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Well, they're "sorta, kinda" indexing me anyway. It's on a 24 hour tape delay or something. So I never get picked up by Memeorandum because they pull from Technorati and Technorati has stuff I posted yesterday listed as my latest blog entry. And that's old news to Memeorandum.
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Well Golly Beev! The crackerjack reporters at the Star-Ledger found a lady who says she isn't one of the prostitutes who (allegedly!) slept with Bob Menendez.
A young woman named in connection with an alleged sex scandal involving U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez denied in a television interview she was ever involved in prostitution and said she had never met him.
The 21-year-old, who lives in a village in the south of the Dominican Republic, said: "It's completely false. I don't know that man even from the television."
Separately, Vinicio Castillo, a Dominican lawyer and cousin of Salomon Melgen — a major campaign donor now at the center of an FBI investigation that has sparked widespread speculation of Menendez's involvement — charged that Melgen was the target of a "dirty campaign" by drug cartels aimed at discrediting him.
We'll get back to the "drug dealers" angle in a minute. But first, let's hear from an Actual Dominican Prostitute:
A Dominican prostitute's firsthand account of sex parties allegedly attended by New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez refers specifically to another participant: Vinicio "Vinicito" Castillo Seman, the scion of a prominent Dominican political family who serves as a lawyer for his cousin, Dr. Salomon Melgen, in the Caribbean nation. . . .
At least one of the women allegedly involved has said she was younger than 18 when she first had sex with Sen. Menendez.
In her account, sent via email on April 21, 2012 to the liberal advocacy group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the prostitute identified "Vinicito" by name as a participant, along with Melgen and Menendez. . . .
"It was during some yacht outings that I realized I needed to get out of there," the young prostitute wrote in one email included in that collection, "because these people are so important and they do whatever they want with whomever they want."
"Vinicito was there, who goes to many of the doctor's functions and invents things [to do] with the young girls, and then forces them to do the same things with the doctor's friend. And he really liked it and wanted to take them to another place, but I don't know where. They threatened those girls and told them to not talk, and that they couldn.t leave." . . .
In an April 28 email to CREW about the sex parties, the same woman said that "we women are very mistreated," especially "the younger ones between 16 and 18 years old."
Menendez continues to deny consorting with and/or mistreating underage hookers. And his friends at the Star-Ledger are only too happy to trumpet his denials on page 1. Just like they pretended he never took a plane flight (or 3) to the Dominican Republic until, you know, Bob coughed up the cash to pay for the flights he said he never took.
Sooner or later the Media is gonna have to start investigating. For real.
What you're beginning to see now is the drip-drip-drip effect: Once the scandal got serious enough that the New York Times was forced to report on it, that served as a signal to other news organizations that this is a legitimate story, rather than (as many mainstream reporters had apparently wanted to believe) just some flimsy thing ginned up by Menendez's right-wing enemies.
Right-wing enemies. Or Drug Dealers. Whichever bogeyman the Ledger finds convenient. See the drug dealer angle ties into Melgen's sweetheart port security deal, the one his good buddy Bob had the State Department light a fire under. What's an eye doctor doing in the security business anyway? Fighting "drug dealers!" Or lining his pockets, and funding Bob's re-election? Hey, what the hell do I know about stuff like that? Maybe a Real Reporter could look into it. If he wasn't running interference for Menendez.
Fortunately the Miami Herald isn't in Menendez's pocket. They checked out some of the HookerGate details. And found them credible.
You can read the whole thing. The details confirmed by the two Miami Herald reporters are important because — as anyone with experience chasing this kind of story would tell you — if the story were totally bogus, basic facts like names and addresses wouldn't check out.
A bogus story would have make-believe girls at non-existent addresses, but instead this story has the little details right. The fact that the women have now "disappeared," as McGrory and Sanchez report, isn't particularly surprising, nor is it surprising that the landlady (a) thought the hookers were "foreign exchange students" and (b) didn't know the names of their alleged clients.
See? Real Reporting. Aggregated by none other than the indefatigable Robert Stacy McCain. Stacy's been all over the Menendez story from the get-go, and along the way he just happened to discover a very interesting fact about tourism in the Dominican Republic.
"Prostitution is everywhere here; on the beach, in the bars, in the clubs," said Antonio Guzman, 36, a hustler who has worked the beach for 15 years and regularly connects tourists with prostitutes. "This place runs on it." . . .
Long before explosive allegations emerged claiming Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and a political contributor flew to the country for wild parties with several prostitutes, the Dominican Republic had cemented its reputation as a hub for sex tourism. . . .
Studies suggest between 60,000 and 100,000 women work in the sex trade in the country, according to the Center for Integral Orientation and Investigation, a health and outreach organization based in the capital, Santo Domingo.
Like I said, very interesting. Bob Menendez just happens to take frequent trips to the Hooker Capital Of The Universe, and we're supposed to believe it's merely because he enjoys the food.
Or maybe, and I'm just thinking out loud, maybe Salomon Melgen wanted to
cement his "quid pro ho" with Bob Menendez, and felt that having some underage
hookers in his back pocket would come in handy some day. See the Real Scandal
here is the
influence peddling. Bob's cheerleaders at the Star-Ledger don't
want you to remember that though. So they throw up a smokescreen — a
woman who says she's not a hooker also says she never slept with Menendez!
— and they call that "news."
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