Porter Goss, former congressman and former CIA director, is currently to top Republican at the Office of Congressional Ethics, an... View ArticleContinue reading
- The former White House procurement official and Jack Abramoff devotee David Safavian is set to go to trial this week. Safavian, accused of lying the officials at the General Services Administration, will be the first court room test for prosecutors in the still unfolding Washington corruption case surrounding the practices of Jack Abramoff, according to Bloomberg. Prosecutors do not plan on calling Abramoff as a witness but will instead use the email exchanges between the two men to detail Safavian's actions. The former chief of staff to Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), Neil Volz, will be called to testify against Safavian. Jury selection begins today.
- The San Diego Union Tribune reports that staffers to Duke Cunningham believed that he was a "nice guy" and that he was innocent until the day he pleaded guilty to accepting $2.4 million in bribes.
- Some Tennessee lawmakers are making their earmark requests public as a means of showcasing that not all earmarks are boondoggles and a waste of federal dollars, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. The lawmakers, a group that includes Reps. Lincoln Davis (D-TN), Harold Ford Jr. (D-TN), and Jim Cooper (D-TN), also hope to show that transparency is the best means to insure that earmarking is not abused.
- The Los Angeles Daily News talks to the new ranking Democrat on the House Ethics Committee Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA).
- Time Magazine reports that another aide to deposed CIA chief Porter Goss is under investigation in the continuing probe of Duke Cunningham and the actions of alleged briber and defense contractor Brent Wilkes. That aide is Brant "Nine Fingers" Bassett, who has been said to have attended the Wilkes run poker games at hospitality suites in the Watergate and Westin Hotels.
From Justin Rood at TPM Muckraker:
We've been hearing a lot about this guy "Nine Fingers," a CIA veteran who was a regular at Brent Wilkes' poker parties. On Sunday, Newsweek identified him as Brant Bassett, who had a career at the CIA before he went to work as a staffer for then-chairman Rep. Porter Goss (R-FL) at the House Intelligence Committee in 2000. Well, now here's another weird thing about Bassett: Just before he went to work for Goss at the committee, Brent Wilkes cut him a check for $5000. It's right there on his financial disclosure forms. In fact, his forms actually show two payments -- but it seems he may have reported the same check twice.Harpers.org also has more on "Nine Fingers" and Foggo. Continue reading
MSNBC just reported that K. Dusty Foggo, the number three man at the CIA, has resigned. From Raw Story:
Foggo's resignation was reported Monday on MSNBC. The email, which the network did not provide, allegedly stated that in light of CIA Director Porter Goss's departure, Foggo is stepping down.UPDATE: Foggo's resignation is no longer limited to internal CIA emails. The Associated Press just reported that Foggo has resigned and that the FBI is investigating Foggo for improperly awarding contracts to Brent Wilkes (who is also accused of bribing Duke Cunningham).
The FBI recently opened its own probe of Foggo, a longtime and close friend of Wilkes, the official said, speaking only on condition of anonymity because the investigation is under way. ... FBI agents also have been looking into whether Wilkes supplied Cunningham with prostitutes, limousines and hotel suites. Foggo sometimes attended poker parties at the hotel rooms, but he said there was nothing untoward about his presence.Josh Marshall previously blogged about this FBI investigation. Continue reading
- Nico at Think Progress writes about the importance of "Nine Fingers". For those who haven't been following the Cunningham/Wilkes/Prostitution scandal as close as others "Nine Fingers" is a CIA agent who attended the infamous poker parties that Wilkes threw at the Watergate and Westin hotels. These poker games are alleged to have turned into hooker parties.
- Also at Think Progress, Judd writes that Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) inserted a provision into a Defense Appropriations bill that was written by the vaccine industry. The provision "granted vaccine manufactures near-total immunity for injuries or deaths (even in cases of “gross negligence”) caused by their drugs during a viral pandemic, such as an outbreak of the avian flu." The vaccine industry's lobbyist was none other than Hastert's son, Joshua Hastert.
- Raw Story picks up a Roll Call story that shows more trouble for Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV). Taking trips to Spain paid for by non-profits that you created and then funnelled millions of dollars in federal earmarks to while receiving campaign contributions from the directors of said non-profits is bound to raise some eyebrows.
Brian Ross and Richard Esposito of ABC News are reporting that K. Dusty Foggo, the Executive Director of the CIA is expected to resign soon. Foggo has been the subject of an internal CIA investigation regarding his role in the Duke Cunningham bribery/contracting scandal. Foggo is also known to have attended late night poker games thrown by defense contractor Brent Wilkes - referred to as co-conspirator #1 in the Cunningham plea deal - which allegedly led to even later nights with prostitutes. Foggo is an old friend of Wilkes and was handpicked by the recently resigned Porter Goss to be the number three man at the CIA. For details on Foggo, Wilkes, and the scandal I would check out Laura Rozen's blog, War and Piece.Continue reading
What do you think about the news this week? Porter Goss, Patrick Kennedy, the Watergate prostitute scandal. Tell me in the comments section.
- At Daily Kos dengre posts a full letter from Jack Abramoff to then-Marianas Islands Governor Tenorio explaining how Abramoff's lobbying protected the Islands' sweatshops.
- Josh Marshall has the goods on Porter Goss and his number three: the Wall Street Journal reports that K. Dusty Foggo - handpicked by Goss to be the CIA's Executive Director - is under federal investigation in connection to the Cunningham-Wilkes bribery (hooker) scandal. Laura Rozen is a must read for a full explanation. Meanwhile, court jester at Daily Kos speculates as to whether the hookers involved are more Jeff Gannon and less Heidi Fleiss, if you know what I mean. However, the head of Shirlington Limousine has categatorically denied providing prostitutes to congressmen and defense and CIA officials, according to the Washington Post.
- Glenn Reynolds posts responses to constituent concerns regarding earmarking and the emergency supplemental from Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Patty Murray (D-WA).
- POGO Blog tells us that "it's a small world after all." Has anybody called Rep. Jerry Lewis' (R-CA) office about this?
Josh Marshall provides the backstory for the Goss resignation. TPM Muckraker has Goss' statement on his resignation. (It looks like everything anyone is hearing is pointing to the Wilkes-Cunningham-Foggo axis.) UPDATE: More from Laura Rozen on Goss, Foggo, and Negroponte. And questions abound from Huffington Post report on possible Pentagon under secretary resigning in the wake of Cunningham scandal.Continue reading
So, the unexpected Porter Goss resignation is making it's way across the news and blogs. Former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr became the first TV pundit to connect Goss to the Cunningham scandal, according to TPM Muckraker. Laura Rozen at War and Piece writes, "CIA public affairs just told me they will be releasing a statement this afternoon." She also writes in another post: "We heard about photos. But I seriously wonder, if someone showed the Agency the evidence that they had the photos of Goss being at parties his spokesperson denied he ever attended. Maybe the reporting wasn't so "wildly irresponsible" after all, hm? And the thing is, there are apparently a couple other currently serving congressmen in one of the photos described to me. Not doing anything salacious mind you. Just there. The point is, Goss's spokesperson went on the record on Goss's behalf last week to say he was never at any of those parties." Meanwhile Think Progress informs us that Goss' resignation comes as a total shock to the administration. They quote CNN's senior Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre:
The Defense Department has representatives there and, according to sources, none of the people at that meeting had any advance word that Porter Goss was going to be tendering his resignation. So it indicates the sudden nature that this took place, and again it just fuels the speculation of what the real backstory is here.Although we don't know enough yet, all signs point to Goss' involvement (whether with prostitutes or not) in the Cunningham-Wilkes Watergate parties/corruption. And you thought today was going to be all about "sleeping-while-driving" Rep. Patrick Kennedy. Continue reading
Porter Goss, the head of the CIA, is resigning effective immediately. Ken Silverstein at Harpers.org alleged that Goss attended poker games with Duke Cunningham and Brent Wilkes that may have turned into parties with prostitutes. Could Goss' resignation be related? UPDATE: It seems that news organizations have no idea that Goss and his number three K. Dusty Foggo have had their names swirling around in a prostitution scandal. This bears all the hallmarks of getting out in front of a scandal and the media writes their pieces in the context of a staff shake-up. No successor. No warning. This definitely is not some Josh Bolten staff realignment. The next thing to watch for is what happens to Foggo. If he goes then this is big.Continue reading