Edit: this is a throw-away account, I will not be using it further nor answering any questions
Edit2: impossible to get such a piece passed my editor, so I'm leaving it here for people to distribute (send it to journos if you have the emails, it will silently resonate)
We are told the work on /r/Pizzagate (and other message boards) is illegitimate because people are rushing to conclusions, or because they are being paranoid, or partisan (despite so many of different political complexions provably working together). The subtitle here of course is that the State is solely legitimate to suspect and investigate crimes.
But what if the State itself is, in a systemic way, responsible for said crimes? It wouldn't be a first; after all, democide (death by government, a word surprisingly absent from conversations) was the first cause of non-natural deaths in the 20th century. Whether one is from the right, left, or center, one cannot deny government is the number one abuser, enslaver and serial-killer in History. We may honestly disagree on the ways to eradicate the phenomenon, or we may regret that fact, but we cannot deny it.
So, if the State itself is committing crimes, it is the people's sovereign and sacred duty to expose it. Those who understand this truth best tend to become journalists. At least, that's what drove me to the profession.
Now specifically on this work. First, there is context; institutional child abuse is already a common-knowledge phenomenon. From the Presidio affair to Jimmy Saville and the BBC, or from the Vatican's historic involvement in covering-up pedophilia to US legislators' documented trips on the "Lolita Express", from the questions still surrounding Dutroux to the Hampstead doubts, the scourge has been featured in the news, movies, documentaries, art work. There have also been many policymakers, prosecutors, investigators and victims denouncing the very phenomenon; see for example British MP John Mann passionate speech before Parliament on the subject last year, or the extensive report by former undercover Interpol agent (Bannon). Indeed it is a secret de Polichinelle. So the only possible disagreement can be on the scale and systemicity of the phenomenon.
To honestly decide whether that's what we are seeing in the Podesta emails, please have a look at this one example. Look at the invitation at the end of the thread. Ms Luzzatto is inviting people (among which are John and Mary Podesta) to a farm in Lovettsville. This is what she says:
We plan to heat the pool, so a swim is a possibility. Bonnie will be Uber Service to transport Ruby, Emerson, and Maeve Luzzatto (11, 9, and almost 7) so you’ll have some further entertainment, and they will be in that pool for sure.
Impossible, you say? They couldn't possibly be speaking about abusing the children! After all, what step-grandmother would offer three innocent children up for group abuse?
This is how invitee Drew Littman answers the invitation:
I've never had an affair, so I pass the Walter Jones test.
If you aren't aware, Walter B. Jones has for 20 years been the U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 3rd congressional district; in DC he's regarded as the absurd caricature of a do-gooder, i.e. he is a noble man indeed.
Agreed, if that example was the only one, one could dismiss it as baroque misinterpretation. But there's more, much more. Let's not even get into the handkerchiefs and codewords - even though "cheese pizza" is a known euphemism for "child porn" (and there are abundant examples in the Podesta emails where that term is used in very strange and out-of-context manners).
How about the fact that John and Tony Podesta are old friends of Jeffery Epstein, Dennis Hastert and Clement Freud, three convicted child molesters? Who has so many child rapists as friends? Who stays friends with child rapists after they're exposed and convicted?
How about the Katy Grannan photos plastered around the Podestas' mansion, depicting naked teenagers?
How about Tony Podesta writing he's "very good and a little wired" from being seated next to "the kids" on an airplane?
How about the underground vault on the Podestas' property which admittedly allows them to watch "very complicated video pieces"?
If you are feeling ill-at-ease, that reaction is honorable. And the worse thing is you haven't yet seen much. But for more, you'll have to look for it. Indeed one might be breaking statutory laws by linking to some of the clues Internet sleuths have found in the past three weeks.
For example, did you know James Alefantis, listed 49th "most influential" person in DC by GQ, chef and White House regular, boyfriend of David Brock, owner of Comet Ping Pong, had an Instagram account filled with references to and depictions of child abuse and torture? Indeed it's not just the frescoes in his restaurant or the "artists" he hosts there; it's not even the fact his menu and the logos of three other iconic businesses next door feature FBI-recognized pedophilia symbols. No, this is about his own posts, pictures, comments and friends on social media. Again, you'll have to look it up for yourself. It is hardly ambiguous. Indeed it is Alefantis who puts the pizza in #Pizzagate.
If that surprises you, did you know Arun Rao was caught "liking" several of Alefantis' creepiest toddler Instagram posts? Again, that could be dismissed - only there's all this context, and the fact Mr Rao is a Assistant US attorney, and charged with prosecuting child pornography and abuse.
And if you're still not distinguishing the pattern, did you know that Laura Silsby (Gayler), the woman caught trying to smuggle thirty-three children out of Haiti (a country where the Clinton Foundation isn't without controversy), whose release from jail became a personal matter for Ms Clinton, thereafter became an associate of MyStateUSA, which changed its name to AlertSense, and which is the one providing the technology to issue Amber Alerts?
Enough already. If anything I have proven the legitimacy of the following question:
Is there a systemic pedophilia problem in Washington DC, as we already suspect there is one in Hollywood?
In terms of national systemicity, the statistics are eloquent. The International Centre for Missing Children (ICMEC) estimates that 8 million children are reported missing each year around the world. Of that number, according to U.S. Department of Justice research, an estimated 800,000 children will go missing in the United States alone — a rate of over 2'000 missing children each day — with 466,949 of those cases entered into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database in 2014. With a current child population (aged 0 – 17) of around 74 million in the United States, the U.S. Department of Justice figures equate to around 1 child in every 92 going missing in the United States each year.
This looks like a systemic problem indeed. Childhood disappearances outnumber cancer deaths in the United States by one third.
Therefore, given the sheer amount of leaked emails, and the suspected phenomenon's scale and repartition, it is likely the data dumps (Podesta and other Wikileaks, Guccifer 1/2, DNCLeaks, etc.) provide some clue to the problem. Therefore, they should be investigated thoroughly under than particular lens, and suspicions need to be corroborated with other (and previously) known facts.
So, my fellow journalists, why aren't you all looking into this? Is it easy for you to dismiss it as confirmation bias?
I'm not going to answer the question for you. At least hop on the bandwagon: this is coming out with or without your help. But remember some moments are defining, in one's career, for one's conscience.
I'll conclude with two excerpts of the Munich Declaration of the Duties and Rights of Journalists (kind of our own Hippocratic Oath).
The responsibility of journalists vis-a-vis the public has precedence over any other responsibility, in particular towards their employers and the public power.
[A journalist's duties include] respecting the truth no matter what consequences it may bring about to him, ... defending the freedom of information, of commentaries and of criticism, [and] not suppressing essential information.
... and one question:
If this doesn't matter, what does?