by James Corbett
BoilingFrogsPost.com
October 13, 2015

In May of this year a federal grand jury indicted former Speaker of the House John Dennis Hastert. The charges: that he had “structured” withdrawals of over $950,000 from various bank accounts to skirt bank reporting laws and that he had lied to federal agents about these withdrawals. According to the indictment the withdrawals were part of a bid to pay $3.5 million in blackmail to cover up “past misconduct” from his time as a high school teacher in Illinois.

The story seemed perfect fodder for the tabloid corporate press. It featured a former high-ranking politician, blackmail and intrigue, and just enough details about Hastert’s former life as a teacher and wrestling coach to suggest that the “past misconduct” referred to a salacious scandal of sexual abuse of a minor. But for some reason the story faded from the headlines almost as quickly as it appeared. And now that Hastert’s legal team has announced that they are seeking a plea deal with prosecutors in order to avoid a trial, it seems the story is likely to disappear completely.

But a series of revelations from FBI whistleblowers reveal that this story is just the tip of a very seedy iceberg, one that implicates Hastert, his top aide, other Congress members and government officials in a criminal network involved in sexual intrigue, foreign espionage, blackmail, and drug money.

In 2002 Gilbert Graham, a Special Agent in the Washington Field Office of the FBI, blew the whistle on an illegal surveillance program being conducted out of the Bureau’s Washington headquarters. According to the unclassified version of his complaint, obtained by the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition in 2007, Graham alleged violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillence Act “in conducting electronic surveillance as a subterfuge to acquire evidence of criminal activity.”

These allegations were backed up by a former FBI Counterintelligence Specialist in the Washington Field Office, who told the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition: “…you are looking at covering up massive public corruption and espionage cases; to top that off you have major violations of FISA by the FBI Washington Field Office and HQ targeting these cases. Everyone involved has motive to cover up these reports and prevent investigation and public disclosure.”

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