Saturday, November 24, 2012

The CIA's Great Gatsby: Edwin P. Wilson

Edwin P. Wilson was anything but inconspicuous in the nineteen-seventies. To many, he was Washington's answer to the Great Gatsby. His 2500-acre farm, bordering on the estate of Sen. John Warner and Elizabeth Taylor in the hunting country of Virginia, was the site of weekend barbecues that attracted senators, congressmen, admirals, generals, CIA officers and other high government officials. Wilson's three private planes were usually available to ferry VIPs wherever they wanted to go. He also had properties scattered around the world, an apartment in Geneva, a hunting lodge in England. a seaside villa in Libya and real estate in North Carolina, Lebanon and Mexico.

The cash seemed to flow as freely as the hospitality in Wilson's world. Paul Cyr, for example, who then worked for the Pentagon, came to the Wilson farm for turkey shoots and wound up accepting cash bribes for, among other things. allowing Wilson to plant bugs in the Army Materiel Command. (In 1982, Cyr pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from Wilson and agreed to cooperate with the federal prosecutors.) Another Wilson associate said he had seen cash distributed to a long list of congressmen and government officials, and that "whatever else you call it, blackmail was the name of the game." The same man maintained that Wilson had installed tape recorders in his Washington, D.C., office. in his limousines and at the farm, and added. "I assumed that almost everything said was recorded."

During these festive weekends. no one asked where or how Wilson got the money to play the Great Gatsby. But it certainly was not family money. Wilson came from an impoverished farm in Idaho and had to work as an attendant in a laundry room to put himself through college in Oregon. In 1952. he enlisted in the Marines, and in 1955, he joined the CIA as a S70-a-week security guard. For the next 16 years, he worked as an undercover agent. When he finally left the CIA in 1971, he was earning only $20,800 a year. From then until 1976, he went to work for a secret naval intelligence operation. called Task Force 157, for an equally modest salary. In an interview, Wilson explained that he had worked for the Navy for "patriotic reasons... not money." Yet, despite his meager salaries, Wilson amassed a fortune. Then, in 1980 he was indicted in a murky case involving international arms transfers.

Wilson’s problems intensified in 1983 when three witnesses in the investigation died. Rafael Villaverde. a Cuban refugee. disappeared at sea after his speedboat exploded off the coast of Florida; Kevin Mulcahy. an electronics expert. was found dead in an isolated motel in the Shenandoah Valley-apparently a victim of exposure; and Waldo Dubberstein, an archaeologist and expert on the Middle East, died of a shotgun blast to his head– a presumed suicide.

All three of the deceased had worked for the CIA and, in the mid 1970s. became involved in operations involving Wilson.

Villaverde, who had served the CIA as a saboteur in Cuba, was recruited by Wilson as a hired gun and promised a million dollars for an assassination in Egypt. Mulcahy, a CIA specialist in secret communications technology. was hired to supervise the smuggling of electronic and military equipment. Dubberstein, an ex-CIA man whose subsequent work for the Pentagon included compiling the daily military intelligence summary for the Secretary of

Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff— a position that gave him access to the ultra secret

Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP), the precise order of battle for nuclear war— was paid by Wilson to sell his country's secrets.

Assassin, smuggler and spy: Why had these men accepted such nefarious assignments?

The answer each gave was that he had been recruited by Wilson after he left the CIA in 1971 under the pretense that he was still a CIA executive,. In the espionage world. misrepresenting one's side or organization in order to get an opponent to cooperate is called a "false flag- recruitment. When the recruit realizes he has been duped, he was too far compromised to easily withdraw his cooperation.

According to IRS data released in July 1983, Wilson made at least $21.8 million from servicing Libya alone, Libya funneled this huge sum of money into Wilson's account in return for special equipment and personnel that could be used to implicate the CIA in Qaddafi's assassination plots and other conspiracies.

As it then turned out, Wilson artfully used the false flag trick for to penetrate deep inside the U.S. intelligence establishment. In addition to Villaverde, Mulcahy and Dubberstein, Wilson attracted to his false flag no fewer than three dozen intelligence and weapons specialists. including CIA officers on active duty. senior military officers and civilian weapons designers with top-secret clearances. Through these connections, he obtained secret CIA cables from the Far East, NSA computer procedures for detecting submarines and missile, assassination devices from CIA suppliers and exotic secret weapons from the Navy and CIA testing base at China Lake in California. Wilson also clandestinely exported to Libya all the components (including technicians and specially developed exploding plastics from the CIA) for manufacturing terrorist bombs disguised as ashtrays and other innocent looking objects. Even worse, the explosive in the ashtrays had distinctive characteristics and a 'signature' that could he traced back to, the CIA.

The damage Wilson has done to U.S. intelligence cannot be assessed merely in terms of stolen secrets and weapons technology. All its vaunted techniques of "quality control," including polygraph tests, failed to detect Wilson's recruitment of CIA personnel. At least two CIA officers on active duty moonlighted for Wilson (one of them used his CIA credentials to recruit an entire team of Green Berets for then Libyan dictator, Muammar Qaddafi). In addition. Wilson hired four part-time CIA contract employees and a dozen former CIA officers, many of whom still had CIA clearance and consulting status. Moreover, even after being fired from the CIA, Wilson maintained a close association with two of the agency's top executives-Thomas G. Clines, the director of training for the clandestine services, and Theodore G. Shackley, who held the No. 2 position in the espionage branch. Both of these men sat in on meetings that Wilson held with his operatives and weapon suppliers and, by doing so, helped further the illusion that his activities had the sanction of the CIA— an illusion crucial to keeping his false flag attractive.

Clines not only met with Wilson informally, but Wilson used his legal and office facilities to set up corporations for Clines' personal use, Clines had also been the control officer for one of the Cuban exiles whom Wilson recruited as an assassin. In reviewing the evidence in 1977, Adm. Stansfield Turner. then the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency, concluded that Clines had been working "in collaboration" with Wilson, and permitted him to resign quietly from the agency. Subsequently, Wilson secretly funneled $500,000 from a bank in Geneva into one of the shell corporations, money which Clines used to finance deals to ship US arms to Egypt. (Clines repaid money after Wilson's indictment in 1980.)

Shackley had known Wilson and Clines since the early 1960s, when they had all worked on preparations for the invasion of Cuba. He explained during an internal investigation by the CIA that he had not wanted to be a captive of the CIA system, that Wilson had served as an outside contact. Yet, according to federal prosecutors who examined the CIA's files on Wilson, Shackley had not filed reports of his contacts with Wilson and his associates, nor had he recommended that they be debriefed by the CIA's domestic contacts office— the usual channel for such intelligence. Further, Shackley had intervened on Wilson's behalf within the intelligence community on at least two occasions and ridiculed Kevin Mulcahy as an "irrational, paranoid, alcoholic and unreliable informant," after Mulcahy reported some of Wilson's illicit deals to the FBI and CIA in 1976. The CIA's investigation failed to overcome the defenses of this Old Boy network: Indeed, even after Mulcahy informed on Wilson, CIA officers continued working for Wilson. So much for the idea of quality control.

In his defense, Wilson's attorneys argued that Wilson had in fact been working all along for the CIA. The U.S. Attorney E. Lawrence Barcella. however, refuted this defense claim by showing that Wilson was unable to provide any details of his relations with the agency, not even the obligatory cryptonym of his operation or the name of his case officer.

A federal court in Virginia convicted Wilson of exporting firearms to Libya without permission and sentence him to 10 years in 1983. He was then convicted in Texas of exporting explosives to Libya and sentenced to 17 years and, in New York, he was convicted him of attempted murder, criminal solicitation, obstruction of justice, tampering with witnesses, and retaliating against witnesses, and sentenced him to 25 years, to run consecutively with his Virginia and Texas sentence.

He spent the next 20 years in prison. Then, on October 29, 2003, Judge Lynn N. Hughes of Federal District Court in Texas threw out the 1983 conviction after finding that prosecutors knowingly used false testimony to undermine his defense. Judge Hughes found that the CIA claim that Wilson had not worked for the organization since his dismissal in 1971 had been undermined by a CIA memorandum indicating high officials in the CIA may have known of his recruitment activities. So how high did Wilson’s liaisons penetrate the CIA? We will never know. Wilson, who died on September 10, 2012, took this secret to the grave,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ten Missing Dates in the Petraeus Penetration Scandal

Before we can walk the cat back, and establish a chronology of a possible penetration, we need to answer the following ten questions?

1. When and where did the sexual liaison between Paula Broadwell begin? Was it before, during, or after the FBI conducted its mandatory background check on General Petraeus in 2011?

2. When did General Petraeus, who was authorized to access top secret documents, and Paula Broadwell, collaborate to set up anonymous gmail accounts and exchange passwords to them? For what period, were these “drop boxes” to evade a US intelligence surveillance of internet providers through the device of storing drafts of unsent emails?

3. It is reported that Paula Broadwell, a former military intelligence officer, under pseudonym “KelleyPatrol” sent an email to General John Allen, the former deputy to General Petraeus in Tampa, warning him that Gilberte Khawam Kelley was a “seductress.” If so, what date was this warning to General Allen sent?

4. It is further reported General Allen, who exchanged 20,000 to 30,000 pages of emails with Kelley, told Kelley of the anonymous warning. If so, what date did this occur?

5. It is reported Kelley consulted a friend in the Tampa FBI field office in May 2012, What was exact date? Was it after she received news of the warning from General Allen?

6. When did the FBI determine “drop boxes” were being used by Paula Broadwell?

7. The FBI reportedly obtained a warrant by showing show probable cause of a crime to search the anonymous accounts. If this was a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrant, what crime did the FBI allege it was investigating? What date did it obtained this warrant?

8. When was General Petraeus told by FBI it was investigating anonymous gmail accounts? Was it done through the FBI liaison with the CIA?

9. When did FBI determine Paula Broadwell was in possession of classified date on her commuter?

10. It is reported that General Petraeus told Paula Broadwell to stop sending anonymous letters, If so, was it after he learned of the FBI investigation? In any case, when did General Petraeus and Paula Broadwell last communicate?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Assassination Rhumba

A half-century ago, the Cuban missile crises began. On October 16, 1962, President John F. Kennedy learned that the Soviet Union was secretly installing missiles in Castro’s cuba. He responded by putting American forces on their highest state of alert and giving the Soviet Union an ultimatum: Remove the missiles or face nuclear war. Thirteen days later, the Soviet Union acquisced. The missiles were removed but Fidel Castro remained in power. JFK then decided to remove Castro by other means, a decision that resulted in 1963 in a deadly dance of assassination between the CIA and Castro’s intelligence service. It ended on November 22, 1963. How did it play out– and back fire? See my book The Assassination Rhumba

Saturday, June 30, 2012

What Did Castro Know-- and When Did He Know It

In 1976 Thomas Mann, who had been the U.S. ambassador to Mexico in 1963, told me that he believed that there was “an indictable case” that Castro had been involved in the Kennedy assassination, but when he continued reporting this view in cables to the State Department, he was fired. Now there is a new book by Brian Latell, the CIA’s former national intelligence officer for Latin America, that again raises the question: What did Castro know — and when did he know it — about the Kennedy assassination?

Prior to this book, here is what has been established. On November 22, 1963, there were actually two jackals on the prowl: one in Dallas, Texas, the other in Paris, France.
In Dallas that day, Lee Harvey Oswald, who previously had attempted to assassinate General Edwin Walker, was working under a false name at the Texas Book Depository, which overlooked the route that President John F. Kennedy would take that day. Oswald had arrived at work that morning with a package that, as the FBI lab would later establish, contained his rifle.
Less than two months earlier, Oswald, under his real identity, had gone to the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City and met with Cuban officials. Even though the Cuban government did not then grant visas to individual American citizens who were not sponsored by government organizations, on October 15 his application was processed in Havana. On October 18, the Cuban foreign ministry notified the embassy in Mexico that it could issue Oswald a visa if he also obtained a Russian entry visa, so an exception was made in his case.

The jackal in Paris was Major Rolando Rubella who, as a close associate of Fidel Castro, was allowed to travel abroad for the Cuban government. What Castro supposedly did not know was that Cubela had been recruited by the CIA and given the code name AMLASH. His CIA mission would be to assassinate Castro. During the Collegiate Games in Porto Alegre, Brazil, that took place from September 5-8, 1963, he met with CIA case officer Nestor Sanchez and tentatively agreed to this mission. Although he had asked to meet with Attorney General Robert Kennedy, the best the CIA could do was arrange a meeting in a safe house in Paris on October 29, 1963, with Desmond Fitzgerald, a high-ranking CIA officer, who identified himself as the personal representative of Robert Kennedy.

At this point, the jackal asked Fitzgerald to supply him with a high-powered rifle with telescopic sights that could be used to kill Castro from a distance and to insert an agreed-upon phrase in a speech President Kennedy would give in Miami. The phrase was inserted, thus confirming that the CIA had the backing of the President.
The next meeting took place in Paris on November 22 at the time that JFK’s motorcade was moving past the Texas Book Depository. Instead of the requested rifle, the CIA offered Cubela a poison pen with a concealed syringe. In the midst of the meeting, the news arrived that Kennedy had been shot. Cubela returned to Cuba but never carried out the assassination assignment.

The burning issue for the CIA was whether Castro learned about this plot. It knew that Castro had intentionally revealed he knew about CIA support for an operation to eliminate him on September 7, 1963. It also knew that was the very day that the CIA was meeting with its jackal in Brazil.
Even more ominously, Castro chose a diplomatic reception at the Brazilian Embassy, which was Brazilian territory. At the reception, he went directly over to the US correspondent for the Associate Press, Daniel Harker, and told him, in an on-the-record interview, that “United States leaders should think that if they are aiding terrorist plans to eliminate Cuban leaders, they themselves will not be safe.”

The timing and Brazilian connection were enough to convince James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s legendary counterintelligence chief, that the Cubela operation was “insecure.” He warned Cubela’s handlers that the fact that Cubela had refused the CIA request to take a lie detector examination made him suspect and recommended, without success, that the operation be ended.
The question of whether Cubela was a double agent persisted for three decades and was only answered when Miguel Mir, who served in Castro’s security office from 1986 to 1992, defected. He told the CIA that he had personally reviewed Cubela’s file, and it showed that Cubela was working as a double agent under the control of Cuban intelligence from the time when he allowed himself to be recruited in Brazil.
His real mission was to ascertain whether President Kennedy was behind the CIA plots — hence his request to meet with his brother and have words scripted by Cuban intelligence put in JFK’s Miami speech. If so, Castro knew 1) CIA officers in Brazil were recruiting an assassin to kill him 2) the CIA was prepared to deliver an exotic assassination weapon, and 3) the CIA was supported by President Kennedy.

What Castro knew about Lee Harvey Oswald is less clear. During his stay in Mexico City between September 27 and October 2, 1963, Oswald made at least two visits to the Cuban Embassy. To convince the Cubans of his bona fides — and seriousness — he had prepared a 10-page dossier on himself, according to the testimony of his wife, Marina. This resume included photographs he had taken of General Walker’s home just prior to Oswald’s attempt to assassinate him with a high-powered rifle. So the Cubans could have known that Oswald was a potential assassin with a high-powered rifle.
When the Cuban Consul argued with him over the requisites he would need for a Cuban visa, Oswald reportedly made claims about services he might perform for the Cuban cause. According to the 2009 book Brothers in Arms: The Kennedys, the Castros, and the Politics of Murder, by Gus Russo and Stephen Molton, Oswald then met with at least one Cuban intelligence officer outside the embassy. Whatever was said in or outside the embassy, Oswald’s file, presumably containing this information, was sent to Havana in support of his application, which was conditionally granted.
Five months after the assassination, Castro told Jack Childs, a courier for the Communist Party USA, that Oswald had shouted in the Cuban Embassy in Mexico that he was going to kill Kennedy. Unknown to Castro, Childs was working as an informant for the FBI and duly reported his conversation with Castro to US intelligence.

While Castro’s statement coincided with what other witnesses in the embassy claimed to have overheard, it was not evidence Castro had prior knowledge. He could have been briefed on Oswald’s file after the assassination. But if this threat was in Oswald’s file, why was Oswald’s visa approved?

Brian Latell now addresses this question in Castro’s Secrets: The CIA and Cuba’s Intelligence Machine. He reveals that Florentino Aspillaga, who defected from Cuban intelligence in 1987, and whom he interviewed, told the CIA that just hours before Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, he had received an extraordinary order from the high command of Cuban intelligence when he was in charge of the communications unit located near Castro’s compound.
Up until then, his unit had focused its antennae on Miami to monitor clandestine radio transmissions from anti-Castro groups. But now he was instructed to redirect all his antennae to Texas and report immediately any transmissions of interest. He assumed from his conversations with his superiors that they had been desperately seeking a transmission from Texas. Latell deduces from this shift that Cuban intelligence had prior knowledge of the Kennedy assassination.
Such a conclusion, however, requires a leap about the purpose of the shift. It is possible that it was not related to Oswald or the Kennedy assassination. Cuban intelligence may merely have been awaiting a burst transmission from an asset in Texas who had no connection with Oswald. Until we have further information about the activities of Cuban intelligence on November 22, 1963, the antennae shift, along with the visa approval, will remain a central part of the mystery

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How Crazy Is Wall Street

The New York Times published an article on May 14, 2012 concerning the question of whether the rich, from a moral standpoint, are good or bad. The story reported that“A recent study found that 10 percent of people who work on Wall Street are “clinical psychopaths” and that they exhibit an “unparalleled capacity for lying, fabrication, and manipulation.” The vivid term “clinical psychopath” brings to mind the berserk buzz-saw wielding investment banker played by Christian Bale in the film “American Psycho.” Since some 3.9 million people work in the financial services industry, a clinically-diagnosed horde of lunatics numbering almost 400,000 people would certainly be a matter of public concern, though it might only confirm some journalist’s view of American capitalism.

It is fair to ask what is the provenance of this incredible”study.” The New York Times cites its source as a March 12, 2011 story in THIS WEEK, which attributes the psychopath data to an estimate made by free-lance writer Sherree DeCovny in CFA Magazine, in an article entitled “The Financial Psychopath Next Door.” She wrote that “studies conducted by Canadian forensic psychologist Robert Hare indicate that about 1 percent of the general population can be categorized as psychopathic, but the prevalence rate in the financial services industry is 10 percent.” The problem here is that Hare never conducted a clinical study of the financial service industry, and never did a research that 10 percent of its members were psychopaths. John Grohol, the editor of World of Psychology, after the publication of DeCovny’s article, asked Hare about the putative study. Hare told him, “I don’t know who threw out the 10% but it certainly did not come from me or my colleagues.” The closest he came to such a claim was in a research paper he co-authored that analyzed the responses submitted by 203 corporate professionals from seven companies, none of which were on Wall Street. Nor were these 203 people randomly selected . He found that the answers of only eight people– approximately 4 percent of the sample– indicated psychopathic tendencies on a scale he had devised. Even though this was not a clinical study, the responses of these eight people, who might have not even worked in financial services, were transformed via the blogospshere into a supposedly scientific finding noted in one of our most respected newspapers that one-tenth of those working on Wall Street are clinical psychopaths. As Ryan Holiday, author of “Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator,” explained to me, "Headline-grabbing trend

manufacturing such as this now dominates the pseudo-news cycle on the Web." Welcome to the Internet, which is not known for its source-checking. Unfortunately It is then only a short leap to the so-called newspaper of record, which is happy to serve up to the public this non-existing study, which like much else that demonizes financiers as a scientific finding. As a result, we now have mad men of Wall Street running amok in the public imagination.
[This is now included in my ebook "Myths of The Media"

Monday, May 14, 2012

The DSK Affair: One Year Later

When Dominique Strauss-Kahn stepped out of the shower in his $3,000 a night suite at the Sofitel Hotel in New York one year ago May 14, he was fully on track to become the next President of France. As head of the International Monetary Fund he was now on his way meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel with a secret plan to avert the Greek default. He was nearly 20 points ahead of his rival President Nicolas Sarkozy in the public opinion polls. He had planned to announce his candidacy on June 15th, he told me when I interviewed him last month. He was confident, perhaps overconfident, he could not be stopped, expecting to be nominated by his Socialist Party, and then defeat Sarkozy.

These well-laid plans, as the whole world knows now, went astray moments after he stepped out of the bathroom naked and encountered a statuesque maid. The liaison that followed in the next seven minutes is currently the subject of a civil suite filed by that maid, Nafissatou Diallo, who claims he forced her to twice have oral sex; DSK claims that the sex was offered and consensual.

Four hours later he was arrested at JFK airport(after calling the Sofitel and reporting his location so it could return a missing cell phone.) In their rush to judgment, and after receiving information from an unidentified official in Paris, the prosecutors moved to deny DSK bail before they had gathered critical evidence, including key swipe and cell phone records. As a result, he was paraded before the cameras in a humiliating “perp walk,” imprisoned in the Rikers Island jail for four days, placed on suicide watch, and then put under house arrest for more than a month. By this time, his presidential ambitions had been effectively destroyed.

Only one month after this spectacle, in late June, after the prosecutors got the key swipe records , did it become clear to them that Diallo, the only witness against DSK, had given false testimony under oath to the Grand Jury about the case itself. So the Grand Jury had indicted him on testimony from a single witness that was untrue. The prosecutors found her “credibility cannot stand the most basic evaluation” and that “the nature and number of [Diallo’s] falsehoods leave us unable to credit her version of events beyond a reasonable doubt.” They further concluded that the medical evidence not only did not “prove or corroborate that their encounter was forcible or non-consensual,” but it fails to corroborate certain aspects of [Diallo’s] account.” In an almost unprecedented move in a high profile case, the district attorney dropped all the charges.

When, I met with DSK in Paris this April, he could not easily accept that the destruction of his political career was merely the result of false testimony. By now he had considerable reason to believe that he had been under surveillance by his political opponents. This suspicion is consistent with the conclusion of investigative journalists Didier Hassoux, Christophe Labbé, and Olivia Recasens, who interviewed member of the French intelligence services DCRI for their 2012 book, The President’s Spy. They reports that the DCRI not only had made DSK a target but also set up a “special group” that liased directly with Sarkozy’s Élysée Palace. If so, DSK was likely being watched on his US trip that May. It would then be possible for these operatives, and their superiors in Paris to use whatever happened at the Sofitel to ruin his presidential ambitions.

There certainly were curious happening in that hotel suite, including reported interceptions of his emails, a missing Blackberry phone, and at least one unidentified person using someone else’s key cart to enter his room just prior to his arrival. The suite had also been used for sexual liaisons before he checked in. The police lab analysis of the DNA evidence found precisely where Diallo said the attack occurred, revealing other stains there with DNA from at least seven other “unknown individuals. One stain visible in the carpeting contained a mixture of saliva and semen from three different people. Since no complaint was filed, these were presumable consensual liaisons.

Even if all the mysteries of the presidential suite have not been solved, it is now abundantly clear that if the district attorney’s office had gathered more evidence before they arrested and imprisoned DSK, the outcome of the French election might well have  had a different victor. But DSK’s enemy Sarkozy has not emerged triumph. The ending here is more like a Shakespearean revenge tragedy in which, as the plot unfolds, everyone involved is ruined.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

What I (Still) Don't Know About DSK

I have spent the last 10 months investigating the incident  involving Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the Sofitel Hotel in New York-- an investigation which has resulted in my book Three Days In May: Sex, Surveillance, and DSK.   I have had considerable success obtaining CCTV surveillance tapes from around the hotel, the key swipe records for both the Presidential suite (2806) in which the incident took place and the room across the hall (2820), cell phone records, and police reports. But despite all my digging, I have been unable to answer 10 key questions about the downfall of DSK– nor was DSK able to shed light on them during my interview with him this April

1.  Who put DSK under surveillance during his US trip in May 2011, and why? I am convinced that DSK was under surveillance both on his trip to Washington DC and New York. But I do not know who ordered the surveillance.. He had reportedly become the target of the DCRI, France’s domestic intelligence service that March. That agency, according to my sources in US intelligence, certainly had the capability to track DSK in the US, but it also may have been handled by a free-lancer.

2. Why were not the hotel‘s key card records for room 2820 not provided to the New York prosecutors immediately? The records– which can be found here are the best evidence of what happened on the 28th floor, which is not covered by CCTV cameras. If they had been handed over immediately, the flaws in the maid, Nafissatou Diallo’s story would have become instantly apparent to the prosecutors. They would have seen then, as they later reported in their motion for dismissal, her “credibility could not withstand the most basic evaluation.” But who was responsible for this long delay?

3. Why did the maid enter DSK's suite twice without her cleaning equipment? The key card records indicate that the maid entered, left, and re-entered the president suite at 12:06 pm just before the sexual encounter took place. The maid told prosecutors her gear was inside room 2820, the room across the hall. DSK told me he was certain that she had no cleaning equipment.  The hotel managers I interviewed all agreed a maid cannot clean a room without her equipment. Her first entry might have been to see if room was available for cleaning, but, why would she then leave and -re-enter without the gear she needed to clean the suite?

4. Who was in room 2820, across the hall from DSK's presidential suite? The Sofitel has
consistently refused to identify the mystery guest in room 2820, even though he could be an
important witness to the events on 14 May 2011. Hotel records show the unidentified man in room 2820 checked out at 11:37 am that morning, but I have been unable to get the CCTV footage showing the man checking out at 11:37 am.

5. Why did two hotel employees carry out a “victory dance”? The pair, who included the head engineer and a hotel security guard, displayed joy when the police were finally called. As CCTV video in loading dock shows, both men spoke for a moment, then high-fived each other, clapping their hands and briefly dancing. Other hotel managers I interviewed said calling the police would be viewed as a disaster in terms of the hotel's image. So what were these men celebrating?

6. Was DSK's IMF BlackBerry bugged? This was the device that he used it to send and receive both personal and work texts and emails. According to DSK, he received an alarming text message on this device on the morning of the encounter with the maid. A friend from Paris warned him that at least one private email he had recently sent from the IMF BlackBerry to his wife Anne Sinclair had been read by his political foes. He decided then to have the BlackBerry examined by an expert to see if it was bugged.

7. Why did that same IMF BlackBerry go missing? Later that day, after the sexual encounter with
Diallo and after his subsequent lunch with his daughter, as he was in a taxi headed for JFK airport, DSK realized the IMF BlackBerry was missing. What DSK did not know was that his phone had remained at the Sofitel after he left the hotel. BlackBerry records show that the device's GPS signal was still emanating from the Sofitel 23 minutes after DSK left, at 12.51pm. But at that moment it abruptly stopped sending out a signal, indicating either that the battery had run out or that the GPS had been intentionally disabled. As the phone was not found in the police search that afternoon, someone took it. But who–and why?

8. What restrained the hotel from calling 911 immediately after the incident? There was a gap of
about one hour before Sofitel security guards contacted police. The videos of the security area show repeated re-enactments.  Had the maid been unwilling up until that time to go to the police, as a lawyer for the hotel group suggested. If so, who or what had persuaded Diallo to go to the authorities?

9. Who intervened from Paris with the New York district attorney's office on 15 May? The prosecutor Cyrus Vance was reportedly contacted by one or more French officials who provided information that appears to have been significant in persuading New York courts to refuse him bail and keep him in prison, further damaging his public reputation. Who were these officials, and why did they intervene in a way that hastened DSK's downfall.

10. Who else had sexual liaisons in that same suite?   No one doubts DSK had a sexual liaison with the maid. DNA testing showed his semen mixed with her saliva. But they were not the only ones having them. When the police lab examined the carpet in the section of corridor near the bathroom, precisely where she said she had spat, it found semen stains from other individuals, including one stain containing a mixture of one person’s saliva mixed with the semen from three other people. In all, the identified semen or saliva mixed with semen from seven unknown individuals, all the engagements taking place in this same small area. (Other areas in the suite were not examined) Since this evidence would not be washed away by multiple room cleanings, the conclusion of forensic experts was that they had occurred only a short time before the suite was rented to DSK. But the key card records I obtained for the suite, unlike those of 2820, do not extend before the day DSK arrived. I was therefore unable to ascertain how, when, or why these 7 unknown individuals got access to the suite.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012