Saturday, July 02, 2005
Now that Time Inc. has turned over documents to federal court, presumably revealing who its reporter, Matt Cooper, identified as his source in the Valerie Plame/CIA case, speculation runs rampant on the name of that source, and what might happen to him or her. Friday night, on the syndicated McLaughlin Group political talk show, Lawrence O'Donnell, senior MSNBC political analyst, claimed to know that name--and it is, according to him, top White House mastermind Karl Rove.
Today, O'Donnell went further, writing a brief entry at the Huffington Post blog:
"I revealed in yesterday's taping of the McLaughlin Group that Time magazine's e-mails will reveal that Karl Rove was Matt Cooper's source. I have known this for months but didn't want to say it at a time that would risk me getting dragged into the grand jury. ....
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Riverfront Times Solicited Johns for Pimp Who Pleaded Guilty to Prostitution Charges
[Editor's note, Mike Lacey is the bombastic, arrogant and ignorant owner of New Times Inc., the "alternative" chain that owns the Riverfront Times.
The question raised by the following story is why successive U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern District of Missouri continuously ignore larger prostitution rings operating across state lines (Illinois/Missouri) that do business literally in front of their noses and also advertise in the Riverfront Times -- and, on top of that, have ties to organized crime. The last phrase in the previous sentence is perhaps the answer. An unwritten federal law must mandate the prosecution of independent pimps doing business in the affluent St. Louis suburb of Clayton. Whereas, the feds -- on this side of the river -- can more easily turn a blind eye to mob-connected whorehouses in poor Illinois communities, which also advertise in the Riverfront Times. Memo to James Martin, U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Illinois: Check the Mann Act. The RFT is aiding and abetting in a federal crime and you ain't doin' shit about it.]
St. Louis Post-Dispatch June 26:
Go to Original
by Peter Shinkle
A man has pleaded guilty of laundering some of the $200,000 in proceeds of a prostitution business he ran out of his home in Clayton.
Cole J. McPherson, 35, of the 800 block of Westwood Drive, pleaded guilty last week on one count of money laundering in federal court in St. Louis.
One of his escort services was called Allure. Another was Magic Moments and Models. The businesses placed advertisements in the Riverfront Times offering escorts under titles such as "Asian Princess," "Young Luscious Ladies" or "Sexy Latin," McPherson admitted in pleading guilty.
"It is mind-boggling to me that people would use their credit card to pay businesses with names like Allure and Magic Moments and Models, and just hope their spouses weren't going to see them," U.S. Attorney Jim Martin said.
The operation offered both male and female escorts and accepted cash and credit cards. It typically charged $250 per call, though the fee dropped to $225 if the client paid cash, his plea agreement said. McPherson had prostitutes meet with clients in his own home, as well as at an apartment he owned in the 7500 block of Buckingham Drive. In addition, the prostitutes went on "out calls" to meet clients at other locations, the plea agreement said.
In February last year, McPherson was arrested by St. Louis County police as he was driving one of his prostitutes to a Comfort Inn in Maryland Heights, the plea agreement said.
"It is called the oldest profession, but it is deplorable to think people are just pulling out their credit card for prostitution," Martin said.
Typically, McPherson got $100 of each fee paid, and he passed $15 per call to the dispatcher. McPherson admitted employing more than 20 escorts.
The Internal Revenue Service determined that between 2001 and last year, McPherson and his associates placed more than $400,000 into his Bank of America account. About half of that amount can be "clearly traced as prostitution proceeds," according to the plea agreement. By writing checks to pay his escorts from that account, McPherson laundered the proceeds of the prostitution ring, Martin said.
McPherson's attorney, Scott Rosenblum, said, "It was an unfortunate period of his life, and he's certainly looking forward to putting it behind him." U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry set sentencing for Sept. 15.
McPherson works as a mortgage broker, Rosenblum said.
Martin said the FBI had detailed credit card billing records showing McPherson's customers.
He noted, however, that the people who paid for prostitution services violated Missouri law, not federal law.
Sunday, June 26, 2005
An Italian judge has ordered the arrest of 13 officers and operatives of the Central Intelligence Agency on charges that they seized an Egyptian cleric on a Milan street two years ago and flew him to Egypt for questioning, Italian prosecutors and investigators said Friday.
The judge, Chiara Nobili of Milan, signed the arrest warrants on Wednesday for 13 C.I.A. operatives who are suspected of seizing an imam named Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, as he walked to his mosque here for noon prayers on Feb. 17, 2003.
It is unclear what prompted the issuance of the warrants, but Judge Guido Salvini said in May that it was "certain" that Mr. Nasr had been seized by "people belonging to foreign intelligence networks interested in interrogating him and neutralizing him, to then hand him over to Egyptian authorities."
Mr. Nasr, who was under investigation before his disappearance for possible links to Al Qaeda, is still missing, and his family and friends say he was tortured repeatedly by Egyptian jailers.
The detailed warrants remained sealed in a Milan courthouse on Friday. But copies obtained by The New York Times show that 13 American citizens, all identified in the documents as either C.I.A. employees or as having links to the agency, are wanted to stand trial on kidnapping charges, which carry a maximum penalty of 10 years and 8 months in prison. The Americans' whereabouts are unknown.
One of those wanted, identified in the court papers as the agency's top officer in Milan, is described as "having coordinated the mission and also guaranteeing connections and assistance to others involved in the crime." He left Milan and flew to Egypt five days after the abduction, the warrant says. ...
An Italian judge ordered the arrests of 13 people in the purported CIA abduction of an imam, who then was sent to Egypt, the Milan prosecutor's office said Friday. An Italian official said earlier the 13 were CIA officers involved in US anti-terrorism efforts.
The 13 are suspected of seizing Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, known as Abu Omar, on the streets of Milan on Feb. 17, 2003, and sending him to Egypt, where he reportedly was tortured, Milan prosecutor Manlio Claudio Minale said in a statement.
An Italian newspaper said all 13 were American agents.
The US Embassy in Rome and the CIA in Washington declined to comment. ...
Washington Post, June 23
... The data will be managed by BeNow Inc. of Wakefield, Mass., one of many marketing firms that use computers to analyze large amounts of data to target potential customers based on their personal profiles and habits.
"The purpose of the system . . . is to provide a single central facility within the Department of Defense to compile, process and distribute files of individuals who meet age and minimum school requirements for military service," according to the official notice of the program.
Privacy advocates said the plan appeared to be an effort to circumvent laws that restrict the government's right to collect or hold citizen information by turning to private firms to do the work.
Some information on high school students already is given to military recruiters in a separate program under provisions of the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act. Recruiters have been using the information to contact students at home, angering some parents and school districts around the country.
School systems that fail to provide that information risk losing federal funds, although individual parents or students can withhold information that would be transferred to the military by their districts. John Moriarty, president of the PTA at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, said the issue has "generated a great deal of angst" among many parents participating in an e-mail discussion group. ...
Cannonfire, May 31:
1. ... Many still argue that Woodward worked with a number of sources. A reader has told me that Woodward was dating a woman who worked at Robert Bennett's Mullen Company, the CIA cut-out which channeled money to the burglars. Bennett himself is a confirmed Woodward source who steered the Post reporters away from the all-important CIA connection. (See the appendices to Jim Hougan's Secret Agenda.) ...
2. Wagergate Break-in (1972) — President Nixon sends in a team of burglars to wiretap Democratic offices at Watergate. The team members have extensive CIA histories, including James McCord, E. Howard Hunt and five of the Cuban burglars. They work for the Committee to Reelect the President (CREEP), which does dirty work like disrupting Democratic campaigns and laundering Nixon’s illegal campaign contributions. CREEP’s activities are funded and organized by another CIA front, the Mullen Company.
see: MULLEN ROBERT R
MULLEN ROBERT R
Sweden 1962 Singapore 1972
Agee,P. Inside the Company: CIA Diary. 1975 (536)
Agee,P. On the Run. 1987 (51, 86)
Agee,P. Wolf,L. Dirty Work. 1978 (37-8)
Assn. National Security Alumni. Unclassified 1997-SP (17)
Bellett,G. Age of Secrets. 1995 (102)
Bradlee,B. A Good Life. 1995 (326)
Caldwell,M. Ten Years Military Terror in Indonesia. 1975 (211)
Constantine,A. Psychic Dictatorship in the U.S.A. 1995 (171)
Corn,D. Blond Ghost. 1994 (235)
CounterSpy 1984-08 (10)
Covert Action Information Bulletin 1978-#1 (21)
DiEugenio,J. Pease,L. The Assassinations. 2003 (315)
Frazier,H. Uncloaking the CIA. 1978 (156)
Hinckle,W. Turner,W. The Fish is Red. 1981 (295)
Hougan,J. Secret Agenda. 1984 (6-8, 78, 216, 264-5, 273, 277-8)
Hougan,J. Spooks. 1979 (99, 211, 359)
Kruger,H. The Great Heroin Coup. 1980 (19)
Lasky,V. It Didn't Start With Watergate. 1978 (270, 283)
Maheu,R. Next to Hughes. 1993 (301, 303)
McCord,J. A Piece of Tape. 1974 (18, 56, 79)
Morrow,R. First Hand Knowledge. 1992 (220)
Myerson,M. Watergate: Crime in the Suites. 1973 (156-7)
New York Magazine 1976-08-16 (29)
Newsweek 1975-05-19 (27-8)
Oglesby,C. The Yankee and Cowboy War. 1976 (221, 278)
Petrusenko,V. A Dangerous Game: CIA and the Mass Media. 1977 (119)
Powers,T. The Man Who Kept the Secrets. 1981 (323, 330, 472)
Schorr,D. Clearing the Air. 1978 (189)
Scott,P.D. Crime and Coverup. 1977 (30, 53)
Stauber,J. Rampton,S. Toxic Sludge Is Good for You. 1995 (50)
Stich,R. Russell,T.C. Disavow: A CIA Saga of Betrayal. 1995 (185)
Weissman,S. Big Brother and the Holding Company. 1974 (155, 165, 237)
Wise,D. The American Police State. 1978 (188, 228, 239)
Zeifman,J. Without Honor. 1995 (43)
Privacy advocates are objecting to the Pentagon's use of a database with files on millions of young people that the military says it needs for recruiting to help fill its ranks.
The data could be abused by the government or the private company that keeps it, the advocates contend. They also say there is no need for the information to include Social Security numbers, which could be used to steal someone's identity.
The military says the information will help steer it to potential recruits. Officials said the Social Security numbers are scrambled to prevent abuse and that the database only has been used for recruiting purposes.
The issue has surfaced as the regular Army — and the reserves of all four military branches — are having difficulty attracting recruits.
"The program is very important because it helps the recruiters be more effective to target qualified candidates for specific missions," a Defense Department spokeswoman, Air Force Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, said Thursday.
The Pentagon's Joint Advertising, Market Research and Studies Group has overseen the data since 2003, when it took over several recruiting databases managed separately by the military services.
The military says it collects the data itself. It has hired one company, Mullen, to manage the information. Mullen hired a subcontractor, BeNow, of Wakefield, Mass., to process the data. ...