I suspect that disgraced former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham has many
secrets, but today's TPM Muckraker
points to one in particular. According to reporter Justin Rood, a precis of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence's as-yet unreleased report on Cunningham emphasizes this point:
[W]e are aware of dealings that Cunningham had with certain foreign nationals, which we expect will be given careful scrutiny by appropriate law enforcement and national security agencies" for possible breaches of national security.
Now that's intriguing. When a congressional inquiry fears to name "foreign nationals," suspicious folk naturally glance in the direction of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other points East.
I may have found a further clue or two as to what Cunningham might have been up to. The Israeli possibility holds the greatest interest...
(To read the rest, click "Permalink" below)As we noted in an earlier post, the most astonishing item in the MZM resume is the contract to provide "office furniture" for the West Wing. One does not normally ask an intelligence/defense firm to go shopping at the local Ikea.
In that post, I proposed that MZM placed electronic bugs into that furniture. Nearly a year later, no one has offered either a better explanation or punched a hole into my theory.
I further surmised that MZM did so at the behest of Israel, which tops the list of countries desperate to eavesdrop on West Wing chatter. Moreover, Israel has a history of this sort of thing:
But you may recall that another Abramoff partner -- congressman Bob Ney, chairman of the House Administration Committee -- arranged for an Israeli communications firm called Foxcom to install communications equipment (which, in this case, basically means wireless connections) in the Capitol building. Ney seems to have done so at the bidding of Abramoff, who received the usual substantial lobbying fee.We have another piece of evidence, perhaps unrelated to the above, regarding the Duke's secret activities.
On September 15, Duke Cunningham sent a handwritten letter from prison to a reporter for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Josh Marhall published jpgs of the actual pages, although the text has not been transcribed until now.
You may want to skim much of this letter. I have no problem with Cunningham's retreats into self-pity, since prison is the place for such thoughts -- besides, I still feel compassion for one of our nation's bravest pilots. Even so, we should note that his crimes amounted to rather more than the receipt of a few "gifts."
(Alas, the prostitution allegations go undiscussed.)
For our purposes, the important section -- emphasized in bold face -- comes toward the end of the letter. I have corrected a few spelling errors and have added paragraph breaks to increase readability.
Thank you for the letter. I will be frank. The U.T. has done everything it could to bury Nancy and myself. Whatever Mr. Wade has told the government you have printed as true. It is not in many cases. Each time you print it hurts my family. And now I have lost them along with everything I have worked for during my 64 years of life."Humint" refers to human intelligence. For what little it may be worth, I was once told that AFOSI (Air Force intelligence) has a department specializing in ultra-clever disinformation.
I am human not an animal to keep whipping. I made some decisions I’ll be sorry for the rest of my life. I hurt more than anyone could imagine and without my faith your constant cruelty would destroy me.
You are wrong about one thing in your letter. Wade not Wilkes has destroyed a lot of people. I cannot discuss the case – your attempts to question lets me know you don’t give a hoot for me or my family. 90% of what has happened is Wade. He showers you with gifts, he pretended to be my best friend for 16 years. Taking me to his wife’s parents’ home many times, taking Nancy and I to Sunday brunches with his wife, hunting together at his father-in-law’s Easter Share [Eastern Shore?] place. Me taking [undeciphered] to a place where I hunt. When I was in town we were together. Not exactly the high pressure he & his lawyer describe.
I should have said no to his gifts; I did not. Ask yourself why I kicked him off his own boat twice, told him I was not going to stay on his boat and put it up for sale.
Marcos, you and Copley only want to write about how I died, not about how I lived. That’s what your self-serving book will be about. No matter what I would or friends tell you – your and Copley’s agenda will be the slant. Save your $. I will not meet or speak at any forum which you or Copley are present.
The Lord’s prayer forgive me my debts as I would forgive: my first sin each night is the failure to forgive the U.T. not just coverage but the brutal two and three pages each week that has nearly destroyed me and my family. You write your book and [remember?] what [Forge?] got from Wade They you printed as truth will come out and you will find out how liablist you have & will be. [Probably means “how libelous you have been and will be.”]
Not once did you list the positives. Education man of the year, [Impact Aide?] man of the year, Library man of the year. Increasing Title One Educational funds for all of CA. Key to doubling medical research, university funding, hospital funding, jobs, hiway funding, border security – ‘Megan’s Law’ my bill, [undecipherable] my bill, HR-218 law enforcement bill protecting our military, Intelligence reform and anytime you wanted an expert on the wars who did you call.
No Markus, you write about how I died. I’ll work with someone in the future on how I lived and how I rationalized that the secret programs saved lives. Didn’t matter whether or not I received gifts because I would have fought for it even if Nancy Pelosi had started the program.
There is a secret paper in my file that the U.S. Air Force presented to me (both former Chiefs of USAF) to increase the MZM programs and the justification for doing so. It was funded at less than wanted & it will today save lives in the best Aviation Humint program in existence now ever deployed with our training forces.
Wade is the absolute Devil and his lawyer is trying to save his donkey. I should have said no to the gifts. For that I am truly sorry.
Do not expect me to show up so you can kill me and my family & boost yourself and the tabloid U.T.
I will not meet with you @ Butner.
Where does all this leave us?
First, we cannot be sure that the secret program mentioned in this letter has any direct relationship to Cunningham's dealings with "foreign nationals," or with MZM's bizarre foray into the world of office furnishings. But the human mind naturally works in a connect-the-dots fashion. Was someone in the USAF spying on the White House? Is someone in the USAF sharing information with either Israel or some other Middle Eastern nation?
Or should we place the "Air Force" secret and the "foreign nationals" secret in two separate categories?