John LeBoutillier was, briefly, a loud, boorish hard-right GOP congressman in the Reagan era. Since then you might have spotted him promoting a "Counter Clinton Library" or peddling sleazy sex rumors about Gary Condit. But LeBoutillier ("the Boot" to his pals) is a busy man. The Village Voice reports on a LeBoutillier scheme that only sounds like the plot of a direct-to-video Vin Diesel movie:
...Frank "Frankie Blue Eyes" Sparaco, former captain in the Colombo crime family, is serving out a 288-month sentence for murder and racketeering....
LeBoutillier told the Voice [that] Sparaco [has] enlisted in a new struggle: using his unique talents and connections to reach out to imprisoned Russian, East European, and Vietnamese gangsters who might have knowledge of where missing P.O.W.'s are allegedly being held.
"In our prisons are hundreds of Russians, many of nefarious background; some were even in the KGB," said LeBoutillier last week. "You and I could not go and find these guys and talk to them. If anyone in there could talk to them, that's what I want. It doesn't matter what his background is, if he can help get information about American prisoners of war I'll talk to him."
LeBoutillier did more than talk to Sparaco. In addition to visiting the inmate at least four times in prison, he has also written repeatedly to federal officials asking them to place Sparaco in better accommodations....
Sparaco, the multiple murderer, has been transferred to Allenwood since he bagan assisting the Boot -- "albeit in a medium-security prison, not the camp-style facility LeBoutillier had sought," the Voice says. But
Frankie Blue Eyes, according to a friend of the inmate, credited his well-connected friend with his relocation.
So, is this working? The Boot wrote this last May:
We are making serious progress because of his influence and never ending efforts. We may have located several U.S. airmen shot down over North Vietnam and then taken to Moscow. Later this summer we may successfully be able to bring these men home after more than 30 years as prisoners of war.
John McCain and John Kerry have accused the Boot's organization of making sleazy fundraising pitches. LeBoutillier's response: He
called both senators "liars" and "evil." Of the former pilot who spent six years in a Hanoi cell, he wrote: "To know McCain is to detest him."
(The Boot, too young for Nam, has never served in the military.)