The Child Prostitution Sex Ring Involving the Bush Whitehouse
Sat, 24 Aug 2019 16:05
HOMOSEXUAL CHILD PROSTITUTION RING INVOLVING GEORGE BUSH SR.ARCHIVE OF PUBLISHED ARTICLES OF YET ANOTHER OF MASSIVELY SUPPRESSED STORY INVOLVING THE FAMILY WHO IS ABOVE ALL LAWS - THE BUSHES
In the high stakes world of global politics, it is common practice to procure sexual favors in the hopes to gain leverage or to gain power through blackmail. It's done all the time. The Soviets did it. The Americans do it, and many other countries as well. This following is the bizarre and very real child sexual prostitution ring involving the Republican elite of Washington. And the trail leads right up to George H. W. Bush. Read the chilling story.
KARLYN BARKER, WASHINGTON POST,JULY 24, 1990: The alleged leader of what authorities have called the largestmale prostitution operation in the Washington area surrendered to federal agentsyesterday and pleaded not guilty to racketeering charges that have been filedagainst him and three alleged accomplices. Henry W. Vinson, 29, of Williamson,W.Va., a coal miner's son accused of setting up the homosexual escort service,was arraigned in U.S. District Court here yesterday afternoon after turninghimself in to Secret Service agents . . . At a news conference after thearraignment, [U.S. Attorney Jay] Stephens said the investigation into thealleged prostitution ring "is concluded" and that the indictment,which was unsealed yesterday, focused on those who allegedly set up the ringrather than on clients who reportedly patronized it. Asked about earlier reportsthat some of those clients included high-level officials in the Reagan and Bushadministrations, Stephens said the investigation had not revealed"additional conduct which suggests criminal conduct on behalf of otherpeople." . . . The Vinson case provoked additional notice after TheWashington Times published reports last summer suggesting that the allegedprostitution ring had been patronized by government officials. The Times namedas clients several low-level government employees and Craig J. Spence, aWashington lobbyist and party-giver who, the paper said, took friends andprostitutes on late-night tours of the White House. Spence was found dead in aBoston hotel room last fall, and authorities ruled his death a suicide . . . Todate, however, investigators have disclosed no evidence linking any high-levelgovernment official to the escort service.
THE ARTICLES BELOW CHRONICLE THE VERY REAL BEHAVIOR OF THE POWER ELITE IN AMERICA
"MINGO MESS BAFFLING TANGLE" The Charleston Gazette, Editorial; Pg. P4A, July 03, 1997.In which we hear of the appointment of a coroner who had been convicted of bribery and who supposedly had been married to a Henry Vinson, a mortician who had operated a "call boy" service utilized by White House officials
This is the hook into a long story.
We now turn to some news stories that appeared in the Washington Times more than a decade ago, but apart from a few having to do with Barney Frank, these stories have never generated much attention. We then recover as full a story as can be constructed from accounts in the press, in chronological order.
"'CALL-BOY' SERVICE PROSPERS USING HIGH FINANCE, HIGH TECH," Paul M. Rodriguez and George Archibald , The Washington Times, June 20, 1989In which we see Henry Vinson's name first surface, along with Robert Chambers, a funeral director, who operated a call boy network that laundered money through umbrella organizations in the District of Columbia area, Florida, Kentucky and West Virginia.
"POWER BROKER SERVED DRUGS, SEX AT PARTIES BUGGED FOR BLACKMAIL," Michael Hedges and Jerry Seper, The Washington Times, June 30, 1989In which we learn of Craig J. Spence, who arranged midnight tours of the White House, threw lavish parties for the famous and powerful where cocaine was generously served, spent $20,000 a month on male prostitutes from a D.C. prostitution ring, and bragged of connections to the CIA, whom he worried might kill him and then make it look like a suicide.
"RNC CALLS SCANDAL A 'TRAGIC SITUATION,'" George Archibald and Paul M. Rodriguez, The Washington Times, Friday, June 30, 1989In which we learn of the resignation of an aide to Secretary of Labor Elizabeth Dole, and of the reaction of Rep. Barney Frank, who is "not surprised" by the revelations.
"White House mute on 'call boy' probe," Frank J. Murray, The Washington Times, July 7, 1989In which we learn that President Bush followed the story, and that a Uniformed Division officer of the Special Service, Reginald deGueldre, arranged the midnight White House tours for Craig Spence and two male prostitutes, and was moonlighting as Spence's bodyguard.
"Spence was target before raid on ring," Jerry Seper, and Michael Hedges The Washington Times, July 10, 1989In which we learn that Craig Spence brought a 15-year old boy on at least one of his midnight tours of the White House, that Spence asked detailed questions about the Delta Force operations, that he partied with former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing, and that he bragged of having blackmailed a high-ranking Japanese politician, Motoo Shiina.
"Spence ma[y] be Shiina's downfall," Edward Neilan, The Washington Times, July 18, 1989In which we hear of the connections between Motoo Shiina, groomed to be a future prime minister of Japan, and Craig Spence: how Spence had made more than $700,000 from Shiina's Policy Study Group, and how Spence had refused to pay back a loan made by Shiina for the purchase of Spence's house.
"First lady not worried about hookers' tour of White House," Paul Bedard, The Washington Times, July 10, 1989In which we learn that First Lady Barbara Bush was not concerned about the security questions raised by midnight White House tours, but did think it good that the Washington Post had not followed the Times' story.
"Secret Service furloughs third White House guard ," Jerry Seper, and Michael Hedges, The Washington Times , July 26, 1989In which we hear that, contrary to earlier White House claims, 1 a.m. tours were "totally out of the ordinary." We also learn that Spence introduced a 15-year old boy to Ted Koppel in the Nightline studio right before one of the tours.
"SEX PARTY HELD AT AUSSIE EMBASSY 'WE'RE NOT TALKING CROCODILE DUNDEE HERE,'" Michael Hedges and Jerry Seper, Washington Times, July 28, 1989In which a woman who worked for one of the prostitution rings linked to Spence claimed she worked a party held at the Australian embassy. She also claimed that one of her military clients told her Spence was blackmailing him.
"SPENCE ELUSIVE, SAID TO BE EVERYWHERE BUT ISN'T," Jerry Seper and Michael Hedges, Washington Times, Thursday, August 3, 1989In which we learn that Spence has disappeared, but has told his friends not to take any account of his death at face value. We also discover that Ted Koppel is a longtime friend, and that the Special Service is not as interested in credit card fraud as they are in Spence's military and political connections.
"SPENCE ARRESTED IN N.Y., RELEASED BIZARRE INTERVIEW IS NO NIGHT ON THE TOWN," Jerry Seper and Michael Hedges, Washington Times; August 9, 1989In which Craig Spence is interviewed and speaks of his own death and of the connections he had to powerful people who will pretend never to have known him.
Spence arrested in N.Y., released; Once-host to powerful reduced to begging, sleeping in park, Michael Hedges, and Jerry Seper, The Washington Times, August 9, 1989.More from Craig Spence's interview. Highlights include his hint that Donald Gregg arranged the late-night White House tours. Spence also speaks of more significant secrets that he plans to take to the grave.
"Sex sold from congressman's apartment: Frank's lover was 'call boy,'" Paul M. Rodriguez and George Archibald, The Washington Times , August 25, 1989.The only story that received much attention. A male prostitute, identified by the alias Greg Davis, entertained clients in the apartment of Rep. Barney Frank. Frank admitted having a relationship with the prostitute, but denied knowledge of the use of his apartment for illicit purposes.
"Sex sold from congressman's apartment: School used as base for sex ring," George Archibald and Paul M. Rodriguez, The Washington Times, August 25, 1989.In which we learn that Barney Frank's call boy also did business in a local public school.
"THE GOBIE STORY: Frank's 'call boy' tells all," George Archibald, and Paul M. Rodriguez, The Washington Times, September 1, 1989.In which Stephen L. Gobie, whose professional name in the underground prostitute trade is "Greg Davis," insists that Rep. Barney Frank knew of the use of his apartment as a base for prostitution. Gobie also reveals that one of his clients was Craig Spence.
"IN DEATH, SPENCE STAYED TRUE TO FORM," Michael Hedges, and Jerry Seper, The Washington Times, Monday, November 13, 1989.Craig Spence is found dead in a Boston hotel room. Near his body is a newspaper clipping that details legislative efforts to protect CIA agents called to testify before government bodies. Friends of Spence reported that he had claimed the CIA used the call boy service to compromise other federal intelligence officials and foreign diplomats. One friend quoted Spence as saying, "Casey's boys are out to get me,"
"SPENCE AS MUCH AN ENIGMA IN DEATH AS HE WAS IN LIFE," Jerry Seper, and Michael Hedges, The Washington Times, November 13, 1989.In which we learn how slow had been the federal investigation into the allegations swirling around Craig Spence. Spence himself had been handed a subpoena more than two months before his death, but was never called to testify. Officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, identified in The Times as having used the call-boy service, had not even been contacted by law enforcement officials. One witness reported: "They asked me what I thought Spence wanted to know about the Delta project."
"Prostitutes corroborate Frank stories," Paul M. Rodriguez, The Washington Times, February 2, 1990.In which other prostitutes corroborate Gobies' claims that Rep. Barney Frank knew of his use of the congressman's apartment for use as a bordello. Gobie also claims that Craig Spence was one of his clients and had tried to recruit him to help "in a sordid scheme to blackmail the powerful politicians invited to his lavish parties." Gobie claimed that Mr. Spence said to him, "Do you know what kind of power you can have over people if you've got something on them? . . . I need boys and girls for people in government and high-level businessmen for my parties, for individuals, for whatever comes up."
MINGO HIRES CONTROVERSIAL DOCTOR, Maryclaire Dale, The Charleston Gazette; News, July 01, 1997.Returning full circle to the Mingo case, we find the newly appointed medical examiner of Mingo County arguing that the fact that she is a physician argues in favor of her having the position over the previous nominee, a funeral home owner. Shafer argues: "A physician has nothing to gain from a suicide. A mortician does. He would probably process the body for burial," she said. "I don't think it's [the funeral industry] a charity business." Ironically, Shafer's "husband" is Henry Vinson, a former mortician and coroner who is linked, as we saw above, to the child sex ring scandals. We also learn that his lawyer is the legal commentator Greta van Susteren.
MINGO MESS BAFFLING TANGLE The Charleston Gazette Editorial; Pg. P4A July 03, 1997, ThursdayP ERHAPS world chess champion Garry Kasparov (or his nemesis, the Deep Blue computer) would have the mental capacity to keep track of the amazing complexities involving Mingo County public officials. Vinson vowed that he'd never be convicted, because he said his "call boy" service had been utilized by officials of the Moore administration in Charleston and by officials of the Reagan-Bush White House in Washington. Consider:State Sen. Truman Chafin, D-Mingo, was indicted on federal wiretap charges in his messy divorce, but was found innocent.
Former Mingo Sheriff Gerald Chafin - no relation to Truman, and part of a rival Democratic faction - likewise was indicted on federal wiretap charges, supposedly stemming from an attempt to blackmail a "whistleblower" deputy, but likewise was found innocent.
Ex-Sheriff Chafin, a mortuary owner, was appointed coroner by Mingo County's commissioners - but state rules require that coroners be physicians, so he couldn't take the post.
Next the commissioners gave the job to Dr. Diane Shafer of Mingo County, who previously was convicted of bribery in nearby Kentucky. (She had been under investigation in Kentucky for suspected overbilling, but she married the overbilling investigator and gave him $ 42,500. They both were convicted of bribery, and he of bigamy, but the convictions were set aside. West Virginia's Board of Medicine has set August hearings on whether to revoke her license.)
Meanwhile, Dr. Shafer may - or may not - have married a former Mingo coroner, Henry Vinson, who was convicted of running a male prostitution ring in Washington, D.C.
Vinson, also a mortician , had been ousted as Mingo coroner after he was convicted of making harassing phone calls to a rival funeral home director. Then he was accused in a paternity suit. Next he moved to Washington, where he was charged with operating "Dream Boy," a male escort service.
While the Washington investigation was in progress, Vinson "died" and his obituary was printed by newspapers around West Virginia - but his sister in Mingo County said the obit had been phoned to papers as a hoax.
In 1990, Vinson vowed that he'd never be convicted, because he said his "call boy" service had been utilized by officials of the Moore administration in Charleston and by officials of the Reagan-Bush White House in Washington. But the next year, he pleaded guilty and got a five-year prison term.
Now Vinson's sister says she thinks he's married to Dr. Shafer. Reporter Maryclaire Dale (who is white) called Dr. Shafer's office Monday and talked to a man who called himself "Henry Shafer." When she asked if his name is Henry Vinson, he screamed: "Would you like to come and have sex with me, you [racial obscenity]?" Is this another count of phone harassment?
Well, that's just this week's developments in murky Mingo, where public officials have always been bizarre.
Matewan Police Chief Sid Hatfield led strikers in a historic shootout with Baldwin-Felts detectives; Sheriff Johnie Owens "sold" his elected office to another politician for $ 100,000; Kermit Fire Chief "Wig" Preece and his relatives sold drugs from the firehouse - that's public life in the Deep South coal county.
Mingo residents must wonder if they're living in a zoo.
Not for commercial use. Solely to be used for theeducational purposes of research and open discussion.
POWER BROKER SERVED DRUGS, SEX AT PARTIES BUGGED FOR BLACKMAIL Michael Hedges and Jerry Seper The Washington Times; Final Section: A Page: A1 Friday, June 30, 1989C raig J. Spence, an enigmatic figure who threw glittery parties for key officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, media stars and top military officers, bugged the gatherings to compromise guests, provided cocaine, blackmailed some associates and spent up to $20,000 a month on male prostitutes, according to friends, acquaintances and records. How a man whom even his closest friends describe as a flawed, malevolent personality managed to court Washington's biggest names is a quintessential Washington story. The 48-year-old D.C. power broker has been linked to a homosexual prostitution ring currently under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office. Its clients included several top government and business officials from Washington and abroad. 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 U.S. 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.
"It was a show-the-flag time for Craig Spence," said one person who went on a July 3, 1988, tour that included two male prostitutes. "He just wanted everyone to know just how damned powerful he was," said the person. "And when we were strolling through the White House at 1 o'clock in the morning, we were believers."
One man who was on the tour but asked not to be named for fear it would damage his business said it was cleared by a uniformed Secret Service guard whom the man had seen attending Mr. Spence's parties as a bodyguard.
"For once in his life, Craig was doing something nice. We just thought, neat, we get a free midnight tour of the White House," the man said. Another person on the tour said the group walked through all the public areas of the White House and "even took pictures of ourselves in the barber's chair."
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.
Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor-in-chief of The Times, went to dinner once at Mr. Spence's home to honor Mr. Lilley.
Efforts to reach Mr. Spence in the past week were unsuccessful. He contacted The Washington Times yesterday in response to a telefaxed message but hung up when queried about his activities.
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.
One man described having a limousine sent to his home by Mr. Spence and being brought to a gathering at which several young men tried to become friendly with him. "I didn't bite; it's not my inclination," the man said. "But he used his homosexual network for all it was worth."
The man, a business associate of Mr. Spence who was on the White House tour, said: "He was blackmailing people. He was taping people and blackmailing them."
One former friend said he saw an 8-foot-long, two-way mirror overlooking the library of Mr. Spence's home which, he said, he was later told was used for "spying on guests."
Georgetown University law professor Richard Gordon said he was a close friend of Mr. Spence's until his "behavior began deteriorating quite markedly."
Mr. Gordon recalled being at a gathering at Mr. Spence's home and having a conversation with veteran NBC and CBS correspondent Liz Trotta.
"We were sitting in a corner, talking about our mutual concern about Craig's physical condition. He came down later and said he had been listening to us and didn't appreciate it at all," Mr. Gordon said.
Ms. Trotta, contacted in New York City, yesterday confirmed Mr. Gordon's comments and said it was "one in a series of incidents" in which she began to question Mr. Spence's emotional and physical stability.
"He was fragmenting right before our eyes," she said. "I was very concerned about him."
One former Reagan administration official who worked at the U.S. Information Agency and is an open homosexual said he went to private parties at Mr. Spence's home and saw a great deal of recording and taping equipment.
"It was my clear impression that the house was bugged," he said. Another man, an Air Force sergeant who worked for Mr. Spence as a bodyguard, said: "The house was definitely bugged. I can't say what he was doing with the information. I don't know that. But he was recording what occurred there."
Several others confirmed that Mr. Spence had bragged on several occasions that he had his house bugged and that conversations between guests often had been overheard. They said Mr. Spence often would come down late to parties he hosted and told close associates that he had been listening to what was being said about him.
Several people also said Mr. Spence boasted about getting control of the million-dollar home on Wyoming Avenue by blackmailing clients in Japan.
William Harbin, a former U.S. Foreign Service official who worked for Mr. Spence in the mid-1980s, said: "He pretty much blackmailed a Japanese client. He had represented this firm in Washington, the Policy Study Group.
"The Japanese put up the money for Spence to buy a big house on Wyoming Avenue," Mr. Harbin said. "I heard he later had a quarrel with this Japanese because he was really using this house to advance his own purposes, not for the Japanese. But he threatened to expose that they had transferred the money illegally, so it made the Japanese back down."
Another longtime friend confirmed that Mr. Spence bragged about the Wyoming Avenue deal, saying he had beaten "a very rich, old-line Japanese family."
Secret Service spokesman Bob Snow, when asked yesterday for records about Mr. Spence's visits to the White House, said only the White House counsel could authorize release of the material.
C. Boyden Gray, the White House counsel, said he did not know why Mr. Snow referred The Times to him, adding that he was unaware that his office was required to release such information. "I just don't know anything about that," Mr. Gray said. "But maybe there's something I don't know about." Federal law enforcement authorities, including the Secret Service, involved in the probe of the homosexual prostitution ring have told prostitutes and their clients that a grand jury will deliberate over evidence gathered in the ongoing investigation throughout the summer.
Hundreds of credit-card vouchers, drawn on both corporate and personal accounts and made payable to the Washington-based escort service operated by the homosexual ring, have been examined by The Washington Times.
Mr. Spence, a former ABC-TV correspondent who covered the war in Vietnam, was one of the biggest spending clients of the homosexual prostitution network, according to credit-card vouchers obtained by The Times. For example, on Oct. 5, 1988, he made four separate payments totaling $1,525 with his American Express card for male escorts from Professional Services Inc.
On. Oct. 8, he paid $600 for male escorts, and another $600 payment Oct. 20, the documents show. There were some months when Mr. Spence spent as much as $20,000 for male escorts hired to provide him sexual services, according to documents and interviews with prostitutes who served him.
Many of Mr. Spence's guests soured on his hospitality when his darker behavior emerged. A case in point is his relationship with former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova.
According to Mr. diGenova, he attended a few of Mr. Spence's parties both as U.S. attorney and after he left the government to enter private practice. He eventually traveled to Japan last December on a business trip with Mr. Spence and Wayne Bishop, chairman of the Washington law firm of Bishop, Cook, Purcell & Reynolds, where Mr. diGenova works.
"When I got back from Japan, some anonymous person suggested that he (Mr. Spence) might be using cocaine. Well, of course my antennae went up right away and I checked those rumors out . . . and found much to my surprise that people suspected the worst," Mr. diGenova said.At that point, Mr. diGenova said, he severed his relationship with Mr. Spence. "When you compared it to his other eccentric behavior, it made sense. But I had no evidence whatsoever," he said.
Mr. diGenova said he never took his concern that Mr. Spence might be using drugs to authorities.
Others interviewed said they witnessed drug use and other crimes at parties thrown by Mr. Spence but also never shared their observations with law enforcement officials.
The saga of Mr. Spence, described by one friend as "Washington's Jay Gatsby," began unraveling when federal and D.C. police raided a male prostitution ring in Northwest Washington and discovered credit-card vouchers signed by Mr. Spence and others.
But for several years - even as publications such as The New York Times were describing Mr. Spence as Washington's ultimate power broker -acquaintences noticed bizarre behavior.
Mr. Spence was generous with cocaine at his parties , according to several people who said they witnessed drug use at the exclusive Kalorama house.
"I know he was a coke freak," said the business associate who was on the White House tour. "A lot of people saw it. His behavior spoke for itself."
Several friends said Mr. Spence bragged that U.S. military personnel, for whom he had built a gymnasium in El Salvador, had smuggled cocaine back to him when they returned to the United States.
"I heard he was selling drugs, or smuggling drugs into the country from El Salvador," said a friend who worked closely with Mr. Spence. "He went down there two or three times or maybe more. He was trying to interest a Japanese firm with buying a fishery in El Salvador.
"I found out the United Nations had rejected a similar scheme; they found if you put more boats in there the fish would just get smaller. So I told him that it was no good," the former associate said.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials said this week they had no evidence of any such operation.
Others said the drugs came from a more mundane source - midlevel dealers in Northwest Washington.
How a man whom even his closest friends describe as a flawed, malevolent personality managed to court Washington's biggest names is a quintessential Washington story.
Mr. Spence arrived in Washington in the late 1970s. Even intimate friends said his depiction of his background was as shifting as his guest list. What can be confirmed is that he attended Syracuse University and worked as a journalist with ABC in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.
One former friend, who became acquainted with Mr. Spence in Tokyo, said that the latter had a "falling out" with ABC News because of his political views. The former friend said Mr. Spence was a hard-line conservative and was opposed to what he described as "the liberal treatment of the news by the network."
Mr. Spence made good contacts in Japan and among Chinese expatriates, often bragging of his close association with former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone and appearing in public with a Chinese businessman who once served as an unofficial representative of Communist China in Washington, sources said.
The businessman said this week that he did not know exactly what work Mr. Spence did, but that he often bragged about his contacts with Japanese businessmen and political leaders, particularly Mr. Nakasone.
He described Mr. Spence as "strange," saying that he often boasted that he was working for the CIA and on one occasion said he was going to disappear for awhile "because he had an important CIA assignment."
According to the businessman, Mr. Spence told him that the CIA might "doublecross him," however, and kill him instead "and then to make it look like a suicide."
The businessman also said he attended a birthday bash for Roy Cohn at Mr. Spence's house. He said Mr. Casey was at the party. "One time he stormed into another party with a big, white hat and an entourage of security guards," the businessman said. "It was all rather bizarre."
Mr. Spence's trump card in courting the rich and famous apparently was his access to high-ranking orientals at a moment when Japan was flowering as an economic giant and relations with China were thawing.
"Craig had an interest in the Japanese economy," said Mr. Gordon. "He was very interested in breaking through the bureaucratic level and getting people to come to seminars.
"He developed a kind of genuine and effective influence among important doers and thinkers in Washington and from New York," Mr. Gordon said. "I met some interesting senators and representatives at his parties."
He was doing extensive business with Japan in the early 1980s, some of which former Reagan administration officials said appeared to violate trade laws.
Mr. Gordon said he warned Mr. Spence of the need to be registered as a lobbyist, and documents show that in January 1985 he became a registered agent lobbying for Japanese businesses.
A January 1982 New York Times profile of Mr. Spence was headlined "Have Names, Will Open Right Doors." The article quoted a Washington Post columnist in 1980 saying of Mr. Spence: "Not since Ethel(D-) Kennedy used to give her famous Hickory Hill seminars for great minds of our times during the days of Camelot has anyone staged seminars successfully on a continuing social basis in Washington. That's what Craig Spence has been doing."
Mr. Spence was described in the New York Times as "something of a mystery man who dresses in Edwardian dandy style, a former television correspondent who now wears many hats, including international business consultant, party host, registered foreign agent and something called 'research journalist.' "
Those who knew Mr. Spence best were astonished by his ability to court the rich and powerful.
"He conned people into going to parties - big people, Cabinet members and personalities and so forth," said Mr. Harbin, who wrote research papers that Mr. Spence peddled to Japanese clients.
"Everybody likes to go to a free party around here. He'd have a photographer there, get his photo taken with a great man, and use that," he said.
"He was quite secretive, but from what I could see these things had little or no substance," Mr. Harbin said. "Usually a grain of truth, but he'd build a pile of lies on top of it. Usually he'd start with a photograph of himself with some guy and build a lie around it that he was his top adviser. Nakasone was one."
Mr. Spence also bragged about social companions, telling friends that he had hosted Mr. Cohn, Rock Hudson and others at his Wyoming Avenue home.
The former Reagan administration aide said he decided to sever a friendship with Mr. Spence when he witnessed him trying to force his off-duty military bodyguards into homosexual acts.
"I'm openly gay myself," he said. "Most gays find that type of behavior reprehensible."
Several people who attended Mr. Spence's parties remarked at what one guest called "his personal honor guard." "I don't know where he got them, but he liked to surround himself with tall, handsome, stalwart young men. He liked to surround himself with decorations," one frequent guest said.
Mr. Spence has been living on Massachusetts Avenue in recent months, friends said. His legitimate business contacts have "one by one dropped away," said one close friend.
He has told a number of his friends that he plans to leave the country by Aug. 15. Mr. Spence also has said his health is failing.
"I can unhappily confirm that. He has been in ill health. I am not truly aware of what it is that is wrong with him," said Mr. Gordon.
* Paul M. Rodriguez contributed to this report.
Photo, Power broker Craig J. Spence demonstrated his influence by providing late night strolls through the White House for groups of selected friends., By Richard Kozak/The Washington Times
Not for commercial use. Solely to be used for theeducational purposes of research and open discussion.
White House mute on 'call boy' probe Frank J. Murray The Washington Times; Part A; Pg. A1 July 7, 1989, Friday, Final EditionA dministration officials continued yesterday to stonewall reporters on the growing federal "call boy" investigation, apparently hoping the scandal will fade before President Bush is asked his view of a late-night White House tour that reportedly included two male prostitutes. "Mr. Bush knows about the story. Yes he does. He's aware of the story," said one White House source who, like virtually all the others, insisted on anonymity. Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady, who heads the Secret Service, reluctantly conceded yesterday at the White House that the agency is looking into the July 3, 1988, tour - one of several arranged by a Secret Service officer for lobbyist Craig J. Spence.Meanwhile, White House sources confirmed that President Bush has followed the stories of the late-night visit and Mr. Spence's links to a homosexual prostitution ring under investigation by federal authorities since they were disclosed June 29 in The Washington Times. But top officials won't discuss the stories' substance, reportedly even among themselves.
"Mr. Bush knows about the story. Yes he does. He's aware of the story," said one White House source who, like virtually all the others, insisted on anonymity.
Press officers have rebuffed repeated requests to obtain Mr. Bush's reaction and decline to discuss investigations or fallout from the disclosures.
"I don't have anything on that," said Deputy Press Secretary B. Jay Cooper, the latest member of the press office to respond.
"There's no gain in talking about it," explained an official who declined to be quoted by name. "It only makes the story grow and helps keep it alive."
The president has not had "serious discussion" about the reports even with his most senior aides, including Chief of Staff John Sununu, according to another source.
Reports on the matter have been included in the Daily Press Summary, a comprehensive half-inch-thick digest of print and broadcast media stories and editorials prepared by a division of the White House press office for the president and aides throughout the complex.
Because the summary is an internal document, officials would not disclose its reports on the news stories. One official said, "I'm sure that the story was summarized, but the president also reads The Washington Times and The Washington Post."
Mr. Brady, the ranking administration official to speak publicly about the episode, appeared nonplussed when asked yesterday about Reginald A. deGueldre, a uniformed White House officer who moonlighted as Mr. Spence's bodyguard and arranged the late-night White House tours.
"Sir, were any Secret Service policies violated by Officer deGueldre's moonlighting relationship with Craig Spence, and, if so, what actions have you taken to correct that?" he was asked."Would you repeat that again?" Mr. Brady requested.
"Yes, sir, I'm talking about the UD [Uniformed Division] officer, Reginald deGueldre, who was working moonlighting for Craig Spence and who arranged the tours for him. I'm wondering if any Secret Service policies are violated by such moonlighting, and whether these visits to the White House are . . ."
Mr. Brady interrupted at that point and said, "I can't give you a precise answer on that now. We'll certainly look into it."
"You don't know if your own Secret Service is conducting an investigation into something that's been this prominent?" the secretary was then asked.
"I am sure they're looking into it," he said. "The nature of that investigation I cannot report to you at this time."
A Treasury Department spokeswoman said later, "The director of the Secret Service is looking into whether or not any policies have been violated" by the moonlighting or admission of outsiders to the White House compound.
She said neither Mr. Brady nor the Secret Service would comment on additional matters involved in a criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office of the homosexual prostitution ring that Mr. Spence patronized.
White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater and several of his deputies have said repeatedly that they do not know if Mr. Bush considered it appropriate for male prostitutes to be touring the White House at 1 a.m.
Yesterday, while talking informally to several reporters at the White House, Mr. Fitzwater parried one question this way: "What are they saying, that you should have sexual-preference checks on people that come into the White House?"
He also said, "We don't have any involvement that I know of."
Although he has talked repeatedly to individual reporters, including those for The Washington Times, Mr. Fitzwater has not held a general briefing since before the prostitution ring stories broke, largely because of the holiday weekend and because administration experts gave briefings on Mr. Bush's European trip, which begins Sunday.
The last of those briefings was scheduled for today, but Mr. Fitzwater reportedly was considering holding a general briefing as well, his first in nine days.
Mr. Fitzwater and his staff have declined consistently to say if they would take the question to Mr. Bush, a practice done only rarely and generally only on matters they expect the president might be willing to discuss.
One senior official, who insisted on anonymity, said it was unlikely any staff member would ask Mr. Bush such a question, discounting any threats to security and portraying it as a sordid sex matter beneath presidential dignity.
Photo, Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady concedes a probe is under way., Photo by Kevin T. Gilbert/The Washington Times,
Spence was target before raid on ring Jerry Seper, and Michael Hedges The Washington Times; Part A; Pg. A1 July 10, 1989, Monday, Final Edition; Correction AppendedC raig J. Spence, the Washington lobbyist and power broker, was the subject of a Secret Service investigation even before a February raid on a homosexual prostitution ring to which he has been linked, The Washington Times has learned. Mr. Spence arranged at least four midnight tours of the White House, including one June 29, 1988, on which he took with him a 15-year-old boy whom he falsely identified as his son. The Secret Service last week expanded its investigation with inquiries about friends and associates of Mr. Spence. Two of those friends are former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing, a former deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's criminal division.
During interviews last week with friends and associates of Mr. Spence, the Secret Service made copies of photographs from a July 4, 1988, party showing him mugging for the camera with Mr. diGenova and Miss Toensing, who in one photo is draped in an American flag.
It was on that same weekend that Mr. Spence arranged a 1 a.m. tour of the White House, which one participant said included two male prostitutes.
The Secret Service also wants to talk to Mr. Spence, but has been unable to locate him, according to persons the agents have interviewed.
Mr. diGenova couldn't be reached yesterday for comment. He has been interviewed twice by The Times over the past two weeks. In the first conversation, he described a fleeting contact with Mr. Spence which, he said, was based solely on mutual business interests.
In a second conversation, he said he attended a few of Mr. Spence's parties, as U.S. attorney and later after he left the government to enter private law practice. He eventually traveled to Japan last December on a business trip with Mr. Spence and Wayne Bishop, chairman of the Washington law firm of Bishop, Cook, Purcell & Reynolds, where Mr. diGenova works. Business contacts made on the trip proved fruitful and are still being pursued, he said.
"When I got back from Japan, some anonymous person suggested that he [Mr. Spence] might be using cocaine. Well, of course my antennae went up right away, and I checked those rumors out . . . and found much to my surprise that people suspected the worst," Mr. diGenova said.
At that point, Mr. diGenova said, he severed his relationship with Mr. Spence. He said he didn't report his findings or concerns to authorities.
Although the Secret Service hasn't said what sparked its interest in Mr. Spence, one of the persons questioned by the Secret Service said investigators appeared to be "interested" in the connections the lobbyist had made.
The Secret Service was the lead agency in a Feb. 28 raid on a house on 34th Place NW used by a homosexual prostitution ring, a ring with which Mr. Spence spent up to $20,000 a month, according to call boys, his friends and documents obtained by The Times.
The federal investigation, headed by the office of U.S. Attorney Jay Stephens and conducted by Secret Service agents, appears to be aimed at determining whether Reagan and Bush administration officials and others were compromised by Mr. Spence, through the use of female and male prostitutes and with electronic audio and video eavesdropping at parties at his house in the fashionable Kalorama neighborhood in Northwest Washington.
Another focus of the probe, persons interviewed by the Secret Service have told this newspaper, is whether White House security was compromised by the late-night tours arranged by Mr. Spence.
Mr. Stephens has said only that his office is investigating "possible credit-card fraud" in connection with arrests made in the 34th Place raid. But numerous sources have told The Times that the Secret Service is asking about Mr. Spence's activities.
Secret Service agents on Friday also asked a former Spence colleague detailed questions about attempts by the lobbyist to obtain information about the Delta Force, an elite U.S. commando team involved in top-secret military operations.
The former friend said Mr. Spence had given a gold Rolex watch to a highly decorated Vietnam veteran who is now associated with Army anti-terrorist units. Later, according to the former friend, Mr. Spence alluded to the gift of the watch and asked the veteran detailed questions about the Delta Force operations.
The Vietnam veteran was one of six persons on the July 3 White House tour , arranged by Mr. Spence. A uniformed Secret Service guard, who admitted the group to the White House and served as an unofficial host, also told The Times that he had received a gold Rolex watch worth about $8,000 from Mr. Spence but said Mr. Spence had asked for nothing in return.
Mr. Spence collected key officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, media celebrities and high-ranking military officers, among others, for his glittery dinner parties at his Kalorama home. According to friends, visitors to Mr. Spence's Wyoming Avenue NW house and records, the host eavesdropped on some gatherings to compromise guests and blackmailed some associates with threats to disclose their indiscretions.
Efforts to reach Mr. Spence during the past three weeks have been unsuccesful. He telephoned The Times on June 29 in response to a telefaxed message but hung up when asked about his activities. His fax machine number has since been disconnected.Mr. diGenova was nominated by President Reagan to be U.S. attorney in 1983. Prior to that, he was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Washington office, chief counsel and staff director of the Senate Rules Committee and chief minority counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In 1981, as chief counsel for the Senate Rules Committee, Mr. diGenova was responsible for overseeing the Reagan transition after Republicans gained control of the Senate in the 1980 elections. From June 1975 to April 1976, Mr. diGenova was counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the so-called Church Committee that investigated allegations of CIA and FBI wrongdoing.
Mr. diGenova announced his resignation as U.S. attorney in January 1988, and he left office to begin his private practice on March 1.
Miss Toensing, who also is in private practice, was chief counsel for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from 1981 to 1984 when she resigned to join the Justice Department as a deputy assistant attorney general.
At Justice, she headed the criminal division's procurement fraud unit and was instrumental in a number of high-profile indictments, including several involving General Dynamics. She also was responsible for the investigation and prosecution of terrorists.
A number of photographs, including more than a dozen from the 1 a.m. White House tour, were taken over the July Fourth weekend in 1988 by a participant in Mr. Spence's revelries. The photos, copies of which were obtained last week by The Times, have been reviewed by the Secret Service.
Of the several snapshots of the July 4, 1988, tour reviewed by the Secret Service, only two - both of which included Mr. diGenova and his wife - were copied.
Craig Spence was a registered lobbyist for several Japanese firms through 1987 and established close friendships with a number of leading Japanese politicians, including Motoo Shiina, considered by Tokyo analysts to be an inside favorite to replace scandal-plagued Sousuke Uno as prime minister.
Mr. Spence and Mr. Shiina were embroiled in a real estate deal involving the house in Kalorama, a two-story Victorian showpiece valued last year by real estate agents at $1.15 million.
By the time a lawsuit filed by Mr. Shiina over the property was settled, the Japanese official had admitted in court papers to giving Mr. Spence $345,000 in cash.
Mr. Spence has told several current and former friends that he obtained the money to buy the house by blackmailing Mr. Shiina. Mr. Shiina has denied he was blackmailed by Mr. Spence.
The lobbyist moved in November 1988 from the Kalorama house, on Wyoming Avenue, to an apartment on Massachusetts Avenue NW, but apparently his operations remained unchanged.
A female prostitute who worked for the escort service that supplied Mr. Spence with call boys, said he hired her to have sex with young military men in his part-time employ.
The prostitute, describing herself as retired, said Mr. Spence ordered her to engage in those assignations in certain specific locations in his Massachusetts Avenue apartment, enabling him to eavesdrop on the encounters. One of her clients, an enlisted man stationed at a local Army base, confirmed that he worked for Mr. Spence, and the prostitute's account.
"Some of the men were married," she said. "They told me he was using what I did with them against them."
Once, Mr. Spence's influence with the Washington power elite appeared almost limitless, demonstrated by his ability to arrange midnight tours of the White House. The Times has confirmed that Mr. Spence arranged at least four midnight tours of the White House, including one June 29, 1988, on which he took with him a 15-year-old boy whom he falsely identified as his son.
One man Mr. Spence apparently cultivated was a uniformed Secret Service officer assigned to the midnight shift at the White House. The officer, Reginald A. deGueldre, was interrogated for more than 10 hours last week about his association with Mr. Spence. Five Secret Service agents, armed with search warrants, searched his house for nearly two hours Friday night, although they wouldn't say what they were looking for. The agents seized several photographs from Mr. deGueldre's home.
Mr. deGueldre said he has been told he will be called to testify before a federal grand jury. According to one law enforcement official, Mr. deGueldre failed the portion of a polygraph test involving favors he may have done for Mr. Spence.
Photo, In a snapshot copied by the Secret Service, Craig J. Spence (right) and former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova watch Mr. diGenova's wife, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Victoria Toensing, clown at a party.; Photo, Reginald A. deGauldre, a uniformed Secret Service officer, holds the door to the White House open for two of the six persons who were given a tour at 1 a.m. on July 3, 1988. The tour, arranged by Craig J. Spence, is the subject of a Secret Service probe. The photo was taken by another tour pa[rticipant.]
CORRECTION-DATE: July 14, 1989, Friday, Final Edition
Due to an editing error, a story Monday in The Washington Times incorrectly said that photographs of former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing, an ex-deputy assistant attorney general, were taken during a July 3, 1988, tour of the White House arranged by former Washington lobbyist Craig J. Spence.
Mr. diGenova and Ms. Toensing did not go on the July 3 tour, which, according to one participant included two male prositutes. However, the couple did attend a party at Mr. Spence's house on the same weekend, during which the photographs were taken.
Spence ma[y] be Shiina's downfall Edward Neilan The Washington Times, Part A; Pg. A1 July 18, 1989, Tuesday, Final EditionTOKYO apanese nuclear-physicist-turned-politician Motoo Shiina has been described here as "a good friend of the United States" - and as a shrewd businessman who may have passed U.S. aerospace secrets to the Soviet Union.
The magazine "Shukan Shincho," a popular weekly, raised past allegations that Mr. Shiina leaked sensitive U.S. information to the Soviet Union - allegations the magazine said have never been explained. Mr. Shiina, 54, a member of Japan's lower House of Representatives, has been keeping an extremely low profile lately amid a swirling scandal involving his relationship with Craig J. Spence, a onetime U.S. lobbyist for Japan and business associate of Mr. Shiina's.Mr. Shiina has declined to answer telephone inquiries on his dealings with Mr. Spence, but has responded cautiously to direct questions through a lawyer, Chikahiko Soda. The questions have dealt mainly with a loan by Mr. Shiina to Mr. Spence to purchase the Wyoming Avenue NW house where homosexual parties took place.
"If his [Mr. Shiina's] involvement in any of this is true, then it would create a serious political problem for Shiina and his political life will probably be damaged considerably," said Hisao Imai, a well-known Japanese political commentator.
Mr. Imai, head of the Japan Commentators Association and a former political editor of Sankei Shimbun newspaper, said yesterday that there is hope among younger ruling Liberal Democratic Party members that Mr. Shiina will be a future party leader or even prime minister.
"If we lose him, this is a great loss not only for the LDP [the ruling Liberal Democratic Party] but for the nation," Mr. Imai said.
"The reason that Mr. Shiina is touted as a rising star is that he has been previously untainted by any scandal and he is an internationalist," said another political commentator, Kan Ito.
With his own independent style of diplomacy he has established himself as a leading expert on U.S.-Japan relations, analysts said.
Although several Diet members speaking anonymously yesterday described Mr. Shiina as a "true internationalist" and "good friend of the United States," one Japanese magazine came close to calling him a spy for the Soviet Union.
The magazine "Shukan Shincho," a popular weekly, raised past allegations that Mr. Shiina leaked sensitive U.S. information to the Soviet Union - allegations the magazine said have never been explained.
The magazine quoted a newsman covering the Japan Defense Agency as saying that General Dynamics Corp. in 1979 allowed Mr. Shiina to photograph on microfilm specifications of the new F-16 fighter.
In exchange, the newsman was quoted as saying, Mr. Shiina agreed to lobby for the company's involvement in the joint U.S.-Japan production of the FSX jet fighter.
The magazine noted that stories surfaced in Japan that the technical data of the F-16 was leaked to the Soviet Union by "the son of an influential Japanese politician." No name was given, but the magazine followed with a description of Mr. Shiina's father, the late Etsusaburo Shiina, who was a former LDP kingmaker and holder of several key Cabinet posts.
But Mr. Ito said yesterday, "Any charges that he is soft on the Soviet Union doesn't add up in my opinion. He's always speaking out about the Soviet buildup in Northeast Asia."
Mr. Ito also said, "Mr. Shiina is regarded as well-informed on foreign affairs and defense matters and has been known to criticize both ruling and opposition members for talking nonsense on those subjects in the Diet."
Mr. Imai said political circles around Nagatacho - the Tokyo area akin to Washington's Capitol Hill - are talking more and more these days about stories in The Washington Times about Mr. Spence and Mr. Shiina. He said some rumors hold that the Central Intelligence Agency cooked up the whole thing to discredit Mr. Shiina.
"I hope Mr. Shiina is not such a bad guy as was described in recent Japanese periodicals' reports," said Mr. Imai. "It has been believed that he will sooner or later become foreign minister. But because of this scandalous news, he may have some difficulties in reaching a Cabinet post or beyond.
"The news that Mr. Shiina was closely associated with Mr. Spence was quite a shock to LDP members and those in the Diet. But a possible examination into the matter will not come before the July 23 Upper House elections for which they are waging an unprecedentedly defensive campaign," he said.
An article profiling Mr. Shiina published 10 years ago in The Daily Yomiuri English-language newspaper began:
" 'What should I say about myself?' he asks smilingly, taking a slow, deep drag at his cigarette between sips of hot, steaming coffee which Hideko, his charming wife, had served. Meanwhile, outside, the gently falling snow had blanketed Shiina's quite ample garden, giving up an impression of serene quiet.
"In his well-modulated voice, Motoo talked of what he calls his 'humble' existence.
"Not so, for this diminutive (5 feet, 5 inches) man has been his father's active and devoted campaigner for a number of years. His father is Etsusaburo Shiina, former vice-president of the ruling Liberal-Democratic Party, Diet member, ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs, ex-Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and ex-Minister of Finance."
The article said Mr. Shiina spent his campus days at Nagoya University, graduating in 1954 with a major in nuclear physics, a field in which he was awarded a scholarship by the U.S. State Department for one-year's study of nuclear reactors at the Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago.
Leaving his infant daughter behind with his mother, a friend was found to sponsor Hideko's stay in the United States. "It was quite tough for both of us, but somehow we managed," he told The Daily Yomiuri, crediting his success to his wife's devotion and care.
On his return to Japan in 1954, the younger Shiina set up his own company which manufactures precision instruments. He founded two other companies, one a joint venture with an American firm, according to newspaper reports that provided no additional details.
Mr. Shiina's lawyer said yesterday of his client's business affairs, only that he resigned as an officer of the Tokyo-registered company Samutaku Co. Ltd. on becoming a Diet member in 1979 but still holds a large number of shares in the company and remains an adviser.
In addition, Mr. Shiina in 1979 was a board member of two non-profit organizations - the World Economic Information Service and the Asian Club, the latter funded by MITI.
Mr. Shiina told a reporter at the time that World Economic Information Service collates and studies economic information from all over the world for the guidance of the Japanese government and business world."
The Asian Club, established in 1975, aimed at "promoting economic goals." Mr. Shiina told an interviewer prior to his first election that he devoted much time to a private organization called Participation which sent out Japanese artists and musicians to various Southeast Asian countries.
On July 5, The Washington Times published a story describing a business deal between Mr. Shiina and Mr. Spence in which the latter made more than $700,000 in four years working for Mr. Shiina's Policy Study Group.
Mr. Spence also bought a Kalorama house using cash loaned to him by Mr. Shiina. When he refused to pay back the loan, Mr. Shiina sued.
* Special correspondent Hiroyasu Tomaru contributed to this report.
That sounds familiar, Satanism, child abuse, and grave desecration is notnew.... We hear about it in the news and we see some kid dressed in black withsuicidal lyrics.. but where did they learn this behaviour?
SEX PARTY HELD AT AUSSIE EMBASSY 'WE'RE NOT TALKING CROCODILE DUNDEE HERE' Michael Hedges and Jerry Seper Washington Times; Final Section: A Page: A1 Friday, July 28, 1989T hree female prostitutes took part in a sex party at the Australian Embassy in November that included several members of the embassy staff, according to one of the women involved who worked for an escort service now under federal investigation. She said she had been to Mr. Spence's house on at least four occasions and that during each visit she had sex with young soldiers whom Mr. Spence bragged he was blackmailing The prostitutes had sex with at least three men each during the party that lasted a little longer than three hours, said the woman. She said she was paid $800 in "crisp, new $100 bills" after the job.The young blonde former prostitute, who asked that she not be identified, described the men she had sex with as middle-aged, adding, "We're not talking Crocodile Dundee here."
The escort service which employed the woman is one of several tied to a Washington area homosexual prostitution ring that serviced officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, military officers, media representatives, lawyers, businessmen and others.
The former prostitute also said she had sexual encounters with U.S. military personnel at the behest of former Washington lobbyist Craig J. Spence, a major client of the male call-boy ring, and with a high-ranking Canadian diplomat at his waterfront Georgetown home.
She provided details about her jobs, including the names of some clients, which have been confirmed by The Washington Times.
Both the diplomat and one of Mr. Spence's soldier-bodyguards have admitted they had sex with the woman under the exact circumstances she described.
The U.S. Attorney's Office is probing alleged credit card fraud involving the escort services, and the Secret Service is looking into possible security breaches that may have occurred during late-night tours of the White House arranged by Mr. Spence for his friends. Two male prostitutes went on one of the tours, according to a person who participated in the 1 a.m. White House walk-through.
The former prostitute, who was interviewed on several occasions by The Times, described in detail paid sexual meetings with foreign diplomats, both in their homes and in Massachusetts Avenue embassies, scheduled through Jet Set, the escort service which the woman said supplied the Australian Embassy party.
The woman said that during the late afternoon November embassy party, the group, which included the two other women she came with, a few other women she believed were prostitutes and a dozen or more men, met in one large office-type room.
"The men I had sex with took me one at a time into a smaller room nearby which was like an office, it had office-type furniture," the woman said.
The men never identified themselves beyond first names, she said. "There wasn't a lot of small talk. We were there for one thing."
The woman also described the interior of the embassy, correctly gave its address and location on Massachusetts Avenue, and depicted the furnishings of the room where she said the sex occurred.
Australian Embassy officials, when told on July 6 of the woman's allegations concerning the party, originally said they would turn the information over to U.S. Attorney Jay Stephens for a full investigation.
However, John McCarthy, minister of congressional liaison for the embassy, said during a second interview with The Times that he and his staff had conducted an extensive internal investigation - coordinated by Australian Federal Police stationed at the embassy - and, while not ruling out the possibility that the November affair had occurred, had concluded that the woman's story was "improbable."
A report of that investigation concluded, "We cannot completely exclude that a clandestine function did occur, but our investigations have made clear that it would have required a great deal of planning beforehand to gain entry surreptitiously."
The report said, "The embassy's investigations produced no corroboration of the allegations."
An Australian television station, informed of the woman's charges by The Times, met with the former prostitute and determined that her story was valid. A story concerning the allegations ran yesterday on an Australian network news program.
"I saw no good reason to disbelieve her story," said Tony Coghlan, the Network Ten bureau chief in New York City who interviewed the former prostitute. "She came to us in good faith and didn't ask to be paid. "I talked with her at great length and grilled her about the incident and the embassy. It was my feeling she was telling the truth," he said.
Mr. Coghlan said the factors which led to the embassy staff concluding the episode probably did not occur did not impress him, and that he found the woman's depiction of the event consistent with his knowledge of the embassy and Australian customs.
Neale Prior, a reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald, said his newspaper published a story yesterday recounting the television report. He said the paper planned a follow-up account in today's editions.
"This story has only broken in Australia four hours ago," Mr. Prior said yesterday. "If more comes out on it, there will be a big reaction here."
Yesterday, Brett Bayly, press officer at the embassy, said, "Frankly, we're just puzzled. We haven't been able to take it any further."
Kunjurit "Dennis" Singh, the man who operates the Jet Set escort service, admitted that the three women worked for the service during 1988, but he declined to name specific jobs on which they were dispatched.
"This is confidential, like a dating service," Mr. Singh said. "I can't tell you who was dating whom."
He said the men and women working for him were paid only to spend time with clients, adding that he was unaware of any illegal sexual activities which occurred on these dates.
One of the prostitutes employed by Mr. Singh said she was given a W-2 form at the end of the year listing her job as "escort."
The former prostitute provided names of some of her embassy clients, including a key official at the Canadian Embassy for whom she said she was hired for sex at his Georgetown house.
The Canadian official originally denied the encounter. But after he was provided with detailed information about himself, his habits and his Georgetown home - all described by the former prostitute - he said his personal life was "none of the newspaper's business" and asked that his name not be used to spare him embarrassment.
Wesley Pruden, managing editor of The Times, said when the newspaper first broke the sex ring story that names of participants would not be made public unless their involvement appeared to compromise U.S. or friendly nation security.
The former prostitute, who has taken a legitimate job and said she has put her past behind her, also in a relatively brief period had sexual liaisons with a number of wealthy businessmen while working for an escort service at 34th Place NW, which federal authorities raided in February, according to her recollections and diaries she kept at the time.
The service was one of several that, according to federal authorities and others, accepted cash, checks and credit cards to pay for prostitution activities - from both men and women.
The former prostitute said she had worked on numerous occasions for Mr. Spence, the once powerful Washington lobbyist whose name has surfaced in the probe of the homosexual prostitution ring. She said she had been to Mr. Spence's house on at least four occasions and that during each visit she had sex with young soldiers whom Mr. Spence bragged he was blackmailing.
One of the soldiers, now working on a prestigious detail at Fort Myer, admitted he worked for Mr. Spence, and also that he spent time with a female prostitute while at Mr.Spence's Massachusetts Avenue apartment. He said he was paid several hundred dollars to provide security at various parties Mr. Spence hosted.
The former prostitute said on one occasion Mr. Spence forced her to take a bath with two men and him, which degenerated into "an unhappy outing."
The woman said that one of the soldiers contacted her a few months after the bathtub incident and told her Mr. Spence had shown pictures of them having sex to the soldier's wife and that it led to a separation.
The soldier told her that Mr. Spence initially blackmailed him into "beating up a couple guys" to keep his wife from finding out, she said. But Mr. Spence "burned him anyway" because the soldier refused to have sex with him, the woman said.
Photo, The Australian embassy in Washington., By The Washington Times
SPENCE ARRESTED IN N.Y., RELEASED BIZARRE INTERVIEW IS NO NIGHT ON THE TOWN Jerry Seper and Michael Hedges Washington Times; Final Section: A Page: A1 Wednesday, August 9, 1989NEW YORK -H e must have thought he was still wearing his red-lined black cape, his wide-brimmed black felt hat and his trademark silk handkerchief dangling at a precise angle from his tailored Edwardian-cut suit. "How do you think a little faggot like me moved in the circles I did?" Mr. Spence asked, his hand fondling the razor blade like the flesh of a lover. "It's because I had contacts at the highest levels of this government. His plain white knit shirt was wrinkled and soiled, with smudge marks on the back and shoulders from a night on a bench in Central Park. His high-top white Reebok athletic shoes were scuffed, his pants rumpled and loose.With his belt missing, an unshaven Craig J. Spence - the onetime Washington lobbyist of the rich and powerful who is a focus of a federal investigation - kept tugging at his pleated khaki pants to keep them from falling down.
"Do you know who you are talking to?" he demanded in a loud voice as he moved his back along a wall of a friend's fashionable East Side apartment, his right hand tightly clutching a razor-blade dispenser from which he slid a double-edged blade. "Do you have any idea who I am?"
So began a rambling, eight-hour interview of Craig Spence, the object of a monthlong search by print and television reporters and agents of the the Secret Service. The interview ran from midafternoon Monday until shortly before midnight.
Federal authorities have been pursuing him as part of an investigation into allegations of credit-card fraud involving a Washington-based homosexual prostitution ring he frequented and possible security breaches during late-night tours of the White House that he arranged.
After an initial and volatile discussion about suicide and a tense moment in a narrow hallway during which he menaced two reporters with the razor, Mr. Spence decided to hold court to "impart a few words of wisdom" and to "educate the unwashed" about journalism, politics, government operations, life and death.
"Death, you know, is only painful to the ones you leave behind," he said, congratulating himself on what he suggested was an excellent quote and encouraging the reporters to write it down. "As a matter of fact, I'm looking forward to it.
"At 48, I'll still look good in hell."
What followed was bizarre, highlighted by moments of brilliance and wit, outrageous and obnoxious behavior, unbridled and spontaneous humor, and profound and unrelenting bragging.
"How do you think a little faggot like me moved in the circles I did?" Mr. Spence asked, his hand fondling the razor blade like the flesh of a lover. "It's because I had contacts at the highest levels of this government.
"They'll deny it," he said, his voice rising with anger. "But how do they make me go away, when so many of them have been at my house, at my parties and at my side?"
Mr. Spence's recollections of times past are filled with the names of many of Washington's powerful and those of influential men and women from other countries. Most of the claims are documented in dozens of filings at the Department of Justice, which are required of lobbyists who work for foreign governments.
What they all had in common, Mr. Spence said, was that they used him for their personal gain, and when things went bad, they forgot his name.
"I can't think of one person who hasn't benefited personally from knowing me," he said. "I had the world at my house, and now they don't know who I am."
During the interview, Mr. Spence picked continually at his nose and rubbed his finger across the outline of his shabby mustache. He snorted and coughed up mucus. He constantly rubbed his left eye until it was red, and he said his vision was blurred.
He walked from chair to chair in the apartment, staying only briefly in each spot. He pointed, grabbed, poked and pushed at the reporters to make a point or to avoid a question. He intermittently leaned forward to strike out at his questioners and then leaned back in a defensive mode, lowering his body into whatever chair was at hand.He refused to answer inquiries he deemed "stupid" and said several times he was going to "terminate" the interview, jumping out of a chair to run to the door. He nearly left on one occasion but couldn't figure out how the locks on the sturdy wooden door worked.
Mr. Spence threatened on four occasions to kill himself. He had planned to do so last week, he said, but New York City police had taken away his loaded 9mm handgun. "That's the great terminator," Mr. Spence said. "Just open your mouth and point to the rear."
The only suicide weapon he had left was the white plastic dispenser of cheap double-edged razor blades, which he displayed threateningly. He fingered the dispenser constantly throughout the interview, pushing one of the blades halfway out to create a knifelike effect.
"The man who cuts himself across the veins is looking for help," Mr. Spence said, his right hand moving the razor slowly along his outstretched left arm. "The man who cuts down the vein is looking to die."
He pulled the razor along his arm lengthwise and smiled, then suddenly moved the thin blade to the chest of one of the two reporters and then to the other. There was silence for a few seconds, then he spoke.
"I am not a person to fool with. You should know that by now," Mr. Spence said.
His threat soon ended, however, when he remembered he hadn't eaten dinner. A mugger in Central Park, he said, had taken his last $100, borrowed the day before from a friend, who also had paid off the last $400 of a $5,000 bill for three days in the penthouse at the Parker Meridien. His credit charges had exceeded the card's limit, and he had had no cash to make up the difference.
"I felt sorry for him," said the friend, who asked not to be identified.
The friend, in whose apartment the interview took place, later discovered that $300 stashed in a jewelry box was missing.
Once he arrived at a nearby restaurant, Ronasi Ristoranti Italiano, Mr. Spence's mood changed again. He became loud and demanding, ordering the waiters around with the snap of his fingers and shouting various vulgarities obviously aimed at shocking both the restaurant's employees and its patrons.
He issued cooking instructions to the chef and chastised the busboys for almost everything.
Mr. Spence, a frequent visitor to Italy, found nothing on the menu to his liking. He ordered a special pasta dish with red, white and green noodles - "just like the Italian flag, but you probably didn't know that," he shouted at the waiter. He demanded minestrone soup, but only after being assured that the vegetables in it were fresh.
He complimented one of the reporters for his choice of wines, selected only because it happened to be the least expensive on the menu, and then proceeded to order three bottles of it.
While lecturing those at his table on proper etiquette, Mr. Spence spilled his wine, knocked over his water glass (which flooded his appetizer of baked clams) and blew his nose on the white linen tablecloth.
After ordering chocolate cake for dessert, he berated the waiter because the piece was too small. "I want to see something brown on this white plate," Mr. Spence shouted. "I see nothing here now." The waiter, quite unhappy at this point, cut another piece and returned it to the table. His waiter's benediction, "enjoy," seemed forced.
At the dinner's end, Mr. Spence borrowed $10 for cab fare to the Plaza Hotel on Central Park South, where he said he had left his luggage. He said he'd be available to continue the interview in an hour.
He disappeared into the night, not to be seen again.
Photo, Craig J. Spence, By Peter Kolk/Special to The Washington Times
Photo, The Secret Service has searched Craig Spence's Massachusetts Avenue apartment twice to see if his late-night tours breached White House security., By Peter Kolk/Special to The Washington Times
Spence arrested in N.Y., released; Once-host to powerful reduced to begging, sleeping in park Michael Hedges, and Jerry Seper THE WASHINGTON TIMES; Part A; Pg. A1 August 9, 1989, Wednesday, Final EditionNEW YORKC raig J. Spence, the once-powerful Washington lobbyist under scrutiny by the Secret Service for late-night White House tours and theft from the presidential mansion, was arrested here last week for carrying a loaded gun and crack cocaine. Mr. Spence hinted the tours were arranged by "top-level" officials, including Donald Gregg, national security adviser to Vice President Bush and now ambassador-designate to South Korea. "Who was it who got Felix Rodriguez [the CIA's former Costa Rica station chief, who became embroiled in the Iran-Contra affair] in to see Bush?"
Mr. Spence, who has spent recent weeks prowling this city's finest hotels, cutting deals with inmates to protect himself in jail and eventually sleeping on a bench in Central Park, faces up to eight years in prison.Monday, in a tense eight-hour interview with The Washington Times at a friend's apartment where reporters had tracked him, Mr. Spence said the discovery in 1986 that he had AIDS triggered his descent into using call boys and crack.
In a conversation that plumbed the depths of morbidity and self-pity, Mr. Spence caressed a shiny, double-edged razor blade he said he would ultimately use to kill himself and alluded frequently to his impending suicide, a move he said he would take before AIDS debilitates him.
Asked how he thought he would be remembered in Washington, he quoted Carl Sandburg: "Does it matter in the dust and the cool tombs . . ."
Mr. Spence said he left Washington early in July after becoming aware - through news accounts - of the Secret Service investigation. He spent several nights in expensive hotels in New York, rapidly spending his diminishing funds, according to hotel records and his account.
He was arrested July 31 at the Barbizon Hotel on East 63rd Street in Manhattan. According to police records, police took Mr. Spence into custody after a disturbance there. A loaded 9mm pistol was seized, along with a small amount of crack.
He spent parts of the next three days in jail before being released on personal recognizance Aug. 2. He faces another hearing Aug. 28. Maximum sentences for the charges against him total eight years in prison.
Mr. Spence's account of the episode considerably colored the drab prose of police reports. He said he had set up a meeting with a call boy who arrived with drugs.
When the male escort attempted to steal $10,000 in cash and traveler's checks from his room, according to Mr. Spence and police reports, Mr. Spence started the ruckus that led to the arrest.
"They put me in the Tombs [slang for the New York jail] for three days without a phone call," Mr. Spence said. "I survived by offering to be the valet to the biggest thug there, a man appropriately named Heavy, and giving him half my bologna sandwich. I had to teach him not to pronounce it 'val-ay' like some parking attendant."
Mr. Spence, who is central to an investigation into the theft of Truman administration china from the White House and a male call-boy ring raided in February by D.C. police and federal agents, has eluded Secret Service agents and reporters since his dealings were first reported by The Times on June 29.
Mr. Spence, 48, who is being sought by the Secret Service to testify early next week before a grand jury empaneled by U.S. Attorney Jay Stephens, said the late-night tours could not have been set up by uniformed Secret Service Officer Reginald deGueldre. Officer deGueldre and another officer were suspended without pay last week as a result of the ongoing White House investigation.
"Reggie couldn't have arranged anything," Mr. Spence said. "Poor Reggie is a nice guy. I gave him a Rolex watch unsolicited, and he later gave me this little 'dish,' as Rosalyn Carter would say, out of the Truman china. I didn't ask for it.
"Reggie's like an elevator operator pushing the buttons. But he is not the guy who can clear it for you to get in the elevator."
Mr. Spence hinted the tours were arranged by "top-level" officials, including Donald Gregg, national security adviser to Vice President Bush and now ambassador-designate to South Korea.
"Who was it who got Felix Rodriguez [the CIA's former Costa Rica station chief, who became embroiled in the Iran-Contra affair] in to see Bush?" Mr. Spence asked when pressed to say who got him inside the White House. He agreed that he was alluding to Mr. Gregg.
Mr. Gregg yesterday dismissed the allegation as "absolute bull." Vacationing in Delaware, Mr. Gregg said the only time he met Mr. Spence - at an April party the lobbyist arranged for former South Korean Prime Minister Nam Duc Woo - he found him to be "a thoroughly unpleasant character."
"It disturbs me that he can reach a slimy hand out of the sewer to grab me by the ankle like this," Mr. Gregg said. "The allegations are totally false."
Mr. Spence said all of the parties he held at his Kalorama home were bugged by "friendly" intelligence agents.
He described in detail how he rigged his apartment with listening devices in electrical outlets in the walls after he was approached by an intelligence agency that he refused to identify.
"They basically just wanted to be sure that nothing was being said that shouldn't be said," he said.
He boasted that he had "created" important Japanese politicians, conducted covert operations for Central American governments and traveled in a circle of high-ranking closet homosexuals in Washington. He said he would not identify homosexuals in the Bush administration.
"I'm not going to smear the Republican Party," he said.
Mr. Spence described other midnight White House tours, including one he said he arranged for a group of powerful Japanese businessmen who, he said, photographed themselves in the Oval Office.
He alluded frequently to even deeper mysteries. "All this stuff you've uncovered, to be honest with you, is insignificant compared to other things I've done. But I am not going to tell you those things, and somehow the world will carry on without knowing," he said.
After he became aware of Secret Service interest in his activities, Mr. Spence said he destroyed audio tapes and hundreds of photographs, many obtained surreptitiously during his parties. By the time the Secret Service raided his apartment in July, he said all that was left behind was his AZT anti-AIDS medicine.
A Secret Service source confirmed that the agency served a search warrant at the Massachusetts Avenue apartment and that agents did in fact find vials of AZT.
Careening from the wit that had won him powerful friends to glum resignation that "my life is over," Mr. Spence reserved his deepest bitterness for former acquaintences who he said have now forsaken him. "I've had the world at my house and now they don't know who I am," he said. "But they did come, didn't they?"
Mr. Spence said that he frequently used call-boy services and that he liked "handsome young blond, 19-year-old boys," but he said he had not spent $20,000 a month for them, as reflected in credit card documents obtained by The Times. These charges were inflated illegally by one escort service manager, he said. He declined to elaborate but said he fired his accountant over the matter - although it was never turned over to authorities.
During his hour as a Washington host, Mr. Spence dressed in Edwardian finery and lived extravagantly, affecting touches such as scarlet-lined capes and stretch limousines.
Among those who frequented his parties were 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; then-Ambassador to Korea (now to China) James Lilley; and Gen. Alfred M. Gray, commandant of the Marine Corps.Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor-in-chief of The Times, said he went to dinner once at Mr. Spence's home, to honor Mr. Lilley.
Even in recent months, Mr. Spence insisted, he retained enough cachet to set up large business negotiations such as one between the Washington law firm of Bishop, Cook, Purcell and Reynolds - represented by former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova - and a major computer manufacturer, Compaq.
He said influential persons such as Mr. diGenova, although aware of his increasing use of drugs, courted him for his network of business connections.
Mr. diGenova was in Hawaii yesterday and could not be reached for comment. A secretary, told of the nature of the inquiry, said she could not divulge Mr. diGenova's vacation telephone number. In earlier interviews, the former federal prosecutor said he went to Japan with Mr. Spence and Mr. Bishop in 1988 on business.
"When I got back from Japan, some anonymous person suggested that [Mr. Spence] might be using cocaine. Well, of course, my antennae went up right away and I checked those rumors out . . . and found much to my surprise that people suspected the worst," Mr. diGenova said.
At that point, Mr. diGenova said, he severed his relationship with Mr. Spence. "When you compared it to his other eccentric behavior, it made sense. But I had no evidence whatsoever," he said.
Mr. diGenova said he never took his concern that Mr. Spence might be using drugs to authorities and said he had never witnessed cocaine use by Mr. Spence or others at the parties.
A spokeswoman for Compaq, which is based in Houston, said yesterday that the firm had no record of any contact with Mr. Spence. She said, however, that there had been dealings with Mr. Bishop's law firm, but she declined to say what they were.
By Monday, Mr. Spence's flash had been replaced by the grim residue of his recent three-day stay in a New York City jail and a fitful night on a Central Park bench during which, he said, muggers had lifted the last few dollars he'd borrowed from a friend.
Located by reporters at the stylish apartment of a friend near Central Park, Mr. Spence first resisted, then relished describing his career.
After initial jobs in Massachusetts politics and as a correspondent for ABC News in Vietnam, Mr. Spence began focusing on Far Eastern affairs, he said.
Mr. Spence said his "genius" was in recognizing before other U.S. observers that Japan was headed for economic greatness and in being able to identify and help Japanese Diet members on the way up.
"I became a very significant intellectual force in Japan," he said with typical braggadocio. "I created three members of the Japanese Diet. It's called perspicuity. I saw a future prime minister in an obscure little man named [Yasuhiro] Nakasone when all our spastics here didn't see that."
Mr. Spence claimed he coached Mr. Nakasone on dealing with the United States, advising him to buy President Reagan a saddle for a present rather than golf clubs and always to mention the former president's movies just before the press was admitted for photo opportunities to ensure the two would be engaged in animated conversation.
Among his achievements, Mr. Spence said, was producing a "brilliant" position paper that persuaded the Japanese to allow the Palestine Liberation Organization to open an office in Tokyo.
He also said he greatly enhanced the reputation of Motoo Shiina, a powerful member of the Diet, Japan's parliament, who is considered Japan's top expert on defense issues and a likely future prime minister.
"Motoo's father, Etsusburo, who was a great man, asked me to help his son, who he saw as playboy," Mr. Spence said. "I made Motoo Shiina in the United States, then he sued me."
The lawsuit over a house on Wyoming Avenue NW, in a fashionable neighborhood of homes of senior diplomats, began when Mr. Shiina sought the return of $345,000 he had lent Mr. Spence to purchase the property. Eventually, the suit would be dropped on the day Mr. Shiina was to give a sworn deposition.
The settlement terms led to Mr. Spence's company's getting $68,000 from the Policy Studies Group headed by Mr. Shiina. Mr. Spence agreed to repay Mr. Shiina $379,000 at 5 percent interest.
The money was repaid when Mr. Spence sold the house for $900,000, and he kept the approximately $500,000 profit.
Mr. Spence said yesterday that he had forced Mr. Shiina's attorneys to drop the suit by threatening to reveal that the money was "hot."
"The money came into the country illegally from Hong Kong, and I knew it," he said. "That's why I could be so sarcastic in my deposition. I knew they wouldn't push it."
Mr. Shiina has denied any wrongdoing in the case. He has specifically denied any violations of currency exchange laws.
Mr. Spence said he later turned his lobbying talents to China, with the intention of establishing high-level influence there. "They have no money. What were they going to pay me with - rice?" he asked. "I did it to make contacts."
Throughout this period, Mr. Spence admitted to leading a dual-level existence, with separate but strong excitements.
On the surface, he threw dazzling parties and weighty seminars, ensnaring Washington celebrities.
A profile of Mr. Spence in The New York Times in January 1982 was headlined "Have Names, Will Open Right Doors." The article quoted a Washington Post columnist saying of Mr. Spence in 1980: "Not since Ethel Kennedy used to give her famous Hickory Hill seminars for great minds of our times during the days of Camelot has anyone staged seminars successfully on a continuing social basis in Washington. That's what Craig Spence has been doing."
Mr. Spence was described in The New York Times as "something of a mystery man who dresses in Edwardian dandy style, a former television correspondent who now wears many hats, including international business consultant, party host, registered foreign agent and something called 'research journalist.' "
One former friend, William Harben, said of those days: "He conned people into going to parties - big people, Cabinet members, and personalities and so forth. Everybody likes to go to a free party around here."
That description eerily paralleled Mr. Spence's depiction of the guests at his soirees. "The town [Washington] is full of phonies," he said Monday. "All of these people I helped have turned on me."
The business was lucrative. Mr. Spence earns $200,000 a year as a consultant for Becton, Dickinson & Co., a New Jersey-based firm that makes health care products for physicians, laboratories, pharmacies and the general public. He has worked for the firm since the fall of 1981 and, according to a Becton, Dickinson spokesman, is under contract until March 1990.
In documents filed with the Justice Department, Mr. Spence said he made $666,774 working for the Policy Study Group, a company of which Mr. Shiina was president between 1979 and 1983.
He made many thousands more for other foreign and domestic companies but said Monday that he had no access to money. He said his accounts had been "frozen" but refused to elaborate.
Mr. Spence admitted Monday to a second lifestyle he kept hidden from most, in which he pursued young "military-looking" men. He bragged of many sexual conquests of otherwise straight men, including several servicemen stationed in the Washington area.
Mr. Spence said he discovered he had AIDS "about three years ago" after going to Johns Hopkins Medical Center on the advice of his doctor.
GRAPHIC: Box, On the trail of Craig J. Spence
Sex sold from congressman's apartment; Frank's lover was 'call boy' Paul M. Rodriguez and George Archibald The Washington Times; Part A; Pg. A1 August 25, 1989, Friday, Final EditionA male escort ran and provided homosexual and bisexual prostitution services from a U.S. congressman's house on Capitol Hill on a periodic basis from late 1985 through mid-1987 , The Washington Times has learned. "I had instructed him [Davis] not to use my apartment for his illegitimate purposes ... It just never occurred to me that he'd bring people over. I guess I was lied to." "I had reason to believe that he might be trying to do that," said Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat, who confirmed in an interview with The Times on Wednesday that the escort had access to his house in the 200 block of 8th Street SE."And when I found out about it, I kicked him out [in August 1987]," Mr. Frank said.
Mr. Frank said he knew that the call boy - who asked to be identified by his professional name Greg Davis - was a practicing prostitute. But he denied knowing that his former lover was involved in a prostitution ring.
"I thought I could get him to stop," Mr. Frank said of Davis, whom he employed with personal funds as a housekeeper and chauffeur.
A senior-level Senate staffer, whom The Times has interviewed and chosen not to identify, confirmed this week that he called Davis' "massage" advertisement in City Paper, a District weekly newspaper, "about two years ago" and went as instructed to meet the male escort at a Capitol Hill house.
Davis told him the house was Mr. Frank's, and from the aide's description and documents obtained by The Times, the place they met has been identified as the congressman's home.
Davis said that when he used Mr. Frank's residence to operate the escort services, he or an accomplice would transfer the escort services' telephone calls from his residence to the congressman's number via call-forwarding.
The prostitute, who was living with a fiancee at the time, said he used the ploy because she was unaware of his activities.
Davis also said that he serviced customers at the congressman's house.
A former call girl who worked with Davis and often spoke to Mr. Frank on the phone confirmed this telephone switching operation. She said that she helped run the escort services, and also had sexual relations with clients in Mr. Frank's basement home.
Mr. Frank confirmed that he sometimes spoke to the female escort but assumed she was just a friend of Davis', not a prostitute. He also said that on at least one occasion he remembered a "strange phone call" from somebody asking for Davis and his service.
"The guy said a woman's name that he was supposed to meet," Mr. Frank said. "I was suspicious, but could not prove anything at the time."
The congressman also said that he was told by his landlords several months before asking Davis to leave that there were "strange things going on" in the apartment with lots of people "coming and going."
Mr. Frank said, too, that "one time, somebody came to the door and I told him to get out."
When asked why he did not inform the police about Davis' activities, Mr. Frank replied: "I had reason to believe that he was doing that [running an escort service], but I didn't have anything to take to a judge or to the cops."
Mr. Frank initially denied either knowing of or condoning Davis' profession. But during questioning, he acknowledged that he was aware that his lover was a working prostitute.
"I had no idea that he was doing anything other than personal [prostitution]," Mr. Frank said.
"I knew that he personally did some [sex-for-hire] stuff, but had no idea" about a larger operation that advertised in local newspapers, including City Paper and The Washington Blade, a weekly gay newspaper, the congressman said.
Mr. Frank, one of two openly homosexual members of Congress, said he met Davis by responding to Davis' "escort/model" advertisement in The Washington Blade.
"I met him sexually and had a personal relationship with him," Mr. Frank said.
He said he subsequently allowed the male escort to use his house and car for almost 18 months after first having paid sex with him in April 1985.
Mr. Frank also said that Davis accompanied him on several politically oriented functions and also helped to arrange a speaking engagement at a conference put on by the American Association of School Administrators.
Davis said he accompanied Mr. Frank to the White House in 1986 to witness President Reagan's signing of immigration and naturalization legislation.
"He said he was on probation and I tried to help him out. I got him a lawyer and I hired him [Davis] to work for me - no governmental money," Mr. Frank said. "He was my driver, my housekeeper . . . who took care of the car and took it to get it inspected."
The congressman said he wrote a letter to the U.S. Capitol Police authorizing Davis, who also has been linked to the homosexual prostitution ring now under investigation by federal authorities, to have access to the House garage as his driver. Mr. Frank also said Davis played on his congressional softball team.
"That was the only official thing I did," Davis said.
Mr. Frank said he did not withhold federal income taxes or Social Security from Davis's salary. "I considered him to be a consultant," he said.
Davis did not receive regular paychecks because "I tended to pay for some of his expenses. He had use of the car, I bought him a lot of meals, I bought him food to use here, and I paid for his lawyer," Mr. Frank said.Describing his four years with Davis as "a sexual relationship that turned into a friendship," Mr. Frank said he also paid for the prostitute's court-ordered psychological counseling stemming from four felony convictions in 1982: possession of obscene material, production of obscene items involving a juvenile, oral sodomy and possession of cocaine. Davis also was convicted in 1975 of cocaine distribution.
Mr. Frank said he wrote at least four letters to Alexandria probation officials on behalf of Davis. The letters had been obtained by The Times from Alexandria criminal records with a signed privacy waiver from Davis.
In one of the letters, dated March 10, 1986, Mr. Frank told the Alexandria probation officer: "Mr. [Davis] works for me on personal and political matters which should not be paid out of my congressional allowance."
Each of the letters signed by Mr. Frank has the letterhead, "Congress of the United States, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.," lists the committees the congressman serves on and the addresses of his Washington and home-district offices.
Two of the letters include the disclaimer "Not Printed At Government Expense." Mr. Frank said it is his personal stationery.
"I needed those letters to continue to operate my escort services in Washington," Davis said. "As a condition of my probation, I was not supposed to live outside of Virginia and I had to have a reason why I was still in D.C.," he said.
On two occasions the probation officer visited Davis at Mr. Frank's Capitol Hill residence.
Chevy Chase Elementary School principal Gabriel A. Massaro - another Davis client who met Mr. Frank through the call boy - went to the congressman's house for one of the meetings with probation officials, both Davis and Mr. Massaro told The Times.
Mr. Frank said he was aware of the meeting with the probation officials but did not attend them.
Mr. Massaro said Davis lived during this period in an apartment in the 1000 block of 25th Street NW.
"I never lived at Barney's house," Davis said.
"It was a favor for me," he said, referring to Mr. Frank's decision to write letters to the probation department.
But Davis said Mr. Frank was constantly worried about the escort activities being discovered by the probation department, police and the news media.
"He was concerned about security and he was concerned about the publicity if this were to come out," the prostitute said. "He was concerned about the things that a person would be concerned about.
"Yet the excitement, the thrill, so to speak, with being connected to that type of world, which he found to be titillating in various ways, obtaining vicarious thrills being around this type of world, he [Mr. Frank] didn't discourage it, and he was fully aware of the situation as it occurred," Davis said.
Interviews with resident managers and an owner of one of the apartments at the 25th Street location confirmed that Davis had a rented apartment there and was running his male and female prostitution services from the dwelling.
One of those prostitution services called Saxons eventually was disbanded and Davis then opened his own services providing heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual sex-for-hire. The services were called Touch of Class, Male Ad and Bi-Couples, according to Davis.
When Mr. Frank first responded to Davis's prostitution ad in The Washington Blade, he paid for one hour's worth of sex, Davis said.
"The first time the cost was $80," the prostitute said. "He [Mr. Frank] called and asked for Greg and he asked me if I was versatile [willing to assume either a male or female sex role]".
The two had sex at Mr. Frank's basement townhouse apartment in the early evening of April 1, 1985, Davis said.
"He said he would like to see me again . . . and at the door he asked me if I had recognized him," the prostitute said. Mr. Frank, according to Davis, "said his picture had appeared in The Washington Blade . . . It was very, very abnormal to be told who he really was."
Davis said he "wasn't blown over or anything . . . I've been with priests and others in public office . . . It was just kinda strange."
Davis said Mr. Frank continued to purchase sex from him for several weeks and was provided discounted or free sex as their relationship grew.
Davis also said that he later arranged discounted and free sex for Mr. Frank from other male prostitutes in return for use of the lawmaker's house to run the escort services.
"That's an absolute lie," Mr. Frank said in an initial interview on Wednesday. But yesterday the Massachusetts Democrat said he did remember discussing with Davis procurement of male prostitutes for himself.
"He did offer that [call boys] to me. . . . We talked about it . . . and I put him off and finally told him no," Mr. Frank said.
The congressman said he never knew such sexual services were being provided to others at his house while he was at his congressional office or out of town.
"I had instructed him [Davis] not to use my apartment for his illegitimate purposes," Mr. Frank said Thursday. "It just never occurred to me that he'd bring people over. I guess I was lied to."
When asked how he could not have known that his admitted prostitute friend was having sexual liaisons with paying clients in his own bed, Mr. Frank said, "I was emotionally vulnerable at that time. I guess I was still coming to terms with being gay . . . It was a difficult period."
Concerning Davis' actions, the congressman said, "He suckered me."
Illustration, ANATOMY OF A FRIENDSHIP; BOX, Rep. Barney Frank, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Sex sold from congressman's apartment; School used as base for sex ring George Archibald and Paul M. Rodriguez The Washington Times; Part A; Pg. A1 August 25, 1989, Friday, Final EditionA male prostitute convicted of drug trafficking and sex offenses against a minor used the Chevy Chase Elementary School in late 1987 to run his prostitution operation after the school's principal began buying sex from him , an investigation by The Washington Times has revealed. The call boy was allowed to sleep and use phones in the school even after the principal left at 5 p.m., while teachers and the children were still involved in after-school activities such as chorus, Mr. Massaro said. The principal, Gabriel A. Massaro , conceded in a two-hour interview with The Times Wednesday that he had a four-year relationship with the prostitute and provided him with a guidance counselor's office and telephone at the model "magnet school" even while children were in classes elsewhere in the building .The 48-year-old principal also confirmed that he told the school's custodian to give the prostitute - who told The Times that he has also worked for a homosexual prostitution service now under investigation by federal authorities and the subject of earlier articles - unlimited access to the building .
Their relationship ultimately soured, Mr. Massaro said, in part because the prostitute used his credit card number without his permission to pay for a personal ad in The Washington Blade, a weekly newspaper of the homosexual community.
"I knew he was an escort, but I didn't know he was running an escort service," Mr. Massaro said. "I couldn't condone it from going out of here . . . He may have done that, but I did not know that."
The escort, who asked to be identified as Greg Davis, the alias he uses in personal ads, told The Times he was at the school at Mr. Massaro's invitation "on a fairly regular basis" during October and November 1987 and that he regularly used drugs in the building during that time.
Davis said Mr. Massaro "was very aware of what I was doing and what was going on" when he was at the upscale Montgomery County school, which enrols about 350 children, aged 9 through 12, in the third through sixth grades.
"I would be allowed to use the telephones to check my [computerized answering] service and to set up appointments [with homosexual and heterosexual clients], as long as they weren't set up at the school - that was the arrangement," the prostitute said in one of several interviews.
Davis said Mr. Massaro also explained to him how to turn off the school's audio security system so his calls would not be overheard.
Mr. Massaro confirmed that such listening devices were installed in the school ceilings but denied telling Davis how to have the security system turned off.
"How would I know that these devices were in operation at the school unless he had warned me about them?" Davis asked.
"I normally used the time between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. to set up the appointments for that evening with any of the ladies or myself. And then after 10 o'clock I would have a person who was used as the driver for the [escort] services pick me up at the school. He would pick me up about 10 p.m.," Davis said.
On at least one occasion, Davis claimed to have performed homosexual sex with a client in the guidance counselor's office.
The 45-year-old man who came to the school to have sex with Davis "was a regular client that I knew," the prostitute said. "When I told him that he was going to come to a school, at first he sounded concerned on the telephone. In a joking sort of manner, he asked me if he was being set up.
". . . The client, after thinking about it for a couple of minutes, said, 'Well, it might be a kick.' That was his response. In other words, it was a turn-on for him," Davis said.
The Times has been unable to locate the customer to confirm Davis' story.
The prostitute said that Mr. Massaro did not know "that I had met a client at the school."
"He knew me well enough to know that that was possible and told me that that was not supposed to be done," Davis said. "For the most part, I agreed. I went along with it because it was a threat to the security of the [prostitution] service to have anybody come to the school."
Davis also said Mr. Massaro never knew that his driver went into the school or about the drug use in the building. "I would be there maybe three out of the five nights a week," the prostitute said.
Mr. Massaro said Davis came to the school several times a week during the two-month period in question.
The principal's secretary, Peggy Monday, confirmed Davis's access to the school, but said she saw him no more than once a week. Mrs. Monday said that Mr. Massaro explained Davis' presence at the school by saying the man was a friend of his.
"I would either use his [principal's] office or I would use a guidance counselor's office upstairs" on the school's second floor where 6th grade classrooms and a science lab are located, Davis said.
Told that Davis had given The Times a detailed accounting of his call boy activities and criminal convictions, the principal conceded that he was aware of Davis' work as a prostitute.
Mr. Massaro said he knew the prostitute was still on probation for felony drug and sex offenses and undergoing court-ordered psycho-sexual therapy when he allowed him to use the school's facilities.
A former school counselor, Mr. Massaro said he talked to Davis's sex therapist about his court-ordered treatment after the call boy's felony conviction in 1982 on four charges: possession of obscene material, production of obscene items involving a juvenile, oral sodomy and possession of cocaine. Davis was convicted in 1975 of cocaine distribution.
"There were some afternoons when he just had nowhere to go, so I would just let him come here to the school and just use the bathroom and stuff like that," Mr. Massaro said.
"[The prostitute] used that [counselor's] office," the principal said.
Asked if he authorized the escort free use of school phones, Mr. Massaro responded, "Oh, yes."
Pressed whether Davis might have molested or tried to molest any children at the Chevy Chase school, the principal said, "Oh God, no. He couldn't have. I don't think so. No."
Davis said he had no dealings with any of the children who attended the elementary school.
The call boy was allowed to sleep and use phones in the school even after the principal left at 5 p.m., while teachers and the children were still involved in after-school activities such as chorus, Mr. Massaro said.
"I introduced him to one of the custodians and the custodian just let him use the facility," he said. "I told him [the custodian] that he was my friend."
"I would leave at five and I thought he [the prostitute] would leave shortly thereafter, but before the custodian would close the building," Mr. Massaro said.
Davis said he advertised his services as an "escort/model" in the classified section of The Washington Blade. He also advertised homosexual escort services under the name "Male Ad" and services for bisexual threesomes under the name "Bi-Couples."
Davis said he and a woman partner in the "Bi-Couples" business also ran a female prostitution operation called "Touch of Class," which advertised in City Paper, a District weekly newspaper.In his interview with The Times, Mr. Massaro, who is married, at first denied procuring sex from the male prostitute.
But as the interview continued, and a photograph of himself with Davis in the audience of a 1986 telecast of the Phil Donahue show, the principal said he had had a longtime, secret sexual liaison with Davis.
"That's not true [previous denials of having homosexual sex with Davis]," Mr. Massaro said about 30 minutes into the interview. "I did. Yes, I did. But it was nothing, though. I mean it was. . . ." His voice trailed off as he fought back tears.
"My son died very suddenly [in 1984] and I met [Greg] through a friend" - another education professional, he said. The friend, whom he declined to identify, gave Mr. Massaro the prostitute's telephone number listed in his escort advertisement in The Washington Blade.
"I began to know [Greg] and I got to know him very well," Mr. Massaro said. "He became also a surrogate son to me . . . I don't want you to think I behaved this way with my son. I had a normal father-son relationship with my own son, John."
Mr. Massaro's son died at age 19 in August 1984 of a viral infection resulting from drug abuse, the principal said.
Mr. Massaro acknowledged frequent payments in cash and by check to Davis ranging from $20 to $100. He also gave the call boy gifts of clothing and restaurant outings, and the loan of his car when the principal went to the beach with his wife and daughter.
After Davis lost his bank account, Mr. Massaro paid for his trysts with checks made out to Davis's roommate, also the call boy's homosexual client and a social friend of the elementary principal, he said. The roommate has confirmed the arrangements.
Both Davis and Mr. Massaro said the call boy was not only a sex partner to the principal but also a family friend. However, Mr. Massaro said neither his wife nor daughter knew about his secret homosexual sex life.
Mr. Massaro acknowledged that he attended a meeting between Davis and his Alexandria probation officer at the Capitol Hill home of Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat, another client whose home the call boy used to perform sexual services.
"We [Mr. Massaro and Mr. Frank] tried to help him through it [the probation]," the principal said. "[Davis] invited me over [to Mr. Frank's house] one day and said, 'Hey, I'd like you to meet with this person,' and he was trying to get off [probation]. I don't even remember all the details . . . I went as a friend of [Davis's] who could vouch for him as being the person who was trying to pull his life together."
On some days, Davis said he would arrive at the Chevy Chase school as early as noon, when classes were still in session.
"There were times when the guidance counselor's office was not available to me," the prostitute said. "I would actually use the principal's office itself, and he would move to another location and I would sit at his desk using his telephones on his desk."
The phone numbers listed in his escort advertisements were call-forwarded to a Maryland-based answering service called Compu-Voice, he said.
"It's all done by computer. When a client calls the answering service, they hear my voice, recorded by remote from a telephone using a series of code numbers. I would call my own phone number and, through punching in a series of code buttons [on the telephone dial] I was able to obtain access to my own system, and I was able to obtain the messages from the system, and then erase them after I had recorded them into the appointment book," Davis said.
"I let them know on the tape that I usually returned calls within one hour. And at the time that I was at the school, I would check in every 15 minutes," he said. "And I would go ahead and set up the appointments for the evening until Bobby [the man who would drive him to his sexual liasons and supply him with illegal drugs] would arrive."
Davis said he used cocaine in the school with Bobby and that the two men often raided the school's cafeteria for their dinner.
"Bobby and I would make something to eat, we'd play a little basketball [in the school gym], we'd do some coke, and then we'd go out to meet the appointments and to meet the ladies and obtain the commissions from their appointments."
On several occasions Davis said he and Bobby "did use cocaine in the guidance counselor's office," Davis said.
Davis said Mr. Massaro "instructed me on how to have the [school's audio] security system turned off so that the conversations would not be overheard [when he was conducting his prostitution business]. They [security listening devices] were in operation after 5 p.m. when all the administration leaves," he said.
"I would call the security of the school system, report in . . . I would call in and tell them that I would be there until 10 p.m. doing work for Dr. Massaro," Davis said.
The prostitute said he "never stayed overnight [at the school] or anything like that. I would take a nap there maybe - there was a couch there - because I was running around a lot from place to place at the time."
Mr. Massaro said he helped Mr. Davis move from one apartment to another on several occasions during their relationship, and allowed the male escort to store his personal effects and furniture in the school's basement machine room in 1987 while he was looking for a new place to live.
His landlord found out that he was running a prostitution operation and kicked him out of the apartment, Davis said.
Mr. Massaro said the relationship ultimately soured just over a year ago when Davis started stealing from him.
"I loaned [Greg] my car, and he literally stole it. He never returned it. He finally did return it. I sent him money and he did return it," the principal said.
Also, Davis used the principal's credit card number without permission to pay for his escort ads in The Washington Blade, Mr. Massaro said.
A spokesman for the newspaper's publisher confirmed "a problem" that caused The Blade to cancel Davis's ads but would not elaborate.
"I just used very poor judgment, what can I tell you?" Mr. Massaro said. "It was just stupid. I just never thought it through. I just thought I was helping somebody."
After the car and credit card incidents, Mr. Massaro said he told Davis, " 'Hey, you've got real problems and I can't help you.' So that was it and he just left. And I guess it was then that I really realized that he was a drug abuser."
Asked if Davis had ever used drugs in his presence, Mr. Massaro said he "may have" smoked marijuana. "I don't remember that. He may have. He never used anything else, though, other than pot. I don't think I ever knew that, until very recently. . . .
"I've never used the stuff. I don't know what it's like. And we talked about that in trying to get off it and trying to help him get off it . . . Our lives just became very intertwined and I guess I felt as though I could save him."
Davis, for his part, said that the relationship with Mr. Massaro soured because of a lack of "sensitivity" and "a lack of interest" on his part sexually towards the principal.
Mr. Massaro characterized Davis's action in going public as "an effort to get back at me."
He said Davis "was always going to sell his story and I was going to write a book for him and make him famous . . . He said he had a very interesting life, and one day we were going to sit down and write a book, and I guess that's what he's doing."
Photo, Homosexual escort services were operated out of Chevy Chase Elementary School and the Capitol Hill basement apartment of Rep. Barney Frank., Photos by Joseph Silverman/The Washington Times
THE GOBIE STORY; Frank's 'call boy' tells all George Archibald, and Paul M. Rodriguez The Washington Times; Part A; Pg. A1 September 1, 1989, Friday, Final EditionS tephen L. Gobie wanted a sugar daddy, but Barney Frank turned out to be "Sweet'n Low" instead - "a sweet guy, low on cash." Gobie insisted again as he has in previous interviews that he used the congressman's apartment as a base for a prostitution service - with Mr. Frank's knowledge. That's what he called his congressional sex partner, Gobie said in exclusive interviews with The Washington Times."In this business, the term 'sugar daddy' is popular for a person that supports you and sponsors you financially as well as otherwise," the prostitute said. "In this case, I had a nickname for Barney - it was 'Sweet'n Low' - sweet guy, low on cash, that's what the moniker stood for . . . And I told him that . . . And he said, 'Hey, I'm only a congressman, I don't make a million dollars a year.' "
Gobie called "preposterous" the Massachusetts Democrat's claim that he was the male hustler's Henry Higgins, intent on helping him straighten out his life while paying him about $20,000 a year to be Mr. Frank's housekeeper and driver.
"The true story is there were no such compensations anywhere near that level of money . . . I would say the total dollar value that came to me from the beginning of the relationship [was] maybe less than $2,500," Gobie said.
Gobie insisted again as he has in previous interviews that he used the congressman's apartment as a base for a prostitution service - with Mr. Frank's knowledge.
One of his clients was Washington power broker and former Japanese lobbyist Craig J. Spence , who has been linked to the homosexual prostitution ring being investigated by federal authorities.
Gobie also said he would willingly appear before the House ethics committee which is expected to investigate Mr. Frank's relationship with the prostitute, "if my lawyer told me that it was in my best interest."
Mr. Frank has acknowledged purchasing sexual services from Gobie after contacting him through an advertisement in The Washington Blade, a newspaper catering to the homosexual community.
The congressman also has admitted knowing of Gobie's continued work as a prostitute while on Mr. Frank's personal payroll from mid-1985 to early 1987 and while Gobie continued to have unlimited access to his house in the 200 block of Eighth Street SE.
But Mr. Frank has denied knowledge of Gobie's operating a prostitution service from his house and has requested the ethics probe in part out of fear that Gobie will embellish his story to improve the chances of selling it as a book.
The differing accounts in this unfolding story of a troubled 18-month liaison between one of the House's leading liberals and the man Mr. Frank says pushed him into publicly acknowledging his homosexuality seem to capture the inherent contradictions in both of their lives.
Mr. Frank, a portly middle-aged Boston career politician when he met Gobie, led the fight in the state legislature in the 1970s for urban "combat zones" for prostitutes. Calling the world's oldest profession "a victimless crime," Mr. Frank now says he was victimized by Gobie.
The prostitute, in turn, a 28-year-old hooker when Mr. Frank answered his ad for "hot bottom and large endowment," rejects being labeled homosexual or bisexual. Instead, he said he's a heterosexual who isn't good at deviant sex.
"My proclivities, my heterosexuality, precluded me from being a successful escort for men because sex was almost non-existent, and the strength of my relationships with men was strictly on my character, personality and my sense of humor," Gobie said.
"But being able to to have people call you and respond [to ads], and continue to be successful and have repeats - people calling you again - is difficult. And then I realized that I was not going to make it as an escort, either for women or for men . . . So I thought if I was going to make it at all, I would make it actually running escort services as a madam because I have a good sense for business."
Coloring Gobie's accusations, however, are a series of criminal convictions dating to 1975. He was convicted at 17 for the felony sale and possession of cocaine in Fairfax County.
Gobie was convicted on four felony counts in 1982: possession of obscene material, productions of obscene items involving a juvenile (taking photos of a 15-year-old girl with whom he was having sex), oral sodomy and possession of cocaine.
Gobie, whose professional name in the underground prostitute trade is "Greg Davis," grew up the son of a Marine Corps master sergeant who was a budget analyst at the Pentagon.
"He was a very strict conservative person from the military, . . . your traditional gung-ho Marine . . . He wanted to lock me in my room for the rest of my life until I agreed to get a haircut," Gobie said.
It was an unhappy boyhood marked by rebellion all the way, Gobie said. He defied all his parents' moral values and teachings.
"At six, I performed oral sex on my first female. She reciprocated. She was five," Gobie said. "I was having orgasms from age nine on . . . My father came to me at the age of 14, I believe, the first time in the basement of my house to discuss sex with me, and I cut him off right away and I said, 'Dad, I probably know more than you do at this point.' "
By age 14, Gobie had been labeled "incorrigible" by Fairfax County juvenile authorities for skipping 9th grade classes at West Springfield High School and refusing to return home on Friday afternoons.
"Me and my friends at 15 were watching X-rated movies on the family projector down in the basement when my family was watching TV upstairs," he said. "A friend of mine worked at a medical building as a janitor at night and he got them out of the psychiatrist's office who used them for sexual marriage counseling."
A year away from home during his sophomore year at a southwest Virginia boarding school failed to mend Gobie's ways, despite his claims of a promising record.
"I was a standout basketball player [at the private school]. I played for the school team. And I also brought my grades back up to an acceptable level," he said. "I wasn't real concerned with making straight As. That wasn't a goal of mine. If it had been, I would have."
Instead, Gobie turned to marijuana and other drugs after his return to Fairfax County and expulsion from West Springfield High for truancy during his senior year in 1974. He never received his diploma, although he subsequently passed the General Educational Development test, the equivalent of high school completion."I didn't start using drugs until after the trouble started in Springfield, smoking marijuana and experimenting with every drug you could think of - everything," Gobie said.
The serious run-ins with the law then began, court records show. In 1975, Gobie was convicted of a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge in the District. Later that year, he received a five-year suspended sentence in Fairfax County for distribution of cocaine and served three years probation.
In 1977-78, Gobie said he attended Chowan College in Murfreesboro, N.C., a fundamentalist Southern Baptist school and one of few colleges that would accept him "to get a school record that would enable me to transfer" to the University of South Carolina, where he hoped to join a girlfriend.
But it didn't work out. At Chowan, "I raised the roof off the place," he said. "I threw extensive parties and I was responsible at that time for the entertainment at parties, whether it be females or whether it be party favors - drugs and things like that."
Gobie said his parents were divorced in 1979 and left the area. The prostitute said he hasn't seen his family, including two younger brothers and an older sister, since. By then, at age 21, he had decided to reject the family name and start a new life as a male escort.
"I met a woman one day in Hecht's clothing store," he said. "I was trying on a suit and she asked me if I had ever done any modeling work. She was just a customer, a very elegant looking woman, a very attractive older woman. And she approached me and asked me if I wanted to have lunch with her. She picked me up."
Gobie says of the 47-year-old woman, whom he refuses to name: "I owe everything to her. I'll never do anything to hurt her in any way."
"Our first discussion centered around modeling and advertising, things like that," he said. Then I went to her apartment . . . She took me under her wing . . . I worked for her. She was a madam. She operated an underground escort operation of mostly females, but she had a few select males also. She had extensive women clientele that she had a hard time finding suitable escorts for. It was very hard to find gentle young men.
"It's easier to find women than men [escorts], apparently - men who have the inclination and the capabilities, who have what it takes to be successful with women as an escort."
Women clients - middle-aged and older women, both married and widows - place more emphasis on obtaining male escorts who are charming, entertaining, good conversationalists and socially attentive, Gobie said, while male homosexual clients are more interested in obtaining "animalistic" sex.
"Male clients are more sexually oriented. They very seldom care about character, personality, sense of humor, things like that," he said.
Since becoming an escort, Gobie said he has personally serviced "more than 500" women clients and "hundreds" of male clients, but would not be more specific.
"There was never an occasion, even before the AIDS crisis, I was [ever] involved in any unsafe sex practices," the prostitute said. "I always took precautions . . . using condoms."
Asked if clients always want him to use condoms, Gobie responded, "No. Sometimes clients are willing to pay thousands of dollars for you not to use condoms. In that case, alarm bells would go off in my head, and those are the people that I wouldn't think of having sex without a condom no matter what the dollar figure was.
"Those are people that are potentially dangerous to you," he said. "Their motivations might be sinister, in that they might have contracted a disease from some escort in the past and now, through some sort of revenge motive, try . . . to infect other people in that business as a way of getting back."
However, in dozens of interviews over the last two months, Gobie has given details of sexual acts including an explicit tape-recorded description of his first sexual encounter with Mr. Frank in April 1985, and it was clear that neither Gobie nor his sex partners were wearing condoms.
This week, Gobie said he had recently been tested for AIDS and the results were negative.
Gobie entered the male escort world through a prominent free-lance photographer for leading Washington-area homosexual publications whom he was introduced to by his female madam friend. The photographer "eventually got me involved in the modeling and escort work through the male scene" - including work for some of Washington's homosexual businesses and nightclubs, Gobie said.
"I did advertisements, endorsements for the [homosexual] bars in town and things like that . . . I was the first 'Mr. Rascals,' ' he said, referring to the prominent Dupont Circle homosexual bar Rascals.
Gobie said he also worked at some of the area's posh hotels as a concierge and front office manager as a legitimate "front" for his escort activities from 1978 to 1984. "Hotels are very valuable places to make contacts," he said.
Gobie said he worked at such hotels as The River Inn in Georgetown, Guest Quarters in Foggy Bottom, the Bristol Hotel, Quality-Inn at Pentagon City and the Regency Raquet Club condominium complex in McLean.
But the roof on his legitimate fronts caved in when he was convicted on the four felony charges in Alexandria in 1982.
All but four months of his five-year prison sentence was suspended, and Gobie was placed on probation for three years, during which he was ordered to undergo psycho-sexual therapy at the Washington-based Human Sexuality Institute.
"I was forced into the underworld by my probation and by the nature of the charges and the fact that my probation officer was breathing down my neck to try to try to let everybody in the world know what was going on," Gobie said. "I felt as though I couldn't go through legitimate avenues for work anymore, and the logical thing for me to do was to establish my own escort service.
"I knew that there was a ton of money to be made," he said. "And I knew that I could get away with it if I could provide myself with some sort of official cover to deceive and mislead the probation department, which I did."
That "official cover" was employment by Mr. Frank, who allowed the prostitute to use his house and wrote to the Virginia probation department saying he had hired Gobie as a personal employee, Gobie claimed.
Mr. Frank acknowledged writing the letters but denied they were intended to mislead or deceive probation officials.
IN DEATH, SPENCE STAYED TRUE TO FORM Michael Hedges, and Jerry Seper The Washington Times; Final Section: A, Page: A1 Monday, November 13, 1989BOSTON -C raig J. Spence, the once-powerful lobbyist who entertained and influenced Washington's elite, died Friday much as he had lived: dressed in a tuxedo in Boston's most expensive hotel, listening to Mozart with three dollars in his pocket. Mr. Spence told several friends that the call-boy operation was being investigated by the U.S. Attorney's Office and other federal authorities as a possible CIA front. He told the friends that the CIA used the service to compromise other federal intelligence officials and foreign diplomats. Now, many questions may never be answered about the man who was a focus of a federal grand jury investigation for spending $20,000 a month on male prostitutes, orchestrating unauthorized late-night tours of the White House and possibly bribing a Secret Service officer and a member of the Army's Delta Force.On a mirror in Room 429 of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Mr. Spence on Friday left his final enigma in the form of a suicide note.
With a black felt-tip marker he had written, "Chief, consider this my resignation, effective immediately. As you always said, you can't ask others to make a sacrifice if you are not ready to do the same. Life is duty. God bless America."
As a postscript, he wrote, "To the Ritz, please forgive this inconvenience."
Mr. Spence was found by hotel employees Friday afternoon lying on his bed, fully clothed, with a telephone cradled in his ear and a Walkman headset containing a cassette tape of Mozart's "A Little Night Music" around his neck, police detectives and other sources said.
Boston's medical examiner had made no official finding on the cause of death yesterday. "That may take as long a couple weeks," said a spokesman for the office. Mr. Spence's body was being held by the medical examiner, who had performed an autopsy, while police tried to contact his survivors.
Found hidden in a false ceiling in the bathroom were seven small packets of Xanex, a prescription anti-depressant, with one pill removed, Detective Sgt. James McDonald said. Also found were Mr. Spence's will and birth certificate.
Mr. Spence was attired in the style he affected at his lavish dinner parties, according to the police report: "black Tux with white shirt, bow tie, white suspenders, black socks and shoes."
"There was no sign of foul play whatsoever, no marks on the body," said Boston Police Detective Robert Harrington. "It was as if he had fallen asleep talking on the telephone."
The door of the hotel had been barricaded with the room's other double bed and a chair, according to a police report. Hotel maintenance workers had to saw through the door to enter the room. The only other way into the room was through a fourth-floor window facing a busy street.
Mr. Spence may have attempted to save himself after taking an intentional overdose, according to police investigators.
"Someone from Washington called the hotel that day and said a Craig Spence had called the caller and may be sick," said a police detective. "But the hotel couldn't find a Mr. Spence registered. It turned out he had checked in under an alias, C.S. Kane." Friends theorized the alias was an ironic takeoff on Orson Welles' fictional hero Citizen Kane, whom Mr. Spence often said he admired.
In an interview with The Washington Times in August, Mr. Spence made frequent allusions to his work with the Central Intelligence Agency, a connection CIA sources deny. But on the bed near him when he died, according to two Boston detectives who handled the investigation, was a newspaper clipping detailing efforts by CIA Director William Webster to initiate legislation giving protection to CIA agents called upon to testify before government bodies.
Mr. Spence had been subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury in Washington probing his connections to a call-boy network suspected of committing credit-card violations, to late-night White House tours he arranged and the gift of a Rolex watch to a Secret Service officer who allegedly gave Mr. Spence pieces of the Truman china collection in return.
"All this stuff you've uncovered (involving call boys, bribery and the White House tours), to be honest with you, is insignificant compared to other things I've done. But I'm not going to tell you those things, and somehow the world will carry on." He had boasted to reporters for The Times that - if he testified - he would provide a wealth of damaging information into the workings of the call-boy ring, bribery of Japanese and U.S. officials and other sordid matters. But, despite the subpoena, Mr. Spence apparently never appeared before a grand jury.
During the past few weeks, Mr. Spence told several friends that the call-boy operation was being investigated by the U.S. Attorney's Office and other federal authorities as a possible CIA front. He told the friends that the CIA used the service to compromise other federal intelligence officials and foreign diplomats.
One friend quoted him as saying, "Casey's boys are out to get me," an apparent reference to former CIA Director William Casey, now deceased. Mr. Casey and Mr. Spence were friends, and the former CIA director attended parties hosted by the former lobbyist.
Mr. Spence had come to Boston several days before his death with frequent companion former Air Force Sgt. Ron Paganelli and his dog, Winston, according to police investigators.
During his stay at the elegant Ritz Carlton, just off the Boston Common, he entertained as many as six or seven guests in his $285-a-night room, according to hotel employees.
He had arrived at the hotel Nov. 4. Mr. Spence told a hotel worker with whom he had become friendly that he was in town to meet with a former boss, one-time Massachusetts Speaker of the House John Davoren, police said. But that meeting never occurred, they said.
Hotel employees said he was an eccentric guest, making frequent demands of the staff for chocolate truffles, fresh flowers and other appointments but then somewhat arbitrarily tipping $200 or $300 at a time. He spent much of his stay traveling in limousines to meet friends, police said.
During a lengthy interview at a Manhattan apartment in August, Mr. Spence frequently alluded to deep mysteries. "All this stuff you've uncovered (involving call boys, bribery and the White House tours), to be honest with you, is insignificant compared to other things I've done. But I'm not going to tell you those things, and somehow the world will carry on."
He also talked frequently of suicide, saying repeatedly, "My life is over." He reserved deep bitterness for high-powered friends he said had forsaken him. "I've had the world at my house, and now they don't know who I am," he said. "But they did come, didn't they?"
Photo, Craig J. Spence, who once said he was "looking forward" to death, was found dead Friday in his room at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Boston.,
By Peter Kolk/Special to The Washington Times
SPENCE AS MUCH AN ENIGMA IN DEATH AS HE WAS IN LIFE Jerry Seper, and Michael Hedges The Washington Times; Final Section: WORLD Page: A11 Monday, November 13, 1989"The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated." - Craig J. Spence, two weeks ago at a Washington dinner party.
T he room where Craig J. Spence died was awash in the small mysteries and ironies that had followed him - and that he had perpetuated - since he came to Washington in the late 1970s, already an enigmatic figure with strange Asian connections and friends in high places. The sergeant, who also participated in the July 3 White House tour, allegedly was asked by Mr. Spence for information on Delta Force, a special forces counterterrorism unit based in Fort Bragg, N.C. On the bed was a newspaper clipping referring to CIA undercover agents. Scrawled on the mirror was a note written to some unnamed "chief," which also contained an obscure phrase in Japanese, "Nisei Bei," which means second-generation American.But hidden from view, in the room's false ceiling, were personal papers, including a birth certificate describing his arrival as a small-town, middle-class boy - a heritage he spent his life trying to restyle.
"Death, you know, is only painful to the ones you leave behind," Mr. Spence told The Washington Times during an interview in August. "As a matter of fact, I'm looking forward to it. At 48, I'll still look good in hell."
The focus of a summer sex scandal, Mr. Spence was found dead Friday in his room at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Boston. He had celebrated his 49th birthday just three weeks ago at a lavish Washington party.
The Ritz was among Mr. Spence's favorite hostelries, one of several posh accommodations he demanded in his frequent travels throughout the United States, Europe, South and Central America and the Orient.
"I've always been a first-class person in a second-class world, but I've learned to adjust," he said in the interview. "But there are places I've found where a civilized man can exist with some style and dignity."
Mr. Spence's name surfaced this summer after The Times identified the former lobbyist and prominent social host - who could arrange unauthorized late-night tours of the White House for his friends with a single telephone call - as a major client of a homosexual prostitution service being investigated by the Secret Service, Metropolitan Police, the U.S. Attorney's Office and a federal grand jury.
That investigation centered on a homosexual call-boy service that operated out of a house on 34th Place NW. The ring's clients, according to hundreds of credit-card vouchers obtained by The Times, included government officials, military officers, foreign and U.S. businessmen, lawyers, bankers, congressional aides, media representatives and other professionals.
The vouchers showed that Mr. Spence spent as much as $20,000 a month for call boys from various escort services run by the ring, including Man-to-Man, Dream Boys, Ultimate First Class and Jovan. He admitted in the interview with The Times that he had used credit cards to purchase sexual services, but strongly hinted of having "firsthand information" about people "high in government" who also were involved.
During the past few weeks, Mr. Spence told several friends that he knew "for a fact" that the call-boy operation was being investigated by the U.S. Attorney's Office and other federal authorities as a CIA front. He told the friends the CIA used the service to compromise other federal intelligence officials and foreign diplomats.
Mr. Spence claimed in the interview that he had worked for the CIA on numerous occasions and had been instrumental in a number of covert actions in Vietnam, Japan, Central America and the Middle East - a claim denied by the agency.
"How do you think a little faggot like me moved in the circles I did?" he said. "It's because I had contacts at the highest levels of this government.
"They'll deny it. But how do they make me go away, when so many of them have been at my house, at my parties and at my side?"
The grand jury investigation begun in June by U.S. Attorney Jay Stephens was described as a "credit card" probe. It is not clear, however, how vigorous federal prosecutors have been nor where the case may be headed.
The Times, in contacting a number of principal witnesses and active participants in the case, discovered that few of them had been interviewed and only a handful asked to testify before the grand jury. Several key figures had not been contacted at all. Those who were questioned were being asked mainly about national security concerns and possible security breaches at the White House.
Among those not contacted by law enforcement officials or the grand jury were:
* Officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations who were identified in The Times as having used the call-boy service and paid with credit cards.
* Those running the prostitution ring raided in February, and persons who kept the credit-card records of visits with prostitutes by people who worked in the Reagan and Bush White Houses.
* Any of several high-profile friends of Mr. Spence's who attended parties at his Kalorama home or spoke for pay at numerous seminars he sponsored as a registered foreign agent.
* Prostitutes who said they serviced Mr. Spence and military personnel whom the former lobbyist hired as bodyguards.
"I haven't heard one word from the U.S. attorney, the FBI or anyone else," said one of the men whom Mr. Spence got into the White House for a 1 a.m. visit on July 3, 1988. "The Secret Service talked to me back in the summer, after the stories were out, but nothing since then."
Mr. Spence was one key figure who was handed a subpoena more than two months ago but had yet to testify. What arrangements had been made with the former lobbyist are not known. Mr. Spence vowed during the August interview, however, that he would "never be brought back alive before any damned hearing." Mr. Stephens has declined to comment on the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Strasser, who is handling the matter before the grand jury, also has refused comment. A spokeswoman, Judy Smith, said yesterday that the U.S. Attorney's Office would have no comment on Mr. Spence'sdeath or its potential impact on the investigation.
A participant in one of the late-night White House tours testified before the grand jury two weeks ago and was asked about the tours, missing china out of the presidential mansion and Mr. Spence's interest in the U.S. military's top-secret Delta Force . The witness, a longtime acquaintance of Mr. Spence's who had spent considerable time as a guest in his home, was not asked any questions about credit cards, Mr. Spence's alleged involvement with the homosexual call-boy ring or about the ring itself.The witness - who was among those taking the July 3 White House tour - also described a lengthy interview with Mr. Strasser, Secret Service agents and then a brief questioning period before the federal panel.
"They pulled out a picture book containing the White House china collection and asked me about the Truman china," said the witness, who asked not to be identified. "They wanted to know if I had seen anything like that. They strongly intimated that more things were missing."
Mr. Strasser, according to the witness, also asked during the private discussion and before the grand jury about the gift by Mr. Spence of an expensive Rolex watch to a U.S. Army sergeant. The sergeant, who also participated in the July 3 White House tour, allegedly was asked by Mr. Spence for information on Delta Force, a special forces counterterrorism unit based in Fort Bragg, N.C.
"They asked me what I thought Spence wanted to know about the Delta project," the witness said. "I said it could mean he was just interested in the young guys there or something else."
The questioning by federal authorities became most detailed when it turned to the subject of the late-night tours. "They asked if we went in any offices, if I had seen any documents or if any documents had left the White House," the witness said.
Secret Service officials have publicly stated there was no breach of security during the tours and that they had no concern that entry was made by the late-night visitors into unauthorized areas of the White House.
Mr. Spence also gave an $8,000 Rolex watch to Secret Service uniformed officer Reginald A. deGueldre, who was assigned to the White House security detail. Mr. deGueldre has admitted in an affidavit that he gave Mr. Spence a piece of Truman china from the White House collection.
In August, Mr. deGueldre and another Secret Service officer, who has not been identified, were suspended indefinitely without pay and a third was placed on administrative leave with pay. Secret Service officials said at the time that the suspensions were the first step to possible criminal prosecution of the two men, although none has yet taken place.
Mr. deGueldre said recently he had not been approached by any federal authorities for an interview or asked to testify before the grand jury. "I have no idea what is going on," he said. "I have not heard from anyone at all."
The grand jury witness said federal authorities also inquired about Mr. Spence's alleged drug use. In his interview with The Times, Mr. Spence admitted to being a heavy cocaine user. He was arrested for possession of cocaine in New York last summer.
The witness also was shown a collection of photographs of male youths between "14 and 17 or 18 years old" and asked if any were a youth Mr. Spence lived with and introduced as his son. "They were a rough bunch of customers," the witness said. "The photographs looked like things that might have been found in the house they raided. I was asked if Craig had a son, and I said I didn't believe he did."
In the August interview, Mr. Spence admitted to using the 34th Place call-boy service, but said the amounts of the charges had been inflated by someone connected with the operation. As a result, he said, he fired his accountant over charges he said he had not authorized.
The accountant, Peter Chase, denied he had been fired and said all the credit-card charges had been verified and each contained Mr. Spence's signature. He steadfastly has declined to comment specifically about his former client, but did confirm that records involving Mr. Spence had been subpoenaed by the Secret Service, that no one from the U.S. Attorney's Office had talked with him and that he was not scheduled to appear before the grand jury.
Mr. Spence, who said in August that he had AIDS and who threatened to commit suicide rather than die of the disease, was scheduled for a hearing Feb. 2 in New York City on weapons and drug charges. He was arrested July 31 at the Barbizon Hotel on East 63rd Street with a 22-year-old Brooklyn man identified by police as Casey Regan, an alleged male prostitute. Two other hearings, one in September and the other last week, had been postponed.
Police seized a loaded .32-caliber pistol and confiscated a small quantity of a white powder believed to be cocaine after a report of a disturbance at the hotel.
During his days as one of Washington's premier hosts, Mr. Spence dressed in finery and lived extravagantly, affecting touches like scarlet-lined capes and stretch limousines.
Among those who attended his parties and were featured at seminars he sponsored were journalists Eric Sevareid, Ted Koppel, William Safire and Liz Trotta; former Ambassadors Robert Neumann, Elliott Richardson and James Lilly; the late John Mitchell, attorney general in the Nixon administration; Mr. Casey and other CIA officials, including Ray Cline, former deputy director of intelligence for the agency; former Lt. Gen. Daniel O. Graham, an expert on the Strategic Defense Initiative who now heads High Frontier Inc.; Sen. John Glenn, Ohio Democrat, and Sen. Frank Murkowski, Alaska Republican; and Joseph diGenova, former U.S. attorney in Washington, and his wife, Victoria Toensing, a former deputy assistant attorney general.
Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor-in-chief of The Times, attended a party for Mr. Lilly hosted by Mr. Spence at the former lobbyist's Kalorama home.
Following the August interview in New York, Mr. Spence returned to Washington and reportedly stayed with friends. He maintained a high profile on the bar and restaurant circuit, and was spotted at several places during the past two months.
Meanwhile, several members of Congress, federal officials, military officers and others have told The Times that they are concerned that the lavish parties and Japanese-sponsored seminars thrown by Mr. Spence, at which the elite of Washington and officials from Japan, China and elsewhere mingled, might have compromised U.S. security.
Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, Maryland Republican, for one, recently questioned the former lobbyist's ties to the Japanese government in a speech on the floor of the House. Citing news articles in the United States and Japan, Mrs. Bentley asked whether plans for the F-16 jet had been transferred by Mr. Spence to a Japanese government official, Motoo Shiina, and later turned over to the Soviet Union.
"I bring this to the floor today, Mr. Speaker, because I am frankly puzzled that these stories are out - in print both in Japan and in America -and there seems to be no official investigation into what to me are very grave charges ," she said.
Photo, Craig Spence
Prostitutes corroborate Frank stories Paul M. Rodriguez The Washington Times; Part A; Pg. A1 February 2, 1990, Friday, Final EditionP enthouse magazine's anxiously awaited account of sexual adventuring by congressmen quotes a female prostitute as corroborating Steven L. Gobie's earlier story that Rep. Barney Frank knew Gobie was operating a bordello in the congressman's Capitol Hill apartment. According to Gobie, Mr. Spence told him, "Do you know what kind of power you can have over people if you've got something on them? . . . I need boys and girls for people in government and high-level businessmen for my parties, for individuals, for whatever comes up." The woman, identified only as Lyn, said Mr. Frank called the apartment from his office before coming home to see whether she had finished with her "trick." She called Mr. Frank's claim that he didn't know what was going on in his Eighth Street SE apartment in his absence "baloney."
The explicit magazine article about Gobie and the sex-for-hire world in which he said he procured prostitutes for famous clients - "Washington's Mayflower Madam" - was written by Art Harris of The Washington Post and Rudy Maxa of Washingtonian magazine.
"Barney would call and ask, 'Are you entertaining company?' " the female prostitute told the authors. "And I'd say, 'Yeah, but they're about to leave.' And he'd say, 'I'll give you 20 or 25 minutes.' "
Many of the details of Gobie's Penthouse story had been reported earlier by The Washington Times, but the article nevertheless cast new light on the underground world to which Gobie says he introduced Mr. Frank.
Mr. Frank's office did not return telephone calls from The Times seeking comment on the Penthouse article. The congressman also would not be interviewed by the authors of the magazine piece.
Mr. Frank, 49, whose actions are under investigation by the House ethics committee, has acknowledged purchasing sexual services from Gobie, 33, and other male prostitutes. He also has admitted employing Gobie as a personal assistant while knowing that Gobie continued to work as a call boy, but has insisted that he did not know that the services of prostitutes were being sold from his apartment.
The congressman has said he threw Gobie out in the summer of 1987, ending their two-year relationship, after he discovered the call boy was running a prostitution business from the apartment.
"Barney was hot," Gobie told the magazine. "He said, 'The landlord found out what's going on. One of your girls asked if this was the place to come for escort interviews. . . . Do you realize what could happen if The Washington Post got a hold of this?' "
But Mr. Frank has conceded that he remained in touch with Gobie through New Year's Day 1988, even allowing the prostitute continued use of his car with its congressional license plate.
In the Penthouse article, Gobie said Mr. Frank even offered him $10,000 to $12,000 to help him relocate to Florida. Gobie, who once said he thought about opening up an escort business along Florida's "gold coast," said he rejected the offer.
Gobie has said Mr. Frank, whom he dubbed Sweet 'n' Low for "sweet guy, low on cash," was aware of the larger prostitution operation and delighted in being told about the call boy's sexual encounters.
Mr. Frank also has admitted to using congressional stationery to write several letters to Virginia probation officials to persuade them to shorten Gobie's probation stemming from felony convictions for drug offenses and for sex offenses involving a minor girl.
Moreover, Mr. Frank has admitted fixing parking tickets that Gobie had obtained while servicing clients using the congressman's Chevrolet Chevette. Although Mr. Frank told The Times he could not remember how many tickets he fixed using his congressional immunity, Gobie estimated the number at between 50 and 60.Gobie told Penthouse that "those letters kept me in operation. . . . The letters and Barney's [congressional] perks were worth far more to me than any fees I could have charged him. I wasn't a gold digger, but I'm not a dumb escort, either."
In fact, Gobie told the magazine that it was Mr. Frank who came up with the idea of hiring the call boy as a driver and providing a cover for the prostitution business, which catered to men as well as women.
"He said, 'You can use me as a reference to the probation people,' " according to Gobie, who said he listed Mr. Frank's house with Virginia law enforcement authorities as his address.
Mr. Frank said in an Aug. 23 interview with The Times that he allowed Gobie to use the apartment as "his house," but admitted that the call boy never lived there - even though the congressman told probation officials and at least one court-appointed social worker that the apartment was Gobie's home address.
Another prostitute, whom Penthouse identified as Ricky, also backed Gobie's claims that Mr. Frank benefited from the prostitution operation with reduced rates for sexual acts.
Ricky, described as an "especially . . . trim, six-foot blond," told the magazine that Mr. Frank paid him a discounted $100 fee on one occasion for a sexual tryst arranged by Gobie and that he agreed to waive his usual referral fee as a favor to the congressman.
Gobie said he made about six prostitutes in all available to Mr. Frank at reduced rates.
Mr. Frank acknowledged in a Sept. 25 Newsweek magazine interview that he purchased sexual services from several male prostitutes but did not elaborate other than to say: "I knew it was wrong, but I just couldn't sit home."
Gobie, according to Penthouse, said Mr. Frank also daydreamed about living a secret life as a paid escort. "He said, 'If I'd been 20 years younger, I would have liked to have tried hustling. . . . I think it would be a thrill to get paid for sex," Gobie quoted the congressman as saying.
The Penthouse article also expanded on the relationship between Gobie and Craig J. Spence, the former lobbyist who was under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office in connection with alleged bribery of Secret Service officers, unauthorized White House tours and credit card abuse connected to a male prostitution ring he frequented.
The magazine said Mr. Spence had agreed to "provide lurid details of Washington's bisexual wonderland." But before the interview could occur, Mr. Spence committed suicide in Boston on Nov. 10.
In the magazine, Gobie - who was not a source of The Times on the Spence story - also confirmed many of the things others had said about the lobbyist with ties to the upper echelons of the Reagan administration.
He said Mr. Spence tried to recruit him to help "in a sordid scheme to blackmail the powerful politicians invited to his lavish parties."
Gobie also said he "sexually serviced" Mr. Spence for money three times and, according to the magazine, "watched [the lobbyist] snort cocaine and then do sit-ups as he hung upside down, half-naked, in gravity boots."
According to Gobie, Mr. Spence told him, "Do you know what kind of power you can have over people if you've got something on them? . . . I need boys and girls for people in government and high-level businessmen for my parties, for individuals, for whatever comes up."
The magazine quoted Gobie as saying Mr. Spence was "the most dangerous man I'd ever met. If he hadn't turned into such a crackhead, he could have blackmailed half this town. He used to say, 'Hey, foreign intelligence agencies are doing it.' "
* Michael Hedges contributed to this report. The Washington Post
MINGO HIRES CONTROVERSIAL DOCTOR Maryclaire Dale The Charleston Gazette; News; Pg. P1A July 01, 1997, TuesdayA Williamson doctor facing an August medical licensure hearing and a possible criminal retrial in Kentucky was recently named Mingo County's medical examiner. "A physician has nothing to gain from a suicide. A mortician does." Diane Shafer , who was charged with bribing a Kentucky hearing examiner she later married, will replace former sheriff and funeral home owner Gerald Chafin, who had been named county coroner earlier in the month. Shafer is apparently now married to or involved with Henry Vinson, the former Mingo County coroner who served time in prison for running a Washington, D.C., male prostitution ring which reached the White House.Since 1975, all West Virginia counties have been required to have a physician serve as a county medical examiner, responding to homicides, suicides, accidents and questionable deaths. The examiner's role is to survey the body, talk to police on the scene, and gather information for the state medical examiner offices in Charleston, Morgantown and Wheeling.
The Mingo County post had been vacant for about a year, forcing police to wait up to two or three hours for a medical examiner to come from Charleston.
In early June, Mingo County commissioners appointed Chafin county coroner. He has had his own legal troubles in recent years, having been twice indicted on federal wiretap charges that were later dismissed.
"I told them he really doesn't fit the guidelines. Do you have a physician down there? Then she [Shafer] called," State Medical Examiner Irwin Sopher said.
Sopher knew of Shafer's controversial history, which included a bribery conviction in Kentucky that was later overturned, the current loss of her Kentucky medical license and a prior suspension of her West Virginia medical license.
"Well, she has a license to practice medicine, and I discussed some of these things with her, and I think she'll be able to handle some of this," Sopher said. "The job is mainly a reporting position.
"They don't do examinations, or actual autopsies."
He said the job pays $50 per case, making it difficult sometimes to attract physicians. At times, nurses, dentists, funeral directors or other people have served as interim coroners, as is currently the case in about six counties, Sopher said.
Sopher said the Mingo County medical examiner would typically handle about 60 cases a year.
Shafer's criminal conviction on bribery charges in Kentucky was overturned in 1995 by the state's Supreme Court.
The retrial had been set for earlier this year but was apparently postponed. Shafer said she thinks the charges will be dropped. She was convicted in Kentucky state court of bribing Gregory Holmes, a Kentucky hearing examiner who was reviewing charges she overbilled insurers for her work. Holmes, a blind and already married 39-year-old lawyer, cleared her of wrongdoing 10 days after they were allegedly married and after Shafer allegedly gave him $ 42,500. Holmes, who denied marrying Shafer, was convicted of bigamy and bribery. A medical board panel in West Virginia found probable cause to take
Shafer to a hearing, now set for Aug. 20, 21 and 22, on charges she fraudulently signed four disability papers during a period when her West Virginia license was suspended.Shafer said Monday someone approached her to apply. "Well, people ask me to do house calls. This is certainly less work than that," she joked, when asked why she wanted the post.
She said the job should be held by physicians as opposed to funeral directors. "A physician has nothing to gain from a suicide. A mortician does. He would probably process the body for burial," she said. "I don't think it's [the funeral industry] a charity business."
She could not be reached for comment later in the evening about her relationship with Vinson.
Shafer, who ran unsuccessfully for the House of Delegates in 1996, gave her age Monday as 42.
According to a story published under her byline in a Temple University alumnae magazine, she graduated from Temple's medical school in 1976.
The story described her long days working in an impoverished Appalachian community.
Shafer collected more than $ 500,000 in a six-year period from the West Virginia Workers' Compensation Fund alone.
During the time of her licensure troubles, when she had an office in Kentucky but no license and a license in West Virginia but no office, she was photographed handing pieces of paper presumed to be prescriptions to patients out of her car at a small airfield in Mingo County.
Chafin said Monday he was not upset Shafer replaced him. "If we have an M.D. that is agreeable, then it is to be an M.D.," he said. Sopher, told later that Shafer appears to be involved with Vinson, said he wanted time to think about the situation before commenting on her fitness for the job.
Vinson's sister, Brenda Copley of Fort Gay, said Monday that as far as she knew, Vinson married Shafer after his late 1995 release from federal prison.
A man who answered the phone at Shafer's medical office Monday initially identified himself as Shafer's husband, Henry Shafer, and said he could answer questions about her medical examiner appointment.
"We were married years ago, and then we tried it again recently," he said.
Later in the day, the same man denied saying he was her husband and made a series of sexually explicit and racist remarks when asked if his name was actually Henry Vinson.
"Would you like to come and have sex with me, you f-- n--- b--. What the hell is your problem?" he shouted loudly into the office telephone line.
Several longtime Williamson residents said Monday Shafer has been seen around town with Vinson.
Vinson served as Mingo County coroner from 1985 to 1986 before resigning after a widow complained he left her husband's body in a funeral home for 42 days because of her inability to pay him. In 1990, he was charged with running prostitution rings which advertised in Washington newspapers under the names "Man to Man" and "Dream Boys."
Prosecutors said the business made $ 500,000 to $ 1 million between 1987 and 1989, and clients included low-level staffers in the Reagan and Bush White House.
Vinson, who was represented by lawyer-turned-legal commentator Greta Van Susteren, eventually pleaded guilty to racketeering and credit card fraud charges in the 43-count indictment.
During a 1982 investigation into the use of "drugs and sexual activityto lobby congressmen," Shoffler did indeed advise congressionalinvestigators to look into a male prostitution ring that serviced Capitol Hill.The veteran police detective believed that the sex ring might be linked tohigh-flying Washington lobbyist, Robert Keith Gray, who had more than a fewconnections to CIA folk. According to Peter Dale Scott, some Washingtoninvestigators also suspected that the gay sex ring was connected to DC crimeboss Joe "the Possum" Nesline.
Most interestingly, the Watergate madam, Heidi Rikan, was a girlfriend ofmobster Joe "the Possum" Nesline, whose alleged connection to theCapitol Hill gay sex scandal a decade later aroused the suspicion of Washingtondetectives.
Assorted boyfriends and former husbands of both Rikan and her sometimesroommate, Maurine "Mo" Biner (who married key Watergate figure JohnDean, which makes Mo a pivotal character, according to scandal revisionists)were associated with the Quorum, an early 1960s "swingles' club run byBobby Baker, a former aide to Lyndon Johnson. Scott surmises that all roads ledto Baker's club for a reason: the Quorum functioned a lot like themob-and-intelligence-infested sex traps of the 1970s.
It was Bobby Baker who introduced President Kennedy to an East Germanbombshell named Ellen Rometsch, whom JFK, true to form, promptly bedded. Scottspeculates that J. Edgar Hoover leaked word of this international indiscretionto the press. Whether or not Hoover was behind the leaks, they nearly ignited aglobal scandal.
Hougan, Jim. "Secret Agenda: watergate, Deep Throat and the CIA."New York: Random House, 1984.
Scott, Peter Dale. "Deep Politics and the Death of JFK." Berkeley,CA: University of California press, 1993.
[And who was one of Nesline's best buddies, andlandlord? Yep. Nathan Landow. Mr. Landow knows the 'game', and has for a longtime.]
The individual further advised me of circumstances which indicated thatthe investigation into the activity of the Finders had become a CIA internalmatter. The MPD report has been classified SECRET and was not available forreview. I was advised that the FBI had withdrawn from the investigation severalweeks prior and that the FBI Foreign Counter Intelligence Division had directedMPD not to advise the FBI Washington Field Office of anything that hadtranspired.No further information will be available. No further action will be taken.
ACTION TO BE TAKEN BY LESD/TECS:
No action to be taken on the basis of this report.
U.S. EXPANDS PROBE OF 'CALL BOY' RING Paul M. Rodriguez and George Archibald The Washington Times; Final Section: A Page: A1 Thursday, July 6, 1989A Secret Service officer assigned to the midnight shift at the White House was interrogated for more than 10 hours Monday about his association with Craig J. Spence - Washington lobbyist; host to the capital's political, business and media elite; and patron of homosexual call-boy services - and the officer was said to have failed a lie-detector test.The officer, Reginald A. deGueldre, accepted a gold Rolex wristwatch valued at $8,000 in return for "unspecified favors" from Mr. Spence, for whom he arranged at least four middle-of-the-night private tours of the White House for high-ranking military officers, well-known figures in the news media and male prostitutes.
Mr. Spence, said one law enforcement official close to the case, also asked Officer deGueldre to intervene on his behalf to help clear Secret Service records of a 1987 arrest at a White House gate for disorderly conduct, described by one source as a lewd sex act. Officer deGueldre has been told he will be called to testify before a federal grand jury.President Reagan was in the White House residential quarters during one of the Spence visits, which was restricted to the West Wing, site of the Oval Office.
U.S. Attorney Jay Stephens, meanwhile, widened his investigation of the homosexual prostitution ring, which has ensnared Mr. Spence and several key Reagan and Bush administration officials.
Mr. Stephens' office is now looking closely at the White House tours and the activities of Mr. Spence, 48, a consultant to Japanese government officials and others.
John Pyles, the Secret Service special agent assigned to direct the investigation of allegations of breaches of White House security, said only, "We're not in a position to talk about this."
Mr. Pyles and Secret Service spokesman Allan Cramer said they were ordered to refer inquiries about the investigation to Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Strasser, who is preparing evidence for presentation to the federal grand jury.
"You'd have to ask them why they referred you to me," Mr. Strasser said yesterday. "There is nothing I care to say to you about this at this time."
The Secret Service, after accounts were published in The Washington Times, has talked to people who took the July 3, 1988, White House tour set up by Mr. Spence, several of those interviewed say.
The agents are investigating possible security breaches by those who entered the White House compound as well as by Officer deGueldre, The Times was told.
One of those reached yesterday by the Secret Service said questioning focused on Mr. Spence and his associates. Questions were also asked about Mr. Spence and the use of cocaine.
Officer deGueldre failed the portion of a polygraph test involving favors he may have done for Mr. Spence, the law enforcement official said. The Secret Service officer visited on several social occasions with Mr. Spence, who was said to have held out the offer of a high-paying security industry job in Florida to him.
Officer deGueldre, who said he immediately reported himself to his superiors when the story of the late-night Spence visit appeared in the June 29 editions of The Washington Times, said he had done nothing wrong.
"To this day, I still believe that Craig is still an American hero," the Secret Service officer said. "The guy never hit on me. . . . My relationship to him was officer to citizen. . . . That's how I met him - when I was walking the street (as a patrolman in the embassy area of the fashionable Kalorama neighborhood where Mr. Spence lived).
"The first time he called me was maybe five years later," Officer deGueldre said. "He said he wanted to be my friend and invited me to a party. . . . I was shocked.
"I was introduced on a one-to-one basis with some very important people. . . . I met top brass, politicals . . . I was invited to a lot of functions at Craig's house. There was all kinds of heavy types there."
But, the officer added: "I had no idea about sex, drugs, nothing like that. . . . A lot of stuff now makes sense though. . . . I always suspected he worked for the CIA."
Officer deGueldre said he understands, given his free access to the White House and the president's living quarters, why the Secret Service is concerned about the Spence tours.Mr. Spence, said one law enforcement official close to the case, also asked Officer deGueldre to intervene on his behalf to help clear Secret Service records of a 1987 arrest at a White House gate for disorderly conduct, described by one source as a lewd sex act.
Three persons who went along on the post-midnight tour of the White House arranged by Mr. Spence July 3, 1988, recalled being admitted by a uniformed Secret Service officer named "Reggie."
"Reggie met us at the gate, and he was the one who let us in," one man said in an interview. "There was another guard who was obviously upset by this."
The three persons also remembered seeing "Reggie" at various parties given by Mr. Spence at which "Reggie" appeared to be serving as a bodyguard or security man for the host.
Others said Mr. Spence used "Reggie" to arrange other White House tours, including one that Mr. Spence took with a 15-year-old boy, whom he identified as his son Will.
That tour, according to former friends and associates of Mr. Spence, occurred June 29, 1988. The "son" had a Southern accent and was actually a male prostitute who provided sexual services for Mr. Spence and several male friends.
Mr. Cramer, the Secret Service spokesman, declined to answer questions about these tours, too. All inquiries about Mr. Spence's past White House dealings and visits were covered by the gag order imposed by the U.S. Attorney's Office, he said.
Evidence concerning Mr. Spence - even information about his past White House connections - is being tightly held by the Secret Service "because it's tied into a criminal fraud case we are investigating."
"We're under orders from the U.S. attorney. . . . The U.S. attorney has restricted us from commenting on that case at all, or anything peripheral to it, because of the judicial tie-in," Mr. Cramer said.
Mr. Stephens' office, which first agreed to discuss the call-boy ring investigation with reporters for The Times last week but later in the day declined to do so, did not respond to inquiries yesterday.
The U.S. Attorney's Office to date has said only that it is investigating "possible credit-card fraud" in connection with arrests made in raids on a house on 34th Place NW, described as the headquarters of a homosexual prostitution ring operating as an escort service.
The Times learned that the FBI is eager to investigate illegal interstate prostitution activities and other possible federal violations incurred by operators of the homosexual prostitution ring, but evidence confiscated by the Secret Service during raids on the house on 34th Place in February and in May is not being shared with the bureau.
This evidence includes information involving high-level government officials and political celebrities who were clients of the ring.
Several law enforcement authorities said relations between local and federal law enforcement agencies have been strained by the Secret Service's behavior in the call-boy case.
The Secret Service - an agency within the Treasury Department whose 1,900 special agents and 960 uniformed personnel are charged with investigating currency counterfeiting and credit-card fraud as well as protecting the president and vice president - is largely dependent on the Metropolitan Police Department, U.S. Capitol Police, National Park Police, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, Mr. Cramer acknowledged in an interview yesterday.
For example, when the Secret Service arrests anyone on the White House grounds, the person is turned over to D.C. police for "processing, transportation and lock-up," Mr. Cramer said. He declined to discuss allegations that the Secret Service had "frozen out" the FBI in the call-boy investigation.
Craig Spence was linked this week to a Japanese politician, Motoo Shiina, a leading member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party who is considered an inside favorite to succeed Prime Minister Sousuke Uno.
Federal court records in Washington revealed that Mr. Spence and Mr. Shiina engaged in a bitter lawsuit in 1984 over the ownership of a house on Wyoming Avenue NW, valued last year at $1.15 million. The two-story Victorian house in which Mr. Spence later lived, was planted with electronic bugs and video recording equipment that, according to homosexual call boys and others who routinely visited the house, was used to make incriminating tapes to blackmail guests.
Mr. Spence has told several current and former friends that, after obtaining the money, he blackmailed Mr. Shiina by threatening to reveal that the cash to buy the house had been brought into the country in violation of currency regulations. Mr. Shiina settled the lawsuit out of court after he was ordered to answer questions about the money's origins.
* Michael Hedges and Jerry Seper contributed to this report.
A little outrage for the children? Wesley Pruden The Washington Times; Part A; NATION; PRUDEN ON POLITICS; Pg. A4 August 25, 1989, Friday, Final EditionO .K., you guys over there on 15th Street, if you sleep through this one, too, you ought to go back to Dubuque to sell shoes. That's the energy and curiosity level of a lot of Washington reporters. They get a press flack's lie and that satisfies them. When last we left those wonderful folks at The Post, they were explaining that the way to cover the Great Summer Sex Scandal, starring Craig Spence and a cast of frightened dozens, was to tell their readers that actually there's no story there."The Bombshell That Didn't Explode" is the way Eleanor Randolph, the O.P. media critic, described on Aug. 1 the story that everybody in town has been talking about since the story broke here June 29. The Wall Street Journal even did a story about how The Times had got the best of The Post.
"Journalists have been left debating whether The Times published a blockbuster or a 'blockbluster,'" she wrote. The second 'l' in "blockbluster" was supposed to be the equivalent of a nudge and a wink from the classy Miss Randolph.
Leonard Downie Jr., the managing editor at The Post, stroked his chin whiskers, put on his wise-old-owl look, and told her: " . . . we [had] already reported about this raid and we wondered what more there was in this story that we would want to publish." What he didn't say, but what his readers could only conclude, was that he couldn't get anybody to find out. So he just wondered.
The usual suspects were brought in to help. Jack Nelson of the Los Angeles Times conceded that his newspaper defers to The Post and The New York Times to decide what's news in Washington, and said he sent reporters out to see whether there was a story and they couldn't find anything.
Howell Raines of The New York Times seemed, as usual, a bit dazed by it all. He agreed there was "obviously some kind of investigation going on," but danged if he could figure out what it was about. He said
he would wait, as befits a proper New York Timesman, to see whether there was anything in the story about "public policy." (He ought to thinka little faster, since he's keeping Mr. Nelson's California readers waiting.) "Other reporters around Washington said they were interested in pursuing the story but decided against it when they checked with the Secret Service and other investigative agencies and were told the raid was relatively routine."
Alas, she's probably right. That's the energy and curiosity level of a lot of Washington reporters. They get a press flack's lie and that satisfies them.
Fortunately for the community, that doesn't satisfy The Times, and in particular it doesn't satisfy Paul Rodriguez and George Archibald, the two reporters whose work is arrayed across the top of Page One this morning.
Despite the lady-like grunting and straining by Miss Randolph, seeking to explain why The Post never considered this a story, her editors have in fact tried to keep the story in sight. They ran not once but twice a story on the White House guard's accepting a gold watch from Craig Spence. Despite The Post's disdainful insistence that the story is merely about a commonplace local prostitution ring, its editors devoted 60 inches of newsprint to profile Henry Vinson, the "madame" of the ring. Despite scoffing at the importance of mid-level White House figures, as named in The Times' coverage, they ran a fanciful front-page story, citing unnamed sources (one of whom is said to be John Belushi, interviewed by Bob Woodward at Forest Lawn) about Fawn Hall, a mere secretary at the White House, who was supposed to be snorting coke.
But not to be too hard on Miss Randolph, who was only doing what she was told, and whose heart may not be in the debunking, anyway. Her husband, Peter Pringle, a reporter for the London Independent, has written several stories about the call boy scandal, with none of The Post's pouting skepticism.
Now, with this morning's disclosures, a little domestic harmony can descend on the Pringle/Randolph breakfast table. "The bombshell" has exploded at the seat of Ben Bradlee's pants.
This morning's accounts show the male prostitution ring to have reached into Congress, the White House and a public elementary school. The disclosures about Barney Frank won't surprise many of us. But unless this city, the Congress, the journalists who live here, and the U.S. attorney's office have lost the last vestige of public and private decency, we can expect a little outrage in behalf of our children.
Wesley Pruden is managing editor of The Times.
West Virginia's Chief Medical Examiner Sopher, who hired Diane Shafer was on the medical team that examined the remains in Oswald's coffin todetermine the identity of the exhumed corpse.
Alexandra Colen, "Some Post-Christian Realities," The Human LifeReview, Spring 1997 issue, pp. 53-60.
The author, a member of the Belgian Parliament and former lecturer at theUniversities of Ghent and Antwerp, discusses the pervasiveness and excesses ofpedophilia and pedophilia-related murders and underground events ("The PinkBallets") in Belgium. Pink Ballets andProtected Pornographers ... "Post-Christian Realities" byAlexandra Cohen (Human Life Review, Spring 1997)
Of course, this is all very complicated and convoluted, that's how they know they can get away with anything.That's how they got away with the Kennedy hit. By burying their actions under a mountain of outrageous and heinous acts, they can count on most peoples natural tendency to disbelieve that such nice looking people like the Bushes could be capable of being such monsters - That such evil could exist. It is chilling that such evil people like the Bush family really do exist. But they do.Know Your Enemy
Wake up those around you voxfux
The Genesis and Evolution of the Jeffrey Epstein, Bill Clinton Relationship
Sat, 24 Aug 2019 14:35
O n August 10 th , and for several days after, speculation swirled after it was announced that Jeffrey Epstein had been found dead in his cell. His cause of death has officially been ruled suicide by hanging.
Epstein, the billionaire pedophile and sex trafficker with a myriad of connections to the rich and powerful in the United States and several other countries, had told those close to him that he had feared for his life prior to his sudden ''suicide,'' the Washington Post reported, while his defense lawyers claimed that he had planned to cooperate with federal authorities.
Following the controversial conclusion by the New York Medical Examiner that Epstein's death was a suicide '-- a conclusion contested by Epstein's attornies as well as by independent forensic pathologists, given the apparent evidence pointing towards strangulation '-- corporate media coverage of the Epstein case has slowed to a trickle, save for sensationalist stories about his alleged co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell and new salacious details of his past. Gone from corporate media are any hints of the larger scandal, revolving around the admission that Epstein had ''belonged to intelligence.''
In this four-part series, '' The Jeffrey Epstein Scandal: Too Big to Fail ,'' MintPress has revealed that Epstein's activities '-- a sexual blackmail operation involving minors and connected to intelligence agencies '-- was one of many such operations that have taken place for decades, developing from the nexus forged between the CIA, organized crime and Israeli intelligence shortly after World War II.
As Part II of this series revealed, these sexual blackmail operations proliferated during the Iran-Contra affair, which involved this same dark alliance between U.S./Israeli intelligence and organized crime. Though this series has thus far largely focused on the ties of Republican officials to those operations and associated crimes, the final installment of this series will focus on Democratic politicians, namely the Clinton family, and their ties to this same network as well as Jeffrey Epstein.
The Clintons' own involvement in Iran-Contra revolved around the covert activities at Arkansas' Mena Airport, which involved the CIA front company Southern Air Transport and occurred while Clinton was governor. Just a few years into the Clinton presidential administration, Leslie Wexner and Jeffrey Epstein would play a major role in Southern Air Transport's relocation to Columbus, Ohio, leading to concerns among top Ohio officials that both men were not only working with the CIA, but that Wexner's company, The Limited, sought to use the CIA-linked airline for smuggling.
During that same period of time, Epstein had already forged close ties to important Clinton White House officials and prominent Clinton donors like Lynn Forester de Rothschild and made several personal visits to the official presidential residence.
Some of these ties appear related to Epstein's shady financial activities, particularly involving currency markets and offshore tax havens '-- activities he began to perfect while working for prominent Iran-Contra figures in the early 1980s, several of whom were tied to the CIA-linked bank Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) and had known relationships with Israeli intelligence, namely the Mossad. The nature of Epstein's work for these individuals and other evidence strongly suggests that Epstein himself had a relationship with BCCI after leaving Bear Stearns and prior to the bank's collapse in 1991.
Of particular importance are Epstein's relationship to the Clinton Foundation and the alleged role of Epstein's Virgin Islands-based hedge fund and the Clinton Foundation in money laundering activity, a relationship still under investigation by MintPress .
It is this tale of intrigue that fully reveals the extent to which this decades-old alliance between organized crime, the CIA, and Israeli intelligence has corrupted and influenced politicians of both political parties, both through the use of sexual blackmail and through other means of coercion.
Far from being the work of a single intelligence agency or a single country, the power structure revealed by this network connected to Epstein is nothing less than a criminal enterprise that transcends nationality and is willing to use and abuse children in the pursuit of ever more power, wealth and control. Existing for decades and willing to use any means necessary to cover its tracks, this criminal racket has become so integrated into the levers of power, in the United States and well beyond, that it is truly too big to fail.
Iran Contra, Mena Airport and the Clintons When one thinks back to the now-famous Iran-Contra scandal, names like Ronald Reagan, Oliver North and Barry Seal comes to mind, but former President Bill Clinton also played an outsized role in the scandal '-- using his home state of Arkansas, where he was then serving as governor, as a sort of rallying point for the CIA's U.S.-side of the Central American operation.
In fact, during Clinton's reign as governor a small town called Mena, nestled in the Ozark Mountains west of Arkansas' capital Little Rock, would be propelled into the national spotlight as a hub for drug and arms smuggling and the training of CIA-backed far-right militias.
Under the close watch of the CIA, then led by William Casey, the Mena Intermountain Regional Airport was used to stockpile and deliver arms and ammunition to the Nicaraguan Contras. The arms were sometimes exchanged for cocaine from South American cartels, which would then be sent back to Mena and used to fund the covert CIA operation.
Though efforts have been made to dismiss Clinton's role in the scandal, his direct intervention in the Contras' attempts to overthrow the Sandinista government of Nicaragua suggests Clinton had some sort of personal stake in the efforts and was unlikely aloof to the major smuggling operation taking place in his state while he had been governor. In fact, while governor, Clinton split with many other state governments in sending a contingency of the Arkansas National Guard to Honduras to train the Nicaraguan Contras on how to overthrow their Sandinista government. Clinton would also discuss his first-hand knowledge of the operation with now-Trump administration Attorney General William Barr.
Much of this channeling of both weapons and drugs was carried out by notorious drug smuggler and alleged CIA/DEA operative Barry Seal. According to the book Whiteout: the CIA, Drugs and the Press by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair:
A federal investigation aided by the Arkansas State Police established that Barry Seal, a drug dealer working for the Medellin cartel as well as with the C.I.A. and the D.E.A., had his planes retrofitted at Mena for drug drops, trained pilots there and laundered his profits partly through financial institutions in Arkansas. Seal, at this time was in close contact with [Oliver] North, who acknowledged the relationship in his memoir. These were the years in which North was constructing his covert supply lines for the contras.''
Seal was known to use aircraft that belonged to the company Southern Air Transport and he also employed flight crews that worked for that same company. Southern Air Transport, formerly Air America, was once directly owned by the CIA and today is remembered for being a CIA front during Iran-Contra. Less known is the relationship between the CIA-linked airline and Leslie Wexner and his then-close associate Jeffrey Epstein, which will be discussed in detail later in this report.
Seal seemed to always operate with much less than six degrees of separation from Clinton while the latter served as governor. In his 1999 confessional expose, Cross-fire: Witness in the Clinton Investigation , former Arkansas policeman turned personal driver and security guard for Bill Clinton, L.D. Brown, recounts how Clinton encouraged him to seek out a post at the CIA. Clinton allegedly went so far as to edit the essay Brown wrote for this employment application. The essay topic was drug smuggling in Central America. Upon receiving his application, the CIA put Brown in touch with none other than Barry Seal. Seal would later be gunned down in 1986 while serving six-months probation for drug-smuggling charges.
Seal was not the only affiliate of Oliver North running a Contra-connected operation in Arkansas. Terry Reed, who had worked for North since 1983, claimed to have been put in touch with Seal by North and established a base just 10 miles north of Mena '-- in Nella, Arkansas '-- where ''Nicaraguan Contras and other recruits from Latin American were trained in resupply missions, night landings, precision paradrops and similar maneuvers,'' according to Cockburn and St. Clair. Reed further asserted that drug money was being laundered through Arkansas financial institutions.
After Clinton's half-brother Roger was busted for cocaine smuggling (Clinton would later pardon him while president) the CIA sought to move Contra operations out of Arkansas, hoping to put a damper on the increasingly public and sloppy Arkansas-based operation. According to Terry Reed in his book Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA , co-written with John Cummings, a hushed meeting was held in a bunker at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock, Arkansas. During the meeting, William Barr, who represented himself as the emissary of then-CIA Director Bill Casey told Clinton:
The deal we made was to launder our money through your bond business but what we didn't plan on was you and your n****r here start taking yourselves seriously and purposely shrinking our laundry.''
Bar chastised Clinton for his sloppy handling of the delicate operation and his half-brother's very public fall from grace. He would later tell Clinton, according to Reed ,
Bill, you are Mr. Casey's fair-haired boy '... You and your state have been our greatest asset. Mr. Casey wanted me to pass on to you that unless you fuck up and do something stupid, you're No. 1 on the short list for a shot at the job that you've always wanted. You and guys like you are the fathers of the new government. We are the new covenant.''
Attempts to investigate Clinton's role in the Mena operations and more broadly in the Iran-Contra affair were allegedly axed by Clinton's own confidantes, who consistently denied he played a role in the scandal. According to the Wall Street Journal , former IRS investigator William Duncan teamed with Arkansas State Police Investigator Russell Welch in what became a decade-long battle to bring the matter to light. In fact, of the nine separate state and federal probes into the affair, all failed.
Duncan would later say of the investigations, ''[They] were interfered with and covered up, and the justice system was subverted,'' and a 1992 memo from Duncan to high-ranking members of the attorney general's staff notes that Duncan was instructed ''to remove all files concerning the Mena investigation from the attorney general's office.'' The attorney general, serving under George H. W. Bush, at that time was William Barr, who is currently attorney general under Trump.
The Bank of Crooks and Criminals International Another Clinton connection to the CIA and the Iran-Contra affair runs through the family's connection to Arkansas financier Jackson Stephens and the CIA-linked Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), which critics nicknamed the ''Bank of Crooks and Criminals International.'' Stephens was among the richest people in Arkansas and was also a major donor and backer of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton . He also played a key role in the rise of Walmart .
Jackson Stephens and other members of the Stephens family bankrolled Bill Clinton's rise to political prominence , contributing large sums of money to both Clinton's gubernatorial and his later presidential campaigns. In addition, Worthen Bank, which was majority-owned by Stephens, provided Clinton's first presidential campaign a $3.5 million line of credit. In addition, Stephens' many businesses were frequently represented by the Rose Law Firm, where Hillary Clinton was a partner.
A redacted FBI report from 1998 describes Stephens as having ''lengthy and continuing ties to the Clinton administration and associates'' and also discusses allegations that Stephens has been involved in the ''illegal handling of campaign contributions to the Democratic National Party.''
BCCI had originally been founded by a group of bankers from Pakistan, though Newsweek later reported that CIA officials appeared to have been involved in the bank's founding and that BCCI founder Agha Hasan Abedi had been encouraged by the CIA to found the bank after ''the agency realized that an international bank could provide valuable cover for intelligence operations.'' CIA documents that later surfaced during congressional hearings on the bank's activities and related scandals stated that BCCI was directly involved in ''money laundering, narco-financing, gunrunning and holding large sums of money for terrorist groups.''
Evidence in the case against BCCI shows cocaine seized from a warehouse and suitcases full of cash to be laundered. Photo | FLMD District Court
Though BCCI was known for its CIA links, Catherine Austin Fitts '-- former Assistant Secretary for Housing''Federal Housing Commissioner at HUD during the George H. W. Bush administration, and investment banker with the firms Hamilton Securities Group and Dillon, Read & Co. '-- believes that those links went well beyond the CIA. Fitts '-- who was placed on the board of the BCCI subsidiary First American Bank following BCCI's collapse '-- told MintPress that, after reading through troves of documents regarding the bank's activities prior to its implosion, it was clear to her that there was ''no way'' its clandestine activities were carried on without the full knowledge of the Federal Reserve, specifically the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the White House.
BCCI also played a key role in the Iran-Contra affair and accounts of the bank were used to send payoffs to individuals linked to the scheme. Adnan Khashoggi, a key figure and intermediary in the scandal, used one BCCI account to move more than $20 million related to illegal arms sales and BCCI created fake documentation, including checks signed by Oliver North, allowing the sale to go forward. The bank later, when its activities subsequently came under congressional scrutiny, claimed it had no records of these transactions.
In addition, BCCI appears to have been involved in the sex trafficking of underage girls, including girls that had not yet reached puberty. According to the report entitled '' The BCCI Affair ,'' by then-U.S. Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Hank Brown (R-CO), BCCI officials were alleged to have obtained leverage with powerful individuals, including prominent members of the ruling families of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), by providing them with young virgins.
The report (page 70) specifically states :
According to one U.S. investigator with substantial knowledge of BCCI's activities, some BCCI officials have acknowledged that some of the females provided some members of the Al-Nahyan family [one of the ruling families in the UAE] were young girls who had not yet reached puberty, and in certain cases, were physically injured by the experience. The official said that former BCCI officials had told him that BCCI also provided males to homosexual VIPs.''
BCCI was largely brought into the United States business community through the efforts of Jackson Stephens and Bert Lance, former budget director for Jimmy Carter, who assisted with BCCI's acquisition of First American Bank. The law firm involved in this effort was Arkansas' Rose Law Firm and it involved several of the firm's lawyers, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, Webster Hubbell and C.J. Giroir. Also involved in the effort was Clark Clifford, former Secretary of Defense under Lyndon B. Johnson, and Kamal Adham, former director general of Saudi intelligence.
One of the men added to the BCCI board after the acquisition of First American Bank was Robert Keith Gray, whom Newsweek described as often having ''boasted of his close relationship with the CIA's William Casey; Gray used to say that before taking on a foreign client, he would clear it with Casey.'' As was discussed in Part II of this series, Gray was also an expert in homosexual blackmail operations for the CIA and was reported to have collaborated with Roy Cohn in those activities. Some of Gray's clients at the powerful PR firm he led, Hill & Knowlton, included BCCI clients and Mossad-linked individuals, such as Adnan Khashoggi and Marc Rich.
While the Rose Law Firm was assisting BCCI's entrance into the American financial system, it also represented the Stephens-owned financial services company, Stephens Inc., as well as the data-processing company Systematics Inc., which Stephens acquired in the late 1960s. According to James Norman in his book The Oil Card: Global Economic Warfare in the 21st Century , Systematics was ''a primary vehicle or front company for the National Security Agency in the 1980s and early 1990s to market and implant bugged software in the world's major money-center banks and clearinghouses as part of the Reagan/Bush 'follow the money' effort to break the Soviets.''
The late journalist Michael Ruppert asserted that this ''bugged software'' was none other than the Promis software, which both U.S. and Israeli intelligence had bugged in order to spy on intelligence and which had been marketed in part by Robert Maxwell, father of Jeffrey Epstein's madam, Ghislaine Maxwell. Ruppert cited Systematics as ''a primary developer of Promis for financial intelligence use.'' Promis had originally been leased by Inslaw Inc., a small software company founded by Bill Hamilton, to the Department of Justice '-- which later stole it from Inslaw, forcing it to declare bankruptcy.
According to a 1995 document sent on behalf of Inslaw's founders to then-independent Counsel Ken Starr that asked him to review Inslaw's case, Systematics had ''covertly implanted [software] into the computers of its bank customers'' that allowed ''allied intelligence agencies surreptitiously to track and monitor the flow of money through the banking system'' and had done so at ''the behest of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and its partner in Israeli intelligence.'' Inslaw also stated that the software was used by these same intelligence agencies in the ''laundering of money, especially drug profits.''
Systematics also had a subsidiary in Israel that, according to a former Israeli intelligence officer, was operated by contractors for the Mossad and sold software to banks and telecommunications companies. According to Richardson's letter, that Israeli subsidiary of Systematics also had a Massachusetts-based front company, which was partially owned by a former U.S. intelligence official.
Two partners in the Rose Law Firm who would later serve in the Clinton administration, Vince Foster and Webster Hubbell, acquired significant financial interests in Systematics through ownership in Alltel, which purchased Systematics in the early 1990s. The Hamiltons also provide considerable evidence that Foster's distress prior to his death in 1993 appears to have been related to concerns about litigation involving Systematics and the on-going litigation over Promis' theft.
BCCI itself was known to employ the Promis software after its theft by the DOJ; and one of its subsidiaries, First American Bank, also '' filtered PROMIS money '' '-- i.e., laundered the money generated from the sale of the stolen Promis software '-- according to the late journalist Danny Casolaro.
Casolaro had been investigating an international crime syndicate he termed '' the Octopus '' at the time of his death in 1991. Casolaro believed that this ''Octopus'' involved powerful individuals in the private and public sectors as well as the criminal underworld and that they were collectively responsible for some of the biggest scandals of the 1980s, including Iran-Contra, BCCI and the theft of the Promis software.
Casolaro had told friends and family that he was close to concluding his investigation and several people close to him had seen documents involving money transfers involving BCCI and the World Bank to people involved in these scandals, such as Earl Brian and Adnan Khashoggi. Casolaro went to Martinsburg, Virginia to meet with some sources to get the final piece of the puzzle and ''bring back the head of the Octopus.'' Two days after arriving in Martinsburg, Casolaro was found dead in his hotel room and his briefcase full of his research notes and evidence was missing. His death was ruled a suicide.
Crime scene photos show deep lacerations in Casolaro's arms
Many, including Casolaro's family, do not believe that Casolaro committed suicide. A week before his death, Casolaro told his brother he had been receiving death threats and the manner in which he died, deep slashes in his arms, was not consistent with Casolaro's well-known squeamishness around even minor amounts of blood. Speculation only grew following the FBI investigation , given that the FBI lied to Congress, pressured its own agents not to question whether it was a suicide and lost 90 percent of its files related to Casolaro's death '-- among other glaring inconsistencies.
In a 1994 letter provided to MintPress by Inslaw Inc., Inslaw lawyer Charles Work told then-Assistant Attorney General John Dwyer that one of Inslaw's confidential sources in government had stated that Casolaro had been injected with a substance that deadened his nerves from the neck down, explaining the apparent lack of struggle and that the substance used had come from the U.S. Army inventory. The person who had arranged Casolaro's final meeting before his death was a U.S. military intelligence officer named Joseph Cuellar.
The same year that Casolaro died, there were several other suspicious deaths involving people directly connected to the Promis scandal or involved in Casolaro's investigation of ''the Octopus'' '-- including Alan Standorf , one of Casolaro's sources; Robert Maxwell , father of Ghislaine Maxwell, Mossad operative, and salesman of the bugged Promis software; and John Tower '-- the former Texas senator who assisted Maxwell in selling the bugged Promis software to the Los Alamos laboratories.
Jeffrey Epstein and ''The Dirtiest Bank of All'' While the role Arkansas played in Iran-Contra is one aspect of the scandal that is often overlooked, so to is the key role played by Israeli intelligence-linked arms dealers and smugglers who would later be connected to powerful individuals in the Mega Group and Jeffrey Epstein, such as Marc Rich and Adnan Khashoggi.
One of the key players in the Iran-Contra affair was Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, uncle of the slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. One lesser known fact about Adnan Khashoggi is that, at the time of his Iran-Contra dealings, he was working for the Israeli Mossad, according to former Mossad agent Victor Ostrovsky.
Ostrovsky, in his #1 New York Times bestseller '' By Way of Deception ,'' notes that Khashoggi had been recruited by the Mossad years before and that his private jet had been fitted in Israel. In relation to Iran-Contra, Ostrovsky claims that it was a $5 million bridge loan that Khashoggi provided that helped to overcome the lack of trust between Israel and Iran during the initial arms deals in the early 1980s, and thus his participation was critical to the success of the scheme.
According to journalist Vicky Ward , Adnan Khashoggi was a client of Jeffrey Epstein's in the early 1980s, not long after Epstein's departure from Bear Stearns in 1981. The reason Epstein left the bank remains murky. Though some former Bear Stearns employees claim he was fired, others '-- including Epstein himself '-- claimed that he resigned of his own volition.
Ward suggests that Epstein may have left the bank owing to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation into insider trading in a case that involved a tender offer placed by the Seagrams corporation for St. Joe Minerals Corp. Seagrams owner Edgar Bronfman, son of Meyer Lansky associate Samuel Bronfman and member of the Mega Group, had tipped off several investors and bankers of the coming tender offer. Epstein resigned from Bear Stearns the day after the SEC opened the case and later claimed he had left the company as a result of a relatively minor ''Reg D'' violation and rumors that he had an ''illicit affair with a secretary.''
Yet, as Ward noted:
The SEC never brought any charges against anyone at Bear Stearns for insider trading in St. Joe, but its questioning seems to indicate that it was skeptical of Epstein's answers. Some sources have wondered why, if he was such a big producer at Bear Stearns, he would have given it up over a mere $2,500 fine.''
Regardless of the exact reason for Epstein's sudden departure, it was immediately after he left the bank that ''the details [of Epstein's work history] recede into shadow. A few of the handful of current friends who have known him since the early 1980s recall that he used to tell them he was a ''bounty hunter,'' recovering lost or stolen money for the government or for very rich people. He has a license to carry a firearm.''
Writing in Salon , a former friend of Epstein's, Jesse Kornbluth, also stated that Epstein had claimed to be a ''bounty hunter'' for the rich and powerful:
When we met in 1986, Epstein's double identity intrigued me '-- he said he didn't just manage money for clients with mega-fortunes, he was also a high-level bounty hunter . Sometimes, he told me, he worked for governments to recover money looted by African dictators. Other times those dictators hired him to help them hide their stolen money .'' (emphasis added)
One of Epstein's clients after leaving Bear Stearns, per Ward's sources, was the CIA/Mossad-linked Khashoggi at the very time that Khashoggi was involved in Iran-Contra, an operation involving both U.S. and Israeli intelligence. British journalist Nigel Rosser reported in January 2001 in the Evening Standard that Epstein had claimed that he was also working for the CIA during this same time period.
Since Epstein's arrest, records of Rosser's article have been scrubbed from British newspaper archives, including the Evening Standard 's own. However, MintPress independently confirmed with Bob Fitrakis, whom Rosser had interviewed for the article in question, that the article did allege that Epstein used to claim he worked for the CIA. In addition, other reports from the time period cited excerpts of Rosser's article, including the reference to Epstein's past claims of involvement with the CIA.
Specifically, Rosser's article had included the following passage:
He [Epstein] has a license to carry a concealed weapon, once claimed to have worked for the CIA, although he now denies it '' and owns properties all over America. Once he arrived at the London home of a British arms dealer bringing a gift '' a New York police-issue pump-action riot gun. 'God knows how he got it into the country,' a friend said.''
Though Epstein denied past connections to the CIA at the time Rosser's article was published, it is worth mentioning that Robert Maxwell '-- father of Ghislaine Maxwell and long-time Mossad operative '-- also vehemently denied his now well-documented links to Israeli intelligence until his death. Furthermore, as will be shown later in this article, Epstein and his only known billionaire ''client,'' Leslie Wexner, would later forge a business relationship with the CIA front company Southern Air Transport and play a major role in the airline's relocation to Columbus, Ohio in the mid-1990s. During that period, two prominent Ohio officials believed that both Epstein and Wexner were working with the CIA, according to Ohio-based journalist Bob Fitrakis.
Past claims and evidence of Epstein's involvement with the CIA, coupled with his time as a ''shadowy'' financial fixer for double-asset Khashoggi, strongly suggest that, whatever Epstein was doing for Khashoggi during this time, it likely involved BCCI. According to '' The BCCI Affair '' report, Khashoggi ''acted as the middleman for five Iranian arms deals for the United States, financing a number of them through BCCI'' and ''served as the 'banker' for arms shipments as the undercover scheme developed.'' The report continued:
Khashoggi and [another Iran-Contra arms dealer Manucher] Ghorbanifer performed a central role for the U.S. government in connection with the Iran-Contra affair in operations that involved the direct participation of CIA personnel [and both Khashoggi and Ghorbanifer] banked at BCCI's offices in Monte Carlo and, for both, BCCI's services were essential as a means of providing short-term credit for sales from the U.S. through Israel to Iran.''
Saudi arms deale Adnan Khashoggi arrives at Manhatten Federal Court, New York, April 4, 1990. Photo | AP
This connection is even more likely given the fact that Bear Stearns '-- Epstein's previous employer right up until he became a financial fixer for Khashoggi and other powerful people '-- also worked directly with BCCI during this period. Indeed, Bear Stearns served as a broker to BCCI, a fact that remained hidden until a lengthy court battle in the U.K. concluded in 2011 and forced the government's ''Sandstorm Report'' about BCCI's activities to unredact the names of Bear Stearns and other institutions, individuals and countries that had done business with the CIA-linked bank.
Furthermore, there is the additional fact that BCCI trafficked underage girls for sex as a means of obtaining favors from and gaining leverage over powerful individuals, something in which Epstein would later become deeply involved. As was shown in Part II of this series, several individuals who were running either sexual blackmail operations involving minors or child trafficking operations were connected to CIA front companies like BCCI, other organizations connected to the Iran-Contra scandal, and several individuals close to the Reagan White House.
The CIA director at the time, Bill Casey, was a close friend of Roy Cohn, who also ran the sexual blackmail operation involving underage boys out of Manhattan's Plaza Hotel, described in Part I of this series. According to Cohn's long-time secretary Christine Seymour, Casey was one of Cohn's most frequent callers.
Another fact that further suggests that Epstein had connections to BCCI is that Epstein was known to have been close to other arms dealers of the period and BCCI was frequently used specifically for covert arms deals. After the bank's collapse in 1991, an article in Time magazine entitled ''BCCI: The Dirtiest Bank of All'' noted the following:
'...[T]he CIA may have used B.C.C.I. as more than an undercover banker: U.S. agents collaborated with the black network in several operations, according to a B.C.C.I. black-network ''officer'' who is now a secret U.S. government witness. Sources have told investigators that B.C.C.I. worked closely with Israel's spy agencies and other Western intelligence groups as well, especially in arms deals .'' (emphasis added)
One of the arms dealers that Epstein apparently knew quite well was the British arms dealer Sir Douglas Leese. Leese was involved in brokering the first of a series of controversial British arms deals that involved Khashoggi , known as the Al Yamamah Deal and allegedly involving bribery of members of the Saudi royal family and top Saudi officials. In addition to Khashoggi, several of those officials and royal family members had deep ties to BCCI.
Later iterations of that arms deal were allegedly brokered with the involvement of Prince Charles of the British royal family, and corruption investigations into Al Yamamah were later shut down by the efforts of Tony Blair as well as Prince Andrew. Leese is said to have spoken of Epstein's ''genius'' and lack of morals when he introduced him to Steve Hoffenberg of Tower Financial, and soon after that introduction Hoffenberg hired Epstein.
Two years after BCCI's fraud-driven collapse, Tower Financial imploded in 1993 in what is still considered to be one of the largest Ponzi schemes in American history. Hoffenberg later asserted in court that Epstein had been intimately involved in Tower's shady financial practices and had called Epstein the ''architect of the scam.'' However, by the time Tower Financial had collapsed, Epstein was no longer working for the company. Despite Tower's testimony and abundant evidence regarding Epstein's role in the scheme, Epstein's name was mysteriously dropped from the case.
Given that Epstein allegedly received his ''sweetheart deal'' in 2008 as a result of having ''belonged to intelligence,'' Epstein's activities in the 1980s and early 1990s suggest that his ability to avoid charges in relation to the Tower Financial Ponzi scheme may have been for similar reasons.
Though Hoffenberg claims that he met Epstein through Leese, Epstein himself claimed that he had met the convicted fraudster through John Mitchell, former attorney general under Richard Nixon.
As was noted in Part II of this series, Mitchell was a ''friend'' of disgraced Washington lobbyist Craig Spence, according to Spence before his fall from grace. Spence, for much of the 1980s, ran a sexual blackmail operation in D.C. involving underage boys and had taken some of those ''call boys'' on midnight tours of the White House that he said had been arranged by then-National Security Adviser Donald Gregg. Spence, after his trafficking and exploitation of minors was exposed, died under mysterious circumstances. His death was quickly labeled a suicide, not unlike Jeffrey Epstein's.
With Epstein and Wexner's Help, ''Spook Air'' Finds a New Home While the state of Arkansas became a hub for CIA activity during the Reagan years and the Iran-Contra scandal, another state appeared to take its place in the 1990s '-- Ohio. Just as Arkansas oligarch Jackson Stephens helped attract the CIA to his home state during Iran-Contra, it was also an Ohio oligarch and his close associate that helped attract the CIA to the Buckeye State. Those men were Leslie Wexner and Jeffrey Epstein, respectively.
In Part III of this series, MintPress detailed Wexner's alleged ties to organized crime and his links to the still unsolved homicide of Columbus, Ohio lawyer Arthur Shapiro. Shapiro, who was representing Wexner's company ''The Limited'' at the time of his death, was set to testify before a grand jury about tax evasion and his involvement with ''questionable tax shelters.'' Columbus police described the Shapiro murder as ''a Mafia 'hit''' and a suppressed police report implicated Wexner and his business associates as being involved in or benefiting from Shapiro's death, and as having links to prominent New York-based crime syndicates.
However, Wexner and The Limited also appear to have had a relationship with the CIA. In 1995, Southern Air Transport (SAT) '-- a well-known front company for the CIA '-- relocated from Miami, Florida to Columbus, Ohio. First founded in the late 1940s, SAT from 1960 until 1973 was directly owned by the CIA, which sought to use the company as a cover for covert operations. After 1973, the company was placed in private hands, although all of its subsequent owners would have CIA ties, including James Bastian, a former lawyer for the CIA, who owned SAT at the time of its relocation to Ohio.
SAT was intimately involved in the Iran-Contra affair, having been used to funnel weapons and drugs to and from the Nicaraguan Contras under the guise of delivering ''humanitarian aid,'' while also sending American weapons to Israel that were then sold to Iran in violation of the U.S. arms embargo. In 1986 alone, SAT transported from Texas to Israel 90 tons of TOW anti-tank missiles, which were then sold to Iran by Israel and Mossad-linked intermediaries like Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.
Even though the airline's CIA links were well known, Leslie Wexner's company, The Limited, sought to coax SAT to relocate its headquarters from Miami, Florida to Columbus, Ohio, a move that was realized in 1995. When Edmund James, president of James and Donohew Development Services, told the Columbus Dispatch in March 1995 that SAT was relocating to Columbus' Rickenbacker airfield, he stated that ''Southern Air's new presence at Rickenbacker begins in April with two regularly scheduled 747 cargo flights a week from Hong Kong,'' citing SAT President William Langton. ''By fall, that could increase to four a week. Negotiations are underway for flights out of Rickenbacker to the Far East'...Much of the Hong Kong-to-Rickenbacker cargo will be for The Limited,'' Wexner's clothing company. ''This is a big story for central Ohio. It's huge, actually,'' James said at the time.
The day following the press conference, Brian Clancy, working as a cargo analyst with MergeGlobal Inc., told the Journal of Commerce that the reason for SAT's relocation to Ohio was largely the result of the lucrative Hong Kong-to-Columbus route that SAT would run for Wexner's company. Clancy specifically stated that the fact that ''[The] Limited Inc., the nation's largest retailer, is based in Columbus '... undoubtedly contributed in large part to Southern Air's decision.''
According to documents obtained by journalist Bob Fitrakis from the Rickenbacker Port Authority, Ohio's government also tried to sweeten the deal to bring SAT to Columbus in order to please powerful Ohio businessmen like Wexner. Orchestrated by Governor George Voinovich's then-Chief of Staff Paul Mifsud, the Rickenbacker Port Authority and the Ohio Department of Development created a package of several financial incentives, funded by Ohio taxpayers, to lure the airline to relocate to Ohio. The Journal of Commerce described the ''generous package of incentives from the state of Ohio'' as ''including a 75 percent credit against its corporate tax liability for the next 10 years, a $5 million low-interest loan, and a $400,000 job-training grant.''In 1996, then-SAT spokesman David Sweet had told Fitrakis that the CIA-linked airline had only moved to Columbus because ''the deal [put together by the development department] was too good to turn down.''
Though SAT had promised Ohio's government that it would create 300 jobs in three years, it quickly laid off numerous workers and failed to construct the maintenance facility it had promised, even though it had already accepted $3.5 million in taxpayer funds for that and other projects. As the company's financial problems mounted, Ohio's government declined to recoup the millions in dollars it loaned the company, even after it was alleged that $32 million in the bank account of Mary Bastian, the wife of SAT's owner and former CIA lawyer James Bastian, were actually company funds . On October 1, 1998, SAT filed for bankruptcy. It was the very same day that the CIA's Inspector General had published a comprehensive report on the airline's illicit involvement in drug trafficking.
Furthermore, Fitrakis noted that in addition to Wexner the other main figures who were key in securing SAT's relocation to Ohio were Alan D. Fiers Jr., a former chief of the CIA Central American Task Force, and retired Air Force Major General Richard Secord, head of air logistics for SAT's covert action in Laos between 1966 and 1968, while the company was still known as Air America. Secord was also the air logistics coordinator in the illegal Contra resupply network for Oliver North during Iran-Contra. Fiers was one of the key individuals involved in Iran-Contra who was later pardoned by George H.W. Bush with the assistance of then-Attorney General Bill Barr. Barr '-- currently serving as attorney general in the Trump administration, and top of the chain of DOJ command in the investigation of Epstein's death in prison '-- has refused to recuse himself from the investigation into Epstein's network and his recent death.
Despite the involvement of these CIA-linked men, as well as the organized crime-linked Leslie Wexner, the then-president of SAT told the Columbus Dispatch that the airline was ''no longer connected to the CIA.''
Notably, It was during this same time that Epstein exerted substantial control over Wexner's finances; and, according to Fitrakis and his extensive reporting on Wexner from this period, it was Epstein who orchestrated logistics for Wexner's business operations, including The Limited. As was revealed in the Arthur Shapiro murder file and in ties between SAT and The Limited, much of The Limited's logistics involved figures and companies connected to organized crime and U.S. intelligence. It is also important to note that SAT was well-known for being a CIA front company prior to the efforts of Wexner et al. to bring the airline to Columbus, and that, a few years prior, Epstein himself had previously worked for intelligence-linked figures also involved in Iran-Contra, such as Adnan Khashoggi.
In addition, during this time period, Epstein had already begun to live in the now infamous New York penthouse that had first been purchased by Wexner in 1989. Wexner had apparently installed CCTV and recording equipment in an odd bathroom in the home after his purchase, and never lived in the home, as was noted in Part III of this series.
In an exclusive interview, Bob Fitrakis told MintPress that Epstein and Wexner's involvement with SAT's relocation to Ohio had caused suspicion among some prominent state and local officials that the two were working with U.S. intelligence. Fitrakis specifically stated that then-Ohio Inspector General David Strutz and then-Sheriff of Franklin County Earl Smith had personally told him that they believed that both Epstein and Wexner had ties to the CIA. These claims further corroborate what was first reported by Nigel Rosser in the Evening Standard that Epstein had claimed to have worked for the CIA in the past.
Fitrakis also told MintPress that Strutz had referred to SAT's route between Hong Kong and Columbus on behalf of Wexner's company The Limited as ''the Meyer Lansky run,'' as he believed that Wexner's association with SAT was related to his ties to elements of organized crime that were connected to the Lansky-created National Crime Syndicate. In addition, Catherine Austin Fitts '-- the former investment banker and government official, who has extensively investigated the intersection of organized crime, black markets, Wall Street and the government in the U.S. economy '-- was told by an ex-CIA employee that Wexner was one of five key managers of organized crime cash flows in the United States.
As this series has noted in previous reports, Meyer Lansky was a pioneer of sexual blackmail operations and was deeply connected to both U.S. intelligence and Israel's Mossad. Furthermore, many members of the so-called Mega Group, which Wexner co-founded, had direct ties to the Lansky crime syndicate.
Marc Rich's Pardon and Israel's ''Leverage'' over Clinton Another shadowy figure with connections to the Mega Group, Mossad, U.S. intelligence and organized crime is the ''fugitive financier'' Marc Rich, whose pardon during the last days of the Clinton White House is both well-known and still mired in controversy years after the fact.
Marc Rich was a commodities trader and hedge fund manager best known for founding the commodity trading and mining giant Glencore and for doing business with numerous dictatorships, often in violation of sanctions. He worked particularly closely with Israel and, according to Haaretz :
In the years after the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the ensuing global Arab oil embargo, a period when nobody wanted to sell oil to Israel, for almost 20 years Rich was the main source of the country's oil and energy needs.''
It was that trading on Israel's behalf that would ultimately lead to Rich being charged in 1983 for violating the U.S. oil embargo on Iran by selling Iranian oil to Israel. Rich was also charged with tax evasion, wire fraud, racketeering and several other crimes.
Haaretz also noted that Rich's businesses were ''a source of funding for secret financial arrangements'' and that ''his worldwide offices, according to several reliable sources, frequently served Mossad agents, with his consent.'' Rich had more direct ties to the Mossad as well. For instance, his foundation '-- the Rich Foundation '-- was run by the former Mossad agent Avner Azulay. Rich was also friendly with prominent Israel politicians, including former Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Ehud Barak, and was a frequent provider of ''services'' for Israeli intelligence, services he freely volunteered.
Marc Rich, right, is pictured with Israel's Shimon Peres in a photo from Mark Daneil Ammann's ''The King of Oil.''
According to Rich's biographer, Daniel Ammann, Rich also fed information to U.S. intelligence but declined to give specifics. ''He did not want to tell with whom he cooperated within the U.S. authorities or which branch of the U.S. government he supplied with intelligence,'' Ammann said in an interview with the Daily Beast .
One clue as to the nature of Rich's relationship to U.S. intelligence is his apparent ties to BCCI. ''The BCCI Affair'' report mentions Rich as a person to investigate in relation to the bank and states :
BCCI lending to Rich in the 1980s amounted to tens of millions of dollars. Moreover, Rich's commodities firms were used by BCCI in connection with BCCI's involv[ement] in U.S. guarantee programs through the Department of Agriculture. The nature and extent of Rich's relationship with BCCI requires further investigation.''
Rich was also deeply tied to the Mega Group, as he was one of the main donors to the Birthright Israel charity along with Mega Group co-founder Charles Bronfman and Mega Group member Michael Steinhardt. Steinhardt was particularly close to Rich, first meeting the commodities trader in the 1970s and then managing $3 million for Rich, Rich's then-wife Denise, and Rich's father-in-law from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s through his hedge fund. In the late 1990s, Steinhardt would enlist other Mega Group members, such as Edgar Bronfman, in the effort to settle the criminal charges against Rich, which eventually came to pass with Clinton's controversial pardon in 2001. Steinhardt claimed to have come up with the idea of a presidential pardon for Rich in late 2000.
Rich's pardon was controversial for several reasons, and many mainstream outlets asserted that it ''reeked of payoff.'' As the New York Post noted in 2016, in the run-up to the presidential pardon the financier's ex-wife Denise had donated $450,000 to the fledgling Clinton Library and ''over $1 million to Democratic campaigns in the Clinton era.'' In addition, Rich had hired high-powered lawyers with links to powerful individuals in both the Democratic and Republican parties as well as the Clinton White House, including Jack Quinn, who has previously served as general counsel to the Clinton administration and as former chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore.
However, per Clinton's own words and other supporting evidence, the main reason behind the Rich pardon was the heavy lobbying from Israeli intelligence, Israeli politicians and members of the Mega Group like Steinhardt, with the donations from Denise Rich and Quinn's access to the president likely sweetening the deal.
Among the most ardent lobbyists for Rich's pardon were then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, former Prime Minister Shimon Peres, then-Mayor of Jerusalem Ehud Olmert, then-former Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami and former Director of the Mossad Shabtai Shavit. According to Haaretz , Barak was so adamant that Clinton pardon Marc Rich that he was heard shouting at the president on at least one occasion. Former adviser to Barak, Eldad Yaniv, claimed that Barak had shouted that the pardon was ''important '... Not only from the financial aspect, but also because he helped the Mossad in more than one instance.''
The Israel lobbying effort had considerable help from Mega Group member Michael Steinhardt as well as Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which was at the time heavily funded by Mega Group members, including Ronald Lauder and Edgar Bronfman.
There has been speculation for years that Clinton's decision to pardon Rich may have been the result of ''leverage'' or blackmail that Israel had acquired on the then-president's activities. As was noted in Part III of this report, the Mossad-linked ''Mega'' spy scandal broke in 1997, whereby Israeli intelligence had been targeting Clinton's effort to broker a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine and had sought to go to ''Mega,'' likely a reference to the Mega Group, to obtain a sensitive document.
In addition, Israel is known to have acquired phone conversations between Clinton and Monica Lewinsky before their affair was made public. Author Daniel Halper '-- relying on on-the-record interviews with former officials and hundreds of pages of documents compiled in the event that Lewinsky took legal action against Clinton '-- determined that Benjamin Netanyahu told Clinton that he had obtained recordings of the sexually-tinged phone conversations during the Wye Plantation talks between Israel and Palestine in 1998. Netanyahu attempted to use this information to get Clinton to pardon convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. Clinton considered pardoning Pollard but decided against it after CIA Director George Tenet threatened to resign if the pardon was given.
Investigative journalist and author Gordon Thomas had made similar claims years prior and asserted that the Mossad had obtained some 30 hours of phone-sex conversations between Lewinsky and Clinton and used them as leverage. In addition, a report in Insight magazine in May 2000 claimed that Israeli intelligence had ''penetrated four White House telephone lines and was able to relay real-time conversations on those lines from a remote site outside the White House directly to Israel for listening and recording.''
Those phone taps apparently went well beyond the White House, as revealed by a December 2001 investigative report by Carl Cameron for FOX News . According to Cameron's report :
[Israeli telecommunications company Amdocs] helped Bell Atlantic install new telephone lines in the White House in 1997'...[and] a senior-level employee of Amdocs had a separate T1 data phone line installed from his base outside of St. Louis that was connected directly to Israel'...
[I]nvestigators are looking into whether the owner of the T1 line had a 'real time' capacity to intercept phone calls from both the White House and other government offices around Washington, and sustained the line for some time, sources said. Sources familiar with the investigation say FBI agents on the case sought an arrest warrant for the St. Louis employee but [Clinton] Justice Department officials quashed it. ''
According to journalist Chris Ketcham :
[Both Amdocs and Verint Inc. (formerly Comverse Infosys)] are based in Israel '' having arisen to prominence from that country's cornering of the information technology market '' and are heavily funded by the Israeli government, with connections to the Israeli military and Israeli intelligence'...
The companies' operations, sources suggest, have been infiltrated by freelance spies exploiting encrypted trapdoors in Verint/Amdocs technology and gathering data on Americans for transfer to Israeli intelligence and other willing customers (particularly organized crime).''
Given the extent of phone tapping of the U.S. government by Israeli intelligence-linked companies and Netanyahu's previous use of intercepted phone calls to pressure Clinton to pardon Jonathan Pollard, it is entirely reasonable to speculate that some other trove of intercepted communications could have been used to push Clinton to pardon Rich in the final hours of his presidency.
Also notable is the fact that several figures who heavily lobbied Clinton over the Rich pardon had ties to Epstein, who also had ties to Israeli intelligence and Israeli intelligence-linked tech companies, as discussed in Part III of this series. For example, Ehud Barak, a close friend and business associate of Epstein, and Shimon Peres, who introduced Barak to Epstein, were the major players in convincing Clinton to pardon Marc Rich.
Furthermore, as will be shown in a subsequent section of this report, Jeffrey Epstein had developed ties with the Clinton administration beginning in 1993 and those ties expanded, particularly in 1996, when Epstein's intelligence-linked sexual blackmail operation was underway. Clinton would later fly on Epstein's infamous private jet, nicknamed the ''Lolita Express,'' and Epstein would later donate to the Clinton Foundation and claim to have played a key role in the creation of the Clinton Global Initiative.
In addition to the role of figures close to Epstein in securing Rich's pardon, Epstein himself appeared to share some level of connection with Rich's former business partners. For instance, Felix Posen '-- who ran Rich's London operations for years and whom Forbes described as ''the architect of Rich's immensely profitable but suddenly very controversial business with the Soviet Union'' '-- appears in Epstein's book of contacts . In addition, Epstein's offshore structured investment vehicle (SIV), Liquid Funding, has the same attorney and director as several Glencore entities : Alex Erskine of the law firm Appleby.
The significance of that connection, however, is unclear, given that Erskine was connected to a total of 274 offshore entities at the time of the ''Paradise Papers'' leak in 2014. Catherine Austin Fitts told MintPress that it could suggest that Epstein's Liquid Funding '-- 40 percent of which had been owned by Bear Stearns , and which may have received a ''secret'' bail-out from the Federal Reserve '-- is part of the same shadow economy ''syndicate'' as Glencore.
This possibility merits further investigation, given that Glencore is partially owned by British financier Nathaniel Rothschild, whose father, Jacob Rothschild, is on the board of advisers of Genie Energy, which includes Michael Steinhardt as well as several alleged associates of Epstein, such as Bill Richardson and Larry Summers. In addition, Nathaniel Rothschild's cousin by marriage, Lynn Forester de Rothschild, is a long-time associate of Jeffrey Epstein with considerable ties to the New York City ''Roy Cohn machine.'' Marc Rich had long-standing ties to the Rothschild family, going back to the early 1970s when he began commodity trading at Philipp Brothers.
Lynn Forester de Rothschild's surprising interest in Epstein After Epstein's arrests first in 2007 and then again last month, numerous media reports emerged detailing the links between Epstein and Clinton, with most asserting that they had met not long after Clinton left office in 2001 and, as recently mentioned, issued the controversial pardon of Marc Rich.
Those reports claimed that the Epstein-Clinton relationship had been facilitated by Epstein's long-time girlfriend and alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell. However, documents obtained from the Clinton presidential library have revealed that the ties between Epstein and Clinton date back years earlier and were facilitated by powerful individuals who have largely evaded scrutiny in connection with the Epstein case.
One major player who has been largely overlooked in bringing Epstein and the Clintons together is Lynn Forester de Rothschild. Notably, Forester de Rothschild has long been connected to neoconservative Reagan era officials '-- the Lewis Rosenstiel/Roy Cohn network described in Parts 1 and 2 of this series, as well as the Mega Group, which was detailed in Part 3 of this series.
Lynn Forester de Rothschild became involved in the world of Democratic Party politics in the late 1970s when she worked on the 1976 campaign of hawkish Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) alongside now-notorious neoconservatives like Elliott Abrams , who would go on to play an important role in the Iran-Contra affair during the Reagan era and later serve in the State Department under Trump. She was also introduced to her second husband, Evelyn de Rothschild, by Henry Kissinger at a Bilderberg conference. Several of the individuals connected to the Mega Group and the Mossad-linked media mogul Robert Maxwell '-- including Mark Palmer, Max Fisher and John Lehman '-- were one-time aides or advisers to Henry Kissinger.
Before marrying into the Rothschild family in 2000, Lynn had previously been married to Andrew Stein, a major figure in New York Democratic politics, with whom she had two sons. Andrew's brother, James Finkelstein, married Cathy Frank, the granddaughter of Lewis Rosenstiel, the mob-linked businessman who ran a sexual blackmail operation exploiting underage boys, as was discussed in Part 1 of this series. Rosenstiel's protege Roy Cohn was the lawyer for Cathy Frank and James Finkelstein and it was at their behest that Cohn attempted to trick a nearly comatose Rosenstiel to into naming Cohn, Frank and Finkelstein the executors and trustees of his estate, valued at $75 million (more than $334 million in today's dollars).
According to the New Yorker , Lynn Forester de Rothschild requested ''financial help'' from none other than Jeffrey Epstein in 1993 during her divorce from Andrew Stein.
As far as Forester de Rothschild's ties to the Mega Group go, she is currently on the board of directors of Estee Lauder companies, which was founded and is still owned by the family of Ronald Lauder '-- a member of the Mega Group, a former Reagan official, a family friend of Roy Cohn, and the alleged source of Jeffrey Epstein's now-infamous Austrian passport. In addition, Forester de Rothschild also partnered with Matthew Bronfman '-- son of Mega Group member Edgar Bronfman and grandson of Samuel Bronfman, who had close ties to Meyer Lansky '-- in creating the investment advisory firm Bronfman E.L. Rothschild LP.
It is unclear when Lynn Forester de Rothschild first met Jeffrey Epstein, but she was one of his leading advocates and had the ear of then-President Bill Clinton in the early 1990s, speaking to Clinton specifically about Epstein during her ''fifteen seconds of access'' with the president and also introducing Epstein to lawyer Alan Dershowitz in 1996.
Living History by Hilary Clinton Book Party Hosted Lynn Forester and Evelyn De Rothschild pose with Bill and Hilary Clinton at the Kensington Palace in London. Photo | Alan Davidson
Forester de Rothschild is a long-time associate of the Clintons and has been a major donor to both Bill and Hillary Clinton since 1992. Their ties were so close that Forester de Rothschild spent the first night of her honeymoon at the Lincoln Bedroom in the White House while Clinton was president. Furthermore, a leaked email between Forester de Rothschild and Hillary Clinton saw Clinton request ''penance'' from Forester de Rothschild for asking Tony Blair to accompany Clinton on official business while she was secretary of state, preventing Blair from making a planned social visit to Forester de Rothschild's home in Aspen, Colorado. Humbly requesting forgiveness is not something Hillary Clinton is known for, given that her former bodyguard once said she could ''make Richard Nixon look like Mahatma Gandhi.''
In 1995, Forester de Rothschild, then a member of Clinton's National Information Infrastructure Advisory Council, wrote the following to then-President Clinton:
Dear Mr. President: It was a pleasure to see you recently at Senator Kennedy's house. There was too much to discuss and too little time. Using my fifteen seconds of access to discuss Jeffrey Epstein and currency stabilization, I neglected to talk to you about a topic near and dear to my heart. Namely, affirmative action and the future.''
Forester de Rothschild then states that she had been asked to prepare a memo on behalf of George Stephanopoulos, former Clinton communications director and currently a broadcast journalist with ABC News . Stephanopoulos attended a dinner party hosted by Epstein at his now infamous Manhattan townhouse in 2010 after Epstein's release from prison for soliciting sex from a minor.
While it is unknown what Forester de Rothschild discussed with Clinton regarding Epstein and currency stabilization, a potential lead may lie in the links of both Forester de Rothschild and Epstein to Deutsche Bank. Journalist Vicky Ward reported in 2003 that Epstein boasted of ''skill at playing the currency markets 'with very large sums of money''' and he appears to have done much of this through his long-standing relationship with Deutsche Bank.
The New York Times reported last month :
[Epstein] appears to have been doing business and trading currencies through Deutsche Bank until just a few months ago, according to two people familiar with his business activities. But as the possibility of federal charges loomed, the bank ended its client relationship with Mr. Epstein. It is not clear what the value of those accounts was at the time they were closed.''
In the case of Forester de Rothschild, she served as an advisor to the Deutsche Bank Microfinance Consortium for several years and is currently a board member of the Alfred Herrhausen Society of International Dialogue of Deutsche Bank.
The same year that Forester de Rothschild made the above-noted comments to Bill Clinton about Jeffrey Epstein, Epstein attended another Clinton fundraiser , hosted by Ron Perelman at his personal home, that was very exclusive, as the guest list included only 14 people.
The evolution of the Epstein-Clinton relationship Even before Forester de Rothschild's 1995 meeting with Clinton, Epstein was already an established Clinton donor. Records obtained by the Daily Beast revealed that Epstein had donated $10,000 to the White House Historical Association and attended a Clinton donor reception alongside Ghislaine Maxwell as early as 1993.
The Daily Beast suggests that Bill Clinton's long-time friend from his college days, A. Paul Prosperi, was the facilitator of that early relationship, as Prosperi had a decades-long relationship with Epstein and even visited Epstein at least 20 times while he was in jail in 2008. Prosperi was intimately involved with the 1993 fundraiser for the White House Historical Association noted above.
The relationship between Epstein and Clinton would continue well after Clinton left office in 2001, a fact well-documented by Bill Clinton's now-infamous flights on Epstein's (recently sold) private jet '-- often referred to as the ''Lolita Express.'' Clinton flew on the Lolita Express no less than 26 times in the early 2000s according to flight logs. On some of those flights, Clinton was accompanied by his Secret Service detail but he was unaccompanied on other flights.
Arguably the most infamous flight taken by Clinton on Epstein's jet was a lengthy trip to Africa, where actor Kevin Spacey, who has also been accused of raping minors ; Ghislaine Maxwell; and Ron Burkle, a billionaire friend of Clinton's who has been accused of soliciting the services of ''super-high-end call girls,'' were also present. Clinton specifically requested that Epstein make his jet available for the trip well in advance, with Doug Band as the intermediary. President Donald Trump, also a friend of Epstein, is said to have flown on the plane but appears only once on flight logs. Both Trump and Clinton were known to have visited Epstein's private island, nicknamed ''Orgy Island'' and ''Lolita Island.''
In addition to flights, an Epstein-run foundation gave $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation according to the 2006 filing tax return of Epstein's former charity, the C.O.U.Q. Foundation. Notably, Epstein's lawyers, Alan Dershowitz among them, claimed in 2007 that Epstein had been ''part of the original group that conceived the Clinton Global Initiative, which is described as a project 'bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges.'''
Before the associations between Epstein and the Clinton White House in the early 1990s were made public, Ghislaine Maxwell was thought to have been the bridge between Epstein and the Clinton family because of her close relationship to the family. However, the close relationship between Maxwell and the Clintons appears to have developed in the 2000s, with Politico reporting that it began after Bill Clinton left office. Clinton associate Doug Band was also reportedly friendly to Maxwell, appearing at an exclusive dinner party she hosted at her residence in New York in 2005. Maxwell later became particularly close to Chelsea Clinton, vacationing with Chelsea in 2009 and attending her wedding a year later. Maxwell was also associated with the Clinton Global Initiative at least up until 2013.
Other close Clinton associates and officials in the early 1990s also had notable relationships with Jeffrey Epstein, including Mark Middleton, who was a special assistant to Clinton Chief of Staff Mack McClarty beginning in 1993, and met with Epstein on at least three occasions in the White House during the early Clinton years. In addition, White House social secretary under Clinton, Ann Stock, appears in Epstein's ''little black book'' as does Doug Band , once referred to by New York Magazine as ''Bill Clinton's bag carrier, body man, fixer, and all-purpose gatekeeper.'' Band also appears several times in the flight logs of Epstein's private jet.
Epstein was also associated with both Bill Richardson, former ambassador to the UN and former secretary of energy under Clinton, and Larry Summers, secretary of the treasury under Clinton. Both Richardson and Summers sit on the advisory board of controversial energy company Genie Energy, alongside CIA director under Clinton, James Woolsey; Roy Cohn associate and media mogul, Rupert Murdoch; Mega Group member Michael Steinhardt; and Lord Jacob Rothschild. Genie Energy is controversial primarily for its exclusive rights to drill in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Bill Richardson also has ties to Lynn Forester de Rothschild as she was on the Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board while Richardson was secretary of energy.
Bill Richardson appears to be among the Clinton era officials closest to Jeffrey Epstein, having personally visited Epstein's New Mexico ranch and been the recipient of Epstein donations of $50,000 to his 2002 and 2006 gubernatorial campaigns. Richardson gave Epstein's donation in 2006 to charity after allegations against Epstein were made public. Richardson was also accused in recently released court documents of engaging in sex with Epstein's underage victims, an allegation that he has denied.
The Jeffrey Epstein scandal: A post-mortem In 1990, Danny Casolaro began his fateful one-year investigation of ''the Octopus,'' an investigation that played no small role in his untimely death. Shortly after he was found lifeless in a hotel bathtub, Casolaro's friend Lynn Knowles was threatened and told the following : ''What Danny Casolaro was investigating is a business'...Anyone who asks too many questions will end up dead.''
Nearly thirty years later, that same ''Octopus'' and its ''business'' remains with us and has become ever more wrapped around the levers of power '-- particularly in the worlds of government, finance and intelligence.
This MintPress investigative series has endeavored to show the nature of this network and how the world of ''the Octopus'' is the same world in which Jeffrey Epstein and his predecessors '-- Craig Spence, Edwin Wilson and Roy Cohn among them '-- operated and profited. It is a world where all that matters is the constant drive to accumulate ever more wealth and ever more power and to keep the racket going at all costs.
While this network has long been able to ensure its success through the use of sexual blackmail, often acquired by the unconscionable exploitation of children, it has also been a driving force behind many other ills that plague our world and it goes far beyond human and child trafficking. Indeed, many of the figures in this same sordid web have played a major role in the illicit drug and weapons trades, the expansion of for-profit prisons, and the endless wars that have claimed an untold number of lives across the world, all the while enriching many of these same individuals.
There is no denying that such a network is ''too big to fail.'' Yet, fail it must '-- otherwise this decades-long cycle of abuse, murder and fraud will continue unabated, destroying and taking even more lives in the process.
Though this report marks the end of MintPress' series on Jeffrey Epstein and the network of which he was part, this is not the end of MintPress' work on the case. Several spin-offs '-- investigating the real reasons why Epstein was arrested in July; his connections to money laundering and the intelligence ''black budget;'' and his network's connections to child trafficking in other countries, particularly the U.K. '-- are already in the works and will appear in Mint Press over the next few weeks.
Feature photo | A composite image shows from left to right, Jeffrey Epstein, Bill Clinton, Adnan Khashoggi and Robert Maxwell. Graphic by Claudio Cabrera
Whitney Webb is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.