MUTUAL BLACKMAIL UBER ALLES
“The Express reported: “British security services infiltrated and funded the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange in a covert operation to identify and possibly blackmail establishment figures, a Home Office whistleblower alleges. The former civil servant has told detectives investigating the activities of paedophiles in national politics that the Metropolitan Police’s Special Branch was orchestrating the child-sex lobbying group in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The whistleblower … says he was also warned off asking why such a notorious group was being handed government money. Whistleblower Mr X, whose identity we have agreed to protect, became a very senior figure in local government before retiring a few years ago.
Mr X recalled: “I raised my concerns, but he told me that I was to drop them. Hindley gave three reasons for this. He said PIE was an organisation with cachet and that its work in this field was respected… “He said PIE was being funded at the request of Special Branch which found it politically useful to identify people who were paedophiles… Hindley didn’t give me an explicit explanation of what Special Branch would do with information it gleaned from funding PIE, but I formed the belief that it was part of an undercover operation or activity. I was aware a lot of people in the civil service or political arena had an interest in obtaining information like that which could be used as a sort of blackmail.”
This has been going on in the UK for some time. Specifically, Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 made gross indecency a crime in the United Kingdom, which included male gay sex. The Amendment was so frequently used to blackmail gay Brits that it was dubbed the “Blackmailer’s Charter“. It’s not just the UK.
There is widespread speculation that Pope Benedict resigned because of sexual blackmail. And the American government has a long history (i.e. J. Edgar Hoover and many others) of blackmailing people – including high-level officials – with knowledge of their sexual peccadilloes.
Wikipedia notes: “The Lavender Scare refers to the fear and persecution of homosexuals in the 1950s in the United States, which paralleled the anti-communist campaign known as McCarthyism. Because the psychiatric community regarded homosexuality as a mental illness, gay men and lesbians were considered susceptible to blackmail …. Former U.S. Senator Alan K. Simpson has written: “The so-called ‘Red Scare’ has been the main focus of most historians of that period of time. A lesser-known element . . . and one that harmed far more people was the witch-hunt McCarthy and others conducted against homosexuals.”
FBI head Hoover was famous for blackmailing everyone … including politicians. The New York Times reports: “J. Edgar Hoover compiled secret dossiers on the sexual peccadillos and private misbehavior of those he labeled as enemies — really dangerous people like … President John F. Kennedy, for example.” Alfred McCoy – Professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison – provides details: “Upon taking office on Roosevelt’s death in early 1945, Harry Truman soon learned the extraordinary extent of FBI surveillance. “We want no Gestapo or Secret Police,” Truman wrote in his diary that May. “FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail.” After a quarter of a century of warrantless wiretaps, Hoover built up a veritable archive of sexual preferences among America’s powerful and used it to shape the direction of U.S. politics.
He distributed a dossier on Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson’s alleged homosexuality to assure his defeat in the 1952 presidential elections, circulated audio tapes of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philandering, and monitored President Kennedy’s affair with mafia mistress Judith Exner. And these are just a small sampling of Hoover’s uses of scandal to keep the Washington power elite under his influence.
“The moment [Hoover] would get something on a senator,” recalled William Sullivan, the FBI’s chief of domestic intelligence during the 1960s, “he’d send one of the errand boys up and advise the senator that ‘we’re in the course of an investigation, and we by chance happened to come up with this data on your daughter…’From that time on, the senator’s right in his pocket.” After his death, an official tally found Hoover had 883 such files on senators and 722 more on congressmen.
With a few hundred cable probes and computerized decryption, the NSA can now capture the kind of gritty details of private life that J. Edgar Hoover so treasured and provide the sort of comprehensive coverage of populations once epitomized by secret police like East Germany’s Stasi. And yet, such comparisons only go so far. After all, once FBI agents had tapped thousands of phones, stenographers had typed up countless transcripts, and clerks had stored this salacious paper harvest in floor-to-ceiling filing cabinets, J. Edgar Hoover still only knew about the inner-workings of the elite in one city: Washington, D.C.
To gain the same intimate detail for an entire country, the Stasi had to employ one police informer for every six East Germans — an unsustainable allocation of human resources. By contrast, the marriage of the NSA’s technology to the Internet’s data hubs now allows the agency’s 37,000 employees a similarly close coverage of the entire globe with just one operative for every 200,000 people on the planet.
In the Obama years, the first signs have appeared that NSA surveillance will use the information gathered to traffic in scandal, much as Hoover’s FBI once did. In September 2013, the New York Times reported that the NSA has, since 2010, applied sophisticated software to create “social network diagrams…, unlock as many secrets about individuals as possible…, and pick up sensitive information like regular calls to a psychiatrist’s office, late-night messages to an extramarital partner.”
By collecting knowledge — routine, intimate, or scandalous — about foreign leaders, imperial proconsuls from ancient Rome to modern America have gained both the intelligence and aura of authority necessary for dominion over alien societies. The importance, and challenge, of controlling these local elites cannot be overstated. During its pacification of the Philippines after 1898, for instance, the U.S. colonial regime subdued contentious Filipino leaders via pervasive policing that swept up both political intelligence and personal scandal.
And that, of course, was just what J. Edgar Hoover was doing in Washington during the 1950s and 1960s. According to James Bamford, author of two authoritative books on the agency, “The NSA’s operation is eerily similar to the FBI’s operations under J. Edgar Hoover in the 1960s where the bureau used wiretapping to discover vulnerabilities, such as sexual activity, to ‘neutralize’ their targets.”
The ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer has warned that a president might “ask the NSA to use the fruits of surveillance to discredit a political opponent, journalist, or human rights activist. The NSA has used its power that way in the past and it would be naïve to think it couldn’t use its power that way in the future.” Even President Obama’s recently convened executive review of the NSA admitted: “[I]n light of the lessons of our own history… at some point in the future, high-level government officials will decide that this massive database of extraordinarily sensitive private information is there for the plucking.”
Indeed, whistleblower Edward Snowden has accused the NSA of actually conducting such surveillance. In a December 2013 letter to the Brazilian people, he wrote, “They even keep track of who is having an affair or looking at pornography, in case they need to damage their target’s reputation.” If Snowden is right, then one key goal of NSA surveillance of world leaders is not U.S. national security but political blackmail — as it has been since 1898.
And the NSA tracks people’s porn-viewing habits in order to discredit activists. The NSA also keeps nude and suggestive photos of people in order to blackmail them. The Associated Press notes: “The stockpiling of sexually explicit images of ordinary people had uncomfortable echoes of George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” where the authorities — operating under the aegis of “Big Brother” — fit homes with cameras to monitor the intimate details of people’s home lives.
The collection of nude photographs also raise questions about potential for blackmail. America’s National Security Agency has already acknowledged that half a dozen analysts have been caught trawling databases for inappropriate material on partners or love interests. Other leaked documents have revealed how U.S. and British intelligence discussed leaking embarrassing material online to blacken the reputations of their targets.
Bill Binney – the high-level NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information, a 32-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency, the senior technical director within the agency and managed thousands of NSA employees, an expert on spying by the Soviets, interviewed by virtually all of the mainstream media, including CBS, ABC, CNN, New York Times, USA Today, Fox News, PBS and many others – told Washington’s Blog: “This is just one of the ways to make controlling people possible. Standard KGB/Stasi tactics.”
FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds alleged under oath that a recently-serving Democratic Congresswoman was secretly videotaped – for blackmail purposes – during a lesbian affair. There have been allegations of blackmail of gay activities within the U.S. armed forces for years.
And Yahoo News reported in 2010: “A 2006 Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation into the purchase of child pornography online turned up more than 250 civilian and military employees of the Defense Department — including some with the highest available security clearance — who used credit cards or PayPal to purchase images of children in sexual situations. But the Pentagon investigated only a handful of the cases, Defense Department records show.
But the DCIS opened investigations into only 20 percent of the individuals identified, and succeeded in prosecuting just a handful. Without greater public disclosure of how these cases wound down, it’s impossible to know how or whether any of the names listed in the … papers came in for additional scrutiny. According to the records, DCIS prioritized the investigations by focusing on people who had security clearances — since those who have a taste for child pornography can be vulnerable to blackmail and espionage. At least some of the people on the … list with security clearances were never pursued and could possibly remain on the job…”
PENTAGON PILLOW TALK
“Some claim White House Counsel John Dean ordered the second break-in because he believed that the Democrats had records on a call girl ring that was operating out of the Columbia Plaza Apartments, and wanted to obtain certain documents that could damage the reputation of a friend connected to the ring [like his girlfriend Mo].
Phillip Bailley, a young lawyer accused of having a role in the operation of the service, claimed the Democratic party was arranging sexual liasons for politicians. Bailley represented many prostitutes and seemed to have a business relationship with Heidi Rikan, aka “Erika” or “Cathy” Dieter, who ran the call girl ring at Columbia Plaza. She had previously been a stripper at the Blue Mirror. The service eventually had many Democrat clients and serviced one astronaut, South Korean and US intelligence people, and a Saudi prince, who came from the nearby Saudi Arabian embassy.
Alfred C. Baldwin, who was to work for James McCord during the Watergate break-in, seems to have been tape recording the call girl ring’s telephones. He was using equipment purchased by one Louis James Russell, who initially used McCord funds to buy equipment to spy on columnist Jack Anderson. He had once worked as a stringer for Anderson.
Russell hung out at Columbia Plaza, acting as a customer, bouncer, and friend to the girls, who often crashed at his apartment and shared sad stories with him. Russell had been bounced out of the F.B.I. due to drinking problems and spent years as an investigator for the House Un-American Activities Committee. For a time, he was a watchman for the Committee to Re-Elect the President.
After the scandal broke, he went on the payroll of Security Associates, a detective agency owned by McCord. In that capacity, he did some work in George McGovern’s headquarters. Russell also worked for another firm that was doing some work for George H.W. Bush. He was a good friend of man who would later become head of Senator Sam Erwin’s investigative staff, Carmione Bellino.
Cathy/Heidi’s roommate was Mo Biner, known by the codename “Clout.” We do not know what role “Clout” played, but her name and code name turned up in Bailley’s address book along with the names of Heidi’s employees. Mo Biner was dating John Dean at the time. In 1972, Bailley visited the DNC headquarters and succeeded in soliciting some business for the prostitution ring. The arrangement was attractive to the DNC because the Watergate was not far from Columbia Plaza.
Bailley, an active Democrat, thought communications between the DNC and the prostitution operation were made on DNC official Spencer Oliver’s telephone line. Oliver travelled frequently,so his office could be used for private telephone conversations. Bailley later claimed that Maxine Wells showed photographs of female sex workers to people who were interested in entertainment. In a 1996 deposition, Robert Strauss said he had been told that some state party chairmen used Oliver’s phone to make dates.
After the DNC started using the Columbia Plaza bordello, the former F.B.I. agent told lawyer Bernard Fensterwald and two of his employees that he was recording conversations between Democrats and the girls; he added that the ladies did not mind. Russell sometimes worked for Fensterwald, who also served as his attorney. Republicans, including White House people, also frequented the brothel. Sometime near when Bailley was making visits to the DNC, John W. Dean became interested in the layout of those offices and sent Tony Ulasewicz to visit the offices and diagram the layout. Dean wanted to get information on Democratic sexual activities, and must have suspected the Democrats were using services other than those provided by Heidi.
On April 6, 1972, Bailley was arrested for a a Mann Act violation, but it had no connection to Heidi’s ring. The case was given to prosecutor John Rudy, who was soon visited by Louis James Russell, who tried to steer Rudy away from the Columbia Plaza operation and toward another brothel frequented by judges and local politicians. The problem involved in the Bailley case was that the F.B.I. obtained his two address books. At the apartment they obtained films, photographs, a whip, and other sexual apparatus.
The Washington Star eventually ran a story stating that Bailley was involved in a sex ring that could involve a White House lawyer and that that ring’s activities were not mentioned in Bailley’s indictment. Dean acted quickly and summoned Rudy and his superior to his office on Friday, June 9, 1972. Dean demanded to keep the notebooks over the weekend, but the prosecutors only permitted him to photocopy them. On Monday, Jeb Magruder told G. Gordon Liddy to break in to the DNC for the second time to repair the O’Brien bug. Recently, Magruder, now a clergyman, admitted that Dean – not Mitchell— had ordered the break-in.
Bailley’s case went to Judge Charles R. Richey, a Nixon appointee, who sent Bailley to St. Eliozabeth’s Psychiatric Hospital, where he spent 15 days and only received 45 minutes with an analyst. He was committed on the basis of sexual photographs the prosecution showed Richey. In Bailley’s second hearing, the Judge then instructed both sides to dispose of the case. Bailley, now completely demoralized, accepted a plea bargain that resulted in getting him 5 years in federal prison. He was now thoroughly disgraced. For some reason, the paperwork on his two hearings was sealed and subsequently lost. By settling the case without a hearing, the judge made it impossible to bring up the material on the sex ring. But all of this took some time, and it was not certain how much evidence needed to be buried.
The second break-in occurred on the night of June 16-17, two days after Dean talked to the prosecutors. It was ostensibly being done to change the bugs placed on Larry O’Brien’s telephones. However, just before that, AT&T had swept the offices and found no bugs. James McCord, on the pretext of delivering a typewriter, stuffed and taped open the lock on a door accessing the building. The team knew that the tape had been found and removed, but Gordon Liddy thought it was still safe to go ahead with the operation. He reasoned that a maintenance man might have removed the stuffing and simply gone home. After all, there were no police on the scene. This time Gonzales probably taped the door again and the operation went ahead at 1:30 AM. It was McCord’s job to remove the tape once they were in, but he did not do so.
Subsequently, James McCord and five Cubans were arrested in the DNC headquarters. Also arrested were Liddy and Hunt, who were monitoring the break-in at a distance. The F.B.I. arrested Alfred E. Baldwin at his listening post. Baldwin was supposed to be listening to DNC phone calls for about twenty days. He recorded nothing, but supposedly took some notes. Some now think there were no bugs in the DNC. If that was the case, it is likely he was only listening to phone calls and bugs in the bordello down the street.”
BEST LAID HONEYTRAPS
“…So when does sex become a security problem? The CIA conducts background checks and administers periodic polygraph tests to try to ferret out anything that might make undercover officers vulnerable to blackmail. Until the mid-1990s, homosexuality was considered an immediate cause for dismissal. And “close and continuing contact with a foreign national,” a euphemism for a sexual relationship, was deemed to be another major vulnerability. Any such relationship had to be reported and failure to do so could also lead to dismissal.
In fact, during the Cold War, the KGB (and allied services, including the East German Stasi under Markus Wolf, and Cuban intelligence) frequently sought to entrap CIA officers. The KGB believed that Americans were sex-obsessed materialists, and that U.S. spies could easily be lured with the prospect of an easy lay.
CIA officers in Russia were strongly warned about “swallows,” the term for the beautiful women the KGB deployed to try to seduce Americans, which was a constant danger at Moscow station. (One former CIA official told me that he and his friends joked that they longed to be given the job of “sexual entrapment training officer.”)
The Russians did have some modest success with this strategy. Back in 1940, the FBI discovered that “single U.S. employees in Moscow frequented a prostitution ring linked to Soviet intelligence and that classified documents were handled improperly and may have been obtained by Soviet workers.” It’s also been reported that the CIA’s first Moscow station chief fell for a swallow — his maid — and returned home in disgrace.
The Russians and their allies also targeted American military personnel stationed abroad. The best-known case was Clayton Lonetree, a hard-drinking Marine stationed in Moscow who was seduced by a swallow named Violetta Seina, a translator at the U.S. Embassy. Seina hooked up Lonetree with “Uncle Sasha,” his KGB handler, whom he provided with valuable information. Lonetree continued to spy for the Russians after he was transferred to the American embassy in Vienna, but ultimately turned himself in. The only American Marine ever convicted of espionage, Lonetree was released after serving nine years of a 30-year sentence.
Sex wasn’t just used by the Russians as a recruitment tool, but also as a means of compromising CIA officers. One source told me: “Let’s say a guy has a girlfriend and he decides not to report it. The Russians take pictures of him but don’t approach him right away. Five years later, though, when he’s stationed in another country, a KGB officer shows him old pictures of him and the girlfriend, and newer pictures of the girl with a young kid. The guy doesn’t know for sure if it’s his kid or if the girl was working for the KGB, but he’s dead, especially because he never revealed the relationship at the time. So he turns down the recruiting pitch but has to go back to the office and write the whole thing up, including what he didn’t report five years earlier. He’s probably of no further use in that country and he may not be of use anywhere else.”
I asked the former officials if the CIA used sex as a lure to entrap foreign intelligence officials. “Not often,” one told me. “Coercive recruitment generally didn’t work. We found that offers of money and freedom worked better.” However, several of the sources said that if the CIA found that a KGB official had a girlfriend, they’d try to recruit her as an access agent who could then be used to turn the Russian. “There was a woman who was promiscuously involved with the Soviet community in Beirut and we put her on the payroll,” one former Middle East hand told me. “I’m not aware that it ever led to anything, but we paid her for quite a while.”…
One former CIA officer said that while sexual entrapment wasn’t generally a good tool to recruit a foreign official, it was sometimes employed successfully to solve short-term problems. For example, this officer was once stationed in a Middle Eastern country and wanted to shut down a known spy from a neighboring state who was also posted there. To make a long story short, the CIA obtained video footage of the man in intimate embrace with his local girlfriend. When the man turned down a recruiting pitch, the agency mailed the images to his wife. What happened next was never precisely clear, but the man was soon recalled to his home country. This source also said the CIA routinely kept prostitutes on the payroll in Third World countries. “It might cost you $500 a month, which was nothing, and you’d get a wealth of information about who’s who and who’s doing what to who,” he said. “You were always looking for people like that who could give you visibility into the dark side of the city.”
Back to Dusty Foggo. In addition to stories in Hettena’s new book, I’ve previously reported that Foggo had behaved very badly while based in Honduras in the early-1980s, when the CIA was using the country as a base for covert programs in Central America. He was said to be a regular at a Tegucigalpa bar named Gloria’s and at a casino at the Maya Hotel, both places known at the time as hooker hotbeds. Whether Foggo had official dealings with prostitutes in Honduras or not, this was clearly a big problem. “Dusty would have been the perfect target of a counter-intelligence operation,” said one official who worked in Honduras at the time. “He had access and knowledge, and was reckless and visible. You’re only vulnerable if you make yourself vulnerable, and that’s what Dusty did.”
This person, and several others, have told me that Foggo continued to display poor judgment throughout his career and had been reprimanded over his personal conduct–and that all of this was well known to Goss before he installed Foggo as executive director. “When we heard Dusty had been picked, we figured we were doomed,” he said. “And we were right.” All of which leads to one of the great, unanswered questions surrounding Foggo: why would Goss possibly have picked him for such a senior position at the agency? I asked the CIA press office if Foggo’s personal conduct had ever raised red flags at the agency. Spokesman Mark Mansfield replied by email, saying, “Given that legal proceedings are underway, it would not be appropriate to comment, other than to point out that Mr. Foggo left the CIA last year and the position he held, Executive Director, doesn’t exist any more.”
MIGHT BE HAUNTED
SECRET AGENT CROWLEY