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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
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”