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Sex, Limos and Government Contracts | The Nation

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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

Sex, Limos and Government Contracts

"The Culture of Corruption" is a clever alliteration, a catchy political phrase, but without a vivid image to bring it to life, it amounts to a series of statistics: the increase in earmarks, the number of no-bid contracts, etc. But a rather vivid picture has started to emerge of a new scandal Wonkette is calling WatergateGate.

According to reporting in The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, and The Nation's own David Corn, the CIA inspector general and the FBI are investigating whether Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, the CIA's executive director, helped businessman Brent Wilkes win overpriced CIA contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Foggo was a regular at Wilke's poker game.

Wilkes stands accused of conspiring with defense contractor Mitchell Wade to bribe Randy "Duke" Cunningham. Wade, who has pled guilty, claims he also provided the Republican congressman with free limos, prostitutes, and rooms at, yes, the Watergate Hotel. The feds are investigating whether any other current or former Congressmen or their staffs received similar perks.

And just as these two stories were gathering momentum, Porter Goss, the former Republican congressman who promoted and worked closely with Foggo at the CIA, resigned rather abruptly Friday afternoon. So abruptly in fact that he forgot to mention he wanted to spend more time with his family.

So picture this: Republican Congressmen, CIA officials, defense contractors, shady businessmen, and lobbyists playing poker in a Watergate hotel room complete with your tax dollars and free prostitutes. The mind boggles. Were they Russian? It's like Christopher Buckley penned an episode of The Sopranos.

Bada Bing Bada Bombshell.

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