Friday, February 11, 2005

Tin foil hat or déjà vu all over again?

Wolcott points us to Rigorous Intuition has an interesting take on this whole Guckert affair. (Didn't Popeye make the sound "Guck guck guck guck guck" when he laughed?)

From the latter:

[Craig] Spence was a conservative lobbyist during the Reagan-Bush years. The New York Times called him "Washington's ultimate power broker." He was also running a gay prostitution ring which employed adolescent boys. As perks of the job, he treated his boys to after-hour tours of the White House. In The Washington Times of August 9, 1989, Spence "hinted the tours were arranged by top level" persons, including Vice President Bush's National Security Advisor Donald Gregg, whose name also figures prominently in the October Surprise story. The paper added that "Spence, according to friends, was also carrying out homosexual blackmail operations for the CIA."

David McGowan writes that one of the White House tours "occurred just after Spence stopped by the Nightline studio to see his friend, Ted Koppel. Spence reportedly introduced Koppel to a 15-year-old boy, whom Koppel later claimed Spence had introduced as his son. Koppel though had been a close friend for over 20 years and surely knew that Spence did not have a teenage son."

Any wonder why this scandal - a sex scandal, even - died one of the quickest and quietest of deaths? Only briefly, and not everywhere, was it was front page news...when it broke, on June 29, 1989...

From a follow-up story of June 30, 1989:

Among the clients identified in hundreds of credit-card vouchers obtained by The Washington Times - and identified by male prostitutes and escort operators - are government officials, locally based US military officers, businessmen, lawyers, bankers, congressional aides, media representatives and other professionals.

Mr. Spence's influence appeared unlimited, aptly demonstrated by his ability to arrange midnight tours of the White House, according to three persons who said they took part in those tours.
After arriving in Washington in the late 1970s, Mr. Spence was hosting parties during the early Reagan years attended by, among others, journalists Eric Sevareid, Ted Koppel and William Safire; former CIA Director William Casey; the late John Mitchell, attorney general in the Nixon administration; conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly; Ambassador James Lilley; and Gen. Alfred M. Gray, the commandant of the Marine Corps.
According to many current and former friends, Mr. Spence was a dangerous friend to cultivate. Several former associates said his house on Wyoming Avenue was bugged and had a secret two-way mirror, and that he attempted to ensnare visitors into compromising sexual encounters that he could then use as leverage.

We're talking very strange stuff here- twisted stuff out of the hyperbolic paranoia of Hunter S. Thompson writing about the Pulitzers, but this was the 1980s, and all kinds of other weird stuff happened, and happened with bad style as well, so why not this?

And since it all went down so, well, it went down like that before, why not try again?

There's something smoking here folks, and it's bigger than some remark by Jordan....

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