As the Washington Times bore deeper and deeper into the enigma of Spence, I was astonished to read about the eddies of his sordid life in black and white—on the front-page of a newspaper. The levy of lies that had suppressed the truth about Spence for years was starting crumble, and I pondered its implications for me. I felt that it would be difficult for the government to cover up Spence’s illicit activities now that the toothpaste was out of the tube. I also had a tendency to think that the government wouldn’t take a chance on indicting me, because a trial would only publicize Spence’s complicity with high-ranking federal officials and his connections to the Secret Service and perhaps even the CIA.
The Washington Post commenced a counteroffensive against the Washington Times. The first blast of disinformation perpetrated by the Washington Post was a protracted article, “The Shadow World of Craig Spence,” published about two weeks after the Washington Times began to expose Spence’s blackmail operation, and it was a concerted effort to dismantle the Washington Times reportage on Spence. The article mocked the earlier headline floated by the Washington Times—”Power Broker Served Drugs, Sex at Parties Bugged for Blackmail”—by providing the veritable, unadulterated truth about Spence’s get-togethers: “People sat around in a perimeter after dinner discussing trade policy, where American policy makers were ushered into circles of foreign visitors to make serious talk; parties to which Koppel would sometimes send a stand-in; parties so dull that even Dossier magazine wouldn’t run the photographs.”
The Post’s “The Shadow World of Craig Spence” also dismantled the idea that Spence’s house was bugged for blackmail, but its hatchet job was transparently disingenuous. The Post deployed a contrivance it coined the “skeptical guest” to debunk the notion that Spence’s home had clandestine surveillance. The Post’s “skeptical guest” was an unnamed source, and the Post even neglected to mention the source’s gender or his or her relationship to Spence.
According to the Post, the “skeptical guest” was in attendance at a party in Spence’s D.C. home when a friend of Spence’s, CBS correspondent Liz Trotta, “got down on her hands and knees in the living room and found wires and cables all over the room at floor level. She also found metal fasteners that could have been listening devices, she says, clipped to the bottom of a coffee table. A skeptical guest who witnessed this—who was familiar with the architecture and furnishings—said that one of the so-called bugs was a button-release on the table and that to his knowledge, there were no bugs.”