Thursday, May 11, 2006

Flashing The Hash at the Watergate (part three)

In the bar we met up with a photographer who had been staying at the Watergate at the behest of the manager of the hotel in order to photograph the renovation. For his pay he was paid a flat fee and given a room at the end of a hallway on the first floor. He explained to us that more than once he had been accosted by the Secret Service for what they describe as “loitering with intent.” He explained that he had overheard some of the recording and with a smile added that maybe we might be interested in some of the photographs he had taken around the hotel. Something in the way he said this made us believe that there was something a bit more to these photos. He opened the satchel in front of him and we joined him in his booth.
The photographs were amazing. Some were of the hospital staff in compromising situations, photos of the restoration included the construction workers smoking pot and generally laying around on the job out of sight of the hotel surveillance system. As we looked Jack asked if he had anything more official, and with that question he lit up and turned towards the back of the collection to reveal covert photos of the Secret Service removing stuff from hotel rooms. In one of the photos a Secret Service agent carries a life-size sex doll made into an exact replica of G. Gordon Liddy. In another, an agent was holding a drunken Scooter Libby against the wall while he awaited the elevator. Jack leapt to his feet and stormed over to the bar and grabbed at the phone to make a call. The bartender came down the bar and said something to Jack that I didn’t hear and Jack screamed, “If you’re mother was in this kind of situation you’d be on this side of the bar asshole!” The bartender who had seen many crazed looks like the one in Jack’s eyes, many from politicians sulked back down to his newspaper.
“News desk! Hey. Mike! What would you do for a photograph of Scooter Libby being sodomized by an agent?”
The photographer looked at Jack and back down at the photograph and then to me.
“Well, you know the darkroom can do many things but these days a fraud can be spotted right away.”
I told him that it didn’t matter if the story was true or the photograph genuine. As long as it existed and was leaked in the right way it would show up on the news and get picked up by the wires.
I added, “If bullshit was the ration card of power the entirety of Washington would be bent over backwards digging corn.”

- Chris Mansel

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