Does the Duke Cunningham opera buffa have a tie to the CIA?
I'm not quite sure what to make of this. But let's run through it.
As you know, co-conspirator #1 in the Duke case is Mr. Brent Wilkes of San Diego. Wilkes is commonly referred to as a 'defense contractor'. His real line of work, though, seems a bit different. Wilkes' specialized in finding companies or products for which the DoD had little or no use and then lathering up a few members of Congress so they'd force the Pentagon to buy his junk.
Wilkes even rented a share of a private jet pretty much for the sole purpose of flying Duke and Tom DeLay and a few other Reps. around the country.
Good work if you can get it; and Wilkes got a lot of it.
But this piece in yesterday's San Diego Union-Tribune -- not exactly a liberal paper, though they contributed as much as any media outlet to Duke's undoing -- notes that Wilkes, who seems to be an inveterate schemer is the long-time, close personal friend of a guy named Kyle Dustin "Dusty" Foggo. And he turns out to be the number three man today at the CIA, specifically, the Agency's Executive Director.
When former Rep. Porter Goss (R-FL) became CIA Director last year he promoted a bunch of new people. And Foggo was one of them.
In an article from a year ago Walter Pincus (in which Foggo is referred to only by his nickname because he had not yet gone 'public') wrote that ...
Three retired officials noted that Dusty had maintained a close relationship in recent years with several Republican staff members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence whom Goss, the panel's former chairman, has brought to the agency as his top assistants.
Dusty is also a critic of a controversial new pay-for-performance compensation reform plan that was put together by A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard, who served as executive director under former CIA director George J. Tenet.
Now, I know we're juggling serveral balls here. But, remember, House Intel is a committee Duke sits on and it's where Duke got a lot of the juice that made him so valuable to the defense/intel contractors like Wilkes and Mitch Wade that owned him.
So, you know, small world.
But then I saw this piece in Government Executive magazine by meddlesome investigative reporter (and I mean that in the best Scooby Doo sense of the word) Jason Vest, which begins ...
Federal investigators in San Diego have made it clear that while just-resigned Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham pled guilty last week to taking bribes from defense contractors, their public corruption probe will not stop at Cunningham. Numerous current and retired CIA officials say they will not be surprised if the investigation touches the CIA in general, and its third-ranking official in particular.
Vest says that Foggo is also tight with Duke's other pal, Mitchell Wade.
This may bear watching.
Late Update: Turns out Laura Rozen was on to the Wilkes-Foggo connection last week. See her post here.