Was San Diego US Attorney fired for knowing too much?
March 8 2007
by Daniel Hopsicker
The Randy Cunningham “Hookergate” Scandal is not the first prostitution scandal involving close relatives of indicted defense contractor Brent Wilkes, The MadCowMorningNews has learned.
Brent Wilkes brother, Gregory Wilkes, managed the finances of The Wilkes Foundation, which was suspended by the State of California after failing to file financial statements for three years in a row.
(NOTE: The Wilkes Foundation link above, to the Wayback machine archived page on Gregory Wilkes, was removed less than 24 hours after this story was published. If only they worked this fast taking care of soldiers with traumatic brain injuries. DH)
When Greg Wilkes wasn’t busy failing to file required documents with the state on his brother’s charitable foundation, he was the Controller for an unfortunate “Bush Pioneer” named R.D. Hubbard, busted flying almost a dozen hookers by private jet in June of 2001 to a casino he owned to service men government documents have only identified as “48 wealthy guests.”
Back in the ’80’s Hubbard was involved in a number of Michael Milken-financed “greenmail” takeover attempts, partnered with Midland, Texas oilmen Wagner and Brown Ltd.
Strangely, in 2001 Wagner and Brown became the last known registered owner of the Lear jet which belonged to terror flight school owner Wally Hilliard until it was seized by DEA agents in Orlando who found 43 lbs. of heroin onboard.
The woman who knew too much?
It is the latest in an odd series of links between the Cunningham Scandal and international drug trafficking.
Nonetheless this seemingly incidental detail may provide the context from which a better explanation might emerge for why Carol Lam, the U.S. attorney in San Diego who successfully prosecuted former Republican Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, was just fired.
The nonsensical reason cited this week by a Bush Administration official was that “her prosecution rate for border violations was insufficient.”
Any suggestion that “border violations” have become a priority of the Bush Administration has slightly less credibility than a press release from the Raelian Society announcing the imminent return of the “space brothers” from an extended tour of Sirius.
Since a close reading of the Cunningham Scandal’s dramatis personae reveals that its cast includes gambling czars, race-track boys, hookers, and more nephews than a years’ worth of reruns on The Soprano’s, the discovery that hooker scandals run in Brent Wilkes family comes as no great surprise.
One plausible explanation why San Diego US Atty. Carol Lam was fired might be that, in a rapidly spreading scandal which could quickly grow too large to contain, she already knows too much.
Especially since the “Hookergate” Scandal already boasts that staple of major political scandals in America, the “statement later rendered inoperative.”
CIA spokesmodel Tells Really Big Fib
In this case it came from the CIA itself last May, when a spokesperson lied in a Wall Street Journal report headlined: “Foggo Partied, But Hooker Charges “False, Irresponsible,’ CIA Says”
“The CIA confirmed…what we knew already from multiple eyewitness accounts: Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, the CIA’s #3 official, attended Wilkes’ poker parties at hotel suites around Washington, D.C. where prostitutes allegedly entertained.
“But that’s it, the agency says. He never saw any hookers — at least not while they were playing cards.
“‘If he attended occasional card games with friends over the years, Mr. Foggo insists they were that and nothing more,’ CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise-Dyck told the WSJ.”
“Mr. Foggo says he never witnessed any prostitutes at the games,” she said, and any allegation to the contrary would be ‘false outrageous and irresponsible.'”
What struck us about this statement is not its mendacity. That’s what spooks do. They lie.
No, we were struck by, well, Ms. Millerwise-Dyck herself, whose bio, as recounted in a story in Daily Kos revealed that while she’d previously been Dick Cheney’s spokesperson, and Porter Goss’ press secretary, she was known as Jennifer Millerwise.
Apparently she only became a “Dyck” after going to work at the CIA.
No names, just “48 wealthy guests”
While Brent Wilkes motivation for hooking Cunningham and his cronies up with ladies of the night was knocking down defense contracts, whatever R.D. Hubbard was using prostitutes to troll for is a mystery.
On his Belterra gambling boat on the Ohio River, Hubbard used what government documents called “eight to 12 prostitutes brought in from California and Louisville” to entertain his “48 wealthy guests.
Hubbard not only employed Brent Wilke’s brother; he was also a major contributor to The Wilkes Foundation as well as its Tribute to Heroes gala.
Of course, the Wilkes Foundation is not the only Republican-run “charity” raising eyebrows. The Sure Foundation, started by defense contractor Mitchell Wade, a former employee of Brent Wilkes, listed its address as Wade’s defense contracting firm, MZM Inc.
And who can forget Jack Abramoff’s Capital Foundation, with gifts to children they never received? Or his American International Centre, grandly promoted as “bringing great minds together from all over the globe” under the “high-power directorship” of David Grosh, an Abramoff crony who turned out to be an under-powered lifeguard.
Everybody’s gotta launder somewhere
Despite the fact that the Wilkes Foundation hadn’t filed a financial statement since November of 2002, the State of California didn’t get around to suspending the charity until December of 2005.
When we asked a spokesman in the California Secretary of State’s Office whether a three-year grace period was the state norm regarding financial filings…the spokesman politely demurred, raising further suspicions about the philanthropic activities of this close-knit group of Republican movers and shakers.
Might they have been being used for money laundering?
Consider: Brent Wilkes was pimping in Hawaii to win defense contracts at roughly the same time his brother Greg can be presumed to have been juggling the books of Texas wheeler-dealer and Bush “Pioneer” Hubbard to remove the embarrassment of having a line item that read, “Private jet to fly hookers cross-country.”
This sort of pattern of activity is occasionally known as a continuing criminal enterprise.
What’s missing, at least so far, is any sense of whether Cunningham, Wilkes, Foggo, and Wade were conspiring to defraud the U.S. government of tens of millions of dollars just to satisfy their own selfish greed…
If not, then their efforts would have benefited a shadowy organization whose presence was being hidden from public view.
Rogue agents & a “few bad apples”
Are there examples of this sort of “Enterprise” in America’s recent history?
We think most would agree that the answer is “yes.” So why are “the boys from San Diego” being written off as “rogue agents” and “a few bad apples?”
One place to look for evidence of a larger “Enterprise” is with the people and companies where family members like Brent Wilke’s brother Greg were at least ostensibly employed. There we find people whose names have not surfaced in the Cunningham scandal.
People like R.D. Hubbard.
Who is R.D. Hubbard, and what does his background tell us about the San Diego cabal?
Remember the ’80’s? Greenmail? Drexel Burnham Lambert? Michael Milken…junk bonds… The Predators Ball?
R.D. Hubbard got really rich in takeovers and greenmail, usually with the backing of Drexel Burnham Lambert. He and his Midland Texas oil buddies were players in the LBO takeover game.
Bush “Pioneers” score big
In his greenmail quests Hubbard often partnered with prominent Midland Texas independent oil operators Cyril Wagner Jr. and Jack E. Brown of Wagner & Brown.
Gencorp filed suit against Hubbard and Wagner and Brown, charging they were financing their proposed takeovers with illegal junk bonds.
When Hubbard and his oilmen buddies took his own firm AFG private, he moved the profitable specialty glass-maker’s base of operations to his native Texas. Amid protest from share-holders, lawsuits accused the men of masterminding a scheme “to enrich themselves at the expense of the stockholders.”
Hubbard’s takeover forays netted him big bucks: $25 million for his share of the “investment” in GenCorp stock and a similar stake in aerospace contractor Lear Siegler.
So when he attempted a takeover of Hollywood Park Race Track, board members had reason to doubt the motives behind Hubbard’s commitment.
“Just look at his record. It speaks for itself,” said one. “He ran down the value of AFG Industries and then took it private.”
In an uncharacteristically snide aside, The Orange County Register described him as “R.D. Hubbard, the Orange County businessman who has a knack for making money on losing takeover bids.”
Where are “Wilkes’ Wenches?”
Public attention in the Cunningham Scandal remains riveted on its seamier side. So let’s talk about the hookers… There are a few questions we haven’t heard asked about “Wilkes’ Wenches.”
Like…where the hell are they? Why haven’t they talked? Why no National Enquirer headlines:
“Now I Know Why They Call Him the Duke-ster!”
The hookers in Hawaii, the “escorts” at the Watergate… Have the party girls all disappeared down the same rabbit hole which swallowed Mark Foley?
Their invisibility seems more than a little odd.
Baby Sheik a tail feather
In the case of “Hubbard’s Ho’s,” both they and their johns have remained anonymous. This includes, according to documents released later by the Indiana Gaming Commission, several “special individuals” among the group of hand-picked high rollers.
Who might these “special individuals” be at the R.D. Hubbard Invitational golf tournament?
Hubbard’s transgression only came to light after two female employees of the casino filed a sexual harassment lawsuit. Apparently Hubbard’s casino in Indiana had been transformed into Sodom and Gomorrah…
The prostitutes were openly groping and fondling the male guests during Tournament functions; they allowed the male guests to grope and fondle them. One removed her top during a party in Belterra’s Celebrity Room.
The suit said the two women employees were ordered to kiss and pat male gamblers. They claimed the casino’s security director urged them to use sex to entice more gambling from the golfers.
Their complaint said the security director told them “that he wanted them in the casino kissing men,” and that he “told them they were to do ‘whatever it takes’ to bring more players into the casino.’”
“Whatever it takes.”
“Interact more closely with customers”
The casino responded that the security director “may have said something to the effect that he wanted (the two women) to interact more closely with customers.”
One of the two women stated she’d been told to attend the Keeneland horse sale in Lexington. While there, “She should go to popular bars to pick up rich Arab men to bring them to the casino.”
An AP story on August 5, 2002 headlined “Indiana Gaming Commission flexes its muscles” revealed that commission documents stipulated that about 48 high rollers from around the country were brought in to play the resort’s new golf course and gamble at the riverboat casino on the Ohio River, and that eight or more “hookers” were flown to the Ohio River casino on a jet leased by Pinnacle.
“The guests and the women attended parties on two nights in the Celebrity Room, adjacent to a concert arena, that were so raucous that comedian Howie Mandel had to stop his concert.”
“I did not have sex with that woman”
Hookers may be one thing, but thwarting Howie Mandel?
What kind of fiends are these people?
Asked about the allegations of groping, fondling and breast-baring, Hubbard stated, “I never saw anything like that. I never saw anything that was inappropriate.”
State gaming officials found otherwise. Hubbard’s Pinnacle Entertainment was forced to pay three million dollars in fines.
It was the toughest sanction ever imposed by Indiana gaming regulators, reported the Sept 15 2002 Albuquerque Journal. It was a “far bigger penalty than any ever handed down in Nevada.”
Hubbard was forced to resign as chairman of the corporation and agree to sell his stock. Pinnacle agreed that none of its directors or officers would have any business relationship with Bush Pioneer and friend of Brent Wilkes R.D. Hubbard.
Bribes, Booze, Booty…Busted.
California Republican Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham traded military contracts for $2.4 million in antiques, cash, and, er… “booty.”
The title of two new books about the scandal both call him “History’s most corrupt Congressman.”
While its still not clear how a decorated Navy veteran in Vietnam became the most corrupt congressman in U.S. history, what is becoming is increasingly obvious is the story is bigger than just another crooked congressman taking bribes from just another crooked contractor.
Here’s what we know for sure:
America’s top lawmakers, including one running for President of the United States, awarded their cronies tens of millions of dollars worth of defense contracts that did nothing to make this nation safer.
With a trillion dollar war going badly, Duncan Hunter and Randy Cunningham made sure Brent Wilkes got tens of millions of dollars to Xerox old maps of Panama.
Going to Babylon by Cadillac
Journalists have invoked the distant past in an attempt to describe the epic levels of debauchery, degradation and moral turpitude “rarely equaled since the pagan orgies of ancient Rome.”
“What you’re looking at is a world where money, secrecy, sex, and indulgence were all in play. Where everyone is guilty of something.”
“What these revelations provide is a window into Babylon or the last stages of Rome,” explained a source in a recent article in Vanity Fair.
“A window into Babylon.”
And Duke Cunningham is not even an obvious choice for “Elected official most likely to be “Packing a Party in his Pants.”
Despite the fact that we have cameras that can read the make of a golf ball from outer space, and lasers that can light up the moon, as a society we seem to be headed the other way…
“Boats beating against the current, back into the past.’