An Interesting Turn of Events in the Matt Gaetz Case

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Photo Credit: Image by Momentmal from Pixabay

On March 30, The New York Times broke the bombshell story that Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican, is under investigation by the DOJ for the possible violation of federal sex trafficking laws. They are looking into whether he may have engaged in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her to travel with him. It is illegal, the Times informed its readers, “to induce someone under 18 to travel over state lines to engage in sex in exchange for money or something of value.” The encounters are said to have occurred about two years ago.

The Times also wrote that Gaetz is a subject, rather than the target, of the investigation. Their sources were identified as “three people briefed on the matter.”

As it turns out, the DOJ is investigating the congressman.

The Times described the target of the investigation as a Gaetz associate named Joel Greenberg. According to the Times, Greenberg “was indicted last summer on an array of charges, including sex trafficking of a child and financially supporting people in exchange for sex, at least one of whom was an underage girl.” Prior to Greenberg’s indictment, he served as the Seminole County tax collector.

Last week, Greenberg reached a plea deal with prosecutors. According to The Washington Post, he “pleaded guilty Monday to sex trafficking of a minor and a host of other crimes, agreeing to cooperate fully with prosecutors and testify in court in hopes of leniency for himself.”

The Post and other major media outlets played up Greenberg’s association with Gaetz. They were delighted by this turn of events anticipating the damage that Greenberg’s testimony could inflict on Gaetz.

They wrote: “His plea and deal to cooperate is a potentially ominous sign for Gaetz (R-Fla.) because it signals prosecutors have lined up a critical witness while they continue to investigate the congressman. Gaetz has vigorously denied wrongdoing.”

But, they left out one very critical piece of information which Raheem Kassam, the editor of The National Pulse, discovered.

Kassam reports that, among other charges, Greenberg pleaded guilty to falsely accusing a school teacher (who had planned to run against him in the 2020 election for the office of Seminole County Tax Collector) of having sex with a minor. Additionally, Kassam wrote that “Greenberg is the only person making accusations about Rep. Gaetz right now – two months in – and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest his animosity is driven by Gaetz’s refusal to get involved in Greenberg’s demands for a pardon from President Trump.

Count Four states: “Greenberg used the mail, an interactive computer service, an electronic communication service, an electronic communication system of interstate commerce, and a facility of interstate commerce to engage in a course of conduct that caused, attempted to cause, and would be reasonably expected to cause substantial emotional distress to the Teacher.”

“Greenberg started by mailing letters. On or about October 10, 2019, Greenberg used the United States Mail to send an anonymous letter that purported to be from a “concerned student.” The letter was mailed from the Middle District of Florida and was addressed to the head of the school where the Teacher worked.”

If Greenberg was willing to smear a school teacher to prevent him from entering the race, he is capable of doing the same thing to Gaetz.

A jury would find Greenberg to be a very incredible witness. Certainly, it would be difficult to convict Gaetz if Greenberg has already pleaded guilty to a nearly identical crime.

Even taking the double standard into account, I don’t see it happening.

Read Count Four:

“The victim of Count Four is a teacher at a school located in the Middle District of Florida (referred to herein as the “Teacher”). On or about October 4, 2019, the Teacher filed with the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections to run  Because the Teacher had filed to run in opposition to him, Greenberg used the mail, an interactive computer service, an electronic communication service, an electronic communication system of interstate commerce, and a facility of interstate commerce to engage in a course of conduct that caused, attempted to cause, and would be reasonably expected to cause substantial emotional distress to the Teacher.

“The envelope contained an anonymous typed letter addressed to the head of the school that contained information, alleging an inappropriate relationship between a student and teacher. In that letter, Greenberg, posing as a student at the school, falsely represented that he had first-hand knowledge of a sexual relationship between another fictitious student identified as “R[]” and the Teacher. Greenberg, posing as a student at the school, falsely represented that “R[]” admitted to engaging in oral and anal sex with the Teacher and that the incidents took place at the school. Greenberg, posing as a student at the school, signed the-letter “a very concerned student” at the school.”

“Greenberg’s false accusations resulted in local law enforcement conducting a criminal investigation of the Teacher. Florida Statute § 800.101 criminalizes any “authority figure,” such a teacher at school, from soliciting or engaging in sexual conduct, a relationship of a romantic nature, or lewd conduct with a student enrolled at a school. Violations of the statute are second degree felonies.

“Greenberg’s false allegations about the Teacher involved false claims that the Teacher had committed felony criminal offenses. As Greenberg knew when he made those allegations in the letters and in the online posts, those allegations were false. Greenberg made those false allegations to cause substantial emotional distress to the Teacher. After investigating the Teacher, local law enforcement found no support whatsoever for the false allegations that Greenberg had made.”

Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa: What’s In A Name?

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Photo Credit: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Richard Edward and the Narrator Argue over Motive

It isn’t often in this life I am so stunned by events that my brain simply recoils in disgust and my “opinion generator” fails to start. Today, however, is one of those days.

I am reading about the senseless slaughter of ten Americans, who dared to venture into the confines of a public supermarket. My anger rises and my lizard cortex takes over. I am pissed. Fox News, as they normally do, encapsulates the events of this tragedy in a concise and professional manner. Fox writer Stephanie Pagones updates the story with the names of those killed and the name of the suspect who pulled the trigger on our neighbors.

Pagones writes:

Boulder, Colo., police officials updated the public regarding Monday’s mass shooting at the King Soopers grocery store that left 10 people dead, including the first police officer to arrive on the scene, revealing they have charged the suspect with 10 counts of first-degree murder.

Police identified the suspect as Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, a 21-year-old Arvada, Colo., man, though his motive for the attack was not specified at this time. Police also identified the 10 victims, whose families were notified by 4 a.m. local time. They range in age from 20 to 65 years old.

Yesterday, some reporters, nieces of U.S. politicians and twitter users immediately seized upon the “white man goes on shooting rampage” narrative.

Today, there is a different story to consider and the response to the story seems a lot quieter now. Could it be the name of the suspect is taking the mainstream media into territory they don’t really like, aren’t comfortable with? Was it really the dreaded ‘white man’, or could it have been someone else from a more protected category of identity politics?

Narrator: “Richard Edward, whatever are you writing about?”

Richard Edward: “It’s the name” I respond to no one.  “It’s the suspects name. It sounds like its foreign, almost like it’s the name of someone from the Middle East.”

Narrator: “Don’t be silly. Everyone has a name. How could it be foreign sounding? Besides, if it was someone from the Middle East, the media would have buried the story on the back page.”

Richard Edward: “Well, its weird in that it’s actually four names and they all start with the letter “A.” I mean, c’mon, who has two middle names that all start with the same letter?”

Narrator: “Well, there was A. A. Milne, but its only three letters and one letter is an M. He was British anyway. That’s a tough question, Richard Edward.”

Richard Edward: “The fact that this killer’s name is so unusual and that he has allegedly killed ten people without apparent motive, well, there just has to be something more to this than meets the eye.  I am going to do some sleuthing.”

So, just like the rest of the reporters in the mainstream media who were never trained to find and report news, I start with an internet search. I enter “4As.”

Expecting to find something that ties this unusual name to the Middle East and the cultures/religions from that area, imagine my surprise when my search resulted in a match with the American Psychological Association website.

Now, my search result didn’t tell me anything about names or if they were associated with any particular religion, but it did tell me about social behavior. I am starting to become nervous. Why does the search result scare me? Because the 4 As represent the four primary symptoms of schizophrenia.

Fundamental Symptoms:

According to Eugen Bleuler, the four primary symptoms of schizophrenia: abnormal associations in thinking, autistic behavior and thinking, abnormal affect (including flat and inappropriate affect), and ambivalence. These symptoms are also known as the Four As.

Now I am hopelessly confused. I so wanted this to be an easy answer – a Muslim man went on a rampage and killed ten other people, this comes shortly after Syrian territory was bombed by U.S. forces. On Feb. 26, NBC News reported: “Biden orders airstrikes in Syria, retaliating against Iran-backed militias.”

Simple, right? U.S. bombs Syria and a Syrian-born person living in the U.S. responds and kills his neighbors. One and done, I can go meet the rest of the press corps at the bar for happy hour.

Then my inner Richard Edward surfaces, kicks my lizard cortex back into hibernation and asks, “Okay, smart guy, what about the 4As connection you discovered. Is there a connection with a guy who has four As in his name and what you read on the associations website?” Nah, can’t be. Four As simply has to be a coincidence, right?

Sure, the guy might be an angry Muslim (we aren’t sure about this), but what if Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa is also a schizophrenic, and his Muslim roots have nothing to do with his violent behavior – what if it’s all about his mental illness? Ugh. Just when I think Occam was right, my 4As research tangles up my brain.

First A:  Abnormal associations in thinking. I don’t know, but the guy did take a semiautomatic weapon to a grocery store. Not something I’d normally carry on a trip to the grocery store.

Second A:  Autistic behavior and thinking. I don’t know, but I’ll guess that shooting ten of your neighbors isn’t found on the scale of acceptable social norms.

Third A:  Abnormal affect (flat or inappropriate affect). I don’t know, but I did see his picture. There is a definite lack of ‘something’ there.

Fourth A:  Ambivalence.  I don’t know and who cares.

I do know that the guy is a murdering slug and regardless of his motive, religious jihad, simply bat-guano crazy or both, he is still a murdering slug.

So, his foreign name doesn’t really matter. Religious affiliation doesn’t matter. Muslim, atheist, druid, or Jonestown cultist, killers are killers. His lack of empathy for his fellow man can be the result of mental illness or religious indoctrination.

My thoughts immediately turn to the families and loved ones of those who were killed by Mr. 4 As. They may never know the real reason their loved ones were slaughtered, but the best I can hope for is for justice to be delivered swiftly and that the hearts of those surviving family members can find solace in the grace and embrace of a God who tells us that we should love one another.

Richard Edward thinks the guy’s name might be relevant as to why this happened. If you disagree or have a different theory from your sleuthing, please leave a comment.

— Richard Edward Tracy