Remember ol' Nine Fingers, Brant Bassett? He's the ex-CIA officer and former Hill staffer who supposedly recommended Porter Goss promote Dusty "Let's double-team her" Foggo when he became CIA chief:
"From time to time Bassett ran aground on judgment issues," recalls Milt Bearden, a former C.I.A. station chief. In 1989, Bassett was reprimanded for inappropriately carrying a gun to a meeting. That same year he sent a prank letter to a C.I.A. agent stationed in Vienna whom he'd heard the K.G.B. was trying to blackmail. "So Bassett wrote the poor guy in Vienna a letter as if he were his lover, describing their supposedly delightful sex acts," reports a source. What Bassett didn't expect was that Cuban intelligence would get hold of his bawdy letter, at which point they tried to blackmail him.
And the ever-lavish Mitchell Wade, being even more lavish -- remember, these are your tax dollars at work:
[Wade] threw massive parties at Washington's Four Seasons Hotel, where, one guest estimates, "it cost $200 a person: filet mignon, alcohol, champagne. He was actually smart about the image he projected." . . . Wade paid lofty salariesâ$105,000 for an entry-level job, in one case, with a promise to pay off graduate-school debts at $6,000 a year.
And who can't enjoy some of Duke Cunningham's ham-fisted attempts at covering up his corruption?
After the news story about the sale of his Del Mar house broke, Cunningham tried to get others to cover his tracks. He called Elizabeth Todd, a local real-estate agent, and pressured her to fax him a letter claiming that 2004 was a buyers' market, a request with which Todd only reluctantly complied, since she knew it to be inaccurate. Next, he wrote a letter to Wade in which, after professing amazement at the low resale price of his former home, he offered to pay the $700,000 differenceâbut never did. Later that same month, he sent a $16,500 check to a dealer from whom Wade had purchased a few Oriental rugs for him. Along with the money came a handwritten note explaining that he had tried to send the dealer the check earlier, but had misaddressed the envelope. Nor was that the end of his machinations. Last July Duke phoned the Maryland antiques dealer he and Wade had patronized at least half a dozen times. Anxiously, he pleaded with her to recall that he had quietly slipped $35,000 in cash to Wade as compensation for the lavish purchases. "I never saw it, and believe me, $35,000 in cash I would remember!" the dealer tells me.
Remember, Duke's the only fellow who's been prosecuted in this mess. So you can be sure we'll be seeing more of these characters -- cooperating with investigators, denouncing charges, testifying, awaiting verdicts -- in due time.