Saturday, October 06, 2007


Washington D.C.--Granted, how else do you keep all of these scandals under wraps down in the Big Easy? You have to have a judge in your pocket. What's the possible connection? The case of Deborah Jeane Palfrey again, naturally.

One of the Postal Inspectors in her case--one Maria Couvillion--could (underscore 'could') be related to Louisiana federal District Judge D. Irvin Couvillion (a secretive tax judge), creating a possible conflict of interest, and potentially a part of the genesis of her case that includes Sen. Vitter somewhere in the picture. That's for another time.

Recently, the adulterous and whore-mongering Sen. Vitter mistakenly thought he held some science fiction version of a moral high ground and credibility in writing his Democratic Senate peer from Louisiana, Mary Landrieu.

The reason? She's blocking the appointment of U.S Attorney David Dugas as a District Judge by not turning in her "blue slip." Yeah, that's got to hurt. Here's the beef:
Landrieu vs. Vitter
There is a public spat between our two U.S. Senators, David Vitter and Mary Landrieu. Apparently, a letter from Vitter went public calling for her to approve David Dugas as the Federal Judge for the middle district of Louisiana. Landrieu who had approved his appointment as U.S. Attorney was concerned about his appointment. In her letter, which she then made public, she also criticized Vitter for what she perceives as his lack of concern for Katrina related matters including Road Home. Here is a copy of the letter from David Vitter and Mary Landrieu’s response. While the conflict was focused upon David Dugas, it broadened to show a deep disagreement over the Katrina recovery which could spill over into issues during the election, rather than just personalities. (, 10.05.2007)
What a lot of people don't know is that Sen. Vitter was the messenger boy for Karl Rove and the Bush White House during the aftermath of Katrina to Democratic Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco's office. While there was some coverage of this fact during the aftermath, it's been outlined in historian Douglas G. Brinkley's book, "The Great Deluge."
Why Vitter? What's a senator doing being a messenger boy for the White House? From the tone of Brinkley's book, he and Senator Vitter are pretty close, even chummy, with considerable proximity while both men lived in the state. Page 714 in the index has this entry: "Vitter, David...; as Rove go-between, 413-14[.]" The most hilarious anecdote has Vitter's wife "nagging" him to leave before the hurricane hit, with the Senator disagreeing. Imagine that.
Governor Blanco is the person who would choose Vitter's replacement if he were removed from office, and it's likely that the replacement wouldn't be a Republican. This is certainly one of the primary reasons for why Vitter isn't being hit with the same attention as the humiliated Sen. Larry Craig who has decided to fight a legal battle against his own party and is staying on in his seat in the Senate.
David Dugas was appointed by the President in October of 2001 (though it must have been decided in September), and then approved by the Senate to serve as a U.S. Attorney on November 30th of 2001, right around the time that the investigation into the Canal Street Madam was concluding. It wasn't until the Spring of 2002 that it was made public, being noted by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-NH.) as an obvious waste of investigative resources while the 9/11 hijackers were running around the US plotting their attacks. Interestingly, Dugas survived the firings of U.S. Attorneys in 2006 and has been an uncritical supporter of the Bush administration and the Patriot Act.
We should be asking why he did survive the firings, and it appears Senator Landrieu is already doing so. And some Republicans in the Senate are taking notice of the problem of oversight and transparency on their part...their base is also beginning to notice the rot. Today, it's being reported that Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) is beginning to put the light on Vitter, by way of comments about Sen. Larry Craig and his misdemeanor charge for cruising for gay sex in a Minneapolis airport restroom:
"Whether ... he'll be expelled or not for that crime, I think there's a good chance of censureship. But expulsion seems to me probably unlikely," Brownback told Bloomberg TV. Despite Craig's notoriety for tapping his toes and waving his hand under the stall in a Minneapolis airport men's room to attract a cop involved in a gay sex sting, his subsequent conviction was only a misdemeanor, he said. "This shouldn't have taken place ... and as a Republican, this is bad," Brownback admitted. Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana may also face censure because he admitted hiring prostitutes, Brownback said. (NY Daily News, 10.06.2007)
It would be bad if it was Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), our first Socialist Senator, and Brownback should have noted that party affiliation is unimportant. The real problem is that the hue and cry to oust Idaho's Senator Craig is over-the-top compared alongside the near silence over Vitter--this is because he's probably more likely to be ousted from office if a genuine investigation were conducted, turning-up a plethora of other charges related to his and Randall L. Tobias's peculiar habits regarding prostitutes and escorts.
It should be remembered that it was a cocaine-addled Dr. named Howard Lippton who cheated on his Medicare filings who tipped-off the feds about the Canal Street brothel...except that someone else tipped them off to Lippton's transgressions. An informant created an informant, a double-edged sword that created new problems for the clients.
Vitter has been connected to the Canal Street brothel by its former owner, Jeanette Maier, though she and Wendy Cortez (her new name this year) aren't exactly unimpeachable witnesses. Nonetheless, there is every reason to believe further investigation of their claims is warranted. When you have a network of corruption, it becomes harder and harder to hide everything, and this is also the likely case with former USAID (a CIA front institution) administrator Randall L. Tobias, providing more-than-adequate smoke for a deeper probe.
In addition, the specter of the Bush administration's steamrolling of Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco is reemerging, and old wounds are going to determine the rest of the Bush years in ways that could be very surprising indeed. Once again, the case of the Canal Street Madam is instructive in much of this mess, and there are obvious personal and political reasons why one would want specific individuals appointed as federal District Judges. Both the "DC Madam" case and that of the "Canal Street Madam" could very well be directly-linked:
Although the FBI investigation had identified hundreds of the brothel's exclusively male clients, their names were conspicuously absent from the indictment. When reporters, hungry for salacious details, tried to get their hands on the client list--rumored to contain the names of some of the wealthiest and most powerful men in New Orleans--U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle, the federal judge hearing the case, sealed the court records. (, 2007)
Perhaps the Brownback comments can be viewed as an admission that Larry Craig and his counsel have called the GOP's senatorial leadership on their game, and that he isn't going anywhere unless David Vitter does too. There is smoke in Vitter's letter criticizing Landrieu of "obstructing" the appointment of Dugas a federal District Judge, and in-part, it could be keeping the bodies in his past buried. It's unlikely he's doing it just for himself. Perhaps he'd be willing to trade one "obstruction" for another.