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July 20, 2006

Questions For Mr. Greenwald

First of all, let me dispose of the idiotic defenses offered, either out of rabid partisanship or a desire to be "different" than Patterico, Shawn, and myself, by some on the left and the right.

Wizbang, there's hardly any need to go speculating about the possibility that Greenwald toted his wireless hither and yon and at various points different people were assigned his IP.* This theory requires multiple rabid Glenn Greenwald fans, all living in Brazil, of all places, all frequenting the same conservative blogs Greenwald is known to, all defending Greenwald in much the same languange, and, furthermore, all doing so in perfect, unaccented, idiomatic English, and lastly, all having been just been coindentally assigned the same IP address as Glenn Greenwald during the times and dates he was known to be posting on conservative blogs, coincidentally being assigned the same IP's out of the many thousands of dynamic IP addresses available at any time.

Do you know how the cumulative probability of a series of events is calculated? The probability (a fraction of 1 or less) of one event is multiplied by the next and then by the next and so forth. Let us speculate about the number of people reading blogs in Brazil; let us multiply that fraction by the number of people specifically reading American blogs; let us diminish that further by multiplying by the tiny fraction of people who have heard of Glenn Greenwald at all; and that by the smaller fraction of people who are intense fans of Glenn Greenwald, and so on, and so on, until we finally get to multiplying this already-insignificant possibility by the odds that such persons would be assigned Greenwald's IP, a fraction that could not be more than 1 in 1000, and probably is quite a bit less.

The possibility quickly moves from the "Trivial" the "Negligible" to the "Wildly improbable" until ultimately settling somewhere in the neighborhood of the "Absurdly implausible," edging on the "mathematically impossible."

Perhaps you think you're being fair. I hope you take no offense when I say that I think you are merely being idiotic.

Furthermore, not even Glenn Greenwald himself postulates such a fantastical defense; Greenwald's defense is precisely as I knew it would be: he claims that "friends" or "houseguests" or, who knows, hyperintelligent ocicats typed the messages from his home.

If Glenn Greenwald admits the messages originated from his home and his computer, I don't think it's necessary for "technical wizards" like Wizbang to construct statistically impossible series of coincidences that strain common sense, if not the limits of the human imagination itself.

And for all the rabid left-wing partisans suggesting that Patterico and I "forged" the records: If this is a viable possibility, why does Glenn Greenwald not offer it himself?

Perhaps because he knows something you do not-- like, for example, that he knows the records are quite accurate, and that he knows the posts in question originated from inside his home?

Which, again, is precisely what he claims. How Greenwald's defenders imagine it's proper to suggest more bizarre defenses than Greenwald himself can manage with a straight face, frankly, escapes me.

So: Greenwald admits the "sock puppet" messages originated from within his home. Let us take his admission on that, eh?

Greenwald will not say whom this mysterious defender might be. The obvious candidate is his boyfriend. I do not wish to make anything of that; it's not exactly a secret that Greenwald is gay. Nor is that reason for tittering or derision.

But he would have us believe the following:

1) This boyfriend chases around all references to Glenn Greenwald on the right side of the blogosphere obsessively, just as Glenn Greenwald himself does. This sort of blog-obsession is not common; right now there are dozens of left wing bloggers reviling me, and yet I have no interest in responding to them. I just don't care. Some people do-- Glenn Greenwald, for example. And, if Glenn Greenwald's explanation is to be believed, so does Glenn Greenwald's boyfriend.

I have dated women who cared for me, and I assure you they were not constantly on patrol for other bloggers' attacks on me, nor were they posting impassioned defenses on my behalf.

And yet Mr. Greenwald would have us believe he is dating a man who not only shares his passion for tracking down every snide remark made against Glenn Greenwald, but furthermore, going so far as to construct false identities and distancing scenarios ("I just emailed Glenn about this...") to conceal his connection to Greenwald.

2) This boyfriend further visits the precise same conservative sites that Glenn Greenwald is known to read, despite the fact that that there are, alas, many conservative sites he might defend his boyfriend's honor on. The boyfriend focuses like a laser on precisely those blogs Greenwald reads.

3) This boyfriend writes in perfectly-unaccented, native-speaker, fully-fluent, utterly-idiomatic, northeastern-educated prose, very similar to Glenn Greenwald's, despite the fact that Mr. Greenwald's boyfriend seems to be Brazillian.

4) This boyfriend, if he is who I believe he is, does in fact blog, but seems chiefly concerned with soccer. If he has a passion for politics -- particularly American politics, rather than the much-different Latin American politics which would seem more likely -- he manages to conceal such interest on his blog, apart from a few links without much comment on blogs that have attacked Glenn Greenwald. (Ace of Spades not among them.)

And yet he apparently has a keen interest in, and understanding of, such intrinsically-American issues as the NSA wiretapping controversy.


So my questions, Mr. Greenwald, are as follows:

Will you allow your boyfriend, the culprit you insinuate is behind these messages defending you, to answer questions on the telephone so that I can determine his precise level of fluency in English?

Oh, he speaks English, I know. And rather well -- for a non-native speaker. But I think we both know he cannot pass for a native speaker, don't we?

As your boyfriend seems such a bear on American politics, surely he has commented frequently on blogs (not in defense of you) offering his own opinions, with his own non-sock-puppet handle. Can you point out some of these postings by your politically-obsessive boyfriend so we can evauate word use, grammar, sentence structure, etc., to determine if they at all resemble the posts by "Ellison," "Wilson," "Thomas Ellers," and "Ryan"? (Odd name choices, by the way, for a Brazillian. They seem strangely... American, yes-yes?)

And, more importantly:

Will you simply admit what you have done now before are embarrassed any further?

I will put you on notice that every posting by "Ellison," "Thomas Ellers," "Ryan," and "Wilson" 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?

You have dug a deep enough hole. You have embarrassed yourself with your childish antics and preening vanity and inability simply let things go.

But these are venal sins.

Lying, premeditatedly and unapologetically, to your readers and all the world and maintaining that deceit in the face of overwhelming evidence is a mortal sin for a writer, and one you are not likely to recover from.

And so I ask you again, for your own sake:

Is there anything you -- or "Ellison," or "Ryan," or any of your other dedicated defenders -- would like to say at this point?

While it is not yet too late?

If, implausible as it seems, your boyfriend or houseguest or, who knows, Great Aunt Mathilda put these posts up from you computer, why do you not let this person admit his culpability on your blog and field questions from curious readers as well as skeptics?

PS: I'm also not sure why it's "fair" to blame the boyfriend, rather than Glenn Greenwald, for the dishonest behavior. Aren't you still blaming someone? Aren't you just arbitrarily blaiming the less likely, less personally interested party, for dishonest behavior, and then patting yourself on the back for your "fairness"?

Eh. I guess the Brazilian boyfriend doesn't count. He's just a "civilian."

How To Admit Sock-Puppetry With Dignity and Honor: At the end of this point, I sadly informed all of my readers and commenters that I had made them all up to boost my traffic.


* Correction: Wizbang did not suggest the improbable theory I suggested. Other people have, but not Wizbang. I misunderstood a digest of it from a poster, and it sounded like the "conspiracy of random IP assignment" theory popular at Greenwald's asylum. I should have known Wizbang wouldn't propose such an outlandish theory.

Still, I find his credulousness regarding Greenwald's ever-protective, virtual-doppleganger boyfriend somewhat... dopey.


Mr. Greenwald&bodytext=First of all, let me dispose of the idiotic defenses offered, either out of rabid partisanship or a desire to be "different" than Patterico, Shawn, and myself, by some on the left and the right. Wizbang, there's hardly any need...&topic=world_news">digg this
posted by Ace at 08:29 PM

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