Thursday, May 12, 2005
Corroborated allegations that Mr. Bolton’s first wife, Christina Bolton, was forced to engage in group sex have not been refuted by the State Department despite inquires posed by Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt concerning the allegations. Mr. Flynt has obtained information from numerous sources that Mr. Bolton participated in paid visits to Plato’s Retreat, the popular swingers club that operated in New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s. ...
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
It was June in New Orleans, and we were seeking shelter from the sun. Alison and I had just finished dancing for several hours in a New Orleans funeral procession. The second line had followed the brass bands from downtown out to St. Louis Cemetery No. 2. The parade honored the late Ernie K-Doe, self-described "Emperor of the Universe." K-Doe a local rhythm and blues recording artist, had one chart buster back in 1962 -- Mother-in-Law.
Hoofing back in the direction of our hotel, we stopped at the first available watering hole, Cosimo's, a little bar at 1201 Burgundy St., on the edge of the French Quarter. Not your typical raucous Bourbon Street dive, Cosimo's was cool and dark and quiet inside. The bartender looked like she may have been serving drinks at the place since it opened. Cosimo's was the kind of place where native New Orleans residents came to escape the hordes of tourists. The regulars all seemed to know each other.
A new digitized jukebox had recently been installed and the bartender was having difficulty figuring out how it worked. During some small talk, she let it slip out that owner of the place also owned the jukebox company. When she walked to the other end of the bar, I leaned over and whispered to Alison, "This place looks like it's mobbed up." Since then, the term "mobbed up" has become an inside joke with us because I seem to see vestiges of organized crime around every corner. Perhaps this annoying little quirk of mine fits more snugly in a city like New Orleans. New Orleans, af ter all, never has tried to hide behind a veneer of respectability as much as St. Louis. The corruption in the Crescent City has always been closer to the surface, less hidden.
After we got back home, I received a review copy of Rearview Mirror: Look ing Back at the FBI, the CIA and Other Tails by former FBI agent William Turner. After he split from the bureau in the 1960s, Turner became an editor at Ramparts. Later, he helped New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison investigate the Ke nnedy assassination. Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin, had spent time in New Orleans in the year preceding the assassination, hanging out with a group of right-wing extremists, including Clay Shaw, David Ferrie and Guy Bannister, an ex-FBI agent fr om Chicago. Bannister ran a private dectective agency in New Orleans, which was a front for Anti-Castro guerrilla operations.
In 1968, when Garrison started trying to unravel these connections, he had a sit-down with Dean Andrews, a friend and fellow att orney. Garrison believed that Shaw was involved in the plot to kill Kennedy because he had briefly hired Andrews to defend Oswald almost immediately after the alleged assasin had been arrested. Here's an excerpt from Turner's book:
"... Within days of th e assassination, attorney Dean A. Andrews had tipped the FBI about a link between Oswald and Shaw, who was using the pseudonym Clay Bertrand. ... Andrews, a Falstaffian figure with a flair for hip language, later told the Warren Commission that he h ad ran a kind of turnstile law practice in which he secured the release of `gay swishers' arrested by the police in violation of sumptuary laws. ... Continuing, Andrews mentioned that on the day after the assassination he was recovering from an illness in the H o.tel Dieu Hospital when `the phone rang and a voice I recognized as Clay Bertrand asked me if I would go to Dallas' to defend Oswald.' ...
"Although the (Warren) Commission discounted Andrews statement, Garrison didn't. He knew Andrews, having go ne to T ulane law school with him. ... So one of the first things that (Garrison) did when he reopened his JFK file in late 1967, before the media caught on, was to send his investigators into the French Quarter to seek out the elusive Bertrand. Back came the wor d: Clay Bertrand was the name Clay Shaw used in the Quarter, and one of his haunts was Cosimo's bar, which Andrews had depicted ... as a 'freaky little place where he once spotted Bertrand.'"
Of course, I didn't know this when I was sipping a near beer at Cosimo's in the summer of 2001. The day that we danced at Ernie K-Doe's funeral I was supposed to attend a luncheon at the Association of Altnerative Newspaper's convention at a big hotel on Canal Street. The keynote speaker was Oliver Stone, director o f the movie JFK. (In the screen version, Stone cast comedian John Candy as Dean Andrews.) My plan was to collar Stone, after his speech, and ask him if he needed a researcher on another one of his projects, a film about the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., which still remains dormant. Instead, I opted to dance at a New Orleans musician's funeral.
The jukebox selection at Cosimo's even nowadays tends more towards Frank Sinatra. Still I image that K-Doe's one hit, Mother-in-Law, might h ave been playing on a sultry New Orleans' night more than 40 years ago, when Clay Shaw and David Ferrie partied and plotted down on Burgundy Street.
Ernie K-Doe and Oliver Stone unwittingly conspired to bring me to that bar stool at Cosimo's on a hot summer's day. You could call it a Media Mayhem convergence. Funny how you can be standing in the wake of history and not even know it until later.
I guess that's what history is.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
The Boeing Co., Ridley Park, Pa., was awarded on April 29, 2005, an $186,225,617 firm-price-incentive-fee contract for CH-47F Remanufactured Helicopters. Work will be performed in Ridley Park, Pa., and is expected to be completed by March 31, 2007. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This was a sole source contract initiated on Nov. 18, 2004. The Army Aviation and Missile Command, Huntsville, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-04-G-0023).
The Boeing Co., Ridley Park, Pa., was awarded on April 29, 2005, a $25,905,578 modification to a firm-price-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Cut In Common Avionics Architecture System and Digital Advanced Flight Control System to the CH-47 New Build Production Effort. Work will be performed in Ridley Park, Pa., and is expected to be completed by July 31, 2008. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This was a sole source contract initiated on March 3, 2005. The Army Aviation and Missile Command, Huntsville, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-04-C-0012).
Dimensions International Inc., Alexandria, Va., was awarded on April 29, 2005, a delivery order amount of $15,412,937 as part of a $15,412,937 time and materials contract for Application of Add-on-Armor and Air Conditioning for Tactical Wheeled Vehicles. Work will be performed in Iraq, and is expected to be completed by May 29, 2006. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There were six bids solicited on March 17, 2005, and four bids were received. The Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (DAAE07-98-D-T061).
AECOM Government Services Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded on April 29, 2005, a delivery order amount of $15,279,933 as part of a $69,854,102 firm-fixed-price contract for General Service Vehicle Maintenance and Support Services. Work will be performed at Baghram Air Base, Afghanistan, and is expected to be completed by April 25, 2005. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There were three bids solicited on April 7, 2005, and three bids were received. The Army Field Support Command, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52P1J-05-D-0004).
The U.S. Army said on Tuesday it had awarded $72 million in bonuses to Halliburton Co. for logistics work in Iraq but had not decided whether to give the Texas company bonuses for disputed dining services to troops.
The U.S. military will get an infusion of money to buy urgently needed materials for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan under an $82 billion bill passed by the Senate on Tuesday that is headed for President Bush's signature. ...