Getting screwed in, and by, Washington

Porter Goss’s decision to quit the Central Intelligence Agency cold turkey has a lot of Washington watchers wondering just how deeply involved the former Florida Congressman may be in the growing “hookergate” scandal.

We already know the deputy he brought on board at Langley was a regular at the poker and hooker parties and Republican strategist Ed Rollins says as many as 15 current members of Congress could wind up indicted in Washington’s latest sex, money and power scandal.

“If this House scandal is as big as I think it is from talking to people that are around it — of course it started with Cunningham and it’s moving beyond that,” Rollins said on the Charlie Rose show. “There was a real little cabal on the Defense Appropriations Committee in which a couple of people who basically made an awful lot of money off of defense contractors and basically rewarded a bunch of members, Republicans.”

Cabal. That’s a strong word for a Republican to use about fellow party members but it’s also a term that gets tossed around Washington these days.

We have the Bush cabal, the GOP cabal on the Hill, the Conservative Cabal and God-knows how many other cabals fouling the nest.

Lobbyists have long served as pimps for members of Congress but the depth of scandal and corruption that surrounds the leadership on the Hill and the cabal (there’s that word again) down at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue shocks even the most cynical of long-time Washington politicos.

GOP play master Rollins agrees.

“The use of prostitutes and what`s occurred in Washington that I think everyone`s disgusted at, is we promised we were going to be different than the Democrats; we weren`t going to basically be beholden to K Street, we were going to be term limits and we weren`t going to be the big PACs and all the rest of it,” he says. “That`s all gone by the boards, and if anything we may even be worse.”

But such falls from grace delight those who like to see the high and mighty struck down from lofty perches – especially when those taking the fall claimed such high moral ground. The Republicans claimed to the party of reform and high moral values and they turn out to be just as corrupt, if not more so, than those they replaced.

From a President who claims to talk to God to a Hill leadership dominated by the hypocritical religious right, the Republicans held their moral noses high in the air while they copped a feel under the skirts of Lady Justice.

Which brings us back to Goss and his number three, hand-picked deputy Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, a regular at the poker parties thrown at the Westin Grand and Watergate Hotels by Brent Wilkes, a defense contractor and longtime friend of Foggo.

Wilkes first surfaced in the investigation of former GOP Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham, who left Congress after copping a plea on bribery charges and replaced his Congressional office for federal prison.

But Cunningham wasn’t the only Republican fatcat playing poker at the hotels and then bedding down with hookers afterwards. Foggo showed up often and, according to some sources, so did Goss, which could explain his abrupt departure from the CIA.

Former CIA operative Larry Johnson says Goss had a longtime relationship “with Dusty and Brent Wilkes that is has been the subject of investigation by federal prosecutors” and could lead to indictment of all three.

“Dusty was a big poker player, and it’s my understanding that Porter Goss was also at Wilkes’s parties for poker,” Johnson adds. “It’s going to be guilt by association.”

Whether Goss also took advantage of the pleasures of the ladies of the evening is also open to speculation and investigation. According to those who did, these weren’t the quickie blow job girls from 14th Street but high-priced call girls that go to $1,000 or more a night and give a guy the time of his life.

But as we learn more and more about those who preached the moral high ground, the ladies of the evening weren’t the real whores in those hotel rooms.