Saturday, September 1, 2007

Special K: Dick's Breakfast of Champions?

"Special K" - A perfect name for Tommy Kontogiannis; he is indeed special. In case you don't know who Tommy Kontogiannis is, he is a serial criminal that never gets punished for his crimes because he snitches for the government. So far, he has brought down a former war hero turned powerful Congressman (Duke Cunningham) who took bribes, 2 high level defense contractors who bribed the Congressman, the no 3 man at the CIA (Dusty Foggo), the former head of the CIA and former Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee (Porter Goss), and the nephew of of a Greek immigrant who bribed Congressmen (John Michael), laundered money from the defense contractors, screwed his nephew, defrauded a public school district, wrote $50 million in fraudulent mortgages, bribed an embassy official, stole numerous people's identity and built a lot houses (from the proceeds of the mortgage fraud and identity theft) that not only violated the applicable codes and regulations, but were not even the same houses depicted on the plans he submitted. Kontogiannis was also investigated for involvement in undisclosed illegal campaign financing in a Congressional race. A guy like this is in prison for life right? Eh, no. He is constantly ferried around by the government and protected by a herd of upper level DOJ officials. In fact, the government appears to have knowingly let Kontogiannis commit many of his crimes while he was on probation and working directly for them.

Who knows exactly why Kontogiannis is so special; but clearly he is for some reason, or reasons, in the Bush Administration's eyes. Is he a compulsive snitch, a serial cooperator that can't stop yakking to the Feds and gets off on it? That appears to be a good possibility; but it doesn't explain the bizarre nature and substance of his cooperation. From all appearances, Kontogiannis is a working asset for the FBI, the CIA and the Department of Defense all at the same time. And that is the problem, Special K has got his fingers in to many Fed pies, and they have a first rate clusterfunk going on.

Experienced and ethical prosecutors and case agents have a severe aversion to sharing their confidential informants (CIs) and other assets with other agencies. There is nothing but trouble when one asset is being run by multiple concerns; the interests never line up well, the asset usually starts playing one against another, and often ends up using this interplay to serve himself and sometimes to give himself cover for the ongoing or new commission of crimes. If you want a prime example of this, check out the sordid story of Sammy the Bull; a tale that played out it's convoluted conclusion (unless Gravano acquires a cat's tenth life, which should not put past him) in Arizona.

The thing that is so striking is that no one person or entity seems to have a full bead on what Kontogiannis is up to. The local AUSAs in California handling a series of cases related to him sure didn't. When District Court Judge Larry Burns asked for specifics on their request to seal transcripts, they couldn't explain why they had been told by DOJ Main to do so. They then bring in the supposed answer men in the form of high level AUSAs from New York that have been working a different Kontogiannis case, and they obfuscated even more and clearly were not really positive of the big picture either. No court that Kontogiannis has been in front of has gotten the full story and they have all complained at the bizarre way the government protects this criminal. Kontogiannis' lawyer doesn't even know exactly what his client has been up to with the different Federal agencies (or he is faking very convincingly, which does not appear to be the case).

The best guess at this point is that it started off as a routine criminal trying to reduce his sentence and got more convoluted by the day from there. As it stands today, Special K looks like he is being run by at least three agencies; the FBI, CIA and DOD. Now if this mess had started off as an important CIA/DOD matter, Kontogiannis would never have been prosecuted for the various smaller things that he was initially; they would have been slid under the carpet. But now, even the pros from New York and Washington DOJ Main don't seem to really know the full extent of what Kontogiannis is conspiring with the Government on. The last time there was this big of a high level mess involving a slick criminal pitting one agency against another, it was Ahmad Chalabi and the buck stopped with Dick Cheney. Could it be that Special K has evidence of someone big's involvement in this hairbrained mess and managed to secure enough proof, and in such a manner, that he has them over a barrel? Someone Big Time? Is that you Dick?