February 8, 2006

Confessions of a sex slave hit man

September, 2004: Boulder Weekly reporter Pamela White writes a hard-hitting story about sex slaves. Some of what she reports is so bizarre and disturbing that "the average decent adult cannot fathom and often refuses to accept." But it's all true, and to back it up, she points to the work of New York Times stud Peter Landesman, who "received a letter of support from no less than Attorney General John Ashcroft, who wrote to the paper after Landesman was accused of writing fiction." Because the Attorney General of the United States would never stretch the truth. White's primary source, and the personality around whom the article is framed, is a man named David Race Bannon, a former Interpol agent who was assigned to track down and assassinate sex traffickers. Can't fathom it? Can't accept it? Maybe you should leave your comfortable basement in Park Slope, chum.

Flash foward to February, 2006: Pamela White has something embarrassing to report. "David Race Bannon [has] been arrested on suspicion of criminal impersonation, computer crime and criminal attempt to commit theft after an investigation by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation." Interpol has denounced his book as "deceptive and irresponsible fantasy," and now that you mention it, the Johnny Quest connection was a little suspicious By her account, White initially treated Bannon with skepticism and worked diligently — much more so than Peter Landesman — to punch holes in his story. Had Landesman not already put her in the anything-is-possible mindset, her skepticism might even have won out. [Hat tip to Marjorie]

Speaking of hit men who should be treated with skepticism, I've been hearing rumors that John Perkins, the author of the bestselling Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, has some credibility issues. I hasten to add that I have neither read the book no heard the specific charges, so I can't weigh in one way or the other. Though I've found nothing too damning on-line, readers have raised doubts on Amazon, news threads and blogs. The fact that Perkins claims he can shapeshift and teleport probably has something to do with the doubts.

As I said, I can't judge Hit Man at all, but it does seem like a good subject for The Smoking Gun to look into. At the very least, the producers of the forthcoming film adaptation will probably want to know how accurate their source material is. Let's see, who's writing that screenplay again? Oh, yeah: Peter Landesman.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Before you ask, yes I am aware that Frontline had a sex trafficking story yesterday, and no I didn't watch it. Honestly, I'm not that interested in sex trafficking, I'm interested in journalistic integrity, and I have no reason to think Frontline wasn't scrupulous. Indeed, I commend the show's web site for including this explanation of why all those big numbers shouldn't necessarily be trusted. Hey, the site even links to Jack Shafer's demolition of PL and to Debbie Nathan's critique of the sex slave obsession.

Huckleberry Hound raped me.

sex trafficking should be stopped wherever its found.

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