Did you catch the coup?
Anti-Muslim zealot Pamela Geller, who has posted such whoppers on her blog as the claim that President Obama is the secret “love child” of Malcolm X, is passing off yet another flight of right-wing conspiracy fancy as solemn fact: The idea that the order to launch the raid that killed Osama bin Laden Sunday was the result of an internal White House “coup” that overrode the baleful objections of a timid, disinterested Barack Obama.
Geller, executive director of Stop Islamization of America, has ridden anti-Muslim bigotry – most prominently, her opposition to plans for the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” in lower Manhattan – to national and international notoriety despite posting a torrent of vile commentary and loopy conspiracy theories on her Atlas Shrugs website.
She apparently doesn’t bother putting enough mental energy to light a Christmas bulb into deciding what to publish there: Under the heading, “Skulking Towards bin Laden: Obama Overridden by Military and Intel Officials in Takeout of OBL?” Geller on Monday posted what she accepts as a dispatch from a “White House insider,” claiming intimate knowledge that CIA Director Leon Panetta, with the approval of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, gave the order to launch the raid, ignoring an “abort” directive from Commander-in-Chief Obama.
Here’s the real deal: Geller was suckered (and is now suckering her readers) into believing fictional tripe put forth by one “Ulsterman,” a well-debunked anonymous blogger who has invented an imaginary White House source. Until Geller knighted him, Ulsterman was a small-time, largely ignored Obama-basher posting on the Website NewsFlavor – which seems willing to print anything that will generate even a smattering of clicks. Ulsterman has already been caught in several lies – including inventing a university sociologist who doesn’t exist and a fake executive for a non-existent media company – by one of his online tormenters known as Munsterwoman. Another Ulsterman-watching sleuth, Sam Gelfand of the Twin Cities Daily Planet website, surmised through circumstantial reasoning that Ulsterman is Conservative Examiner blogger Anthony G. Martin (Martin denies this) – in part, because Martin alone has been willing to grant Ulsterman and his White House Insider even the remotest shred of legitimacy.
In any case, it appears Ulsterman found a more reliable way to avoid being caught in lies – create a “Deep Throat”-style anonymous source whose identity can’t be confirmed or denied.
From “White House Insider’s” supposed urgent “dispatch” (italics and bold type in original) Monday:
“HC [Clinton] and LP [Panetta] were in constant communication over matter – both attempted to convince administration to act. Administration feared failure and resulting negative impact on president. Intel disgusted over politics over national security. Staff resigned/left. Point of determination made FOR Obama not BY Obama. Will clarify as details become more clear. Very clear divide between Military and WH … When 48 hour go order issued, CoC was told, not requested. Administration scrambled to abort. That order was overruled. This order did not originate from CoC. Repeat – this order did not originate from CoC. He complied, but did not originate. Independent military contacts have confirmed. Stories corroborate one another. This is legit. The killing of Osama Bin Laden was in fact a Coup within Obama WH.”
This “leak” actually continues a pre-raid meme in which Ulsterman’s faux “informant” reveals supposed strife inside the White House, featuring a weak, emotionally unhinged Obama who meekly follows orders, “can’t think on his feet,” watches ESPN and waits for scripts to be written for him (racist stereotypes, anyone?) while Chief of Staff Bill Daley and senior Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett battle for dominance. In an April 28 post, Ulsterman asks his source if there is a West Wing war under way. “Hell yes – print it!” the source supposedly exclaims. “I’ve told you before – there has always been chaos with this White House. … Now I know I told you that there was a bit of a control fight between Daley and Jarrett, right? … Well this fight has broke [sic] out into all out war between these two. And Jarrett is getting her ass kicked. That’s not to say she won’t claw her way back, she’s got the confidence of the First Lady and the president … but those two are learning they aren’t calling the shots anymore. Too much at stake to allow those two elitist morons to just -expletive- it up. … What I mean is that Barack and Michelle Obama … it was communicated to them in no uncertain terms that they are to follow directions.”
Common sense alone would cast a long shadow of doubt over this “source.” Despite having extraordinary access to the most intimate conversations of top-level staff, the source on April 28 has no idea that the bin Laden raid plan was about to be set in motion the next day. Then a day after the news breaks, the informant steps forth with details of a “coup” that conveniently aligns with the earlier tales of internal intrigue. Not a whiff of this colossal development has been picked up – or even asked about – by the professional media.
And for good reason. Consider the logic: If you were a disaffected White House insider determined to reveal your story but unwilling to identify yourself, would you choose to share it only with someone else whose identity can’t be verified – and thus, can’t vouch for you – who then posts it on a we’ll-publish-anything website? What made the Watergate scandal that brought down Richard Nixon in 1974 so powerful was that The Washington Post, a known and respected institution, staked its reputation on Deep Throat’s legitimacy. (In 2005, it was revealed that Deep Throat was the FBI’s then-second in command, William Mark Felt, Sr.)
Thanks to Geller’s endorsement, Ulsterman’s phony scoop rocketed around the conservative blogosphere – though even on “friendly” sites, many comments were similar to this one on Clifton Chadwick’s blog: “You are an idiot for believing this nonsense.”
Geller – who thrives on any attention, favorable or not – on Tuesday clucked, “My first blog on this subject had heads exploding across the blogosphere. It definitely hit a chord. What is it that they say? If you are getting a lot of flak, you know you have hit the target.” (Note to Geller: If you’re getting a lot of flak, you are the target.)
Never mind that most observers – including many on her own website – were skewering her with ridicule. Attention is attention.