Microsoft Word - was shown to be not only the simplest explanation, but also the only possible explanation.

That's where this is headed...

That's not something I wanted to hear, because quite frankly, I have a little bit of a hetero man-crush on Ace. It's my favorite blog, I post more crappy comments there than anywhere else, and he's even linked me three times, which is pretty sweet for this crappy blog.

". . . the claims still seem to be that ALL the comments were made by Glenn."

Is that the claim? Is it the claim that some of them were by Glenn, but not all were? If all of the sock puppets were written by Glenn's housemate, has Glenn done anything wrong? Can it ever be proved that Glenn knew what his housemate was doing, and allowed/endorsed/at the very least never attempted to stop it?

What if, after two or three days of frothing and gloating, the housemate comes out and says "Hey. You know what? I blew it. It hurt me to see people attacking Glenn, and I wanted to defend him. I didn't choose the best way, and for that, I'm sorry. However, he didn't know what I was doing, and I hope he will forgive me for actions of mine that ended up dragging his name through the mud. I've learned from this experience, and won't do it again."

As much as I might hope, pray, and dream that a guy who antagonizes my side would get some hardcore internet justice, if the housemate does indeed come out and say something like that, I have to accept the apology, don't I? And if the housemate falls on the sword, don't I have to set aside the accusations against Glenn?

Sort of reminds me of the stories of Rove keeping mum, letting the Dems get all wild and crazy with their speculation on some issue or other, and then deflating it all with the perfectly innocent explanation. Glenn is suddenly innocent, and guys on our side end up looking like loons for a change. And the longer we work that bone, the more and more it ends up looking like we're the ones who can't admit when we're wrong. And that particular dish of crow will not taste sweet.

Has someone on the left secretly studied Rove's techniques? Is Greenwald Anakin?
As a liberal and a reader of Glenn's, let me just stand up for him for a second and point out the obvious. Why would Glenn Greenwald use "sock puppets"? He has thousands of regular readers who would be only too happy to stick up for him.

Still, I think what your side is doing is great. The more you Ace, Mish, Patterico and Instahack whine about Glenn, the more popular he becomes and the more foolish they look.
Mish is Michelle Malkin, I guess?

I didn't think I was being too hard on Glenn, or whining about him. I thought the post was more of a recap of the state of the situation, and a caution that the conservatives might be getting too far out in front of a story that could very well end up with nothing to it.

We do agree on two things: the longer this goes, the more foolish my side looks if it comes to nothing and the more publicity Glenn gets.
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