As I said a short time ago, we don't know definitively yet that Porter Goss
resigned over the Wilkes-Cunningham Hookergate story. But on the assumption that that is the case, let me give you a bit of background on what we've been following in recent weeks.
The hookers in Hookergate
are, of course, the sizzle. But there's a bigger story. It stems directly from the Randy "Duke" Cunningham bribery scandal, which many had figured was over. But it's not. You may have noticed that while Duke Cunningham is already in jail and Mitchell Wade has already pled guilty to multiple charges, Brent Wilkes has never been touched. Wilkes is the ur-briber at the heart of the Cunningham scandal, you can see pretty clearly by reading the other indictments and plea agreements. Wade was Wilkes' protege.
Now, on the surface one might surmise that the prosecutors are just taking their time, putting together their best case.
I hear different.
Wilkes has deep ties into the CIA. The focal point of those ties is to Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, the man Porter Goss appointed to the #3 position at CIA when he took over the Agency last year. Remember, Wilkes' scam was getting corrupt contracts deep in the 'black' world of intelligence and defense appropriations, where there's little or no oversight. Foggo was in the contracting and procurement field at the CIA. So you can see how he and Wilkes, who have been friends since high school, had plenty to talk about.
The CIA wasn't the only place Wilkes and his protege Wade plied their corrupt trade. There were also in the mix contracting on the Bush Pentagon's extra-constitutional spying operations. And I am told that senior appointees at the DOD knew about their corruption but overlooked it.
Now, since the Cunningham scandal got under, and particularly of late, there's been a big tug of war between federal law enforcement and the CIA over whether to really go after Wilkes. Probably a little more specificity is in order there, folks at CIA in the orbit of Foggo and presumably Goss.
Now, how does Goss know Foggo?
That's how we get into the other part of this story -- those 'hospitality suites', that moveable feast of food, poker and love, Brent Wilkes ran in Washington for maybe fifteen years. We hear that's how Goss got to be friends with Foggo, whom he later promoted to executive director of the CIA, the number 3 post at the Agency.
Now, last week, Goss denied
he had attended any of Wilkes' parties, in answer to a question from TPMmuckraker. Foggo admitted
attending the parties but claimed he'd never seen the hookers.
Now, corrupt contractors saucing up Agency officials and members of Congress to get contracts and free money. Hospitality suites where the saucing takes place. Hookers in the mix. It's going on for more than a decade, various members of the key committees in the mix. Goss, former member of one of those committees, appoints one of the key players in all this mess as the number three guy at CIA? The feds leaning hard on the limo company owner who probably knows all the details and already has a long rap sheet and can't afford another conviction?
There's a lot going on here, a lot we don't know, what's connected and what's coincidence. But this is the backstory. And why this story is likely to turn out to be a very big deal.