Sunday, May 28, 2006

Hookergate Details Emerge

The San Diego Union Tribune continues to take the lead in investigating the Brent Wilkes, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo saga. Today,

The poker games provide a window into the way Wilkes befriended powerful people, including former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, who could help him get millions of dollars in federal contracts. Because of published reports that the hotel suites were sometimes visited by prostitutes – which Wilkes heatedly denies – the bribery scandal is now known in some circles as “Hookergate.”[...]

Some of the CIA officers and congressional staffers Wilkes played poker with by night were the people he met with by day as he pursued government contracts.

Cunningham, for example, relished the good times, took more than $630,000 in bribes from Wilkes, inserted multimillion-dollar items into legislation to benefit Wilkes and then bullied Pentagon bureaucrats into favoring Wilkes over competing contractors, according to federal prosecutors.

In recent years, Wilkes was particularly interested in CIA contracts.

He was negotiating last year for a proposed project to provide clandestine air-transport services for the CIA, even though he had little experience in transportation, according to several sources close to the intelligence community. The negotiations – arranged with the help of Wilkes' poker-playing friend at the CIA, Kyle “Dusty” Foggo – fell through after Wilkes was identified as a co-conspirator in the Cunningham bribery case.

If Cunningham hadn't been so greedy, Wilkes would still be flying high and the booze and broads would still be available on demand - on the taxpayers dime.