Friday, July 06, 2007

D.C. madame to release client records

This is the sort of thing political bloggers sell their grandmothers for:

A woman accused of running a prostitution ring in the nation's capital is free to distribute thousands of pages of phone records after a federal judge lifted a restraining order on Thursday....

[Deborah Jean Palfrey] and her attorney have said the list contains up to 15,000 names and could shake up Washington by revealing high-profile individuals.

Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy.... This could be like Christmas in July. A bipartisan reputation massacre of epic proportions, with extra helpings of exposed hypocrisy.

More seriously, it could prove or disprove reports that former Rep. Randy Cunningham organized escort-service parties (if Palfrey's service was used). And who knows what impact it might have on the 2008 elections?

Release the list, Deborah. Release the list.

Update: I missed a key point: the list was already partly released, as part of a "20/20" report in May. She gave the program four years worth of records, out of a total of 13 or 14 years.

The most prominent name on the list, according to ABC? Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias, who oversaw the administration's foreign aid operations. He resigned.

Also named was Washington Times columnist Harlan Ullman, author of "Shock and Awe." He denied being a client.

Others mentioned but not identified include NASA officials, military officers, a career Justice Department prosecutor, prominent CEOs, some wealthy (but private) movers and shakers, officials at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and lobbyists of all stripes.

No members of Congress, no White House officials. But we'll see who turns up in the full list.

Update II: Palfrey is making the list available to the media and like organizations on her website. But apparently she's just providing a list of phone numbers; it will be up to the recipients to match numbers to names, and then determine the significance of those names.

In other words: it could be a long while before we learn anything.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geez, Sean. You've turned into a regular Larry Flynt. Is this the most important thing that needs attention? If so.....it's proof that things in this country are going pretty darned good!!!

JP5

7/06/2007 2:47 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Geez, Sean. You've turned into a regular Larry Flynt.

Well, I've never worn an American flag as a diaper. And I don't publish a magazine that could be used to teach gynecology. But other than that.... ;)

Is this the most important thing that needs attention?

Important? No. Especially because I'm sympathetic to the libertarian argument that prostitution should be decriminalized and regulated. But mostly, this post is part of Midtopia's "politics as entertainment" coverage area.

And the release of that list will be very entertaining.

Especially if people start outing themselves rather than wait for the list to catch up to them.

7/06/2007 2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry Flint? oh give Sean a break.
I dont think it will be as bipartisan as one would expect. My money is on a lot more hypocrite right wingers turning up.
Regardless of who will turn up , I am salivating at the prospect. This could lead to the biggest self cleaning act of washington hypocrites, in the history of this country.
GK

7/06/2007 3:36 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

I dont think it will be as bipartisan as one would expect. My money is on a lot more hypocrite right wingers turning up.

They'll be the biggest news, because of the hypocrisy. But I expect you'll find the list to be quite ecumenical. Sex drive doesn't respect party lines.

Regardless of who will turn up , I am salivating at the prospect. This could lead to the biggest self cleaning act of washington hypocrites, in the history of this country.

Possibly. The effect will probably be more limited than you'd expect, and it depends on how many elected officials or top aides are named. But it comes at a good time, with a public already fed up with the shenanigans in Washington. Showing up on Palfrey's list could be the final nail in the coffin for vulnerable incumbents.

7/06/2007 3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm betting there's not as many top names as you're hoping for. Perhaps some visiting diplomats getting "entertained."

What's her angle: making more money off of it, I suppose?

JP5

7/06/2007 10:15 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

What's her angle: making more money off of it, I suppose?

No, she's giving it away, though I suppose she could hope for a book deal afterward.

She's still facing criminal charges; I think she's hoping that the prospect of embarassing government officials will either get the case dropped or lead to a lenient plea-bargain.

I'm also not sure she actually knows who all is on her list, considering that the list she's releasing is just phone numbers. She may think it holds more explosive information than it does.

7/09/2007 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first name to come out just now is of Republican Senator Vitter of Louisiana. (Never heard of him) He apologized and said it was years ago and he's already asked for and received forgiveness from his wife, his church, and God.

So....now what???

JP5

7/09/2007 9:56 PM  

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