The above image was made with stable diffusion using the prompt 'painting of a room with a window into a bedroom.'
A Google search today for 'washington post brothel cia' turned up interesting results. The third result was this 1977 article about fallout from MKUltra's Operation Midnight Climax. The second result was another 1977 piece about the same thing, with a particular focus on Morgan Hall aka George White. The number one search result for this query was a story from yesterday about an elite prostitution ring that was recently shut down. From the story:
Three people have been arrested in connection with operating high-end brothels in Virginia and the Boston area that served an exclusive clientele of elected officials, military officers, government contractors with security clearances and myriad other professionals, according to federal investigators. ... The allegations mirror a sex service that for 13 years catered to Washington's political elite, including a sitting senator. Known as the D.C. Madam, Deborah Jeane Palfrey was convicted of running that operation in 2008. Records of her ring included the names of 815 clients, and in 2016, Palfrey's former lawyer said her phone records "could be relevant" to the presidential election. A judge later blocked the release of those records.
The suspected ringleader had apparently been under investigation since 2020. In addition to running the brothels near DC and Boston, he allegedly sought and received government funds under false pretenses. From NBC:
Investigators also said that James Lee made deposits in his personal and business bank accounts since January 2020 that totaled $4.5 million. More than $550,000 of Covid relief funds, the agent wrote, were among those deposits. Investigators acquired records from the Small Business Administration that, the agent suggested, show James Lee applied for these loans for various businesses, including one listed as E.P.A. Green Services, and potentially under different identities. James Lee "utilized these accounts to conceal and disguise illicit proceeds of the prostitution business, in addition to possible fraudulently obtained Covid-19 related relief funds," the agent wrote.
Han Lee, James Lee, and Junmyung Lee were charged with conspiracy to coerce and entice to travel to engage in illegal sexual activity. It's not clear whether the operation's sex workers were willing or coerced. We do know that the enterprise kept detailed records of its clients, which raises the possibility that blackmail could have been a part of the equation. And since some of those clients had security clearances, espionage could also be in the picture.
While the bust of this prostitution ring may be of relative minor importance on its own, it's the kind of thing that could ensnare powerful individuals in scandal. These individuals have enemies who would welcome or even create such a scandal if the opportunity to do so presented itself. It is even possible that there were political motivations behind the investigation from the start. These days that actually seems likely.
The big question is whether there's a faction of the power elite that's benefiting from the bust. The other big question is about the covid relief funds. Were these funds obtained with inside information from one of the brothels' clients? Or was pure government incompetence behind the dispersal of half a million dollars to an obvious scammer?
To my way of thinking, this whole episode is evidence that sex work should be legal and regulated in the US. The illicit sex trade is terrible yet sex buyers aren't going away anytime soon. And those buyers inevitably include powerful people who may be vulnerable to blackmail.
Read my novels:
- Small Gods of Time Travel is available as a web book on IPFS and as a 41 piece Tezos NFT collection on Objkt.
- The Paradise Anomaly is available in print via Blurb and for Kindle on Amazon.
- Psychic Avalanche is available in print via Blurb and for Kindle on Amazon.
- One Man Embassy is available in print via Blurb and for Kindle on Amazon.
- Flying Saucer Shenanigans is available in print via Blurb and for Kindle on Amazon.
- Rainbow Lullaby is available in print via Blurb and for Kindle on Amazon.
- The Ostermann Method is available in print via Blurb and for Kindle on Amazon.
- Blue Dragon Mississippi is available in print via Blurb and for Kindle on Amazon.
See my NFTs:
- Small Gods of Time Travel is a 41 piece Tezos NFT collection on Objkt that goes with my book by the same name.
- History and the Machine is a 20 piece Tezos NFT collection on Objkt based on my series of oil paintings of interesting people from history.
- Artifacts of Mind Control is a 15 piece Tezos NFT collection on Objkt based on declassified CIA documents from the MKULTRA program.