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Friday, May 05, 2006

About that hooker thing


Porter, you said you liked them last
time.

Patrick Kennedy is a very lucky man. He can afford rehab, he stopped before he killed himself or someone else, and can keep his job.

Porter Goss, however, is not.

Seems his sudden resignation, spinned by CNN as about intelligence debates with Death Squad Negroponte, may have a more pressing problem, a prosecutorially pressing problem.

HOOKERS: It's Porter Goss

by bink [Subscribe]
Fri May 05, 2006 at 10:51:08 AM PDT

CNN reports:

CIA Director Porter Goss has resigned, senior Bush administration official tells wire services.

From comments by user jorndoff below:

Ken Silverstein reported last Thursday:

The Wall Street Journal reported today that indicted former California Congressman Randall "Duke" Cunningham may not have limited his good times to partying on a rented yacht. It turns out the FBI is currently investigating two defense contractors who allegedly provided Cunningham with free limousine service, free stays at hotel suites at the Watergate and the Westin Grand, and free prostitutes.

The two defense contractors who allegedly bribed Cunningham, said the Journal, were Brent Wilkes, the founder of ADCS Inc., and Mitchell Wade, the founder of MZM Inc.; both firms profited greatly from their connections with Cunningham. The Journal also suggested that other lawmakers might be implicated. I've learned from a well-connected source that those under intense scrutiny by the FBI are current and former lawmakers on Defense and Intelligence comittees--including one person who now holds a powerful intelligence post.

The following day a spokesperson for Goss denied the reports:

After a long series of off-the-record phone calls with CIA spokespeople, I was finally given an on-the-record comment -- about Goss. Speaking on behalf of the director, CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise Dyck said, "This is horribly irresponsible. He hasn't even been to the Watergate in decades."

When I asked if Goss had attended Wilkes' parties at the Westin or other locations, Millerwise Dyck repeated the denial. "It's horribly irresponsible. Flatly untrue."

Now, that must have been a happy happy joy joy day at the Bureau. Imagine going to your boss and saying "We believe Porter Goss was fucking hookers at the Watergate on the Dukestir's dime"

That was steak and beer time for the agents.

Now, there is one thing which must be understood, the FBI hates the CIA and the CIA hates the FBI. In the old days, a suitible private meetings would occur and some photos would come in a plain manilla envelope and it would be understood that the FBI would have some extra leeway in dealing with the Agency.

But now, that the lawyers are involved, it's a quicky resignation and some bullshit about turf wars instead of hookermania and corruption.

Of course, you realize the potential earth shaking scandal which can follow from the chairman of the Intelligence committee, then director of the CIA consorting with prosititutes.

If not, we bring you the Profumo Affair.

Tarts, toffs and traitors

Even today, in our peculiar society, we get excited when ministers and other public figures are caught with their pants down. In 1963, the very notion was deeply, deliciously shocking.

It was still mostly a pre-pill, pre-promiscuity age, when unmarried pregnancy was a matter of deep family shame, and backstreet abortionists thrived. The tabloid newspapers were already brash but not yet sex-crazed, and were by and large polite to politicians. But when the storm broke, it was not simply driven by sex; there was a deep, dark context of rank treachery.

Since the early 1950s, when diplomats Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean fled to their paymasters in Moscow, the chattering classes had speculated about the existence of a "third man". The brave new world of the 1960s did nothing to curb the tittle-tattle; indeed, as the cold war intensified, the issue assumed ever more menacing implications.

In 1961 George Blake, another ex-diplomat, was given a record 42-year prison sentence for spying for the Russians. Sensationally, he was said to have been brainwashed by communists while in captivity in Korea. Even more sensationally, he was to escape from jail after serving only five years.

The cold war was at its coldest, and the Soviet Union was at the zenith of its power, launching the first man into space, and defying the world by supervising the construction of the Berlin Wall. America's apparent impotence, meanwhile, was underlined by the fiasco of the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

In 1962, the Cuban missile crisis brought the world terrifyingly close to nuclear annihilation.

Close to the peak of the crisis, a 38-year-old Admiralty clerk and the son of a vicar, William Vassall, was jailed for 18 years for spying for the USSR. He had been recruited by the KGB in a homosexual "honey trap". In July 1963 the government named Kim Philby, former Foreign Office colleague of Burgess and Maclean, as the "third man". But even that huge revelation was subsumed in a greater sensation now gripping the nation.

For months, rumours had circulated about the private life of John Dennis Profumo, secretary of state for war. Educated at Harrow and Oxford, he was a quintessential high Tory who had achieved cabinet rank after serving in a number of junior posts. He was married to the film star Valerie Hobson, and moved effortlessly in the highest of society.

In the deferential spirit of the 1950s, the rumours may have been restricted to salon gossip. Now, in the new age of iconoclasm, the whispers were amplified in the media. That Was The Week That Was scored a telling blow with a splendid parody of the old music hall number, She was Poor but she was Honest. The words of the new version went: "See him in the House of Commons / Making laws to put the blame / While the object of his passion / Walks the streets to hide her shame."

The "object of his passion" was a young woman whose name is now embedded in British political folklore: Christine Keeler.

Keeler, unlike Profumo, had had an extremely undistinguished life. Born in 1942, she left home at 16 after an unhappy childhood in the Thames Valley, and gravitated to London where she found work of a sort at Murray's cabaret club. There she met and befriended another showgirl, Marilyn "Mandy" Rice-Davies. Soon, both young women had drifted into the racy circle around Stephen Ward, a fashionable West End osteopath and socialite.

Keeler's relationship with Ward was both torrid and rocky. They broke up several times, but he seemed to exercise an almost centripetal force on her, and always she drifted back. Soon both young women were celebrated players, albeit with bit parts, in Ward's sexual circus.

Not all the action was centred on Ward's Wimpole Mews flat, equipped with two-way mirrors and other aids to lubricity. Soon, Keeler and Rice-Davies were circulating in more exalted milieux, including Lord Astor's country mansion of Cliveden. It was there that John Profumo first laid eyes on her. A brief but passionate affair ensued, and tongues began to wag.

Even then, it might have been brushed under the carpet in the time honoured English way, but Profumo made a fundamental error: he lied to the House of Commons. In March 1963 he told the chamber that there was "no impropriety whatever" in his relationship with Keeler. Ten weeks later he appeared before MPs again to say "with deep remorse" that he had misled the House, and would resign.

What brought Profumo down even more than his deceit of the Commons, was the startling revelation that Keeler had also slept with Eugene Ivanov, the naval attache at the Soviet embassy. It was that detail which captured world attention, notably in the United States, where the FBI compiled a detailed report called Operation Bowtie.

In Britain, Profumo's downfall naturally caused a huge sensation, inflated by the establishment's crude and cruel attempts to find scapegoats for its own embarrassment. As usual, official wrath was turned on those least able to defend themselves. Stephen Ward was prosecuted for living on immoral earnings. On the last day of his trial, he killed himself with an overdose of sleeping tablets.

Keeler was also tried and imprisoned on related charges. Rice-Davies, who escaped prosecution, earned a dubious immortality when, during the Ward trial, she was told that Lord Astor disputed her version of events and replied: "He would, wouldn't he?"

Less than two months after Ward's tragic and mysterious death, an official report was produced by Lord Denning, master of the rolls. It was a hot number: hundreds queued to buy a copy when it was released at midnight. But there were few juicy bits in Denning's findings. He criticised the government for failing to deal with the affair more quickly, but concluded that national security had not been compromised. And, to the dismay of the reading public, he failed to identify the man who, naked except for a mask, had served at Ward's dinner parties. There had been rumours that the "man in a mask" was a cabinet minister but Denning, who interviewed him, denied it.

There it ended, though it never really went away. The 1989 movie, Scandal reignited some of the controversy, and Christine Keeler raked over the embers in her autobiography, The Truth At Last, published early in 2001. In it, she revived some of the more startling claims made at the time - though alas she was unable to offer convincing new evidence to back them up. She claims for example, that the then MI5 chief, Sir Roger Hollis, was a Soviet spy; and that Stephen Ward ran a spy ring which included Hollis and Sir Anthony Blunt, who was surveyor of the Queen's pictures. Blunt was indeed revealed as a long-time Soviet agent in the 1980s, around the same time that Hollis, the object of numerous rumours, was officially cleared.


If Goss was banging hookers, it's a lot more of a concern than just mere corruption. Let's just say Bush had to accept his resignation, because Goss had to resign.

posted by Steve @ 5:33:00 PM

5:33:00 PM

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