Tuesday, May 01, 2007

HOOKERGATE: AMERICAN MEDIA RELUCTANT TO ISSUE FULL LIST, THOUGH ABC IS IN POSESSION OF 10,000-NAME MASTER

"Had he done so earlier along with the many, many others who have used my company's services throughout the years, I most likely would not be in my current predicament." --Deborah Jeane Palfrey today. (Reuters UK, 05.01.2007)

Washington D.C. (party town!)--She's still talking and Heidi Fleiss is chiming-in that she shouldn't be telling who her clients were. Yeah. Then, the wires are reporting that Deborah Jeane Palfrey "is sorry" for outing Randall Tobias, a Bush administration appointee in the State Department who resigned on Friday after ABC released his name from her list on Thursday. Now, she's asked a federal judge if she can sell-off shares in Dolby laboratories since they've peaked in value:

The woman accused of running a prostitution ring serving Washington's elite, including at least one U.S. government official, also appears to be something of a stock picker. The woman, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, asked a federal judge on Monday for permission to sell almost 5,000 shares of Dolby Laboratories that were in an account frozen by the government because she believed the stock had reached its high point. (Reuters UK, 05.01.2007)
The judge isn't going to do it, which could suggest there's also an SEC investigation here. One has to question why ABC is sitting-on that 9,997-strong list. We've only heard about three names so far. Let's hear some more, please. America's at least a partially Puritanical nation of serial voters, and those folks are waiting in rapt attention. So am I. ABC: what gives?

We should all be asking ourselves where Ms. Palfrey gets her stock tips. Could it come from people with access to data being mined in the warrantless surveillance programs being expedited by the Pentagon and the NSA? Certain Bush administration officials have such security clearances and could do it. This could take insider trading to a new level. Their access to such information must be unprecedented, skirting numerous federal regulations that are routinely enforced by entities like the SEC (and also investigated by the FBI under white-collar crime laws). Except...

Interestingly, the FBI's investigations into white-collar crimes have literally plummeted under the Bush administration, though this should be no surprise to even the most casual observer on the political scene.

Thousands of white-collar criminals across the country are no longer being prosecuted in federal court -- and, in many cases, not at all -- leaving a trail of frustrated victims and potentially billions of dollars in fraud and theft losses. It is the untold story of the Bush administration's massive restructuring of the FBI after the terrorism attacks of 9/11. Five-and-a-half years later, the White House and the Justice Department have failed to replace at least 2,400 agents transferred to counterterrorism squads, leaving far fewer agents on the trail of identity thieves, con artists, hatemongers and other criminals. Two successive attorneys general have rejected the FBI's pleas for reinforcements behind closed doors. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 04.11.2007)
And so, we have to assume that this was part of the whole design of the Bush agenda, perhaps before 1999. Surely, it didn't occur on-accident. There has been a bum rush on the system by a horde of criminals occupying our seat of government. It's as simple as that.

With the vast funds that have been appropriated for the failed war on terror, surely, these Special Agents could have been replaced by now. But if you're a criminal who's seized the levers of power, you would also defund the people who are supposed to guard the public from you and your accomplices.
Why mention white collar crimes in all of this? There is smoke here, and Ms. Palfrey needs to be questioned about the particulars of her stocks and how she decided on their purchase (who, if anyone, advised her on the purchases?), the timing of the purchases, and a lot more. Maybe if we're lucky, we can find an FBI agent who isn't busy listening-in on our phone calls, watering Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff's lawn, or doing...who knows under this war on terrorism? Of course, there could even be a connection here with the U.S. Attorney firings, but that's a wait and see.

It's hard to imagine what federal statutes cover a government employee working for Palfrey as a prostitute. Send in the paralegals and legal scholars, they're going to have to dust-off some very-very old laws here.

Assuredly, there is some element of criminal conspiracy here, with the possibility that Ms. Palfrey was given preferential treatment in a number of arenas such as the stock trading. It would be interesting to learn whether the federal prosecutor leading the investigation into Palfrey's case was on the Bush/Rove/Cheney/Gonzales hit-list in the U.S. Attorney firings scandal.

Sibley said he did not know whether ABC would name other customers in the "20/20" segment. Jeffrey Schneider, executive vice president at ABC News, said the network is pursuing a legitimate news story, not performing legal work for Palfrey. Palfrey has described her business as a "legal, high-end erotic fantasy service." Prosecutors say Palfrey knew that her escorts were having sex with clients and that Palfrey generated more than $2 million in revenue over 13 years, with more than 130 women employed at various times to serve thousands of clients. (AP, 05.01.2007)
$2 million seems a conservative estimate (pun-intended), especially considering the hourly-rate ($300-per-hour), and the duration (13 years). Let's face it, with 10,000 customers, it doesn't fit, and one has to wonder if the former-madame was given access to offshore accounts through various clients.

This writer wagers there was a great deal of bartering going-on in Palfrey's firm. At this point, only Palfrey, ABC, her customers, and the rest of the media knows the story. It's the public that should know every sordid detail, no matter where the trails leads. So far, it leads directly to the Oval Office...again (and again-and-again-and-again).
Today, she says she's sorry that she outed State Department official, Randall Tobias. What a Palfrey excuse.