On the morning of June 29, 1989, pandemonium erupted in the corridors of power in the nation’s capital. “Homosexual Prostitution Probe Ensnares Official of Bush, Reagan,” screamed the front-page headline of the Washington Times with the kicker “Call Boys Took Midnight Tour of White House.”
The Times reported, “A homosexual prostitution ring is under investigation by federal and District authorities and includes among its clients key officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, military officers, congressional aides and U.S. and foreign businessmen with close ties to Washington’s political elite.”
The exposeé centered on the role of one Craig Spence, a Republican powerbroker known for his lavish “power cocktail” parties. Spence was well connected. He celebrated Independence Day 1988 by conducting a midnight tour of the White House in the company of two teenage male prostitutes among others in his party.
Spence’s name came to national prominence in the aftermath of a June 28, 1989 article in the Washington Times identifying Spence as a customer of a homosexual escort service being investigated by the Secret Service, the District of Columbia Police and the United States Attorney’s Office for suspected credit card fraud. The newspaper said he spent as much as $20,000 a month on the service. He had also been linked to a White House guard who has said he accepted an expensive watch from Mr. Spence and allowed him and friends to take late-night White House tours.
On November 10, 1989 Spence was found dead dressed in a tuxedo in Room 429 the Boston Ritz Carlton, the city’s most expensive hotel with three dollars in his pocket. When found by hotel employees 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”, with a telephone cradled in his ear and a Walkman headset containing a cassette tape of Mozart’s “A Little Night Music”.
Rumors circulated that a list existed of some 200 Washington prominents who had used the call boy service. The Number Two in charge of personnel affairs at the White House, who was responsible for filling all the top civil service posts in the federal bureaucracy, and Secretary of Labor Elizabeth Dole’s chief of staff, were two individuals publicly identified as patrons of the call boy ring.
Two of the ring’s call boys were allegedly KGB operatives, according to a retired general from the Defense Intelligence Agency interviewed by the press. But the evidence seemed to point to a CIA sexual blackmail operation, instead. Spence’s entire mansion was covered with hidden microphones, two-way mirrors and video cameras, ever ready to capture the indiscretions of Washington’s high, mighty and perverse. The political criteria for proper sexual comportment had long been established in Washington: Any kinkiness goes, so long as you don’t get caught. The popular proverb was that the only way a politician could hurt his career was if he were “caught with a dead woman or a live boy” in his bed.
Months after the scandal had died down, and a few weeks before he allegedly committed suicide, Spence was asked who had given him the “key” to the White House. The Washington Times reported that “Mr. Spence hinted the tours were arranged by `top level’ persons, including Donald Gregg, national security advisor to Vice President Bush”@s1 and later U.S. ambassador to South Korea.
We have already had occasion to examine Don Gregg’s role in Iran-Contra, and have observed his curious performance when testifying under oath before congressional committees. Gregg indignantly denied any connection to Spence, yet it is public record that Spence had sponsored a dinner in Gregg’s honor in the spring of 1989 at Washington’s posh Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown.
George Bush was less than pleased with the media coverage of the prostitution charges and kept abreast of the scandal as it mushroomed. The Washington Times reported in an article titled “White House Mute on Call Boy Scandal,” that “White House sources confirmed that President Bush has followed the story 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 will not discuss the story’s substance, reportedly even among themselves.
“Press officers have rebuffed repeated requests to obtain Mr. Bush’s reaction and decline to discuss investigations or fall out from the disclosures.”@s2 By midsummer, the scandal had been buried. The President had managed to avoid giving a single press conference where he would surely have been asked to comment.
As the call boy ring affair dominated the cocktail gossip circuit in Washington, another scandal, halfway across the country in the state of Nebraska, peaked. Again this scandal knocked on the President’s door.
A chilling exposé of corporate corruption and government cover-ups, this account of a nationwide child-trafficking and pedophilia ring in the United States tells a sordid tale of corruption in high places.
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