Whitewater and Clinton Scandal Clips
from The Progressive Review 1992-1997
Part 5: March -July 1997
In May 1992, the Review became the first publication in America to present a comprehensive report on what has now come to be known as the Clinton scandals. Outside of conservative media no other publication has so consistently told this story
Index of Clips
Clips Feb '92 - Feb '94 Whitewater Clips Vol. 1
Clips Mar '94 - Feb '96 Whitewater Clips Vol. 2
Clips Mar - Sep '96 Whitewater Clips Vol. 3
Clips Oct 96- Mar 97 - Whitewater Clips Vol. 4
Clips Mar 97-July 97 - Whitewater Clips Vol 5
Clips Aug 97 - Whitewater Clips Vol 6
Back to the Review's home page
Hubbel knows where the bodies are buried -- James McDougal
If you can paint a real good picture of a cow, you don't need to write the word cow under it -- Senator Sam Ervin
If Bill Clinton had known how much sex there was in the military, he would have never avoided the draft -- Unknown
Watergate: Not Exactly High Drama -- Washington Post, May 18, 1973, the day after the Watergate hearings opened.
A few questions to which your editor was unable to get the answers before leaving on vacation:
Why are federal law enforcement officials and much of the media indifferent to the strong possibility that Timothy McVeigh was just one of those involved in the Oklahoma City bombing?
Does it have anything to do with the possibility that the others involved were connected with Elohim City, a white supremacist, neo-Nazi headquarters about which the feds have been curiously indifferent?
What exactly did the federal government know about the possibility of the bombing of a government building in OKC, when did it know it and what it do about it?
What did an Air National Guard pilot see just before the downing of TWA 800 if it was not what he thought he saw: an ordinance explosion burst near the plane just before it turned into a fireball?
Why has his co-pilot been under orders not to speak to the media although published reports quote investigators as saying the co-pilot also thinks he also saw a missile?
What did scores of other witnesses see when they reported something streaking towards the plane if it was not a missile of some sort?
Exactly how much illegal money would have to have flowed into the Clinton campaign and administration before the major media would deem the campaign finance scandal not boring?
We have, for example, Charlie Trie who gave nearly a quarter million to the DNC, money the FBI believes was laundered for a business associate in Macao. Trie also walked in to the offices of Clinton's defense fund and plopped down checks and money orders worth nearly a half million dollars. We also have Smith Barney forking over one million dollars in civil penalties to avoid possible prosecution in the Mike Espy case If these sums are not great enough, what is the threshold for the major media to become interested?
When did a "smoking gun" become the only standard by which the public and media are allowed to judge politicians and their actions?
When did it become necessary, in the media's mind, to condone and exonerate any official not found in open violation of criminal law?
What was the Clinton campaign doing advancing a dinner at the Indian Embassy last July 12 featuring the ambassador and sponsored by the Network of South Asian Professionals?
Clinton money man Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie explained to a reporter why he was remaining in China rather than returning to the US to face the music. He said, " I'm not hiding. I want to stay alive." What exactly did he mean?
Why did air controller tapes made during the Ron Brown crash disappear and one key witness die (allegedly by suicide) immediately after the incident?
Why did Brown close associate Nolanda Hill tell reporter Chris Ruddy that she did not believe the crash was an accident?
What was the cause of death of longtime civil servant Barbara Wise, who was found half naked and bruised in the Commerce Department over the Thanksgiving holiday?
Who killed Jerry Parks, the security chief for the Clinton Little Rock HQ, in a gang type slaying that has never been solved?
Why did Parks, say after learning of Vince Foster's death and several weeks before his own, "I'm a dead man?
" Why was Parks, according to his wife, being paid $1,000 by Foster for trips to Mena and why did Mrs. Parks find wads of $100 bills in their car trunk after one such trip?
Why has special prosecutor Kenneth Starr offered a finding of suicide in the Foster case without submitting a single piece of public evidence to support this view?
Why does a medical examiner's report recently uncovered at the National Archives contradict the nature of Foster's wounds previously reported by federal officials?
What were White House officials covering up, destroying and removing during the hours immediately following Vince Foster's death?
Why does the white House claim it heard about the death considerably later than, according other testimony, it actually did?
Why was the huge Lippo operation involved in the ownership of a bank in the tiny town of Mena way back in the 1980s?
Why was Paula Greene, a secretary at Stephens Inc.
Washington office, instructed to call John Huang at the Commerce Department whenever a fax, mail or package arrived for him, but not to leave any message explaining why she called?
Why was Huang picking these items up at Stephens Inc.?
Whatever happened to the 28th piece of the torn message allegedly written by Vince Foster that government officials claim was a suicide note and which three handwriting experts have declared a forgery?
Why were these experts never interviewed by the special prosecutor?
Why was John Huang placed in such an important place in the Commerce Department and given numerous secret briefings despite being, in the opinion of former Commerce undersecretary Jeffrey Gerten (now dean of the Yale School of Management), "totally unqualified" for a policy-making position who "should not be involved in China at all?
Who put him in this job?
Why does the Washington Post consistently understate in its headlines about the Clinton scandals the story that follows?
Why did Miquel Rodriquez, the assistant US Attorney assigned by Starr to reopen the investigation into Foster's death resign?
Was it true, as some have alleged, that he was blocked from aggressively pursuing the case?
Why was he denied the opportunity to bring in experts outside the FBI to deal with inconsistencies?
Why did Starr, in reopening the Foster case, permit FBI agents to review their own work in the previous investigation?
There have been conflicting statements as to whether any x-rays were taken of Foster after his death?
Were there or weren't there?
If there were, where have they gone?
If there weren't, why not?
It is standard police procedure to investigate suicides is though they were murders. Why wasn't this done in the case of Vince Foster?
Why did Bernard Nussbaum ask for the combination of Foster's safe immediately after his death?
Why were manila envelopes in the safe addressed "Eyes Only" to Janet Reno and William Kennedy never delivered to them?
Where are these envelopes and what was in them?
Whose blood-stained car was towed to the FBI garage from Ft. Marcey Park the same night as Foster's death?
How did Foster walk 750 feet through a park without gathering any physical evidence of the hike on his shoes?
How did his glasses end up 19 feet from his body?
What were the origins of numerous carpet fibers found all over Foster's clothing and underwear?
How did it happen that all 35 mm film of the scene was either overexposed or missing?
How did it happen that most of the Polaroid shots have vanished?
How did Foster manage to shoot himself yet die laid out in the careful manner of someone placed in a coffin?
Why were there no fingerprints on the gun?
Why did no one hear the shot?
Where is Foster's appointment book?
How did car keys, not found during the investigation in the park, turn up with Foster at the morgue?
How was Foster's car opened at the park since officials claimed it was locked?
Where is the bullet that killed Foster?
Why did witnesses have their testimony changed and why was one witness subsequently harassed in a manner used by intelligence agents for intimidation?
What did Foster do in the hours between lunch time and when he supposedly killed?
What did Marsha Scott of the White House staff and Vince Foster talk about during the two hour meeting they had the day before he died?
Why can't Marsha Scott remember?
What did Foster do on secret trips to Switzerland and other locations about which his wife knew nothing?
Why have police and rescue workers been forbidden to discuss the case?
Have a nice August
FORMER JOURNALISTS IN MAJOR MEDIA NOW EMPLOYED AS POLITICAL AIDES
MOST INTERESTING ARKANSAS-RELATED DEATHS OTHER THAN VINCE FOSTER
Jerry Parks, former security chief for the Clinton Little Rock HQ. Upon hearing of Foster's death, Parks told his wife, "I'm a dead man." Two months later, he was -- gunned down in a mob type slaying in Little Rock.
Kathy Ferguson, ex-wife of Danny Ferguson, Clinton's bodyguard and co-defendant in the Paula Jones case. Kathy Ferguson was expected to testify for Jones. Within a week of Jones' filing a lawsuit, however, she was found dead of a gunshot wound in her apartment. Local police ruled it a suicide.
Bill Sheldon, a Little Rock police officer and boyfriend of Kathy Ferguson who decided to conduct his own investigation of her case. A couple of weeks later he was also found shot in the head in what was ruled a suicide.
I see the White House is like a subway -- you have to put in coins to open the gates. -- Clinton contributor Johnny Chung talking about the $50,000 he gave Hillary Clinton's top aide while seeking VIP treatment at the White House.
I left the [Renaissance] weekend convinced that Clinton and his wife Hillary were an outstanding choice to lead the world's last remaining superpower. They were smart, funny, self-effacing and charismatic and they were from my generation with an apparent understanding of the needs and ambitions of the children who had grown up in the heady days of flower power and protest . . . .It was with a profound sense of disillusionment and eventually anger, therefore, that I watched as the man I had thought represented my generation emerged as one of the worst examples of the old ways . . .Of course there had been corrupt presidents before. But what was so dispiriting to watch was the effect one man could have on a city and ultimately on the whole nation. As corruption and compromise became the order of business, the standard to which people and policies were held fell precipitously. -- London Sunday Times correspondent James Adams, leaving his post after five years of covering Washington.
On July 3, Gennifer Flowers, interviewed by Penny Crone and Curtis Sliwa on New York's WABC, claimed that she had received threats -- including death threats -- around the time of her tape recorded conversations with Bill Clinton and that this was why she had made the recordings. Asked whether she thought Clinton was behind the threats, Flowers replied, "What I thought, after my home was ransacked, was that he was behind that -- simply because I had called to tell him about it and it was his reaction it. I mean, he acted, he was aloof. Her didn't act that concerned. He said, 'Well, why do you think they came in there?' And I said, 'Well, why the hell do you think?' He said, 'Well, do you think they were looking for something on us?' I said, 'Well, yes.' And at that moment I thought, well, maybe you're behind this because he would have as much interest to know what evidence I might have as anyone else would." Flowers also said, "One thing that Bill said on those tapes that I think has run true throughout his presidency. He told me, 'If we stick together and we continue to deny it, everything will be OK." . . . A recent poll found that Bill Clinton's popularity rating stood at 64%. That's two points higher than the approval rating of Boston Mayor James Michael Curley just before he went to jail in the 1940s
Those friends trying to look after Web Hubbell in the days following his notorious departure from the Justice Department may not have been watching close enough. LA controller Rick Tuttle now says Hubbell defrauded the city after leaving Justice by submitting consulting bills that were "materially false" and which "greatly exaggerates the services provided." Tuttle thinks Hubbell should face criminal prosecution. The LA contract -- dreamed up by some Clintonistas -- was just one of at least a dozen or so sweetheart deals provided Hubbell to help him wile away the time before going to jail and also perhaps to remember fondly his friends in high places when talking to prosecutors. It is believed that these deals amounted to more than a million dollars and perhaps as much as $3.5 million.
Gary Martin has rescued this interesting snip from Sidney Blumenthal's 1993 New Yorker piece on Foster qua innocent victim of Washington: "Foster sought perspective through a number of conversations with Walter Pincus, a reporter for the Washington Post, whose wife is from Little Rock. 'He couldn't understand why the press was the way it was,' Pincus said. 'It was a sense that the people would print something that was wrong, and that other people would repeat it. I'd say, 'You can't let the press get your goat; you have to go on. This is how the game is played.; He'd say, 'Fine.'"
Looking ahead, one WW Irregular wonders whether Bill Clinton will get Secret Service protection if he goes to jail.
Don't forget the investigation being conducted by independent counsel Don Smaltz. Even as Kenneth Starr's investigation is heating up, Tyson Foods Inc. reports that it has been formally designated a target in Smaltz's probe. Watch this space. . . .China has unveiled a new super-computer capable of 13 billion calculations per second. Such computers can be used to test nuclear weapons, build missiles or break codes.
One estimate is that the US has sold China 46 super-computers, mostly during the Clinton administration. . . . Meanwhile, largely ignored by the major media, the administration is still supporting plans to lease an old Navy base in Long Beach CA to a Chinese firm called Cosco. The White House insists there is no evidence the firm is a threat to national security despite the fact that Cosco were involved in introducing 2,000 automatic weapons into California and shipping a container to Vancouver in which was found 87 pounds of heroin.
Spilling some of the beans on her close friend Ron Brown, Nolanda Hill told Prime Time Live that Brown used drugs while Commerce Secretary and considered taking a big payoff from Vietnam to get trade restrictions lifted but dropped the idea when he got a tip that FBI was on the case. Hill also said that she had paid Brown hundreds of thousands of dollars for his interest in her businesses for which he had paid nothing to aquire and that Brown thought it was Hillary who placed John Huang in a Commerce Department job. Brown's lawyer says it's all "preposterous."
You may remember perhaps that Clinton's ballyhooed race speech was made at a campus-wide commencement at UC-San Diego. Well, even if you don't, university officials do. You see, the university doesn't have a campus-wide commencement. They had two and a half weeks to concoct one just for Clinton's benefit. According to Rob Morse of the SF Examiner many profs normally wear casual clothes and flip-flops for the normal mini-graduations at the UC-San Diego's eight colleges and graduate schools, but for the First Fraud were given free use of academic gowns.
As the spin wars of Whitewater intensify, it is becoming harder to separate media fact from fiction. Journalists relatively new to the story are particularly vulnerable to the agit prop, serving as reliable megaphones for the White House, legislators of both parties, intelligence agencies, and prosecutors. Some media have their own agendas -- especially those large dailies that played such a significant role in helping us choose as president a resort land scam artist qua third rate governor from one of the most corrupt states in the union.Thus, this is a good time to ignore speculation and perceptions and stick to the facts. For example, Kenneth Starr is coming under attack from the White House, conservatives and even, most recently, left columnist Alexander Cockburn -- for different and sometimes contradictory reasons. Some of this criticism is plausible, even at times convincing, but much of it is based on the sort of inside information that has in the past proved quite inaccurate as far as Starr is concerned -- witness the oft-repeated assurances that the prosecutor was about to release a suicide-affirming report on the Foster death.
Cockburn's attack was somewhat different, since it raised the worthy point that Susan McDougal was being subjected to unduly harsh and degrading treatment abnormal for cases of civil contempt. From this, however, Cockburn extrapolates ubiquitous maliciousness on Starr's part that is proclaimed but not demonstrated -- a tradition of anti-Starr pieces of all stripes.
Our own position on Starr is agnostic. There is a long and unproductive media tradition of beating up on police and prosecutors for not solving crimes quickly enough. We prefer to let results speak for themselves.
And while it is true that Starr has represented tobacco companies so has just about every one of Clinton's own lawyers. To date, Starr has produced most of the convictions he has sought, but this may not necessarily predict the inevitably more complex and risky future. The best guide as far as Starr is concerned is to judge the man by what he actually does and not by what the media says he might have done or is going to do. It's not advice being widely followed. For example, the mockingbird media quickly picked up the anti-Starr call of the Washington Post's Bob Woodward when he reported that state troopers were being asked about Clinton's sex life.
The story was quite stale, having been run some months earlier by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. There were several other curious things about Woodward's reporting. First, someone apparently leaked the story to the White House, allowing the Clintonistas to prepare a massive anti-Starr campaign in its immediate wake. Second, Woodward (despite having all the clips in the world at his command) failed to tell a key fact about his trooper source, Robert Perry -- namely that it was Perry who a couple of years ago stated that he had received a phone call from a White House aide telling him about Vince Foster's death hours before the White House claims it learned of the fact. If Perry was such a good source, his Foster phone call story is infinitely more newsworthy that what some FBI agents asked him during an interview.
There are some other things that might have filled out Woodward's story. Such as the threats allegedly relayed to Perry and another trooper from a Democratic official in 1993 that they would be "destroyed" if they spoke to the press. Or the phone call from Clinton's security chief Buddy Young (by far the most interesting of the troopers) warning them not to reveal anything. Or the fact that after these calls, Woodward's other source, Ronnie Anderson, declined to go on the record with the American Spectator's David Brock. Perry on the other hand said, "The more I'm threatened, the more determined I become." Or that a month after that, Perry was demoted to an entry-level position in the state police.
Thomas M. DeFrank and Thomas Galvin of the New York Daily News do a good job in the August 4 Weekly Standard describing the strong-arm tactics used by the Clintonistas against their critics. They write: "The president's impressive people skills and abundant personal charm mask a streak of political cold-bloodedness and score-settling worthy of a Mario Puzo novel. . . If you pose a threat to this president, you're not merely a political adversary -- you're clearly a bimbo, homosexual, homophobe, alcoholic, moron, sexual harasser, crook, dupe, fellow travelers, embezzler, pathological liar, or even murderer. At least that's what every reporter, news editor, bureau chief, or network executive interested in what you have to say will be told." Examples abound. Republican congressional investigators Jim Leach and William Clinger both found themselves being trailed by private detectives. False stories are spread such as the ones claiming that travel office head Billy Dale had been fired after an independent audit found financial irregularities.
Editors and journalists are called and warned off sources. Talk show guests are yanked. Paula Jones, Sally Perdue, and other women involved with Clinton get viciously trashed, as have been various Arkansas state troopers. Conclude DeFrank and Galvin: "Enemies have been intimidated, inconvenient truths suppressed, and reputations shattered -- all at negligible cost of the president. The low road has worked out so fabulously, in fact, that it's now generally accepted in Washington political circles that every future president will have at his call a taxpayer-funded team of high-octane damage-control specialists to muck out the presidential stables."
The attack on Starr that followed Woodward's story was elegantly timed and collated. Headlined Time: Has Starr Gone Too Far? The same week in Newsweek: A Starr-crossed probe? Delving into Clinton's alleged sexual past, the special prosecutor ends up embarrassing himself. From US News & World Report's Mortimer Zuckerman: "It is time for the independent counsel to prove his case -- or quit." But none of the major media bothered to suggest why the FBI might have been pursuing its particular line of questioning. For example, during the earlier Whitewater hearings, the GOP counsel had asked Arkansas cocaine figure Dan Lasater about his many visits to the governor's mansion. He cited a trooper deposition that reported Lasaster as a frequent visitor and that no records were kept of his arrival and departure and that he entered through the kitchen area. Another trooper said that Roger Clinton often visited the mansion with women and did drugs there.
While sex and drug use may not be the heart of the Whitewater story it is hard to get far into the tale without running into them. It is not surprising that a cop would ask some questions about them. Then there are the other troopers who have had things to say about drug dealing at Mena, the role of the CIA, and envelopes of cash flowing in the direction of the governor's mansion. None of this has interested the Post, however -- only a stale tale about the FBI line of questioning.
What is occurring is an immensely baroque and dangerous game involving manipulation not just by politicians of both parties and the media but intelligence agencies and foreign interests. One thing is certain: anyone -- journalist or politician -- who tells you this story is overblown is either lying or ignorant. It is too early to tell whether we will ever get the full story but nothing is more important than for Americans to try the best they can to find out what really has been going on in the scandal called Whitewater. It would be nice if the major media gave us more help.
A recent poll found that Bill Clinton's popularity rating stood at 64%. That's two points higher than the approval rating of Boston Mayor James Michael Curley just before he went to jail in the 1940s.
QUESTION OF THE MONTH: To whom does the Democratic National Committee return money if the contribution was not only illegal but from a phony source?
Clinton's ex- mistress, Gennifer Flowers, has come up with a loyal defense of her man, telling a talk show, "I find it hard to believe that he would drop his pants and expose himself to someone who had not clearly let him know that's what she wanted him to do." Flowers thinks Paula Jones is entitled to a trial if she has a legitimate complaint but concerning the "distinguishing characteristic," Flowers said, "I have no idea what she means by that. There is no mark there that I remember." . . .
Meanwhile, Jones' attorneys say they've stored her testimony concerning the distinguishing characteristic in three separate secret locations around the country. There's a high death rate for people who get mixed up in Arkansas scandals. . . . New York Post's John Crudelle says the distinguishing characteristic is a brown mole about the size of a quarter high on the inside of his left side. Got the info from a state trooper who took a shower with Clinton at a Denver health club. . . . New York Daily News reports that US intelligence officials have told the White House and Congress that John Huang passed classified trade information to his Indonesian ex-bosses.
An attempted break-in at the home of the lawyer for Vince Foster death site witness Patrick Knowlton has renewed special protection by the DC cops. Knowlton is suing feds for harassment . . . .Philip Weiss wrote that strangely ambivilent piece on the "Clinton Crazies" for the NYT Sunday tabloid but since has been undergoing self-revisionism. This from a Philip Weiss piece on Foster: "'Mr. Hubbell hired Jim Hamilton on the evening of Foster's death as the family's attorney,' a 1996 House report . . . states baldly. A White House memo . . .has a different take: 'Nussbaum had asked Hamilton to represent the family of VF.' . . . For nine days after the death, [Park Police] were unable to interview Lisa Foster, and ultimately did so at Hamilton's office and after lengthy negotiation of ground rules. [Park Police Captain Charles] Hume said that the Park Police would like to have talked with Foster's children, but abandoned the plan because of Lisa Foster's resistance. 'And I think Mr. Hamilton helped her make the decision we couldn't talk to anybody.' And the police did not ask Lisa Foster directly whether another woman was involved. In a run-of-the-mill case, they would have done so."
Weiss isn't the only mainstream reporter having trouble with the Arkansas scandals. Michael Lewis has written a book about the 1996 campaign that includes this remarkable (for a journalist) reflection: "On balance I've decided it's better to let Clinton get away with everything than to become further involved in his conspiracies, and I wonder how many other journalists have arrived at the same conclusion . . . whether a lot of scandals are going undetected." Judy Woodruff asked him about the line and Lewis said that he had start to "sort of investigate" some of the things down in Arkansas but it was "like lifting a rock and all these things come out from under it and some of them are very edifying and some of them are very, kind of, threatening and you don't want anything to do with them."
Not everyone has run as scared. One of those who helped blow the whistle on the Contra/drug operation at Mena is a former state trooper by the name of Russell Welch. To some Welch is among the few heroes of the whole dismal Whitewater saga. One evening not so long ago, he took documentary maker Daniel Hopsicker (who's working on a Mena film). The gist, reports Hopsicker, is that "Mena is not about just things that went on in the early 80s , Mena is about things that are going on right now." Welch pointed out 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 showed Hopsicker and his crew 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."
Susan McDougal may still fool the media, but not Nancy Mehta anymore. Mehta is the woman McDougal is accused of defrauding out of $150,000. Mehta told a reporter, "Within five days of walking into my office, she had a fraudulent BankAmerica card. She said, 'I am just a poor girl off the truck, and I need a job.' We were all taken in." . . . . Re the Clintons' legal bills: can some attorney out there please tell us what you all call it when you allow someone to run up millions of dollars in fees that you know they can't pay. Some might call it a gift or graft but that doesn't sound lawyerly enough . . . .And that's before you add the legal fees the rest of us are paying. Right now, reports the New York Post, taxpayers are providing pro bono legal defense assistance to WJC to the tune of five lawyers and three paralegals who are involved in nothing but Whitewater stuff.
Chief of Staff Eskine Bowles has gotten a free ride from the press, so you may not be aware that he was in charge of the SBA when that agency was meant to be looking into the fraudulent loan David Hale used to help bail out Whitewater. Major activity by Bowles in SBA seems to have been giving the White House warnings on developments. Investors Business Daily also reports that Bowles was a buddy of the recently evaporated John Huang. . . . So where's the editorial outrage of the abuse of FBI files by the White House? Why is this story dead? A year ago Knight-Ridder reported, "College-age interns and other volunteers had free access to hundreds of FBI investigative files kept in the White House security office during the first months of the Clinton administration. Nancy Gemmel, a retired security office deputy, said that during the first few months of the Clinton Administration 'extremely young' interns, 18 to 20 years of age, helped manage the heavy flow of paperwork. Other older volunteers also pitched in. All of the had access to a vault in the office that was used to store the background files. None of the volunteers, according to Gemmel, had been cleared by the FBI to hand such documents."
IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE SCAM: Lost in the mists of time is a key point about Whitewater. The real estate scheme that gave later scandals their name was a scam from the start. As Roger Morris points out in Partners in Power, the financing for Whitewater was rigged in such a way that if purchasers fell just a little behind in their payments they lost everything. Targeted by the Clintons and the McDougals were unsuspecting retirees who poured some $300,000 into lot sales between 1979 and 1990. In the end over half lost their property thanks to the Clinton-McDougal con game. . . Paul Rodriguez, the editor of Insight, thinks FBI chief's Freeh's refusal to discuss Chinese fund-raising cases with the White House is "chillingly stunning," says it's obvious that Freeh believes there are those in the WH who committed criminal acts. Meanwhile, the number of FBI agents on the Chinese side of WW is now up to 75.
Vince Foster: Banquo's ghost
"Thou canst not say I did it"
As the Clintonistas continue to gorge themselves on political and economic power, the specter of Vince Foster keeps returning to the banquet like Banquo's ghost. Although Vince Foster was supposed to have committed suicide, nearly four years later there remains surprising little solid -- even circumstantial -- evidence for this supposition. The first special prosecutor's investigation was so obviously inadequate that the matter was reopened by Kenneth Starr who has yet to issue a report. And despite the widespread assumption by the media that Foster did, in fact, kill himself, no media outlet has produced (or even attempted) a credible argument to support the assumption. When Cokie Roberts recently dissed a question about Foster at a forum by saying that 1,000 reporters had looked into the matter and concluded it was suicide, she was off by a factor of 1,000. Neither Roberts, whose idea of volunteerism is to gratuitously recycle White House spin, nor any other mainstream reporter has produced an serious case for suicide that deals with the known anomalies in the case.
"Never shake they gory locks at me"
Based on what is public knowledge, it remains possible that Foster committed suicide for reasons or in a location that others wish not to be known, hence the extraordinary obstruction of the investigation that took place after the death including destruction and removal of evidence, alteration of witness statements and witness harassment. But if this were a civil law suit and one was sitting on a jury that had been asked to decide, based on the predominance of evidence, whether Foster was murdered or committed suicide, it would be extraordinarily difficult not to conclude foul play.
"Quit my sight"
Even among those who suspect or are convinced that Foster was murdered, there is disagreement as to whether Starr is doing a competent, honest investigation . Periodic questions arise. For example, recently James McDougal said that the special prosecutors had never asked him about his relations with Foster, a remarkable oversight if true. It is possible to imagine that Starr wants Foster to disappear as badly as the Clinton administration does; that if he has to bring down Clinton he would rather do it on some less bloody and traumatic grounds. There is ample precedent for America only being told part of the sagas that have so marred its politics in recent decades. But a deflected inquiry would fall far short of the American glasnost that is so badly needed. Without knowing the full story of Vince Foster, it is unlikely that we will learn just how -- and how far -- our democracy has been corrupted.
"Let the earth hide thee"
In any case, the media is engaged in extraordinary malpractice if it continues to refuse to consider the possibility that Foster was murdered at least as seriously as it considered the details of the O J Simpson trial or, most recently, has speculated fully and freely on what happened to JonBenet Ramsey.
A good place to start would be with a story written by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Sunday Telegraph last October 6. In it Evans-Pritchard tells of a phone call Foster made to Jerry Parks in Little Rock the night before Foster's body was found in a Virginia park. Parks had been chief of security at the Clinton-Gore presidential campaign headquarters in Little Rock. Parks' wife told AEP that Foster had called from a pay phone. "It was an angry exchange. Jerry told him, 'You can't give Hillary those files, they've got my name all over them.'"
Mrs. Parks is a Pentacostal Christian suffering from multiple schlerosis. Two official investigators have told AEP that they think her story is credible. Since speaking to reporters and investigators she has received at least three death threats.
When Parks learned of Foster's death, he told his wife, "I'm a dead man." Two months later he was -- gunned down in a gang type slaying in Little Rock. After his murder, his house was searched by the FBI, Secret Service, the IRS and, Mrs. Parks believes, the CIA. Parks' computer was purged and some 130 telephone tapes were taken. Parks had been conducting surveillance on the man he was meant to be guarding . In interview last month, AEP said, "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 undestanding . . . 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."
Mrs. Parks' also told AEP that she had opened the trunk of her husband's Lincoln one day and found what must have been hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash. "It was so full I had to sit on the trunk to get it shut again." She asked her husband whether he was dealing drugs, and he allegedly explained that Foster had paid him $1,000 for each trip he took to Mena and that he didn't "know what they were doing, and he didn't care to know. He told me to forget what I'd seen."
Was the money from drugs or was it cash coming in, perhaps from foreign shores, for campaign walking-around money and to hush up people who might want to blackmail a presidential candidate? Did the campaign finance scandals start much earlier than anyone imagines? What was the connection to the drug running and CIA operations that were going on at the Mena airport? Why did the Lippo Group, a huge Indonesian operation, invest in a bank in the tiny town of Mena during the period?
Such are the questions that follow the ghost of Vince Foster. Even if the media doesn't want to know the answers, the public deserves them.
Hence horrible shadow.
Janet Reno says her Justice Department is hard at work looking into malfeasance in the Clinton administration, but a lawyer who has been subpoenaing (for another case) many of those DOJ should be interviewing, says it's not happening. Writes Larry Klayman of the conservative Judicial Watch: "Not one Commerce official publicly deposed by Judicial Watch in the last several months has testified that he or she has been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury, much less interviewed by anyone from Justice or the Federal Bureau of Investigation." . . . Among the curious contributors to the Democratic National Committee, reports the Washington Times, was CIA spy Aldrich Ames, who sent in $5,000. No report yet on whether the money has been returned to the KGB . . .The three big networks' evening news shows spent an average of 72 minutes each on Whitewater during all of 1996. . . . WW investigative reporter John Crudele reports that one of the state troopers who was on the Clinton detail in Arkansas tells of having been asked by Starr's people about an "alleged time that Clinton took drugs." The question was asked in such a way that the trooper thought he was being asked to confirm something others had reported. The trooper said he had no knowledge of the matter. There have long been reports of a Clinton O.D. after he lost his race for governor.
The three top reasons things go wrong in Washington, Ft. Marcey Park, the FBI lab, Oklahoma City, the Democratic National Committee and Long Island airspace
1. Mistakes were made.
2. Experts disagree.
3. We'll never know. It has been repeatedly said by the media that the American people don't care about Whitewater, but a survey by Maricopa Research Inc. found that half of all those questioned think the Clinton scandals are "as bad as Watergate or worse" and a third believe that Clinton should resign. A similar percentage favors Gingrich's resignation . . . A Zogby poll found that nearly two-third think Bill Clinton should not be immune from prosecution if indicted -- including 42 % of Democrats.
James McDougal can't figure out why his wife won't talk to the prosecutors. "She only had to answer one question: 'Did Bill Clinton tell the truth during your trial?' If the answer is yes, I don't see why that would cause anybody any problems. So by inference the answer must be no."
THE BRITISH ARE LEAVING!
Well, at least one of them. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Sunday Telegraph -- an outstanding Whitewater investigative reporter -- has written his last regular column from America. He will be writing a book over the next several months and then returning to London.
Despite repeated White House assaults on Evans-Pritchard -- "the guy was nothing but a pain in the ass," one Clinton aide told George magazine -- the Clintonistas never laid a glove on him. For AEP's part, he told extremely well the dismal scandals of those he has called "the irksome yuppies who run the country."
Noting the disintegration of American politics, he blamed the Washington press corps for always giving more weight "the utterances of an official source, with a title, when it does to the testimony of a common citizen. It has the matter backwards, in my opinion, because the "official" usually has the greater interest in lying." In his last column, AEP continued:
Is Bill Clinton to blame? Of course he is. Degradation spreads from the top down. Four years were damaging enough. Another four, if Clinton lasts, will do real harm to the institutions of the US federal government. Perhaps it is impolite for a London newspaper to say such things about a president of the United States. Many people think so. Clinton is not so bad, the argument goes. He is running a pretty good economy. The planes are flying on time. But you could have said the same about Benito Mussolini. A lot of people did, in fact, much to their regret later. Critics tell me that I have invested too much emotion in my quarrel with the Clintons. To that I plead guilty. It comes from befriending so many of their victims. I am content to be blacklisted as the "mad scribbler"-- as the Washington Post called me this week -- for I am confident that one day historians are going to view Clinton as a the last great cad of the 20th century, or worse. To the American people I bid a fond farewell. Guard your liberties. It is the trust of each generation to pass a free republic to the next. And if I know you right, you will rouse yourself from slumber to ensure exactly that.
The drug connection: A convicted drug dealer and an Arkansas lawyer accused of money laundering both made contributions to the Democratic National Committee. These contributions mark the first direct suggestion of drug money playing a role in Clinton's election and re-election, but given the size of the drug industry, it would be surprising if such contributions were not a major part of political financing at every level of government. After all, that would make drug dealers the only American business people who don't try to buy political influence.
Thus, although the media has been singularly disinterested, the drug-connected contributions to Clinton have more significance than might appear at first glance. In one case, a drug dealer donated $20,000 to the DNC, attended a Christmas reception hosted by Hillary Clinton, had his photo taken with the Clintons and Al Gore and then -- three weeks later --was arrested for smuggling 6,000 pounds of cocaine into the United States. It should have come as no surprise to anyone involved. After all, Jorge Cabrera had already served two prison sentences -- one for trying to bribe a grand jury witness and the other for filing a false income tax return.
In the second instance (relegated to page 20 by the Washington Post), an Arkansas lawyer has been charged with laundering $380,000 in drug money and giving some of it to the Clinton's 1992 campaign and the 1993 inauguration. Mark Cambiano, who denied the charges brought by the US Attorney in Little Rock, was accused of being the fiscal conduit for a county sheriff who has pleaded guilty to drug charges, conspiracy to escape, money laundering and conspiracy to commit capital murder in the death of an informer who was killed before he was scheduled to testify in a drug trial involving the sheriff's nephew.
The drug connection has always lurked near the heart of Whitewater. Clinton has never explained -- nor has the media pressed him to -- why he failed to move against major drug running in his state in the 1980s despite adequate warning of its existence. Nor has the media shown anywhere near the interest in Clinton's own consumption habits as it did with Marion Barry.
Just a two of the stories being ignored:
One of the ancillary mysteries of Whitewater is just who is paying for Craig Livingstone's legal fees. Clinton's Mr. Fix-It is being represented by one of the town's top attorneys, Randall J. Turk. Turk in the past has represented the likes of Richard Nixon. He refuses to tell reporters who's paying him. Hunter S. Thompson has had second thoughts about Clinton. Not only does he now consider him a fascist but calls him a low life with the midnight flavor of a man who would go on a double date with Jimmy Swaggert.
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