Wilkes, Foggo and Bush, Oh My!
It is a bit of a stretch. Most of the Wilkes' bribes go to politicians, from guys like Randy Cunningham, up through more important Republicans such as Tom Delay, Jerry Lewis, Porter Goss, John Doolittle, and on right to the top of the party - George Bush. Yet, Foggo may be the thread that unravels Republican corruption all the way to the top.
But the agency's problems may only get worse, and one reason is Foggo. Federal investigators are looking at the ties of the CIA's "Ex Dir" to a congressional bribery scandal. Foggo was a high-school football teammate and college buddy of Brent Wilkes's, a defense contractor who was identified as an unindicted co-conspirator when formerBrent Wilkes is a bit more than "a defense contractor." Wilkes is a one man defense conglomerate, operating a dizzying array of companies that appear designed for a single purpose, to scam money from the defense and intelligence apparatus of the United States.
congressman and ex-Navy air ace Randy (Duke) Cunningham pleaded guilty. The CIA has acknowledged that its internal watchdog is investigating if Foggo helped steer any contracts to Wilkes. According to three sources who declined to be identified commenting on the details of a government probe, there are also indications that the Feds are interested in Foggo's role in the wider Cunningham bribery scandal. Recent news reports have alleged that Wilkes (who has not been charged with any crime) sponsored poker parties at the Watergate and other expensive San Diego hotels, and that he may have been involved in a scheme to provide prostitutes to the disgraced Cunningham. Washington
Wilkes apparently is big in the transportation industry as well. At least in the transportation of Republican politicians. Wilkes' Group W Transportation operation appears to have been designed to allow Wilkes to ferry key Republican leaders around in the style to which his bribes and contribution had made them accustomed.
Yet Group W, owned by Poway defense contractor Brent Wilkes, has provided personal air transportation for some high-profile passengers -- including House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who has flown on the jet to such locations as Idaho for a hunting trip and Hawaii for a golf tournament.
Brent Wilkes is also a major financial contributor to Republican politicians. Aside from convicted felon Randy "Duke" Cunningham, Wilkes made substantial contributions to California Representatives John Doolittle (CA-4), Jerry Lewis (CA-41) and Duncan Hunter (CA-52).
But, wait there's more Wilkes largess to politicians. Wilkes it turns out is also a Bush/Cheney Pioneer - someone who raised at least $100,000 in contributions to the President's 2004 campaign. In this, Wilkes is on a list of just 327 other dedicated fund raisers. In fact the first name on this list is Jack Abramoff. Distinguished company for Wilkes.
Wilkes is also a a key contributor to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger rewarded Wilkes with posting to two prestigious public boards. Postions that he asked Wilkes to give up when his involvement with Cunningham became public.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who received $77,400 from Wilkes and his wife, Regina Wilkes, has no such plans [to return the money], according to a spokesman.
Schwarzenegger, however, did ask Wilkes to resign from the Del Mar Fair Board and the State Race Track Leasing Commission the day after Cunningham pleaded guilty.
Schwarzenegger appointed Wilkes to both volunteer positions, continuing a tradition in which governors appoint contributors to such prestigious posts.
Cunningham was the most obvious and illegal of Wilkes bribery enterprises. In may turn out that Foggo will be as egregious and illegal a case as was Cunningham's, but it is important to remember that Wilkes was what The Left Coaster called "An ATM for the GOP." His largess was directed at anyone who could help him continue to loot the U.S Government and steal the money of American taxpayers.