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I was flabbergasted when Mr. Foggo was selected as the Executive Director. I found Director Goss's selection to be quite revealing, that Mr. Goss would be taken in by a "con man" like Mr. Foggo.


That's the view, as reflected in the appendix to the government's sentencing memo, of Jim Olson, a former CIA chief of counter-intelligence, who also served as CIA's chief of station at several different overseas locations, and supervised Foggo. (Olson is identified only as "John Doe #2", but details of his career and current employment make clear that it's him.)

That sounds like an indictment of Porter Goss, who has already taken his fair share of lumps in the Foggo matter, after appointing Foggo to be the agency's number 3 man.

But it's also worth considering that Olson admits in the memo that he too was impressed by Foggo, recommending him for continued employment -- even though he knew about the incident in which Foggo assaulted a pedestrian, and about the fact that Foggo had failed to report contacts with numerous foreign women, as CIA rules require (for good reason.)

Says Olson:
As a result of his police encounter and his failure to report contacts with foreign nationals as required, I considered Mr. Foggo to be morally suspect at that point. Despite my misgivings, I recognized that Mr. Foggo was talented at his job as a Chief of Support, and I recommended him for continued employment with the Agency.


Sounds like either Foggo was exceptionally good at winning people over, or his supervisors were a little to easy-going.

Olson, who now teaches at Texas A&M's Bush School of Government and Public Service as a "CIA-Officer-in-Residence" didn't immediately respond to TPMmuckraker's request for comment.

After a series of rulings that have seriously hurt his ability to get new votes into the count, the Coleman campaign is now trying to pull off something of a Hail Mary pass to get ballots in -- and of course, the Franken camp wants to stop them.

Yesterday, the Coleman camp sent e-mails to county officials, asking them to certify that selected absentee voters whose ballots have been rejected did in fact meet all the legal requirements pertaining to voter-registration. The Franken campaign jumped on this immediately, sending messages to the counties to not respond, and filing a motion with the court to forbid it.

This morning's arguments got pretty heated. Franken lawyer Kevin Hamilton argued that this violated all the basic rules of evidence -- officials are being asked to phone it in, rather than testify in court and be subject to cross-examination.

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The appendix to the Dusty Foggo sentencing memo also contains some fascinating information abut Foggo's plans to run for Duke Cunningham's congressional seat (when the Dukester stepped down) -- and to commit immigration fraud as a favor for a potential political supporter...

Foggo maintained these ambitions after becoming Executive Director, and was very specific that he was considering running for Congress only in San Diego, for Cunningham's seat, and not in Virginia or anywhere else in California. Nowhere else, of course, could Foggo tap into the network and funding that his best friend Wilkes offered in San Diego. As Foggo admitted to a confidant, Wilkes was to be a "key partner" in Foggo's Congressional plans. Motivated by money, Foggo wrote to Wilkes from the Overseas Location:

"I met a very interesting guy here a few months ago. Major money. He has a son that ran into problems with INS. Absolutly [sic] no crime stuff, just stupid 20-year old stuff. We need someone up high in the INS food chain or it will not get fixed for 5-6 years. If Ben is not with INS anymore, then maybe we can get [Congressman] Duke [Cunningham] to write a joint letter with Cong. Bono. They have contacts with Bono and we could get a letter from her no question. Do you think Duke would join? It would be worth a little campaign help, I'm sure."

In addition to his penchant for road rage, Dusty Foggo certainly seems to have known how to treat a lady.

The sentencing memo tells how, after Foggo moved from overseas to the CIA's headquarters -- leaving his wife and family behind -- he managed to get a Langley job for his mistress too. Then, when the mistress's performance was criticized by a highly-decorated supervisor, Foggo got the supervisor fired, telling his mistress she could "thank him later."

Since at least mid-2004, Foggo had had his eyes on ER, a woman he met at the Overseas Location. When Foggo returned to Headquarters in November 2004, his family remained overseas. With his family far away, he moved quickly to bring ER much closer by recruiting her to the CIA. Foggo brought ER to headquarters in November 2004 and introduced her to several officials, effectively endorsing her as a candidate for employment. Shortly thereafter, ER applied for a position with the CIA's Office of General Counsel ("OGC"). She was interviewed later that month.

As CIA hiring officials began to investigate ER's background, however, they learned of problems in her previous government employment that precluded her from employment with the CIA: she had engaged in improper conduct with a superior and had impeded the Inspector General's investigation of the conduct by destroying evidence. As a result, on or about February 28, 2005, a CIA official sent ER a rejection letter.

In the meantime, Foggo had arranged for his family to remain overseas - at the public's expense - and his relationship with ER had become sexual in nature. The rejection of her employment application infuriated Foggo. He summoned the Managing Associate General Counsel (the "MAGC"), to his office, where Foggo insisted that ER was vital to TK. When the MAGC raised his concerns about the Inspector General's report regarding ER's conduct, Foggo twice warned him to be careful how he referred to ER.

Far from debunking the IG's report of ER's conduct, Foggo was actively engaged in the same type of relationship with her. Nevertheless, Foggo forced OGC to hire ER. After OGC relented, Foggo pressured CIA employees to expedite the completion of ER's vetting, including having her paperwork tagged as an "ExDir Interest."

ER began her employment with the OGC's Administrative Law Division in July 2005. Although she was new to the Agency, ER made very little effort to perform the work required of her at an acceptable level. She resisted her supervisor's feedback and outright refused requests that she redo work that was sub-par. Instead of being receptive to her supervisor's critiques and suggestions, ER made it clear that she had influence with Foggo. Indeed, she did. Her supervisor had been an attorney with the OGC for 20 years, during which time she received numerous performance awards and even the Career Intelligence Medal, which rewards "exceptional achievements that substantially contributed to the mission of the Agency" over the course of a career. Within a month of crossing Foggo's mistress, however, she suffered a humiliating firing by Foggo. Foggo took credit, reminding ER that she could thank him later.


As Henry Kissinger may or may not have put it: Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

Reuters picked up TPMDC's story from yesterday on the union federation Change to Win's request to deny bailout money to Principal Financial Group.

Curiously, Principal executives told Reuters that they have "not taken a position on the Employee Free Choice Act, nor do we plan to take such a position."

The company did not deny lobbying on the union-organizing legislation in its statement, so we can only presume that spent money last year to tell Congress it took no position on the Secret Ballot Protection Act, which appears on its public disclosure reports. That Secret Ballot plan was intended as a direct counter-attack on the union-backed Employee Free Choice push, as this statement from a supportive conservative group makes clear.

A response to Principal from Change to Win's Michael Garland, director of value strategies for the union's investment group, follows after the jump.

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At the request of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently examined the impact of three alternative "policy scenarios" on our current budget deficit, expected to hit $1.5 trillion for 2009. Their conclusions were fascinating -- or troubling, depending on your degree of fiscal hawkishness.

Pelosi Scenario One can be defined as the nation's real status quo, assuming that the stimulus bill remains a one-off law that does not change future budgetary estimates. The alternative minimum tax is also assumed to be indexed for inflation every year -- something Congress never fails to do -- and current spending on Medicare doctors' fees as well as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are assumed to continue at their current rates. The result is unnerving:

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The substance of health care reform is on everyone's mind in the Capitol these days, as Republican senators examine just how much cooperation is possible with the president's party. But what's been less clear is the timeframe for consideration of a major health bill ...

... until Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) just cleared it up. "I'd like to get health care started before the August recess," he told reporters today. Started, but not necessarily finished -- when leaders give themselves a deadline, they tend to choose their words carefully. Sounds like GOP hopes for "regular order" might become reality.

The $410 billion government spending bill that's poised to pass the House of Representatives today contains a lot of good new science and sex-ed policies -- but that's not its only hidden gem.

The bill also authorizes a reversal of last year's controversial Bush end run around the Endangered Species Act, which would allow oil rigs and highways to be built anywhere in the U.S. without independent reviews of their potential impact on the surrounding wildlife populations. As Bloomberg reports:

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Louisiana politics is known for being a bit weird compared to the rest of the country, and it's starting to look like this cycle will be no exception -- with scandal-plagued GOP Sen. David Vitter facing a potential primary challenge from a major Christian-Right activist on the one side, and a porn star on the other.

You might remember this funny moment from the scandal, when Vitter drove into a parking lot sign in his rush to get away from reporters:



Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, told the Politico that he's considering a primary challenge against Vitter, whose conservative reputation has been damaged by his implication in the D.C. Madam prostitution scandal: "I will say this: I have people in Louisiana encouraging me to consider it."

Meanwhile, porn star Stormy Daniels is publicly contemplating a bid in the Republican primary herself, in order to cast light on Vitter's moral hypocrisy. So Vitter could be facing clowns to the left of him, and jokers to the right. But which is which?

To answer that, let's ask the question: Just who is Tony Perkins?

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The wall-to-wall media coverage of President Obama's speech last night pushed the growing controversy over bank nationalization into the business pages this morning, but Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made a stunning admission yesterday before the Senate Banking Committee.

The government's latest rescue offer to Citigroup, in which Uncle Sam would convert its preferred-stock investment in the bank into common stock -- forgoing the 5% dividend and extra rights that preferred shareholders enjoy -- isn't just available to Citi, as Bernanke said yesterday. Any of the 19 banks that are in line for upcoming Treasury Department "stress tests" can get a preferred-to-common conversion if expected capital losses materialize.

Giving major banks another break at the taxpayers' expense would seem to be a highly controversial proposition in Congress, particularly when the conversions are expressly designed to help Citigroup and its cohorts do better on the "stress tests." But so far, the only lawmakers raising red flags on the stock conversions are Republicans.

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