You may remember that Bradley Manning, the swishy, troubled intelligence analyst now doing a long sentence in Leavenworth, copied classified files for distribution while lip-synching to Lady Gaga. We don’t know what it is with the autotune star and blowing off one’s oath of office, but it looks like fandom is not working out well for another serviceman, this one in the Navy.
A high profile U.S. Navy commander has been charged with accepting paid travel, the services of prostitutes and Lady Gaga concert tickets from a Singapore-based defense contractor in exchange for classified information according to federal prosecutors.
Commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, who was born in Cambodia during the Vietnam War and gained media attention for his rise to captain of a U.S. Navy destroyer, has been arrested on federal bribery charges – in what some are calling the worst scandal to hit the Navy in decades.
Also taken into custody and charged in criminal complaints unsealed in U.S. district court in San Diego were Leonard Glenn Francis, the CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd, and John Bertrand Beliveau II, a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Whatever happens to Misiewicz, he’s unlikely to end up like Manning, who is now acting out his Lady Gaga fantasies underneath some axe murderer in Leavenworth. BEcause if there’s one principle that’s the foundation of military justice system, it’s “different spanks for different ranks.” But Misiewicz’s career is over. Even if it’s all some collossal mistake, he has Brought Bad Publicity, which is the nearest thing to an unforgivable sin the Naval Service offers.
The investigation could be much larger. Glenn Defense Marine Asia is the company accused of bribing Misiewicz; its CEO Francis, and manager for government contracts Alex Wisidigama, are in custody after being lured to a bogus San Diego meeting that turned out to be a pretext for their arrest. Glenn Defense seems to have charged much higher than market rates for its services to the US Navy for 25 years, suggesting that other officers — perhaps including Misiewicz’s predecessors as deputy ops officer of the Pacific-spanning 7th Fleet — have also been doing the “pro quo,” which has to have NCIS looking for the “quid.”
Speaking of NCIS, despite the incredibly phony TV show, it doesn’t exactly have a reputation for investigative excellence, a situation that will not be helped by the presence of one of its own in the dock.
The Washington Post explained how that came to happen:
Court documents allege that Francis was receiving regular tip-offs from inside the agency about the state of investigations. The information, prosecutors say, was being supplied by John B. Beliveau II, a onetime NCIS agent of the year, who was arrested at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Southeast Washington on the same day that Misiewicz was taken into custody.
[H]e fed Francis confidential information about pending criminal investigations into Glenn Defense Marine….
In return… Francis supplied Beliveau with prostitutes and free travel, including a three-week trip to five Asian countries.
The Post also identified at least one other officer who may be involved in the long-running scheme:
Court papers make references to other, unnamed Navy officers who accepted favors from Francis, an indication that the investigation remains in its early stages.
Navy officials have identified Capt. Daniel Dusek, former commander of the USS Bonhomme Richard, as another target of the investigation. He has not been charged, but the Navy relieved him of command Oct. 2, citing the investigation.
Dusek, who remains under suspension, declined to comment through a Navy spokesman.
No word on what Dusek’s connexion to Lady Gaga is. If there isn’t one, he’s probably not guilty.
FMI: Daily Mail story.