Friday, May 12, 2006

Bringing home the bacon
(and the cigars and the hookers)

Your blogstress's pretty head is spinning, what with the torrent of revelations of executive-branch intrigue and corruption filling the front pages of the nation's newspapers today.

So vast is the conspiracy landscape that what would have been, on another day, an A-list story -- the tale of the CIA's former No. 3 involved in what appears to be a bribery scandal involving prostitutes and cigars (did they learn nothing from Bill Clinton about the dangerous combination of sex and cigars?) -- has been pushed down on the list by the story of the Bush administration's spying on virtually every American.

However, a brilliant bit of writing on the Goss scandal legacy in today's New York Times should not be missed. Herewith the opening graf of the article, from reporter Mark Mazzetti, Career C.I.A. Figure Is at Eye of Scandal:

In a scandal featuring a cast of characters with nicknames like Nine Fingers and Duke, a former C.I.A. undercover operative called Dusty has become a center of attention.
"Dusty," of course, is Dusty Foggo, a former undercover operative who was elevated by recently "resigned" CIA Director Porter Goss to the agency's third-from-the-top spot.

Midway into Mr. Mazetti's article, the tale veers from the merely seamy to the absurd. Herewith, the money graf:
The man Mr. Goss first selected to become the C.I.A.'s executive director, Michael V. Kostiw, had to turn down the job when it surfaced in the news media that he had resigned from the agency in the 1980's after being caught shoplifting bacon (emphasis added by Webwench).
No, mes amis, this is not from The Onion or Tom Burka's brilliant Opinions You Should Have; this sentence has been sanctioned by the Grey Lady herself.

From this informative piece, the reader gleans all manner of fascinating tidbits about the key players in this unfolding story:
But Charlie Wilson — the former Texas congressman who helped engineer the C.I.A. mission to arm Afghan rebels in the 1980's — said he attended two of Mr. Wilkes's poker parties, in 1994 and 1999, and that they usually ended by midnight and that he never saw prostitutes at the parties.
Your cybertrix had forgotten the former congressman's role in arming the Afghan mujahadeen; just as she had forgotten his role in seeing to the rebuilding of Afghanistan that the Americans did in order to repay the Afghans for winning the Cold War for us. Oh, wait, your écrivaine apparently did not forget that part -- because, shamefully, it never happened. And that's how the Taliban came to power.

READ MARK MAZZETTI'S ARTICLE IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

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