Great thoughts of Bill Clinton - What the American people are saying when they tell you not to do these things, theyre not telling you not to do these things.
Dean Baker, Beat the Press - As many former aids have acknowledged, President Clinton had been considering a variety of options for partially privatizing Social Security in the beginning of 1998 when the Lewinsky scandal exploded. With his presidency in jeopardy, Clinton had to rely on his core constituencies -- labor, the African American community, women's organizations -- all groups that would have been infuriated by an effort to privatize Social Security. As a result, Clinton was forced to abandon this effort.
President Clinton also set the economy on a path of bubble led growth, touting the stock market bubble that drove growth in the late 90s. He also pushed for the financial de-regulation that helped clear the way for the abuses of the housing bubble era. In addition, he also actively promoted the high dollar policy that led to the enormous trade deficit, which was another major imbalance distorting the economy's growth path.
HOW CLINTON CONNIVED WITH GINGRICH AGAINST HIS OWN PARTY
The author misstates the actuarial status of the Social Security trust fund, fosters the absurd post-partisan notion and thinks Clinton selling out his party and his supporters was a good idea. Nonetheless he provides useful new information on how he did so.
STEVEN M. GILLON, HISTORY NEWS NETWORK - There was a brief moment, however, when the two leading political figures in America formed a secret pact to stop the slide into pointless partisanship and tackle one of the most contentious issues of our time: Social Security. Ironically, the two men behind the effort are often the ones blamed for the culture wars that polarized America in the 1990s - former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and President Bill Clinton. The story of their unlikely alliance, and its tragic unraveling, has never been told. Until now. In the course of writing a book about the two men I came across the notes of a secret White House meeting. The notes, along with interviews with many of the key players, reveals a hidden world where the two political protagonists were willing to put aside their partisan differences in a genuine effort to achieve meaningful reform.
Shortly after 7:00 pm on Monday, October 28, 1997, Gingrich, accompanied by his chief-of-staff Arnie Christenson, made the brief trip from his Capitol Hill office to the White House. To avoid being spotted by reporters, Gingrich approached by the South Lawn and came in the diplomatic entrance. Once inside the White House, the Speaker and his aide were quickly ushered into the elevator and taken to the Treaty Room on the second floor of the residence. . . Waiting to greet Gingrich were White House chief-of-staff Erskine Bowles, legislative director John Hilley, and the President.
The five men took their seats around a small coffee table as a photographer circled around recording the moment for the history books. . . The 1996 election, which returned both men to power, convinced them they needed to work together in order to secure their place in the history books. "They both knew that their legacies were tied to each other," Bowles later reflected. . .
Gingrich was first to raise directly the issue of cooperation, suggesting that he and the president use their work on North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement and the historic balanced budget bill passed in August 1997 as models for the future. Before Clinton could respond, Gingrich was breaking down the possible areas of agreement into conceptual boxes. One box contained the issues over which they would continue to fight. A second included tactical questions such as appropriations on which they could cooperate. The third box was reserved for "a few big ticket items" they could work on together. Clinton nodded in agreement with each point before interrupting. "This is a great opportunity," he said, "and we need to be prepared to take risks to do something that could be very significant."
They both knew what was in that "third box" - an unprecedented effort to reform Social Security and Medicare. "We had solved the short term problem of the deficit," recalled Bowles, "now it was time to address the long-term structural problems facing social security and Medicare." Both men were ready to take on the political risk of tackling the infamous "third rail" of American politics. Clinton was looking for a bold initiative in his final years that would define his presidency, answer critics who claimed he had failed to make a lasting imprint on the office, and encourage historians to rank him among the nation's "great" presidents. For his part, Gingrich was also thinking about how history would remember him. His idol was Henry Clay, the nineteenth century Whig Speaker of the House who used his influence to expand American power abroad and preserve the Union at home. Gingrich wanted to be remembered as a great statesman, not just as a conservative firebrand rebel and mastermind of the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress.
The actuarial steps needed to shore up Social Security and Medicare were straightforward and, with government coffers beginning at last to overflow with revenue, easier to achieve than at any time in the recent past. "We always knew that finding common ground on social security wasn't terribly difficult from a policy standpoint," reflected Bruce Reed, the president's chief domestic policy advisor. "The policy differences were always the easiest to bridge." There was a growing consensus on both sides of the aisle in favor of having Social Security tap into the stock market to increase the rate of return on retirement funds. However, difficult questions remained unanswered: Who would manage the money: individuals or the government? Would private accounts replace checks guaranteed by the government, or would they simply be an add-on to the existing system? Politics, not economics, presented the biggest obstacle. Any long-term solution to solving social security required increasing the age of eligibility and changing the formula used to calculate the annual cost of living increase - two steps guaranteed to arouse powerful opposition from across the political spectrum.
Despite the odds, both men signaled their willingness to build a bipartisan coalition and to challenge the orthodoxy of their own parties. In private conversations with Gingrich and with Texas Republican Bill Archer, powerful head of the House Ways and Means Committee, the president promised to "provide political cover" for Democrats and Republicans by announcing his support for raising the minimum age required for social security and for reducing the COLA adjustments. The president was willing to oppose the leadership of his own party and support the Republican demand for private accounts. Although most Republicans planned to use the surplus for a massive tax cut, Gingrich privately accepted the administration's position that the surplus should be used first to save social security "for all time," with any remaining amount used for a tax break.
Bowles suggested the President and Speaker were now "partners." Gingrich demurred. "I would prefer to say we are a coalition, not partners," he said. It was an important distinction for Gingrich. "Partners are on the same team," he reflected. "We were never going to be on the same team." The two men were not looking to create a third party, but instead to forge a new center of gravity that would pull together moderates in both parties. "I understood that I would have to fight some of my old guard," Gingrich recalled. "He understood that he would have to fight his hard left. Together we could shape about a 60 to 65 percent majority. I was happy for him to be a successful president. He was comfortable with us being a successful Republican Congress."
Before the meeting ended, the two former adversaries had decided to put the past behind them and create a new center/right political coalition of moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats to push their ambitious overhaul of social security and Medicare through Congress. Both men were confident that their new "coalition" would rival the New Deal and the Great Society in terms of the significance of legislation enacted. "There is no question in my mind in October of 1997, that we were looking forward to a period where we would cooperate on a broad range of really big issues," Gingrich recalled. . .
The [Lewinsky] affair destroyed a budding alliance between Clinton and Gingrich that could have, over time, altered the tone and substance of American politics. Instead, the affair, and the endless news coverage that it inspired, polarized the parties and destroyed any hope of forging a centrist coalition. Clinton who had a strained relationship with the liberal wing of his party throughout his presidency, was now dependent on them for his political survival. "All opportunities for accomplishment were killed once the story came out," reflected a senior White House official. "If we cut a deal with the Republicans on social security there was every possibility that the Democrats, who were the only people defending him in the Congress against these charges, could easily get angry and abandon him."
With conservatives in an uproar, Gingrich lost his political wiggle room and was forced to appease his right-wing base. He could have ended the impeachment crusade and forced his party to accept a censure resolution. But he allowed his anger to replace good judgment. When he failed to produce the promised results at the polls in the 1998 congressional midterm elections, party leaders pressed him to step down as Speaker. Gingrich, who has just won election by a wide margin, decided to resign his seat and leave electoral politics.
There was enough blame to go around
for the lost opportunity. Through his indiscretions Clinton badly
damaged his lifelong effort to blur the ideological differences
between Democrats and Republicans. A centrist who preached reconciliation
and moderation, Clinton left office having aroused the passions
of conservatives and liberals. Clinton's actions, and the impeachment
process itself, placed values, not policy, at the center of public
debate and discussion, and it left partisans on both sides feeling
embattled and under assault. At the same time, Gingrich and other
leading Republicans convinced themselves they could pursue a
two-track policy: holding hearings to destroy Clinton's presidency
in one room on Capitol Hill while trying to build a coalition
with him in another.
A FEW FACTS ABOUT THE CLINTON YEARS
RALPH NADER - A brainy White House assistant to Mr. Clinton told me in 1997 that the only real achievement his boss could take credit for was passage of legislation allowing 12 weeks family leave, without pay.
He pushed through Congress the NAFTA and the World Trade Organization agreements that represented the greatest surrender in our history of local, state and national sovereignty to an autocratic, secretive system of transnational governance. This system subordinated workers, consumers and the environment to the supremacy of globalized commerce.
That was just for starters. Between 1996 and 2000, he drove legislation through Congress that concentrated more power in the hands of giant agribusiness, large telecommunications companies and the biggest jackpot - opening the doors to gigantic mergers in the financial industry. The latter so-called "financial modernization law" sowed the permissive seeds for taking vast financial risks with other peoples' money (ie. pensioners and investors) that is now shaking the economy to recession.
The man who pulled off this demolition of regulatory experience from the lessons of the Great Depression was Clinton's Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin, who went to work for Citigroup - the main pusher of this oligopolistic coup -just before the bill passed and made himself $40 million for a few months of consulting in that same year.
Bill Clinton's presidential resume was full of favors for the rich and powerful. Corporate welfare subsidies, handouts and giveaways flourished, including subsidizing the Big Three Auto companies for a phony research partnership while indicating there would be no new fuel efficiency regulations while he was President.
His regulatory agencies were anesthetized. The veteran watchdog for Public Citizen of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Sidney Wolfe, said that safety was the worst under Clinton in his twenty nine years of oversight.
The auto safety agency
abandoned its regulatory oath of office and became a consulting
firm to the auto industry. Other agencies were similarly asleep
- in job safety railroads, household product safety, antitrust,
and corporate crime law enforcement. . .
THE CASE AGAINST BILL CLINTON THE DEMOCRATS IGNORE
CHRIS HEDGES, ALTERNET - The misery sweeping across the American landscape may have begun with Ronald Reagan, but it was accelerated and codified by Bill Clinton. He sold out the poor and the working class. And Clinton did it deliberately to feed the pathological hunger he and his wife have for political power. It was the Clintons who led the Democratic Party to the corporate watering trough.
The Clintons argued that the party had to ditch labor unions, no longer a source of votes or power, as a political ally. Workers would vote Democratic anyway. They had no choice. It was better, the Clintons argued, to take corporate money and use government to service the needs of the corporations. By the 1990s, the Democratic Party, under Clinton's leadership, had virtual fund-raising parity with the Republicans. In political terms, it was a success. In moral terms, it was a betrayal.
The North American Free Trade Agreement was sold to the country by the Clinton White House as an opportunity to raise the incomes and prosperity of the citizens of the United States, Canada and Mexico. Goods would be cheaper. Workers would be wealthier. Everyone would be happier. I am not sure how these contradictory things were supposed to happen, but in a sound-bite society, reality no longer matters. NAFTA would also, we were told, staunch Mexican immigration into the United States. . .
Clinton's welfare reform bill, which was signed on Aug. 22, 1996, obliterated the nation's social safety net. It threw 6 million people, many of them single parents, off of the welfare rolls within three years. It dumped them onto the streets without child care, rent subsidies and continued Medicaid coverage. Families were plunged into crisis, struggling to survive on multiple jobs that paid $6 or $7 an hour, or less than $15,000 a year.
But these were the lucky ones. In some states, half of those dropped from the welfare rolls could not find work. Clinton slashed Medicare by $115 billion over a five-year period and cut $25 billion in Medicaid funding. The booming and overcrowded prison system handled the influx of the poor, as well as our abandoned mentally ill.
The growing desperation provided a pool of broken people willing to work for low wages and without unions or benefits. And while Clinton was busy selling out the poor, he lowered the capital gains tax from 28 percent to 20 percent, a reduction that permitted the wealthiest 1 percent of the population to derive 80 percent of the tax savings. Clinton, like George W. Bush, also provided lavish government funding for his corporate backers, including in 1998 a $200-billion highway and transportation package for the big construction companies and a $17-billion increase in the military budget.
This was the largest increase in military spending since the end of the Cold War. Corporations, flush with government aid, saw their taxes dwindle. Amway, for example, had its taxes cut during the Clinton years by an estimated $280 million. The Clinton and Bush administrations, through tax breaks and corporate bailouts, have squandered billions of our tax dollars on corporate welfare.
HIDDEN PAGES OF THE CLINTON STORY
From a long interview with Roger Morris. Morris is a former foreign service officer and has also served on Presidents Lyndon Johnson's and Richard Nixon's National Security Council senior staff. He resigned, however, over the invasion of Cambodia. Roger Morris is now a fellow at the Green Institute, a lecturer, and the author of several books]
SUZAN MAZUR, SCOOP, NZ - You suggest in your book, Partners in Power, based on what you describe as "a numbing accumulation" of evidence following numerous trips to Arkansas,100 interviews and the review of thousands of documents - that Bill and Hillary Clinton, as Governor and First Lady of Arkansas, knew about the ongoing CIA drugs and gun running by CIA asset Barry Seal, et al., out of Mena's Intermountain Regional Airport in the Ouachitas in the 1980s. The operation armed the Nicaraguan Contras and delivered $3 billion to $5 billion worth of cocaine for distribution throughout the American homeland - as you note, "the single largest cocaine smuggling operation in US history". . .
Roger Morris: I don't know about Manchurian Candidate, I just think that the Clintons are the quintessential compromised American politicians. That's a tragedy as well as an outrage. These are two people who were young people of promise, and I think for all we know about them, of some initial idealism and some purpose and goals beyond their own ambition, although that ambition was outsized in both cases. We don't know, of course, how much of the detail they were aware of regarding Mena, but I'm convinced they were both aware of what was essentially going on there.
Suzan Mazur: How early did they know?
Roger Morris: My guess is they learned of it very soon after it started, if not at the very inception. . .
This is a seamless web of corruption and compromise in Arkansas. It was part of the job after all to tend to these large corporate interests - Walmart and Tyson's Foods and all of the other big hitters in Arkansas. Hillary was working for a law firm that represented most of those interests in Arkansas and elsewhere throughout the South. I think they simply saw this as part of what one had to do in political life and political office.
Suzan Mazur: But this is something quite serious because it had to do with the poisoning of millions of Americans with drugs smuggled in through Arkansas from Latin America.
Roger Morris: Absolutely. It's not a casual corruption. . .
Suzan Mazur: After Mena came under scrutiny following the October 1986 crash of the CIA's Fat Lady plane over Nicaragua "with a load of arms for the Contras" and CIA asset Eugene Hasenfus' capture - the Colorado City Municipal Airport run by the FLDS polygamists began receiving . . .
Roger Morris: I once interviewed a DEA agent who was retired and was quite cynical about all of this and he compared it to - the whole thing should have been written about by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. He said they had the gulags, the archipelago. We have the drug running archipelago. That the map of the United States is a map of leopard spots, of airstrips, of depots, of centers of distribution. And, of course, it tends to be heavier in the Southern states closer to the supply when the supply was mainly the South. But the West is heavily populated with it as well. . .
Mena was one of these marginalized subjects that the American body politic, certainly the culture of media and certainly respectable historians, biographers, etc., people who pretend to write about what's real in American political life - never really wanted to touch.
Suzan Mazur: Sixty Minutes dropped it.
Roger Morris: Oh Sixty Minutes was fascinated initially and wanted to talk about it and when they got a diffident - I don't know - from Congressman Jim Leach, who was in the process of investigating Mena at the time, Sixty Minutes dropped it as well.
Suzan Mazur: It may be time for Sixty Minutes to look at it again.
Roger Morris: You know, it's like so much in foreign policy. We're never going to come to terms with the crises we face in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world until we face the history of our involvement there. We're not going to come to terms with the corruption in American politics as huge as the tyranny of money is until we understand how it works.
Suzan Mazur: Mena is a case study.
Roger Morris: Mena wasn't, as you point out, just a plundering corporation - a health care, an insurance giant, or somebody giving money to protect a venal interest - this was a criminal empire that victimized millions of Americans. That used its money for the most nefarious purposes around the world.
Suzan Mazur: Aside from Mena serving as the air hub for the trafficking of drugs and guns - you report in the book that Nella, Arkansas, just outside Mena, was a training grounds for Contra pilots and guerrillas. And you note that Seal also flew in to Mena Medellin cartel kingpin Jorge Ochoa to show him the operation.
You also describe secretaries from a bank close to the airport telling investigators that couriers from the Mena drugs for arms operation brought bags of money there, and that in order to avoid scrutiny, they purchased cashier checks in amounts just under $10,000. Would you expand on this about the bags of cash?
Roger Morris: We don't know very much about the sheer size of that traffic. We simply know that it happened from time to time - from locals from people who worked in the banks, people who were in local law enforcement and those who worked around the airport. . .
Suzan Mazur: There was a town adjacent to the airport, so it wasn't a secluded airport in a land that time forgot.
Roger Morris: The airport was always incongruous. State of the art. Long runway. Very sophisticated maintenance. For all intents and purposes, it could have been a very advanced Air Force base or government installation with a small town nearby, but of course it wasn't. It was essentially a private airport. The traffic that went in and out of Mena - they weren't resident in the town. These were not people who lived there. They were always on their way somewhere else. They got picked up in limousines or helicopters or whatever and taken off to Little Rock or to other places. . .
Suzan Mazur: You seem to find former Arkansas trooper L.D. Brown's "firsthand evidence" compelling about Bill Clinton pulling some strings to get him into the CIA, about Brown meeting and flying with Seal, and about his being "privy to some of the Clintons' most personal liaisons" - including the "sustained affair", dating from the mid-80s, between Hillary Clinton and Rose [Law Firm] partner Vince Foster. Would you comment on the credibility of LD Brown?
Roger Morris: I thought Brown was a credible witness. I thought most of the other troopers were credible as well. We've gone through a kind of ebb and flow of credibility with the troopers. They were first on the scene with exposes in the American Spectator. We often forget that they also talked to reporters from the Los Angeles Times who did a very similar series. For whatever one thinks of the American Spectator, the LA Times did much the same thing. They were roundly attacked, of course, personally as well as professionally by the Clinton camp. They sort of receded. And they've now reappeared - lately. . .
Let me just say that everything [LD Brown] told me about everything else with the Clintons - details large and small - personal and political - everything checked out. And everything he told me about his experience with the drug running and all the rest checked out similarly as much as I could check it with other sources. You're always up against credibility issues in this world and you make choices. But there was so much other evidence that this was going on.
Sixty Minutes was very interested because they wanted one single talking head, a simple story line to pin on Clinton and those simple story lines are the easiest to knock down as the Clintons have always understood. You destroy the credibility of a Gennifer Flowers or an LD Brown or Paula. . .
Suzan Mazur: Was there a draft of the letter LD Brown sent to the CIA that Clinton made notes on?
Roger Morris: I don't know about the notes. There was a recommendation Clinton made. And as the book explains, Clinton's connections with the Agency go back a long way. Since the book was published, I've had people come forward and tell me that they knew much more than even the informants I was talking to, and I was talking to people who were retired from the Agency, who were quite categorical about Bill Clinton having been a source for Operation Chaos and for informing on American students abroad while he was at Oxford and all the rest.
Since then I've had people come to me and say, well don't you know you missed the story, he was actually recruited at Georgetown. Georgetown was a veritable recruiting center in those days for the CIA - not just for Americans but for the large number of foreign students, the sons of foreign wealthy who were at Georgetown. So Bill's contact with the Agency went back for years and years. . .
Suzan Mazur: You also suggest in your book that Clinton's Uncle Raymond Clinton had his mob connections. And I believe you've said that Raymond may have been Bill's ticket into Georgetown's school of Foreign Service.
Roger Morris: Uncle Raymond was pure and simple mob proconsul for Hot Springs, Arkansas. . .
But coming back to what I was saying earlier, about Hillary and Bill - you can't do business in American politics without coming upon this absolutely shady world that operates in a kind of no-man's land between crime and legality. And of course much of organized crime - billions and billions, now trillions of dollars in profits from gambling and everything else - has been washed clean, as it would, and legalized in all sorts of things - electronics, land, agribusiness, and all the rest. Hillary has an extraordinary number of donors and contributors, supporters, etc., who have dubious records of legality, both here in the US and in the world at large. It's commonly thought that Giuliani has a set of seedy contacts but Hillary can match 'em seedy-for-seedy. . .
Suzan Mazur: Is there anything else you'd like to say about the Clintons?
Roger Morris: It may sound corny but I think it's genuinely an American tragedy. I think this is a woman who is acting out a personal tragedy in the most dramatic and historic political terms. She's going to be obviously the first serious woman contender for the presidency of the United States and it's going to be such a freighted choice, such a fraught campaign, simply because of the character of her background and her own compromise over the years. It may have been inevitable. Being wooed and won by this winning young Southerner, this Sisyphus who kept pushing the rock of his seedy background up the hill only to find it falling back down again. This wanton libido that overtook him.
I really do feel a sense of sorrow and compassion about her tragedy, because I think she loved him. I think this was a devastating blow to her life as well as a great humiliation because she always thought she was smarter, better, more disciplined, etc., more able to lead than he. And it didn't work that way of course. It hasn't worked out. She's trying to salvage it even as we speak.
Suzan Mazur: How powerful do you think organized crime is at this point?
Roger Morris: I think we're in a wholly new era with Iraq and with post 9/11 and the Bush administration. The privatization of armed forces and of national security and of intelligence is absolutely unprecedented. And so too is this open looting of a war. We've always had plunderers and profiteers in war time, but what's gone on in Iraq with cash and suitcases full of it and with the overcharging and the looting by the Halliburtons and others is absolutely unprecedented.
Suzan Mazur: It's dizzying.
Roger Morris: It's absolutely dizzying. And we'll never catch up with it. That looses into the body politics untold amounts of cash and influence so that this stands to be by far the most corrupt political campaign in the history of the republic. And we've had some very corrupt ones. But all of this money you see headlined, $30 million raised here, $27 million raised there. All of this is a fraction of what's really changing hands. . .
THE STRANGE CASE OF SANDY BERGER
WIKIPEDIA - Noel Hillman, chief of the Justice Department's public integrity section, asserted that the documents Berger removed were only copies, and government sources have said that no original material was taken. According to the Wall Street Journal, "After a long investigation, however, Justice says the picture that emerged is of a man who knowingly and recklessly violated the law in handling classified documents, but who was not trying to hide any evidence. Prosecutors believe Mr. Berger genuinely wanted to prepare for his testimony before the 9/11 Commission but felt he was somehow above having to spend numerous hours in the Archives as the rules required, and that he didn't exactly know how to return the documents once he'd taken them out...We called Justice Department Public Integrity chief prosecutor Noel Hillman, who assured us that Mr. Berger did not deny any documents to history. 'There is no evidence that he intended to destroy originals,' said Mr. Hillman. 'There is no evidence that he did destroy originals. We have objectively and affirmatively confirmed that the contents of all the five documents at issue exist today and were made available to the 9/11 Commission.'"
ERIC LICHTBLAU, NY TIMES - Still unresolved in the inspector general's report is one lingering mystery in the episode: Whether, as Mr. Berger's critics have charged, he was so cavalier as to stuff classified documents in his socks. The report said one witness at the archives saw Mr. Berger bending down and "fiddling with something white, which could have been paper, around his ankle." But Mr. Berger denied he had ever stuffed documents in his socks, explaining the episode by saying that "his shoes frequently come untied and his socks frequently fall down."
THE STRANGE DEATH OF
In September 1993, just two months after the death of Vince Foster, Clinton campaign security operative Jerry Parks was shot and killed in Little Rock in a gang style slaying. The story received virtually no attention save for a few journals including the Progressive Review. The murder remains unsolved.
Now word comes that the man whom Park's widow, Lois Jane Parks, later married - Dr David Millstein - has also been murdered by an assailant with a knife and police are investigating.
One might easily jump to certain obvious hypotheses but nothing about this matter is clear cut. For example:
- The local Arkansas police have called in not only the state police but the FBI. They speak of an extensive investigation.
- The children of Jerry Parks are in violent and public disagreement over their father's death. One stepdaughter, for example, believes vehemently that her stepmother and brother Gary are not to be trusted.
- The local police seem to be treating this as something more than a simple homicide.
Should either of these murders be solved it may finally close a chapter of the Arkansas-Clinton sagas or it may become part of the 2008 election. In the meantime, be careful about drawing conclusions. The story is not over.
AMBROSE EVANS-PRICHARD, THE SECRET LIFE OF BILL CLINTON 1997 - "I'm a dead man," whispered Jerry Parks, pale with shock, as he looked up at the television screen. It was a news bulletin on the local station in Little Rock. Vincent Foster, a childhood friend of the President, had been found dead in a park outside Washington. Apparent suicide.
He never explained to his son Gary what he meant by that remark, but for the next two months the beefy 6' 3" security executive was in a state of permanent fear. He would pack a pistol to fetch the mail. On the way to his offices at American Contract Services in Little Rock he would double back or take strange routes to "dry-clean" the cars that he thought were following him. At night he kept tearing anxiously at his eyebrows, and raiding the valium pills of his wife, Jane, who was battling multiple sclerosis. Once he muttered darkly that Bill Clinton's people were "cleaning house," and he was "next on the list."
Two months later, in September 1993, Jerry and Jane went on a Caribbean cruise. He seemed calmer. At one of the islands he went to take care of some business at a bank. She believed it was Grand Cayman. They returned to their home in the rural suburbs of Little Rock on September 25. The next day Jane was in one of her "down" periods, so Jerry went off on his own for the regular Sunday afternoon supper at El Chico Mexican Restaurant.
On the way back, at about 6:30 PM, a white Chevrolet Caprice pulled up beside him on the Chenal Parkway. Before Parks had time to reach for his .38 caliber "detective special" that he kept tucked between the seats, an assassin let off a volley of semi-automatic fire into his hulking 320 pound frame.
Parks skidded to a halt in the intersection of Highway 10. The stocky middle-aged killer jumped out and finished him off with a 9 mm handgun-- two more shots into the chest at point blank range. Several witnesses watched with astonishment as the nonchalant gunman joined his accomplice in the waiting car and sped away. . .
Gary then said that his father had been collecting files on Bill Clinton. "Working on his infidelities," he said, grinning. "It had been going on for years. He had enough to impeach Bill Clinton on the spot."
At some point in 1988, when he was about 17, he had accompanied Jerry on four or five nocturnal missions. Armed with long range surveillance cameras, they would stake out the haunts of the Governor until the early hours of the morning. Quapaw Towers was one of them, he remembered. That was where Gennifer Flowers lived.
It was a contract job, Gary believed, but he did not know who was paying for the product. Some of the material was kept in two files, stored in the bottom drawer of the dresser in his parents' bedroom. He had sneaked in one day, terrified that his father might catch him, and flicked through the papers just long enough to see photos of women coming and going with Governor Clinton, and pages of notes in his father's handwriting. . .
In late July 1993 the family house on Barrett Road was burgled in a sophisticated operation that involved cutting the telephone lines and disarming the electronic alarm system. The files were stolen. Gary suspected that this was somehow tied to his father's death two months later. . .
[Jane Parks] revealed that Jerry Parks had carried out sensitive assignments for the Clinton circle for almost a decade, and the person who gave him his instructions was Vince Foster. It did not come as a total shock. I already knew that there was some kind of tie between the two men. Foster's brother-in-law, Lee Bowman, told me long ago that Vince had recommended Jerry Parks for security work in the mid-1980s. "I was struck by how insistent he was that Parks was a 'man who could be trusted,'" said Bowman, a wealthy Little Rock stockbroker. . .
Jerry, in turn, "respected Vince Foster more than anybody else in the world." It was a strange, clandestine relationship. Foster called the Parks home more than a hundred times, identifying himself with the code name, "The Congressman." . . .
By the late 1980s Vince trusted Parks enough to ask him to perform discreet surveillance on the Governor. "Jerry asked him why he needed this stuff on Clinton. He said he needed it for Hillary," recalled Jane. . .
Later, during the early stages of the presidential campaign, Parks made at least two trips to the town of Mena, in the Ouachita Mountains of western Arkansas. Mena had come up in conversations before. Jane told me that Parks had been a friend of Barry Seal, a legendary cocaine smuggler and undercover U.S. operative who had established a base of operations at Mena airport. Parks had even attended Seal's funeral in Baton Rouge after Seal was assassinated by Colombian pistoleros in February 1986.
One of the trips was in 1991, she thought, although it could have been 1992. The morning after Jerry got back from Mena she borrowed his Lincoln to go to the grocery store and discovered what must have been hundreds of thousands of dollars in the trunk. "It was all in $100 bills, wrapped in string, layer after layer. It was so full I had to sit on the trunk to get it shut again," she said.
"I took a handful of money and threw it in his lap and said, 'Are you running drugs?' Jerry said Vince had paid him $1000 cash for each trip. He didn't know what they were doing, and he didn't want to know either, and nor should I. He told me to forget what I'd seen.". . .
Contact with Foster was rare after he moved to the White House. But he telephoned in mid-July 1993, about a week before his death. He explained that Hillary had worked herself into a state about "the files," worried that there might be something in them that could cause real damage to Bill or herself. The conversation was brief and inconclusive. Jerry told Vince Foster that there was indeed "plenty to hurt both of them. But you can't give her those files, that was the agreement." Jerry did not seem too perturbed at the time.
A few days later Foster called again. . .
"You're not going to use those files!" said Jerry angrily. Foster tried to soothe him. He said he was going to meet Hillary at "the flat" and he was going to give her the files. "You can't do that," said Parks. "My name's all over this stuff. You can't give Hillary those files. You can't! Remember what she did, what you told me she did. She's capable of doing anything!"
"We can trust Hil. Don't worry," said Foster. . .
The rambler-style home of the Parks family was swarming with federal agents on the day after Jerry's assassination. Jane remembers men flashing credentials from the FBI, the Secret Service, the IRS, and, she thought, the CIA. Although the CIA made no sense. Nothing made any sense. The federal government had no jurisdiction over a homicide case, and to this day the FBI denies that it ever set foot in her house.
But the FBI was there, she insisted, with portable X-ray machines and other fancy devices. An IRS computer expert was flown in from Miami to go through Jerry's computers. Some of them stayed until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. The men never spoke to Jane or tried to comfort her. The only conversation was a peremptory request for coffee. . .
With the help of the Little Rock Police Department the FBI ransacked the place, confiscating files, records, and 130 tapes of telephone conversations--without giving a receipt. "I've asked them to give it all back, but the police refuse to relinquish anything. They told me there's nothing they can do about the case as long as Bill Clinton is in office.". . .
I do not pretend to understand why Jerry Parks was murdered. But the indications that the Parks case is somehow intertwined with the death of Vincent Foster is surely compelling enough to warrant a proper investigation. Instead, nobody cares to learn what Mrs. Parks has to say.
PHILIP WEISS, MONDO WEISS - In Little Rock in 1996, for the New York Times Magazine, I interviewed a Clinton hater named Gary Parks. Parks was a former auto salesman and something of a troubled youth. He'd kicked around, he'd had physical injury. His dad had been murdered: Luther "Jerry" Parks, a former state cop, who had been head of security for the Clinton headquarters in Little Rock during the presidential campaign in 1992, had been murdered less than a year after the election. This is incredible and true: Two months after Vince Foster dies, Jerry Parks, Clinton's former security aide, is slain gangland style, with a semiautomatic handgun, his car shot up in West Little Rock. The media didn't touch it, and they were allowed to drop it. . .
It was [Gary] Parks' assertion that his late father and Vince Foster had once investigated Clinton's affairs at Hillary's behest. He said that Vince Foster had called up his father, who was working as a private investigator, to look into Clinton's romantic life in about 1980, after Bill Clinton had lost the governor's office following his first term. Parks said Hillary wanted a divorce. It looked like maybe the juggernaut she'd believed in, and married, was over. . . In the early 80s, Parks said, Hillary asked her law partner Vince Foster to prepare a divorce case and Foster called Parks, who compiled a dossier of women's statements. Parks said that Hillary later decided against a divorce, but that his father held on to the dossier. Then in 1993, Parks said, after Vince Foster went to Washington, he demanded the return of the file, and even called Jerry Parks in the days before his, Foster's, death, to demand it. And that two months later his father was murdered, because, Parks said, he had held out on returning the file. . .
Myself, I think I might forgive Hillary her connection to these events. They were so long ago, she was hitched to Bill's horse. She's done a lot on her own since. She's been gutsy and strong on her own two feet. She has great presence. But I don't think we know all the facts about this case, and people are going to bring it up and ask about it. Real baggage.
CHRISTOPHER RUDDY, NEWSMAX, 1998 - The following is the verbatim grand jury testimony of Linda Tripp from her July 28 appearance before the grand jury. . .
Juror: But do you have any examples of violence being done by the administration to people who were a threat to them that allowed you to come to the conclusion that that would happen to you as well?
Tripp: I can go - if you want a specific, a personal specific, the behavior in the West Wing with senior staff to the President during the time the Jerry Parks came over the fax frightened me.
Juror: Excuse me, Jerry Parks?
Tripp: He was one of the - if not the head of his [Clinton's] campaign security detail in Arkansas, then somewhere in the hierarchy of the security arrangements in Arkansas during the '92 campaign. And based on the flurry of activity and the flurry of phone calls and the secrecy, I felt this was somewhat alarming.
Juror: I don't understand.
Tripp: I don't know what else to say.
Juror: Meaning that you were alarmed at his death or at what people [in the White House] said? Or did you have knowledge that he had been killed or -
Tripp: He had been killed. I didn't even at this point remember how but it was the reaction at the White House that caused me concern, as did Vince Foster's suicide. None [sic] of the behavior following Vince Foster's suicide computed to just people mourning Mr. Foster. It was far more ominous than that and it was extremely questionable behavior on the parts of those who were immediately involved in the aftermath of his death. So - I mean I don't know how much more I can be specific except to say I am telling you under oath today that I felt endangered and I was angry and I resented it and I still do. . .
Juror: I'm sorry. We were talking the incident that happened and how the people were acting at the White House and you said they were acting strange. Can you give us some examples of what you saw to draw that conclusion? What are some of the examples? You said they were not acting as if someone had just passed or whatever, something was strange. What were the strange things?
Tripp: It replicated [referring to the Parks murder, apparently] in my mind some of the behavior following the death [sic] of Vince Foster. A fax came across the fax machine in the counsel's office from someone within the White House, and I think it was from Skip Rutherford, who was working in the Chief of Staff's office at the time [September 1994]. At the same time the fax was coming, phone calls were coming up to Bernie Nussbaum which precipitated back and forth meetings behind closed doors, all with - you know, we have to have copies of this fax and it was - an article, it came over the wire, I think, I can't remember now, but I think we actually have that somewhere, of this death, this murder or whatever it was [referring to the Parks death]. And it created a stir, shall we say, in the counsel's office which brought up some senior staff from the Chief of Staff's office up to the counsel's office where they, from all appearances, went into a meeting to discuss this. It was something that they chose not to speak about.
THE FAMILY DISPUTE
ALL IN THE FAMILY: THE BUSHES AND THE CLINTON
[For more than a decade, the Review has pointed out the close connection between the Clintons and the Bush, so it's nice to have it confirmed by a member of the family - family in this case being used in its prosecutorial rather than biological sense]
GREG PIERCE, WASHINGTON TIMES - President Bush says Bill Clinton has become so close to his father that the Democratic former president is like a member of the family. Former President George Bush has worked with Mr. Clinton to raise money for victims of the Asian tsunami and the hurricane disaster along the Gulf Coast. Asked about his father and Mr. Clinton, Mr. Bush quipped, "My new brother." "That's a good relationship. It's a fun relationship to watch," Mr. Bush said in an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday. While attending Pope John Paul II's funeral, Mr. Bush said, "It was fun to see the interplay between Dad and Clinton. One of these days, I'll be a member of the ex-presidents' club. . . I'll be looking for something to do." He said ex-presidents share rare experiences that others cannot understand. "And so I can understand why ex-presidents are able to put aside old differences," he said. Mr. Bush said he has checked in with Mr. Clinton occasionally. "And you know, he says things that makes it obvious -- that makes it obvious to me that we're kind of, you know, on the same wavelength about the job of the presidency. Makes sense, after all, there's this kind of commonality," he said. Mr. Bush jokingly referred to speculation that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former president's wife, will seek the Democratic nomination for president. He had earlier referred to the former first lady as "formidable." "Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton," he said, referring to how Bill Clinton had followed his father, and Hillary Clinton could follow him.
[Now some earlier clues. Clinton served as a regional facilitator for the Reagan-Bush administration activities in Latin America including the notorious operation at Mena, from which the CIA shipped arms south with drugs reportedly coming back on the return flights. The job of someone like Clinton was to look the other way and not squeal on Reagan and Bush, especially about the drug trade in Arkansas. The elder Bush has considerable reason to be grateful]
PROGRESSIVE REVIEW- [In 1984] Clinton bodyguard, state trooper LD Brown, applies for a CIA opening. Clinton gives him help on his application essay including making it more Reaganesque on the topic of the Nicaragua. According to Brown, he meets a CIA recruiter in Dallas whom he later identities as former member of Vice President Bush's staff. On the recruiter's instruction, he meets with notorious drug dealer Barry Seal in a Little Rock restaurant. Joins Seal in flight to Honduras with a purported shipment of M16s and a return load of duffel bags. Brown gets $2,500 in small bills for the flight. Brown, concerned about the mission, consults with Clinton who says, "Oh, you can handle it, don't sweat it." On second flight, Brown finds cocaine in a duffel bag and again he seeks Clinton's counsel. Clinton says to the conservative Brown, "Your buddy, Bush, knows about it" and of the cocaine, "that's Lasater's deal."
PROGRESSIVE REVIEW - In 1984, Ronald Reagan wants to send the National Guard to Honduras to help in the war against the Contras. Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis goes to the Supreme Court in a futile effort to stop it but Clinton is happy to oblige, even sending his own security chief, Buddy Young, along to keep an eye on things. Winding up its tour, the Arkansas Guard declares large quantities of its weapons "excess" and leaves them behind for the Contras.
PROGRESSIVE REVIEW, In 1985, Terry Reed is asked to take part in Operation Donation, under which planes and boats needed by the Contras "disappear," allowing owners to claim insurance. Reed has been a Contra operative and CIA asset working with Felix Rodriguez, the Contra link to the CIA and then-Vice President Bush's office. Reed later claims he refused, but that his plane was removed while he was away.
In 1987 Terry Reed's plane is returned but, according to his account, he is asked not to report it because it might have to be "borrowed" again. Reed later says that he had become aware that the Contra operation also involved drug running and had gotten cold feet. He also believed that large sums of drug money were being laundered by leading Arkansas financiers. He went to Felix Rodriguez and told him he was quitting. Reed was subsequently charged with mail fraud for having allegedly claimed insurance on a plane that was in fact hidden in a hanger in Little Rock. The head of Clinton's Swiss Guard, Capt. Buddy Young, later assistant FEMA director, will claim to have been walking around the North Little Rock Airport when "by an act of God" a gust of wind blew open the hangar door and revealed the Piper Turbo Arrow.
SAM SMITH, SHADOWS OF HOPE, 1994: [Clinton] appears willing to ignore the great residue of Reagan-Bush offenses, especially those growing out of the war on drugs and attempts to gag and intimidate government and defense workers. And he seems similarly disinterested in unclosed cases of political racketeering such as those involving BCCI and BNL. Said one activist lawyer who has met with Attorney General Reno: "She's closing her ears to all of that." Reno, who was clearly more interested in protecting law enforcement agencies than in finding the truth about the Waco massacre, also early bought the Bush administration line in the BNL bank case. She agreed to a plea bargain by Christopher P. Drogoul, the former Atlanta manager of the Italian bank who had claimed that US intelligence officials were aware of loans made to Iraq. Reno declared that she did not think the case had been mishandled by the Bush administration, despite a federal judge's charge that Drogoul and his Atlanta bank colleagues were "pawns and bit players" in a secret deal to provide arms for Iraq and that the Clinton administration's exoneration of its predecessors was only possible "in never-never land."
PROGRESSIVE REVIEW - The select House committee looking into the transfer of secret technology to China has filed a secret report on how it happened, illustrating once again the first principle of intelligence: don't let the American people know what the other side already does. As a result of this bipartisan clamp on the scandal, we have no idea as to whether the egregious practices of the Clinton administration were matched by those of Reagan and Bush or not. The implication is, of course, that everybody does it, which means that everybody for the past 20 years has been helping American corporations build up the Chinese economy just as we allowed American industry to transform Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union into worthy adversaries. We do know that the Clinton Administration took large sums of barely laundered campaign contributions from the Chinese government and ignored its own national security and diplomatic advisors in loosening export restrictions. The two biggest beneficiaries: Hughes, primarily a Republican donor; and Loral, primarily a Democratic one. The biggest losers: Americans and the security of their country.
[Finally, the Clinton administration went to extraordinary lengths to protect the Republican convention in 2000]
INDEPENDENT COUNSEL ACCUSES CLINTON ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL OF BLOCKING INQUIRY
[Barrett was not the only investigator stymied by Reno. There were several. For example, in 1997, independent prosecutor Dan Smaltz and FBI agents grilled a former Tyson's Food pilot for three days. The pilot claims to have carried cash in envelopes from Tyson's Food to the Arkansas governor's mansion. Says Smaltz later to Time magazine, "'I nearly fell off my chair when I heard Joe make the allegation. I took over the questions." Janet Reno, however, blocked Smaltz from pursuing the issue]
JOSH GERSTEIN, TAX PROF - After five years of banishment from the legal profession, President Clinton will be eligible this week to reclaim the law license he gave up as a consequence of the inaccurate responses he gave under oath to questions about his relationship with a White House intern. . . While there appears to be little standing in the way of Mr. Clinton's reinstatement to the Arkansas bar, rules for admission in New York and Washington could pose a challenge to him quickly joining those bars. Admission by reciprocity to the New York bar requires that an applicant show that he or she has spent five of the last seven years working as a lawyer. . . Mr. Gillers noted that at any point Mr. Clinton could try to gain admission to the New York or Washington bars by taking the bar examination. Like other bar applicants, he would also have to demonstrate good moral character.
TWO PLEAD GUILTY IN CASE INVOLVING CLINTONS' DETECTIVE
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER - The first criminal cases from the alleged wiretapping scheme of private investigator Anthony Pellicano were disclosed Tuesday, setting the stage for a steady stream of indictments that could ensnare some of Hollywood's top attorneys and executives.
Actress Sandra Carradine, former wife of actor Keith Carradine, has pleaded guilty to perjury for lying to a grand jury about having Pellicano wiretap her ex-husband's telephone during their divorce, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
A veteran of the Beverly Hills Police Department has separately pleaded guilty to accessing confidential law enforcement databases for Pellicano and employees of his West Hollywood-based Pellicano Investigative Agency Ltd.
CLINTON TIES TO PELLICANO
DID BERGER TAKE FALL
WASHINGTON TIMES - "Former
National Security Adviser Sandy Berger has now joined the pantheon
of those who, in the immortal words of Webb Hubbell, have chosen
to 'roll over one more time' to protect Bill and Hillary Clinton,"
Dick Morris writes in the New York Post. "This Hall of Ill-Fame
includes Susan McDougal, Vince Foster, Monica Lewinsky, Johnnie
Chung, former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and old Webb himself.
What they each have in common is their silence and willingness
to take the fall to protect the Clintons," Mr. Morris said.
"Berger has admitted that he stuffed top-secret documents
into his pockets, shirt and pants, and why he sliced some up
with scissors, destroyed them and then lied about it. Until he
gives a credible explanation for this behavior, we are all entitled
to make the logical inference -- that he was hiding something
to protect himself and his old bosses."
PARDON PAL BEHIND OIL DEALS
NILES LATHEM, NY POST
- New details of billionaire trader Marc Rich's shady oil deals
under the U.N. oil-for-food program are emerging, The Post has
learned. These include deals with front companies that have connections
to Saddam Hussein's underground financial network. In particular,
prosecutors are probing four suspicious deals that took place
in February through April 2001. In these cases, Rich was listed
as a secondary buyer of oil contracts originally allocated by
Saddam to mysterious French and Egyptian companies. The questionable
deals began a month after sanctions-buster Rich, a convicted
tax dodger, received his midnight pardon from then-President
Bill Clinton. .Rich, who lives in Switzerland and has not returned
to the United States despite the pardon, denied in a statement
issued by his company last week that he was involved in any illegal
THE CLINTON LIBRARY
PAUL GREENBERG, WASHINGTON TIMES - Its slant is obvious from the first: "From the start of the Clinton presidency, the administration's opponents waged an unprecedented fight for power. Seeking to steer America sharply to the right, Republican leaders pursued a radical agenda through radical means. ... " And so partisanly on. . .
The line in the museum's official, expurgated version of Bill Clinton's impeachment that jumped out at me was this reference to the prosecutions that convicted so many - more than a dozen - of the president's friends and associates: "None of these efforts yielded a conviction for public misconduct." The one-word Clinton Clause isn't hard to spot: for public misconduct. Using the Clintonistas' specialized vocabulary in these matters, one could just as easily defend how Enron was run. . .
Bruce D. Schulman, who
teaches history at Boston College, noted one of the many glaring
omissions from the museum's version of the impeachment debate:
Mr. Clinton's agreement to a five-year suspension from practicing
law in Arkansas. The suspension of his law license came of Bill
Clinton being found in contempt by Judge Susan Webber Wright,
who concluded he gave "false, misleading and evasive answers
that were designed to obstruct the judicial process. ... "
He was ordered to pay some $90,000. But you'll find nothing about
that in the Clinton Library's sanitized presentation.
JERRY SEPER, WASHINGTON TIMES - Federal authorities are investigating accusations that billionaire financier Marc Rich, who received a questionable pardon on President Clinton's last day in office, brokered millions of dollars in deals between Saddam Hussein and other key traders as part of the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal. Law-enforcement authorities yesterday confirmed that Mr. Rich's role as a possible middleman for Saddam and others in oil deals, which appear to have been intended to circumvent U.N. sanctions against Iraq's government, is a focus in the ongoing inquiry. They said the deals under scrutiny occurred within a month of his pardon.
Mr. Rich fled to Switzerland after his 1983 indictment by Justice Department prosecutors on 65 counts of racketeering, fraud, tax evasion and illegal oil trading in a case involving the evasion of $48 million in taxes and the violation of U.S. sanctions by trading with Iran while American hostages were held in that country. He has been unavailable for comment. At the time of the Jan. 20, 2001, pardon order, Mr. Rich was No. 6 on the Justice Department's outstanding fugitives list. Prosecutors had refused for 17 years to negotiate with Mr. Rich over the charges.
CLINTON'S BUDDY AND IRAQ
ABC NEWS - Former American fugitive Marc Rich was a middleman for several of Iraq's suspect oil deals in February 2001, just one month after his pardon from President Clinton, according to oil industry shipping records obtained by ABC News. And a U.S. criminal investigation is looking into whether Rich, as well as several other prominent oil traders, made illegal payments to Iraq in order to obtain the lucrative oil contracts. . . Rich is still living in Switzerland and unavailable for comment.
WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL, NOVEMBER 2004 - the last thing we want to do is dampen the festivities in Little Rock, where the Clinton Presidential Center is opening today, but does anybody remember Marc Rich? He's the fugitive financier who was pardoned by President Bill Clinton on his way out of office -- after Mr. Rich's ex-wife, songwriter Denise Rich, gave $450,000 to the foundation raising money for this very same library. The pardon scandal spotlighted a dangerous gap in financial disclosure rules: Sitting presidents are free to raise millions for their future presidential libraries without having to reveal who is writing the checks.
This lack of disclosure was outrageous even before the pardon scandal erupted: Mr. Clinton was vacuuming up six- and seven-figure pledges from his White House perch, and there was no way for the public to know what interests these donors had before the government or what favors they might be receiving. It's even more outrageous that this practice remains legal after the revelations of Mr. Clinton's final-days pardons. The House passed a measure two years ago that would have required disclosure, but the Senate failed to act; with the topic out of the headlines, lawmakers seem to have lost interest.
WALL STREET JOURNAL, FEBRUARY 23 2001 - For 17 years, Marc Rich worked hard to clear his name of criminal allegations. For the same 17 years, the fugitive billionaire's trading empire also worked hard -- landing some of the same sorts of deals that helped get him into trouble in the first place. Though the main charges pending against Mr. Rich when Bill Clinton pardoned him involved a complex tax-evasion scheme, Mr. Rich faced another serious allegation: He illegally traded with the enemy, prosecutors charged, by buying about $200 million worth of oil from Iran while revolutionaries allied with the Ayatollah Khomeini held 53 Americans hostage there in 1979-81. Mr. Rich was never tried because he fled to Switzerland and renounced his American citizenship before being indicted in 1983. An examination of Mr. Rich's trading activities from Switzerland reveals that his multibillion-dollar commodities operation continued doing business with countries that the U.S. deemed unworthy trading partners for supporting terrorism or abusing human rights.
BUZZLE, FEBRUARY 20, 2001 - Clinton's pardon of Rich, who has lived lavishly in Switzerland as a fugitive since 1983, has led to an investigation by federal prosecutors in New York as well as congressional hearings. Rich was indicted on tax evasion charges, as well as racketeering, violating trade regulations, and fraud. Clinton claimed in his op-ed piece in the New York Times that he made the decision "on the merits as I saw them, and I take full responsibility for it."
He went on to say that "the suggestion that I granted the pardons because Mr. Rich's former wife, Denise, made political contributions and contributed to the Clinton library foundation is utterly false. There was absolutely no quid pro quo." Those investigating the case wish to know if the former Mrs. Rich acted as an intermediary by passing money directly from Rich to Clinton, in exchange for which Clinton would, presumably, grant the pardon. Mrs. Rich has made large contributions to Hillary Clinton's successful senate bid and has reportedly donated $450,000 to the Clinton library foundation.
TELEGRAPH, UK - Bill Clinton loses his temper
with David Dimbleby during a BBC television interview to be broadcast
this week when he is repeatedly quizzed about his affair with
Monica Lewinsky. Bill Clinton The former American president,
famed for his amiable disposition, becomes visibly angry and
rattled, particularly when Dimbleby asks him whether his publicly
declared contrition over the affair is genuine. His outrage at
the line of questioning during the 50-minute interview, to be
broadcast on Panorama on Tuesday night, lasts several minutes.
It is the first time that the former President has been seen
to lose his temper publicly over the issue of his sexual liaisons
with Ms Lewinsky.
NEWSMAX -In his new book "Rewriting History," longtime aide to Bill and Hillary Clinton, Dick Morris reveals that he's guarded a secret about the Whitewater scandal for nearly a decade that could have led to Clinton's removal from office. . . Morris alleged that Clinton improperly influenced U.S. District Court Judge Henry Woods to dismiss Whitewater charges against then-Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, who had threatened to go public about Hillary's involvement in the fraudulent Castle Grande land deal.
After Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno ruled that Starr had jurisdiction over Tucker's involvement in Whitewater, Tucker was "furious," said Morris. Using Morris as a go-between, Tucker sent a warning: "Tell the president that if that SOB wants to play the game this way, I know all about the IDC," the formal business name for Castle Grande.
When Morris passed on the threat to Clinton, "he turned white as a sheet."
"Clinton sat down, put his head in his hands and said, 'Oh my God, do you know what he means?" Morris said he replied, "No, but I think you know what he means."
Later that night, Morris said Clinton told him, "I took care of that problem today." Three weeks later Judge Woods tossed out the Tucker indictment. Though the case was later reinstated, Tucker never followed through on his threat.
NEWSMAX - Clinton-pardoned fugitive billionaire Marc Rich has turned up in the middle of the United Nations Oil-for-Food scandal, with his name on a roster of companies authorized to participate in the corruption-plagued arrangement. "One of Marc Rich's companies was on the United Nations list that was approved to trade and transport Iraqi oil," Fox News Channel's Eric Shawn reported Tuesday. "And it appears that Mr. Rich's firm, Marc Rich & Co. Investments AG, may well have been given that approval by the U.N. before the presidential pardon," Shawn added.
That means the U.N. was ready to do business with America's most-wanted white collar criminal, while other program participants were busily stuffing their pockets with Saddam Hussein's kickbacks. Thomas Frutig, CEO of Marc Rich Holdings, denied the allegation, telling Fox, "We were not involved in the Oil-for-Food program." But in the next breath he added, "Every oil company which wasn't trading applied for an authorization to trade, but I can't tell you how much we did, or whether we did anything."
A businessman once pardoned by President Clinton pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal tax evasion charges. Almon Glenn Braswell admitted his Marina del Rey-based mail-order vitamin business did not pay $4.5 million in federal income taxes. He agreed to pay the full amount to the Internal Revenue Service within three weeks. Braswell also must pay about $6 million in penalties and interest. Braswell faces 18 months in federal prison under his plea agreement. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Sept. 13... Clinton granted 177 pardons and clemencies just before leaving office in 2001. Braswell was pardoned of convictions for fraud and other crimes stemming from false claims in 1983 about a baldness treatment. His pardon became one of the most criticized after it was learned that the president's brother-in-law, Hugh Rodham, had been paid $200,000 to work on the case. Rodham later returned the money.
NY TIMES -- With Howard Dean regrouping and other Democratic presidential candidates rejiggering, Senate Democrats decided maybe they should get a little election-year advice, too. So they huddled behind closed doors on Thursday for a session with a veteran political strategist, one with his own string of victories and a proven record against an incumbent Bush administration. . . Those who attended, including the junior senator from New York, certainly thought it was worth their while. "He is the master," said Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of her husband. "I, just like everybody else, watch and listen with admiration."
WE INTERRUPT THIS ENCOMIUM FOR A FACT: In 1992 Clinton won 43% of the vote and would have lost had it not been for Ross Perot being in the race. In 1996, Clinton got just half the votes, or two percentage points more than the constantly criticized Al Gore would in 2000.
AMERICAN THINKER - Two LA Times reporters today used almost 2800 words to examine the highly questionable background of Hollywood celebrity sleuth/audio expert/guest of the federal penal system Anthony Pellicano. Although the major focus was on his career as a "forensic audio" expert, not once did they manage to mention his most prominent gig: "analyzing" the Gennifer Flowers tapes of her conversations with Bill Clinton, and declaring them "doctored" during the 1992 Presidential campaign.
Readers with long memories will recall that Pellicano's "discrediting" of the tapes, on which then-candidate Clinton was heard disparaging Mario's Cuomo's ethnicity and possible ties to the underworld, as well as making colorful comments of a sexual nature, led the press to immediately drop the matter, and treat the tapes as a gigantic fraud.
Credit where it is due: reporters Scott Glover and Matt Lait do raise many questions about the validity of Pellicano's "expert" testimony as an audio analyst. They point out that he has a record of hearing things no one else can, that he doesn't understand the science supposedly underlying his analytical techniques, and that occasional judges have thrown out his opinions as value-less.
But the primary burden of the article is to raise questions about prosecutors, who have used Pellicano as a witness. Implicitly, the article suggests that miscarriages of justice may have occurred. . .
All well and good. Kudos to the LA Times for fearlessly raising these important questions. But isn't the potential corruption of a Presidential election also of importance? How is it possible for reporters to ignore the biggest single story in Pellicano's career? How can an editor, presumably well-informed about Presidential politics, and operating during a Presidential election season, to allow such an omission?
WASHINGTON TIMES - Two former senior Pentagon officials each were sentenced yesterday in Alexandria to 24 years in prison for taking more than $1 million in bribes and accepting prostitutes from government contractors. Robert Lee Neal Jr., 51, of Bowie, and Francis Delano Jones Jr., 51, of Fort Washington, also were ordered to jointly pay $1.75 million in restitution. . . Neal was appointed by President Clinton in 1996 to serve as director of the Pentagon's office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, which helps minority-owned businesses obtain defense contracts. Jones, his top assistant, joined the office in 1999. Federal prosecutors said the men demanded bribes as high as $100,000 in certain cases and received $1.1 million in bribes and other illegal funds. . .
A FEDERAL JUDGE HAS REDUCED from $1 million to $63,000 the amount of back taxes owed by former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker in his guilty plea in a Whitewater case, saying the government used an outdated law to calculate the damages. Tucker and two co-defendants pleaded guilty to conspiring to impede the Internal Revenue Service in what authorities said was an effort to arrange a $2 million bankruptcy scam to reduce their tax liability on the sale of a cable television business in 1988. He pleaded guilty in 1998 and agreed to cooperate in the then-ongoing investigation of President Clinton by Whitewater prosecutors. Tucker was intimately involved with Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan Association and Capital-Management Services Inc., both as a borrower and as an attorney for the two firms. Madison, owned by Clinton business partners James and Susan McDougal, and Capital-Management, an Arkansas lending agency owned by former Little Rock Municipal Judge David L. Hale, were at the heart of the Whitewater investigation. In May 1996, he was convicted on two fraud and conspiracy counts in the first Whitewater trial and, because of his then-failing health, sentenced to four years' probation.
CARL LIMBACHER, NEWSMAX - In 1992, when "the Pelican" hired on to do damage control for Bill Clinton's presidential campaign, Mary Matalin, then the political director for President Bush 41's reelection campaign, found herself in the unenviable position of being sought out by women who were linked to Clinton - and threatened into silence by Mr. Pellicano.
Matalin, now a senior White House advisor, discussed the episode in 1997 during a stint as a talk radio host on CBS's Washington, D.C. affiliate. "I got the letters from Pellicano to these women intimidating them," Matalin told her audience. "I had tapes of conversations from Pellicano to the women. I got handwritten letters from the women.". . .
"I controlled the money in the [1992 Bush] campaign," Matalin explained. "And [Clinton damage controller] Betsy Wright announced that she was putting $28,000 on the 'bimbo' patrol and on Jack Palladino and Pellicano, the other guy. "And $28,000 to me, the political director, was four states in the Rocky Mountains. You had a limited budget. I said, how could they spend this much money? How could they basically give up four states to track down 'bimbos'?
"That's why it was kind of shocking to me that it must have been a bigger priority than putting money into states for the purpose of winning and that's why I flagged it at the time. I don't even remember how many or what kind of women.". . .
NY POST - Court TV anchor Diane Dimond, who reported on the first days of the Michael Jackson sex case a decade ago, is the latest to be caught up in a Hollywood phone-bugging scandal. Dimond said yesterday that authorities have informed her that wiretaps on her phone from 1994 are part of evidence seized by the FBI last year from the computer of Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano. Dimond was a reporter for "Hard Copy" in 1993 in the first days after the story broke of a youngster accusing Jackson of sexually molesting him. Pellicano worked for Jackson's attorney, Harold Weitzman "I [was] positive my phones were tapped - I heard lots of clicking and crackling noises on the line and then my words started coming back to me through others," Dimond told The Post. "I would call new sources and they would tell me, 'We understand you've heard X, Y and Z' so I knew my phone had to be tapped. . ."
"My house was vandalized. My car was broken into on the Paramount lot [where 'Hard Copy' was taped]. "I had documents underneath an expensive leather coat - the coat wasn't taken, but the documents were stolen from my car," Dimond said. "My mailbox was mowed over. They gave me armed guards to go to and from work - nothing was safe," she says.
CARL LIMBACHER, NEWSMAX - Though the American press insists on not reporting this inconvenient detail, Anthony Pellicano was first hired by Bill and Hillary Clinton in 1992 in a bid to discredit Gennifer Flowers' steamy tape recordings of conversations with Mr. Clinton.. . .
In 1999 Flowers filed a defamation suit against Clinton campaign officials James Carville and George Stephanopoulos - along with then-first lady Hillary Clinton - based on their attempts to use Pellicano's analysis to discredit her. Arguing before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last year, Flowers' Judicial Watch attorneys tied Pellicano directly to the first lady-turned-New York senator, telling the court: "Anthony Pellicano was a private investigator hired by Mrs. Clinton herself. And he's the one who did the analysis of the tapes." e court ruled in Flowers' favor, allowing the lawsuit to proceed.
But that isn't the only
time Pellicano has been linked to the Clintons.
"Anthony Pellicano, the L.A.-based private investigator and O.J. defense team veteran [was] responsible for digging up Andy Bleiler," the New York Post's Andrea Peyser reported at the time. Sexgate provocateur Lucianne Goldberg told Peyser that Pellicano's services were bought and paid for by the Clinton White House. When Peyser confronted the "investigator to the stars" with Goldberg's claim, he didn't deny it. "You're a smart girl. No comment," Pellicano told the Post reporter.
Indeed, the tough-talking private eye makes no bones about his hardball tactics. He claimed to carry a baseball bat, not a gun, as his weapon of choice and once told the Los Angeles Times, "I only use intimidation and fear when I absolutely have to."
Interestingly enough, some of Pellicano's targets, like former Los Angeles Times reporter Anita Busch and one-time "Hard Copy" correspondent Dina Dimond, report break-ins and property vandalism, the kind of problems encountered by Clinton accusers like Flowers, Sally Perdue, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick.
PAUL M. RODRIGUEZ, INSIGHT MAGAZINE - Peter F. Paul, the flamboyant Hollywood entrepreneur who says Hillary Rodham Clinton has hidden almost $2 million of in-kind contributions he made to her campaign in 2000, is back from Brazil and promising to raise a ruckus about the New York senator as he fights bizarre securities and bank-fraud charges on which he's been indicted. Aaron Tonken, a political operative in Hollywood and a former protégé of Paul under indictment for a variety of alleged sharp deals with the rich and famous, also is promising to tell everything he knows about behind-the-scenes shenanigans of Clinton and many others. . .
Paul, who was in Brazil
at the time of his indictment and convinced that the Clintons
were out to wreck his credibility lest he become a whistle-blower,
decided to fight the charges from South America. Through a series
of manipulations he soon was locked up in squalid and dangerous
Brazilian jails until extradited recently to Brooklyn, N.Y. .
. . . Sen. Clinton, who has declined all comment about these matters, previously claimed through spokesmen that she barely knew Paul, and had returned a $2,000 donation he made to her campaign in the spring/summer of 2000, denied he was involved in setting up Clinton fund-raisers, denied he gave huge in-kind contributions and denied having anything to do with Paul and SLM in any way (except for [a] disputed $400,000, of course). This is curious given the personal notes signed by Hillary, Bill and even Chelsea Clinton thanking Paul for all his work on Mrs. Clinton's fund-raising events back in the summer of 2000.
CHARLES R SMITH, NEWSMAX - China has joined an elite club of world powers with its launch of the manned Shenzhou spacecraft - code-named Project 921. However, the Chinese manned space program is neither a civilian effort nor peaceful. The Chinese manned space program is under the complete and direct control of the People's Liberation Army. The Shenzhou missions are part of an overall space program under the personal command of PLA general Li Jinai
. . . China has had assistance from America in its effort to reach for the stars. Chinese space engineers openly admit that the People's Liberation Army is using U.S.-made software and computers to improve its ballistic missile force and military manned space missions. Cheng Qifeng, an engineer at the Shaanxi Engine Design Institute in Xian, admitted that PLA engineers are using Electronic Data Systems' Unigraphics CAD/CAM computer-aided design software to help improve rocket engines for both space and ballistic missile applications.
. . . The Chinese army runs all space activities from its brand new mission control facility located 30 miles northwest of Beijing. The control center is packed with U.S.-made computers supplied during the Clinton administration.In fact, the Chinese military space effort owes much to the former U.S. president. The Chinese army succeeded in obtaining a wide range of U.S. missile technology from the Clinton administration, including satellite control facilities, satellite image processing facilities, missile nose cone design, multiple warhead delivery systems, guidance systems, kick-motor designs and computer systems for ground and space control.
In addition, documents show that the Chinese military obtained radiation-hardened chip technology, including space-based encrypted control systems, with the personal approval of President Clinton. Radiation-hardened computer chip technology is considered to be a key element of atomic warfare because it gives the Chinese army the ability to fight and control its forces during nuclear combat.
WASHINGTON POST - Still, some Democrats want the Clintons to go away. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently did focus groups around the country with Democratic-leaning voters and found widespread resentment of both Clintons, according to a Democratic aide familiar with surveys conducted in several cities. Many focus group participants called the former president "immoral, smooth, crooked" and dishonest, the aide said, while Hillary Clinton was seen as an "opportunist." "It gives us a brand we just don't need," the aide said.
AFTER TEN YEARS, VINCE FOSTER CASE LOOMS AGAIN
Key Clinton aide Vince Foster died ten years ago on July 20, 1993. With the anniversary has come the release of a startling tape containing recordings allegedly of Miguel Rodriguez, the assistant Whitewater prosecutor who resigned over the handling of the Foster investigation. The recordings seem to have been made at different times as Rodriquez went over the case with one of more unidentified persons.
The identification of the voice comes from Foster case witness and whistleblower Patrick Knowlton and his lawyer John Clarke.
According to the conservative Worldnet Daily, which first published the story, Clarke said "he cannot divulge how Knowlton acquired the tapes but notes that by publishing the recording, he is putting his career on the line. 'If I were to put out ginned up tapes of an assistant U.S. attorney, they would revoke my license immediately,' he said. 'It's probably a criminal offense.'. . . A lifelong Democrat who voted for Bill Clinton in 1992, Knowlton told WND the tapes of Rodriguez were legally recorded, legally obtained and come from a 'very reliable source.'"
At one point on the tape, Rodriquez says, "The Independent Counsel themselves, and the FBI, beat me back, in fact threatened me. They told me to quote, this is a quote, 'back off,' either 'back off' or 'back down.' They used both of them. You know it's - I have been communicated with again and told to you know, to be careful where I tread. I can tell you this, that ah, ah, that it has not only to do with my career and reputation, um, they've also had to do with my personal health and family."
Although Kenneth Starr eventually ruled Foster's death a suicide, he did so using the same investigating agency - the FBI - whose initial inquiry had been called into question, including some of the same agents. Starr also failed to address many questions that had been raised by critics of the suicide-in-the-park theory.
Many independent investigators, with the notable exception of crime reporter Dan Moldea, early became convinced that Foster's case had been rigged. Nothing in the subsequent decade has assuaged their doubts, and the weight of their questions suggest strongly that Foster either committed suicide somewhere else and was moved to Ft. Marcy Park or that he was murdered.
A British journalist, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, made a number of points about the case some years back:
- The cover-up of Foster's death was not initially Kenneth Starr's doing but the FBI. "Once this had occurred there was no going back. The FBI and the Justice Department were institutionally committed. It would have taken a granite prosecutor to crack this open. Mr. Starr was not a man who was going to tangle with the FBI."
- "Mr. Starr's lead prosecutor in the case, Miguel Rodriguez, the man who conducted the witness cross-examinations, suspected that Foster's death was staged to look like a suicide. As he tried to probe, FBI agents began to obstruct him. Planted stories appeared in the press .... Mr. Starr looked the other way."
- "Why does it matter? Because the FBI engaged in flagrant evidence tampering, and because it invalidates the official story that Foster put a revolver in his mouth and blew his brains out."
More Rodriguez excerpts follow.
On the earlier investigation by Robert Fiske
"All I know is that things did not happen the way that Fiske said that they happened. And the reports don't support what Fiske said. There's, there's really nothing is consistent with him, ah, you know, committing that kind of a violent - or that kind of violent act at all."
On someone moving the body after it was initially discovered:
"They lifted the body and pulled it to the top of the ridge, top of the berm, and once they did that blood started flowing fast. . . In fact, one of the persons who was there when the body was pulled made a joke because the body started sliding back down the hill. Then, they pulled the body up to the top of the berm."
On changes soon made to the park:
"You have to go back to prior to the body being found and find out what access there was, who knew about that access, um, and how is it changed. That is the whole point, you're, again you guys really have to understand they've re-landscaped it prior to this - you know, they, they've changed gates, they've changed paths, they've changed trees, they've filled gullies, they've redefined the slope. You know the whole thing was changed when I was there. The whole area has been re-landscaped. They've even taken, they've even filled the gorge down below - they've taken that and filled it with, with ah pieces of wood and so that they've changed the path that used to be down at the bottom of the berm. You, you guys can't imagine what the aerials looked like a year before. It is - all of this is just so much nonsense. It was landscaped the sly long ago. They, they backfilled.
When Foster's body was found, a paramedic described an automatic pistol at the scene. By the time of the official report, the gun had turned into a black Colt revolver:
"Even the Park Police, even the Park Police and the person who first saw the body, ah, saw different things. But there was a point in time where the particular gun that he described arrived and something before that was either not observed or not completely identified.
On when the White House was notified:
"There's indications that the White House and others knew prior to the time it was officially said to be told. There was notification made well before the time that the EMTs were called."
On the argument that too many people were involved for a cover-up:
"There's not that many people who know these things really. You don't need a lot of people to know what's going on. In fact, you don't need many at all. Everyone makes a very big mistake when they believe that a lot of people are necessary to orchestrate some kind of - some result here. Very few people need to know anything about anything, really. All, all people need to know is what their job is, not why - be a good soldier, carry out the orders.
"And there are a lot of people from - starting at the very night that the body was investigated, all the way down the line, there were, there were, people told to do certain things and they didn't - and there - and their rationale was that they were following orders, being told what to do.
"Nobody, ah, and this goes for all the FBI agents - they all, they don't necessarily know the big picture - they don't know what other people are writing in their reports. When you write a report all you have to do is make sure that it's consistent with - the most innocuous thing is to make sure it is consistent with the result that you ultimately want to get, which is not embarrass your other colleagues who have made a conclusions already.
"It's some motivation which is that simple and, and, you know all of a sudden your notes aren't, don't, exactly reflect what other people have said. It's very simple. It's a very, a very, ah, clean formula to achieve the result. You don't have to know the big picture. All you need to do is just have a couple of people involved. . . You know, you come over, you get their notes and you write your report. Your report's wrong, you hope nobody's gonna catch you on it but if they do so what? It gets obscured and obscured and obscured because you, you control the central figures in the investigation."
On Ken Starr's investigaton:
"Starr could only be as good as the agents - I mean how independent can Starr really be when he was being supplied by the very same agency, ah, you know with the investigative team that did the investigation in first - the very same people."
The media's role:
"I have talked to a number of people that - you know, from Time Magazine, Newsweek, Nightline, the New York Times, Boston Globe, the Atlanta whatever, um, you know there have been well over a hundred, and it risks - this matter is so sealed tight and, um, the reporters are all genuinely interested but the ah, the ah, um, the report- the ed- reporters are genuinely interested but the ah - when they start to get excited and they've got a story and they're ready to go. . . They went to all the trouble of writing, and then it got killed. . . I know the New York Times has it - knows, and just won't ah, ah, I know that they won't do anything about it and I do know that, that many people have called me back. Reporters that I've spent a lot of time with called me back and said the editors won't allow it to go to press. The accepted media here has always had, ah, a certain take on all of this. And there's been story lines from the get-go."
From the start:
"I knew what the result was going to be, I was told what the result was going to be from the get-go. And then there's all so much fluff, and a look-good job, it's just, this is all, all so much nonsense and I knew the result before the investigation began. That's why I left. . . Fiske himself indicated that he had determined the result before he had ever released a report."
The Review has pointed out that the evidence so far suggests White House involvement in the cover-up but not in the death itself. If Foster was murdered, one possible scenario was assassination by criminal associates from Arkansas, perhaps in the drug trade. Two months after Foster's death, Jerry Parks, a Clinton security aide in Arkansas who was known to have been keeping dossier on Clinton, was gunned down in his car outside of Little Rock. Parks was shot through the rear window of his car and shot three more times, thru the side window, with a 9mm pistol. Parks ran American Contract Services, the business which supplied bodyguards for Clinton during his presidential campaign and the following transition. Bill Clinton still owed him $81,000. Parks had collected detailed data on Clinton's sexual escapades, including pictures and dates. Park's wife said that upon learning of Vincent Foster's death, he told her, "I'm a dead man." Mrs. Park also told a journalist that her husband had made large transfers of cash to Vince Foster. After Parks' death, his house was ransacked, and his files, 130 telephone tapes and computer data are removed.
There is also the alternative suspicion that the discovery of tainted blood being sent from Arkansas prisons to Canada and elsewhere - a scandal that was coming home to roost at the time of Foster's death - might have been a factor. In May 1993, two separate tainted blood probes -- one by a California investigator and another by the Canadian government -- led to the door of the Arkansas governor's office, then occupied by Jim Guy Tucker. Both were informed that all Clinton's papers were removed when he left office and that they should contact the White House legal counsel's office. What happened next is not known but presumably they made contact with Vince Foster, the man in the legal counsel's office who knew Arkansas and who had been involved in the prison system and who may, at one point, have represented the corporation involved in the blood scandal.
Two months after Foster's death - the New York Post reported much later - someone called a little-known phone number at the White House counsel's office where Mr. Foster worked. "The man said he had some information that might be important," wrote columnist Maggie Gallagher, who did not name her source or identify the official who took the call. "Something had upset Vince Foster greatly just days before he died. Something about 'tainted blood' that both Vince Foster and President Clinton knew about, this man said."
It should be noted that the appearance of the tapes at this time may not be coincidental. One of the problems with cover-ups is that they can come back to haunt one at inconvenient times, such as when one of the key figures is thinking about running for president.
ARKANSAS CONNECTIONS: A time-line listing over 150 little known facts about Arkansas and the Clinton machine.
CLINTON LEGACY A summary of what went wrong.
UNCOVERED: The stories the media ignored
One of the worst indictments of Clinton is that he has helped create a nation that is so pessimistic it believes Clinton is the best it can do.
If this was a just world, Bill Clinton would resign, Al From and the New Democrats would settle a product liability suit for selling defective politics by taking a vow of perpetual silence, the entire Democratic congressional leadership would be arrested for loitering on federal property, and every journalist who told us how wonderful life would be under Clinton would commit themselves to at least 1000 hours of community service. - 1994
President Clinton did not balance the budget; the [$10 trillion] stock bubble balanced the budget - Dean Baker