Whitewater and Clinton Scandal Clips
from The Progressive Review
1992-1998 Part 10
September 1998 --
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
Back to the Review's home page To preceding part of the clip file OCTOBER 1998
JUST FOR THE RECORD
[A number of readers have inquired why the Review has not gotten more credit for its coverage of the Clinton scandals. I won't attempt to answer that question but offer a few facts that readers are welcome to use if they care to help rectify the situation. Meanwhile, my deep thanks for your loyalty and support in these trying and unpleasant times -- Sam]
In May 1992, several months before Clinton's nomination, The Progressive Review became the first publication to assemble the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that would come to be known as the Clinton scandals. Using public sources available to any reporter interested, the Review identified a score of questionable individuals and institutions central to the story -- including Webster Hubbell, Dan Lasater and Mochtar Riady.
In 1994, Shadows of Hope, by Review editor Sam Smith, was published by Indiana University Press. It was the first book to challenge the media-driven Clinton myth. Shadows of Hope examined Clinton's post-modern contempt for candor, consistency and character, and discussed the problems this might cause the nation.
In October 1996, the Review reported that "there seems to be adequate grounds for impeachment," based on the suborning of witnesses, obstruction of justice, and abuse of FBI files.
In June 1997, the Review published a draft presidential impeachment resolution. The resolution was identical to one used in a prior instance except that the name Richard Nixon had been replaced with the name William Jefferson Clinton. As this is written, the US House is considering a similar impeachment resolution.
To this day, the Review remains one of the few publications in America that recognizes that the Clinton story is not about sex but about mob politics -- the intertwining of corrupt politicians with drug trafficking, other organized crime, rogue intelligence operations, and international espionage.
DISCLAIMER: The Review receives no money from Richard Mellon Scaife. The editor, so far as he can recall, has only voted for one Republican: DC council member Carol Schwartz, who was Marion Barry's last mayoral opponent.
A number of the used cliche dealers on talk television seem to be of the opinion that a compromise between the Congress and the President might be of some public benefit. In fact, such a deal would represent nothing but an agreement by the two branches of government that it is fitting and proper that politicians not be required to obey the same laws as the rest of us. It is not something to which we should look forward.
MORE THAN JUST SEX
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that has been a watchdog over both Clinton and Ken Starr, has submitted an impeachment report to the House of Representatives. Here are some excerpts:
"Judicial Watch has uncovered evidence that President Clinton and his agents have violated a number of federal laws relating to bribery, campaign fundraising, the theft of government services, privacy, corruption of federal law enforcement, abuse and misuse of federal agencies (including the Internal Revenue Service), perjury, civil rights violations, obstruction of justice, graft and likely breaches of national security. . .
"The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hillary Rodham Clinton, former White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum, and Clinton appointees Craig Livingstone and Anthony Marceca, illegally obtained and misused the FBI files of former Reagan and Bush Administration staffers and others to gain sensitive information on perceived political opponents and material witnesses for use in its smear campaigns. . . . The evidence indicates that the Clinton Administration, with the direct knowledge and participation of the President, continues to illegally compile, maintain and disseminate sensitive information on perceived adversaries from confidential government files.
"Through discovery in its civil lawsuit against the Clinton Commerce Department, Judicial Watch also has found evidence that President Clinton condoned and participated in a scheme, conceived by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and approved by the President, to sell seats on U.S. Department of Commerce trade missions in exchange for political contributions. Bribery is specifically highlighted in the U.S. Constitution as an offense warranting impeachment.
"In addition to the illegal sale of taxpayer financed services, such as seats on trade missions, for political contributions, the President and Mrs. Clinton have illegally solicited and received monies directly from private citizens and others. The creation and use of legal defense funds is not only prohibited under federal law, but they have proved to be a means whereby lobbyists, influence peddlers and foreign powers have tried to influence the Administration, contrary to U.S. national security interests.
"This President's Administration has also misused government lawyers to obstruct investigations into his wrongdoing. His Commerce Department lawyers obstructed court-ordered discovery into the illegal sale of taxpayer-financed trade mission seats for political contributions. His Justice Department lawyers threatened investigators with criminal prosecution, timed the indictment of a major whistle-blower witness to try to force her into silence, and consistently obstructed court processes to cover-up Clinton-appointee wrongdoing, perjury and destruction of evidence.
"In sum, Judicial Watch has uncovered a pattern of conduct by this President and his agents that indicates he has run, in effect, a criminal enterprise from the White House to obtain and maintain hold on the Office of the President of the United States. Indeed, he is likely in violation of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
For a good copy of the report broken into sections: http://www.tiac.net/users/kencook
CLINTON MUCH WORSE THAN GRANT
We've been describing Clinton as the most corrupt president of this century, leaving wiggle-room for those who might throw the name of U.S. Grant back at us. But the author of a new book on the Civil War general, Alvin Kaltman, knows Grant and Clinton is no Grant. He's far worse.
When corruption occurred during the Grant administration, Grant ordered his Justice Department to let no guilty person go unpunished, He did not attempt to cover up his scandals and the guilty parties, unlike the case of Clinton, were not personal friends but, as Grant himself admitted, people he had appointed without personal acquaintance. Writes Kaltman in the Washington Times, Grant "held himself to the highest standard of integrity, honesty and personal conduct."
QUESTION OF THE DAY
How did Clinton select the women asked to sign affidavits saying they hadn't slept with him? If he were actually telling the truth, they presumably would have numbered in the tens of millions. And if you hadn't slept with him, why would you sign such an affidavit?
Canadian media, including the Calgary Sun and Ottawa Citizen, are reporting that tainted blood from Arkansas prisons made its way to a Montreal blood broker in the 1980s when Bill Clinton was governor. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating. At the time, American sources were not accepting prisoners' blood because of possible HIV contamination.
Former Miss America Elizabeth Ward Gracen has been paying the price of one evening with Clinton. She tells the New York Post's Steve Dunleavy, "I spent a small fortune hiring investigators to investigate the investigators of the White House who I honestly believe were chasing me to head off my story."
She says she was physically scared: "We are talking about the presidency. There were always veiled threats." In one case, she says her hotel room was ransacked while she was hiding out in the Caribbean: "The gentleman looking after my room said he saw two men in suits enter the place and one man in a suit waiting outside." Further, despite her attempt at concealment, she received threatening phone calls: "It was pretty much the same kind of call. Get out of town before I get hit with a subpoena... Between the calls telling me to get out of town for my own good and the calls talking about smear tactics, I got scared."
Gracen joins scandal figures Sally Perdue, Gennifer Flowers, Kathleen Willey, and Linda Tripp in her claim of having been threatened.
JANE DOE #5
Part of the rush to settle the Paula Jones case may have involved the case of Jane Doe #5 who has been sporadically identified as a possible sexual victim of Clinton's. The AP describes her as "an Arkansas woman identified in March court papers in which Mrs. Jones attorneys say they had gathered evidence suggesting that Clinton may have sexually assaulted her in the late 1970's..." Some TV news accounts last spring went further, describing her as a women who had told four witnesses that Clinton had raped her in 1998. One witness, according to NBC's Lisa Myers, reported that she had treated the woman for bruises following the incident. While the woman believed to be Jane Doe #5 signed an affidavit to Jones' lawyers denying she was sexually assaulted, the appendix of the Starr report says, "On April 8, 1998, however, Jane Doe #5 stated to OIC investigators that this affidavit was false."
Stuart Taylor -- in an article for the National Journal called "Decadence: The President and the Press" -- quotes some excruciating examples of Clinton-coddling at the Washington Post.
For example, to the Washington Post's Joan Biskupic and Roberto Suro, the president's grand jury testimony was an "agile four-hour performance" [in which] President Clinton repeatedly turned prosecutors' questions to his advantage,''
The Post's David Maraniss wrote of "careful answers" that were "nothing more than an effort to escape the equally manipulative word traps set by his legal adversaries."
The same paper's television critic, Tom Shales, said that that "Clinton is beginning to look like the victim of a high-tech crucifixion." And he "looked cute."
The LA Times' Elizabeth Shogren reports that a "A small but growing number of generous donors in Silicon Valley --one of the president's strongest bases of support -- is having second thoughts" about Bill Clinton.
MILLIONS FOR SILENCE. . .
While Bill Clinton was trying to settle with Paula Jones, CNN reports that Commerce Department lawyers were proposing to pay Judicial Watch even more -- over $2 million -- in penance for not have "adequately and reasonably" fulfilled JW's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
Commerce has not be able to come up with 2,000 documents Judicial Watch has been seeking but JW's Larry Klayman says that's because they were willfully destroyed. He says they would have supported the sworn testimony of Ron Brown business partner and buddy Yolanda Hill concering misuse of US trade missions as favors to Democratic donors.
Clinton scandals investigative reporter Chris Ruddy has just opened up his new
NewsMax.com site. It includes the latest details on the Clinton scandals, plus national security issues, business, the latest talk on media and entertainment, as well as the best one-liners from late night TV.
Raised here recently was the interesting question: if Linda Tripp was a Judas what was the Unabomber's brother? Picking up on the thread, reader Lee Tatham asks: "How about Serpico? Al Pacino? . . . And weren't John and Mo Dean media darlings?" And while we're at it, should the testimony of Valachi and Sammy the Bull be discarded as many would throw away that of Tripp?
QUESTION OF THE DAY
If it's legal for a New York City parking magnate to cover a million dollars
of the president's debts, then why do we bother having campaign finance laws
WE ARE NOT MAKING THIS UP
In case you missed it, here's the full Abe Hirschfeld scheme: Hirschfeld
wants to pay Clinton's settlement and, in return, Clinton will resign, after
which he will be named "honorary president emeritus" and Ken Starr will be
given the next vacant position on the US Supreme Court. How many violations
of law and the Constitution can you count? As for Hirschfeld himself,
reports Reuters, he "is free on $1 million bond pending resolution of an
indictment alleging state income tax fraud. Hirschfeld has pleaded not
guilty to the charges of failing to pay taxes over a six-year period." The
indictment, incidentally, has 123 counts.
"I think a politician that's done that much, told that many lies, isn't
really fit to be a leader. But the American people appear to take another
view. I think in our system any prime minister caught out in a similar way
would go," -- British cabinet member Clare Short
Among those signing the big anti-impeachment ad in the New York Times:
Harold Evans, editorial director of the NY Daily News and husband of
longtime Clinton sycophant Tina Brown.
Insight (October 26) has an important and depressing article by John Elvin
on how -- through use of pardons -- the White House mob can escape
unscathed, including Clinton himself. A number of constitutional academics
believe that Clinton can pardon himself-- although such an interpretation
would seem to demand that the courts implicitly rule the founders mentally
incapacitated for having permitted such a result. Elvin's article reminds us
we are in an extraordinary and extra-constitutional moment in our history.
Despite producing the most accurate results in the last presidential
election, the Zogby Poll is commonly ignored by the mainstream press. Part
of Zogby's secret was a more accurate assessment of who was going to vote --
many polls overestimate Democratic turnout. Here are some recent Zogby Poll
Thinking Clinton is doing a good to excellent job: 55%
Ashamed of Clinton: 47% Proud: 36%
Believe Clinton a negative role model: 66%
Best possible outcome of the Lewinsky matter Leave pres. alone 37% Should
resign: 22% Impeachment inquiry 15% Impose fine/loss of pension 13% Censure: 11%
Spotted late one recent evening on a NW Washington block: a network mini-cam filming an alleged presidential trysting place. . .If even the networks are now into this stuff, isn't ex-FBI agent Gary Aldrich owed an apology for the media trashing he got when he reported that the president sneaked out of the White House for affairs?
WELL, HE ALWAYS DOES PRETTY GOOD AT THE ARCADE
From Aviation Week and Space Technology: "Pentagon planners were reeling late last week under what they contend is the most obtrusive White House interference in attack planning since the war in Vietnam. . . .Pentagon officials had already been chafing of late over White House decisions to strike at Iraq, Sudan and Afghanistan only with Tomahawk cruise missiles regardless of their effectiveness against the particular targets--caves, for instance. . . . [Now] Livid Pentagon officials say President Clinton and his aides are insisting on selecting many targets in the aerial campaign designed to stop Serbian attacks on Kosovo."
News that two black members of Clinton's cabinet were made to take drug tests before being appointed while others weren't sounds even more hypocritical when one recalls that months after taking office, scores of White House officials hadn't even filled out their questionnaires for a security clearance. One top White House lawyer bragged privately that she had told new staffers that if they couldn't look an FBI agent right in the eye and tell him that friends and relatives who claimed they had used dope were wrong, "they don't belong in this administration."
And, of course, there was no drug test for the Commander-in-Chief.
"Evasive or craftily worded phrases, testimony or documents designed to omit or distort key facts are. . . unacceptable and will not be tolerated. They can be and will be no exception to this requirement. . . Providing false documents or making false statements in any matter of context is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated." -- New instructions to DEA employees uncovered by the Washington Times.
Number of persons currently in prison on federal perjury charges: 115 [New York Post]
Number of Muslim countries bombed by the US in the past fifteen years: 5
The tale of how contaminated blood got from Arkansas prisons to Canada in the mid-1980s continues to stir interest north of us . . . . Latest from the Ottawa Citizen: Vince Foster apparently represented the company involved in the blood operation in at least one matter. . . And the New York Post's Maggie Gallagher, says a source who asked not to be identified informed her that a day or two after Foster died someone had called a little-known phone number at the White House and said something had upset Vince Foster greatly just days earlier: "Something about 'tainted blood' that both Vince Foster and President Clinton knew about, this man said.'" The story meant nothing to Gallagher until the Canadian blood saga broke.
As aficionados of the Clinton scandals know, Jane Doe #5 has now recanted her affidavit denying a sexual assault by Clinton in the 1970s. What is less known is that the incident allegedly took place at a Little Rock hotel called Camelot.
PARTS LIST: A NEW YORK TIMES SUNDAY MAGAZINE
ARTICLE ABOUT SEX ADVICE FOR THE CLINTON AGE
-- Number of paragraphs: 21
-- Most quoted experts: hedonist columnist Dan Savage and Playboy Senior Editor James Peterson: cited in 6 paragraphs each.
-- Runner-up expert: Talk show host Judy Kuriansky, mentioned in 3 paragraphs.
-- Least quoted experts: 3 doctors or therapists who, together, are mentioned in 4 paragraphs.
-- Final message: "If we were all honest about our sex lives, the republic would crumble. This just confirms that people have a right and a responsibility to lie about it." -- Dan Savage
-- Number of presidential appointments that require Senate confirmation: 320
-- Number of these occupied by those who have not been confirmed: 64
-- Number of these who have not been confirmed and have served longer than the Vacancies Act allows: 43
A Boston police officer has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison after being convicted in federal court for perjury and obstruction of justice.
Said US Attorney Donald K. Stern: "This sentence stands as an important message to those who would come before any grand jury and lie or attempt to obstruct the investigation."
Reader Jeff Itell wisely notes, "One reason Ken Starr is bringing charges of perjury, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, etc. is that all of
the above is preventing him from nailing the real crimes."
And a reader in New Mexico has this thought: "I think you are being too harsh with Bill. I think he suffers from what we biology students recognize as neoteny, a condition in which the subject creature does not mature beyond adolescence. Expecting adult behavior is thus absurd. I think the Congress in solemn conclave assembled should say, 'Bill, Bill, we're not saying you did anything wrong, Bill. We know you couldn't help it. But you are grounded: for a week, yup, no limo. And if you do it again, no Air Force One, and not just for a week, for a whole week and a half!'"
LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT OVER-KNOWN PEOPLE
Linda Tripp and Lucianne Goldberg are not only conservatives, they have interesting connections with military and civilian intelligence. Tripp -- Tim Weiner and Judith Miller pointed out in the NYT last January -- worked for "highly classified Army intelligence and commando units in the 1980s. As an aide to Delta Force, she knew that keeping and maintaining secret records is crucial in a crisis." According to NBC News, Tripp, then the wife of a U.S. Army officer, worked for Delta Force at Ft. Bragg, NC., in 1988-1989 and for U.S. Army intelligence at Ft. Meade, Md., in 1987. On her resume she described "the nature of this position is classified." She also speaks German fluently.
Lucianne Goldberg was one of two writers hired by Nixon's premier dirty trickster, Murray Chotiner, to pose as reporters with Democratic campaigns -- including that of George McGovern -- and to report back to Chotiner. Daniel Brandt of Public Information Research reports that the other writer was Seymour Freidin who was subsequently said to be a CIA agent by columnist Jack Anderson (who himself is believed to have had agency ties). According to V. Petrusenko in the 1977 book, "A Dangerous Game: CIA and the Mass Media," when other correspondents quizzed him about the charge, Freidin responded, "I gave my word to Dick Helms." . . .During the 1972 campaign, Goldberg claimed to work for the North American Newspaper Alliance and the Women's News Service. NANA was deeply infiltrated by the CIA. In February of this year, Frank Greve and Ron Hutcheson, writing for the Knight-Ridder/Tribune Service noted that Goldberg became close to Victor Lasky who introduced her to Chotiner. Lasky was involved with a CIA front, Radio Liberty, and was close to CIA director William Casey. Goldberg's son, Jonah, works for Ben Wattenberg, who was once vice chair of the Board for International Broadcasting, established in 1973 to end direct CIA control over Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe.
IT'S TIME TO GET BACK TO DOING THE NATION'S BUSINESS
As of October 12, 278 days into the year, reports the RNC:
Number of days Clinton has spent all or part at fund-raising events: 56
Number of days spent overseas: 45
Number of days spent on vacation: 32
Number of days spent traveling on "photo ops": 22
Apparently running out of ideas with which to fill his time on TV, former Reagan counsel Ted Olsen suggested that Clinton plead guilty to perjury etc. but not serve time until he had finished his term. Th purpose in having a convicted felon running the country for another two years was not made clear.
HE HAD WHAT COUNTS IN WASHINGTON
An exquisite précis of Washington values by New York Times' RW Apple, writing about long-time Washington wheeler-dealer Clark Clifford. Clifford was, among other things, deeply mired in the BCCI affair, history's biggest financial scandal: "Honest brokers are in short supply these days. . . The perfect man for the job . . . would have been Clark Clifford, who died on Saturday at age 91. Mr. Clifford's reputation was marred in his final years by his involvement in the collapse of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International and the financial reverse suffered by one of his law office's clients, the late Pamela Harriman, but whatever his failings in business, nobody questioned his political skills."
THE HIGH DIVE
"Clinton, if nothing changes, will leave unimpeached, unindicted, and largely unscathed -- a triumph not only of his remarkable political sociopathy but of a federal city that no longer cares what anyone thinks about what it does or the way it does it. No one will have called him to account for willfully having failed to faithfully execute the laws of the land. Only a few will remember the wholesale misappropriation of FBI dossiers, the rampant obstruction of justice following the death of Vincent Foster, or the deeply suspicious links to the drug trade." -- "Washington's Culture of Impunity," TPR, October 1997
"I frankly don't see how we can deal with all 15 charges adequately,"
[Representative Henry]Hyde said. "We need to think about narrowing the charges down to the ones that are most provable." . . . Hyde also said he does not expect to expand the inquiry to include the Whitewater land deal, the mishandling of FBI files, campaign finance abuses or any other allegations unrelated to the Lewinsky affair. . . . "There is a limited amount of time, and we can't spend all the time we would like on all of the charges" -- Washington Post, October 1998
In Washington these days, scandals seem to come in pairs. The first one you read about, the second you don't. The first involves a betrayal of office by those in a public position; the second involves a betrayal of office by those who are meant to be bringing them to account.
Henry Hyde's announcement that the House will not be looking the Clinton scandals squarely in the eye because of some totally arbitrary, self-serving and legally irrelevant deadline is as good a sign as any that we have moved from the Scandal 1 phase of the story to the Scandal 2 phase: a high dive as the nation's establishment seeks to recover and, if possible, actually profit from the initial crisis.
This is no exaggeration. One need only look at the ease with which crooks, liars, seedy manipulators, cynical operatives and other disreputable Washington types are regularly rehabilitated and treated with essentially the same respect as before they were caught with their hand in the cookie jar -- Richard Nixon, Richard Helms, and Henry Kissinger spring to mind. Even John Dean is back on TV as a respected elder. Still more impressive, however, was the skill with which the Washington elite managed to bury the American aspect of the BCCI scandal and to turn the S&L disaster into massive windfall profits for a new generation of financial hustlers, all without the public's knowledge.
How does this happen? Well, it couldn't without the deep involvement of the media and the intelligentsia, which supply moral cover for the dirty tricks and political mayhem. When you find a bunch of liberal intellectuals and journalists pimping for a president who not only is the most personally corrupt in American history but whose true politics are at vast variance with their own, remember that they're not really doing it for him -- but for themselves.
This is not a new phenomenon, as was noted in a more recent TPR leader:
In the late 1920s, the French essayist Julian Benda wrote a book called La Trahison des Clercs, which has been fairly translated as The Treason of the Intellectuals. . . . Benda's target was "most of the influential moralists of the past fifty years in Europe . . . At the end of the nineteenth century a fundamental change occurred: the intellectuals began to play the game of political passions. The men who had acted as a check on the realism of the people began to act as its stimulators." We have seen the type in our time: the Harvard professors promoting the Vietnam War, the Henry Kissingers simultaneously playing conqueror and egghead; the Arthur Schlesingers still hard at work preserving the crumbling myth of Kennedy; the nearly one-third of top Clinton aides who went to Harvard, Yale, or Georgetown helping to drive the country towards the right and away from social and economic justice. Benda had them in his sights: "At the very top of the scale of moral values they place the possession of concrete advantages, of material power and the means by which they are procured; and they hold up to scorn the pursuit of truly spiritual advantages, of non-practical or disinterested values." Benda noted that while Plato believed that morality decided politics and Machiavelli believed that politics had nothing to do with morality, the contemporary idea was that politics should decide morality.
In such a context, so presciently descriptive of Washington, do politicians like Clinton thrive. He fully understands that the corruption did not end with its discovery. The suborning of witnesses and members of Congress, the misprision of felonies, the perjury, the spin, the failure to faithfully execute the laws of the land -- all these continue at full tilt and, in fact, have greatly expanded because now Clinton does not have to rely on only a handful of loyal aides to help hide the truth. Now everyone with a public voice -- from columnist to law school scholar -- who does not say no to this madness has become an unindicted co-conspirator in the President's sociopathic behavior, his abuse of power and his obstruction of justice.
WASHINGTON'S CULTURE OF IMPUNITY
UP FROM THE BOTTOM LINE:
PUTTING CONSCIENCE BACK INTO POLITICS
THE HIGH DIVE (CONT'D)
An example of the high dive in practice is the blase attitude commentators have taken towards the president's repeated violation of the US Code which says that "no Member of Congress or officer or employee of the executive, legislative or judicial branch shall solicit or accept anything of value." From luxurious free accommodations at Stephen Speilberg's pad to the Clinton defense fund, this law is simply treated as though it doesn't exist. Now, with talk of a million dollar payoff in the Paula Jones case by an indicted New York parking lot developer, Judicial Watch has warned that it will go to court to prevent such an illegal gift to the President. Judicial Watch has already brought suit challenging the legal trust which has received huge amounts of cash from wealthy Hollywood donors and from influence peddlers such as Charlie Trie.
THE REVIEW LIST
Examples used by Dick Morris
To show how isolated Clinton is
-- On the night of the impeachment vote he dined alone with his dog Buddy
-- On his 23rd wedding anniversary, Hillary Clinton went to Bulgaria
-- Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles left abruptly.
-- Other departures: Rahm Emanuel and Mike McCurry
-- Former White House Counsel Jack Quinn doesn't even do TV shows anymore.
-- Bob Bennett has admitted to the court that Clinton lied to him.
-- The White House "is down to the B Team. The staff now only contains protegees - all the mentors have left."
-- "Ann Lewis, whose next new idea will be her first, has finally ascended, via the Peter Principle, to the level of her own incompetence as communications director."
FROM CHRIS RUDDY'S NEWSMAX
Gary Parks, son of Jerry Parks, the murdered former head of Security for the Clinton-Gore campaign headquarters, claims that phone records show his father called Foster a dozen times before Foster's death.
From Linda Tripp's FBI statements: WILLEY entered the Oval Office, and the President offered her coffee. He poured her a cup in the galley.... WILLEY said the sexual approach came out of nowhere and was forceful, almost to the point of an attack. The President said, "I've wanted to do this since I first saw you." WILLEY said, "His tongue was literally down my throat." The President had his hands on her breasts and all over her body. The President put WILLEY's hand on his penis.... WILLEY said that the President was so out of control that his face was purple, and the veins were showing on his neck and forehead. The meeting ended when someone entered the adjacent office.
Billy Dale, the former head of the White House travel office who was maligned and falsely prosecuted by the Clintons, has been on a Secret Service "do not admit" list for visitors to the White House. Said Dale: "There was no more reason for me to be on that list than they had for firing all of us and calling in the FBI and the IRS on us. . .For 30 years, I could have come and gone anywhere except the residence quarters. Then the next day I needed an escort. It really bugged me, ticked me off."
ANY TORT IN STORM
NPR has awaken from its protracted somnolence over the Clinton scandals with what it believed to be a major scoop -- at least judging by the length the story was given and the Second Coming urgency in the reporter's voice. Did public radio finally discovered Clinton's ties to the drug world and organized crime? Some new foreign espionage gambit masquerading as domestic politics? That 1,000 wrongfully obtained FBI files might also have been wrongfully used?
Well, er, no. The story was that Kenneth Star had an "appearance of a conflict of interest" for having talked to Paula Jones' lawyers a half dozen times prior to having expanded his probe to matters involving the Jones litigation.
Although parts of the NPR story is in dispute, let's stipulate that Starr -- plodding, priggish, prosperous conservative attorney that he is -- does have an appearance of a conflict of interest. He thus joins the better part of the Washington bar, where a day without interest conflict is like a day without a billable hour. We have here yet another example of the any-tort-in-storm tactics of Clinton's defenders. Once again Starr has been called to account for not living up to the highest standards of his profession while these same critics give Clinton a free pass for transgressing even the lowest standards of decency. It would seem that if the President is to be allowed to lie, suborn witnesses, and obstruct justice, his prosecutor has to be permitted at least an occasional appearance of a conflict of interest.
And if lawyer Starr is to be skewered for his conflict of interest should we not be slightly concerned about Janet Reno's politically self-serving refusal to allow serious investigations into Arkansas drug connections and campaign contribution illegalities? Should not we not be mildly upset about White House lawyers spending tax dollars to provide criminal law advice to Clinton? Or other attorneys appearing to violate the US Code by setting up a fund into which contributors can make improper gifts in the name of the president's defense? And will NPR now admit that using a political corespondent, Cokie Roberts, who is the sister to a main partner of the law firm that has provided the most senior aids to the Clinton White House is, if not an "appearance of a conflict of interest" at least pretty damn tacky?
None of this is to defend Starr. As we pointed out long before the Starr rip enterprise began, the independent counsel essentially took a dive on the Mena and Vince Foster investigations. The irony is that these two grievous errors far outweigh all the procedural complaint that have since arisen, leaving Clinton the major net beneficiary of Starr's missteps.
Further, as those close to the President well know, getting rid of Starr would accomplish little. It would not alter a single charge against Clinton. It would probably result in the succession or increased power for assistant prosecutor Hickman Ewing, a good-old-boy Democrat from Memphis with real experience in pursing organized crime. Whatever Paula Jones's lawyers wanted out of Kenneth Starr it doesn't compare to what Clinton and his masochistic liberal supporters have already obtained by making the prosecutor such a useful straw man.
poll of pollsters
Oct 1-9 to find out their
actual response rate
ABC News's Jeff Alderman: "That's proprietary information. . . I've got another call. Good-bye."
Tom Riehle of Peter Hart Associates: "Proprietary information . . .That's not your business."
CBS' Kathy Frankovic: No information without knowing what data her competitors were giving out.
Mike Kagay of the New York Times: 43% for a Sept. 12-15 poll.
Gallup senior methodologist Rajesh Srinivasan: Promised information but not sent.
Roper-Starch-Worldwide: "That information is not available."
Humphrey Taylor, president of Louis Harris, left a message on Huffington's voice mail, expressing hope that she was "not writing another piece rubbishing the polls."
Everett Ladd, director of the Roper Center, admitted that refusal rates
are the industry's "terrible, terrible problem."
Hal Quinley of Yankelovich Partners: overall response rates have fallen from
37 percent last year to 33 percent to 34 percent this year. (In 1980, the
overall response rate was estimated to be 63 percent.)
[Huffington, who is on the warpath against pollsters, talked to old-timer Pat
Caddell who said "The dodging of such basic questions is alarming."]
LET'S GET BACK TO THE IMPORTANT BUSINESS OF THE NATION
Ratio of Clinton's cabinet sessions to Clinton attendance at fundraisers: 1:50
Amount being discussed at the Pentagon as an appropriate sum for a military arsenal of Viagra: $100 million.
[Reporters' are reluctant] "to admit that the man ruling the system they so mightily revere may well be a deceptive, power-abusing, immature, woman-exploiting sex addict. . . It is professionally hypocritical and democratically dangerous for the media to repeatedly present saccharine images of the private Clintons that mislead and lull the public while concealing facts that directly contradict these images." -- The Progressive Review, February 1994
WHY WE NEED INDEPENDENT COUNSELS
One of the most pernicious notions around Washington is that the institution of the independent counsel is a bad thing. In fact -- given the lethargy and self-interests of Congress, the Justice Department and the media -- special prosecutors are about the only official people in town keeping the highty tighty occasionally honest. Certainly, the Justice Department can't be relied upon. A few recent cases in point:
-- Justice blocked Dan Smaltz's attempt to expand his probe into matters that would have touched on the extensive drug trade in Arkansas.
-- The Washington Post reports that Justice is considering giving immunity to a key campaign finance and foreign influence figure, John Huang, in exchange for his testimony against Maria Hsia, a relatively insignificant target.
-- Justice went to court on behalf of Webster Hubbell, its own bad seed in this whole grim story, testifying against Starr on his appeal of Hubbell's technical acquittal.
In short, Justice repeatedly gives the impression that it is more interested in limiting the impact of scandals than getting to the bottom of them. A GOP Justice Department would probably do the same. Which is one reason why, despite their faults, we badly need independent counsels.
After weeks of demonizing Linda Tripp, it's going to be interesting to see how the media handles news that Monica Lewinsky offered Linda Tripp money to lie in the Paul Jones case. According to AP, Lewinsky said, "I would be indebted to you for life. . .I would write you a check for the entire portion [of a condominium] I own in Australia." AP also said Monica told Tripp, "Telling the truth could get you in trouble. I don't know why you would want to do that." . . . Perhaps most interesting is the line, "As long as you say it didn't happen, it didn't happen." If that sounds familiar, here's why. Talking to Gennifer Flowers in an earlier sex stress management discussion, WJC said, "If they ever hit you with it, just say no and go on. There's nothing they can do. . . .If everybody is on record denying it, no problem."
Coincidence of the day: Lewinsky is the second girlfriend of Clinton to end up with property in Australia, about as far away from the US as one can get and still speak English. The media-ignored woman who claimed during the 1992 campaign to have given birth to Clinton's child also ended up down under.
Abbe Lowell, the House Judiciary Committee minority counsel, appears well suited for the job since his firm has represented several individuals and organizations already ensnared in the campaign finance scandals including recently indicted Clinton-Gore contributor Mark Jimenez. Others include George Stephanopoulos in the FBI file scandal, as well as the brother of Mike Espy. Mark Levin of the Landmark Legal Foundation not only had the bad taste to point all this out but even suggested that it "may help explain why committee Democrats seek to exclude the campaign-finance scandal from any impeachment inquiry."
From Rep. John Conyers: "This cannot be a never ending fishing expedition. Statements from some of the Republican leaders have indicated that the investigation may incorporate Whitewater, Filegate, Travelgate, uh, suicides, and anything else that may be left on the Starr table."
The Arkansas state bird, notes Gary Aldrich, is the mockingbird described by one ornithologist as a "noted mimic that combines it own song with those of other birds; it is gray above, and white below, with flashy markings on its tail."
SCHISM WITH READERS
Comments here on the idea of "eternal security" provoked several readers, one of whom wrote:
"Your 'eternal security' discussion could better describe the 'saved by grace, not works' theology by mentioning a key point: when people are 'saved,' the holy spirit causes them to want to eschew sin from their lives and to let God's light shine through their acts. This is very different than doing good deeds as a means of getting to heaven.
"Your inference that the Baptist church doctrine is somehow approving of the President's alleged actions is way off the mark. In fact, it's kind of condescending. Actually, it's insulting claptrap of the kind more expected from ignorant bigots than from someone thoughtful enough to write the article in the first place! To be frank, it's not even worthy of lining the bottom of a cyberbirdcage."
"My dissertation chair at the Graduate Theological Union was and is a Baptist. The forgiveness-in-advance of sin is an idea that would make him choke with rage and laughter at the same time. I have lived in the South and am very close to my southern friends, and have sung gospel music which I was taught by African Americans from the South. All in all, I have been exposed to Baptists and southerners all my life. Never in a million years would any of my friends and relations approve of the 'sin now, seal in advance' notion."
Here's my reply to one reader:
"I'm not making this stuff up. . . Punch in 'eternal security' on your favorite search engine and you'll see what I mean. . .However, on re-reading the piece I realize that the phrase about "in the southern Baptist tradition," while correct, is ambiguous, since it might suggest the whole of that tradition. . . . As indicated elsewhere with the Baptist seminary prof's criticism of the lack of discipline of Clinton by his own church, this is not the case. But to make it clear, and improve chances of my own eternal security, I've change the phrase on the web to 'in hyper-fundamentalist southern Baptist sects.'"
Your editor wishes to append to his defense the somewhat startling news that he was recently quoted by the Christian Crusade newspaper in an article co-authored by none less than Dr. Billy James Hargis. Although Hargis did describe him as "a cynical Smith," he seemed attracted to the similarities between the abuse of redemption by Clinton and Marion Barry. . . For those who may have forgotten, Hargis was the Rush Limbaugh of the 1960s who helped inspire broadcasting's "fairness doctrine" designed in part to mitigate his attacks on the Kennedy administration. Says article co-author Keith Wilkerson, "current tax laws barring non-orbits from political activity are based on the Kennedy-era IRS action against Hargis that went all the way to the Supreme Court." These are indeed strange times.
This last word from the theological beat: The head of the Southern Baptist Convention has called on Clinton to resign from office "before he is instrumental in corrupting all our young people." Paige Patterson, head of the nation's largest Protestant denomination, said the president should seek forgiveness: "If he'll repent and trust the Lord Jesus as his savior, he can be forgiven and can find what life is really all about."
CATCH-UP READING: Those who have, to their disappointment, relied on boilerplate accounts of the president and presidency might now wish to turn to several books on what might be called the Whitewater Index, works semi-blacklisted by the conventional media in favor of more servile and inaccurate chronicles,
o PARTNERS IN POWER by Roger Morris (Henry Holt) Far and away the best book on the dark side of the Clintons and the best overall biography
o SHADOWS OF HOPE by Sam Smith (Indiana University Press). The first book to deconstruct the Clinton myth and holds up pretty well, if we do say so.
o THE SECRET LIFE OF BILL CLINTON by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (Regnery), the investigator emeritus of the Clinton scandals.
o THE STRANGE DEATH OF VINCENT FOSTER by Christopher Ruddy (Free Press). A thorough review of the evidence and non-evidence in the Foster case.
o UNLIMITED ACCESS by Gary Aldrich (Regnery) Having FBI agent Aldrich in the Clinton White House was like taking your born-again uncle to a strip joint, but once you discount his priggishness, Aldrich gives an amazing and trouble account of the White House gestalt.
Polls in Missouri and Illinois find Clinton falling fast. 50.7 approval in Illinois, 47.3% in Missouri. . . .Tom Eagleton sees Clinton making list of ten worst presidents along with Harding and Grant.
SIGHTED ON THE HAWSER HEADED FOR THE DOCK. . .
With Clinton-coddlers like Garry Wills jumping ship, could Ellen Goodman be far behind? Here is a nice example of the how-could-I-have-imagined-that-such-a-nice-man-could-have-done-anything-wrong school of journalism as recently practiced by Goodman:
"The sunflower in my garden has chosen this morning to finally bloom. The sole survivor of a planting lost to birds, rain and wind, it stands alone like a punctuation mark at the end of the summer sentence . . . This has been a scattered, uneasy summer. It was hard to get to that open, quiet space in life, that piece of peace of mind. The world has been too much with us... the relentless static of The Scandal that we feel collectively, all too personally... Fuming anger at the president who would risk everything..."
QUESTION OF THE DAY
Now that the president has apologized (well, sort of), will any of his media groupies now do the same for their role in creating the disastrous Clinton myth?
REVIEWING THE BIDDING:
WHEN SEX MATTERS. . .
Sex matters when:
-- it opens a window onto the character and values of a politician. For example, knowing that Clinton went to church on Easter with Hillary and then came back to the Oval Office and screwed Monica is worth a hundred journalistic thumbsuckers concerning the president's character. For example, the president's sexual Don Juanism (as pointed out here four years ago) parallels his serial and transitory attachment to policies and causes. For example, the pattern of lying and obstruction of justice in the Lewinsky case parallels that in Whitewater, Filegate and Travelgate.
-- it is sexual harassment and sexually predatory. If Kathleen Willey's claims prove true, Clinton committed a federal crime. The president also has a pattern of abusive relationships with vulnerable women in low status roles. This abuse continues after the affair has ended, witness Clinton's public lying about "that woman" Lewinsky and the 1992 campaign bimbo patrol designed to discredit former partners and pressure them for affidavits of non-involvement.
-- it would, under other circumstances be a crime. For example, a military lawyer cited by John McCaslin of the Washington Times lists some penalties for the president's acts if carried out by a mere soldier rather than by the commander-in-chief: perjury: 5 years; subordination of perjury: 5 years; obstruction of justice: 5 years; false official statement: 5 years.
-- it is sociopathic. Characteristics of a sociopath include preying on others without guilt, risky activities to avoid boredom, a need to control others, pathological egocentricity, the ability to lie without concern for the lie's effects on others, extreme defensiveness, blaming all but themselves, and a failure to learn from their mistakes. Because of their charm, cleverness, and outward rationality, the sociopath can be hard to diagnose. One psychiatrist's trick: count the bodies they have left behind. The sociopath creates a trail of injured people, moving through their lives -- as Jim McDougal once said of the Clintons -- like a tornado.
-- it involves physical threats against former partners. Those who have claimed such threats include Sally Perdue, Gennifer Flowers, Kathleen Willey and Linda Tripp. Tripp's concerns were credible enough that the FBI put her in a safe house.
TPR may be the only Matt Drudge moderate in the trade. Our position is that Drudge is a worthwhile journalist in the best American tradition who is neither as bad as critics say he is, nor as good as he thinks he is. Anyone who claims Drudge is not in journalism's tradition doesn't know, or is rewriting, American history.
This, of course, doesn't stop the anti-Drudgists. A particularly ironic example is a remark Drudge reports was made by Time-Warner CEO Gerald Levin to a top White House staffer: "Drudge is an asshole... he represents the destruction of everything I believe in about journalism."
In fact, it is corporate accumulators such as Levin and Time Warner that have ripped the heart and substance out of journalism and made it just one more product on the discount shelf of life.
Manipulating issues of black and white in America to distract our attention has been a favorite pastime for this president. Rather than showing concentrated leadership, thought and attention, he has made up stories that would have Americans believe that he has led the struggle to correct racial inequities. In his Martha's Vineyard speech he even compared himself to Nelson Mandela and Dr. King. . . On an earlier occasion he gravely told the nation of his vivid memory of church burnings in Arkansas when he was growing up. Journalists' inquiries revealed that there were no church burnings in Arkansas during Mr. Clinton's early years." -- Former Army Secretary Clifford Alexander quotes by Greg Pierce in the Washington Times.
What the stuffy left forgets is that sex scandals can be an important component of the seditious ridiculing of established power, one of the prime tasks of any leftist worth the name -- Alexander Cockburn.
LIFE IN ARKANSAS
From a recent column by one of the best Clinton scandal investigators, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Telegraph:
"On my first visits to Arkansas, I could smell that something was wrong. The place reminded me of Central America, a sort of anglophone Guatemala, where a corrupt and violent political machine operated behind the scenes. People dissembled in interviews, instinctively. The deeper I looked, the clearer it became that the Dixie Mafia had a foothold in official Arkansas, and that intimidation was part of the culture.
"Dissident members of the Arkansas State Police provided me with stacks of confidential reports showing that one of Mr Clinton's biggest financial backers during his assent to power . . .had been under investigation for international drug-trafficking. . . .
"One of my first stories was on Sally Perdue, a former Miss Arkansas who claimed to have had an affair with Mr Clinton in 1983. A thug had visited her and offered her the prospect of a high-paying federal job in exchange for silence. If she refused, he warned, "we know you go jogging, and we can't guarantee what will happen to your pretty little legs".
"I befriended the family of Jerry Parks, the former chief of security for Clinton-Gore campaign headquarters in Arkansas. Parks was killed in a targeted assassination in Little Rock in September 1993. The case has not been solved. His widow, Jane, suspected that it was a political hit by forces linked to the Democratic Party machine. She confided that her husband had worked secretly for the Governor's Mansion for 10 years, conducting surveillance of Mr Clinton's enemies and even fetching large sums of cash during the campaign seasons. On one occasion, she said, her husband's Lincoln was packed so full with $100 bills she could not close the boot.
"Like others in the Clinton circle of the Eighties, she was a witness to his drug use. On occasions he would snort cocaine with young girls, some of them clearly just teenagers . . . And on it went, worse and worse allegations, from more and more people, and always the same pattern of intimidation and cover-up.
"Mr Starr dipped his toe in these waters and pulled it out again quickly. It was all too much, and mostly impossible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. This is immensely disappointing to those who want to see Mr Clinton brought to book for all his sins. . . . When Mr Clinton is forced from office, I suspect it will set off an avalanche of revelations. The American media will be merciless now they know they have been fooled. We will discover more skeletons from this presidency and - at long last, perhaps - we will find out what really happened in the Clintons' Arkansas."
THREATENING THE PRESS. . .
An article in the Clinton-coddling on-line pub, Salon, implies that not only Republicans but journalists may be targets of a White House's "Doomsday" defense. Said the article by Jonathan Broder:
"Democratic strategists admit that any new disclosures could be highly damaging, and Clinton's high approval ratings could plummet, emboldening Congress to move down the path toward impeachment. That, a Clinton ally warned, could trigger the 'Doomsday scenario.'. . . I think there is a possibility that everything slides and all bets are off," this ally threatened. "And if everything slides, everyone will be punished -- everyone, including the press. It will be a total meltdown."
Fear of being targeted for their own sexual behavior -- including during presidential trips -- may well have been an significant factor in the way the media handled the Lewinsky story. Through Salon, the White House has made it clear that it is no longer merely a distant threat.
DEPARTMENT OF SILLY TALK
"The fact of the matter is that Ken Starr is going to be the James Earl Ray of the 90's. He's committing assassination, maybe without bullets, but character assassination. But he's trying to kill off one of our greatest, most inspired and most decent leaders, and we know that that is fundamentally wrong." -- Jennifer Laszlo
A reminder that whatever Clinton has done wrong over the past six years was done in a Washington that has condoned and even applauded it: the Washington Times reports that Clintonista spinner Lanny Davis is giving a course at George Washington University on scandal management. Maybe the next generation can really get away with it.
IF YOU'RE WONDERING WHY YOU'RE SUDDENLY
FEELING SO RECONCILED, HEALED AND STENGTHENED
So I ask you for your understanding, for your forgiveness on this
journey we're on. I hope this will be a time of reconciliation and healing,
and I hope that millions of families all over America are in a way growing
stronger because of this. -- WJC, Sep 9
BILL CLINTON FORGAVE YOU, SO THE LEAST YOU CAN DO IS RETURN THE FAVOR. . .
All of you know that I've been on a rather painful journey these last
few weeks and I've had to ask for things that I was more in the habit of
giving in my life than asking for in terms of understanding and
forgiveness, but it's also given me the chance to try to ask, as all of us
do: What do you really care about? What do you want to think about in your
last hours on this earth? What really matters? -- WJC, Sep 9
ARKANSAS SUDDEN DEATH SYNDROME:
JIM MCDOUGAL'S DEATH BY NEGLECT
In the hours before his death, James McDougal, a central witness in the criminal investigation of WJ Clinton -- and simultaneously an inmate in the Clinton-run prison system -- was handled in a highly suspicious manner. According to government documents obtained by Jack Douglas Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, in the hours before McDougal died he had complained of dizziness and became ill but was never seen by a doctors. He had also been separated from his heart medication when placed in an isolation cell before his death.
The mistreatment of McDougal adds to previous evidence reported in the Washington Weekly and elsewhere that it wasn't just McDougal's heart that failed him, but the Justice Department as well. In essence, he died of neglect as well as of a coronary.
"In a number of jurisdictions, statutes against witness tampering, suborning perjury (encouraging perjury by threats or inducements), or obstruction of justice do not carry high enough penalties to either deter or substantially punish witness intimidation... defendants are reported to feel they have little to lose -- and a great deal to gain (from perjury and obstruction)." -1996 DOJ Report on the Obstruction
"We continue to prosecute vigorously obstruction of our investigations. For example, in January 1995, a defendant was sentenced to 14 months incarceration after pleading guilty to obstructing justice by falsifying an affidavit submitted to a federal grand jury. I continue to be concerned about companies and individuals attempting to obstruct our investigations. I urge you to make clients and others aware, in the event of an investigation by the Division, that the penalties for obstruction are severe, and the division will seek the maximum penalty for obstruction of justice and perjury. We at the division, and I personally, believe that such conduct cuts at the very heart of law enforcement, and we take it with the utmost seriousness." -- Speech by Ann Bingaman, Assistant Attorney General, 1996
"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 bleaters who care more for celebrity than veracity are basking in a false and empty light. They trumpet the basest form of political expediency, for they revel amid the debris of a broken promise. Clinton will never accept that assessment of his actions or his following. He subscribes to the credo that the anointed must rule the empire, and he has anointed himself. In his ambition-blinded eyes, one released from a promise has not broken any promise. He ignores the fact that he granted his own pardon." -- Meredith Oakley, in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, on October 4, 1991, the day Clinton announced his candidacy for the White House
STILL TO COME FROM KENNETH STARR:
"All phases of the investigation are now nearing completion. . . This Office will soon make final decisions about what steps to take, if any, with respect to the other information it has gathered." These matters include:
-- An appeal of the dismissal of the Webster Hubbell tax-evasion indictment.
-- Prosecution of Susan McDougal on obstruction charges
-- Possible perjury and obstruction of justice in the Kathleen Willey case
-- The mishandling of 1000 FBI files by the White House
Any or all of these could result in an exculpatory report, indictment of various parties, or further recommendation for presidential impeachment.
STILL TO COME FROM JUDICIAL WATCH:
-- FOIA requests to find out how the Commerce Department chose participants in overseas trade missions, information on trade missions to Indonesia, and the activities of John Huang and others in the campaign finance scandal.
-- Class action suit on behalf of Republicans whose FBI files were wrongfully obtained and misused by the Clinton White House.
-- Class action by shareholders of State Farm to prevent the company from paying Clinton's legal fees and expenses in the Paula Jones lawsuits.
-- FOIA requests for information concerning the hiring of Webster Hubbell by the Los Angeles Airport Commission.
-- Suits to uncover documents from the Department of Justice, FBI and Park Service relating to the government's investigation of the death of Vincent Foster.
ALSO STILL TO COME:
-- Various investigations into illegal campaign financing by the Clinton administration, including the involvement of Vice President Gore.
-- And, as Whitewater independent investigator Hugh Sprunt points out:
"Starr owes the three judge panel a report on the 'document handling' in Foster's office around the time of his death. Fiske (shortly before being replaced by Starr in August '94) said his report on that subject was substantially complete and would be released shortly. If Starr has completed that report and turned it in to the three-judge panel, neither the fact that he did so nor the substance of the report has been made public."
Although Starr maintains he is still looking into the FBI file scandal, Judicial Watch's depositions reveal that the special prosecutor has not questioned such major figures as the former head of the FBI's criminal division, Larry Potts; Mack McLarty; and Terry Good, the then director of the White House Office of Record Management which stored many of the FBI files and who was asked to call up files on Tripp, Willey and Lewinsky. Hillary Clinton was only questioned by Starr for nine minutes on the matter.
ONE ON EITHER SIDE OF THE DOOR TO THE OVAL OFFICE?
President Clinton has announced that two ministers will be advising him on spiritual matters and helping him to resist temptation.
QUESTION FOR THE DAY
Since perjury, witness tampering and obstruction of justice are now no big deal, can we save some money by releasing from prison all those currently incarcerated for such offenses?
JUST A REMINDER. . .
"Evidence is being gathered on . . . the Rose Law Firm's representation of Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan Association, events related to the firing of the White House Travel Office, and events related to the use of FBI files." -- Starr Report
"Women are sex objects . . . 'Tis better to receive than to give. . . Honesty is not the best policy. . . If you are contrite they can't indict. . .Character doesn't matter. . . If an event is denied by those in attendance, it didn't happen. . . Falsely swearing under oath carries no penalty. . . Apologies serve as punishment." -- Rich Davis, outlining in a letter to the Washington Post what children can learn from our president.
VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY GROWS
Just a few of the newspapers that have called for President Clinton's resignation:
The Washington Times
The Orlando Sentinel
The Tampa Tribune
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Indianapolis Star
The Des Moines Register
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The Daily Oklahoman
The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Seattle Times
JUST ANOTHER REMINDER
The Monica matter arose because of a sexual harassment case (Paula Jones) and not because of consensual sex. Jones was attempting to show a pattern to Clinton's behavior. The matter was compounded by other sexual harassment accusations (Kathleen Willey) in which Monica is alleged to have tried to get Linda Tripp to lie. It was further compounded by the claims of two women -- Willey and Tripp -- that they had been physically threatened (as had been former Clinton lovers Gennifer Flowers and Sally Perdue. Tripp was put in a safe house by the FBI. They did not do this out of antipathy towards consensual sex.
THEY USED TO BE CALLED FIXERS
"Any time you have a project of this magnitude, it is important to hire someone who understands the ways of Washington, what is the right way to approach people, what is the wrong way. Most of the work I do -- the bulk of the work I do -- is on the phone. . . .I understand this is a significant sum of money. . . but it is not a huge payment by Washington law firm standards." -- Former Clinton-Gore campaign chair Peter S. Knight attempting to explain a million dollar payment for work done for a DC developer including getting the federal government to lease his office building in southwest Washington. Knight described his activity as "strategic counseling."
NOW FOR THE BRIGHTER SIDE OF THE NEWS
"Report portrays risk-taker with keen survival instinct." -- New York Times front page headline on the Starr report.
"Where's Whitewater?" asked the President's lawyer in a mocking tone when the Starr report was delivered to Congress. Where are all the other so-called scandals - Filegate, Travelgate, Madison Guaranty, Castle Grande, etc? - asked the President's supporters tauntingly. Mr. Starr spent four years and $40 million turning over every stone in Arkansas (he didn't, actually), and all he could come up with was a disputed story about sex. They may regret that challenge. Kenneth Starr, a gentle man, famously slow to anger, does not want to go down in history as nothing more than a bedroom snoop. I hear that he is now turning with zeal to matters of financial fraud, obstruction of justice, misuse of the FBI and witness intimidation. His two grand juries, one in Washington, the other in Virginia, are very much alive. If my information is correct, he will soon give an accounting for those four years and that $40 million. It will come in the form of criminal indictments at the highest level of the US government. Those who say that this scandal does not rise to the level of Watergate may have to eat their words. -- Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, London Telegraph
FIRST QUESTION OF THE DAY
What do you call a group of people who commit a lot of crimes, 44 of whose members have been convicted or pled guilty to such crimes, and 90 have either taken the Fifth or fled the country to avoid the law?
a. A gang
b. A mob
c. Clinton's friends
d. All of the above
SECOND QUESTION OF THE DAY
If Linda Tripp was such a Judas for turning in her friend Monica, then was the Unabomber's brother also a Judas?
This isn't just a fight between Clinton and Starr, or between the Democrats and the Republicans. The Clinton story has laid bare a cultural divide in the country between those who still hold fairly consistent moral values (although not necessarily the same ones) and those who believe in an adhocracy in which moral issues become just another management decision or public relations problem. The latter approach has been the dominant moral lesson taught the American public over the past few decades by television and other media, by business gurus, and by public figures of all sort from O.J. Simpson to Henry Kissinger. In part, the pro-Clinton polls reflect the effectiveness of this curriculum.
The lessons continue as talking heads deal with matters of honesty as though they had never arisen before in human history and thus are subject to jury rigged solution by the best legal and media minds of Washington. Hence such absurdities as the "censure plus" approach boosted by the Washington Post's E.J. Dionne, and quickly embraced by the capital's decadent elite. No matter that it would do nothing to cure Clinton's pathological lying nor that it is unconstitutional, since our national charter bans bills of attainder -- ex post factor laws to punish someone. It is popular in certain circles because it would end the embarrassment not just of Clinton but of a Washington establishment that has condoned and enabled the most corrupt president of this century. The truth is the last thing they want; all they desire is to make the trains of conventional thought run on time once again.
Chris Matthews got right to the point, so to speak: Clinton's defense before the grand jury hinges in part on his non-participation in the sex acts with Lewinsky. If he is to believed, he did not reciprocate in any fashion but was simply serviced. This, as it turns out, is just what Paula Jones describes him as doing.
DEPENDS WHAT YOU MEAN
[Wallace Milam posted this item to the Clinton Administration Scandals bulletin board:]
This is a true account of what transpired at the beginning of my Advanced Placement American history class this (Tuesday) morning:
I walked in and asked the class, "Have you all read your assignment?"
Student #1: "That depends upon what you mean by 'read."
Others chimed in to support him: "Did I read all of it? Did I read some of it? Did I hold the book in front of me and look at it? It depends."
Student #2: "And that depends on what you mean by "assignment."
Others chimed in again: "Yes, do you mean THIS assignment? Do you mean YOUR assignment as opposed to, say, the English assignment?
This sort of thing went on all hour. The students had clearly orchestrated the whole thing. [Writes Milam,]I strongly suspect that the big threat is not ebonics--it is "lawyerly English."
It would be far, far easier to count the times Clinton did not lie in his grand jury testimony than to count the times he did. . . . He lied about his past behavior, and he lied about his past lies. He lied by omission, by evasion (more than 140 times he said he could not remember a past action), by obfuscation and, when all else failed, by direct statement. -- Michael Kelly, Washington Post
If it turns out that the Monica Lewinsky tapes were messed with, don't jump to the conclusion that Tripp did it. Others, including a couple of lawyers, had their hands on them at some point.
John Podesta, who is running the President's anti-impeachment drive, is the target of a motion filed by Judicial Watch for criminal contempt proceedings. The charge: that Podesta helped obstruct JW's attempt to get to the bottom of the flying-for-dollars trade mission scam run by Ron Brown and the Clinton administration. Earlier this year, Nolanda Hill, Brown's buddy and business partner, testified in a sworn affidavit and in open court that the White House, through Podesta and Leon Panetta, had instructed Brown to "delay the case by withholding the production of documents prior to the 1996 elections, and to devise a way not to comply with the court order."
Even in the incestuous world of Clinton scandal talking heads, Democratic strategist Kiki Moore has set something of a record: being on Fox News and MSNBC simultaneously and in different interviews. The near hat-trick was accomplished by the Fox segment being taped while the MSNBC show was live. What added to the odd effect: Moore's hair was blowing in a pre-thunderstorm gust on Fox while it was neatly pinned back on MSNBC.
One of the more memorable scenes from the Clinton presidency (at least among those captured on video) is of the President leaving Ron Brown funeral with one of his spiritual advisers. The two are laughing about something when Clinton looks up and apparently spies a camera. Within seconds, his composure shifts to deep somber and within seconds after that he wipes his eye as though removing a tear. Within seconds after that, he looks up again towards the camera. . . .Now we learn from the Clinton grand jury (via Chris Ruddy)that on the day of Admiral Boorda's funeral, Clinton called Monica Lewinsky and the pair engaged in phone sex.
Underrated by the media are the expressions of fear and accounts of physical threats by women who have been involved with Bill Clinton. Latest to come forward: Dolly Kyle Browning, who told Matt Drudge that she had felt threatened, and former Miss America Elizabeth Gracen, who has long ducked media inquiries about her few hours with Bill Clinton. Gracen has told the Toronto Star that "I think Clinton is a very dangerous, manipulative man and I've had to be very careful." Reported the Star:
"Recalling a time when Clinton's circle apparently believed she might be preparing to embarrass him by speaking publicly about their relationship, she said: 'There was a lot of pressure on my family and friends - people were being staked out. I was afraid for my safety at one point. It's just not an area where you're safe - I would never have said that a month ago.'"
Contrary to some reports, Gracen said her relationship with Clinton was consensual and that Lewinsky's testimony gave her the confidence to express her fears.
When dealing with any kind of addiction or compulsive behavior, a good therapist spends a lot of time helping the patient identify specific stimuli that trigger, in Pavlovian fashion, the desires he must forsake. . . Psychologist Patrick Carnes, who coined the term sexual addiction, told Time magazine that "what we're talking about is a loss of control [over] a pleasure that gets you so hooked you cannot stop."
But there's the rub for Mr. Clinton. For most red-blooded men, let alone Mr. Carnes's "sex addict," interruption of the act itself in midstream would be the hardest thing to do. That is surely the least controllable event in the long sequence of preliminary acts and decisions leading to the actual encounter. Yet according to Monica Lewinsky's testimony, Mr. Clinton often refused to let the intern perform oral sex to completion. That hardly sounds like a man out of control. -- Psychiatrist Sally Satel in the Wall Street Journal.
BLACKMAIL ON THE POTOMAC
The apparent attempt by the White House and its allies to blackmail members
of congress and the media into backing off the impeachment of the president
is without precedent in American history. Never before have literally
hundreds of secret government files been placed at the service of
administration political operatives to use as they see fit. There are
growing indications -- including in the case of Linda Tripp and several
members of Congress -- that the temptation has not been resisted.
One of the reasons, in fact, that Tripp has been in personal and physical
danger is because, reports the London Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard,
she "saw boxes of FBI files piled up to the ceiling in the White House
Counsel's office, and observed officials copying the data on to a computer."
Says Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch: "These files were clearly used for the
improper purpose of political espionage."
The point being missed by much of the media is that this is not just more
politics as usual; it is, in and by itself, a major impeachable and
AND WE THOUGHT LYING WAS NO BIG DEAL
According to CNN, a U.S. citizen from Texas has been "arrested and charged
with making false statements to investigators probing the bombings of U.S.
embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. . . . [The suspect] El Hage allegedly lied
to the FBI when he told agents he did not know Mohamed Saddiq Odeh, who was
brought to the United States last month to face murder charges related to
the embassy bombings. He also allegedly gave false statements concerning his
ties to bin Laden's chief military commander, who drowned in a 1996 ferry
accident in Tanzania."
DEPARTMENT OF SILLY TALK
An American president has no power except his own moral authority, his
ability to persuade and set the example -- The Economist
THE CLINTON SCANDAL MORNING LINE
Conservatives are getting themselves het up over speculation that Clinton will declare himself unable to govern under the 25th amendment, take a vacation at a posh clinic for sexual addiction, and duck the bullet of impeachment. Others say even Clinton wouldn't go that far. In any case, the 25th amendment has some worrisome ambiguities.
CONSENSUS: Don't leave your cell phone unattended. It's coming down this week.
Just about Monica -- Susan Schmidt, Washington Post
Ken Starr has a secret White House mole who has been providing him a road map of the Clinton scandals. . . "One well-placed source describes how Starr and his deputies have been secretly taking depositions from many witnesses who do not want the 'publicity of the grand jury.' . . .One recently deposed witness tells the Drudge Report that on one day last month, every room in the courthouse was occupied by Starr investigators taking secret testimony." - THE DRUDGE REPORT
Whitewater Irregular Charles R. Smith recalls that Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Frank B. Kelso, 2nd, submitted his retirement over the Tailhook sexual harassment scandal saying, "I clearly have become the lighting rod for Tailhook and I believe it's in the best interest of the Navy that I retire." Kelso also noted harassment problems extend beyond the Navy, and called for a cultural change in "how we [think] and how we [treat] females." Writes Smith: "Kelso was not present at the Tailhook event but took responsibility actions of the officers under his command. Kelso left the service to which he had dedicated his life and choose to take the blame personally - instead of letting it fall upon the Navy. Kelso put the interest of the nation ahead of his own honor and reputation. Kelso was replaced by Adm. Jeremy Boorda who killed himself instead of facing allegations that he wore combat ribbons he did not earn."
A crumpled up piece of paper was found in a Capitol meeting room after a conference of Senate Democrats. A note on it read "we are doomed"
Marine Sgt. Charles W. Little, separated from the service for "misconduct," has written President Clinton requesting a pardon: "You explained that your private life is no one else's businesses. I wholeheartedly agree. . . You urged the American public to allow you to put this behind you so could concentrate on pressing matters. I agree. However, I feel it is a travesty that I am being discharged while you remain in office."
[Note: an earlier version said Little had been found guilty, which was incorrect. He was given an administrative discharge]
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