Tag Archives: Dusty Foggo

Carol Lam Should be Retained in Corruption Case

On Monday, McClatchy’s Marisa Taylor reported that San Diego U.S. Attorney Carol Lam had been removed by the Bush Justice Department despite a positive job performance review:

Lam, another U.S. attorney who was told to resign, was described in her 2005 evaluation as “well respected” by law enforcement officials, judges and her staff. Overall, the review was positive, according to another Justice Department official who has seen the evaluation.

“We’re not aware of any significant issues, ” said the official, who also asked not to be identified. Lam is leaving office Feb 15.

Now, House Democrats are demanding Lam preside over the California Republican corruption case as outside counsel. In the Senate, Chuck Schumer has vowed to get to the bottom of the purge (video here).

In short, it appears that the non-political players in the Justice Department thought Lam was doing a good job. But the accused declared:

There’s no need to remind the San Diego community that these are the same prosecutors routinely accused of prosecutorial misconduct. The office has been led by a dismissed U.S. Attorney who has shown bad judgment, has previously pursued vendettas, and has set the tone at the top of an organization accused of witness tampering and manufacturing evidence. It is no accident, nor is it a surprise, that the indictments were rushed to the press 48 hours before her forced departure.

It appears that there are pursued vendettas, but unlike as Wilkes says, the target was those who had the gall to investigate corrupt Republicans and the vendettas were pursued by those at the top of the Bush Administration.

This has cover-up written all over it. Of course, one can easily see why the Bush Administration would want to cover-up a bribery, corruption, and war profiteering scandal that involved hookers, yachts, and multiple California Republicans.

Money Trumps Peace

Brent Wilkes loves the smell of rolling tanks in the morning… smells like cash:

When Poway defense contractor Brent Wilkes heard that the United States was going to go to war with Iraq, he was ecstatic, say several former colleagues.

“He and some of his top executives were really gung-ho about the war,” said a former employee of his now-defunct firm ADCS Inc. “Brent said this would create new opportunities for the company. He was really excited about doing business in the Middle East.”

He was especially excited about the prospect of damaged tanks and aircraft and a shortage of ordnance and dead soldiers and Iraqis… ’cause you, that’d all have to be REPLACED!

Allow me to advocate for something that will never happen.  All defense work should be nationalized, budgeted modestly and scrutinized year over year, and irrelevant or obselete programs should simply be dismantled.  The inevitable outcome of a private defense industry is that war is advocated as a means to prop up the economy.  And private contractors will use all illegal means at their disposal to get a jump on the competition.  We now have war cheerleaders in the private sector, bribing public officials (as they have for decades) and ensuring that the stance of the country is belligerence.  I think George W. Bush said it best yesterday is a little-remarked-upon but brutally honest portion of his press conference.

“Money trumps peace.”

When the Iraq war began in 2003, Wilkes redoubled his efforts to woo politicians and officials in the Pentagon and CIA.

“He was trying to build a business in the Middle East and needed support from some politicians,” said a former employee, who asked not to be named for fear of being drawn into the court case. “It was one of the things (the top executives of ADCS) were really excited about.”

Wilkes’ plan to deliver water to Iraq began in the summer of 2003, shortly after the U.S.-led invasion. At the time, CIA operatives in Iraq were relying on contractors in Kuwait and other friendly countries to supply them with bottled water, first-aid kits and other provisions.

Wilkes had little obvious experience ferrying goods overseas, especially to a war zone. But he wanted the CIA supply business to go to his holding company, Group W. He was aided by Foggo, who was then a logistics officer in Frankfurt, Germany, overseeing CIA purchases throughout Europe and the Middle East, including Iraq.

It doesn’t matter if it’s water or the B-2 Bomber.  The point is that an economy predicated on the war machine (and take a look at some manufacturing sector numbers to see the proof of that) must have war to feed itself.

“Money trumps peace.”

Incidentally, some House Democrats are working to keep Carol Lam, the prosecutor who brought about the Wilkes-Foggo indictments, and who is being forced out of her job as US Attorney by the Justice Department, on the case as an outside counsel.  They sent a letter to Attorney General Gonzales today.

Carol Lam’s indictments of Foggo and Wilkes underscore the importance of last week’s request and the need for an explanation of why these diligent public servants were dismissed. It is vital that U.S. Attorneys be able to prosecute wrongdoing free from political pressure. We are pleased that the Department of Justice has also agreed to brief members of the House Judiciary Committee on the dismissals of Carol Lam and other U.S. Attorneys. We look forward to further details regarding the date for that briefing and your response regarding the request to appoint Carol Lam as an outside counsel to finish the Cunningham and related investigations.

This won’t happen for a simple reason.

“Money trumps peace.”

UPDATE: So do hookers.

On or about August 15, 2003, at approximately 6:30 p.m., [Wilkes] provided [Cunningham] and assorted other guests with a dinner served on a private lawn outside the Hapuna Suite [approximately $6,600 per night at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on the Island of Hawaii]; which consisted of Seafood Gyozas of Kona Lobster, shrimp, scallops, seared hawaiian snapper, “Manoa” lettuce leaves, and an open bar featuring fine wines;

On or about August 15, 2003, at approximately 11 p.m., Prostitutes “A” and “B” and their “driver” arrived at the Hapuna Suite. Persuant to [Wilkes’] instructions, an ADCS [Wilkes’ company] employee escorted the prostitutes into the Suite and paid the driver $600 in cash;

On or about August 15, 2003, after approximately 15 minutes in the suite, [Wilkes] and [Cunningham] escorted Prostitutes “A” and “B” upstairs to separate rooms. At approximately midnight, Wilkes tipped Prostitute “A” $500 for the services;

Brent Wilkes indictment imminent – CA Congressional dominoes to fall?

(h/t to Howie Klein at Down With Tyranny!, who has a great “Brent Wilkes tag cloud” you should all have a look at if you want to understand his importance)

We know that US Attorney Carol Lam has been forced out of her post for her insistence to prosecute lawbreakers of a particular political stripe.  One thing you may not know is that her dismissal will not take effect until February 15.  Well, it appears that Lam has planned one hell of a last act:

…the Wall Street Journal says that federal prosecutors are under orders to deliver a grand jury indictment against Wilkes by Feb. 15.

A note of caution: a Wilkes indictment has been rumored for months. But this has a ring of truth to it. Why? Because according to WSJ the order comes directly from just-ousted U.S. Attorney Carol Lam, who’s been overseeing the case — and who gave the order to take Wilkes down before she leaves on — you guessed it — February 15.

Brent Wilkes is the central figure in at least three pending investigations among California’s Republican delegation in Congress, and could easily be the impetus for a fourth.  Wilkes is named in the Duke Cunningham indictment as “Coconspirator #1”.  He provided actual cash, half a million dollars’ worth, for Cunningham to help pay off a mortgage, in exchange for an ungodly amount of Pentagon contracts for his defense contracting company, ACDS.  This is the content of the investigation currently being conducted in San Diego, and this is what would be the substance of the indictment.

However, Wilkes’ tentacles reach far beyond just former Republican Congressmen who are currently in jail. 

Rep. Jerry Lewis (I’m following the mantra of Googlebombing), the former head of the House Appropriations Committee, has a close relationship with a lobbyist named Bill Lowery, having authorized ” hundreds of millions of dollars in federal projects for clients” of his.  One of the people Lowery was in the employ of was Brent Wilkes.  Lewis and Lowery have exchanged staff members on occasion; it can be said that their offices are not materially different in their goals.

Rep. John Doolittle admitted to the Washington Post that he…

helped steer defense funding, totaling $37 million, to a California company, whose officials and lobbyists helped raise at least $85,000 for Doolittle and his leadership political action committee from 2002 to 2005.

That California company was owned by Brent Wilkes.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, longshot candidate for President and former head of the House Armed Services Committee, is also tied up with Wilkes, having received hundreds of thousands in campaign funds from him and his companies in exchange for useless boondoggles of government contracts:

Cunningham and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-El Cajon, worked closely with two local companies – ADCS Inc. of Poway and Audre Inc. of Rancho Bernardo – to make the Pentagon pay for converting printed documents to computer files. They and a few other lawmakers got Congress to allocate $190 million for “automated data conversion” projects from 1993 to 2001.

Did the Pentagon want this “help”? No. As a 1994 General Accounting Office report noted, it already had the tools for such work.

But Cunningham, Hunter and their House allies didn’t care. Audre and ADCS were generous with contributions – and ADCS executive Brent Wilkes allegedly was bribing Cunningham…This led to such absurdities as a $9.7 million contract for ADCS to digitize historical documents from the Panama Canal Zone that the Pentagon considered insignificant. This isn’t governance. This is looting.

Wilkes was also a high school buddy of Dusty Foggo, the ex-#3 at the CIA who resigned last year amid both corruption allegations (he was the lead procurement official) and rumors of hooker parties set up by Wilkes where he would entertain lawmakers, staff, and CIA officials with poker and drinks and… hookers and stuff.

Trapping Wilkes in the vice could be the spark to send all of these California legislators tumbling down.  Carol Lam won’t be on the case should the indictment come down, and it’ll be interesting to see if the replacement decides to interfere with an ongoing investigation.  But clearly she wants to make Brent Wilkes sing before she is forced out of her post.  And the ripple effect could be tremendous.