Alex Blaze

Breaking: Bush Administration official is a hypocrite

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 30, 2007 3:24 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: abstinence education, anti-prostitution oaths, Jeane Palfrey, prostitution, Randall Tobias

Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias resigned Friday after being accused by DC madam Jeane Palfrey for using her call girl service.

You might remember Tobias as being Mr. Abstinence when it came to AIDS policy abroad. Yeah, well, apparently everyone else has to abstain but he doesn't have to. You know, he's that one Bush administration official who feels that he's above the rules.

You also might remember him as the guy who helped get a bill passed that required US charities that work to reduce AIDS to take anti-prostitution oaths. Nice on face, I suppose, but they were, of course, intended to take funds away from secular foreign aid operations and give them to religious ones by nearly banning any outreach to sex workers. So apparently he goes so far as to use international sex trade as a cover for diminishing the First Amendment, but then he goes and gets serviced by several "Central Americans".

Palfrey says she has a list of prominent clients that she'll expose for her own defense. More on that, after the jump.

She's in court for criminal charges linked to her call girl service, which she says was never for prostitution, just for "sex fantasy" and she needs her clients to take the stand in her defense. From the Blotter:

I'm sure as heck not going to be going to federal prison for one day, let alone, four to eight years, because I'm shy about bringing in the deputy secretary of whatever," Palfrey told ABC News correspondent Brian Ross in an interview to be broadcast Friday on "20/20." "I'll bring in every last one of them in if necessary," she said.

Palfrey is due in federal court Monday morning to ask the judge to replace her current lawyer, a public defender, with a lawyer who she says "will be more aggressive in fighting the government."

This is about to get very interesting.

Tobias, for his part, invoked the Haggard defense:

On Thursday, Tobias told ABC News he had several times called the "Pamela Martin and Associates" escort service "to have gals come over to the condo to give me a massage."

Tobias, who is married, said there had been "no sex," and that recently he had been using another service "with Central Americans" to provide massages.


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There's an Indiana connection with Tobias too - he used to be the CEO of Eli Lilly (based in Indianapolis) from 1993-1998, there's the Randall Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence at IUPUI, etc. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels - also a former Bush administration official - was Lilly's Senior Vice President for Corporate Strategy and Policy under Tobias.

David Wene | May 1, 2007 12:10 AM

There are massage parlors and then there are massage parlors. Which ones are legit and which ones aren't?

There are escort services and then there are escort services. Which ones are legit and which ones aren't?

My impression is that someone like Tobias wouldn't just call any service. I am sure Palfry advertises and others probably recommended her organization.

I do not know if he is innocent or not but I do think it is wrong to assume he has to be guilty just because he is in the Bush administration or because he supports abstinence or because someone does not like his policy or politics.

He is also not guilty just because he resigns. I know many companies that will settle out of court, even when they are correct because they either realize that the cost of legitagation will be more than settling sooner or they will loose some of their image or "goodwill" by continuing. In Tobias' case, he does not need the job, so why spend the time fighting this "political, media" battle. It will only get nastier and if he is innocent, it will never restore his reputation.

Finally, this is like calling someone a racist or a homophobe. Once someone has been called that, no matter what they have done in the past or what their views are, they are stuck with that label. It becomes one person's word against the other.

In this case how can he prove he only had massages? What if 5 agreed? Would that be enough? 10? 100? What if 100 agreed but then one person who wanted to be annonymous, claimed they did have sex?

So it seems to be, do you trust Palfry, which seems to have done some questionable things, doing whatever she can to either cover herself or try to make money on a book, etc or a rich white Republican? (Sort of like do you trust a poor African-American woman who is working hard to pay for college by dancing or white rich Rugby players?)

Since there is no way he can prove that he is innocent or restore his reputation (if he is innocent) and since he does not need to work, then it sure seems like resigning was his only option.

Uhhhh.... No.

Resigning doesn't restore his reputation. Bad choice there, it does the opposite. If his goal was reputation, let's just say that he pulled a bad move. Unless, of course, he knows there's more and is trying to get out of the spotlight... but that's just idle speculation.

So you're saying that a guy this smart and resourceful would go to a madam with a huge reputation for prostitution for a massage? Instead of, oh, I don't know, a legit and certified massage therapist? Oh, please.

Yeah, Paltry has ulterior motivations. She's being charged with running a prostitution ring, and she's naming clients. She says that they'll testify to the fact that it's a legit service, I think she's just trying to get them to pull a few strings by threatening to out them.

Right now there's no innocence or guilt to prove. He hasn't been charged with anything. But he might want to make this spotlight go away, like you said, but let's just say that it ain't the Bush admin's MO to quit when an advisor is controversial. Or hated by almost the whole country. Or has absolutely no credibility. Like Rumsfeld held on for 6 years; Gonzales is still there. Cheney's still around and his approval's been as low as the mid-teens.

Yeah, he could possibly not have gone to see those prostitutes for anything more than a massage. But we can hopefully agree that it's a bad PR move on his part to go to them instead of a certified massage therapist for that kind of service. Just the same as if he was spotted trading money for a brown paper bag in a park with a drug dealer and he said there was just candy in there, and that's the way he always buys his candy.

Isn't the title "Bush adminsitration official is a Hypocrite" redundant? Isn't that like saying military intelligence?

I could care less about whatever personal effect Tobias may suffer from his self induced predicament. The bigger hypocrisy is the fact that the 'Madam Palfrey' arrest did not become newsworthy until a good-old-boy customer was exposed. Jeane Palfrey seems a smart savvy businesswoman and I admire the might of her ovaries (refusing to go quietly to a possible 4-8 year sentence in a federal prison). Until Tobias and the other customers are arrested, I'll reserve my outrage for the real injustice being served up here.

Meant to say:

Until Tobias and the other customers are arrested OR THE CHARGES ARE DROPPED AGAISNT PALFREY, I'll reserve my outrage for the real injustice being served up here.

Before we make her into some kind of hero (I'm also really excited that she's giving out names and want to say that I think she's totally cool), let's not forget that she's being charged with dabbling in the international sex work, which is really closely related to international sex slavery. I don't know if she exactly did that, but she doesn't really seem like that great of a person if the accusations are true.

See there, perspective is everything: (pssss...) Heroes have balls, Heroines have ovaries.

Not that this addressed my point, still; you said "... she's being charged with international sex work, which is closely related to international sex slavery." I missed that news release, care to link your source for me? Thanks