It Would Appear That The WSJ Has A Problem Now
NEWS: I have sent Jesse an email indicating that if there is no satisfactory response as to how he is in posession of detailed bank and phone info by 8PM EST on June 4, I will publish the full text of our email exchanges, redacted to protect the innocent. The text of that email is at the end of this entry.
The email exchanges we've had will show that he has represented himself as benign, intending no malice, wanting to get together, eager to communicate, to hang out, shoot the shit, basically cut to the chase on all this silliness involving my anonymity, my motives, etc.
I politely declined. Being as he is a kindred and familiar of Rocker, Cohodes, Greenberg, etc. it seemed a tad, well, suspicious, to say the least.
And then he turns up with a host of leading questions, amongst which he demonstrates intimate familiarity of the details of an attorney's trust account, used by NCANS to receive donations (partially so that nobody can ever accuse me of taking the money and going to Cheetah's - not that there's anything wrong with that, per se) - which I naturally am alarmed about, as it would indicate that Federal laws have been broken, and that Jesse has possession of privileged, protected, and presumably stolen data. The implication is that every donor to NCANS is now known to the hedge funds whose interests NCANS opposes - I, and several others, have received emails from a prominent personality who is closely tied to the hedge funds, intimating that he knows "my" real name. Which would imply that he has access to all the rest of the data as well, as does everyone else in his circle - every donor harmed in a material and illegal way by having their privacy violated and their financial transactions exposed - that's why banking records are confidential. Anyone see a problem here?
I also have received info from a significant contributor to NCANS, who has done me small favors like obtaining Yahoo ID's and cell phones and the like, that friends, physicians, brokers have gotten calls from Mr. Eisinger - implying that one of the phones I have used and which was presumably also used by this fellow has been hacked, and the calling records illegally obtained. This starts to take on an ominous tone, and one that if accurate contains multiple felonies, as well as the basis of pretty compelling civil action.
Then, I get word that this guy's aged relative, who lives in a gated compound, was visited by Mr. Eisinger (I presume - that is how he was represented, but we really don't know, do we?), and the neighbors questioned at length, terrifying the septuagenarian relative before Jesse was ejected and cited for trespassing; the relative had no idea what was going on, and it took the donor in question a few days to hear about it and make the event known to me. Emotional distress, you are thinking? You betcha. And all, apparently, because this donor contributed some cash and content to NCANS and did us some favors. Obviously someone Jesse thinks is the perfidious Bob O'Brien himself, or one of his intimates - forgive me if I yawn at this point, and wonder aloud as to whether the end justifies the means.
So I posed some questions to Mr. Eisinger - what level of felonious behavior is permissible, in his book? Stolen bank records? Stolen phone records? Scaring old folks based on those stolen records? Distributing the data to folks who will use it in unknown and uncontrollable ways?
Someone obviously considers multiple felonies child's play, so what other, more insidious behavior awaits?
Strangely, no answer now. It's all quiet in Jesse town. No responses, no explanations, no "you got it all wrong", no eagerness to chew the fat.
Jesse believes he knows who I am. Jesse believes he knows these things largely due, as far as I can tell, to stolen records he has obtained through means which are unknown to us at this time. Jesse has gone down a road which yields no fruit, which I tried to tell him without being too obvious - but he needs a Bob O'Brien, and he will have one, and apparently anything goes when you have your story written and need to fit the facts to the theory.
The question is what is permissible behavior by our press? Cameron Diaz is suing the Enquirer for $30 million because of one of their reporters lying to an aged relative in order to pepper her with questions, and allegedly making up a story out of a hodgepodge of incongruent facts.
They didn't commit felonies. They just "allegedly" lied. That is nothing compared with this - wouldn't a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, in possession of impermissibly obtained data he is presumably using to build his "case", be worse - much worse, than a tabloid doing a smear on a celebrity? Wouldn't he be expected to know better? The real question is whether a wealthy, powerful hedge fund can direct media cronies to target voices of dissention and opposition, hoping to smear and silence those that have gained too much influence and visibility - that certainly appears to be one convincing explanation for all the attention being focused on me - those that have violated the law with the FTD situation don't like the spotlight I've directed at them. And if that is the case here, and if multiple felonies are evident, just how clear does the violation have to be before some heads roll?
So Jesse, where is the line? Lying? Felonious pilfering of banking records? Theft of phone records? What is unacceptable? Is there a line? In my hypothetical "profile" of you, if I somehow received all that illegally obtained data in your case, and it made it to powerful, angry, potentially criminally linked folks who dislike your actions, can I just shrug my shoulders and say not my problem - it happens? If I do my profile on you, are these actions OK? Yes? No? Only some of the above? I really want to understand. Help me understand.
Barron's recently reported that one hedge fund manager felt threatened by "how's the weather" and "how's the wife and kids" - should I feel threatened with NCANS' donors' info being bandied about by the bad guys? How about if it was all Herb's phone logs - wasn't Herb whining about that like it was the end of the world just recently, in outrage, demanding the FBI to do something? How about if he could place a WSJ reporter with them in his possession? Would that warrant some column inches, ya think? Or what about if someone showed up to "interview" some relatives of someone they had mistaken for Marc, or David, or you? Would that cross some really scary lines? Yes? No? No opinion? Cat got your tongue?
Simple questions. Why not answer them? This is a much more interesting story than who's Bob O'Brien.
So answer the questions, Jesse.
Take your time. And maybe seek advice of counsel before you do so.
They are really good questions, I think.
Ball's in your court. The silence is deafening. As it always appears to be when one of these guys gets caught flat footed.
Here's the latest email from a few minutes ago:
I had a follow-up issue for you to respond to, if you would, please. As you know some hedge fund investors believe it is "cowardly" of you to hide your true identity behind a phony one. I would like to solicit your response to that.
Well, Jesse, I find it cowardly to use stolen bank info and phone records and the like to try to identify someone, in violation of federal laws. Again, the only folks who seem preoccupied by my identity are the hedge funds. Why do they want to know who I am?
Answer: To do me harm, to intimidate, to slander and libel, to silence a voice of dissention who is gumming up their carefully crafted campaign of lawbreaking and manipulation. There are numerous examples of hedge funds who wind up being connected to mob folks and terrorist money - look at Elgindy to get a flavor, or Valentine's little game. These are criminals - they've been convicted, it's not in question. So your question is "why don't you want criminals to have all of your personal data - isn't that cowardly?" Are you really that dim? Would you want a criminal group to have your data? Just look at how many federal laws appear to have been violated so far in your little probe.
I have broken no laws by creating the websites. I am under no obligation to reveal my identity. And yet I am being hunted as though I am public enemy number one, by a group that does not have my best interests at heart. Why don't you try answering some frank questions, which are articulated pretty clearly on my blog and my email to you?
This email will be published, BTW. Our arrangement of confidentiality on emails going forward is off - when I discovered the banking record thing, phone record thing, in person appearance thing, lines have been crossed that solidify your adversarial intent. It will be interesting to see how you spin your prior emails which state that you really just want to share my side of the story given your actions to date. So answer the questions, OK, don't just stonewall them. They are good questions. Very good questions.
I have given this a lot of thought, and it would appear that our interests are diverging into an area that is increasingly adversarial. I went along with the notion that you were not looking to do a lambasting of "me" but rather a profile, but frankly your actions and the nature of the information you have obtained and demonstrated fluency with, coupled with your refusal to answer the questions I sent you, leaves me with an ethical dilemma I don't take lightly. To that end, if by Saturday 8PM EST I don't hear a satisfactory explanation of how you would have granular banking information and donor info on NCANS, as well as how you obtained privileged telephone info, I will consider our agreement to have run its course and will be publishing the full text of all our exchanges, redacted to protect the names of the innocent. I had hoped that you would have a satisfactory explanation as to how you have come by the info you have, however I can only interpret your silence as an admission that there is no coherent explanation that does not involve impropriety of the most base sort.
Please consider this formal notice.
AKA Bob O'Brien