Color me confused. Everyone on TV seems to be buying the line that the Goss resignation has been planned for weeks. No natural curiosity about the fact that it takes effect immediately, or that there is no replacement, or that he had a meeting scheduled this afternoon he didn’t show up for. Not to mention the fact that as Professor Foland pointed out in the comments, the White House would’ve probably sacrificed its collective left nut to avoid stepping on a drunk Kennedy story.
But has the entire press corps turned into such a pile of humorless prudes that they can’t connect the dots in the Brent Wilkes hooker scandal?
From the Wall Street Journal on April 27:
Mr. Wade in February pleaded guilty to giving bribes of more than $1 million to Mr. Cunningham, including cash, antiques and payment for yachts. Mr. Wade, who hasn’t been sentenced yet, is cooperating with prosecutors. According to people with knowledge of the investigation, Mr. Wade told investigators that Mr. Cunningham periodically phoned him to request a prostitute, and that Mr. Wade then helped to arrange for one. A limousine driver then picked up the prostitute as well as Mr. Cunningham, and drove them to one of the hotel suites, originally at the Watergate Hotel, and subsequently at the Westin Grand.
Then it got a bit jucier in Harpers:
The two defense contractors who allegedly bribed Cunningham, said the Journal, were Brent Wilkes, the founder of ADCS Inc., and Mitchell Wade, the founder of MZM Inc.; both firms profited greatly from their connections with Cunningham. The Journal also suggested that other lawmakers might be implicated. I’ve learned from a well-connected source that those under intense scrutiny by the FBI are current and former lawmakers on Defense and Intelligence committees—including one person who now holds a powerful intelligence post.
A powerful intelligence post? Who could that be? TPM Muckracker speculated, because it would’ve been irresponsible not to:
After a long series of off-the-record phone calls with CIA spokespeople, I was finally given an on-the-record comment — about Goss. Speaking on behalf of the director, CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise Dyck said, "This is horribly irresponsible. He hasn’t even been to the Watergate in decades."
When I asked if Goss had attended Wilkes’ parties at the Westin or other locations, Millerwise Dyck repeated the denial. "It’s horribly irresponsible. Flatly untrue."
Let’s see. Jennifer Millerwise Dyck, spokeswoman for Dick Cheney from 2001-2003, who has been questioned by Fitzgerald about "the vice president’s knowledge of the anti-Wilson campaign and his dealings on it with Libby, his chief of staff." I see she’s moved on to greener pastures. That settles that then.
Or maybe not. Laura Rozen quotes a reader:
"Dana Priest is on MSNBC right now saying we’ll have to wait for tomorrow’s paper to find out why he resigned. The Post must have called him for comment on a story running tomorrow about his involvement with Brent Wilkes."
Pourquoi Brent Wilkes? Says Josh Marshall :
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.
Lack of oversight…hmmm….well the Bush Administration is certainly the perfect petri dish for that, given their knee-jerk response to getting oversighted.
And how did Goss make the acquaintance of 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.
Foggo admitted to be part of the Wilkes festivities, though he says there were no hookers. PJ O’Rourke will no doubt vouch for him.
Time for some talking heads to develop a little natural curiosity. Hell we know he didn’t get the boot for incompetence, lying or corruption, that would be unprecedented.
Scandal fatigue may finally be working against them.
(graphic courtesy wonkydonkey at Kos )