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Ryan's Mouth Says No, But His Eyes Say Please DM Me A "Candid" Picture | Main | PolitiFact: What Mitt Romney Said Yesterday Was True But We'll Call Him A Liar Anyway
June 03, 2011

Strip Poker: "PatriotUSA76" Is Irrelevant

I was asked about this in an email. By like six people. Since I've by now fully expressed my thinking across six different emails, might as well synthesize them and publish them for everyone else.

There's a lot of legitimate speculation about PatriotUSA76.

And then there is some paranoia.

I didn't want to deal with this because it doesn't matter to the central story, but since everyone's talking about it, here's me talking about it.

I have heard a lot of possibilities floated about who PatriotUSA76 really is.

Here is a sampling of the possibilities:

1. PatrioutUSA76 is precisely what he appears to be: A determined conservative partisan who hated Weiner and followed him on Twitter because he 1, hated him, and 2, noticed that Weiner seemed to be following a lot of young, cute girls, and found this suspicious. As Film Ladd (perhaps unfairly, perhaps fairly) terms it, a bit of a "cyberstalker." And yet, only that -- a boring axe to grind combined with time to waste.

2. Jilted ex-girlfriend who has a penis picture from prior relationship and hacked the account. Note carefully: This is the only possibility that really implicates a "hacker" claim or comes close to exonerating Weiner. Oddly enough, this just happens to be the one his PR team is trying to float out there for naive liberals in the press to bite into. Problem: There is absolutely no reason to suspect this. Further, as a commenter points out, if she had shady dirt to peddle on Weiner, why not just go to the press and squeal? Why all the masque and mystery?

3. This isn't something anyone has mentioned, except me, but: if 2 is in play, then we must also add "Boyfriend of a girl who was inappropriately DM'd by Weiner, or a boyfriend of a girl Weiner stole away or slept with," who has been looking for vengeance ever since. In this scenario, PatriotUSA76 hates Weiner for personal reasons, but is disguising his identity as an angry boyfriend by hiding under a flag of partisan animus.

4. A Republican online campaign tracker -- I didn't know they had these, but it make sense -- who has been paid to stalk Weiner's account, looking for anything compromising. Problem with this one: A professional tracker wouldn't make a lot of noise, I don't think, and get all emotionally invested.

5. A Democrat online campaign tracker, who is placed by one of Weiner's numerous potential Mayoral rivals for 2013, looking for a way to take Weiner out of the running. Problem: Same as with 4.

6. And I honestly just had this floated to me: PatriotUSA76 is the "catcher" whereas Ginger Lee is the "pitcher" in a "honeypot" sting situation; Ginger Lee is a set-up to attract the attention of Weiner, and then PatriotUSA76 catches his errant post and publicizes it. Problem here: it's preposterous, Ginger Lee is a real person with a real life, and further, this whole idea relies on knowing that Weiner would send an errant Tweet, which is too silly to be credited. But then, who knows, maybe he was #Hacked! in this honey-pot operation. But if you're going to just #Fabricate! evidence anyway I don't see the point of having a sleeper agent in the stripper business.

Now, here are the possibilities. Maybe there are more. Maybe, who knows, PatriotUSA76 is a boyhood friend of Anthony Weiner's, and one day they were playing with a loaded gun they didn't know was loaded, and Antony Weiner accidentally shot and killed PatriotUSA76's little brother, and they buried the body and claimed he ran away, but PatriotUSA76 has been racked by guilt and anger ever since, and has waited 30 years to pounce.

Now, if that's silly, it's silly, but explain to me why that one is any less supported than any of the other ones. I mean, if we're just making crap up, why not make it a real mystery, with a dead child's skeleton buried somewhere under the floor of an abandoned Queens shirt-factory?

The important point in all of this is only a hack gets Weiner off the hook. Only a hack. Only in scenarios 2, maybe 3, and I don't know, outlandish scenario 6 is a hack likely or possible. I suppose it's possible in all of them, even 1.

So we're all interested in PatriotUSA76 for only one real reason: Did he do a hack?

That's the only real way that PatriotUSA76 becomes relevant as regards Weiner's guilt. If PatriotUSA76 did not just monitor and stalk Weiner's account, but actually hacked it, then PatriotUSA76 is very relevant.

If he didn't hack it, he's irrelevant. Maybe there's an interesting story here about a campaign tracker, and I'd like to read that story, sure, but that story is irrelevant to Weiner's guilt.

A tracker doesn't get him off.

Only a hacker gets him off.

So: Was there a hack? Let's begin with the question we're trying to answer. Because we actually can answer it.

I don't see how you get around the fact that if Weiner doesn't call the cops, that means he knows there's no hacker.

This is like Poker. You know your opponent's cards through his behavior.

You can't see his cards, but he can see his cards, and you can see the bets he's placing and his demeanor.

From his behavior and bets, one card Anthony Weiner is NOT holding is the "Hacker" card.


If he held the Ace of Hack, or the King of Hack, or even the Deuce of Hack, he'd play it and call the FBI.

And if that's the case -- and I think I know this as "fact," at least a close to a "fact" as you can have by inference -- then that rules out the Jilted XGF/Vengeance-Seeking Boyfriend of DM'd Girl "hack" scenarios, and we're left with the rest, one of which is boring (he is who he says he is), one of which is preposterous ("honeytrap"), and two of which are "interesting" and indicate partisan sleaziness but do nothing to suggest Weiner didn't do exactly what he did.

So: All this paranoia to answer a question -- was there a hack? -- which was answered within 48 hours when Anthony Weiner refused to call the FBI to report his #Hacked! violation.

He does not have the Hack card, of any rank. No Ace of Hack, no King of Hack, no Jack of Hack.

He does not have this card.

PatriotUSA76 may turn out to be interesting. He will likely remain quite boring.

But he will not turn out to be the Mystery Hacker, because Anthony Weiner has told you, as clearly and as loudly and as repeatedly as possible, that there is no Mystery Hacker.

Headline: WEINER PULLS OUT. Out of the Wisconsin hate rally he was supposed to attend. Mostly predicted.

So, he can't even go to red-meat true-blue liberal rallies now.

Thanks to someguy.

Trim That Thang With Occam's Razor: Weighing in on Team Duh, It's Not Complicated is Princess of Swords. Says this happens all the time to female Twitterers.

Thanks to ArthurK.

digg this
posted by Ace at 04:44 PM

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