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Paramilitary agents for the CIA’s super-secret Special Activities Division, or SAD, perform raids, ambushes, abductions and other difficult chores overseas, including infiltrating countries to “light up” targets from the ground for air-to-ground missile strikes. This week the government acknowledged for the first time that some of SAD’s sensitive air operations were swept up in a fraud conspiracy that reached the highest levels of the CIA and cost the government $40 million.
That information was contained in a series of court filings released in advance of the long-awaited sentencing of Kyle Dustin “Dusty” Foggo, the disgraced former No. 3 official at the CIA.
One remarkable affidavit came from a leader of SAD, a branch of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, which handles covert actions. It indicates that Foggo forced SAD to use a shell company set up by defense contractor Brent R. Wilkes to handle its sensitive air operations, even though Wilkes and his company had no experience in clandestine aviation operations.
Wilkes was Foggo’s boyhood friend and a co-conspirator in the bribery scandal that erupted around former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, who is serving more than eight years in federal prison.
The sentencing documents make for interesting reading:
In addition to the vacations listed above during the time frame o f the scheme, the
documents and items obtained in the investigation indicate that Wilkes treated Foggo to
additional trips. From June 19-27, 2000, the Wilkes and Foggo families, and J.C., went on a
vacation to Hawaii, which included two scuba diving trips totaling $4,619; over $5,000 in meals;
and over $7,000 in hotel costs which were charged to Wilkes’s credit cards. Of these expenses,
$4,074 were attributable to the Foggos. Foggo paid for his rental car and other personal
expenses totaling $923.91. From June 21, 2001 to June 27, 2001, Wilkes paid for a vacation for
the Foggo and Wilkes families to Orlando, Florida, and New York City including: over $17,000
in private jet flights; over $11,000 for a stay at the Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge; nearly $800
in limo fees; over $3,000 in meals; over $10,000 for a stay at the Plaza Hotel in New York City;
and $1,230 for a hotel stay in D.E. for the Foggo family. Wilkes paid a total o f $43,854. Of
these expenses, $22,541.91 were attributable to the Foggos. The documents and records reflect
that over the course of the entire trip, Foggo charged his credit card $204 for what appears to be
transportation in Florida, and $212.14 at a bar in New York.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Average portion of its yearly household expenditures that a South African family will spend on a funeral:
Neuroscientists were hoping to use rat brain waves to find people buried by earthquakes.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature