Another Palfrey Interview

Susie Bright interviews Deborah Jean Palfrey.

I’m wondering when a current sex worker or activist will interview her.

Palfrey and Attorney Seperate

She and her court-appointed attorney end their relationship.

D.C. Madam Bets on Valley Firm

From Red Herring

on 24 August 2007, 17:52

The so-called “D.C. Madam” may yet get the last laugh.

Accused of running a high-priced prostitution ring that catered to the rich and powerful in Washington, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, dubbed the “D.C. Madam,” earlier this year threatened to name names. But political elites breathed a sigh of relief when a television reporter reviewed a list of her clients and, save for a couple of exceptions, declared the names to be of little interest.

Now the woman at the center of Washington’s most titillating scandal in years is hoping to bolster her defense by hiring a small Silicon Valley search and data analysis company that she hopes will be able to mine a treasure trove of phone records, Congressional papers and other documents to draw up a much longer list of her clients.

That could put Cataphora, a relatively unknown Redwood City, California-based company, at the center of one of the most closely-watched scandals in Washington in recent memory.

“It could be the cornerstone of our defense,” Ms. Palfrey’s attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, said of Cataphora’s work.

Privately-held Cataphora will analyze thousands of pages of Ms. Palfrey’s old telephone records—which do not have names attached to them—to names and numbers subpoenaed from telephone companies. Ms. Palfrey has said she knew most of her customers by first names or aliases only. And Mr. Sibley said her telephone records are the only evidence she has not yet destroyed.

Ms. Palfrey was charged in March with running a prostitution ring but she claims that her firm, Pamela Martin and Associates, was a legitimate escort service that catered to the erotic fantasies of up to 15,000 customers—but did not provide sexual services. Mr. Sibley said that without new names provided by Cataphora’s analysis, it could be difficult to call witnesses to support his client’s position.

“This is the best way (for me) to put people on the stand to say, ‘I was just getting a massage or sniffing underwear’ or whatever,” he said.

Word of Ms. Palfrey’s arrest sparked rampant speculation that scores of well-known public figures would appear on her client list. She gave a portion of her phone numbers—from 2002 to 2006—to ABC News earlier this year, outing deputy secretary of state Randall Tobias, former Clinton administration official Dick Morris, and Louisiana senator David Vitter, who in July apologized for using the service—for “massages.”

ABC News declined to release other names because it said they were of little news value. But Cataphora’s technology could soon draw up a list of clients dating back 13 years, particularly if the company can match phone records with other data, such as politicians’ calendars or official House or Senate records.

“I’m sure they’re going to come up with ways to use the information,” said Mr. Sibley. “If there’s a high frequency of use when Congress is in session, I have reasonable grounds to subpoena Congressmen.”

Cataphora has a long track record of tracking individuals. The company’s “C-Evidence” software was designed to scour emails, calendar schedules, phone records, expense reports, and other documents to analyze—and flag, if appropriate—individuals’ communications, actions or behavioral patterns.

“We know most people are creatures of habit,” said Elizabeth Charnock, Cataphora CEO.

The software can “read” emotional context within emails to identify people’s behavior and it can also generate graphics that visually illustrate lines of communication among individuals, making it difficult for people to adopt the plausible deniability defense.

“This is the way of the future because we don’t have persons talking on the street corner,” Mr. Sibley said. “We have volumes of information flying in the ether and unless you can make sense of it, you can’t make a sustained case.”

Cataphora is typically contracted by large companies—or their law firms—that are being sued, subpoenaed, or under criminal investigation. These clients don’t want to be identified, meaning that Cataphora usually operates behind the scenes. But its involvement with the D.C. Madam could now put Cataphora in the national spotlight.

Cataphora’s emergence also comes at a time of growing complaints over the manner in which new technologies—whether illegal snooping software, government data collection programs or corporate advertising platforms—are eroding personal privacy.

It is not yet clear whether Cataphora’s software will detonate new political bombshells in the capital. More certain is that those who get caught up in Cataphora’s technological trap will not be everyday web surfers, but Washington elites.

Palfrey Interview

You can read it or hear it on MP3. Radical Vixen interviewed the DC Madam and it’s not the usual media stuff.

TVPRA, Donna Hughes, Contradictions, some feminists, funding, hypocrisy.

More information about Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, statements from it’s supporters about it’s successes, apparent lack of successes, about needing more money, TVPRA supporter Donna Hughes on President Bush being the most Pro Woman President she can remember and again Randall Tobias.

First Canadian Feminist Martin Dufresne stated

“Jill, You can go on re-posting this sorry rant two, three or twenty times, it just doesn’t hold water. Donna Hughes and other anti-prostitution feminists just aren’t supporters of TVPRA as you have tried so hard to paint them. And your repeated attempts to malign them are a poor reflection of your camp.”

Only after confronted with pictures and news articles which clearly document Donna Hughes was a main participant in Trafficking Victim’s Protection Re-authorization Act, he sends out a very delayed retraction oddly arriving today, after I have left the Pro Fem Listserv.

Martin Dufresne writes that he was wrong….. Go figure,,, of course with a series of insults. Being the pro feminist that he is, he couldn’t possible admit being wrong to a heretic woman without a sideways insult.

Martin states “OK, I have read up some of the material offered and it is much more informative than the, yes, rant we were treated to from Jill twice today. Yes, Hughes supports the principle and the commitment underlying the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) – my latest post was wrong – but she also is sharply critical of its lack of implementation and misuse against women over the last five years, as she made quite clear in the Op-Ed posted by Jill herself.” End Martin quote

Begin Brenneman “What Hughes was complaining about was that she wasn’t getting enough of the funding from TVPRA. The 108 thousand dollars from TVPRA she received in funding in 2003 apparently wasn’t sufficient as she states in 2005 no reliable estimates exist and the studies haven’t been done by DOJ. Perhaps because they paid her to do it? ”

A few Hughes Excerpts from “http://www.leatherneck.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51016

“Second, there are no reliable estimates of how many children and adults are caught in prostitution in the U.S. today. The Department of Justice has failed to make efforts to determine the scope of victimization in the U.S. In the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2005, Congress authorized a nationwide study on the illegal commercial-sex industry in the U.S. — the kind of study that has been done for illegal gambling and drug trafficking. The Department of Justice never requested funds to conduct the study. If this study had been initiated promptly, we might now be close to having the first estimate ever of the size of the illegal commercial-sex industry in the U.S. and the number of women and children victimized in it.” End Hughes Quote


Brenneman: No reliable estimates? What did Donna Hughes do with the TVPRA funding for studies given to her? She questions if the study had been initiated promptly they might have an estimate of the size of the illegal commercial sex industry in it. What happened to the study of 2003? Which the check went to Hughes and University of Rhode Island?

From Department of Justice’s website

 

 

Here’s info. directly from

 

the U.S. Dept. of Justice website saying that Donna

 

Hughes received over $108,000 in TVPRA funding and her

 

organization, CATW, received over 147,000 in TVPRA

 

during FY 2004. Here’s the info. directly from the

 

U.S. Dept. of Justice website:

 

 

GlobalType

 

Prevention

 

 

Agency

 

U.S. Department of State

 

Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

 

(DOS/G/TIP)

 

 

Amount

 

$108,478

 

 

Grantee(s)

 

Donna Hughes, Ph.D.

 

 

 

University of Rhode Island

 

 

Purpose

 

To continue Fiscal Year 2003 research on best

 

practices for addressing demand side of sex

 

trafficking.

 

Brenneman: Donna’s solution, give her and her allies in the religious right, some feminists and the Bush Administration more money for studies.

Donna Hughes: “To reverse this situation, we need the following: The Department of Justice must carry out the study on the illegal commercial sex industry as authorized by Congress in 2005. We need to have a baseline study of the problem so we can begin to understand the scope of the problem and find solutions. And the Department of Justice must initiate the grant program for local and state law-enforcement agencies and service-providers so that U.S.-citizen victims, particularly those over the age of 17, are assisted and perpetrators punished.”

Brenneman: What Donna fails to state is that TVPRA and its subsequent Anti Prostitution Oath of 2005 ban funding to NGO’s failing to take the Anti Prostitution Pledge agreeing not to work with active sex workers, not to work with any groups that don’t explicitly demand an end to prostitution. Meaning the elimination of funding for HIV outreach orgs giving out condoms, shelters for women who are homeless in Cambodia but are sex workers, that were using the shelters for such “pro prostitution” endeavors as taking a shower. Those drop in centers have folded due to lack of funding. Chilean outreach workers have no funding to give condoms to active sex workers, funding eliminated by TVPRA as being “pro prostitution”. But to spend money on condoms is considered pro prostitution and not fighting slavery. Another paraphrase of a Hughes quote, sex slaves need to be liberated not given condoms. Liberated not by protection from disease, not by organizations that support and advocate for their human rights, but for studies for Hughes and her abolitionist colleagues. Or should I say more funding. Again, where is the 108 thousand dollars for these studies?Donna Hughes who condemned President Clinton as anti woman but states the following about President Bush

From http://www.nationalreview.com/interrogatory/hughes200601260824.asp

“Reporter Katheryn Lopez: How important has the president been in this fight?

Hughes: President Bush has been the crucial factor. He has created a political climate in which all of us, from local activists to high-ranking political appointees, could do this work. Mainstream feminists like to say he’s anti-woman, but by supporting the abolitionist work against the global sex trade, he has done more for women and girls than any one other president I can think of. And he seems to have done it because it’s the right thing to do, not because of pressure or favoritism. The new law and policy will literally initiate change for millions of women and girls around the world. Years from now, when the anti-Bush hysteria has died away, I believe he will be recognized as a true advocate for women’s freedom and human rights.The mainstream media has ignored this story. Most of the coverage has come from the conservative press as a result of faith-based groups’ involvement in coalition efforts to support the new law and policy. I believe it is a result of the liberal media dislike of the Bush administration and the lack of mainstream feminist groups’ acknowledgment of Bush’s efforts to fight sex trafficking. Most mainstream journalists don’t search out the facts, and instead accept the stereotypes and anti-Bush propaganda. When I speak favorably of what the Bush administration has done to support the anti-trafficking movement, people are often shocked because it isn’t consistent with their view of President Bush or the Bush administration. Hopefully, history will set the record straight.

Lopez: Who have been some of the other key figures?

Hughes: Laura Lederer, senior adviser in the State Department’s global-affairs office had a key role in drafting the national-security directive that President Bush issued in 2002. The directive laid out the U.S. policy on prostitution and trafficking. Lederer has a 30-year history of fighting pornography, prostitution, and sexual exploitation. She thoroughly understood the problem and the nuances of all the debates around trafficking. She was able to assist the Bush administration is drawing up a far reaching, visionary plan for the abolition of trafficking.”

Brenneman Laura Lederer who has her government job. Hughes who seemed very happy at the outset when she saw herself getting hundreds of thousands of dollars for her studies. Money taken from outreach programs giving condoms, shelter, training programs for those choosing to exit, health care. All of those supposedly “pro prostitution” goals of the “pro prostitution, pro trafficking lobby”

Below is analysis of Hughes statements about her history in the feminist movement.

Hughes: “I’ve (Hughes) spent about 17 years working on this issue — most of that time I was on the losing side, as those who supported “sex worker” rights won almost every political battle.”

Brenneman: Question, was she battling for social justice for these trafficked women or battling sex worker rights? Which leads to another question. Why would an activist supposedly fighting to protect women in the sex industry oppose their rights?

Hughes writes: “The mainstream feminist groups wanted to allow women to make the “choice” to be prostitutes and only oppose “forced prostitution.”

Brenneman: And these women are children and shouldn’t be allowed to choose sex work? For what reason? The feminist groups Hughes opposes support adult women making a choice to do sex work and opposes these same feminists who also oppose forced prostitution. Wouldn’t it make more sense to join with the feminists already opposing forced prostitution? Not to Donna and her allies. Not apparently when they can snag all the funding for themselves. Why share? Even if by her own admission the studies she was paid to do apparently never made it to the government or were never completed as by her own words studies have not been done and must be done.

Hughes “The Clinton administration funded and supported this approach. I thought we had lost. Those were the depressing years.”

Brenneman: The Clinton Administration funded harm reduction programs, funded feminists supporting the right of adult women to have self determination over their bodies and their occupation funded feminists who were also fighting forced prostitution. Yet Donna was depressed about this.

Donna writes: “During the late 1990s, almost all the media stories were about how empowering prostitution was, how much money the women made, how pimps were disappearing, how women were independent businesswomen, and how women in India were forming unions and collectives to fight for their rights as sex workers.”

Brenneman: The women making money, the pimps disappearing, forming unions and collectives to fight for their human, civil and labor rights as sex workers is a bad thing? So apparently following the Hughes and her allies logic, the women should not make money, the pimps shouldn’t disappear until studies have been done to determine how many women and apparently how many pimps exist and then while depriving sex workers of their rights, Donna Hughes, her allies and the government can decide what to do? Is there not a contradiction in terms here? Hughes and her allies claim to be fighting for women yet want to deny them money, labor rights reducing or eliminating the power of pimps and organizational rights to advocate for their civil, human and labor rights? This is feminism?

Hughes writes: “The Utopian vision that prostitution could be turned into a form of legitimate work for women by empowering victims and organizing unions ruled in all U.N. meetings, feminist conferences, and a number of government offices. Now that was depressing!”

Brenneman: How depressing to Donna. The victims she claims to represent would be empowered and organizing unions to support their rights was happening at the UN level, at feminist conferences and within the government.

Donna writes: “Slowly that is changing. Media stories are increasingly describing prostitution rings in which women and girls are beaten, raped, and enslaved. That may sound more depressing, but to me it is much better because it’s the truth.”

Brenneman: Yes, with their rights and funding taken away, the unions have collapsed, the sex workers are once again much more vulnerable and women and girls are getting beaten, raped and enslaved. Donna admits it may sound more depressing but to her it is much better because it is the truth. So taking away the funding that assisted them in gaining human rights, labor unions that organized labor and civil rights even by organizations and feminists that Donna herself stated were fighting forced prostitution is a better thing because it is the truth? Being beaten, raped and enslaved is better because it is a truth created by Donna Hughes, the Bush Administration, religious right and like minded feminists? Of course it’s the truth. Drive any group into deep oppression restricting their rights, making them vulnerable and of course the truth will be an increase in crimes against them. But Donna was happy, she was getting money from her visionary Pro woman President Bush. Only she didn’t get enough to fill her belly and now wants more money. Not to help the sex workers but to study them. Studies undoubtedly done by her and her allies. Forget the feminists who were already opposing forced prostitution as by Donna’s logic they were pro prostitution by also supporting choice of bodily determination and human, civil and labor rights.

Donna writes: “I used to hear stories like that all the time from victims, but they never made it into media stories or congressional testimonies. Now, the truth about prostitution/sex trafficking is emerging and agencies are responding as never before. I think more pimps and traffickers have been arrested in the last year than in the whole previous decade. (…)”

Brenneman: Only now Donna states these arrests haven’t happened, the pimps and traffickers in the US aren’t being arrested in her xenophobic article in the ultra conservative National Review. What am I missing here? Canadian pro feminist Martin Dufresne believes all is going quite well, just give Donna and the correct feminists more money for studies and it will all be much better. Of course what happens to the women harmed by their support and the actual legislation that is TVPRA?

Martin states “Sorry but I think this is good news and part f what I have been fighting for. Some may disagree, of course”

Brenneman: Good news that violence against sex workers is up, their rights have been taken away, outreach heathcare and shelter projects are defunct, women aren’t making money, pimps are strengthened and even by TVPRA’s strongest supporters they have no idea what statistics actually exist even though they were paid to do the studies. They want more money to studies on their program which they were paid to do studies?

Feminist activist Nikki Craft who denies she is an abolitionist or a radical feminist despite operating the Andrea Dworkin online library and advocating the arson of porn stores on her website while complaining about the violent imagery of porn, yet using a picture of a tortured woman on her website as proof that it exists denies her involvement in any of this as she was unconcerned “about the infight over money” In that perhaps she is being truthful. She was crusading about the misogynist dangers of Adobe PhotoShop. There is a vital cause if one has ever been proposed.

We shouldn’t forget either that the top official exposed the the DC Madam’s call girl escort service was none other than Randall Tobias. The Bush Administration front man for TVPRA. Which essentially was the basis for this blog in the outset

Please, let yourself be heard, oppose TVPRA, its global harm, it’s corrupt and inept organizers and supporters.

Jill Brenneman

 

Palfrey and one of her escorts

The relationship between Palfrey and one of her escorts is examined. This particular escort has recently been fired from her legal firm after she was known to have worked for Palfrey, although the firm is keeping quiet about her actual identity.

Palfrey, Vitter, an Escort

In this article, it is suggested that Palfrey deliberately set up Vitter and one of her escorts who was working as his congressional aide. Yet later in the article, Palfrey claims she knew nothing of her clients other than first names or an alias.

Which idea is more credible? That she was Machiavellian enough to know who was calling and which of her escorts could be used against that person in the future? Or that she was like most agents and never bothered to screen?