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DC prostitution scandal set to blow wide open

ABC’s Brian Ross, who was handed a copy of “DC Madam” Deborah Jeane Palfrey’s list of clients and phone numbers, is reporting:

There are thousands of names, tens of thousands of phone numbers,” Ross said. “And there are people there at the Pentagon, lobbyists, others at the White House, prominent lawyers – a long, long list.” Ross added that the women who worked for the service, potentially as prostitutes, “include university professors, legal secretaries, scientists, military officers.”

Ross also interviewed U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias, the former administration official who resigned “for personal reasons” after it was disclosed that he was on the list as a patron of the “high-end adult fantasy firm” and received “legal sexual and erotic services.”

ABC: Brian, I know you were the only reporter to talk to Tobias late this week before his resignation. What did you learn from him?

ROSS: Well, David, I talked to him one day before he resigned and told him that we had found his name and personal phone number on a list of clients of the so-called DC Madam’s escort service in Washington. And what he told me was that he in fact had been a customer of the service, but that he had not had sex. He had had what he called gals come over to his condo to give him a massage. He claimed there was no sex but that he was stunned by the fact that we were aware he was a client and that was his conversation. I asked him if he knew any of the young women, their names. He said he didn’t remember them at all. He said it was like ordering pizza.

Since the man had a very public history of serving his master, Dear Leader — as his AIDS czar in 2003 — promoting the religious rights’ staunch abstinence-only, anti-condom agenda when it came to HIV/AIDS prevention around the globe, this was a howler. Think Progress reported yesterday that the monumental sexual hypocrisy extended to an incredible professional anti-prostitution policy itself, good grief — he:

oversaw a controversial policy advocated by the religious right that required any US-based group receiving anti-AIDS funds to take an anti-prostitution “loyalty oath.”

Aid groups bitterly opposed the policy, charging that it “was so broad – and applied even to their private funds – that it would obstruct their outreach to sex workers who are at high risk of transmitting the AIDS virus.” But President Bush wouldn’t budge. He signed a 2003 National Security Presidential Directive saying prostitution “and related activities” were “inherently harmful and dehumanizing.”

Why should we be surprised at this? As I blogged yesterday, these elitist folks inside-the-Beltway GOP elite don’t believe the rules apply to them, they just want to control the sex lives, minds and bodies of the little rube sheeple out there.

I love this AFP headline about the story: Prostitution scandal has Washington in new ‘shock and awe’. That refers to one of the other clients named on the list,  formal US naval commander Harlan Ullman. He’s going to be subpoenaed by Palfey:

With James Wade, Ullman developed the military doctrine of “shock and awe” used by US government in its invasion of Iraq. According to one definition, it is shorthand for rapid dominance based on the use of “overwhelming decisive force,” “dominant maneuvers,” and “spectacular displays of power” to subdue the other side.

Is that what he ordered up from the Madam as well?

It’s highly likely that this list is chock full of Dem names as well as the hard-to-feel-sorry-for GOP moral hypocrites, so both sides of the aisle are probably sweating over which names are going to be made public. According to the WaPo, Palfrey’s escort service provided  “university educated women to engage in legal game-playing of a sexual nature at 275 dollars an hour.”

When Tobias was busted, one of the statements he made that seems to have received little play by the MSM was that said he had stopped using Palfrey’s service in favor of one with “with Central Americans” to provide massages. In other words, it’s all cool if it involves brown women off the high-end DC radar — in his eyes, going with the service that employed high-priced, university-educated women was to blame for his problem. Tobias was the one who offered that pearl of unsolicited wisdom up to Brian Ross. This story brings up other issues that could legitimately be explored — race (oops, third rail again), the exploitation of immigrant women, etc.

A couple of folks over at Pandagon speculated…

Amanda: A lot sexist swine are obsessed with creating racist catalogs of women around the world broken down by various stereotypes of the supposed levels of subservience these women exhibit. I guess raping Latin American prostitutes is “hip” with the oinking set right now-Honduras is a hotspot right now, I do believe, for men who want to rape a 14-year-old on the cheap.

Aeryl: it says alot that he went from a high priced DC madam, who’s escorts were probably of the high dollar upper class variety, who probably also chose to continue that lifestyle, and instead chose services provided by probably illegal immigrants who were likely enslaved and threatened with death if they didn’t provide services to overpowered politicians.

Amanda: I suspect what the comment means is an allusion to the less-than-human status according such women and also the “less attractive” thing. Sexist swine tend to think that feminism is motivated strictly out of a desperation to get involved in heterosexual partnerships with men, so they think that our objection to the sexual exploitation of poor women is made out of jealousy, not concern. In this case, though, he might be saying that it’s not a big deal to masturbate into non-white women, since they are no threat to his wife’s ascendency as his primary sex object.

Something tells me that Palfey needs to look into a little security detail, since there are a lot of people who have a lot to lose when this goes to trial.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding