Secret ‘Hookergate’ Indictment Led to Ouster

SilenceOfTheLambsvideoSeveral little-noticed recent developments point towards major fireworks still to come in the current series of Republican scandals…

Fired San Diego U.S. Attorney Carol Lam has disclosed the existence of a still-secret and presumably-sealed indictment of an as-yet unknown individual in the Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham “Hookergate” Scandal, issued by her office at the same time as indictments were made public last month of defense contractor Brent Wilkes and former CIA No 3. man Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, the MadCowMorningNews has learned.

The sealed indictment may name another California Republican, Representative Jerry Lewis,jerrylewi1s the powerful former head of the House Appropriations Committee.  

The bombshell revelation, which came during Lam’s testimony on March 29 before the Senate Judiciary Committee, has been completely overlooked.

It is just one of several recent examples of media squeamishness about the scandal.

"A trillion here, a trillion there…"

news_dukeBut the disclosure of a sealed Hookergate indictment may quickly be dwarfed in significance as more is learned about the concerted effort involving Republican Congressmen, the Justice Department, and the White House to thwart Carol Lam’s successful exposure of the biggest scandal—in dollar terms—in American history: the wholesale looting of Pentagon and intelligence agency “black budget” appropriations.

With a trillion dollar war going badly, some of America’s top lawmakers, including Duncan Hunter, now running for President, and Randy Cunningham, now bunking in a federal prison, awarded tens of millions of dollars worth of defense contracts that did nothing to make this nation safer, including millions to 1112their "crony" Brent Wilkes to photocopy 100-year old maps of Panama.

At the same time Congress and the Pentagon somehow couldn't find the money in a timely fashion to pay for effective body armor for American troops.

The massive corruption exposed by the latest “Hookergate Scandal” indictments of former CIA apparatchik “Dusty Foggo” and defense-contractor-cum-bagman Brent Wilkes has cost hundreds of young Americans their lives.  

In another example of media squeamishness, this indisputable fact has not been conveyed to the American people with anything like the forcefulness it deserves.

Investigating CIA corruption bad for career

060705fege01But even the massive corruption exposed—just so far—in the Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham “Hookergate” Scandal may eventually pale in comparison to the cover-up of the scandal which has now been named, perhaps inevitably, AttorneyGate.  

The coordinated Republican campaign to eliminate the “Lam problem,” for example, began with a scurrilous broadside from one of only a handful of Florida Republican Congressmen to receive major donations from convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and was delivered less than a week before Vice President Dick Cheney flew to Florida to appear at a fundraiser which netted the Congressman more than a quarter million dollars for his upcoming Congressional race.

Finally, a widely-publicized trial currently underway in an Arkansas courtroom illustrates that “The Silencing of Carol Lam” is not the first time a courageous prosecuting attorney has been dismissed for beginning to get too close to corruption in the CIA.

Carol Lam may even be lucky: testimony in the Arkansas trial shows that the prosecuting attorney was being stalked by a hit man who once served eight months in prison for digging up Elvis Presley's grave in the late 1970s.

"Foggo, Wilkes, as well as, um…"

 !!clThe overlooked bombshell Lam dropped during her Senate testimony came in response to a question from Sen. Diane Feinstein.

Feinstein noted that the FBI’s chief investigator in San Diego stated that he viewed Carol Lam's continued employment as critical to the success of a number of ongoing investigations.

Then she asked, “Is it fair to say that even though there was a conviction in the Randy Cunningham case, ere may also be ongoing investigations that stem from that case?”

“Before I left office on Feb. 15,” Lam replied, choosing her words carefully, “the office brought indictments against Dusty Foggo and Brent Wilkes, as well as, um, (long pause). The indictments were brought in those two cases, and at that time the office announced that the investigation was ongoing."

Although not explicit, and couched in language constrained by legal considerations, there is no mistaking Lam’s meaning.

Lam states, "The office brought indictments against Dusty Foggo, Brent Wilkes, as well as, ah…"  Then she stops herself.

Whose name comes after "as well as?"  

"Careful with that ax, Alberto"

ciaheadWas Lam’s firing to prevent the name of someone even higher up on the food chain than Congressman Cunningham—from coming out?  

Why has the major media not picked up on this important disclosure?  

In a rapidly spreading scandal that may prove hard to contain, the most plausible explanation for why San Diego US Atty. Carol Lam was fired is that she knew too much.   

When she informed superiors she was taking her corruption probe to the doorstep of the Central Intelligence Agency, notifying them on May 10, 2006 of the imminent arrival of FBI agents at Dusty Foggo’s Washington D.C. home to execute a search warrant, alarm bells went off all over Washington D.C.

Never in the CIA’s history has such a search warrant been issued against a high-level CIA official for non-espionage criminal conduct. And even the prospect of it raised what one news report lamely characterized as  “alarming institutional concerns.”

But if this is why Lam got the ax, its news to Americans. Its another area of media squishiness. Apparently we're meant to believe that it was for investigating Republicans.

A Churchill for our times

kellerTop Justice Dept. official Kyle Sampson’s email calling Lam “the real problem” came just one day later.

This may turn out to be the worst case of bad timing since the sacking of top Justice Dept officials in President Richard Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre, an action which resulted in his impeachment during the Watergate Scandal.

The Republican effort to discredit Carol Lam might also have appeared a little less ham-handed had the apparatchik chosen to lead the sliming been a little less of a buffoon.

In a flurry of press releases, speeches on the House floor, and congressional hearings in April and May of 2006, Rep. Ric Keller R-Fla. urged our government to start enforcing immigration laws dealing with alien smuggling.  

Apparently the major stumbling block to achieving this goal has been… Carol Lam.

"The pathetic failure of the U.S. Attorney in San Diego to prosecute alien smugglers who've been arrested 20 times is a demoralizing slap in the face to Border Patrol agents who risk their lives everyday," Keller stated.

Keller took a trip to the Mexican border. On his return he unveiled a tale of a rancher who told him that “illegal aliens" had skinned and ate his daughter's pet bunnies.

Keller wants to combat such horrors.

Ric Keller Gets His Reward

semper-fi-300Public speaking is apparently not one of Republican Congressman Ric Keller’s strengths, as pointed out by Wonkette in a piece headlined “Great Moments in House Rhetoric” If Iraq Keeps Shooting Us, We'll Stop Mowing Their Lawn.”

That hasn't prevented him from cashing in, however. Orlando’s Ric Keller got $21,000 from Jack Abramoff’s partner in crime Tom DeLay and his PAC in his first two elections, money from Jack Abramoff’s Coushatta tribe, and even took $1000 from Abramoff flunky, “businessman” Adam Kidan, who paid “consultant fees” to two of the three men on trial for the murder of Gus Boulis, the founder of SunCruz casinos.

At a fundraiser at which Vice President Dick Cheney helped raise $250,000 for Keller, an Orlando Sentinel reporter questioned Keller supporters about his legislative achievements, and learned Keller had sponsored a bill that makes overeaters responsible for their weight gain.

“It made it difficult to sue us," said Republican restaurateur Eric Holm, who owns 36 McDonalds. "Ric Keller eats with us," he added. "I think he's a great congressman."

Iran Contra chickens coming home

Snapshot[14]A trial underway right now in an Arkansas courtroom has some eerie parallels to Carol Lam’s ouster, and illustrates how easy it is to conceal government wrongdoing.

And it shows who suffers the deadly consequences when investigations into CIA corruption get shut down.

Jay Campbell is an Arkansas Police Chief at the center of a sweeping corruption trial. He is charged with running his Sheriff's office as a continuing criminal conspiracy.

How does the trial of an alleged corrupt southern sheriff throw light on the firing of a U.S. Atty. in San Diego?   

olliesuperflyTwenty years ago Jay Campbell was a narcotics investigator for the Arkansas State Police under suspicion in the murder of two high school boys who had stumbled onto a “drug drop” he was allegedly helping to protect for the arms-and-cocaine trafficking operation being run in Arkansas by the CIA in support the Nicaraguan Contras.

Remember Ollie North? Fawn Hall? Superfly?

The Secret Heartbeat of America

The murders of high school seniors Kevin Ives and Don Henry came to be known as “The Train Deaths,” and became one of America’s biggest “unsolved mysteries.” Today they remain officially unsolved, very likely because they touched the heart of what came to be known as the Iran Contra Scandal.

We did a 2-hr documentary about the case called "The Secret Heartbeat of America." (preview)

Jean Duffy was the head of a federally-funded drug task force looking into the boys murders. When she got too close to solving the case, she lost her job, received numerous death threats, and had to leave the state in fear for her life.  

Compared with Jean Duffy, Carol Lam got off easy.

Despite wide-spread suspicion in Benton, the suburb outside Little Rock where the murders occurred, Campbell,  a longtime close friend of politically well-connected convicted cocaine distributor Dan Lasater,  was never investigated for the murders.

Sheriff's Wife's 'fondness for the cuffs'

iikcampBut nobody in the Arkansas media is talking about the sinister implications of the Campbell scandal. Instead, perhaps understandably, they're focused on one of his co-defendants, his wife Kathy.

The sheriff's wife, it seems, liked to have sex with the prisoners.  

Sheriff Campbell's wife's fondness for inmates reveals nothing about the firing of Carol Lam, but it does illustrate the amazingly above-the-law attitude of the sheriff and those around him.

He's even accused of soliciting criminals to sell crack.

eToday Sheriff Campbell again finds himself in hot water, charged with running his law enforcement office as a continuing criminal enterprise, and facing more than 70 drug-or-theft-related charges, including conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

When the county sheriff controls the drug trade, it gives him all kinds of leverage against the competition.

But this time there is no CIA-backed covert operation to provide “cover” for the former narcotics investigator for the Arkansas State Police. This time he's all alone.

Alone in a Lonesome Universe

jayCampbell’s current trial in Arkansas is resurrecting allegations that he was the beneficiary of a CIA-engineered cover-up 20-years ago which included, much like Carol Lam, the firing of a courageous prosecuting attorney, and which prevented any serious investigation into the murder of two young men.

The story emerging about a “lawless lawman” is prompting many in Arkansas to re-examine whether justice may have been deliberately thwarted 20 years ago.

And the case includes this amazing detail: the second man suspected of being involved with the boys murders 20 years ago was Dan Harmon, the local prosecuting attorney at the time.

danAlthough never charged with the murders, Harmon was convicted of running his public prosecutors’ office as a continuing criminal conspiracy, and using it for trafficking narcotics.

Today his fellow suspect in the murder 20 years ago, Sheriff Jay Campbell, is on trial for using his office to traffic narcotics too.

There are no 'independent operators'

To the more conspiracy-minded, this might suggest that both men worked for a shadowy organization lurking in the background which has been trafficking narcotics successfully through Arkansas for at leas the past 20 years.

The firing of U.S. Atty. Carol Lam is part of the biggest cover-up of official corruption since the Iran Contra sevdScandal.

The unsolved murder of the “boys on the tracks” was part of the Iran Contra Scandal.

And so we come to the big question about the Hookergate Scandal, a question we haven’t seen asked anywhere else.

Randy Cunningham, Brent Wilkes, Dusty Foggo, Mitchell Wade, have all been accused or convicted of conspiring to defraud the U.S. government of tens of millions of dollars.

Apparently, without discussion, it has been assumed that all of these men were operating merely as independent contractors, out to satisfy their own selfish greed.  

But, does the world really work like that? Are there any independent drug traffickers left in America today?

Might Cunningham et al just as easily have been working for a shadowy unnamed organization, which operates with impunity in San Diego, and in Little Rock, and in many other places in America as well?

Daniel Hopsicker

Daniel Hopsicker is an investigative journalist and the author of two books on transnational crime, Welcome to Terrorland and Barry & the Boys.