The Washington Post has just published a lengthy report regarding allegations that the White House covered up a volunteer’s role in the 2010 Colombia prostitution scandal. The Post has identified that volunteer as Jonathan Dach, a recent graduate of Yale Law School and Yale College. Dach allegedly brought a prostitute back to his room in Cartagena, and though the White House denied that any of their team members were involved in the scandal two years ago, hotel records examined by the Post reveal that Dach did sign in a female overnight guest (prostitution is legal in certain parts of Colombia; the hotel requires ID to make sure they are not underage).
This came as no surprise to me because this entire story had been told in an anonymous comment on a Yale Rumpus article over a year ago. Full disclosure: I have been on the Rumpus staff since my freshman year and served as its Editor-in-Chief during the 2013-2014 school year. During the transitionary period at the end of the Spring 2013 semester, I was fucking around on the website’s WordPress account, looking through old posts and comments, and discovered the following.
Posted by “Sarah“ from a Hushmail account on May 5th, 2013 on the 2012 Secret Society Issue, the annual roster release of Yale’s secret societies:
Found 100 copies of this poem at a printnow…Who/what is this?
Little Jonny Dach
With his little Jonny cock
Has a secret he wants no one to know…
He once took a trip
Attached to Obama’s hip
Off to Colombia he did go…
The plane barely touched down
when out on the town
Little Jonny decided to play…
A young Colombian girlie
Had his tongue wagging thoroughly
He dug into his pocket and paid…
Off to the room
With no sign of doom
Little Jonny, well, he lasted seconds…
With a giggle she left,
And he, feeling bereft,
Washed his crotch since his day it still beckoned..
Then a media bomb
And it didn’t take long
for the White House to turn out a tale…
“An error!” they claimed
“A number glitch!” they did blame
There is no one but agents to assail!
Once again Daddy’s power
Saved little Jonny in a dark hour
But the Service will soon grab your ear…
You see, Skull and Bones, Book and ‘Snakes’,
You children play at the game of intell.
There is a lesson you will learn
When true heroes are burned
Their enemies are marched into hell…
So listen up Yale and Harvard and such
Your shit it doth stinketh the same
When the day is long over
And Daddy Leslie is covered in clover
They will wish they never played this game.
I promptly googled Dach and, at the time, the only other relevant mention of him online was this New Yorker article about volunteer drivers for the presidential motorcade. I thought about placing a call to the Hilton Cartagena Hotel, realized that I didn’t know how to place an international call that wouldn’t result in massive overcharge on my phone bill, and promptly forgot about it in the rush of finals.
I hadn’t thought about it until January of this year, when Dach reached out to Rumpus to ask that the comment be removed. He had been forwarded to me by the prior Editor-in-Chief (Christina, in this thread). An excerpt of the email exchange is below:
Subject: Rumpus post
Andrea Villena <email@example.com> Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 4:02 PM
To: Jonathan Dach <redacted>
Christina forwarded your message to me. I haven’t received any emails from you in my inbox or spam folder (did you spell my name correctly?) but I’ve gone ahead and blocked the comment from the site. I don’t enjoy removing things from the Rumpus website and I’m not sure why Master Laurans contacted you so recently considering that comment has been up for probably months. I’m rather busy at the moment so I’ve just gone ahead and resolved your complaint.
Jonathan Dach <redacted> Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 5:13 PM
To: Andrea Villena <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Andrea, thanks very much for removing the two identical comments–and sorry to have had to ask. I was editor of The New Journal and would have been similarly unenthusiastic about taking something off out [sic] website. I hope it was okay in this instance since it was a user’s comment and unrelated to any Rumpus content. And I really do appreciate it.
Not sure how the two e-mails went awry but also grateful you deleted the posts so quickly once Christina put us in touch.
Hope the semester is off to a good start!
It should be noted that in his original message to the prior EIC, he never denounces the poem as false—he calls it “strange and vituperative,“ but not false. I did feel bad for him, as the comment showed up as the second search result on “Jonny Dach.“ But I didn’t delete entirely; I hid it from view and the comment remained on the back end of the website, as part of the WordPress comment tracker.
The poem isn’t particularly impressive in its rhyme scheme but it does get eerie around the seventh stanza (I checked the Rumpus archives, and the 2008 society issue lists Dach as a member of Book and Snake). It’s a weird call to arms against privileged assholes, perhaps written by a surly Secret Service agent who’s mad this kid got away with it (if you are the author or know who it is, please email email@example.com). It’s unclear whom those 100 copies were meant for or where they ended up but perhaps this post will give that author the recognition they were so desperately craving. Ultimately, I believe the blame lies with the White House for covering it up, not Dach—go ahead and hire a prostitute if it’s legal. It’s dumb but, as a non-essential team member, not the biggest threat to national security.
Dach now works as a full-time policy adviser in the Office on Global Women’s Issues for the U.S. State Department.