Posted: 10/10/2005 8:54:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/10/2005 9:01:50 PM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
Spy in the White House
Leandro Aragoncillo, a former US Marine of Filipino origin has been arrested for passing classified documents to foreign leaders, over a period during which he may have been assigned to the White House. SBS News Australia says Aragoncillo passed 100 classified documents from FBI computers which included material damaging to the current President of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The information was given to "opposition politicians planning a coup in the Pacific nation" -- including, apparently, former President Joseph Estrada, in jail on various corruption charges. According to SBS:
A Filipino Senator close to Joseph Estrada, a certain Panfilo Lacson has been linked by innuendo to the espionage plot. From SBS again:
Aragoncillo was a US Marine in a security capacity at the White House from 1999. According to the Washington Post:
The Washington Post also fingers Filipino Senator Panfilo Lacson, who prior to election had been a high ranking police officer.
Those interested in further background on Aragoncillo and Michael Ray Aquino can go to this link CIC Center, which includes a link to Aragoncillo's court indictment. Here is a further link to the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, which has a plethora of inside sources in that country.
(Speculation alert) One might reasonably ask how Joseph Estrada and Panfilo Lacson recruited a spy in the White House. Estrada's most notorious route of access into the 1999 White House was through Mark Jimenez, sentenced to two years in a Miami jail for federal election fraud in 2003. His sentence coincidentally, will be completely served this month.
Mark Jimenez knew a lot of people in the Democratic Party. Newsmax has connected him with John Kerry in an article dated from 2004.
Michelle Malkin described Mark Jimenez's access to the Clinton White house in the following 2001 Jewish World Review article:
Mark Jimenez, not so coincidentally, was a close associate of Joseph Estrada, the very man that accused spy Aragoncillo was said to have passed classified information to. According to a Filipino blogger:
But returning to the subject of Michael Ray Aquino. The question might be asked why a "senior aide" in the Philippine police and a protege of Senator Panfilo Lacson, one of the other people linked to accused spy Aragoncillo might be skulking around the US on an expired tourist visa. The answer, not surprisingly, is that he was wanted for questioning in connection with a murder in the Philippines.
Bubby Dacer, according to unverified sources, was someone who had run afoul of criminal syndicates in the Philippines and needed to be rubbed out. But the connection between his alleged killer, Michael Ray Aquino, and certain names makes interesting reading. The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism says:
This story is not so much about a "spy in the White House" -- although it is about that -- as much as a look into the kind of effluent that washed up in Washington in 1999.
A reader writes to say "By the way, the other thing Drudge got wrong is that Aragoncillo stole stuff from Cheney's or Al Gore's offices. But if you read the criminal complaint it only accuses him of downloading US intelligence on Philippine govt officials while working for the FBI in New Jersey in 2005". I noted the same thing myself in comments, which I reproduce verbatim.
The timeline contains a number of puzzling problems. The first regards when Aragoncillo contacted Estrada. The Washington Post article suggests Aragoncillo was passing info to Estrada between 2001 and 2003. However, the indictment suggests the initial transfer of info came in 2005.
"13. Additional records obtained from Hotmail and Yahoo! reveal that as early as January 2005 and continuing through September 2005, defendant LEANDRO ARAGONCILLO used the ARAGONCILLO Hotmail and Yahoo! Accounts to transmit classified documents and information to defendant AQUINO, and various current and former public officials of the Philippines."
The email cited in the first exchange has Michael Ray Aquino introducting Aragoncillo to Philippine official "b".
The other day, Leandro “Lean” Aragoncillo called me. He is the US Marine friend . . . . He already resigned from the USM and is now with the new intelligence unit . . . he is about to finish his training at the FBI NA in Quantico, Virginia."
Clearly this exchange would not have been necessary if Aragoncillo had already been to see Estrada between 2001 and 2003. Yet he is already apparently known to official "b" as "the US Marine friend", which suggests he made the acquaintance of official "b" while still in the USMC.
Radioblogger noticed the discrepancy in dates too, which puts the acts of espionage after the Whitehouse stint. My only problem with this is that the indictment suggests from internal evidence, as I've noted above, that Aragoncillo was contacted while still a Marine.
Check the dates, people. The alleged espionage took place two years after he left the White House. It took place while he was at the FBI. The FBI are the ones who caught him. Yes, he's an alleged spy, and he's in for a world of trouble. But Brian Ross and Richard Esposito, and by extension ABC News, have a lot of explaining to do, because their insinuation that this is a White House spy scandal looks to be garbage.
posted by wretchard at 10:54 PM | 32 comments
If you look at the REVISED dates, the theft of this data corresponds with Phillippine President Arroyos sudden about face on the presence of US military personal in their country and their removal from anti-Abu Sayyaf activities WHILE two Americans were still being held hostage.
A subsequent rescue attempt by the Phillippine Army left one of the American hostages dead.