"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Here's a report from an apparently respectable television news department in Iowa:
A cold case is heating up. Iowa paperboy Johnny Gosch vanished without a trace in 1982. But, now, after KWWL's story last month on Johnny's disappearance, there is new information on the case.
A private investigator working Johnny's disappearance believe his kidnapping was part of a government conspiracy. The investigator shared new evidence with KWWL and it could be the break needed to solve this case. That evidence includes a recorded phone call that has never been heard publicly, until now.
During the early morning of Septmeber 5, 1982, Johnny Gosch was kidnapped from a West Des Moines neighborhood while delivering newspapers. It was silent, quick and professional. "This man has told us that at the end of their investigation that there were 834 kids involved that were kidnapped," says James Rothstein. He's talking about a former CIA agent who must remain anonymous....
Last month, people on the internet and investigators like Rothstein began to believe a man who passed himself off as a White House reporter and known male prostitute Jeff Gannon could be Johnny Gosch. And while Gannon's true idenity still can't be confirmed, Rothstein says the more clues he uncovers, the possibility Gannon may be Gosch increases, "When you look into the whole abduction of Johnny, what happened, the cover-up that took place, the way the kidnapping was done, this was a professional job and it fits the profile that I have seen over the years as a professional investigator."
Rothstein now believes the CIA was involved and tried cover it up. "They were assigned to find out if there was an agency connection to it and I am quite sure that if they found one, to make sure it was covered," he says.
And Rothstein's CIA informant says this: "We were specifically ordered to clear our name. This would make the American agency look pretty s****y, like we're all a bunch of f***ing child molesters."
We requested information from the CIA on three kidnappings, Rothstein and his CIA informant believes to be connected. The first, Johnny Gosch, the second, Eugene Martin, kidnapped on August 12th, 1984 while delivering newspapers in Des Moines.
And, Jacob Wetterling, who was kidnapped from his Minnesota neighborhood on October 22, 1989. The CIA responded to our request with this letter, denying the agency investigated any of the kidnapping cases. But, Rothstein's source says, it happened often and for big bucks, "You could order one of these kids, it was $2,500 to $3,000 up front then you had the balance of another $3,000 to $3,500 or $4,000 upon completion. In some cases, you know depending on the circumstances you can probably get them at the bargain basement price of $1,500, but most I think that we ever saw was for the bondage and the freaky s**t and that was an even $10,000 and people...these people would hand that money out like it was candy."
Ridiculous, of course. But just in case you would like to compare and contrast, here's the photo (of Johnny Gosch, presumably) that accompanies the KWWL story:
And here (via AMERICAblog) are several photos of Jimmy/Jeff Guckert/Gannon:
Of course, as you might expect and the Internet being what it is, there are already a number of Web sites crawling all over this "story" (see e.g. here, here, and here), and tying it to the oft-repeated rumor that Hunter S. Thompson was working on an exposé along these lines at the time of his death. Most of them also mention that the Washington Times ran a similar story 16 years ago.
Like I said - ridiculous. But I wonder if anyone, anywhere - much less the NBC affiliate in Dubuque/Waterloo/Cedar Rapids, Iowa - would give a story like this any credence at all if we didn't know as a matter of fact that the CIA engages in disappearing people and holding them who-knows-where as "ghost detainees," in violation of international law. After all, once you've gone that far, who's to say you won't snatch a paperboy every now and then?
Update: More skepticism about this "bombshell" at this DKos diary.