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Porter Goss and the CIA


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Guest Tom Scully
Interesting article in today’s Guardian that suggests that George Bush sacked Porter Goss for failing to follow the party line over 9/11 and Iraq. It also implies that Kyle Foggo might have been set up as part of this purge. Foggo apparently was very close to Goss.

As the CIA’s former counterterrorism chief, Vincent Cannistraro, has pointed out: “Good intelligence describes the world as it is, not as you’d like it to be.” Or as Paul Pillar, the CIA’s senior Middle Eastern analyst (2000 to 2005) has argued: "The Bush administration used intelligence not to inform decision-making but to justify a decision already made.”

Bush has now put the CIA under the control of the National Directorate of Intelligence. An organization controlled by the Pentagon. The new head of the CIA is General Michael Hayden, the former head of the National Security Agency.

Bush has therefore done what Nixon failed to do. Will the CIA take this lying down. Can we expect the emergence of another Deep Throat? If it happens, will any newspaper publish the information?

John,

That July, 2006 article in the Guardian implyng that "Kyle Foggo might have been set up as part of this purge", we now know definitively to be a CYA manipulation, that with a high level of certainty, was contrived and disseminated at the behest of a desperate and thoroughly discredited, Porter Goss:

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/...s_in_prison.php

Foggo Sentenced To Over Three Years In Prison

By Zachary Roth - February 26, 2009, 2:33PM

The Associated Press reports that Dusty Foggo, the former CIA number 3 who pleaded guilty to steering contracts to his friend the defense contractor Brent Wilkes, has been sentenced to 37 months in prison -- just what prosecutors were recommending.

Foggo received tens of thousands of dollars worth of lavish gifts and vacations, in exchange for helping Wilkes get no-bid contracts, according to prosecutors.

Wilkes has pleaded guilty to bribing then-GOP congressman Duke Cunningham.

Yesterday, we reported on a treasure trove of court documents released in the case, which shed light on Foggo's scheme.

TOPICS: Brent Wilkes, CIA, Duke Cunningham, Dusty Foggo

http://www.warandpiece.com/blogdirs/008971.html

February 25, 2009

Foggo sentencing docs. Via ProPublica. Quite a read. Everything I reported going back to November 2005 on a CIA water contract, black contracts, air cover contracts, etc. checks out. Go read Jane Doe #2 here. And the declaration of JC, Joel Combs, Brent Wilkes' nephew. Foggo planned to run for Duke Cunningham's congressional seat. Porter Goss, in his declaration, says "members of my senior staff suggested Mr. Foggo as a possible candidate for the position of Executive Director. I did not suggest him or seek him out." (Which staff?) And the interview with one of Dusty's girlfriends he helped get a $100,000 job at the CIA, ER. (The government sentencing docs heap scorn on Foggo's plea for sentencing leniency, on Foggo's claimed grounds that his being jailed would be a hardship for his family. Foggo, family man? Not exactly).

A former US intelligence source thought that Brent "nine fingers" Bassett was the Goss staffer who recommended the hire of Foggo as ExDir.

He said that Goss lied in his testimony, that he was not aware about the problems with Foggo when he hired him for executive director. He said that a major fight had broken out between Goss staffer Patrick Murray and then associate deputy director of operations Michael Sulick about the Foggo hiring. "Murray told ADDO/Counterintelligence Mary Margaret that if Dusty's background got out to the press, they would know who to come looking for. Mary Margaret tried to warn them that Dusty Foggo had a problematic counterintelligence file. Sulick defended Mary Margaret. Goss told [deputy director of operations Steve] Kappes he had to fire Sulick." After that, Kappes and Sulick quit. "Goss bears major responsibility here," the former intelligence official says. It was finally the "White House that demanded that Goss fire Dusty and he refused." So they both got fired. More.

Foggo is due to be sentenced Thursday.

Posted by Laura at February 25, 2009 01:00 AM

Pair grew up, worked, were indicted together | The San Diego Union ...

In 1982, he joined the CIA, serving in Honduras as President Reagan's administration ... Wilkes and Foggo spent so much time together in Honduras that some ...

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20...s_1n14bios.html

Much more on the corrupt web of Porter Goss, Foggo, and Goss's former republican party affiliated congressional colleagues to be posted. In 2005, this was reported as a case of Dusty Foggo's best friend, Brent Wilkes' and Mitchell Wade's massive bribery of congressman Randy Cunningham (R-CA):

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/politic...7dukebribe.html

By George E. Condon Jr. and Marcus Stern

COPLEY NEWS SERVICE

8:53 p.m. July 17, 2007

WASHINGTON – In two days of prison interviews with federal agents this year, disgraced former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham described a level of corruption on his part more extensive than previously known and dealt a potentially devastating blow to the defense being waged by one of the defense contractors alleged to have bribed him. ....

...In addition to the FBI summary of the prison interviews with Cunningham, Copley News Service obtained a 75-page affidavit filed by the FBI in support of a search warrant in the case. It provides glimpses of what investigators found as they built their case against Cunningham and those the suspected of conspiring with him.

The FBI stated that:

More than $1 million in bribes were laundered by being sent to Kontogiannis instead of going directly to Cunningham. Investigators identified at least 70 separate bank accounts maintained by Kontogiannis at only one bank.

Despite all his many businesses, Kontogiannis has not filed a tax return since 2001.

For the first time, investigators shed light on what Kontogiannis expected to get from Cunningham – help on a potential sale of fighter jets to his native Greece.

The Rolls Royce that drew so much attention early in the investigation was not the only car that Cunningham made the contractors buy for him. In only two days in early 2002, the congressman bought a $43,000 Thunderbird and a $41,000 BMW from Bob Baker Ford in San Diego with $63,000 of his payment coming from bribes. That was three months before Wade gave him $10,000 toward the used Rolls Royce.

In mid-2004 when Cunningham needed to make repairs to his boat, he called Wade and demanded $6,500 cash. Wade took the money out of his petty cash, stuffed the cash into a bulging envelope and rushed it over to a Cunningham fundraiser at a Washington restaurant, giving it to a Cunningham staffer.

In his prison interviews with investigators, as summarized by the FBI, the former congressman is reported to have:

Insisted there were no prostitutes at Wilkes' Washington poker games, but said Wilkes hired prostitutes for him during a Hawaii vacation. Cunningham was miffed that Wilkes got the “younger and cuter” prostitute and said he was “somewhat embarrassed on this occasion because he had some difficulty in completing intercourse.” On the next night, Cunningham again had a prostitute but said he “did not have sex” with her “because he felt guilty about his behavior.”

Said that among the many weapons Wade bought him was a Glock handgun, which he kept in a box on his boat – in apparently violation of D.C. laws.

Said he tried to make peace between Wade and Wilkes when the two former friends fought over contracts.

Openly “recalled exerting pressure on government officials” to reward his bribers.

Said Wilkes told him he was “hiding money in a bank account in Panama” to pay him bribes.

The FBI document also said Cunningham admitted to investigators he: Oversaw attempts to hide his bribe-taking in case he was ever caught.

Made Wilkes buy Cunningham's daughter a computer when she went to college and then pay for its later repair.

Made either Wilkes or Wade pay his way to the 2003 Super Bowl, Jimmy Buffet concerts in Chula Vista, and several Washington Wizards and Redskins games.

Had to find ways to get around objections from Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-El Cajon, both of whom tried to block Cunningham's spending projects for Wade and Wilkes as wasteful and unneeded.

Edited by Tom Scully
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Don Bohning wrote:

Goss confirmed that although recruited earlier, he did not actively start working for the CIA until late 1961 or early 1962, after first joining Army Intelligence through Yale University's Army Reserve Officers Training (ROTC) program. From there, he said he "gravitated to the CIA."

Goss confirmed that his first four to five years with the CIA involved the Western Hemisphere, namely Central America, Mexico and Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). He said he was never permanently assigned to any CIA station in the area, always "traveling to those regions from Washington," with the Dominican Republic being "the only place I lived for any extensive period." He was assigned to London in the mid-1960s, retiring in 1970 for health reasons.

The website describes his "main area of expertise" as the "infiltration of trade unions and other organizations of the labour movement." While saying he was not at liberty to say what his main area of expertise was, Goss said the website description was "a stretch."

Which supports and confirms the account given by Bradley E. Ayers, a US Army Ranger Captain assigned to train some of the anti-Castro Cuban maritime commandos, who participated in a raid aboard the Rex. - BK

"I later met Porter on one of my visits to the station while training the commandos on Elliott Key. Porter was in his mid-20s, I estimated, and by build, manner, appearance, and facial features, he might have been a youthful clone of Gordon Campbell. I believe this man was Porter Goss, President George W. Bush's appointee to head the CIA in 2005."

p. 267 The Zenith Secret - An Insider Exposes the Secret War Against Cuba and the Plot that Killed the Kennedy brothers (Vox Pop, 2006)

I think Porter Goss' work at JMWAVE is extremely significant, mainly because he's a still living witness who, like Bradley Ayers and Joe Califano, testify under oath before a Congressional Committee, Grand Jury or other legal proceeding, about these activities.

According to Ayers, Goss was associated with the Elliot Key commandos that Capt. Ayers was training, and accompanied on a mission to Cuba aboard the Rex, operations directly related to Dealey Plaza.

And Tom, you can't be quoting the Copley News service with a straight face without acknowledging their Mockingbird connections.

BK

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Guest Tom Scully
I think Porter Goss' work at JMWAVE is extremely significant, mainly because he's a still living witness who, like Bradley Ayers and Joe Califano, testify under oath before a Congressional Committee, Grand Jury or other legal proceeding, about these activities.

According to Ayers, Goss was associated with the Elliot Key commandos that Capt. Ayers was training, and accompanied on a mission to Cuba aboard the Rex, operations directly related to Dealey Plaza.

And Tom, you can't be quoting the Copley News service with a straight face without acknowledging their Mockingbird connections.

BK

Bill,

If your point is that Copley News service cannot be a trusted source for the Cunningham-Wade-Wilkes-Foggo-Goss story because of past

servitude by Copley as a willing mouthpiece for CIA propaganda, consider that this case is different....Copley reporter Marcus Stern investigated and

broke the Cunningham bribery story, it could be traced to the white house and republican congressional leaders, led to the convictions of Cunningham, Wade, Wilkes, and Foggo, and to the resignation in disgrace of Porter Goss.....read the federal court documents linked in the article by Laura Rosen in my last post:

http://www.warandpiece.com/blogdirs/008971.html

February 25, 2009

Foggo sentencing docs. Via ProPublica. Quite a read. Everything I reported going back to November 2005 on a CIA water contract, black contracts, air cover contracts, etc. checks out. Go read Jane Doe #2 here. And the declaration of JC, Joel Combs, Brent Wilkes' nephew. Foggo planned to run for Duke Cunningham's congressional seat. Porter Goss, in his declaration, says "members of my senior staff suggested Mr. Foggo as a possible candidate for the position of Executive Director. I did not suggest him or seek him out." (Which staff?)....

To put Porter Goss's appointment as DCI into proper context, consider that Bohning described Goss as an "8 term reoublican congressman", Goss was an outspoken member of the house intelligence committee, and this is a saga of corruption that has as much to do with Goss as it does to do with his republican congressional colleagues and the democratic "opposition", that in reality is no opposition, at all....

The common denominators in all of this are Randy Cunningham bribers Mitchell Wade and his business partner, Brent Wilkes, best friend of Porter Goss's CIA

executive appointee, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo.

Porter Goss resigned as DCI because he and his colleagues ARE THIS ERA of OFFICIAL CORRUPTION's PRINCIPLES:

Here is Rep. Katherine Harris, (R-FL) the Florida Secretary of State during the 2000 election, who served both as a Bush-Cheney 2000 Florida campaign chair, and Secretary of State tasked with election oversight and certification of the vote totals, even as she orchestrated a phoney "voter felon purge list" that erroneously disqualified mostly black, as intended, registered voters presumed to be voting for Gore instead of for Bush:

http://web.archive.org/web/20060322165725/...GBEQVNGDKE.html

Disgraced Executive Got Local Tax Deals

By MICHAEL FECHTER and WILLIAM MARCH The Tampa Tribune

Published: Mar 4, 2006

TAMPA - Gov. Jeb Bush's office is refusing to release documents or answer questions about a $400,000 tax credit awarded to MZM Inc., whose former chief executive pleaded guilty last week to bribery and illegal campaign contributions.

MZM, of Washington, stood to receive $320,000 from the state and $80,000 from Tampa and Hillsborough County after promising in 2004 to create 80 high-paying jobs in the area.

The former CEO, Mitchell Wade, spent $1.08 million buying a four-story office building at 601 E. Twiggs St. in downtown Tampa on May 20, 2004. That was two months after Wade met U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris and gave her $32,000 in campaign contributions from his employees.

In his plea deal Feb. 24, Wade admitted to bribing U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, of California. He also acknowledged giving his employees cash to reimburse them for contributions to Harris and to Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode, which is illegal. All three Congress members are Republicans.

Harris, of Longboat Key, is running for U.S. Senate.

Prosecutors in the case have said Wade did not tell Harris the contributions were illegal, and she says she didn't know. She has donated to charity a total of $50,000 in MZM-related contributions.

Last year, Harris tried to get a $10 million federal appropriation for a Navy project backed by Wade and proposed for Sarasota. The company does contracting in the security and intelligence fields, including work for the Defense Department.

The project was never funded.

http://web.archive.org/web/20060320152052/...GB5MTE1CKE.html

Harris Shuns Spending Requests

By KEITH EPSTEIN kepstein@tampatrib.com

Published: Mar 3, 2006

........Among the reasons for her absence was a meeting with top-gun campaign finance lawyer Ben Ginsberg, whom she hired as a "precaution," Harris spokeswoman Kara Borie said.

On the sixth day after she was identified as a recipient of illegal campaign contributions, the Republican congresswoman from Longboat Key stayed behind closed doors. She issued a statement in which she denied knowing that contributions made to her by defense contractor Mitchell Wade had been illegal.....

.....She also had her employees release a partial series of documents, requested by the Tribune, that relate to her attempts at obtaining federal tax dollars for dozens of special interests since 2004.

Among the documents: An April 26 letter to defense appropriations subcommittee Chairman C.W. Bill Young, the Largo Republican, in which Harris seeks $10 million for a Navy project backed by Wade.

In the letter, Harris emphasizes the importance of the project, asking that it be added to her list of five priorities and identifying it as her new No. 3 choice.

She denied any connection between her help for Wade's company, MZM Inc., and the illegal contributions.

Wade told prosecutors he personally handed over the contributions to Harris in 2004. A year later, he gave her his proposal for the project.

At the time, MZM-related contributions to Harris' 2004 campaign amounted to more than any other source....

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/000581.php

EXCLUSIVE: CIA Nominee Hayden Linked to MZM

By Justin Rood - May 8, 2006, 11:33 AM

While director of the National Security Agency, Gen. Michael V. Hayden contracted the services of a top executive at the company at the center of the Cunningham bribery scandal, according to two former employees of the company.

Hayden, President Bush's pick to replace Porter Goss as head of the CIA, contracted with MZM Inc. for the services of Lt. Gen. James C. King, then a senior vice president of the company, the sources say. MZM was owned and operated by Mitchell Wade, who has admitted to bribing former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham with $1.4 million in money and gifts. Wade has also reportedly told investigators he helped arrange for prostitutes to entertain the disgraced lawmaker, and he continues to cooperate with a federal inquiry into the matter.

King has not been implicated in the growing scandal around Wade's illegal activities. However, federal records show he contributed to some of Wade's favored lawmakers, including $6000 to Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) and $4000 to Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL).

Before joining MZM in December 2001, King served under Hayden as the NSA's associate deputy director for operations, and as head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency.

King worked at NSA Headquarters in Ft. Meade, Maryland, in 2004 and 2005, both sources told me. "King was out there working on same floor as Hayden," one former employee with firsthand knowledge of the arrangement said. "He was doing special projects for Hayden as an MZM employee." Neither former employee knew details of King's work for Hayden; one said he thought he was doing "special projects" for the director, while the other speculated it was "high-ranking advisory work."

The NSA did not immediately respond to my request for comment. Hayden left the NSA in April 2005 to take the post of Deputy Director of National Intelligence. The DNI office referred my call on the matter to the NSA.

As an MZM employee, King was involved in a number of controversial projects. In 2002, he was a key adviser to the team creating CIFA, the Pentagon's domestic surveillance operation. In 2004, he was one of three MZM staffers who worked on the White House Robb-Silberman Commission, which recommended expanding CIFA's powers.........

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...6032301605.html

.....In 2004, three MZM employees served as staff consultants to the presidential commission investigating prewar Iraq intelligence, which was run by federal Judge Laurence H. Silberman and former senator Charles S. Robb (D-Va.). One of the three was retired Lt. Gen. James C. King, who then was a senior vice president of MZM for national security. King, who before joining MZM had been director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, played a consultant's role in the establishment of CIFA in 2002 before MZM received its first contracts from that agency.

The Silberman-Robb commission report in 2005 recommended that CIFA play a bigger role in the government's counterterrorism activities. In an interview, Silberman said King was not involved in the commission's recommendation that CIFA get more work. "That recommendation was not from King," Silberman said. .....

Republican house majority leader, Tom Delay:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=100...kM&refer=us

January 6, 2006

(Bloomberg) -- Representative Tom DeLay's campaign to get Republicans to dominate Washington lobbying may have worked too well for Alexander Strategy Group.

The firm has links to no fewer than three of the scandals convulsing the U.S. capital. One partner, former DeLay aide Tony Rudy, is a focus of a federal investigation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The group's founder, former DeLay chief of staff Ed Buckham, set up a South Korea junket for his old boss that violated ethics rules. And the firm represents a company whose owner, prosecutors allege, bribed former Representative Randy Cunningham.

Alexander Strategy's links to lawmakers are an outgrowth of a decade-long effort by DeLay, 58, to force lobbying firms to hire more Republicans, who can direct corporate money to the party. The system, known as ``DeLay Inc.'' or ``the K Street Project,'' has fueled a surge of money in politics, and critics say it has also created the potential for greater corruption.

``Alexander Strategy Group is really part of DeLay Inc. and Abramoff Inc.,'' said Melanie Sloan, a former federal prosecutor who now heads Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, an ethics watchdog group. ``There have been some aggressive prosecutors trying to unravel those ties. I am sure that Alexander Strategy is going to have more than Tony Rudy as a problem when this is over.''

Rapid Growth

Alexander's ties to DeLay, a Texas Republican and the former House majority leader, helped it become one of Washington's fastest-growing lobbying firms, with revenue surging 20-fold from 2000 to 2004, according to lobbying-disclosure reports.

Its DeLay ties go well beyond Rudy and Buckham. Jim Ellis, the head of DeLay's political action committee, Americans for a Republican Majority, also worked for the firm as a lobbyist. Karl Gallant, who preceded Ellis as head of DeLay's political action committee, is currently an Alexander lobbyist. And the firm employed DeLay's wife, Christine, from 1998 to 2002, paying her from $3,200 to $3,400 a month, according to Richard Cullen, a lawyer for the former majority leader.

Another congressional spouse, Julia Doolittle, wife of California Republican John Doolittle, helped Alexander with bookkeeping for one of its clients, according to Justice Department records.

Ellis faces money-laundering charges in Texas along with DeLay, who was forced to give up his leadership post after his September indictment. The case involves his PAC's alleged attempts to steer corporate money to state legislative races.

From 2000 to 2003, the PAC paid at least $388,000 to Alexander in fund-raising fees, FEC and Internal Revenue Service records show.

`Nothing Wrong'

Buckham and Rudy didn't return phone calls seeking comment. Cullen, DeLay's lawyer, denied his client engaged in any wrongdoing. DeLay ``knows that he has done nothing wrong,'' Cullen said on Jan. 3, after Abramoff pleaded guilty to conspiracy, mail fraud and tax evasion in the Justice Department investigation of political corruption.

The DeLay-Buckham connection helped Alexander thrive. The company, whose offices are along the Potomac River in Washington's fashionable Georgetown district, brought in $7.8 million in 2004, an average of $650,000 for each of its 12 registered lobbyists, according to disclosures filed with Congress. That compares with an average of about $250,000 per registered lobbyist last year at Patton Boggs LLP, Washington's biggest lobbying firm by revenue. Patton Boggs had revenue of $30.6 million in 2004.

Giving to Republicans

Some of Alexander's money found its way to the Republican Party. Its lobbyists gave at least $376,608 to Republican candidates and party committees since 2001, according to Federal Election Commission records. The 12 gave a total of $1,000 to Democrats during that period. ....

.....Prosecutors are clearly looking at Rudy, 39, DeLay's former deputy staff chief. Abramoff's plea agreement states that in 2000 a DeLay aide the government called ``Staffer A'' helped the lobbyist defeat legislation that would have restricted Internet gambling. People familiar with the case later said the staffer was Rudy. In return, the wife of ``Staffer A'' was paid $50,000 through a charity, according to the plea. Rudy hasn't been charged with a crime.

Measure Defeated

In July 2000, DeLay was one of 44 Republicans who voted against the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, while 165 party members supported it. The legislation, which required 270 votes to pass, fell short by 25 votes.

The government also alleges that Abramoff and ``Staffer A'' solicited a $25,000 contribution for an Abramoff charity from a ``distilled beverages'' lobbying client in June 2002. They then allegedly used the money to help pay for a golf trip to Scotland for public officials, which the Justice Department says is fraud.

IRS documents show that Cyprus-based SPI Spirits Ltd., a Russian company importing Stolichnaya vodka, gave $25,000 to Abramoff's Capital Athletic Foundation in 2002. SPI was a client of Rudy's at Greenberg Traurig LLP, where he worked with Abramoff before joining Alexander Strategy.

Townhouse

Russian ties are also prominent with a Buckham-created nonprofit, the U.S. Family Network, which took in $1 million in 1998 from Russian oil and gas executives, the Washington Post reported on Dec. 31. The Family Network bought a Capitol Hill townhouse that housed Alexander Strategy Group and DeLay's PAC, and served as an office for the lawmaker, the Post reported.

Alexander was also employed by Abramoff associate Michael Scanlon, a former communications director for DeLay. Scanlon's public-relations company, Capitol Campaign Strategies LLC, paid $120,000 to the firm in 2002, according to records released by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in November.

Justice Department records show that Alexander was behind a nonprofit association -- the Korea-U.S. Exchange Council -- that was financed by South Korea's Hanwha Group and that flew DeLay to Korea in August 2001. .....

....In the years before the Korea trip, Buckham and Abramoff had a close association. They used their credit cards to help pay for a 2000 trip to the U.K. for DeLay and his wife, the Washington Post reported in April. House rules bar members from accepting travel from registered lobbyists. DeLay's office said it had been told that a nonprofit group sponsored the trip.

``He is someone on our side,'' Buckham said of Abramoff in a 1995 interview with the National Journal. ``He has access to DeLay.''

The Cunningham Connection

One of the biggest clients Alexander landed was Group W Advisors, a San Diego-based defense consultant. The company is owned by Brent Wilkes, a businessman who is one of the four un- indicted co-conspirators in a Nov. 28 criminal complaint for allegedly bribing Cunningham, his lawyer, Michael Lipman, told USA Today. Cunningham pleaded guilty and resigned his House seat on Nov. 28.

Alexander took in at least $525,000 in fees from 2002 to 2004 from Group W to lobby on defense appropriations. Those appropriations are among the legislative favors Cunningham gave to receive his gifts, according to the former lawmaker's plea agreement. It isn't clear what role, if any, Alexander strategists had. Lipman didn't return a call seeking comment.

Shivering on a dark street in Islamabad, Pakistan, Marcus Stern tells his story via a satellite phone with a patchy connection. T

he 52-year-old journalist is the man of the moment here in San Diego, despite being half a world away.

http://www.sdcitybeat.com/cms/story/detail/?id=3834

BRINGING DOWN DUKE

Meet the man who ended Cunningham's career

By Daniel Strumpf

In truth, Stern's moment came seven months ago, when his article published in the Union-Tribune revealed that Mitchell Wade, a defense contractor, had paid an inflated price for a Del Mar home belonging to Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham. The story noted a corresponding surge in multimillion-dollar government contracts won by Wade's company, MZM Inc., thanks in part to the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee of which Cunningham was a member.

A bombshell from the outset, Stern's story cast an unflattering spotlight on Cunningham, a heretofore outspoken conservative Republican politician with a chest full of war medals and eight terms under his belt as the representative for California's 50th Congressional district.

But details of the crooked real-estate deal quickly emerged, as did stories of proffered boats and shady campaign contributions that in turn spawned a federal investigation, a flurry of subpoenas and raids at the homes and offices of Cunningham and Wade. Smelling fresh blood, Republican challengers announced their candidacy for Duke's seat, up for election in 2006, while Cunningham-continuing to proclaim his innocence-announced he would retire.

It would take months for Cunningham's demise to fully play itself out, but the notion that Stern had dealt the Duke a fatal blow was never really in doubt. Today the details of Cunningham's infamous real-estate transaction and a litany of other related transgressions are memorialized in a plea agreement signed by the congressman. Shortly after pleading guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion, Cunningham resigned in disgrace from his position in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Which brings us back to Stern, freezing his butt off last week in Islamabad, where his job as a Washington, D.C.-based editor with the Copley News Service has taken him on an unrelated assignment. Stern missed the congressman's tearful mea culpa outside the federal courthouse last Monday and hasn't yet had the opportunity to review the plea agreement or any related news articles.

“I was literally boarding a plane at Heathrow in London for Islamabad when Cunningham was in [court],” Stern told CityBeat. But missing the climax of his efforts doesn't seem to bother him. Instead, Stern said he's more interested in learning the answer to the question that originally sparked his curiosity about Cunningham.

“I'm still trying to figure out why he went to Saudi Arabia,” the journalist said. ......

http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?articleId=12612

The First Contract

New questions arise concerning Mitchell Wade's first White House contract -- and his connections to the vice president.

Laura Rozen | March 30, 2007 | web only

From 1991 to 1993, a young lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve was working as a program manager in a Pentagon intelligence office. His name was Mitchell John Wade. His boss, the assistant secretary of defense for command, control, communications and intelligence, was Duane P. Andrews. Andrews's job at the Pentagon was essentially to serve as intelligence advisor to the secretary of defense. The secretary of defense at the time was someone that Andrews knew well and respected immensely: Dick Cheney.

Back during the Reagan administration, Andrews had served as a professional staff member to the House Intelligence Committee, of which Cheney, then a Wyoming Republican congressman, was a prominent member. In a recent interview with a federal technology magazine, Andrews lists Cheney as his personal, lifelong hero.

In 1993, at the end of George H.W. Bush's presidency, Cheney went on to become CEO of the oil services giant Halliburton; Andrews joined the massive government contractor SAIC, where he would rise to become CIO; and Wade, then 40 years old, moved to form his own defense contracting firm, MZM, Inc. But it wasn't until 2002 that MZM would get its first federal government contract: a peculiar one-month, $140,000 contract from the White House, later revealed to be for providing computers, office furniture, and specialized computer programming services to the Office of the Vice President.

Wade's company would later get three more contracts from the White House and tens of millions of dollars in contracts from the Defense Department and other federal agencies, many of them for classified intelligence work. In the summer of 2005, of course, it all began to unravel for MZM, after journalist Marcus Stern of the San Diego Union Tribune/Copley News service noticed that San Diego congressman Duke Cunningham had sold his house to a company that listed as its name a Washington, D.C. street address, 1523 New Hampshire Ave. This was the address of MZM. After an extensive investigation that led to a sprawling federal probe run out of the San Diego U.S. attorney's office (the now-fired Carol Lam), Wade pled guilty last year and is awaiting sentencing on charges related to bribing Cunningham, who himself pled guilty on bribery-related charges and is serving out an eight year prison sentence. In February, three more indictments were issued in the case, this time against a San Diego-based defense contractor and Bush/Cheney Pioneer with whom Wade had closely worked, Brent Wilkes; Wilkes's longtime friend-turned-CIA executive director Kyle Dustin Foggo, who is accused of steering Wilkes CIA contracts and has since resigned; and the nephew of a Greek American businessman who is accused of laundering some of Wilkes's and Wade's bribes to Cunningham through his mortgage company.

Cheney's office declined to comment on why Wade's MZM received the $140,000 contract, or describe any possible contacts with Wade. Andrews did not respond to messages left at his current company or home in northern Virginia. There is no indication that he played any role in Wade's efforts to get federal contracts.

But this past week, Congressman Henry Waxman, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter

http://oversight.house.gov/Documents/20070...61334-56043.pdf

to White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten requesting information on the $140,000 White House contract with Mitchell Wade's MZM in 2002. Included among the items of information Waxman requested to be delivered by April 6 to his committee are records of all "communications between employees of the Executive Office of the President and members or staff of Congress relating to MZM, its employees, or its work." As a press release

http://oversight.house.gov/story.asp?ID=1227

accompanying the March 26 Waxman letter noted, "The contract with the White House appears to have been MZM's first prime contract with the federal government … To date, there has been no examination of the circumstances surrounding the company's initial contract and the role that White House officials played in the award and execution."

According to Talking Points Memo, a forthcoming book on the Cunningham investigation by Marcus Stern and three other colleagues from the San Diego Union Tribune will reveal that the MZM contract was to provide equipment to screen White House mail for possible anthrax contamination. And according to the contract available at the federal procurement database, Wade's MZM -- which had never before received a federal contract -- beat out 50 other firms that had bid to get the contract.

A source who knows Wade and who asked not to be identified told the Prospect Friday that Wade was fond of telling people that he worked for Cheney at the Pentagon. (This source also revealed something interesting for Cunningham case aficionados -- how Wilkes and Wade first started working together. According to this source, in 1992, at the time Wade worked for the Office of Command, Control Communications and Intelligence in Cheney's Pentagon, he controlled a small pot of money, around $11 million, connected to the military's role in the Panama Canal. Wilkes was seeking Pentagon contracts at the time, and was looking for a Pentagon benefactor. Ultimately, according to this source, Wade helped facilitate Wilkes getting his first Pentagon contract to convert U.S. military-held documents from the Panama Canal into digital form -- a service Wilkes would later earn tens of millions of dollars providing to the Pentagon, along with other services. Upon leaving the Pentagon in 1993, Wade would work closely as a consultant to Wilkes for several years, before Wade's MZM became a competitor to Wilkes's ADCS in its own right, using similar methods of buttering up congressmen to win federal earmarks.)

Meanwhile, the statement of offenses to which Wade pled last February 2006 noted another interesting detail. On or about August 30, 2002, just a month after receiving the $140,000 contract from the White House/OVP, "Wade paid $140,000 … to a third party" for a yacht he gave Duke Cunningham. Among the lingering mysteries of the wider Cunningham probe is the identity of the third party. It would appear to be someone not identified in the statement of offenses as a co-conspirator in the wider Cunningham corruption probe.

It is of course absurd to believe that Cheney or his staff would have had any interest in Wade having the funds, provided through a White House contract, to buy Duke Cunningham antiques and a yacht. It's not so hard to believe, however, that Wade's connection to Cheney, going back to their days in the Cheney Pentagon, may be a useful place to start looking for why Wade's MZM beat out more than fifty more established firms to get its first federal contract from one of the most secretive and powerful offices in town. Among the many lingering unanswered questions on this aspect of the case is who, in May 2002 -- just two months in advance of Wade getting the White House contract -- facilitated MZM getting authorized to be a federal supplier in the first place. This was done through a small branch of the Department of the Interior called the Minerals Management Service. That service and the Department itself have reportedly become the subject of their own sprawling corruption probe.

Laura Rozen is a senior correspondent for The American Prospect.

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/03/29...5_123_28_07.txt

Last modified Wednesday, March 28, 2007 10:02 PM PDT

......Waxman released a letter he wrote to White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolton, wherein Waxman asserted that in July 2002, MZM received a White House contract. The $140,000 contract called for providing computers and furniture for Vice President Dick Cheney's office.

"To date ... there has been no examination of the circumstances surrounding MZM's initial federal contract and the role that White House officials played in the award and execution of the contract," Waxman's letter stated.

In the letter, Waxman asked the White House to provide the documents to the committee by April 6, including:

- all contracts, subcontracts and task orders between MZM and any associated firms,

- all invoices and payments made,

- all reviews of MZM's performance and contacts with its employees and

- communications between MZM, the White House, the General Services Administration and the Departments of Defense and Interior and members of Congress or their staff.

White House officials did not return phone calls seeking comment.....

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/013285.php

By Josh Marshall 03.27.07

Mitchell Wade paid the bribes to former Rep. Duke

Cunningham (R-CA) that eventually led to both men pleading guilty to multiple felonies. Almost two years ago we noted the odd news that the first federal contract Wade ever received was with none other than the White House, the White House itself, which is officially called the Executive Office of the President in federal contracting-speak.

The contract was signed on July 15th, 2002 and it was supposedly for "office furniture."

On December 5th, 2005, the LA Times reported that the contract was "to provide office furniture and computers for Vice President Cheney."

Now, a lot of people have wondered for a long time just what that contract was really for. Remember, this was the maiden contract for a company specializing in defense and intelligence services. (The company was approved for federal contracting two months earlier.) And they bag a contract to deliver a bunch of desks and chairs to Vice President Cheney's office? Add to the mix that, as we and others have long reported, Wade has long bragged that he had pull with the Vice President and those in his office and the whole thing starts to sound a bit fishy.

Indeed, just yesterday, Rep. Waxman (D-CA) sent the White House a letter asking for details about this mystery contract.

Well, we've found out what the contract was for.

Earlier this month, I told you about the upcoming book on the Cunningham scandal written by the guy who broke the story, Marcus Stern, and his colleagues at Copley News service, Jerry Kammer, Dean Calbreath, George E. Condon Jr, who as a team led coverage on the story for the next year.

The book's called The Wrong Stuff: The Extraordinary Saga of Randy "Duke" Cunningham, the Most Corrupt Congressman Ever Caught. Today I got a glance at a key section of the book and it reveals that what that contract was really for was for screening the president's mail.

That's right, screening the president's mail, presumably for Anthrax and other similar biohazards. Remember, this was in mid-2002, not long after the Anthrax scare that shut down several offices on Capitol Hill. So this is a pretty important contract, a pretty sensitive task on any number of levels.

This afternoon, we've independently confirmed that this is the case. According to a knowledgeable source, the text of the contract itself refers to "threat mail technology insertion" which we believe is spook-speak for screening technology for Anthrax and other biohazards.

But there's still more to the story.

If you're a Cunningham case afficionado, you know that in early 2002 Mitchell Wade was still acting as a cut out for his corruption mentor Brent Wilkes -- who's now awaiting trial in the Cunningham case. And around the same time Wilkes was greasing palms in DC trying to get into the Anthrax mail screening racket himself.

He got some help from Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA) who got money from Wilkes. We pick up that part of the story from the San Diego Union-Tribune from March 19th, 2006 ...

Julie Doolittle was working at Buckham's offices in 2002 when Buckham introduced Brent Wilkes to her husband. Federal contracts for his flagship company, ADCS Inc., were drying up, partly because the Pentagon had been telling Congress it had little need for the company's document-scanning technology. So Wilkes was trying to get funding for two new businesses.

One was tied to the 2002 anthrax scare, when tainted letters were sent to Capitol Hill. Wilkes' idea was to have all Capitol Hill mail rerouted to a site in the Midwest, where ADCS employees wearing protective suits would scan it into computers and then e-mail it back to Washington.

He called his proposed solution MailSafe – similar to the names of several anti-anthrax companies launched at that time – and began vying for federal contracts, even though the company had little to its name other than a rudimentary Web site.

The House Administration Committee, on which Doolittle sat, oversees the congressional mail system. Doolittle told his colleagues about MailSafe and introduced them to Wilkes, but the project never got off the ground.

Note the reference to the House Administration Committee. That was the committee then chaired by another Abramoff buddy -- the now-imprisoned Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH). And Ney, as he'd earlier done for Abramoff associate Adam Kidan, actually read into the House record an encomium to Wilkes.

So it all comes back to the same question. Why did a company like Wade's, which had no track record whatsoever and had only been approved to receive federal government contracts two months earlier, get a contract from the White House to screen the mail of the President of the United States? Was Wade actually working in concert with or as the cut out for accused fellow Cunningham briber Brent Wilkes? And what role might Doolittle and Ney have played? And what about Wade's claims of having pull with the Vice President? Is that what got him the deal?

The Wilkes-Wade business model was corrupting members of Congress and the executive branch in order to obtain pricey government contracts, often but not always for worthless products and services, and almost always stashed away in classified programs where the light of day could never expose their corrupt practices. And Wade's first contract was with the White House itself. So whose palm got greased?

Late Update: David Corn adds some more details to the mix and gives some pointers on how the investigation might proceed.

I am pushing back, Bill...against Don Bohning's attack of Simkin and this forum for, as Bohning put it....engaging in "agitprop" instead of in honest research and discussion. Bohning quotes and represents Porter Goss as a more reliable source than John Simkin. I've documented through court convictions, federal court records, and news reports, that the US government and the CIA were gripped in a corrupt, republican political "coup", escalated dramatically since 2001....and there is more, and in case you think this "over", look at the dates associated with the following, lower two links:

http://web.archive.org/web/20060619013322/...ewsweek/page/2/

Man in the Middle

As a corruption probe heats up on Capitol Hill, the spotlight falls on a California defense contractor with some powerful friends.

By Mark Hosenball, Jamie Reno and Evan Thomas

Newsweek

June 5, 2006 issue

.....According to Foggo's lawyer, Bill Hundley, the Feds are operating on the theory that Foggo helped Wilkes get CIA contracts in return for Wilkes's paying for vacation trips for Foggo......

....In one case, described in prosecution documents, a Wilkes company was awarded a $9.7 million contract to electronically scan Panama Canal Zone documents dating back a century to the administration of Theodore Roosevelt, even though the Pentagon reportedly wanted to use the money for more-urgent projects. Wilkes allegedly lobbied Cunningham to press the Pentagon to award the contract anyway.

According to published reports and congressional and law-enforcement sources who did not want to be identified discussing a sensitive investigation, the Feds are also reviewing Wilkes's ties to other powerful House leaders. Former GOP majority leader Tom DeLay, Armed Services Committee chairman Duncan Hunter and Appropriations Committee chairman Jerry Lewis all reportedly had dealings with Wilkes. None has been accused of any wrongdoing; a spokesman for Lewis said the congressman had not seen Wilkes for 10 years. Hunter's spokesman said his boss urged the Pentagon to ignore congressional pressure on contracting, and DeLay's lawyer had no immediate comment....

Note: I've updated the links displayed in the following piece on Rep. Duncan Hunter so that they all resolve to a relevant web page:

http://pogoblog.typepad.com/pogo/2006/06/h...rs_brand_o.html

Jun 08, 2006

Hunter's Brand of Congressional "Oversight"

Since there seems to be burgeoning interest in the real estate holdings of staffers-turned-lobbyists (-turned-staffers-again, in some cases) and defense contractors in Jerry Lewis’ orbit (Laura Rozen provides a nice summation and one-stop shop of links here), we think it’s worth revisiting a sub-rosa real estate relationship involving House Armed Service Committee chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA).

Almost exactly a year ago, the Associated Press did a nice roundup of House leadership financial disclosure statements. Among the highlights for Hunter was his co-ownership of a rural Virginia cabin with “former Democratic U.S. Rep. Pete Geren of Texas.”

At first glance, no big deal. Preston M. “Pete” Geren III, however, is not your average former Congressman. A Blue Dog from the Texas 12th, Geren’s 1989-1997 House stint is still less-than-fondly remembered by some for his relentless championing of that ineffective sinkhole of a project brought to us by Boeing and Bell, the V-22 Osprey.

More recently, Geren briefly served as Acting Secretary of the Air Force from July to November 2005, after Air Force Secretary James Roche resigned in the wake of the Boeing tanker lease scandal. In February 2006, Geren was confirmed as Undersecretary of the Army.

But Geren is no newcomer to the Pentagon. Between 2001-2005, Geren occupied an office "strategically next door" to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, whom he served as a special assistant responsible for "inter-agency initiatives, legislative affairs, and special projects." In written responses to questions posed by the Senate Armed Service Committee during his Army confirmation earlier this year, Geren noted that among his specific responsibilities as a Rumsfeld aide was acting as Pentagon liaison with Congress on detainee abuse issues that began with Abu Ghraib in 2004.

A less-charitable description of Geren’s Abu Ghraib duties, according to a knowledgeable congressional source, was “keeping Congress off Rumsfeld’s back”. Indeed, much to the Pentagon’s consternation, Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John Warner's (R-VA) was actually moved to investigate Abu Ghraib and hold multiple hearings on the matter. Not so with Geren's real estate partner, the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Consistently dismissive of interrogation and detention excesses as isolated incidents, Hunter actively discouraged Congressional investigation into Abu Ghraib.

Absent from national press coverage of Hunter's antipathy towards Abu Ghraib investigations, however, was the fact that Hunter's top corporate campaign contributor, San Diego-based defense contractor Titan Corporation, potentially had a lot to lose in the scandal. (Titan gave generously to Cunningham as well).

When Titan bought Virginia-based contractor RTG in 2001, it also acquired a $10 million, five-year contract awarded in 1999 to provide linguists to the US Army. In the wake of 9/11, Titan's linguist contract was given a ceiling of $657 million, with the company receiving $112.1 million from the contract in 2003--six percent of Titan's total revenue. A May 21, 2004 report by the San Diego Union-Tribune revealed Titan’s contractor hiring and training practices to be systemically lacking, and that far from supplying "skilled contract linguists" as its contract stipulated, Titan was "hiring people who speak limited English and have no professional experience as interpreters and translators". Personnel from Titan were also singled out in both the Taguba, Fay and Kern reports as participants in abuses at Abu Ghraib. (Titan, along with Arlington, Virginia-based contractor CACI, is currently facing multiple lawsuits.)

As Abu Ghraib was unfolding, Titan was also losing money in legal bills as federal investigators were discovering Titan to be among the most ethically bankrupt US contractors doing business overseas. The matter of illicit campaign contributions-for-quadrupled management fees in the West African nation of Benin didn’t sit well with the Justice Department; a host of document falsifications and under-reporting expenses didn’t sit well with the Securities and Exchange Commission. (Lockheed Martin wasn’t thrilled, either; poised to buy Titan, the company pulled out of the deal in 2004). On March 1, 2005, Titan pled guilty to three criminal counts of bribery, and paid a total of $28.5 million in fines to the Justice Department and SEC.

Despite the brazenness and scope of Titan's actions, as part of the federal government’s settlement with the company, the Defense Department waived its right to disbar Titan from any contracts. Though the Titan contract should have been re-bid by now, according to transcripts of recent Titan shareholder conference calls, the company (now part of L3 Communications, which bought it last year) will retain the contract until at least next year.

As a general rule, we tend to think that those charged with oversight, and those overseen by Congress, shouldn’t be in business together--and if they are, their respective disclosures should be clearer. (Hunter’s disclosures (pdf) make no mention of Geren’s Defense Department affiliation, and Geren’s disclosures simply refer to the “Hunter/Geren partnership”--to look at them, you’d have no idea that the “Hunter” chaired House Armed Services). Would public knowledge of the business relationship between the Pentagon’s Congressional point man for Abu Ghraib and the House Armed Services Committee Chairman--and, as we noted earlier, champion of an exceptionally ethically-challenged defense contractor--given anyone pause in May 2004 (or any other time, for that matter)? Was Hunter’s real estate partner in a position to help Hunter help any of his defense contractor patrons?

Whatever the case, Geren has done nicely for himself while in government service. As his on-average 28 page public financial disclosure reports reveal, though he resigned his position on several corporate boards when he took the Army job, in his four years as a Rumsfeld special assistant, Geren collected an approximate total of $200,000 a year as a director of Anadarko Petroleum, Texas-New Mexico Power Company, Cullen/Frost Bankers and RME Petroleum.

-- Jason Vest

http://www.truthout.org/article/thats-a-joke-son

That's a Joke, Son

By William Fisher

t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Tuesday 10 October 2006

....In 2003, Wilkes threw a gala in honor of Hunter called "Salute to Our Heroes."

But it doesn't stop there. In June 2006, Public Citizen reported that Hunter received $11,750 from lobbyist Van D. Hipp Jr., chairman of American Defense International. Hipp's firm represents more than 100 organizations in 11 countries on "government affairs" strategies. Hipp, a former deputy assistant secretary of the Army, was sentenced to five years' probation and three months' house arrest for accepting illegal campaign gifts during a failed 1994 Congressional campaign. He also was fined $5,000 and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

Further, Hunter's 2004 financial disclosure form revealed co-ownership of a rural Virginia cabin with former congressman Pete Geren (D-Texas). Following his stint in Congress, Geren served as an aide to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon from 2001-2005. According to USA Today, one of his primary responsibilities was "keeping Congress off Rumsfeld's back" during the Abu Ghraib detainee controversy. So, as Chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services, Hunter dutifully discouraged any Congressional investigation into Abu Ghraib.

Despite their affiliation, Hunter's financial disclosure makes no mention of Geren's Defense Department affiliation. In addition, Geren's disclosures simply refer to the "Hunter/Geren partnership," never referring to the fact that "Hunter" is the chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services.

According to POGO, the Project on Government Oversight, Hunter's top corporate campaign contributor, San Diego-based defense contractor Titan Corporation, suffered from the publicity of the Abu Ghraib scandal. Titan Corp. served as interrogators at the prison, and were subsequently implicated in the mistreatment allegations that followed. Despite this, and the fact that Titan pled guilty to three criminal counts of bribery in March 2005, the Defense Department waived its right to disbar Titan from any contracts. This chain of events has led to questions about Hunter's ties to the Defense Department...

http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_3906155

Yucca Valley tied to Lewis Inquiry

Guy McCarthy and Andrew Silva, Staff Writers

Article Launched: 06/06/2006 06:48:00 PM PDT

The High Desert town of Yucca Valley has been subpoenaed for records pertaining to the federal criminal investigation of ties between Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, and lobbying giant Copeland Lowery Jacquez Denton & White......

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/000838.php

Lewis' Daughter Runs Defense PAC Tied to Lobbyist

By Justin Rood - June 7, 2006, 12:01 PM

A powerful House Republican's ties to a lobby firm under investigation just became a family affair.

Here's what we knew as of this morning: House Appropriations Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-CA) is under investigation, along with at least two of his former staffers. Just after leaving Lewis' employ, staffer Letitia White bought a house with one of the defense contractors who wanted funds earmarked from Lewis' committee. Later we learned that house was the headquarters for a Political Action Committee, chaired by that same defense contractor.

Now we can report that the PAC is operated by Lewis' stepdaughter, Julie Willis-Leon....

http://sethhettena.com/blog/?cat=3

Foggo & Wilkes, Jerry Lewis & Tom DeLay

Sunday, March 1st, 2009....

http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_12203119

Statement reveals high legal fees for Rep. Jerry Lewis

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer

Posted: 04/22/2009 07:27:36 PM PDT

Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, paid more than $30,000 in March to a law firm defending him in a federal probe into his alleged ties with lobbyists and defense contractors, campaign records show.

It brings the total of what Lewis has spent on legal fees since the investigation kicked off in 2006 to nearly $1.2 million.

Lewis spokesman Jim Specht couldn't say Wednesday what services the Washington D.C.-based law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has performed for Lewis over the last four months to warrant such a hefty bill. ....

Bill,

You post about your hope and expectation that reopening an investigation of one or more of the murders in Dallas between 22 and 24 November, 1963

is a developing possibility. I submit that you do not fully appreciate the scope of the republican political corruption, gripping the one American party with two right wings, one democratic, and the other republican. IMO, membership in either party would have to be made a crime, and the CIA would have to be dismantled if the documentation in my last post is at all a close to accurate representation of where we near presently find ourselves in, vis a vis our "government"......

Edited by Tom Scully
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Hey Tom,

I don't see how any of this Republican party crap has anything to do with Porter Goss and the CIA. Both parties are corrupt and do the same thing.

Coply can take down anybody they want and have historic ties to MOCKINGBIRD, and I wouldn't trust anything Marcus Stern wrote whether about Porter Goss or Pakistan.

Bill,

If your point is that Copley News service cannot be a trusted source for the Cunningham-Wade-Wilkes-Foggo-Goss story because of past servitude by Copley as a willing mouthpiece for CIA propaganda, consider that this case is different....Copley reporter Marcus Stern investigated and broke the Cunningham bribery story, it could be traced to the white house and republican congressional leaders, led to the convictions of Cunningham, Wade, Wilkes, and Foggo, and to the resignation in disgrace of Porter Goss.....read the federal court documents linked in the article by Laura Rosen in my last post:

To put Porter Goss's appointment as DCI into proper context, consider that Bohning described Goss as an "8 term republican congressman", Goss was an outspoken member of the house intelligence committee, and this is a saga of corruption that has as much to do with Goss as it does to do with his republican congressional colleagues and the democratic "opposition", that in reality is no opposition, at all....

The common denominators in all of this are Randy Cunningham bribers Mitchell Wade and his business partner, Brent Wilkes, best friend of Porter Goss's CIA executive appointee, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo.

Porter Goss resigned as DCI because he and his colleagues ARE THIS ERA of OFFICIAL CORRUPTION's PRINCIPLES:

You post about your hope and expectation that reopening an investigation of one or more of the murders in Dallas between 22 and 24 November, 1963 is a developing possibility. I submit that you do not fully appreciate the scope of the republican political corruption, gripping the one American party with two right wings, one democratic, and the other republican. IMO, membership in either party would have to be made a crime, and the CIA would have to be dismantled if the documentation in my last post is at all a close to accurate representation of where we near presently find ourselves in, vis a vis our "government".....

WE PRESENTLY FIND OURSELVES WITH OUR GOVERNMENT IN NEW HANDS, AND THE OLD GUARD OUT THE DOOR. CHENEY MUST NOW ASK FOR RECORDS RATHER THAN DEMAND THEM, AND PORTER GOSS IS OUT OF POWER, BUT CAN STILL ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS COVERT OPERATIONS THAT BECAME ENTWINED WITH DEALEY PLAZA.

I am pushing back, Bill...against Don Bohning's attack of Simkin and this forum for, as Bohning put it....engaging in "agitprop" instead of in honest research and discussion. Bohning quotes and represents Porter Goss as a more reliable source than John Simkin.

HOW IS ATTACKING BOHNING AND GOSS HONEST RESEARCH AND DISCUSSION?

I've documented through court convictions, federal court records, and news reports, that the US government and the CIA were gripped in a corrupt, republican political "coup", escalated dramatically since 2001....

SO YOU ARE NOT REALLY INTERESTED IN HONEST RESEARCH OF THE BACKGROUND OF PORTER GOSS AND DON BOHNING AND HAVE YOUR OWN BEEF WITH THE REPUBLICANS...

and there is more, and in case you think this "over", look at the dates associated with the following, lower two links:

BLA, BLA BLA, IT'S JUNK, IT'S ALL PARTISAN JUNK. NOBODY'S GOING TO READ THIS STUFF, ALTHOUGH I ACTUALLY DID.

THE FIRST CONGRESSMAN FROM PHILADELPHIA IDENTIFIED AS BEING A CIA ASSETT WHO GOT ALL THEIR PET PROJECTS THROUGH, EVENTUALLY BECAME ENTWINED IN SCANDAL, AND THEY GOT THE GOODS ON EVERY POLITICIAN, AND CAN PULL THE PLUG ON THEM AT ANY TIME.

THE ONLY PLACE I CAN FIND YOUR MENTION OF PORTER GOSS AND THE CIA, THE SUBJECT OF THIS THREAD, IS THIS:

Hayden, President Bush's pick to replace Porter Goss as head of the CIA, contracted with MZM Inc. for the services of Lt. Gen. James C. King, then a senior vice president of the company, the sources say. MZM was owned and operated by Mitchell Wade, who has admitted to bribing former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham with $1.4 million in money and gifts.

SO WE KNOW THEY'RE ALL GREEDY AND TAKE BRIBES, AND GIVE EACH OTHER GIFTS, AND SET UP BOGUS NON-PROFIT FOUNDATIONS AND SOMETIMES THEY GET CAUGHT, AND SOMETIMES THEY'RE SET UP FROM THE GET GO.

I THINK PORTER GOSS' CONNECTIONS TO JMWAVE ARE EXTREMELY SIGNIFICANT, AND WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF ANYBODY HAS ANYMORE INFORMATION ON THAT ANGLE?

THANKS,

BK

Edited by William Kelly
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Guest Tom Scully

Bill, (In this post, at least read the bit below, by Laurence Silberman, shilling for CIFA, the whole opinionjournal piece. Link )

We'll have to agree to disagree, regarding the significance of the political dimension and the veracity of the reporting of Copley's Marcus Stern.

I am committed to the idea that political ideology is the main force behind a condition in the US of at least 45 years standing....

the CIA, created to provide the President of the United States with reliable intelligence information, instead morphed into something

that vetoes, (or covers for those who do it) with violence, what it and MIC judges to be deviation by the elected president, from "the plan".

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2235449/posts?page=48

To: reaganaut1

It is not healthy for the President

to be on the bad side of the CIA.

22 posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 4:05:51 PM by Jo Nuvark (Those who bless Israel will be blessed, those who curse Israel will be cursed. Gen 12:3)

Both "parties" are right wings of a larger, one American, right of center political establishment. The more extreme right slanted wing, aka republican, forces through the agenda setting, propagandist influence of ownership of the owners of the media, the complicity of the other, closer to center right, the democratic wing. Both are still far right and distant enough from center to view the quote above, from a post of a member of freerepublic.com, as acceptable sentiment, and not for what it is..... threatening, far right extremism.....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/artic...edpage%E2%80%9C

CIA's Goss Names Undercover Officer To No. 3 Position

By Walter Pincus

Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, November 5, 2004; Page A02

CIA Director Porter J. Goss has selected a 22-year undercover

logistics officer nicknamed "Dusty" as executive director, the

third-ranking position at the agency....

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20...s_1n4foggo.html

March 4, 2006

...Foggo and Wilkes attended school together at Hilltop High in Chula Vista and San Diego State University, served as best men in each other's weddings and named their sons after each other.

After Foggo joined the CIA in 1982, Wilkes often visited him on Foggo's overseas assignments. Even before the CIA removed Foggo's undercover status last year, Wilkes and Foggo boasted to acquaintances about Foggo's secretive work.

At ADCS corporate headquarters, Wilkes set aside an office next to his executive suite where Foggo could work when he leaves the CIA, according to several former ADCS employees and business associates. ...

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/000387.php

April 15, 2006

........As Copley points out, it's nice but it's not enough. Cunningham appears to have done most of his dirty work not from the Armed Services panel but from the House Appropriations Committee. Yet inexplicably, Appropriations chair Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) refuses to open any sort of investigation into the disgraced lawmaker's activities.

Early in my last post, I documented the ties between Cunningham briber and Brent Wilkes' partner, Mitchell Wade, and his MZM Corp.'s involvement with CIFA, recommended for "expansion" by the Robb-Silberman Commission.

Republican attorney and former judge Laurence Silberman is important to investigate because uf his association with J. Edgar Hoover's personal files and his background as consummate partisan republican "fixer", as we see him here, in his role as co-head of a "commission" designed to obscure the truth behind the manipulation of intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq, and in his supportive statement on behalf of Brent Wilkes/Mitchell Wade's purchase of a former Lt. Gen., James C. King, et al. Of course, Silberman supported the expansion of CIFA, a domestic assault on civil liberties intended to enrich MZM and Wade to payback MZM's investment in James C. King, most principles in the republican congressional majority, and former congressmen and theri appointees, Goss and Foggo.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...6032301605.html

.....In 2004, three MZM employees served as staff consultants to the presidential commission investigating prewar Iraq intelligence, which was run by federal Judge Laurence H. Silberman and former senator Charles S. Robb (D-Va.). One of the three was retired Lt. Gen. James C. King, who then was a senior vice president of MZM for national security. King, who before joining MZM had been director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, played a consultant's role in the establishment of CIFA in 2002 before MZM received its first contracts from that agency.

The Silberman-Robb commission report in 2005 recommended that CIFA play a bigger role in the government's counterterrorism activities. In an interview, Silberman said King was not involved in the commission's recommendation that CIFA get more work. "That recommendation was not from King," Silberman said. .....

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/000581.php

EXCLUSIVE: CIA Nominee Hayden Linked to MZM

By Justin Rood - May 8, 2006, 11:33 AM

While director of the National Security Agency, Gen. Michael V. Hayden contracted the services of a top executive at the company at the center of the Cunningham bribery scandal, according to two former employees of the company.

Hayden, President Bush's pick to replace Porter Goss as head of the CIA, contracted with MZM Inc. for the services of Lt. Gen. James C. King, then a senior vice president of the company, the sources say. MZM was owned and operated by Mitchell Wade, who has admitted to bribing former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham with $1.4 million in money and gifts. Wade has also reportedly told investigators he helped arrange for prostitutes to entertain the disgraced lawmaker, and he continues to cooperate with a federal inquiry into the matter.

King has not been implicated in the growing scandal around Wade's illegal activities. However, federal records show he contributed to some of Wade's favored lawmakers, including $6000 to Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) and $4000 to Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL).

Before joining MZM in December 2001, King served under Hayden as the NSA's associate deputy director for operations, and as head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency.....

http://mediamatters.org/items/200511150009

Tue, Nov 15, 2005 5:47pm ET

Fund falsely claimed Robb-Silberman found president had not "misled" on intelligence

On the November 14 edition of CNN's Paula Zahn Now, Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund falsely claimed that former "Democratic Senator Chuck Robb [VA] headed a commission which looked into whether or not the president misled and manipulated the intelligence data" relating to Iraq. According to Fund, the commission concluded that "it didn't happen." In fact, the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction -- co-chaired by Robb and Republican attorney and former judge Laurence Silberman -- did not investigate whether the Bush administration misled the public about intelligence. Nor, for that matter, has any other governmental entity to date. Rather, the Robb-Silberman Commission concluded (.pdf page 146) that "[t]he Intelligence Community did not make or change any analytic judgments in response to political pressure" in the buildup to the Iraq war, a conclusion that has been disputed by some senior intelligence officials....

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10454316/

Is the Pentagon spying on Americans?

Secret database obtained by NBC News tracks ‘suspicious’ domestic groups

By Lisa Myers, Douglas Pasternak, Rich Gardella and the NBC Investigative Unit

updated 6:18 p.m. ET, Wed., Dec . 14, 2005

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...6080901700.html

Counterintelligence Officials Resign

By Walter Pincus

Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, August 10, 2006; Page A04

David A. Burtt II, director of the Counterintelligence Field Activity, the Defense Department's newest intelligence agency whose contracts based on congressional earmarks are under investigation by the Pentagon and federal prosecutors, told his staff yesterday that he and his deputy director will resign at the end of the month.....

.....Burtt, who was a deputy assistant secretary of defense for counterintelligence at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, developed the concept for CIFA. It was established in September 2002, originally to coordinate policy and oversee the counterintelligence activities of units within the armed services and Pentagon agencies.

Over the past three years, it has grown to become an analytic and operation organization with nine directorates and widening authority focused primarily on protecting defense facilities and personnel from terrorist attacks. CIFA's size and budget are classified, but according to congressional sources the agency has spent more than $1 billion over the past four years, mostly for outsourced services. One counterintelligence official yesterday estimated that CIFA had 400 full-time employees and 800 to 900 contractors working for it.

The agency was criticized in December after it was revealed that a database managed by CIFA contained unverified, raw threat information on Americans who were peacefully protesting the war in Iraq at defense facilities, including recruiting offices.

Last March, as a result of the continuing federal investigations arising out of charges against former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.), prosecutors said they were reviewing CIFA contracts that went to MZM Inc., a company run by Mitchell J. Wade, who had pleaded guilty in February to conspiring to bribe Cunningham.

Cunningham, now serving an eight-year prison term, in January 2004 sought about $16.5 million to be added to the defense authorization bill for a CIFA "collaboration center." A month later, he wrote Burtt a thank-you note about the center, adding, according to prosecutors' documents: "I wish to endorse and support MZM, Inc.'s work."

One of the consultants to Burtt, when he was formulating CIFA in 2002, was retired Lt. Gen. James C. King, then an MZM senior vice president who had recently retired as director of the Pentagon-based National Imagery and Mapping Agency.

In late 2002, Cunningham, who received campaign contributions from Wade and other MZM officials, made contracts for Wade's company one of "his top priorities," according to prosecutors' documents. One result, according to prosecutors' documents, was $6 million spent for a data storage system, supposedly for CIFA, that included almost $5.4 million in profit for MZM and a subcontractor.

Following disclosures in Cunningham's case, Undersecretary of Defense Stephen A. Cambone last March ordered an internal study of how funding earmarked in defense bills led to CIFA contracts for MZM. The Defense Information Systems Agency, which has been given responsibility for the inquiry, said in a statement yesterday that "the investigation is still ongoing."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...id=sec-politics

By Joby Warrick

Washington Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, April 2, 2008; Page A08

The Pentagon's top intelligence official has recommended the dismantling of a controversial intelligence program, established by then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to gather information on terrorist groups inside the United States, defense officials said last night.

Pentagon officials said the call to shutter the Counterintelligence Field Activity program, or CIFA, is part of a planned restructuring requested by James R. Clapper, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence. The small agency had drawn widespread criticism from civil liberties groups and some Democratic lawmakers, who contended that it represented an unwarranted expansion of the Pentagon's domestic spying capability.

Much of the controversy stemmed from the disclosure that the agency had collected information on antiwar protesters after the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Clapper ordered an end to that practice after he was appointed last year

http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/arti...mp;parent_id=19

Gulf Times, 6 August 2008.

Unit created by Rumsfeld shut down

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon is closing a controversial intelligence office that had raised concerns about domestic spying by the military after the September 11 attacks.

The Defence Department said it had “disestablished” the Counterintelligence Field Activity office, or CIFA, created in February 2002 by former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld to manage defence and armed service efforts against intelligence threats from foreign powers and groups such as Al Qaeda.

Those responsibilities will now be carried out by a new organisation called the Defence Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center, overseen by the Pentagon’s Defence Intelligence Agency.

CIFA’s operations stirred concern among members of Congress and civil liberties advocates. A CIFA database known as Talon, set up to monitor threats against US military installations, was found to have retained information on US antiwar protesters including Quakers after they had been found to pose no security danger, officials said.

Talon, the acronym for Threat and Local Observation Notice, was ended last year as a result of the outcry. But the controversy, leading the Defence Department to reorganize CIFA’s functions after a broad review of Pentagon intelligence operations, officials said.

A senior defence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Defence Secretary Robert Gates approved the change after the review found the office’s functions could be performed more effectively by another agency.

The Army, Air Force and Navy operate their own separate counter-intelligence operations. Officials said co-ordinating and management function previously performed by CIFA would be taken over by the new center, which will also oversee DIA’s operations in traditional espionage.

“Integration under one organization will result in greater collaboration in operational and support areas where both disciplines overlap,” Army Maj. Gen. Theodore Nicholas, the centre’s new director, said in a statement.–Reuters

Laurence Silberman's background:

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/fe...ml?id=110006987

Hoover's Institution

Anecdotes from the FBI crypt--and lessons on how to win the war.

BY LAURENCE H. SILBERMAN

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

....Only a few weeks before the 1964 election, a powerful presidential assistant, Walter Jenkins, was arrested in a men's room in Washington. Evidently, the president was concerned that Barry Goldwater would use that against him in the election. Another assistant, Bill Moyers, was tasked to direct Hoover to do an investigation of Goldwater's staff to find similar evidence of homosexual activity. Mr. Moyers' memo to the FBI was in one of the files.

When the press reported this, I received a call in my office from Mr. Moyers. Several of my assistants were with me. He was outraged; he claimed that this was another example of the Bureau salting its files with phony CIA memos. I was taken aback. I offered to conduct an investigation, which if his contention was correct, would lead me to publicly exonerate him. There was a pause on the line and then he said, "I was very young. How will I explain this to my children?" And then he rang off. I thought to myself that a number of the Watergate figures, some of whom the department was prosecuting, were very young, too. ....

http://www.consortiumnews.com/1990s/consor34.html

October 25, 1998

The Impeachment Conspiracy

By Robert Parry

........As the evidence spills out, Starr appears to have been a kind of point man not only for Republicans who desire Clinton’s removal, but for conservative lawyers and jurists whose appointments to the bench depend on who occupies the Oval Office.

Though the media may focus on Gingrich and Hyde and Hatch, many of the key players in the Clinton drama have worn black robes. Indeed, Clinton’s impeachment could be viewed, in part, as a judicial coup.

One of President Reagan’s strategies for putting his conservative stamp on the government was to place right-wing judges on the federal courts in Washington, especially the U.S. Court of Appeals where many low-profile constitutional decisions are made.

The strategy served Reagan well when the two most prominent Iran-contra convictions -- of Reagan’s national security aides Oliver North and John Poindexter -- were on appeal.

The North case reached the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1990 and the Poindexter case followed in 1991.

Iran-contra special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh, a Republican himself, encountered what he termed "a powerful band of Republican appointees [who] waited like the strategic reserves of an embattled army."

Walsh recognized that many of the appeals judges held a "continuing political allegiance" to the conservative Federalist Society, an organization dedicated to purging liberalism from the federal courts.

"It reminded me of the communist front groups of the 1940s and 1950s, whose members were committed to the communist cause and subject to communist direction but were not card-carrying members of the Communist Party," Walsh wrote. [For details, see Walsh's Firewall.]

A leader of this partisan faction was Judge Laurence H. Silberman, a bombastic character known for his decidedly injudicious temperament. Silberman had served as a foreign policy advisor to Ronald Reagan's 1980 campaign and had joined in a controversial contact with an emissary from Iran behind President Carter's back. [see Robert Parry's Trick or Treason.]

On the appeals court, Silberman took hardline conservative positions and demonstrated an animosity toward Walsh during a hearing on the constitutionality of independent counsels.

Silberman also lashed out publicly at U.S. Appeals Court Judge George MacKinnon, an old-school Republican who ran the three-judge panel which had picked Walsh to investigate the Iran-contra affair in 1986.

"At a D.C. circuit conference, he [silberman] had gotten into a shouting match about independent counsel with Judge George MacKinnon," Walsh wrote. "Silberman not only had hostile views but seemed to hold them in anger."

To Walsh's dismay, Silberman and another conservative judge, David Sentelle, were two of the three judges to hear the appeal of North's conviction.

A North Carolina protege of Sen. Jesse Helms, Sentelle was not as obstreperous as Silberman. But Sentelle carried with him a pugnacious pride in his Republican conservatism.

Sentelle had served as chairman of the Mecklenburg County Republican Party and had been a Reagan delegate at the 1984 GOP convention. He named his daughter, Reagan, after the president.

Though normally law-and-order judges, Silberman and Sentelle overturned North's conviction by expanding the protections that a witness receives from a grant of limited immunity.

In 1991, Sentelle again served with another Republican judge as the majority on the Poindexter appeal. This time, the GOP judges overturned the convictions by applying a novel argument: that lying to Congress did not constitute the crime of obstruction.

Ironically, by expanding the rights of defendants, Sentelle became a conservative judicial hero. Sentelle also wasn’t shy about joining the ideological battle against the left.

In the winter 1991 issue of the conservative Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Sentelle praised the writings of right-wing jurist Robert Bork.

"Leftist heretics perceive our system of separated and federated powers as a stumbling block to their goal of remaking the Republic into a collectivist, egalitarian, materialistic, race-conscious, hyper-secular, and socially permissive state," Sentelle wrote.

Sentelle and Bork shared the view that the American left was riding roughshod over the nation. "Modern liberalism," according to Bork's 1996 book, Slouching Toward Gomorrah, "is what fascism looks like when it has captured significant institutions, most notably the universities, but has no possibility of becoming a mass movement."

Only "the rise of an energetic, optimistic and politically sophisticated religious conservatism" can counter "the extremists of modern liberalism," Bork argued. [For an examination of the intellectual underpinnings of the new religious conservatism, see The New York Times Magazine, Oct. 11, 1998.]

Unlike Bork, however, Sentelle had the opportunity to do more than fume about a domineering left.

After the North and Poindexter reversals, Sentelle caught the eye of another Reagan appointee, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

Amid mounting Republican anger over Walsh’s Iran-contra probe, Rehnquist removed MacKinnon, the judge who had picked and protected Walsh.

In an interview, Walsh told me that he received a call from MacKinnon in early 1992. MacKinnon, who like Walsh was an Eisenhower-type Republican, had troubling news: Rehnquist was appointing Sentelle to head the three-judge panel that chooses and oversees special prosecutors.

"He was giving me a heads up," Walsh said, adding that it was clear that MacKinnon would have liked to continue in the post. "He really loved that job."

MacKinnon died in 1995, but his widow, Elizabeth, confirmed Walsh's account that her husband did not want to be replaced. "If Rehnquist had asked him to stay on, he probably would have," she told me.

Rehnquist has never explained publicly why he replaced MacKinnon with Sentelle. But the Sentelle choice was unusual in several respects.

First, the 1978 Ethics in Government Act, which created the independent counsel apparatus, specifically stated that "priority shall be given to senior circuit judges and retired judges," a stipulation that was meant to minimize partisanship and careerism.

Unlike the senior judges who had filled the slots since 1978, Sentelle was relatively young, in his 40s. Sentelle also had a reputation as an active Republican, while most of the judges on the panel were known as relatively non-partisan. "They were reformers first and party members second," commented Walsh.

Sentelle's choice reversed that pattern. Ted Arrington, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, said Sentelle "takes politics seriously enough that he would do what it takes to make sure his party comes out on top." [Legal Times, March 24, 1997]

In the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary for 1998, lawyers described Sentelle as a staunch conservative. Sentelle "has a very conservative outlook," said one lawyer. "He is conservative and very opinionated," commented another.

The elevation of Sentelle to be chief of the independent-counsel panel effectively gave the Republican Right control over who would get to investigate crimes in both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Not surprisingly, Sentelle's panel has steered nearly all sensitive investigations into the hands of reliable Republicans. When the Bush administration was caught searching Bill Clinton's passport file in 1992, Sentelle gave the job to Republican stalwart Joseph diGenova, who found no wrongdoing.

Yet, after Clinton took office, alleged Democratic miscreants found themselves pursued by aggressive Republican prosecutors, even for relatively minor offenses.

When Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros was accused of understating how much he paid a mistress, Sentelle picked David Barrett, who had run Lawyers for Reagan in 1980. Barrett racheted the alleged false statements into an 18-count felony indictment.

The Whitewater investigation began in 1994 during a lapse in the special prosecutor law, so Reno named Republican Robert Fiske to investigate. Fiske, however, offended Sentelle's ally, Sen. Lauch Faircloth, R-N.C., by concluding that White House deputy counsel Vincent Foster had committed suicide. Faircloth suspected foul play.

After the special prosecutor law was reinstated in summer 1994, Sentelle lunched with Faircloth and Helms. Sentelle then fired Fiske and replaced him with Starr, considered a far more conservative Republican. The three North Carolina Republicans denied that they discussed Whitewater over lunch.

Nevertheless, the Starr appointment raised eyebrows. Besides political differences with Clinton, Starr had been working on a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of Paula Jones, a former Arkansas state employee who had filed a conservative-backed civil suit against Clinton for alleged sexual harassment.

At the time, however, Starr's defenders argued that the Jones matter was separate from the questions about Clinton's personal finances raised by the Whitewater controversy........

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m131...v28/ai_18116298

Washington Monthly , March, 1996 by George III Clifford

The senator, the judge, his wife and the coverage: Hillary and Bill aren't the only ones with some explaining to do in the Whitewater saga - Sen. Lauch Faircloth, Judge David Sentelle, Pres. Bill Clinton, Hilary Rodham Clinton and the Whitewater case

Washington Monthly, March, 1996 by George III Clifford

In July 1994, Senator Lauch Faircloth and Judge David Sentelle lunched together in the quietly elegant Senate dining room. Just days later, a three-judge panel headed by Sentelle removed Robert B. Fiske Jr., a moderate Republican, from his position as independent counsel in the Whitewater affair - and replaced him with an active Republican partisan, Kenneth Starr.

Sentelle was supposed to be making his decisions free from political influence. Faircloth was a leader of the Republican charge against the Clintons on Whitewater; just weeks before, he had written Attorney General Janet Reno to complain about Fiske. So the lunch raised considerable controversy: Had Faircloth used the occasion to lobby or pressure Sentelle? Fiske's axing - after nine months and $2.5 million worth of work that had yet to produce material damaging to the Clintons - was precisely what Faircloth was after.

A year later came the news that approximately five months after the lunch and Fiske's replacement, Faircloth had hired Jane Oldham Sentelle, the judge's wife, as a receptionist for his Senate office. She had started in January 1995 at a salary of $20,000, which was later raised to $22,500......

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html...elle&st=nyt

Judge in Whitewater Dispute Rewards Faith of His Patron

By PETER APPLEBOME,

Published: August 17, 1994

When David B. Sentelle was nominated to be a Federal judge in 1985, his patron, Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, said that he had decided when he first met Mr. Sentelle, "I would do whatever I could to make sure that this young man's integrity and talent, principles and courage, would be used by this country."

Now as he is embroiled in the controversy over the replacement of Robert B. Fiske Jr. by Kenneth W. Starr as the Whitewater independent counsel, Judge Sentelle has already had an influence on the country that may exceed the Republican Senator's fondest expectations.

He was a member of the three-judge panels that overturned the Iran-contra convictions of Oliver L. North and John M. Poindexter, and he is regarded as the driving force behind the appointment of Mr. Starr, whose conservative credentials have riled Democrats.

Friends and critics alike here recall Judge Sentelle, 51, as a first-rate lawyer; an affable, folksy personality; and a politically savvy, ideologically committed leader of the conservative wing of the Republican Party and a supporter of Mr. Helms......

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html...aife&st=nyt

Judge Urges Investigation Of Whitewater Prosecutor

By NEIL A. LEWIS

Published: August 19, 1997

A senior Federal trial judge in Little Rock, Ark., has written in a confidential opinion that he believes that Kenneth W. Starr, the Whitewater prosecutor, may have a conflict of interest in investigating President and Mrs. Clinton.

The judge, G. Thomas Eisele of Federal District Court, wrote his opinion in response to an ethics complaint brought against Mr. Starr. In the opinion, Judge Eisele said he believed that the court should assign a lawyer to investigate Mr. Starr's plan to take an academic position at Pepperdine University that is partially subsidized by an avid opponent of Mr. Clinton.

.....Judge Eisele, a longtime Republican who was appointed to the bench in 1970 by President Richard M. Nixon, now works part time.

The unusual debate among the judges in the Eastern District of Arkansas will probably turn out to be little more than a legal sidelight in the long investigation of the Clintons' affairs by an independent counsel. But it shows how deeply the lives of the Clintons are intertwined with Arkansas's political and social life.

The episode began with the frequent filing of complaints about Mr. Starr's behavior by a Democratic lawyer in Connecticut. The lawyer, Francis T. Mandanici, had been rebuffed in most of his efforts to demonstrate that Mr. Starr was not an independent counsel but someone with a conservative political agenda determined to smear the Clintons.

Judge Eisele agreed with Mr. Mandanici's most recent legal filing, which contended that Mr. Starr had violated conflict of interest rules by agreeing to become dean of the law and public affairs schools at Pepperdine, in Malibu, Calif., when he finished his inquiry.

In a proceeding that was initially sealed from public view, Judge Eisele wrote that <h3>Mr. Starr had created an appearance of a conflict because the public affairs school at Pepperdine was subsidized by Richard Mellon Scaife, a conservative philanthropist and enemy of Mr. Clinton.

''Mr. Scaife, said to be a bitter opponent of President and Mrs. Clinton, especially with respect to Whitewater-related issues, has apparently helped to arrange and make possible the very career opportunities that Mr. Starr wants to pursue as soon as as he completes his work as independent counsel,'' Judge Eisele wrote in the opinion, which was circulated to his judicial colleages.

Judge Wilson, whose opinion was issued two weeks ago, said that while he could not participate in the ethics case, the public should have the benefit of Judge Eisele's opinion.

Judge Wilson's opinion noted that three of the judges who sit in Little Rock disagreed with Judge Eisele and concluded that no investigation of Mr. Starr was necessary. Three others, including Judge Wilson, recused themselves because they knew the Clintons and the seventh, Judge James M. Moody, because he married Mr. Foster's widow. .......

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html...ine+&st=nyt

THE WAY WE LIVE NOW: 4-18-04: QUESTIONS FOR KENNETH STARR; Life After the Report

By DEBORAH SOLOMON

Published: April 18, 2004

Q: I hear you have just accepted a new job as the dean of the law school at Pepperdine University. You don't strike me as a Malibu kind of guy.

I enjoy the ocean, but I don't surf.

Why have you decided to leave Washington after all these years?

You may be aware that seven years ago I made the decision to go to Pepperdine, and I was not able to complete my duties. So this is a kind of renewal of the opportunity.

Would you still like to become a justice of the Supreme Court?

I am told I was one of a handful of persons who were under consideration by President George Bush the 41st, but I no longer harbor the slightest sense that it is within the realm of possibility.

Why is that?

Because of the recent unpleasantness, as we refer to it.

You mean your investigation into Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky? Do you feel your work as an independent counsel helped the country in any way or just added to cynicism about government?

I am so ill-equipped to say. What I do know is it was a very unhappy reminder that all persons are subject to the law and the legal process, no matter how lofty their station in life. I regret it for the country, but it needed to be done. ....

The point of the material in the preceding quote box, in addition to providing background on Laurence Silberman, is to illustrate the idea that they understand that they cannot simply execute any president who is not extremist enough for their liking.....they have other ways to neutralize or remove the president from office. Whether it is done with bullets, manipulation of ballets, or by means of the orchestrations described above.....placing the hand picked special prosecutor in a quid pro quo arrangement, you have to admit that they are determined and have quite a track record of success.

And it is a political play, irregardless of the method chosen to attempt the president's removal between elections, and this a legitimate approach for study and analysis.

Edited by Tom Scully
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Porter Goss in today's Washington Post, blasting O'Bama for releasing torture memos.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=7430947&page=1x

Former Bush CIA chief Porter Goss said in an op-ed published today in the Washington Post, that the Obama administration had "crossed the line" by releasing the memos.

"We can't have a secret intelligence service, if we keep giving away all the secrets," he wrote.

Goss excoriates lawmakers who say they were never given a full and clear picture about the interrogation tactics the CIA was considering using against high value terrorist suspects in U.S. detention. "In the fall of 2002, while I was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, senior members of Congress were briefed on the CIA's 'high value terrorist program,' including the development of 'enhanced interrogation techniques' and what those techniques were," he wrote.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...9042403339.html

Security Before Politics

By Porter J. Goss

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Since leaving my post as CIA director almost three years ago, I have remained largely silent on the public stage. I am speaking out now because I feel our government has crossed the red line between properly protecting our national security and trying to gain partisan political advantage. We can't have a secret intelligence service if we keep giving away all the secrets. Americans have to decide now.

A disturbing epidemic of amnesia seems to be plaguing my former colleagues on Capitol Hill. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, members of the committees charged with overseeing our nation's intelligence services had no higher priority than stopping al-Qaeda. In the fall of 2002, while I was chairman of the House intelligence committee, senior members of Congress were briefed on the CIA's "High Value Terrorist Program," including the development of "enhanced interrogation techniques" and what those techniques were. This was not a one-time briefing but an ongoing subject with lots of back and forth between those members and the briefers.

Today, I am slack-jawed to read that members claim to have not understood that the techniques on which they were briefed were to actually be employed; or that specific techniques such as "waterboarding" were never mentioned. It must be hard for most Americans of common sense to imagine how a member of Congress can forget being told about the interrogations of Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. In that case, though, perhaps it is not amnesia but political expedience.

Let me be clear. It is my recollection that:

-- The chairs and the ranking minority members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, known as the Gang of Four, were briefed that the CIA was holding and interrogating high-value terrorists.

-- We understood what the CIA was doing.

-- We gave the CIA our bipartisan support.

-- We gave the CIA funding to carry out its activities.

-- On a bipartisan basis, we asked if the CIA needed more support from Congress to carry out its mission against al-Qaeda.

I do not recall a single objection from my colleagues. They did not vote to stop authorizing CIA funding. And for those who now reveal filed "memorandums for the record" suggesting concern, real concern should have been expressed immediately -- to the committee chairs, the briefers, the House speaker or minority leader, the CIA director or the president's national security adviser -- and not quietly filed away in case the day came when the political winds shifted. And shifted they have.

Circuses are not new in Washington, and I can see preparations being made for tents from the Capitol straight down Pennsylvania Avenue. The CIA has been pulled into the center ring before. The result this time will be the same: a hollowed-out service of diminished capabilities. After Sept. 11, the general outcry was, "Why don't we have better overseas capabilities?" I fear that in the years to come this refrain will be heard again: once a threat -- or God forbid, another successful attack -- captures our attention and sends the pendulum swinging back. There is only one person who can shut down this dangerous show: President Obama.

Unfortunately, much of the damage to our capabilities has already been done. It is certainly not trust that is fostered when intelligence officers are told one day "I have your back" only to learn a day later that a knife is being held to it. After the events of this week, morale at the CIA has been shaken to its foundation.

We must not forget: Our intelligence allies overseas view our inability to maintain secrecy as a reason to question our worthiness as a partner. These allies have been vital in almost every capture of a terrorist.

The suggestion that we are safer now because information about interrogation techniques is in the public domain conjures up images of unicorns and fairy dust. We have given our enemy invaluable information about the rules by which we operate. The terrorists captured by the CIA perfected the act of beheading innocents using dull knives. Khalid Sheik Mohammed boasted of the tactic of placing explosives high enough in a building to ensure that innocents trapped above would die if they tried to escape through windows. There is simply no comparison between our professionalism and their brutality.

Our enemies do not subscribe to the rules of the Marquis of Queensbury. "Name, rank and serial number" does not apply to non-state actors but is, regrettably, the only question this administration wants us to ask. Instead of taking risks, our intelligence officers will soon resort to wordsmithing cables to headquarters while opportunities to neutralize brutal radicals are lost.

The days of fortress America are gone. We are the world's superpower. We can sit on our hands or we can become engaged to improve global human conditions. The bottom line is that we cannot succeed unless we have good intelligence. Trading security for partisan political popularity will ensure that our secrets are not secret and that our intelligence is destined to fail us.

The writer, a Republican, was director of the CIA from September 2004 to May 2006 and was chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 1997 to 2004.

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Guest Tom Scully

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...st&p=166347

........
http://web.archive.org/web/20060619013322/...ewsweek/page/2/

Man in the Middle

As a corruption probe heats up on Capitol Hill, the spotlight falls on a California defense contractor with some powerful friends.

By Mark Hosenball, Jamie Reno and Evan Thomas

Newsweek

June 5, 2006 issue

.....According to Foggo's lawyer, Bill Hundley, the Feds are operating on the theory that Foggo helped Wilkes get CIA contracts in return for Wilkes's paying for vacation trips for Foggo......

....In one case, described in prosecution documents, a Wilkes company was awarded a $9.7 million contract to electronically scan Panama Canal Zone documents dating back a century to the administration of Theodore Roosevelt, even though the Pentagon reportedly wanted to use the money for more-urgent projects. Wilkes allegedly lobbied Cunningham to press the Pentagon to award the contract anyway.

According to published reports and congressional and law-enforcement sources who did not want to be identified discussing a sensitive investigation, the Feds are also reviewing Wilkes's ties to other powerful House leaders. Former GOP majority leader Tom DeLay, Armed Services Committee chairman Duncan Hunter and Appropriations Committee chairman Jerry Lewis all reportedly had dealings with Wilkes. None has been accused of any wrongdoing; a spokesman for Lewis said the congressman had not seen Wilkes for 10 years. Hunter's spokesman said his boss urged the Pentagon to ignore congressional pressure on contracting, and DeLay's lawyer had no immediate comment....

Note: I've updated the links displayed in the following piece on Rep. Duncan Hunter so that they all resolve to a relevant web page:

http://pogoblog.typepad.com/pogo/2006/06/h...rs_brand_o.html

Jun 08, 2006

Hunter's Brand of Congressional "Oversight"

Since there seems to be burgeoning interest in the real estate holdings of staffers-turned-lobbyists (-turned-staffers-again, in some cases) and defense contractors in Jerry Lewis’ orbit (Laura Rozen provides a nice summation and one-stop shop of links here), we think it’s worth revisiting a sub-rosa real estate relationship involving House Armed Service Committee chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA).

Almost exactly a year ago, the Associated Press did a nice roundup of House leadership financial disclosure statements. Among the highlights for Hunter was his co-ownership of a rural Virginia cabin with “former Democratic U.S. Rep. Pete Geren of Texas.”

At first glance, no big deal. Preston M. “Pete” Geren III, however, is not your average former Congressman. A Blue Dog from the Texas 12th, Geren’s 1989-1997 House stint is still less-than-fondly remembered by some for his relentless championing of that ineffective sinkhole of a project brought to us by Boeing and Bell, the V-22 Osprey.

More recently, Geren briefly served as Acting Secretary of the Air Force from July to November 2005, after Air Force Secretary James Roche resigned in the wake of the Boeing tanker lease scandal. In February 2006, Geren was confirmed as Undersecretary of the Army.

But Geren is no newcomer to the Pentagon. Between 2001-2005, Geren occupied an office "strategically next door" to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, whom he served as a special assistant responsible for "inter-agency initiatives, legislative affairs, and special projects." In written responses to questions posed by the Senate Armed Service Committee during his Army confirmation earlier this year, Geren noted that among his specific responsibilities as a Rumsfeld aide was acting as Pentagon liaison with Congress on detainee abuse issues that began with Abu Ghraib in 2004.

A less-charitable description of Geren’s Abu Ghraib duties, according to a knowledgeable congressional source, was “keeping Congress off Rumsfeld’s back”. Indeed, much to the Pentagon’s consternation, Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John Warner's (R-VA) was actually moved to investigate Abu Ghraib and hold multiple hearings on the matter. Not so with Geren's real estate partner, the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Consistently dismissive of interrogation and detention excesses as isolated incidents, Hunter actively discouraged Congressional investigation into Abu Ghraib.

Absent from national press coverage of Hunter's antipathy towards Abu Ghraib investigations, however, was the fact that Hunter's top corporate campaign contributor, San Diego-based defense contractor Titan Corporation, potentially had a lot to lose in the scandal. (Titan gave generously to Cunningham as well).

When Titan bought Virginia-based contractor RTG in 2001, it also acquired a $10 million, five-year contract awarded in 1999 to provide linguists to the US Army. In the wake of 9/11, Titan's linguist contract was given a ceiling of $657 million, with the company receiving $112.1 million from the contract in 2003--six percent of Titan's total revenue. A May 21, 2004 report by the San Diego Union-Tribune revealed Titan’s contractor hiring and training practices to be systemically lacking, and that far from supplying "skilled contract linguists" as its contract stipulated, Titan was "hiring people who speak limited English and have no professional experience as interpreters and translators". Personnel from Titan were also singled out in both the Taguba, Fay and Kern reports as participants in abuses at Abu Ghraib. (Titan, along with Arlington, Virginia-based contractor CACI, is currently facing multiple lawsuits.)

As Abu Ghraib was unfolding, Titan was also losing money in legal bills as federal investigators were discovering Titan to be among the most ethically bankrupt US contractors doing business overseas. The matter of illicit campaign contributions-for-quadrupled management fees in the West African nation of Benin didn’t sit well with the Justice Department; a host of document falsifications and under-reporting expenses didn’t sit well with the Securities and Exchange Commission. (Lockheed Martin wasn’t thrilled, either; poised to buy Titan, the company pulled out of the deal in 2004). On March 1, 2005, Titan pled guilty to three criminal counts of bribery, and paid a total of $28.5 million in fines to the Justice Department and SEC.

Despite the brazenness and scope of Titan's actions, as part of the federal government’s settlement with the company, the Defense Department waived its right to disbar Titan from any contracts. Though the Titan contract should have been re-bid by now, according to transcripts of recent Titan shareholder conference calls, the company (now part of L3 Communications, which bought it last year) will retain the contract until at least next year.

As a general rule, we tend to think that those charged with oversight, and those overseen by Congress, shouldn’t be in business together--and if they are, their respective disclosures should be clearer. (Hunter’s disclosures (pdf) make no mention of Geren’s Defense Department affiliation, and Geren’s disclosures simply refer to the “Hunter/Geren partnership”--to look at them, you’d have no idea that the “Hunter” chaired House Armed Services). Would public knowledge of the business relationship between the Pentagon’s Congressional point man for Abu Ghraib and the House Armed Services Committee Chairman--and, as we noted earlier, champion of an exceptionally ethically-challenged defense contractor--given anyone pause in May 2004 (or any other time, for that matter)? Was Hunter’s real estate partner in a position to help Hunter help any of his defense contractor patrons?

Whatever the case, Geren has done nicely for himself while in government service. As his on-average 28 page public financial disclosure reports reveal, though he resigned his position on several corporate boards when he took the Army job, in his four years as a Rumsfeld special assistant, Geren collected an approximate total of $200,000 a year as a director of Anadarko Petroleum, Texas-New Mexico Power Company, Cullen/Frost Bankers and RME Petroleum.

-- Jason Vest

http://www.truthout.org/article/thats-a-joke-son

That's a Joke, Son

By William Fisher

t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Tuesday 10 October 2006

....In 2003, Wilkes threw a gala in honor of Hunter called "Salute to Our Heroes."

But it doesn't stop there. In June 2006, Public Citizen reported that Hunter received $11,750 from lobbyist Van D. Hipp Jr., chairman of American Defense International. Hipp's firm represents more than 100 organizations in 11 countries on "government affairs" strategies. Hipp, a former deputy assistant secretary of the Army, was sentenced to five years' probation and three months' house arrest for accepting illegal campaign gifts during a failed 1994 Congressional campaign. He also was fined $5,000 and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

Further, Hunter's 2004 financial disclosure form revealed co-ownership of a rural Virginia cabin with former congressman Pete Geren (D-Texas). Following his stint in Congress, Geren served as an aide to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon from 2001-2005. According to USA Today, one of his primary responsibilities was "keeping Congress off Rumsfeld's back" during the Abu Ghraib detainee controversy. So, as Chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services, Hunter dutifully discouraged any Congressional investigation into Abu Ghraib.

Despite their affiliation, Hunter's financial disclosure makes no mention of Geren's Defense Department affiliation. In addition, Geren's disclosures simply refer to the "Hunter/Geren partnership," never referring to the fact that "Hunter" is the chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services.

According to POGO, the Project on Government Oversight, Hunter's top corporate campaign contributor, San Diego-based defense contractor Titan Corporation, suffered from the publicity of the Abu Ghraib scandal. Titan Corp. served as interrogators at the prison, and were subsequently implicated in the mistreatment allegations that followed. Despite this, and the fact that Titan pled guilty to three criminal counts of bribery in March 2005, the Defense Department waived its right to disbar Titan from any contracts. This chain of events has led to questions about Hunter's ties to the Defense Department...

http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_3906155

Yucca Valley tied to Lewis Inquiry

Guy McCarthy and Andrew Silva, Staff Writers

Article Launched: 06/06/2006 06:48:00 PM PDT

The High Desert town of Yucca Valley has been subpoenaed for records pertaining to the federal criminal investigation of ties between Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, and lobbying giant Copeland Lowery Jacquez Denton & White......

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/000838.php

Lewis' Daughter Runs Defense PAC Tied to Lobbyist

By Justin Rood - June 7, 2006, 12:01 PM

A powerful House Republican's ties to a lobby firm under investigation just became a family affair.

Here's what we knew as of this morning: House Appropriations Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-CA) is under investigation, along with at least two of his former staffers. Just after leaving Lewis' employ, staffer Letitia White bought a house with one of the defense contractors who wanted funds earmarked from Lewis' committee. Later we learned that house was the headquarters for a Political Action Committee, chaired by that same defense contractor.

Now we can report that the PAC is operated by Lewis' stepdaughter, Julie Willis-Leon....

http://sethhettena.com/blog/?cat=3

Foggo & Wilkes, Jerry Lewis & Tom DeLay

Sunday, March 1st, 2009....

http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_12203119

Statement reveals high legal fees for Rep. Jerry Lewis

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer

Posted: 04/22/2009 07:27:36 PM PDT

Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, paid more than $30,000 in March to a law firm defending him in a federal probe into his alleged ties with lobbyists and defense contractors, campaign records show.

It brings the total of what Lewis has spent on legal fees since the investigation kicked off in 2006 to nearly $1.2 million.

Lewis spokesman Jim Specht couldn't say Wednesday what services the Washington D.C.-based law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has performed for Lewis over the last four months to warrant such a hefty bill. ....

As you can read, directly above this sentence, Rep. Jerry Lewis is still running up big legal fees to the law firm defending him, the same firm where Ted Olson worked in 2006 when he hired away the US Attorney, Deborah Yang, just a few months after she had opened a corruption investigation of Jerry Lewis, with an offer to Yang of $1,500,000, in a position at the firm supervised by.....Ted Olson.....

IMO, Porter Goss has himself immersed in a big crisis created by right wing extremists.....the "tell" is Theodore Olson, because history shows that they only send him in on the biggest "Ops" and crisis management situations.....

http://firedoglake.com/2009/04/05/behind-t...f-a-terror-war/

Behind the Veil of a Terror War

By: John Anderson Sunday April 5, 2009 4:04 pm

In my 2007 book Follow the Money, I asked the question: “What if the global war on terror had, at least in part, been the public face used to conceal millions—perhaps even billions—of dollars in corrupt appropriations being siphoned into top-secret contracts?”

When thinking about the “Duke” Cunningham affair and the subsequent dismissal of San Diego U.S. Attorney Carol Lam, the prosecutor in that case and in the related case of former number three official in the CIA, Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, I kept coming back to the same point: “What if a small coterie of Appropriations, Defense, Homeland Security, and Intelligence committee members were, in fact, on the take and engaged in a massive giveaway of federal funds?”

The hapless Randy Cunningham had been well-placed for such an endeavor. At the time of his forced resignation, the “Duke”—captain also of the royal yacht “Duke Stir”—stood sixteenth among Republican members of the House Appropriations Committee. More to the point, however, Cunningham was the third-ranking Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (“House Intel”) and a member in good standing of the single most powerful subcommittee in the House of Representatives: Defense Appropriations, with the power of the purse over not only the Department of Defense, but also CIA, NSA, and Homeland Security.

Consider:

By 2006, Cunningham’s boss on the House Appropriations Committee, Jerry Lewis of California, controlled over $900 billion in federal spending. Between 1998 and 2004, spending on “earmarks” had tripled, from $10.6 billion in 1998 to 15,884 in 2004 worth $32.7 billion.

Many of the earmarks were, in turn, to be found in defense appropriations, many of which were, because of their national security classifications, deemed “secret” or “top secret.” Before becoming chair of “Big Approps,” Lewis had been chair of Defense Approps.

As for Cunningham, his role as chair of the House Intel Subcommittee on Analysis & Counterintelligence brought him into frequent contact with House Intel Chair Porter Goss of Florida—the future CIA director—and with Goss’s close friend and staff aide, “Dusty” Foggo.

Throw in Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania—vice chair of both House Armed Services and House Homeland Security—and you have a mighty fine foursome: Lewis at House Defense Approps; Goss at House Intel; Cunningham at Defense Approps and Intel; and Weldon at Armed Services and Homeland Security.

In 2004, the Los Angeles Times reported that Weldon’s daughter Karen had landed $1 million in lobbying contracts; and two years later, the same newspaper reported that a Weldon “family friend” had landed still more lobbying contracts. Her partner, it turned out, was married to the son of Florida Republican Congressman C.W. “Bill” Young, the former chair of “Big Approps” and Lewis’ successor as chair of “Defense Approps.”

You get the picture.

Today, Cunningham is in prison (serving an eight-year term for having accepted more than $2 million in bribes), and Foggo has been convicted of corruption charges arising from the same defense contracting scheme. Goss resigned from CIA for “personal reasons” at about the time Foggo was indicted; and Weldon failed for re-election.

But Bill Young remains in a member of the House and of Appropriations—as does Jerry Lewis—two of the longest-serving Republicans in that body and on that committee. In Young’s case since 1971, making him the senior-most Republican in the House.

Lewis, as is well known, has been under scrutiny for years now, primarily for his relationship with defense-related contractors and lobbyists, among them his best friend, fellow former Appropriator, retired Republican Congressman Bill Lowery. [see, for example, Copley News Service reporter Jerry Kammer’s story detailing the relationship, December 23, 2005.]

It’s widely believed that Carol Lam’s place on the list of dismissed U.S. Attorneys stemmed from her role in the Cunningham and Foggo investigations—and her role in a potential investigation of Chairman Lewis.

A very Republican tale, thus far.

Now, however, comes news that agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the offices of lobbyist Paul Magliocchetti’s PMA Group and, according to a report in the New York Times this week, “appear to be examining the firm’s relationship with Representative Peter J. Visclosky, a low-profile lawmaker with big influence over federal spending.”

Magliocchetti is a former aide and big-time contributor to Pennsylvania Democrat John Murtha; and, until this week, it had been the relationship between Magliocchetti and Murtha that had attracted the attention of the press.

But now it’s Murtha and Visclosky.

The Times account described Visclosky as “chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee for energy and water, and thus one of the ‘cardinals’ who control federal spending.”

But you knew there had to be more.

And there is. Visclosky is also a member of House Defense Approps, the chair of which is the most powerful of the cardinals, none other than Jack Murtha.

Readers of George Crile’s best-selling Charlie Wilson’s War will recall the scene wherein House Speaker Tip O’Neill exacted a promise from “Good Time Charlie,” that he would agree to go on the House Ethics Committee in return for a seat on the board of the Kennedy Center. The reason: To protect O’Neill’s good friend and lieutenant, Jack Murtha, the “victim” of an over-zealous federal prosecutor in the ABSCAM affair.

Wilson did what he was asked to do. He accepted the Speaker’s deal. Writes Crile, “Delighted at his lifetime appointment to the Kennedy Center board, he was a happy warrior as he raced to the rescue of his imperiled friend John Murtha.”

As Crile says, Charlie had his work cut for him: “Watching Representative Murtha on the ABSCAM tapes is not an experience designed to make a citizen fee better about Congress.”

Back then—way back then—Jack Murtha was but a lieutenant. Today, he’s a cardinal. Like his pal Pete Visclosky.

This could get very bad.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%...amp;btnG=Search

......a conflicting statement by Solicitor General Theodore Olson to the Supreme Court on Monday has the ring of perverse honesty.

It is "easy to imagine an infinite number of situations . . . where government officials might quite legitimately have reasons to give false information out," the Justice Department's senior trial lawyer said to the justices, who are weighing Jennifer Harbury's claim that she had the right to the truth about the torture and murder of her Guatemalan revolutionary husband by CIA-financed Guatemalan forces in 1993. .......

http://www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticle....articleId=10158

....Government authorities concluded that Barbara Olson’s call from Flight 77 never happened. The calls to Ted Olson were fabricated, they said. His claim about receiving two calls from his wife aboard Flight 77 was not true and unless he was the victim of a hoax, he was lying.

These were strong charges against a high-level government official. Ted Olson was not a bit player in the Bush administration. On the contrary, as the U.S. Solicitor General he became the savior of the Republican party by arguing eloquently and successfully to the Supreme Court in 2001 to nullify the proposed recount of the questionable Florida election returns that resulted in awarding the presidency to George Bush.

The account that Barbara was the only passenger—having been herded to the back of the plane by hijackers—who was able to run into the aisle, grab a seat phone that didn’t exist and make a call—and then make a second call lacks credibility. This fact alone is sufficient reason to believe that Barbara Olson could not have called her husband from Flight 77....

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2007/05/04/debra-...-attorney-mess/

* May 4, 2007, 11:42 AM ET

Debra Wong Yang & the U.S. Attorney Mess

By Peter Lattman

Debra Wong Yang, the former U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles, resigned last October to join Gibson Dunn. Was she pushed out?

Maybe, suggests the NYT’s Adam Cohen, following up on much commentary from the liberal blogosphere (here and here). Yang wasn’t one of the eight ousted U.S. Attorneys, but the Times says the timing of her resignation raises serious questions. First, Yang was leading the corruption investigation of Republican congressman Jerry Lewis. Second, the Times cites evidence that then-White House counsel Harriet Miers asked DOJ staffers whether Yang could be forced out.

Yang’s joining Gibson Dunn also raises questions, writes the Times. The firm, which was defending Lewis in Yang’s investigation, was hired to be co-leader of the Crisis Management Practice Group with Ted Olson, a leading conservative lawyer who served as solicitor general in the Bush administration. Three questions, writes Cohen:

* Did Yang expect to lose her job, so she left to avoid being fired?

* Did Gibson Dunn dangle a rich financial package before Yang to get her out and to disrupt the investigation of Lewis?

* Or was the time of her departure coincidental, leaving for the private sector at the same time the White House was asking about the possibility of firing her?

Back in October, the Law Blog was the first to report on Yang’s departure. She told us she was resigning for personal reasons, just another federal prosecutor leaving the government for a lucrative Big Law partnership. We also interviewed Ted Olson, who was downright effusive about Yang’s co-heading their “crisis management” effort.

“Debra Yang has been a judge, has been a prosecutor in one of the biggest offices in the United States,” said Olson. “If you have a person like Debra Yang, who’s unflappable and has high-level contacts around the United States, she is perfect for something like this. She has the qualities that will bring order to a crisis, radiating calm, good sense, judgment and maturity.”

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/04/20/gonzales/

Administration officials say Gonzales should step down - CNN.com

White House aides say Gonzales hurt himself during testimony Thursday ... One name that consistently comes up is Ted Olson, former solicitor general. ...

- Apr 21, 2007 -

http://www.gibsondunn.com/News/Pages/USAtt...LosAngeles.aspx

U.S. Attorney Debra Wong Yang Joins Gibson Dunn in Los Angeles

October 17, 2006

Los Angeles. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is pleased to announce Debra Wong Yang, the United States Attorney for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, will join the firm as partner in the Los Angeles office.

At Gibson Dunn, Yang will co-chair the firm’s Crisis Management Practice Group, along with Washington, D.C. partner Theodore B. Olson, the former Solicitor General of the United States, and New York partner Randy Mastro, the former New York Deputy Mayor of Operations. In addition, Yang will play a central role in the Business Crimes and Investigations Practice Group.

“Debra Wong Yang is one of the most respected U.S. Attorneys in the country. She has done a remarkable job in leading the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, which handles some of our Nation’s largest and most difficult cases,” said Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. “She was selected to serve on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, a small group of U.S. Attorneys that I consult on policy matters, and she served in this and other capacities with great distinction. She is an energetic leader and has an amazing ability to build connections with community leaders at all levels.”....

Edited by Tom Scully
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Don Bohning wrote:

Goss confirmed that although recruited earlier, he did not actively start working for the CIA until late 1961 or early 1962, after first joining Army Intelligence through Yale University's Army Reserve Officers Training (ROTC) program. From there, he said he "gravitated to the CIA."

Goss confirmed that his first four to five years with the CIA involved the Western Hemisphere, namely Central America, Mexico and Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). He said he was never permanently assigned to any CIA station in the area, always "traveling to those regions from Washington," with the Dominican Republic being "the only place I lived for any extensive period." He was assigned to London in the mid-1960s, retiring in 1970 for health reasons.

The website describes his "main area of expertise" as the "infiltration of trade unions and other organizations of the labour movement." While saying he was not at liberty to say what his main area of expertise was, Goss said the website description was "a stretch."

Which supports and confirms the account given by Bradley E. Ayers, a US Army Ranger Captain assigned to train some of the anti-Castro Cuban maritime commandos, who participated in a raid aboard the Rex. - BK

"I later met Porter on one of my visits to the station while training the commandos on Elliott Key. Porter was in his mid-20s, I estimated, and by build, manner, appearance, and facial features, he might have been a youthful clone of Gordon Campbell. I believe this man was Porter Goss, President George W. Bush's appointee to head the CIA in 2005."

p. 267 The Zenith Secret - An Insider Exposes the Secret War Against Cuba and the Plot that Killed the Kennedy brothers (Vox Pop, 2006)

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Tosh, What do you make of these names for persons in the photo [from someone in the know]:

Felipe de Diego third on right

George Robreno fourth on right

Barry Seal third on left

And care to say what the occassion was and who the others might be? I'm not saying Hopsicker was spot on the money. What's your take? Without one, or just saying Hopsicker was full of BS, we are left with questions, or Hopsicker's version, or..................?????

http://225batonrouge.com/news/2009/apr/30/smugglers-blues/

"... Smuggler's blues

By Chuck Hustmyre | Also by this reporter

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Barry Seal (upper left, behind the man wearing glasses) lived a daring life: he was a covert operative for the U.S. government, a drug smuggler, a star government witness, and finally a murder victim. Although some claim this 1960s-era photo depicts Seal with spies, it is actually business partners celebrating a successful aircraft sale in Mexico City.

Was Barry Seal a hero or huckster?

A daredevil drug pilot who got rich smuggling drugs into the United States, or a government sanctioned anti-communist crusader who risked his life running guns to Latin American freedom fighters?

When Seal pleaded guilty to drug smuggling charges in federal court in Baton Rouge in 1986, U.S. District Judge Frank Polozola, who was bound by an agreement hammered out between Barry Seal and the Justice Department, had no choice but to sentence the barnstorming Baton Rouge pilot to probation. Polozola made his disgust with the agreement known by adding a special condition to Seal’s sentence—six months in a halfway house.

“Drug dealers like Mr. Seal are the lowest, most despicable people I can think of,” Polozola told the assembled crowd of Drug Enforcement Administration agents and Justice Department officials who appeared at Seal’s sentencing hearing to speak on his behalf.

As Polozola handed down his sentence, he fixed his gaze on Seal. “In my opinion, people like you ought to be in prison.”

Three weeks later, Seal was shot to death in the parking lot of the Salvation Army halfway house on Airline Highway, exactly where Polozola had ordered him to live, without armed bodyguards, for six months.

‘First cousin to a bird’

Adler Berriman “Barry” Seal grew up in south Baton Rouge in the 1950s. He spent his spare time hanging around the old Downtown Airport, now Independence Park, working odd jobs in exchange for flight time. Even before he graduated from Baton Rouge High School in 1957, Seal had already earned his private pilot’s wings.

Seal was a natural in the air, one of the most gifted pilots anyone in Baton Rouge can remember. “He could fly with the best of them,” Ed Duffard, one of Seal’s first flight instructors, once said in a TV interview. “That boy was first cousin to a bird.”

In 1955 Seal joined a Civil Air Patrol unit at Lakefront Airport in New Orleans. The unit’s commander was David Ferrie, then a pilot for Eastern Airlines. Ferrie was later caught up in New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s conspiracy investigation into the assassination of President Kennedy. Actor Joe Pesci played Ferrie in the Oliver Stone film JFK.

One of Seal’s fellow CAP cadets was a kid named Lee Harvey Oswald.

The floating dock which Barry Seal used to land helicopters.

The Red Scare

The 1950s and early 1960s were patriotic times in America. Communism had taken over half of Europe and was spreading into Central and South America. By 1960, Cuban strongman Fidel Castro had established a communist dictatorship with direct links to the Soviet Union just 90 miles from the United States. Something had to be done.

Enter the CIA.

If the roots of Seal’s fervent anti-communist beliefs were founded in his conservative 1950s upbringing, the fires of those beliefs were undoubtedly stoked during his association with his Civil Air Patrol leader, David Ferrie.

Ferrie was a devout anti-communist who worked in New Orleans with a CIA-sponsored anti-Castro group called the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front.

According to the 1979 report of U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations, Ferrie built two miniature submarines to use in an attack on Havana Harbor. He stockpiled weapons, including mortars, for a proposed invasion of Cuba, was involved in a raid on a munitions dump in Houma, and took several of his CAP cadets on flights to Cuba. U.S. Customs agents in Miami launched an investigation of Ferrie in 1959 for weapons smuggling.

In April 1961, Ferrie took a vacation from his job at Eastern Airlines during the exact time of the CIA-backed, failed Bay of Pigs invasion, in which some U.S. pilots were known to have participated.

In 1962, Seal enlisted in the Louisiana National Guard and shipped out for six months of active duty Army training at Fort Benning, Ga. Seal earned an expert rifleman’s badge and paratrooper wings. When he returned home he was assigned to Special Forces, a unit of the U.S. Army with close ties to military intelligence, and to the CIA.

The Mexico Caper

In the mid-1960s, Seal went to work as a commercial airline pilot for Trans World Airlines. The company was owned by eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes, a man with his own longstanding connections to the CIA.

Despite lacking a college degree or any military flight training, Seal became one of the youngest pilots in TWA history to earn captain’s wings in the Boeing 707 and the jumbo 747 jetliners.

Just a few years later, though, Seal’s high-flying career as an international airline captain crashed and burned after U.S. Customs agents arrested him in New Orleans for trying to smuggle seven tons of military high explosives into Mexico.

In connection with their investigation, Customs agents seized a DC-4 cargo plane in Shreveport packed with nearly 14,000 pounds of C-4 plastic explosives, 7,000 feet of high-explosive primer cord, and 2,600 electric blasting caps. The illegal load was reportedly bound for a group of anti-Castro Cuban exiles in Mexico.

Where did a 33-year-old pilot from Baton Rouge get his hands on seven tons of military high explosives? And why would he risk a promising, high-paying career as an international airline pilot to smuggle those same weapons-grade explosives into Mexico?

Seal never said, at least not publicly.

Just a week or two after his arrest, Seal had coffee with his ex-wife, Barbara, and her mother. He told them not to worry about the arrest. He wasn’t going to end up in prison, he said. “This was an operation I did for the government,” Barbara recalls Seal telling her and her mother. The explosives were part of a plan “to overthrow Fidel Castro,” Seal explained.

In a recent interview with 225, Barbara described how Barry was essentially disavowed by his own government after his 1972 arrest, something that cost him his job as an airline captain. “That was a government operation,” she insists.

In 1974, two years after his arrest on the weapons smuggling charge, the government finally brought the case before a jury, but the judge declared a mistrial and the charges against Seal were never re-filed. Seal was free, but he didn’t have a job.

Locked up in Honduras

In 1976, Seal started smuggling drugs into the United States from Central and South America. He started with marijuana. Then he moved up to cocaine. He was good at it. He was also lucky. Then his luck ran out.

On Dec. 10, 1979, Seal got busted in Honduras. Some say he had 40 kilos of cocaine inside his airplane. Others say the load was more like 17 kilos. Seal later claimed there were no drugs on the plane, just a machinegun.

Either way, he spent nearly nine months locked up in a Honduran prison before being released. Some claim he bribed his way out.

A couple of years later, Seal was smuggling cocaine for Colombia’s Medellín cartel, headed by the Ochoa brothers (Jorge, Fabio, and Juan), Carlos Lehder, José Gonzalo Rodriguez-Gacha and Pablo Escobar.

Barry was one of the cartel’s best smugglers. He was so good at flying tons of cocaine into his network of secret airfields around Baton Rouge that the Louisiana State Police formed a special unit to catch him.

Testifying at a hearing shortly after Seal’s death, State Police Lieutenant Bob Thomasson, who headed the special unit, said, “Mr. Seal was suspected of being the head of a large drug smuggling organization, consisting of some 60 people, operating in six or seven states and several foreign countries.”

Covert operators

Fellow pilot recalls Seal’s U.S. government work

A veteran CIA operative who has testified before Congress describes Barry Seal as a friend and fellow operative who for years carried out clandestine work for the U.S. government.

For decades, William “Tosh” Plumlee (in the photo on page 66 he’s the man hiding his face behind his jacket) took part in clandestine operations, mostly as a pilot, but sometimes as a member of the CIA’s ultra-secret covert action group, he told 225 in a recent telephone interview.

Plumlee trained pilots for President Kennedy’s disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion. He flew weapons to anti-Castro Cubans, to El Salvadorans fighting a communist insurgency, and to Nicaraguan contras. Much of his testimony to Congress is still classified.

“Barry Seal was a friend of mine,” Plumlee says. “I helped rig that camera on the 123.” (The C-123 “Fat Lady” was the aircraft Seal used on a government-sanctioned drug run to Nicaragua.)

Plumlee also said he is in the infamous “Mexico City” picture, seated across the table from Seal and peering out from behind his jacket.

“Seal had connections with military ops,” Plumlee says, “that went back to the ’60s or ’70s, before he was even working at TWA.”

Covert operations, especially the ones that get exposed, often get laid at the door of the CIA, Plumlee says, but in truth many operations involving things like flying weapons to far-off, war-torn places are run by military intelligence. “It’s just easier to blame everything on the CIA,” he says.

“The CIA worked as our logistical support team,” Plumlee says. “Barry Seal worked with military intelligence ... secret teams out of the Pentagon for a number of years. Even back in the Cuban days, Seal was pretty active.”

Seal’s 1972 arrest, when he was caught with a plane packed with more than 14,000 pounds of military high explosives, was a covert government operation to provide support to anti-Castro Cuban exiles in Mexico, Plumlee says. “He took a rap on that, but that was a military op.”

So what about the Mexico City photograph?

“This picture had nothing to do with any ops, any CIA,” Plumlee says. It was taken in 1964 or 1965 at a nightclub outside Mexico City. The men in the photo were celebrating a successful aircraft deal. Plumlee ferried one of the planes, an old World War II bomber, to Mexico as part of the transaction, along with Barry Seal and several other pilots.

Life wasn’t all cloak-and-dagger stuff, and much of the work Plumlee and Seal did was mundane, Plumlee says. For example, Plumlee worked as an aircraft mechanic and a plumber, while Seal bought and sold airplanes.

Plumlee says he tried to explain that to researchers who were trying to prove a connection between the photograph, Barry Seal and the Kennedy assassination. But they didn’t want to hear it, and now Plumlee says they trash him and accuse him of being a CIA disinformation agent.

“The picture was after the Kennedy assassination ... about 1965,” Plumlee says. “There was no CIA Porter Goss there. There was no Félix Rodriguez.” (Porter Goss was a CIA officer and later became director of the CIA under George W. Bush. Félix Rodriguez, aka Max Gomez, was a longtime CIA operative alleged to have hunted down and killed Che Guevara.)

The photograph was taken by a cigarette girl, who doubled as a nightclub photographer. In the picture, Plumlee is seen trying to hide behind his jacket. “I was in ops and that’s the reason I covered my damn face,” he explains. “I didn’t know they were going to be taking pictures.”

The picture, Plumlee insists, is nothing but that of a bunch of airplane bums celebrating after a successful business deal. He says he was at the nightclub for less than an hour.

“As far as Porter Goss, and Félix Rodriguez and Frank Sturgis—that’s all bull----,” Plumlee says. (Frank Sturgis was a CIA operative and soldier of fortune. He was later convicted of the Watergate break-in that led to the downfall of the Nixon administration. He was also long-rumored to have been involved in the JFK assassination.)

Although the photograph isn’t connected to a secret government mission, Barry Seal was a covert government operative, according to Plumlee.“Seal was connected to military ops,” Plumlee says. “There’s no doubt about that. He wasn’t military, but he was contract.”

A place called Mena

Mena, Ark. is hard to find even when you’re looking for it. The isolated town sits on the western edge of the state, in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. One of the biggest things in Mena is the Intermountain Municipal Airport. Mena is also the center of a storm of conspiracy theories, most involving President Clinton, drug smuggling, gun running, Iran-Contra and the CIA.

Theories aside, what is not disputed is that by the early 1980s, Seal felt the heat the Louisiana State Police was putting on him so he moved his smuggling operation to Mena.

At the same time, CIA agents and other government spooks were also operating out of tiny, remote Mena.

Oliver North, a top national security aide to President Reagan, was using the Mena airport as an operational base from which to fly covert shipments of weapons to the anti-communist Nicaraguan Contras. And the CIA just happened to choose that same time to conduct what the agency called a “joint training operation” with another, unidentified federal agency at the Mena airport, and to contract for “routine aviation-related services on equipment owned by the CIA.”

So did Barry Seal work for the CIA?

In the years since his death, several sources have come forward and claimed, some during sworn testimony, that Seal was a contract pilot for the CIA who flew weapons to anti-communist forces in Central America.

A gun manufacturer in Arkansas testified in federal court that a CIA operative introduced him to Seal, who bought and shipped guns to the Contras.

Arkansas State Trooper Larry D. Brown claimed he accompanied Seal on two trips to Central America in 1984 during which Seal dropped off pallets stacked with M-16 rifles to the Contras.

CIA contract pilots Terry Reed and William “Tosh” Plumlee have said repeatedly that Seal was a pilot for U.S. intelligence. Reed said Seal hired him to train Nicaraguan pilots at a rough airstrip outside Mena. (Read more from Tosh Plumlee on page 70).

Chicago television station WMAQ reported on a confidential FBI document in which a Mena businessman admitted his company was maintaining one of Seal’s airplanes, a camouflaged military C-123, dubbed “The Fat Lady” for the CIA.

Assassins gunned down Seal while he was on probation.

What does the CIA say?

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the CIA sent 225 Magazine an unclassified six-page summary report of the spy agency’s internal investigation into its operations at the Mena Intermountain Airport and the agency’s relationship with Seal. In the summary report (the actual report is classified), the CIA said, “Adler Berriman “Barry” Seal was never employed by the CIA in any capacity.”

The agency did, however, acknowledge it had provided Seal with some technical assistance with one of his airplanes during a DEA “sting” operation in Nicaragua.As far as drug smuggling and gun running out of Mena, the report said, “No evidence has been found that the CIA was associated with money laundering, narcotics trafficking, arms smuggling, or other illegal activities at or around Mena, Arkansas at any time.”

Working for the ‘G’

In 1984 Barry Seal’s good luck streak ended. By his own estimate he had flown 50 to 100 smuggling trips to Central and South America and had made $50 million. But the law caught up with him in Florida and Louisiana. In Fort Lauderdale, a federal grand jury indicted him in connection with a Quaalude smuggling case; and in Baton Rouge, the feds charged him with possession of 200 kilos of cocaine and money laundering. Facing upwards of 50 years in prison, Seal decided to become a DEA informant.

Seal’s DEA handlers were astounded at the access he had to the leadership of the Medellín cartel.

DEA Special Agent Robert Joura later said, “I have never met someone who has as much potential and produced as much as Mr. Seal did.”

In June 1984, Seal flew “The Fat Lady” to Nicaragua. At an airbase outside Managua, Seal picked up 1,500 pounds of Colombian cocaine and flew it to Miami. While in Managua, he used a hidden, CIA-installed camera to take secret photographs of Pablo Escobar and a high-ranking Sandinista official loading bags of cocaine onto the airplane.

The Justice Department used the photographic evidence to indict the Medellín cocaine kingpins. The White House and the CIA used the photos to embarrass the Nicaraguan government and build support for their covert war against the Sandinistas.

Three weeks later, Seal’s undercover mission to Nicaragua was blown by press leaks from the White House. Cartel leaders knew their favorite pilot was working for the U.S. government.

They wanted Barry Seal dead.

The Hit

Max Mermelstein, an American smuggler working for the Medellín cartel in Miami, got the contract to take care of Seal. “Ochoa wanted him kidnapped,” Mermelstein told PBS’s Frontline during a 1994 interview. “Escobar wanted him dead.” The cartel offered $1 million if Seal could be captured alive, $500,000 for his murder.

Mermelstein made several trips to Baton Rouge, even staking out Seal’s home on Oakbrook Drive, but he couldn’t find the elusive smuggler-turned-informant.

This Amite River home, which belongs to Barry Seal’s brother Wendell Seal, was where Barry used to bring drug shipments.

Fed up with Mermelstein’s inaction, the cartel gave the contract to someone else, a cold-blooded Colombian assassin named Miguel Velez, who had already beat two murder charges in New York.

Velez put together a hit team and flew to Baton Rouge.

At 6 p.m., Feb. 19, 1986, Colombians Miguel Velez and Luis Quintero were waiting in the parking lot of the Salvation Army center on Airline Highway for Seal. They had read in the newspaper and seen on the TV news that he had to be there by six o’clock.

Three weeks earlier, Judge Frank Polozola had ordered Seal to spend every night for six months at the halfway house. The judge had specifically banned Seal from carrying a gun, or from hiring armed bodyguards.

Unarmed and alone, Seal was an easy target.

As Seal backed his big white Cadillac Fleetwood into a parking space at the Salvation Army, Quintero crouched behind the metal donations bin. He cradled a .45-caliber MAC-10 machinegun in his hands. Screwed onto the end of the barrel was a fat black silencer.

When Seal finished parking, Quintero leapt to his feet and started shooting. Three of the dozen bullets the assassin fired hit Seal in the head. Three more struck him in the chest.

The two killers fled.

Within two days, the FBI had the gunmen, along with several other members of the hit team, in custody. Velez, Quintero, and another man, Bernardo Vasquez, were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

‘A Rebel Adventurer’

More than 20 years after his death, Seal is still the subject of controversy, speculation and rumor. He is mentioned in more than 80 books. Dennis Hopper played him in a movie. And conspiracy theorists have linked him to the Bay of Pigs invasion, the JFK and Martin Luther King assassinations, and the Iran-Contra scandal.

Whatever else he may have been, Seal flew through life by the seat of his pants, and in the end that’s what killed him.

“Barry was a pure-bred adventurer,” says Baton Rouge attorney Lewis Unglesby, who represented Seal during many of his legal difficulties.

Seal was buried in Baton Rouge in a sky-blue casket, under a tombstone inscribed with the epitaph he picked out for himself. “A rebel adventurer, the likes of which, in previous days, made America great.”

Edited by William Plumlee
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The sponsor of the newsletter that published the article attacking John Simkin and this forum, the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), has a web site that promotes their various chapters around the country and the world - including the Florida Ted Shackley Chapter, headed by James Angleton, Jr., and one in Beriut, where they give guided tours of Kim Philby's apartment and old neighborhood.

They have conferences all year 'round, with one centered on the CIA's Air America, and the hot dogging Cowboys who ran it, as displayed in the comic film of the same name, but totally unlike the real company that put other independent air carriers out of business - See my article CIAir.

Their conference preview seems to make Air America heros, especially in regards to the evacuation of Siagon during the fall of Vientam, when in fact, it was a fiasco, that could have been avoided if the CIA did not take over a monopoly of the independent airline industry.

Nor should the CIA take the rap for all of the bad covert ops of the past decades, as Tosh says:

...Covert operations, especially the ones that get exposed, often get laid at the door of the CIA, Plumlee says, but in truth many operations involving things like flying weapons to far-off, war-torn places are run by military intelligence. “It’s just easier to blame everything on the CIA,” he says....

As for the CIAir - and evacuation of Vietnam, its one thing to blame the CIA for screw ups, and its another thing for them to take credit for a such a screw up, and make themselves out to be heroes.

I'd like to hear Tosh's thinking on these points.

Thanks,

BK

Bkjfk3@yahoo.com

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In ''Our America and Theirs - Kennedy and the alliance for progress - The Debate at Punta Del Este'' (Ocean Press 2006), (The ministerial meeting of the Inter-American Economic and Social Council (CIES) (aug, 61) was sponsored by the OAS and held in Uruguay),

(D. Dillon was the head of the US delegation of which R. Goodwin was a member and advisor to Kennedy.)

Che' spoke on behalf of the Cuban Government.

Part of his Aug 8 speech to the conference contains this:

''There is another problem, also of a political-economic nature. This is, Mr President (ed : Uruguay), that our air air transport fleet is being brought, plane by plane, to the United States. The procedure is simple: a few ladies enter a plane with guns hidden in their clothing, they hand them over to their accomplices, the accomplices murder the guard, they put a gun to the pilot's head, the pilot heads for Miami, and a company, legally of course - because in the United States everything is done legally - files a suit for debts against the Cuban Goverrnment, and then the plane is confiscated.''

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Tom Scully
Porter Goss in today's Washington Post, blasting O'Bama for releasing torture memos.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=7430947&page=1x

Former Bush CIA chief Porter Goss said in an op-ed published today in the Washington Post, that the Obama administration had "crossed the line" by releasing the memos.

"We can't have a secret intelligence service, if we keep giving away all the secrets," he wrote.

Goss excoriates lawmakers who say they were never given a full and clear picture about the interrogation tactics the CIA was considering using against high value terrorist suspects in U.S. detention. "In the fall of 2002, while I was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, senior members of Congress were briefed on the CIA's 'high value terrorist program,' including the development of 'enhanced interrogation techniques' and what those techniques were," he wrote.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...9042403339.html

Security Before Politics

By Porter J. Goss

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Since leaving my post as CIA director almost three years ago, I have remained largely silent on the public stage. I am speaking out now because I feel our government has crossed the red line between properly protecting our national security and trying to gain partisan political advantage. We can't have a secret intelligence service if we keep giving away all the secrets. Americans have to decide now.

A disturbing epidemic of amnesia seems to be plaguing my former colleagues on Capitol Hill. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, members of the committees charged with overseeing our nation's intelligence services had no higher priority than stopping al-Qaeda. In the fall of 2002, while I was chairman of the House intelligence committee, senior members of Congress were briefed on the CIA's "High Value Terrorist Program," including the development of "enhanced interrogation techniques" and what those techniques were. This was not a one-time briefing but an ongoing subject with lots of back and forth between those members and the briefers.

Today, I am slack-jawed to read that members claim to have not understood that the techniques on which they were briefed were to actually be employed; or that specific techniques such as "waterboarding" were never mentioned. It must be hard for most Americans of common sense to imagine how a member of Congress can forget being told about the interrogations of Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. In that case, though, perhaps it is not amnesia but political expedience.

Let me be clear. It is my recollection that:

-- The chairs and the ranking minority members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, known as the Gang of Four, were briefed that the CIA was holding and interrogating high-value terrorists.

-- We understood what the CIA was doing.

-- We gave the CIA our bipartisan support.

-- We gave the CIA funding to carry out its activities.

-- On a bipartisan basis, we asked if the CIA needed more support from Congress to carry out its mission against al-Qaeda.

I do not recall a single objection from my colleagues. They did not vote to stop authorizing CIA funding. And for those who now reveal filed "memorandums for the record" suggesting concern, real concern should have been expressed immediately -- to the committee chairs, the briefers, the House speaker or minority leader, the CIA director or the president's national security adviser -- and not quietly filed away in case the day came when the political winds shifted. And shifted they have.

Circuses are not new in Washington, and I can see preparations being made for tents from the Capitol straight down Pennsylvania Avenue. The CIA has been pulled into the center ring before. The result this time will be the same: a hollowed-out service of diminished capabilities. After Sept. 11, the general outcry was, "Why don't we have better overseas capabilities?" I fear that in the years to come this refrain will be heard again: once a threat -- or God forbid, another successful attack -- captures our attention and sends the pendulum swinging back. There is only one person who can shut down this dangerous show: President Obama.

Unfortunately, much of the damage to our capabilities has already been done. It is certainly not trust that is fostered when intelligence officers are told one day "I have your back" only to learn a day later that a knife is being held to it. After the events of this week, morale at the CIA has been shaken to its foundation.

We must not forget: Our intelligence allies overseas view our inability to maintain secrecy as a reason to question our worthiness as a partner. These allies have been vital in almost every capture of a terrorist.

The suggestion that we are safer now because information about interrogation techniques is in the public domain conjures up images of unicorns and fairy dust. We have given our enemy invaluable information about the rules by which we operate. The terrorists captured by the CIA perfected the act of beheading innocents using dull knives. Khalid Sheik Mohammed boasted of the tactic of placing explosives high enough in a building to ensure that innocents trapped above would die if they tried to escape through windows. There is simply no comparison between our professionalism and their brutality.

Our enemies do not subscribe to the rules of the Marquis of Queensbury. "Name, rank and serial number" does not apply to non-state actors but is, regrettably, the only question this administration wants us to ask. Instead of taking risks, our intelligence officers will soon resort to wordsmithing cables to headquarters while opportunities to neutralize brutal radicals are lost.

The days of fortress America are gone. We are the world's superpower. We can sit on our hands or we can become engaged to improve global human conditions. The bottom line is that we cannot succeed unless we have good intelligence. Trading security for partisan political popularity will ensure that our secrets are not secret and that our intelligence is destined to fail us.

The writer, a Republican, was director of the CIA from September 2004 to May 2006 and was chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 1997 to 2004.

Porter Goss and the republican noise machine/CIA Op Mockingbird "went after" Nancy Pelosi after her comments below were quoted on April 23.

The challenge for readers is to post any evidence, since even Goss does not expand his lies to declare it....that in September, 2002, anyone in congress was officially told that waterboarding torture had already been used by the US on a captive:

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/200...emo0422-ON.html

...Days after Rice gave Tenet the nod, the Justice Department approved the use of waterboarding in a top secret Aug. 1 memo. Zubaydah underwent waterboarding at least 83 times in August 2002....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...9042403339.html

Security Before Politics

By Porter J. Goss

Saturday, April 25, 2009

...In the fall of 2002, while I was chairman of the House intelligence committee, senior members of Congress were briefed on the CIA's "High Value Terrorist Program," including the development of "enhanced interrogation techniques" and what those techniques were....

...Today, I am slack-jawed to read that members claim to have not understood that the techniques on which they were briefed were to actually be employed; or that specific techniques such as "waterboarding" were never mentioned. It must be hard for most Americans of common sense to imagine how a member of Congress can forget being told about the interrogations of Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. In that case, though, perhaps it is not amnesia but political expedience.

Let me be clear. It is my recollection that:

-- The chairs and the ranking minority members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, known as the Gang of Four, were briefed that the CIA was holding and interrogating high-value terrorists.

-- We understood what the CIA was doing.

-- We gave the CIA our bipartisan support.

-- We gave the CIA funding to carry out its activities.

-- On a bipartisan basis, we asked if the CIA needed more support from Congress to carry out its mission against al-Qaeda. ....

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/23/p...o_n_190661.html

Pelosi: Bush Administration Never Briefed Congress On Waterboarding

04/23/09 02:49 PM

..."In that or any other briefing...we were not, and I repeat, were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation techniques were used," said Pelosi. "What they did tell us is that they had some legislative counsel...opinions that they could be used, but not that they would."...

...."Further to the point was that if and when they would be used, they would brief Congress at that time," said Pelosi. "I know that there's some different interpretations coming out of that meeting. My colleague, the chairman of the [intelligence] committee, has said, well if they say that it's legal you have to know they're going to use it. Well, his experience is that he was a member of the CIA and later went on to head the CIA. Maybe his experience is that they'll tell you one thing but may mean something else."

Pelosi is referring to then-GOP Rep. Porter Goss. "My experience was they did not tell us they were using that, flat out. And any, any contention to the contrary is simply not true," she said....

Edited by Tom Scully
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I don't think that the CIA is using MOCKINGBIRD ASSETS to attack Polosi.

They're called Republicans.

Mockingbird assets are much more refined and reserved, and it probably isn't prudent to start calling everything CIA media related as being Mockingbird, as they certainly are not.

One Philadelphia based Mockingbird outfit for instance, OWNED the company (ATEK) that sold printing equipment to South American publishers, and OWNED the Visions news and feature syndicate that provided the Spanish language content. In the USA their assets OWNED Coply, NANA, Washington Post, Newsweek, Time/Life, etc.,

When you own the presses, having ostensibly independent reporters as assets was/is peanuts.

It would be neat to keep Porter Goss in the public spotlight, after Max Holland gets on on the phone to talk about his JMWAVE days, and then he comes out to weigh in on the torture issue, at least as it relates to CIA, he should have to answer more questions himself.

BK

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Guest Tom Scully
I don't think that the CIA is using MOCKINGBIRD ASSETS to attack Polosi.

They're called Republicans.

Mockingbird assets are much more refined and reserved, and it probably isn't prudent to start calling everything CIA media related as being Mockingbird, as they certainly are not.

One Philadelphia based Mockingbird outfit for instance, OWNED the company (ATEK) that sold printing equipment to South American publishers, and OWNED the Visions news and feature syndicate that provided the Spanish language content. In the USA their assets OWNED Coply, NANA, Washington Post, Newsweek, Time/Life, etc.,

When you own the presses, having ostensibly independent reporters as assets was/is peanuts.

It would be neat to keep Porter Goss in the public spotlight, after Max Holland gets on on the phone to talk about his JMWAVE days, and then he comes out to weigh in on the torture issue, at least as it relates to CIA, he should have to answer more questions himself.

BK

Probably just a coincidence that, in late 2001, the founder of the most popular internet "liberal blogging site" in the USA,

according to the audio (begins at 13:00 minute mark) admits in a June, 2006 speech, to having "trained at the CIA, all

the way to the end," before "deciding not to sign the papers" that he said would have made him "a spy", because he

would have had to live in Washington, DC, for the next six years employed at the agency. He goes on to say that everyone he encountered at CIA during his training was "liberal", with a benevolent concern for "a stable world".

"Kos's" background sounds amazingly similar to William F. Buckley's, just before he founded the conservative

journal "National Review".....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daily_Kos

Daily Kos (pronounced /ˈkoʊs/) is an American political blog, publishing news and opinion from a liberal point of view. It functions as a discussion forum and group blog for a variety of netroots activists, whose efforts are primarily directed toward influencing and strengthening the Democratic Party. Additionally, the site features a participatory political encyclopedia, glossaries, and other permanent content.

Daily Kos is among the most popular examples of a collaborative blog,[citation needed] offering comment-posting privileges to its visitors. Daily Kos was founded by Markos Moulitsas (Kos from the last syllable of his first name, his nickname while in the military) in 2002. In 2007 its parent company, Kos Media, LLC, began a fellowship program to help fund a new generation of liberal activists. About a dozen contributing editors provide content for the site, with three to four new editors being chosen from the Daily Kos community every year.

Daily Kos has an average weekday traffic of over 800,000 visits,[1] and receives over 20 million visits per month.[2] ....

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title...niga#Criticisms

Criticisms

"The Truth About Kos," an anti-DailyKos blog by Francis L. Holland, reported on a 1993 college essay in which Moulitsas Zúniga (then a freshman) opined that gays should not be permitted to serve in the military under any circumstances. He wrote in the column, signed "Markos C.A. Moulitsas," that for non-gay military men, "There is something inherently uncomfortable about it."[4]

In a June 6, 2006 speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Zúniga stated that he had spent between six months and two years training at the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington, DC. In this speech Kos said began in 2001, before he started DailyKos,[5] and continued until the beginning of his involvement with the Howard Dean presidential campaign (late 2003/early 2004), which would mean that Zúniga was in training with the US CIA for as much as two years.[6] ....

http://truth-about-kos.blogspot.com/2007/0...itsas-ziga.html

I am NOT a "sheep".....I am NOT a "sheep"....I am NOT......

Edited by Tom Scully
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Guest Tom Scully
I don't think that the CIA is using MOCKINGBIRD ASSETS to attack Polosi.

They're called Republicans.

Mockingbird assets are much more refined and reserved, and it probably isn't prudent to start calling everything CIA media related as being Mockingbird, as they certainly are not.

One Philadelphia based Mockingbird outfit for instance, OWNED the company (ATEK) that sold printing equipment to South American publishers, and OWNED the Visions news and feature syndicate that provided the Spanish language content. In the USA their assets OWNED Coply, NANA, Washington Post, Newsweek, Time/Life, etc.,

When you own the presses, having ostensibly independent reporters as assets was/is peanuts.

It would be neat to keep Porter Goss in the public spotlight, after Max Holland gets on on the phone to talk about his JMWAVE days, and then he comes out to weigh in on the torture issue, at least as it relates to CIA, he should have to answer more questions himself.

BK

One "nice" thing about the internet favoring a "web based, political propaganda start-up project" propelled by a clandestine, government organization with a classified annual budget greater than the entire annual budget of all but a few nations, is that it is a "given" that an unemployed, ex-soldier, just after unilaterally ending his CIA training, can, almost entirely "on his own", quickly and credibly build a "web presence" attracting 20 million hits a month.

(The CIA employment admission and the quote below, begin at the 13:00 minute mark in the June, 2006 speech.)

http://truth-about-kos.blogspot.com/2009/0...amoulitsas.html

Markos Moulitsas:

[ . . . ] I don't think it's a very partisan thing to want a stable world. And even if you're protecting American interests, I mean that can get ugly at times, but generally speaking I think their hearts in the right place. As an organization their heart is in the right place. I've never had any problem with the CIA. I'd have no problem working for them . .

Edited by Tom Scully
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