YOU WON'T FIND IN THE CLINTON MUSEUM AND LIBRARY
BILL CLINTON AND GEORGE BUSH are
the two most corrupt individuals to have occupied the White House
in modern times. While Bush has clearly proved more venal and
deadly and far more destructive of the American republic, it
is a fair reading of history to say that Clinton was the warm
up band for George Bush, towit:
CLINTON, WITH NO LITTLE HELP from
the Democratic Leadership Council, discredited and destroyed
long standing principles of social democracy that had guided
the party since the New Deal. Instead he offered the public GOP
Lite. As Harry Truman pointed out, given a choice between a real
Republican and someone who talks like one, the public will favor
the real one.
CLINTON NEUTERED PROGRESSIVE organizations
ranging from Americans for Democratic Action to women's and black
groups. Early in his administration they swore a loyalty that
not only blinded them to his faults and corruption but left their
brains devoid of ideas and arguments with which to take on the
CLINTON DRASTICALLY LOWERED the
standards of national politics with the help of a Washington
establishment that rushed to his assistance as each scandal developed.
The result was the Arkanization of the capital under which the
only standard became whether you could get away with it. This
opened the door wider for the even more venal neo-cons and their
candidate, George Bush.
CLINTON WAS NOWHERE NEAR as good
a politician as the Washington media and political establishment
has claimed and the myth has proved to be a destructive fantasy
for the party. Bill Clinton got 43.9% of the vote in 1992, while
Michael Dukakis - purportedly the worst of all candidate - got
45%. True Clinton was up against Ross Perot who got 19% as well
as Bush, but Clinton might well have lost were it not for Perot,
in which case he would have joined Michael Dukakis in the hall
of shame. Clinton won a majority in only two state-like entities:
Arkansas and DC. In only 12 other states was he able to get ever
45%. Dukakis, meanwhile, got over 50% in 11 states and got over
45% in 12 others.
THE DAMAGE DONE TO THE DEMOCRATIC
PARTY by Bill Clinton was the worst experienced under any incumbent
president since Grover Cleveland. Here are some of the stats:
- GOP seats gained in House after
Clinton became president: 48
- GOP seats gained in Senate after Clinton became president:
- GOP governorships gained after
Clinton became president: 11
- GOP state legislative seats
gained since Clinton became president: 1,254 as of 1998
- State legislatures taken over
by GOP after Clinton became president: 9
- Democrat officeholders who
became Republicans since Clinton became president: 439 as of
- Republican officeholders who
became Democrats: 3
CLINTON'S SCANDALS, going far beyond
Monica Lewinski, were a major liability for Al Gore in 2000,
far more so than Ralph Nader. According to the 2000 exits polls:
- 60% of voters disapproved of Clinton
as a person
- 59% - including some who approved
of him - disliked him
- 68% said he would go down in the
history books for his scandals rather than for his leadership
- 44% thought the Clinton scandals
were important or somewhat important. In contrast, only 28% thought
Bush's drunk driving arrest was important or somewhat important.
- 15% of those who had voted for
Clinton in 1996 voted for Bush in 2000.
CLINTON LAID THE FOUNDATION for
the excesses of the war on terror in a number of ways:
- He conducted a deadly and lawless
raid on the Waco compound including the use of the military in
civilian law enforcement.
- In the wake of Oklahoma City,
the Clinton administration proposed restricting habeas corpus
and increasing wiretaps.
- As Doug Bandow reported in the
National Review, Clinton "essentially sought to eliminate
the requirement of a warrant for searches from the Fourth Amendment.
The president claimed to possess 'inherent authority to conduct
warrantless searches for foreign intelligence purposes.' The
administration required public-housing residents to sign away
their constitutional right that authorities procure a warrant
to search their dwellings and personal property. The Justice
Department backed warrantless (indeed, suspicionless) drug tests
for high-school athletes. The administration requested greater
FBI authority to conduct "roving wiretaps," without
a court order.
- "The administration was tougher
than its predecessor on drugs. Marijuana arrests were up 50 percent
over Bush-41 . . . When asked about the criticism that sellers
of crack were being punished far more severely than those who
peddled cocaine, the president responded that penalties for the
latter - which already ensured that minor drug dealers spend
more time in jail than do many armed robbers, rapists, and murderers
- should be raised. . .
- "The Clinton-Gore administration
advanced additional thuggish policies and proposals - curfews
for kids, random drug tests for welfare recipients and kids seeking
drivers licenses, attacks on the requirement of a jury trial,.
. . attempts to gain court sanction for uncompensated property
takings, prosecutions implicating the double-jeopardy clause,
pretentious claims of federal criminal jurisdiction, infringements
of the Second Amendment right to possess a firearm, et al."
FINALLY THERE IS A REASONABLE hypothesis
that Clinton may have contributed - along with Bush - to creating
conditions favorable for the September 11 attacks. These are
things for historians to argue about but they should at least
be on the table:
- Clinton at the end of his term
declared the Mid East peace negotiations a failure. Combined
with Bush's indifference to the matter these signs from America
may have signaled that there was no longer any progress to be
made through diplomacy.
- While the official report declared
the downing of TWA 800 to be the result of a plane malfunction,
other investigators think there is a likelihood that it was a
terrorist attack. This is a theory but, so by the government's
own admission, is its own conclusion. What is stunning about
this is that, having reached its conclusion, the government did
not set about a massive retrofitting of airplane fuel tanks but
rather instituted massive change in passenger screening at airports.
In other words, the official conclusion and official response
were completely at odds. If TWA 800 was, in fact, a terrorist
attack, what effect did its cover up have on September 11?
- The only president ever impeached
on grounds of personal malfeasance
- Most number of convictions and
guilty pleas by friends and associates**
- Most number of cabinet officials
to come under criminal investigation
- Most number of witnesses to flee
country or refuse to testify
- Most number of witnesses to die
- First president sued for sexual
- First president accused of rape.
- First first lady to come under
- Largest criminal plea agreement
in an illegal campaign contribution case
- First president to establish a
legal defense fund.
- Greatest amount of illegal campaign
- Greatest amount of illegal campaign
contributions from abroad
** According to our best information,
40 government officials were indicted or convicted in the wake
of Watergate. A reader computes that there was a total of 31
Reagan era convictions, including 14 because of Iran-Contra and
16 in the Department of Housing & Urban Development scandal.
47 individuals and businesses associated with the Clinton machine
were convicted of or pleaded guilty to crimes with 33 of these
occurring during the Clinton administration itself.
- Number of Starr-Ray investigation
convictions or guilty pleas (including one governor, one associate
attorney general and two Clinton business partners): 14
- Number of Clinton cabinet members
who came under criminal investigation: 5
- Number of Reagan cabinet members
who came under criminal investigation: 4
- Number of top officials jailed
in the Teapot Dome Scandal: 3
- Number of individuals and businesses
associated with the Clinton machine who have been convicted of
or pleaded guilty to crimes: 47
- Number of these convictions during
Clinton's presidency: 33
- Number of indictments/misdemeanor
- Number of congressional witnesses
who have pleaded the Fifth Amendment, fled the country to avoid
testifying, or (in the case of foreign witnesses) refused to
be interviewed: 122
- Guilty pleas and convictions obtained
by Donald Smaltz in cases involving charges of bribery and fraud
against former Agriculture
Secretary Mike Espy and associated individuals and businesses:
- Acquitted or overturned cases
(including Espy): 6
- Fines and penalties assessed:
- Amount Tyson Food paid in fines
and court costs: $6 million
CLINTON MACHINE CRIMES
FOR WHICH CONVICTIONS WERE OBTAINED
Drug trafficking (3), racketeering,
extortion, bribery (4), tax evasion, kickbacks, embezzlement
(2), fraud (12), conspiracy (5), fraudulent loans, illegal gifts
(1), illegal campaign contributions (5), money laundering (6),
perjury, obstruction of justice.
OTHER MATTERS INVESTIGATED BY
AND CONGRESS, OR REPORTED IN THE MEDIA
Bank and mail fraud, violations
of campaign finance laws, illegal foreign campaign funding, improper
exports of sensitive technology, physical violence and threats
of violence, solicitation of perjury, intimidation of witnesses,
bribery of witnesses, attempted intimidation of prosecutors,
perjury before congressional committees, lying in statements
to federal investigators and regulatory officials, flight of
witnesses, obstruction of justice, bribery of cabinet members,
real estate fraud, tax fraud, drug trafficking, failure to investigate
drug trafficking, bribery of state officials, use of state police
for personal purposes, exchange of promotions or benefits for
sexual favors, using state police to provide false court testimony,
laundering of drug money through a state agency, false reports
by medical examiners and others investigating suspicious deaths,
the firing of the RTC and FBI director when these agencies were
investigating Clinton and his associates, failure to conduct
autopsies in suspicious deaths, providing jobs in return for
silence by witnesses, drug abuse, improper acquisition and use
of 900 FBI files, improper futures trading, murder, sexual abuse
of employees, false testimony before a federal judge, shredding
of documents, withholding and concealment of subpoenaed documents,
fabricated charges against (and improper firing of) White House
employees, inviting drug traffickers, foreign agents and participants
in organized crime to the White House.
Number of times that Clinton figures
who testified in court or before Congress said that they didn't
remember, didn't know, or something similar.
Bill Kennedy 116
Harold Ickes 148
Ricki Seidman 160
Bruce Lindsey 161
Bill Burton 191
Mark Gearan 221
Mack McLarty 233
Neil Egglseston 250
Hillary Clinton 250
John Podesta 264
Jennifer O'Connor 343
Dwight Holton 348
Patsy Thomasson 420
Jeff Eller 697
THE REAL CLINTON story is a fascinating
one of a mobbed-up politician from a drug-infested southern state
in the control of the Dixie Mafia, a far more deadly institution
than its New York counterpart. Little of this came through because
the media immediately created a mythological Bill and Hillary
saga that overwhelmed the facts. What follows are excerpts from
our timeline of interesting and little known events prior to
Clinton taking office as president. It gives a sense of the real
story that voters were denied:
When Bill Clinton is 7, his family
moves from Hope, Arkansas, to the long-time mob resort of Hot
Springs, AR. Here Al Capone is said to have had permanent rights
to suite 443 of the Arlington Hotel. Clinton's stepfather is
a gun-brandishing alcoholic who loses his Buick franchise through
mismanagement and his own pilfering. He physically abuses his
family, including the young Bill. His mother is a heavy gambler
with mob ties. According to FBI and local police officials, his
Uncle Raymond -- to whom young Bill turns for wisdom and support
-- is a colorful car dealer, slot machine owner and gambling
operator, who thrives (except when his house is firebombed) on
the fault line of criminality.
Virginia Kelly, Clinton's mother:
"Hot Springs was so different. We had wide-open gambling,
for one thing, and it was so wide open that it never occurred
to me that it was illegal - it really didn't - until it came
to a vote about whether we were going to legalize gambling or
not. I never was so shocked."
A federal investigation concludes
that Hot Springs has the largest illegal gambling operations
in the United States.
Clinton goes to Georgetown University
where he finds a mentor in Professor Carroll Quigley. Quigley
writes: "That the two political parties should represent
opposed ideals and policies. . . is a foolish idea. Instead,
the two parties should be almost identical . . .The policies
that are vital and necessary for America are no longer subjects
of significant disagreement, but are disputable only in detail,
procedure, priority, or method."
Bill Clinton, according to several
agency sources interviewed by biographer Roger Morris, works
as a CIA informer while briefly and erratically a Rhodes Scholar
in England. Although without visible means of support, he travels
around Europe and the Soviet Union, staying at the ritziest hotel
in Moscow. During this period the US government is using well
educated assets such as Clinton as part of Operation Chaos, a
major attempt to break student resistance to the war and the
draft. According to former White House FBI agent Gary Aldrich
Clinton is told by Oxford officials that he is no longer welcome
After becoming involved in politics,
Wellesley graduate Hillary Rodham orders her senior thesis sealed
from public view.
27 year old Clinton, only months
out of Yale Law School, is back in Arkansas eager to run for
Congress. Roger Morris writes later, "A relative unknown,
he faces an imposing field of rivals in the Democratic primary,
and beyond, in the general election, a powerful Republican incumbent.
. . It begins with a quiet meeting at his mother's house in Hot
Springs. Around the kitchen table, as Virginia Clinton will describe
the scene, avid young Billy meets with two of his most crucial
early backers -- uncle Raymond G. Clinton, a prosperous local
Buick dealer, and family friend and wealthy businessman Gabe
Crawford. As they talk, Mr. Crawford offers the candidate unlimited
use of his private plane, and uncle Raymond not only provides
several houses around the district to serve as campaign headquarters,
but will secure a $10,000 loan to Bill from the First National
Bank of Hot Springs - an amount then equal to the yearly income
of many Arkansas families. . .
No mere businessman with a spare
plane, Gabe Crawford presided over a backroom bookie operation
that was one of Hot Springs' most lucrative criminal enterprises.
[And the] inimitable uncle Raymond - who had also played a pivotal
behind-the-scenes role in keeping young Bill out of the Vietnam
draft - was far more than an auto dealer. In the nationally prominent
fount of vice and corruption that was Hot Springs from the 1920s
to the 1980s (its barely concealed casinos generated more income
than Las Vegas well into the 1960s), the uncle's Buick agency
and other businesses and real estate were widely thought to be
facades for illegal gambling, drug money laundering and other
ventures, in which Raymond was a partner. He was a minion of
the organized crime overlord who controlled the American Middle
South for decades, New Orleans boss Carlos Marcello or "Mafia
Kingfish" as his biographer John Davis called him.
Two Indonesian billionaires come
to Arkansas. Mochtar Riady and Liem Sioe Liong are close to Suharto.
Riady is looking for an American bank to buy. Finds Jackson Stephens
with whom he forms Stephens Finance. Stephens will broker the
arrival of BCCI to this country and steer BCCI's founder, Hassan
Abedi, to Bert Lance.
Apparently because of pressure from
Indonesia, Riady withdraws his bid to buy Lance's 30% share of
the National Bank of Georgia. Instead, a BCCI front man buys
the shares and Abedi moves to secretly take over Financial General
- later First American Bankshares -- later the subject of the
only BCCI-connected scandal to be prosecuted in the US.
Clinton is elected governor. The
Clintons and McDougals buy land in the Ozarks for $203,000 with
mostly borrowed funds. The Clintons get 50% interest with no
cash down. The 203 acre plot, known as Whitewater, is fifty miles
from the nearest grocery store. The Washington Post will report
later that some purchasers of lots, many of them retirees, "put
up houses or cabins, others slept in vans or tents, hoping to
be able to live off the land." More than half of the purchasers
will lose their plots thanks to the sleazy form of financing
Two months after commencing the
Whitewater scam, Hillary Clinton invests $1,000 in cattle futures.
Within a few days she has a $5,000 profit. Before bailing out
she earns nearly $100,000 on her investment. Many years later,
several economists will calculate that the chances of earning
such returns legally were one in 250 million.
Bill Clinton's mother hangs out
at the race track with mobsters and other local figures, including
Dan Lasater who breeds race horses in Kentucky and Florida and
has a box at the track next to hers. Mrs. Clinton introduces
Lasater to Roger Clinton.
Roger Clinton develops a four-gram
a day cocaine habit, getting his stuff from New York and Medellin
suppliers, based (as one middleman will later testify) on "who
his brother was." Sharlene Wilson is one of his dealers.
Dan Lasater will give Roger work and loan him $8,000 to pay off
a drug debt.
Sharlene Wilson will testify in
a 1990 federal drug probe that she began selling cocaine to Roger
Clinton as early as this year. She will also tell reporters that
she sold two grams of cocaine to Clinton's brother at the Little
Rock nightclub Le Bistro, then witnessed Bill Clinton consume
the drug. "I watched Bill Clinton lean up against a brick
wall," Wilson reveals to the London Telegraph's Ambrose
Evans-Pritchard in 1995. "He was so messed up that night,
he slid down the wall into a garbage can and just sat there like
a complete idiot." Drug prosecutor Jean Duffey will say
that she has no doubt that Wilson was telling the truth.
Arkansas becomes a major center
of gun-running, drugs and money laundering. The IRS warns other
law enforcement agencies of the state's "enticing climate."
According to Clinton biographer Roger Morris, operatives go into
banks with duffel bags full of cash, which bank officers then
distribute to tellers in sums under $10,000 so they don't have
to report the transaction.
Sharlene Wilson, according to investigative
reporter Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, flies cocaine from Mena to
a pickup point in Texas. Other drugs, she and others say, are
stuffed into chickens for shipping around the country. Wilson
also serves as "the lady with the snow" at "toga
parties" attended, she reports, by Bill Clinton.
Investor's Business Daily would
later write, "Sally Perdue, a former Miss Arkansas and Little
Rock talk show host who said she had an affair with then-Gov.
Clinton in 1983, told the London Sunday Telegraph that he once
came over to her house with a bag full of cocaine. "He had
all the equipment laid out, like a real pro."
In the 1990s, Genifer Flowers tells
Sean Hannity's WABC talk radio show: "Bill clearly let me
know that he did cocaine. And I know people that knew he did
cocaine. He did tell me that when he would use a substantial
amount of cocaine that his head would itch so badly that he would
become self conscious at parties where he was doing this. Because
all he wanted to do while people were talking to him is stand
around and scratch his head. ...."
Two Arkansas state troopers will
swear under oath that they have seen Clinton "under the
influence" of drugs when he was governor.
Hillary Clinton makes a $44,000
profit on a $2,000 investment in a cellular phone franchise deal
that involves taking advantage of the FCC's preference for locals,
minorities and women. The franchise is almost immediately flipped
to the cellular giant, McCaw.
A drug pilot brings a Cessna 210
full of cocaine into eastern Arkansas where he is met by his
pick-up: a state trooper in a marked police car. "Arkansas,"
the pilot will recall years later, "was a very good place
to load and unload."
According to his wife, security
operative Jerry Parks delivers large sums of money from Mena
airport to Vince Foster at a K-Mart parking lot. Mrs. Parks discovers
this when she opens her car trunk one day and finds so much cash
that she has to sit on the trunk to close it again. She asks
her husband whether he is dealing drugs, and he allegedly explains
that Foster paid him $1,000 for each trip he took to Mena.
Parks said he didn't "know
what they were doing, and he didn't care to know. He told me
to forget what I'd seen.". . . .Later Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
will write, "Foster was using him as a kind of operative
to collect sensitive information on things and do sensitive jobs.
Some of this appears to have been done on behalf of Hillary Clinton.
. . Foster told him that Hillary wanted it done. Now, my understanding
. . . is that she wanted to know how vulnerable he would be in
a presidential race on the question of -- how shall I put it?
-- his appetites."
In 1993, on the night before Vince
Foster's death, Parks' wife claims she hears a heated conversation
between her husband and Foster in which Parks says, "You
can't give Hillary those files, they've got my name all over
them." Parks will be gunned down two months after Foster's
death in his car outside of Little Rock. Parks is shot through
the rear window of his car and shot three more times, thru the
side window, with a 9mm pistol.
Parks was running 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.
Mrs. Pariks claims federal agents subsequently removed files
Bill Clinton loses re-election as
governor. He will win two years later. Larry Nichols will tell
the George Putman Show in 1998 that he had met with Clinton and
Jackson Stephen's brother Witt and that Witt had told Clinton
that the Stephens were ready to back him for another run at the
governorship but that he had to "dry out on the white stuff."
There are reports that following
his loss, Clinton ended up in the hospital for a drug overdose.
Journalist R. Emmett Tyrrell later asked emergency room workers
at the University of Arkansas Medical Center if they could confirm
the incident. He didn't get a flat "no" from the hospital
staff. One nurse said, "I can't talk about that." Another
said she feared for her life if she spoke of the matter. Newsmax
will report: "Dr. Sam Houston, a respected Little Rock physician
and once a doctor for Hillary's cantankerous father, Hugh Rodham,
says it is well known in Little Rock medical circles that Clinton
was brought to a Little Rock hospital for emergency treatment
for an apparent cocaine overdose. According to Houston, who told
us he spoke to someone intimately familiar with the details of
what happened that night, Clinton arrived at the hospital with
the aid of a state trooper. Hillary Clinton had been notified
by phone and had instructed the hospital staff that Clinton's
personal physician would be arriving soon. When Mrs. Clinton
arrived, she told both of the resident physicians on duty that
night that they would never practice medicine in the United States
if word leaked out about Clinton's drug problem. Reportedly,
she pinned one of the doctors up against the wall, both hands
pressed against his shoulders, as she gave her dire warning."
According to Jim McDougal's later
account, he and Henry Hamilton, "developed a system to pass
money to Clinton," then governor of Arkansas. "I considered
it just another way of helping to take care of Bill. A contractor
agreed to pad my monthly construction bill by $2,000. The contractor
put the figure on his invoice as a cost for gravel or culvert
work. After I paid the full amount ... the contractor reimbursed
me the $2,000. I turned the money over to Henry to give to Clinton.
Once, after I handed Henry his latest consignment of 20 hundred-dollar
bills to relay to the governor's office, he turned the bills
over and over in one hand, like a magician. Henry grinned. `You
know,' he said, `Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First had
Cromwell. Clinton could profit from these examples if he crosses
Hillary Clinton writes Jim McDougal:
"If Reaganomics works at all, Whitewater could become the
Western Hemisphere's Mecca."
Major drug trafficker Barry Seal,
under pressure from the Louisiana cops, relocates his operations
to Mena, Arkansas. Seal is importing as much as 1,000 pounds
of cocaine a month from Colombia according to Arkansas law enforcement
officials. He will claim to have made more than $50 million out
of his operations. As an informant Seal testified that in 1980-81,
before moving his operation to Arkansas, he made approximately
60 trips to Central America and brought back 18,000 kilograms.
According to the Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, "Larry
Patterson, an Arkansas state trooper, testified under oath that
there were 'large quantities of drugs being flown into the Mena
airport, large quantities of money, large quantities of guns.'
The subject was discussed repeatedly in Clinton's presence by
state troopers working on his security detail, he alleged. Patterson
said the governor 'had very little comment to make; he was just
listening to what was being said.'"
Mena state police investigator Russell
Welch will later describe the airport, pointing to one hanger
he says is owned by a man who "doesn't exist in history
back past a safe house in Baltimore in 1972." Another is
owned by someone who "smuggled heroin through Laos back
in the seventies." Still another is "owned by a guy
who just went bankrupt. So what's he do? Flies to Europe for
more money." Welch points to a half dozen Fokker aircraft
parked on an apron, noting that "the DEA's been tracking
those planes back and forth to Columbia for a while now."
A DEA report uncovered by Ambrose
Evans-Pritchard will cite an informant claiming that a famous
Arkansas figure and backer of Clinton "smuggles cocaine
from Colombia, South America, inside race horses to Hot Springs."
IRS agent William Duncan and an
Arkansas State Police investigator take their evidence concerning
drug trafficking in Mena to US Attorney Asa Hutchinson. They
ask for 20 witnesses to be subpoenaed before the grand jury.
Hutchinson chooses only three. According to reporter Mara Leveritt,
"The three appeared before the grand jury, but afterwards,
two of them also expressed surprise at how their questioning
was handled. One, a secretary at Rich Mountain Aviation, had
given Duncan sworn statements about money laundering at the company,
transcripts of which Duncan had provided to Hutchinson. But when
the woman left the jury room, she complained that Hutchinson
had asked her nothing about the crime or the sworn statements
she'd given to Duncan. As Duncan later testified, 'She basically
said that she was allowed to give her name, address, position,
and not much else.' The other angry witness was a banker who
had, in Duncan's words, 'provided a significant amount of evidence
relating to the money-laundering operation.' According to Duncan,
he, too, emerged from the jury room complaining 'that he was
not allowed to provide the evidence that he wanted to provide
to the grand jury.'"
Financial General changes its name
to First American and Clark Clifford is appointed chairman. BCCI
fronts begin acquiring controlling interest in banks and other
American financial institutions. In Arkansas, Jim McDougal purchases
Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan.
According to a later account in
the Tampa Tribune, planes flying drugs into Mena in coolers marked
"medical supplies" are met by several people close
to then-Governor Bill Clinton.
Stevens and Riady buy a banking
firm and change its name to Worthern Bank with Riady's 28-year-old
son James as president. Other Worthen co-owners will eventually
include BCCI investor Abdullah Taha Bakhish.
Foreshadowing future Wall Street
interest in Clinton, Goldman Sachs, Payne Webber, Salomon Brothers
and Merrill Lynch all show up as financial backers of the governor.
Also on the list: future king-maker Pam Harriman. But Bill Clinton's
funders include not only some of the biggest corporate names
ever to show an interest in the tiny state of Arkansas but some
of the most questionable. A former US Attorney will later tell
Roger Morris, "That was the election when the mob really
came into Arkansas politics. . . It wasn't just Bill Clinton
and it went beyond our old Dixie Mafia. . . This was eastern
and west coast crime money that noticed the possibilities just
like the legitimate corporations did."
Dan Lasater buys a ski resort in
New Mexico for $20 million and uses Clinton's name (with permission)
to promote it. Later, a US Customs investigative report will
note that the resort is being used for drug operations and money
laundering. Lasater also flies to Belize with his aide Patsy
Thomasson to buy a 24,000 acre ranch. Among those present at
the negotiations is the US Ambassador. The deal falls through
because of the opposition of the Belize government.
A private contractor for Arkansas'
prison system stops selling prisoners' blood to a Canadian broker
and elsewhere overseas after admitting the blood might be contaminated
with the AIDS virus or hepatitis. Sales of prisoners' blood in
US are already forbidden.
Tens of thousands of dollars in
mysterious checks begin moving through Whitewater's account at
Madison Guaranty. Investigators will later suspect that McDougal
was operating a check-kiting scheme to drain money from the S&L
Hot Springs police record Roger
Clinton during a cocaine transaction. Roger says, "Got to
get some for my brother. He's got a nose like a vacuum cleaner."
Roger is arrested while working at menial jobs for Arkansas "bond
daddy" Dan Lasater.
Barry Seal estimates that he has
earned between $60 and $100 million smuggling cocaine into the
US, but with the feds closing in on him, Barry Seal flies from
Mena to Washington in his private Lear Jet to meet with two members
of Vice President George Bush's drug task force. Following the
meeting, Seal rolls over for the DEA, becoming an informant.
He collects information on leaders of the Medellin cartel while
still dealing in drugs himself. The deal will be kept secret
from investigators working in Louisiana and Arkansas. According
to reporter Mara Leveritt, "By Seal's own account, his gross
income in the year and a half after he became an informant -
while he was based at Mena and while Asa Hutchinson was the federal
prosecutor in Fort Smith, 82 miles away - was three-quarters
of a million dollars. Seal reported that $575,000 of that income
had been derived from a single cocaine shipment, which the DEA
had allowed him to keep. Pressed further, he testified that,
since going to work for the DEA, he had imported 1,500 pounds
of cocaine into the U.S. Supposed informant Seal will fly repeatedly
to Colombia, Guatemala, and Panama, where he meets with Jorge
Ochoa, Fabio Ochoa, Pablo Escobar, and Carlos Lehder - leaders
of the cartel that at the time controlled an estimated 80 percent
of the cocaine entering the United States."
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.
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
Arkansas state pension funds --
deposited in Worthen by Governor Bill Clinton -- suddenly lose
15% of their value because of the failure of high risk, short-term
investments and the brokerage firm that bought them. The $52
million loss is covered by a Worthen check written by Jack Stephens
in the middle of the night, an insurance policy, and the subsequent
purchase over the next few months of 40% of the bank by Mochtar
Riady. Clinton and Worthen escape a major scandal.
Mochtar and James Riady engineer
the takeover of the First National Bank of Mena in a town of
5,000 with few major assets beyond a Contra supply base plus
drug running and money-laundering operations.
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.
Park on Meter, a parking meter manufacturer
in Russellville, Arkansas, receives the first industrial development
loan from the Arkansas Development Finance Authority in 1985.
Some suspect that POM is doing a lot more than making parking
meters -- specifically that it has secret federal contracts to
make components of chemical and biological weapons and devices
to carry them on C-130s for the Contras. The company later denies
the Contra connection although it will admit having secret military
contracts. Web Hubbell is the company's lawyer. Right next to
POM, on land previously owned by it, is an Army reserve chemical
An independent investigator will
later find evidence of an electronic transfer of $50 million
from the Arkansas Development Financial Authority to a bank in
the Cayman Islands. Grand Cayman has a population of 18,000,
570 commercial banks, one bank regulator and a bank secrecy law.
It is a favorite destination spot for laundered drug money.
Asa Hutchinson leaves the US Attorney's
office to make an unsuccessful bid for US Senate. According to
police sources, Hutchinson had been aware of what was happening
at Mena and the investigation into it, but did nothing. Hutchinson
is replaced by Mike Fitzhugh who is reluctant to let investigators
Russell Welch of the state police and William Duncan of the IRS
present evidence of money-laundry to a grand jury.
Journalist Evans-Pritchard will
describe the Arkansas of this period as a "major point for
the transshipment of drugs" and "perilously close to
becoming a 'narco-republic' -- a sort of mini-Columbia within
the borders of the United States." There is "an epidemic
of cocaine, contaminating the political establishment from top
to bottom," with parties "at which cocaine would be
served like hors d'oeuvres and sex was rampant." Clinton
attends some of these events.
On January 17, the U. S. Attorney
for the Western District drops a money laundering and narcotics-conspiracy
charges against associates of drug smuggler Barry Seal over the
protests of investigators Russell Welch of the state police and
Bill Duncan of the Internal Revenue.
Seal is scheduled to testify at
the trial of Jorge Ochoa Vasques. But on February 19, shortly
before the trial is to begin, Seal is murdered in Baton Rouge
gangland style by three Colombian hitmen armed with machine guns
who attack while he seated behind the wheel of his white Cadillac
in Baton Rouge, La. The Colombians, connected with the Medellin
drug cartel, are tried and convicted. Upon hearing of Seal's
murder, one DEA agent says, "There was a contract out on
him, and everyone knew it. He was to have been a crucial witness
in the biggest case in DEA history."
Eight months after the murder, Seal's
cargo plane is shot down over Nicaragua. It is carrying ammunition
and other supplies for the Contras from Mena. One crew member,
Eugene Hasenfus, survives.
The attorney general of Louisiana
tells US Attorney General Ed Meese that drug trafficker Barry
Seal has smuggled drugs into the US worth $3-$5 billion.
Two boys, Kevin Ives and Don Henry,
are killed in Saline County and left on a railroad track to be
run over by a train. The medical examiner will initially rule
the deaths accidental, saying that the boys were unconscious
and in a deep sleep due to marijuana. The finding will be punctured
by dogged investigators whose efforts are repeatedly blocked
by law enforcement officials. Ultimately, the bodies will be
exhumed and another autopsy will be performed, which finds that
Henry had been stabbed in the back and Ives beaten with a rifle
butt. Although no one will ever be charged, the trail will lead
into the penumbra of the Dixie Mafia and the Arkansas political
machine. Some believe the boys died because they accidentally
intercepted a drug drop, but information obtained by the Progressive
Review suggests the drop may have dispensed not drugs but cash,
gold and platinum -- part of a series of sorties through which
those working with US intelligence were being reimbursed. According
to one version, the boys were blamed in order to cover up the
theft of the drop by persons within the Dixie Mafia and Arkansas
political machine. Ives' mother will later charge that high state
and federal officials participated in a cover-up: "I firmly
believe my son and Don Henry were killed because they witnessed
a drug drop by an airplane connected to the Mena drug smuggling
2018 development in this case]
Prosecutor Jean Duffey will later
tell a talk show host in answer to whether law enforcement people
were involved in the train death murders: "I believe the
law enforcement agents were connected to some very high political
people because they have never been brought to justice and I
don't think they ever will be. I think they are protected to
avoid exposing the connection. . . There have been several murders
of potential witnesses. Anyone who could have solved this murder
many years ago has been systematically eliminated."
Nine persons reportedly having information
on the Ives-Henry murders will end up dead themselves.
Charles Black, a prosecutor for
Polk County, which includes Mena, meets with Governor Clinton
and asks for assistance in a probe of illegal activities. "His
response," Mr. Black will tell CBS News later, "was
that he would get a man on it and get back to me. I never heard
Following pressure from then-Arkansas Rep. Bill Alexander, the
General Accounting Office opens a probe in April 1988; within
four months, the inquiry is shut down by the National Security
Council, according to a later report by Micah Morrison of the
Wall Street Journal. Several congressional subcommittee inquiries
sputter and stop.
What will later be known as the
Vast Right Wing Conspiracy begins on the left as a group of progressive
students at the University of Arkansas form the Arkansas Committee
to look into Mena, drugs, money laundering, and Arkansas politics.
Drug distributor Dan Lasater is
pardoned by Governor Clinton after serving just six months in
jail and four in a halfway house on minor charges. One law enforcement
official will describe the investigation into Lasater's operations
as "either a high dive or extremely unprofessional. Take
your pick." The alleged reason for the pardon: so Lasater
can get a hunting license. Lasater returns to his 7,400 acre
ranch in Saline County.
An IRS memorandum reveals that even
at this late date "the CIA still has ongoing operations
out of the Mena, AR airport."
Arkansas State Police investigator
Russell Welch, who has been working with IRS investigator Bill
Duncan on drug running and money laundering at Mena, develops
pneumonia-like symptoms. The Washington Weekly described the
incident in 1996: "On the weekend of September 21, 1991,
Arkansas State Police Investigator Russell Welch met with IRS
Investigator Bill Duncan to write a report on their investigation
of Mena drug smuggling and money laundering and send it to Iran-Contra
prosecutor Lawrence Walsh.. Returning to Mena on Sunday, Welch
told his wife that he didn't feel too well. He thought he had
gotten the flu . . . In Fort Smith a team of doctors were waiting.
Dr. Calleton had called them twice while Welch was in transport
and they had been in contact with the CDC. Later the doctor would
tell Welch's wife that he was on the edge of death. He would
not have made it through the night had he not been in the hospital.
He was having fever seizures by now. A couple of days after Welch
had been admitted to St. Edwards Mercy Hospital, his doctor was
wheeling him to one of the labs for testing when she asked him
if he was doing anything at work that was particularly dangerous.
He told her that he had been a cop for about 15 years and that
danger was probably inherent with the job description. She told
Welch that they believed he had anthrax. She said the anthrax
was the military kind that is used as an agent of biological
warfare and that it was induced. Somebody had deliberately infected
him. She added that they had many more tests to run but they
had already started treating him for anthrax."
While in Washington, D.C., where
he holds a permit to carry a gun, IRS agent and Mena drug investigator
Bill Duncan is arrested for weapons possession (his service revolver),
roughed up and handcuffed to a pipe in the basement of a DC police
station. After the incident he is taken off of the Mena investigation.
Later, when he is asked to falsify testimony for a Federal Grand
Jury, he refuses and is fired on the spot.
State Attorney General Winston Bryant
and Arkansas Rep. Bill Alexander send two boxes of Mena files
to special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh. Bryant says the boxes contain
"credible evidence of gunrunning, illegal drug smuggling,
money laundering and the governmental cover-up and possibly a
criminal conspiracy in connection with the Mena Airport."
Seventeen months later, Walsh writes Bryant a letter saying,
without explanation, that he had closed his investigation. Says
Alexander later, "The feds dropped the ball and covered
it up. I have never seen a whitewash job like this case."
Dan Harmon becomes the new prosecuting
attorney in the district responsible for the train deaths investigation.
Harmon's drug investigator Jean Duffey is discredited, threatened
and ultimately has to flee Arkansas.
The day Clinton announces his candidacy
for the White House, Meredith Oakley sizes him up in the Arkansas
Democrat Gazette: "His word is dirt. Not a statesman is
he, but a common, run-of-the-mill, dime-a-dozen politician. A
mere opportunist. A man whose word is fallow ground not because
it is unwanted but because it is barren, bereft of the clean-smelling
goodness that nurtures wholesome things. Those of us who cling
to the precepts of another age, a time in which a man's word
was his bond, and, morally, bailing out was not an option, cannot
join the madding crowd in celebrating what is for some Bill Clinton's
finest hour. We cannot rejoice in treachery."
The Federal Reserve begins an investigation
of BCCI's alleged control of First American Bank. A few months
later BCCI itself is shut down in what would be revealed as the
world's biggest bank scandal ever. Bill Clinton announces for
president. Among his targets: "S&L crooks and self-serving
The Worthen Bank gives Clinton a
$3.5 million line of credit allowing the cash-strapped candidate
to finish the primaries. Stephens Inc. employees give Clinton
more than $100,000 for his presidential campaign.
Little Rock Worldwide Travel provides
Clinton with $1 million in deferred billing for his campaign
trips. Clinton aide David Watkins boasts to a travel magazine,
"Were it not for World Wide Travel here, the Arkansas governor
may never have been in contention for the highest office in the
land." In fact, without the Worthen and Worldwide largess,
it is unlikely that the cash-strapped candidate could have survived
through the later primaries.
A massive "bimbo" patrol
is established to threaten, buy, or otherwise disarm scores of
women who have had sexual encounters with Clinton. The campaign
uses private investigators in an extensive operation that will
be joked about at the time but later will be seen as a form of
blackmail as well as psychological and physical intimidation.
Money magazine reports that Clinton
annually receives about $1.4 million in admissions tickets to
the state-regulated Oaklawn racetrack which he hands out to campaign
contributors and others.
A survey of campaign reporters finds
that by February, 90% favor Clinton for president.
During the New Hampshire primary
Clinton flies back to Little Rock to preside over the execution
of Ricky Ray Rector. The prisoner was so brain damaged that he
saved his pie to eat later.
Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker
comes to Washington to see his old boss sworn in, leaving his
state under the control of the president pro tem of the senate,
Little Rock dentist Jerry Jewell. Jewell uses his power as acting
governor to issue a number of pardons, one of them for a convicted
drug dealer, Tommy McIntosh. According to the Washington Times,
many in the state "say it was a political payoff, offered
in exchange for dirty tricks Mr. McIntosh played on Clinton political
opponents during the presidential campaign." It seems that
the elder McIntosh had worked for Clinton in his last state campaign
and, according to McIntosh in a 1991 lawsuit, had agreed not
only to pay him $25,000 but to help him market his recipe for
sweet potato pie and to pardon his son.
Webster Hubbell's name surfaces
as a potential nominee for deputy attorney general but he tells
friends he does not want that job or, reports Time, "to
take any other position that involves Senate confirmation --
perhaps to avoid fishing expeditions into the law firm's confidential
And years later, this from a real
expert: The New York Daily News quotes John Gotti as saying that
Clinton got away with things a Mafia boss would never have gotten
away with. In a conversation with his brother Peter, he is particularly
struck with Clinton's taped conversation with Gennifer Flowers:
"He's telling her, 'Why would you want to bring this out?
If anybody investigates, you lie.' " Said Gotti, "If
he had an Italian last name, they would've electrocuted him."