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*** JUDICIAL WATCH criticized the settlement. It is pursuing a shareholder lawsuit in federal court against Loral Chairman Bernard Schwartz, Bill Clinton, and Al Gore over alleged bribes Schwartz allegedly paid so that the Clinton Administration would provide export licenses, access to Commerce Department-sponsored trade missions, and look the other way as Loral improperly aided China's nuclear program. The settlement reportedly could allow Loral once again to export satellites to Communist China. Critics, including congressional committees, contend that previous help given by Loral to China's missile program has allowed China to better target its nuclear-tipped missiles at the United States. Schwartz was one of Clinton's largest political donors and Clinton personally approved export waivers concerning China for Loral over the objections of his own administration officials. "Unfortunately, this is more of the same from the Bush Administration ­ ignore evidence of bribery, fail to prosecute clear-cut violations of law, and allow the scandals from the Clinton-era to be swept under the rug," stated Judicial Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman. "President Bush and his appointees evidently do not care about government corruption," Klayman added. MOREAUGUST 2001

MICHAEL ISIKOFF, NEWSWEEK Bill Clinton's political antennae were, as always, on high alert. On Jan. 8, with less than two weeks to go in his presidency, Clinton was speaking on the phone with the then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. The subject: a possible pardon for fugitive financier Marc Rich. "I know quite a few things about that," Clinton interjected as soon as Barak raised the matter. He had already gotten a long memo on it, Clinton explained, and he was "working on it." But Clinton also understood there were risks, possibly big ones. "It's best that we not say much about that," Clinton advised Barak on the subject of Rich. The Israeli leader understood. "OK, I'm not mentioning it any place," he replied. The two leaders had no reason to believe their confidential chat would ever become public. Yet the Clinton-Barak telephone call that evening, like all conversations between U.S. presidents and foreign heads of state, was monitored by a team of note takers sitting at computers in the White House Situation Room. Last week congressional investigators probing the Rich pardon received access to National Security Council-prepared transcripts of three Clinton-Barak conversations that dealt with the Rich pardon . . . The transcripts offer no "smoking gun" showing that the former president was motivated by large donations to his presidential library or by generous campaign contributions. But the conversations do show that, in sharp contrast to the picture painted by some of his former aides, Clinton was keenly aware of details of the Rich case, and appeared determined to grant the highly questionable pardon even though, as he admitted to Barak, there was "almost no precedent in American history."


AN AIDE TO SENATOR Patrick Leahy's (D-Vt.) Senate Judiciary Committee said that the Committee is "not interested" in probing links to drug smugglers of Arkansas Rep. Asa Hutchinson in his confirmation hearing to be the new head of America's Drug Enforcement Administration. "Its not our job to conduct any investigation into the matters you've brought up," Mary DeOreo told Daniel Hopsicker, author of a new book with damaging information about Hutchinson. The book quotes Arkansas State Police Commander, Finis Duvall, whose area included Mena, as saying that the state police didn't even try to develop a case against the Mena drug smuggling, because it was well known that it was being 'protected.' "We always knew we couldn't prosecute [notorious drug smuggler] Barry Seal, no matter what we got on him, because of the politics involved in the Western Judicial District," said the former Arkansas State Police Commander.BARRY AND THE BOYS

JULY 2001

DAN HARN: On your site you continue to list Clinton's blocking of the parole of Wayne Dumond, rapist, admitted murderer and more who is now charged with a new murder in KC as being some kind of abuse of power. Now Dumond is going to be Gov Huckabee's Willie Horton. Congratulations, muckrakers like you helped to pressure the release of this sicko to kill again. Good work.

[Here is what we actually said, "A relative of Bill Clinton is raped. Wayne Dumond is arrested and imprisoned in the case. While awaiting sentencing, Dumond himself is sexually assaulted and castrated by two masked men. A local sheriff, later sentenced to 160 years for extortion and drug dealing, displays Dumond's testicles in a jar on his desk under a sign that read, 'That's what happens to people who fool around in my county.' A parole board, upon receiving new evidence of Dumond's innocence, will vote to release him after 4 1/2 years in prison. Governor Clinton -- according to the managing editor of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette -- stages a 'romping, stomping fit' and blocks the release." In another reference, we said, "As for Clinton, his character is formed in no small part on the idea of hegemonic liberty -- the presumption that because of his power his liberty is worth more than that of others. To those without power, the story can be quite different. For Paula Jones. Or for Wayne Dumond, who was wrongly accused in the 1984 rape of a Clinton relative."

Dumond, who was eventually released and is now charged with murder in another case, was clearly the victim of an extraordinary injustice in the rape case. He was released on that basis and not upon an hypothesis concerning what might happen in the future.]

PAUL SPERRY, WORLDNET DAILY: The day after the Thompson committee hearings on Chinagate kicked off in the Senate, a lawyer driving a white Lexus pulled up to Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie's home in Little Rock, Ark. It was July 2, 1997, and FBI agents conducting surveillance on Trie's house watched, powerlessly, as Trie's secretary, Maria "Dia" Mapili, and the lawyer loaded the car with four boxes, which agents later confirmed contained documents under subpoena by both a federal grand jury and the Senate. Earlier that day, agents thought they had a green light to search Trie's home to stop the further destruction of evidence that they'd discovered while sifting through Trie's garbage cans. Mixed in with fish heads and other garbage were bits of key records that investigators had sought in their criminal probe of 1996 Clinton-Gore fund-raising abuses. After drying out and piecing together the shreds of paper, they restored checks from Asian donors to President Clinton's legal defense fund, Democratic National Committee donor lists, travel records for Chinese money men and statements from Chinese bank accounts. There also was a FedEx slip showing the White House had sent two pounds of documents to Trie just two months earlier. But, at the last minute, Justice officials denied their request for a search warrant. In fact, FBI special agent Kevin Sheridan was back in Washington arguing against the high-level punt at the same time Mapili and her lawyer, who'd been tipped off to the scheduled search that day, were carting off documents. Scrambling to recover the documents, special FBI agent Daniel Wehr asked for permission to stop the Lexus as it sped off. Justice officials turned that request down, too.
Agents learned later that Mapili, who had no prior counsel, had quickly and conveniently lawyered up with one of Arkansas' best -- W.H. Taylor, who is Don Tyson's personal lawyer. Tyson, the chicken king who heads Fayetteville, Ark.-based Tyson Foods, is a big Clinton supporter. Remarkably, Taylor had driven almost four hours to Little Rock from Fayetteville to help Mapili cart off subpoenaed documents. "That's just not a coincidence," said I.C. Smith, the special agent in charge of the FBI in Arkansas at the time. "Here you've got lawyers stepping over one another there in Little Rock, and of all the people, she hooks up with Don Tyson's personal lawyer," Smith said in an exclusive interview with WorldNet Daily. "She didn't make that decision herself."

[Janet Reno also prevented special prosecutor Dan Smaltz from investigating the story of a senior Tyson pilot who reported carrying envelopes of cash from Tyson headquarters to the governor's mansion in Little Rock.]


[THE MAN WHO DISCOVERED Vince Foster's body has spoken publicly for the first time - on a broadcast with WABC Radio's John Batchelor and Paul Alexander and Carl Limbacher of Newsmax. Still fearful for his life, the man continues to be known as Confidential Witness, the name given him by Whitewater prosecutors.]

ALEXANDER: Can you describe what you first saw?

CW: The very first thing I saw was something white through the trees. Investigating, I saw that it was a body. So, very, very carefully, making sure that I didn't disturb anything, I went over to see what it could be. You know, I didn't have a clue who it was - I approached the body straight from his head. He was feet down on a 45-degree angle down the embankment.

ALEXANDER: Was he face up? Was he face down?

CW: Face straight up. Hands on each side of his body straight away. Just like he was - just laid down.

ALEXANDER: Could you tell immediately that he was dead?

CW: Oh, yes. There was black dried blood on his lips and his nose. Just white glazed eyes.

ALEXANDER: Were the eyes open?

CW: His eyes were maybe one third of the way open.

ALEXANDER: So you're standing there, you see this body. What do you think at this point?

CW: Well, the first thing I thought was that somebody knocked him in the head because I couldn't see any sign of any blood on his shirt and trousers. Just the blood around his mouth and his nose.

ALEXANDER: So you thought he had been hit by someone?

CW: I thought somebody hit him in the head.

ALEXANDER: And killed him by hitting him in the head?

CW: That's what I thought when I first saw it. ... I looked to see if he had something in his hands that he could defend himself with - maybe a rock or something like that.

ALEXANDER: And did you find anything?

CW: No. And that's why I was so adamant and so sure [that Foster had no gun]. Because I clearly looked at both hands. And they were straight down by his sides, fully extended, straight as can be, and both hands were palm up.

ALEXANDER: Both hands were palm up?

CW: There was zero doubt. None. Both hands were palm up. [Note: in the single Foster death scene photo released by investigators, Foster's hand is turned on its side, palm facing toward the ground, with a gun clearly visible.]

ALEXANDER: When you first saw the body, did you see any gun anywhere?

CW: None ...

CW: Several things led me to believe he had been placed there.

ALEXANDER: What was that? What made you believe that he had been placed there?

CW: The embankment is very, very steep. [Fort Marcy Park] is a Civil War fort - very densely overgrown. ... The leaves were at least four to six inches deep in that area where he was lying. But the leaves from just about his waist down to the bottom of the 45-degree slope, for an area that was approximately four to five feet wide, below his body and up to just about his waist, had all been tramped down. It was as if somebody had walked back and forth at least a dozen times . . .

LIMBACHER: You said during a break that Robert Fiske sent FBI agents to interview you four times. Can you walk us through those interviews and tell us what happened?

CW: After a lengthy debate they agreed to keep me confidential and I agreed to let them interview me. They came to my home. That was agent [William] Columbell and [Lawrence] Monroe. The first night was probably two hours. They asked me, I would say in the neighborhood of at least five or six times, "Are you sure there was no gun in his hand?"

And, of course, every time I told them exactly what I saw. There was no gun, this man's palms were both palm up, laid neatly at his sides with his arms extended full-length.

I didn't like that, that they would repeatedly ask me that. So, when they scheduled another meeting, I wanted someone there to confirm what was going on. So I had a very good friend of mine be here. ... She was here for the next three interviews and she can verify that they repeatedly asked me about this handgun thing and I kept telling them the same thing over and over.


How many dear friends
or family members of yours
need a presidential pardon?

ROGER CLINTON ON THE LARRY KING SHOW: One of my friends that - and I'm really not going to be mentioning too many names, specific names tonight, but one of my good friends that I had requested -- I requested four or five people for pardons that were dear friends of mine and in our families - one of them called me up to tell me two things: one, he didn't receive his, and he heard that I received mine. I didn't know. I didn't wake up in the morning like it was Christmas morning and say: "Oh, my gosh, did I get my pardon?"

ALISON LEIGH COWAN, NY TIMES: In the last weeks of the Clinton presidency, when Roger Clinton was visiting the White House for a few days, a piece of mail arrived addressed to him from the family of a convicted drug dealer looking for clemency. The president made a note on the envelope to Meredith Cabe, a White House lawyer who was handling hundreds of last-minute pardons. "Meredith, looks like a case for commutation pls check out - BC," the note reads, said a lawyer who has seen the document. It is not clear what role Roger Clinton played in moving the application of the convicted drug dealer, Steven Michael Griggs, to the head of the line, and Mr. Griggs did not receive a presidential pardon. But the document provides the first evidence that President Bill Clinton lent his support to any of his half brother's efforts to secure pardons for felons convicted of drug dealing, bank fraud and tax evasion.

VIVECA NOVAK & MICHAEL WEISSKOPF, TIME: More than a year ago, sources told TIME, the FBI learned of Clinton's efforts with the parole board. Suspicious of his motives, agents wanted to set up a sting operation. Members of the Clinton-appointed Parole Commission are said to have asked Justice Department officials to nix the FBI probe. The Department refused, but that investigation petered out anyway . . . As the days of the Clinton presidency dwindled, Roger Clinton was in great demand by pardon seekers. Lawyers for two of them shipped documents to Roger Clinton at the White House in care of the usher's office, sources said. Neither of them received clemency. MORE

RICHARD A. SERRANO, LA TIMES: Roger Clinton, already under investigation for allegedly taking money to lobby for several presidential pardons, now is being asked to explain whether he helped five additional men try to secure executive clemencies from his half-brother, former President Clinton. According to documents obtained Thursday by The Times, the House Government Reform Committee wants to know whether Roger Clinton was paid for using his White House connection to help the men, who include a Kentucky horse breeder sent to prison for fraud and a Texas marina operator convicted on tax charges. "Our documents show that Roger Clinton sought to help some of these people with pardons or that others asked Roger Clinton to help them with an executive grant of clemency," said a committee investigator, who asked not to be identified because of the widening investigation. MORE

ALISON LEIGH COWAN, NY TIMES: In late January, in the final days of the Clinton administration, the White House told the Justice Department that it was considering a presidential pardon for Rosario Gambino, a convicted heroin trafficker and reputed organized crime figure. A law enforcement official said that a lawyer in the White House counsel's office faxed a request to the Justice Department for background information on Mr. Gambino, who is serving a 45-year sentence. The department, which received dozens of similar requests that month, sent back a copy of Mr. Gambino's criminal record. President Bill Clinton granted no pardon. That exchange has taken on new significance in recent days as Congressional investigators have begun to examine a $50,000 payment from a company controlled by the children of Rosario Gambino to Roger Clinton, the president's half brother. A person close to Tommy Gambino, Rosario Gambino's son, said that Roger Clinton had led the family to believe he could help obtain a presidential pardon. "Whatever he said to him made Tommy Gambino think it was a lock," this person said in an interview. Roger Clinton's lawyer, Bart H. Williams, acknowledged yesterday that his client had received money from the Gambino family. "Tommy Gambino is a friend of Roger Clinton's and has been for many years," Mr. Williams said MORE

NEWSMAX: The one-time business partners of former first brother Roger Clinton had inside information about President Clinton's impeachment that seemed to bolster claims they had influence with the White House, key Pardongate witness Garland Lincecum said from his White Plains, New York jail cell. In a taped interview told WABC radio hosts John Batchelor and Paul Alexander that while he was negotiating payments for his pardon with Clinton's business partners Dickey Morton and George Locke in late 1998 and early 1999, the two men made detailed predictions about Clinton's impeachment and subsequent Senate trial that always seemed to come true . . . The uncanny ability of Roger Clinton's business partners to foretell the course of President Clinton's impeachment stunned Lincecum, and the convincing specifics they offered led him to believe that Roger Clinton had access to information about secret dealings at the highest levels of the White House:

BATCHELOR: Dickey Morton is speaking, you presume, with Roger regularly.

GARLAND LINCECUM: That's correct.

BATCHELOR: And Roger's boasting about his information at the White House, about the president's state of mind, the president's tactics.

GARLAND LINCECUM: That's correct.

ALEXANDER: And what the [impeachment] votes are going to be?

GARLAND LINCECUM: Right down to the -- they called it almost to the vote......

BATCHELOR: Now in January, the Senate trial, did they also tell you how the Senate trial was going to go?

GARLAND LINCECUM: Yeah, right to the vote.

ALEXANDER: Right to the vote. So you're sitting there watching [the trial] and these guys have direct access into the White House?

GARLAND LINCECUM: That's what it appeared to be.

BATCHELOR: And after the president was found not guilty, that is he wasn't removed from office by the Senate, what were their remarks?

GARLAND LINCECUM: Basically it was sort of like, "Well, I told you so."

[This account adds credence to a report the Review received but has not previously reported: that the White House had moles within the impeachment committee itself and that there were few surprises along the way.]


SUSAN SCHMIDT, WASHINGTON POST: Hollywood producer Peter Paul, organizer of a gala fundraising event for Hillary Rodham Clinton last summer, said in a lawsuit filed last week that he made more than $2 million in in-kind contributions to benefit Clinton's New York Senate campaign that were never reported. Paul, who was convicted of fraud and drug charges two decades ago, was indicted anew on stock fraud charges in New York earlier this month. In an unsuccessful effort to stave off those charges, he presented his allegations about the Clinton campaign to four U.S. attorney's offices, all of which declined to investigate. Paul is now in Brazil, and prosecutors are seeking his return. MORE

PAUL SPERRY, WORLDNET DAILY: Bill Clinton's misuse of Arkansas state police assigned to his security detail when he was governor didn't stop at procuring mistresses, Worldnet Daily has learned. He also allegedly had them keep track of his extramarital scoring. After troopers picked him up from trysts with various Arkansas women, Clinton allegedly would rate their performance in bed, giving points for certain sex acts. He had troopers keep a record, say informed sources. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, allegedly enlisted the troopers to chauffeur her to secret meetings with the late Vincent Foster, her law partner at the time, at a resort hotel about 50 miles north of Little Rock, Ark., sources say. Records of the trips, along with the sexual rating system, are contained in several boxes recently returned to the state police by former Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's office, say sources familiar with the records. The documents were subpoenaed in 1995 as part of the Whitewater investigation . . . The boxes of documents stored by the former troopers are "embarrassing to both Clinton and the state police," a source said. "They'll be destroyed, now that they have them back, if they haven't been already." MORE

BENITA Y. WILLIAMS, KANSAS CITY STAR: A Smithville man on parole for rape in Arkansas was questioned by police in connection with a Northland murder. Kansas City police arrested Wayne E. Dumond, 51, at his residence in the 400 block of East Main Street on a parole violation warrant involving a homicide investigation. He was transferred to the Clay County Jail and was being held without bond Monday. Missouri Department of Corrections spokesman Tim Kniest said the warrant was issued because Kansas City police had "significant evidence" linking Dumond to a homicide . . . Dumond was on parole for a 1985 rape conviction in Arkansas. His parole was transferred to Missouri last year after he married a woman from the Smithville area. Dumond had no parole violations in Missouri before last week, Kniest said. Dumond's Arkansas conviction involved the 1984 rape of a 17-year-old high school cheerleader from Forrest City who was a distant cousin of former President Bill Clinton. While awaiting trial, Dumond said he was castrated by masked men at his residence. No one was arrested, but Dumond received a lawsuit settlement against then-Sheriff Coolidge Conlee of St. Francis County, who kept Dumond's testicles in a jar on his office desk. After being convicted of rape, Dumond was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years. In 1992, Gov. Jim Guy Tucker commuted the sentence to 39 years and six months. In 1996, Gov. Mike Huckabee said he had "serious questions" about Dumond's guilt and started the process to free him.MORE

MAY 2001

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee held up the nomination [of Ted Olson], following the placement in the Washington Post of a classic piece of journalistic insinuation without actually accusing Mr. Olson of anything real. Last week committee Democrats walked out rather than vote on him. Senator Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on Judiciary, claims to be worried that Mr. Olson wasn't forthright before the committee about his knowledge of the "Arkansas Project." This was the informal name that The American Spectator magazine gave to its own efforts to investigate and report on the political and financial history of Bill Clinton in his home state. Various Clinton acolytes from Geraldo Rivera to Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal spun the effort as something out of one of Robert Ludlum's paranoid political thrillers.
In fact, that characterization, like what is now being done to Ted Olson, is the demonization of perfectly innocent associations. The "Arkansas Project" was an exercise of The American Spectator's First Amendment rights, something much of the major media seems to think applies only to itself. Note, incidentally, that Sidney Blumenthal just called off a libel case he brought against cyber-columnist Matt Drudge, paying Mr. Drudge $2,500. The Blumenthal lawsuit was cut from the same cloth as the phony Arkansas Project flap - an attempt to intimidate media critical of the Clintons. Mr. Blumenthal subpoenaed numerous journalists from his redoubt in the White House. Back then the Post would report on a White House effort to undermine one of its own Whitewater reporters.

TPR: The Post continues to prop up the discredited myth that Clinton was a victim rather than a perp. In the third paragraph of its front-page story, the Post wrote: "Democratic senators said either the staff or the full committee should question others who worked at the American Spectator during the 1990s, when the magazine ran a $2.3 million investigation into the activities of Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton known as the 'Arkansas Project.' Financed by foundations controlled by conservative billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, the project became a symbol for Clinton loyalists of what they viewed as a concerted effort by the right to undermine the Clintons." The last time we checked, pursuing wrong-doing by public officials was a prime function of journalism and not a violation of the federal code. Scaife and the Spectator did nothing different in their Whitewater investigation than the Katherine Graham and the Post did in their Watergate investigation. The Post could have had the Whitewater story, but instead chose to flack for Clinton . . . Meanwhile, far more serious Bush appointment stories get ignored or short shrift from the archaic media, such as those involving Richard Armitage, Otto Reich, and Asa Hutchinson, the latter in line to be the new DEA chief. The Washington Times did run a short piece on Hutchinson picked up from the Village Voice which in turn used the Review's story on how Hutchinson had failed to pursue serious allegations concerning drug trafficking at Mena. For the DEA to be run by someone connected with the seamy drug-infested politics of Arkansas - even if all he did was look the other way - is a real front page story. Ironically, one of the writers of the get-Olson article, Robert Kaiser, was reportedly involved in killing a major story on Mena the Post was almost ran at a critical point in the Clinton presidency.

DEBORAH ORIN, NY POST: Disgraced Clinton associate Webster Hubbell - who was left out of the ex-president's pardon party - is now painting Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton as selfish and disloyal. Hubbell, once No. 3 at the Justice Department, also belatedly admits he suspected Clinton was cheating on his wife years before Monica Lewinsky. "Why everybody else but me? If you are going to take political heat for [pardoning] everyone, what is it about me that made you select me as the one who was not pardoned?" Hubbell asks in a Vanity Fair interview. "For many years, people would say the Clintons are disloyal and I would say, 'You have to understand, they are required to do this.' So when this all happened, it forced me to say, am I in the same category?" . . . Asked about the report, Bill Clinton's aide Karen Tramontano said: "As they have said before, the Clintons understand that the last several years have been very difficult for the Hubbells. They sincerely hope that the years ahead will be good ones for Webb and his family."


DRUDGE REPORT: The FBI Director's relationship with the Clinton White House deteriorated so bad in its waning years that Director Louis Freeh decided to wait for a new Administration to conclude the bureau's investigation of Iranian government officials linked to a 1996 bombing in Saudi Arabia which killed nineteen Americans and injured five hundred . . . According to publishing sources, reporter Elsa Walsh [OF THE New Yorker] has developed a story slugged: 'Louis Freeh's Unfinished Business,' exploring the estrangement between Freeh and Clinton . . . At one point, during a late-night phone call between Freeh and deputies William Esposito and Robert Bryant, about whether to brief Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (and thus potentially Clinton) before a trip to China, Bryant said, "Why should we brief him? He's a crook. He's no better than a bank robber. Would we tell a bank robber about our investigation?" Freeh is said to have replied that that was going a little too far.



CHARLES SMITH, NEWSMAX: Intelligence Agency documents on Ron Brown's involvement with the Chinese army are secret in the interests of "national security," according to an April 30 CIA letter. The Clinton commerce secretary died in 1996 in a plane crash while under investigation for illegal financial ties to Beijing. In 1999, the Commerce Department was forced by federal court to release documents found inside the Commerce Department on COSTIND, the Chinese Commission for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense. Sixth District Court Judge Robert Payne ordered Commerce lawyers to release all the COSTIND documents into his custody for review. Commerce lawyers asserted that COSTIND was a civilian Chinese agency and that the documents did not have to be released. This reporter successfully argued to the court that COSTIND was a well-known unit of the Chinese army . . . In 1994, COSTIND commander Chinese army Gen. Ding Henggao successfully penetrated the U.S. Defense Department and the Clinton White House. During the Clinton years, Ding and COSTIND obtained a vast array of American military technology including an air defense network, supercomputers for nuclear weapons production, satellites and advanced ballistic missile designs. In 1994, COSTIND Lt. Gen. Madam Nie Li, Ding's wife, obtained a secure, high-speed, fiber-optic communications system from AT&T. The system was shipped directly to a COSTIND unit, where it was modified for Chinese army use and is now being duplicated for export using American-made parts. The communications system slipped past U.S. exports laws as a joint U.S.-Chinese commercial venture called "Hua Mei." The Chinese army part of the venture was run by a newly formed company named "Galaxy New Technology." Stanford professor John Lewis, a close friend and the paid personal consultant for Clinton Secretary of Defense William Perry, was the key board member of the project. Lewis located Adlai Stevenson III, the former Democrat senator from Illinois, to lead the American side of the joint venture.

MORE http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2001/5/25/170902.shtml

PAUL SPERRY, WORLD NET DAILY: The e-mail records of former Attorney General Janet Reno and her top aides were not electronically archived until late last year, a high-level Justice Department official says, and may be as spotty as those kept by the Clinton White House. An incomplete archive will likely make it harder for New York prosecutors to investigate the circumstances surrounding former President Clinton's shady pardon of Marc Rich, legal experts say. Reno's deputy consulted with lawyers for the millionaire fugitive as early as February 2000. It would also dim hopes that Congress -- or perhaps even Reno's successor, Attorney General John Ashcroft -- can reconstruct the campaign-finance task force's investigation to see if it has been as "thorough" and "honest" as Reno has claimed.

APRIL 2001

VIVECA NOVAK, TIME MAGAZINE: Federal prosecutors have been moving forward quietly and quickly in their investigation of Bill Clinton's last-minute pardons. Time has learned that U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White has dropped a subpoena on Clinton's brother, Roger, for a grand jury appearance to discuss his role in an alleged pardon swindle. Insiders say that White has all but finished with most witnesses in the controversial clemency granted to four New York Hasidic Jewish leaders. And, in a possibly major development, one lawyer close to the investigation says that White has struck an immunity deal with Democratic donor Denise Rich, whose international financier ex-husband Marc was pardoned by Clinton despite objections from White House lawyers.

NEWSMAX: Federal investigators probing allegations that former first brother Roger Clinton may have sold presidential pardons have discovered more than $30 million in bank accounts controlled by a company he runs. "They found in the accounts of this company, which has no assets and no real business to speak of, were over $30 million," reported the Wall Street Journal's John Fund, in an interview with Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly Wednesday night. A Texas family has given prosecutors cancelled checks in the amount of $200,000 which they say was paid to an Arkansas company named CLM with the understanding that Roger would obtain presidential clemency from his brother for an incarcerated relative. CLM are the initials of the last names of Clinton and his two business partners, George Locke and Dickie Morton. On Thursday WABC radio's John Batchelor and Paul Alexander told colleague Sean Hannity that the $30 million revelation may have piqued the IRS's interest.

PHILIP DELVES BROUGHTON, LONDON TELEGRAPH: The wife of Marc Rich, the billionaire fugitive controversially pardoned by President Clinton, has disclosed how she and her husband were told of the decision two hours before the Justice Department. Gisela Rich said they were telephoned at their home in Switzerland by the head of the Rich Foundation in Israel, Avnery Azulay. By hiring lawyers who had worked closely with Mr. Clinton in the past, Mr. Rich received special treatment from the White House, which completely by-passed normal Justice Department procedures . . . Despite Mr. Clinton's denials, many suspect that the pardon was granted solely as a favor to Mr. Rich's ex-wife, Denise, a friend of the Clintons and generous contributor to their various causes. She has given millions of pounds to the Clintons' political campaigns and to Mr. Clinton's Presidential library.

ASKED ABOUT HER gifts of two coffee tables and two chairs to Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, Denise Rich told Vanity Fair, "Everybody gave furniture," Rich tells Vanity Fair. "There was a list going around from the decorator." She also informed VF that "there is definitely a black person inside [of me] waiting to get out. I'm sure I was once black."

CARL LIMBACHER, NEWSMAX: A key witness in the Pardongate probe of former first brother Roger Clinton suffered a heart attack last week while in prison, his lawyer revealed. 67-year-old Garland Lincecum, whose family says they paid a company controlled in part by the Clinton brother over $200,000 in exchange for the promise of presidential clemency, suffered cardiac arrest just 90 feet from the infirmary at the Houston Unit of the federal correctional facility at Bastrop, Texas. Lincecum was immediately rushed to a hospital in Austin, Texas.In an interview with WABC' Radio's John Batchelor and Paul Alexander, Lincecum's lawyer Ed Hayes revealed the stunning development and sought to allay fears that it could derail the Pardongate investigation . . . Lincecum's brush with death comes just a little over three years after another key witness against a Clinton family member suffered cardiac arrest in jail and died. The March 8, 1998 death of former Clinton business partner James McDougal at the federal prison medical facility in Fort Worth, Texas derailed a planned indictment of Hillary Clinton by prosecutors investigating the Whitewater scandal, according to Washington Post reporter Sue Schmidt and Time Magazine's Michael Weisskopf. "Why this is alarming to us is because McDougal died of a heart attack in solitary confinement in jail while the Whitewater prosecution was pending," Batchelor reminded Hayes. "I think that any time you have older men under a lot of stress in jail their health is an issue," Hayes told Batchelor and Alexander.

ELIZABETH WILNER, ABC: Bill Clinton still owes millions of dollars in lawyers' fees, but three years after it was formed, his legal defense fund is now dwindling. Contributions to the Clinton Legal Expense Trust have slowed, solicitations have ceased at least temporarily and one of the administrators of the trust is heading to law school in August. At the fund's seventh and final press briefing, Executive Director Anthony Essaye announced that future reports on the fund's financial status will be filed quietly and quarterly with the Senate, in accordance with the body's ethics rules . . . Formed back in February 1998 to raise money to help the Clintons pay off their legal expenses in connection with the Monica Lewinsky and Whitewater scandals, the fund has taken in a total $8.7 million. But the Clintons' legal expenses now amount to $11.3 million . . . As of today, between what resources the fund currently has on hand and what it already has paid out, Essaye estimated it has covered $7.4 million of total bills.

JAMES RIDGEWAY, VILLAGE VOICE: Investigators from the US Attorney's office have been poring through dusty records stashed in a New York court storeroom, looking for clues as to whether Marc Rich, the onetime fugitive financier, used his former wife, the songwriter Denise Rich, to pass political contributions to Bill and Hillary Clinton in exchange for a January pardon. All sides deny any wrongdoing. At the heart of the investigators' search is a 1993 New York lawsuit, filed by Denise Rich against her ex-husband, whom she accused of defrauding her, as well as the children's trusts. As confusing as the case is, it raises the question of Denise's role in Marc's business: Does she still have a financial stake in Marc's companies, the same ones that were accused of tax evasion in the early '80s? Denise herself admits in the court filings that in the early '90s she got lost in the "dizzying corporate network" of her husband's business dealings. Nonetheless, the picture that emerges from the documents is that of an angry and feisty former wife who had herself been a knowledgeable stockholder, beneficiary, and player inside the Rich empire. It's hardly the cheery picture of songwriter Denise-the pizza-loving girl next door who'd rather hang out with Natalie Cole and write pop songs.

CHARLES THOMPSON II & TONY HAYS, WORLD NET DAILY: In his frenetic last day in office, Bill Clinton issued 177 pardons and commutations. More than 30 of these didn't go through the rigorous screening process that typically takes 18 to 24 months and is designed to weed out people who continued to break the law. And more than six weeks after Clinton departed the White House, Justice Department officials are still at a loss as to who many of these people are or how they received presidential pardons and commutations. Justice officials recently informed several reporters that they were "highly suspicious" about the pardon of James Timothy Maness. All they knew about Maness was that he received a three-year suspended sentence in 1985 in the US District Court for the Western District of Tennessee (Memphis) for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance . . . With a medium amount of difficulty, World Net Daily tracked Maness down. . . . According to the two arresting officers, they had received a tip that Maness was trafficking in large quantities of prescription and illegal drugs. Through an intermediary, they arranged to meet Maness in the Hickory Hills section of Memphis where the two undercover officers, L.O. Phelps and Rick Jewel, were waiting. A surveillance team made a video tape as Phelps and Jewel bought 12 pounds of alleged Quaaludes from Maness . . . "There were so many that we just weighed them instead of counting them," said Phelps. "This was no street-level dealer. This guy was further up the food chain than that. We're talking about $200,000 at 1985 prices."


I feel sometimes defending President Clinton is like being in the Mafia - you just can't get out. You know, I'm like Michael Corleone. How do I get out of this business?" - James Carville during a debate with Bill O'Reilly

STEWART TENDLER, TIMES, LONDON: Customs officers have seized nearly $2 million in cash after it was flown into Britain on behalf of Marc Rich, the fugitive billionaire pardoned by Bill Clinton. Mr Rich, whose presidential pardon is under investigation by the FBI, now has to prove that the cash was honestly acquired, or he could lose it. Investigators are holding the cash under powers aimed at preventing drug traffickers moving their profits from country to country. The cash was found by customs officers this month when a courier for a British security company flew into Gatwick Airport from Europe. The company and courier were hired to transport a high-security package in a case and were un-aware it contained cash . . .

BRIAN BLOMQUIST, NY POST: Anti-Defamation League Director Abraham Foxman admitted he sought a presidential pardon for Marc Rich a month after his group accepted a $100,000 donation from the billionaire financier. Foxman, leader of one of the nation's largest Jewish groups, wrote a letter to then-President Bill Clinton on Dec. 7, urging a pardon for Rich . . . Foxman said last Monday that he regretted writing to Clinton, saying he had a change of heart after learning the feds had offered to let Rich return to the United States on bail to face his legal troubles . . . The ADL acknowledged that Foxman and Rich's Israeli representative, former Mossad agent Avner Azulay, met in Paris last February to discuss ways to resolve Rich's legal problems. Foxman recommended to Azulay that Rich seek a pardon by using his ex-wife Denise Rich - a major contributor to the Clintons' campaigns and to Bill Clinton's library - as an intermediary.


DR. HENRY LEE, one of three consultants hired by Kenneth Starr to look into Vincent Foster's death has told the Globe weekly that he would like the case reopened. Lee has worked on a number of high profile cases inculding that involving O.J. Simpson. Said Lee, ""As a scientist I can only give a recommendation. But I would like to see the case reopened, but I don't think it will happen."

NEWSMAX: The US intelligence review that resulted in the Russian spy purge began well before the arrest of FBI turncoat Robert Hanssen, reports the New York Post, and was, in fact, prompted by other concerns. US spy catchers were particularly worried about "indications that the Russians were aware of Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky well before the scandal broke," the paper said. Not only did Putin's predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, claim in his memoirs that he knew before Ken Starr about Clinton's relationship with Lewinsky, but US intelligence experts now suspect "the Russian SVR spy agency, successor to the KGB, may have intercepted Clinton's phone-sex conversations with her." Undoubtedly those intercepts, if they occurred, were recorded - raising the ominous possibility that Russian leaders had potent evidence to blackmail Clinton starting at the beginning of his second term.

CARL LIMBACHER, NEWSMAX: Because his lawyer was concerned for his physical safety, a key witness in the federal probe into allegations that former first brother Roger Clinton promised presidential clemency in exchange for cash has been moved from his jail cell at the federal penitentiary at El Reno, Okla. Sixty-seven-year-old Garland Lincecum, whose family alleges they paid a company representing Roger over $200,000 to win his freedom, had been thrown into solitary confinement after a prison fight instigated by another inmate. "He was in a suicidal state," reported WABC radio's John Batchelor late Wednesday. "We were concerned that we were looking at another McDougal situation." In March 1998 key Whitewater witness James McDougal died of cardiac arrest in the federal prison medical facility at Fort Worth, Texas, after being thrown into solitary confinement without his heart medication. Batchelor and his radio partner Paul Alexander broke the news of the Lincecum family's charges on Feb. 27, which resulted in a full-blown investigation by the office of US Attorney for New York's Southern District Mary Jo White.

MARCH 2001

JON DOUGHERTY, WORLD NET DAILY: The Democratic National Committee has yet to return illegal campaign contributions made by members of the Indonesian Riady family and the Riady-owned Lippo Group, contrary to assurances by DNC officials that the money had been returned. According to a statement released Wednesday by Judicial Watch, ~ Justice Department lawyers told a federal court that "contrary to public statements, the DNC has never refunded or disgorged the illegal foreign contributions" received from James Riady . . . Riady pleaded guilty Monday to campaign finance violations. The court sentenced him to 400 hours of community service, two years of probation, and fined him $8.6 million -- the largest fine ever imposed for a campaign finance violation. The Lippo executive voluntarily agreed to return to the US from Indonesia and face a court in exchange for the plea agreement. Had a trial ensued, if found guilty Riady could have faced a fine in excess of $17 million. He was facing 87 counts.

BRIAN BLOMQUIST, NY POST: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's brother Hugh still hasn't paid back $100,000 of the $400,000 he took for pushing pardons for two felons - because "he spent some of it," his lawyer said. Lawyer Nancy Luque said Hugh Rodham has no idea when he'll be able to return the money. "His former clients are not pressing him," said Luque, who incorrectly told reporters when the story first broke three weeks ago that Rodham had already repaid the money . . . She added that the senator was going on bad information when she said three weeks ago that her brother had already repaid convicted snake-oil salesman Glenn Braswell and cocaine trafficker Carlos Vignali.

RICHARD A. SERRANO & STEPHEN BRAUN, LA TIMES: The Justice Department has designated a special team of prosecutors to investigate all the last-minute clemencies granted by outgoing President Clinton, including the commutation for convicted Los Angeles drug dealer Carlos Vignali, officials said. The decision by Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft, described by Justice Department officials as unprecedented in its scope, empowers US Atty. Mary Jo White of New York to vastly broaden her office's review of three controversial cases to encompass all 177 pardons and commutations granted by Clinton on his last day in the White House.

RICHARD SALE, UPI: Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin knew about President Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky as early as 1996, according to former US intelligence officials who said that they believe that the Russians obtained the knowledge by compromising secure White House communications. The Clinton-Lewinsky scandal did not become public until 1998 and in 1996 was known only "to a mere handful" of the White House inner circle, these sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity. These officials do not rule out that compromising information given the Russians by accused FBI spy Robert Hanssen could have played a role in helping Yeltsin obtain the information. In the book ``Midnight Diaries'' published last October, Yeltsin said that in November 1996 he had received an encrypted telegram that reported that Republican Party activists intended to plant an attractive young woman in the Clinton White House to embarrass its most senior occupant. In the book, Yeltsin did not name Lewinsky but when asked by an interviewer for the London Times if he knew the woman's name was Lewinsky, he replied: "I knew."

LA TIMES: Lawyers for two men who sought presidential clemency said that their clients were solicited to pay large sums of money in return for Roger Clinton's help in their cases. In one case, a Texas man paid $200,000 in two installments to an Arkansas firm to secure clemency for his brother, who was imprisoned for fraud, said New York attorney Ed Hayes. The convict was not released. In the second, Arkansas lawyer Gene O'Daniel said his client, a North Little Rock caterer, was approached to pay $30,000 in return for Clinton's help in winning a pardon for a 10-year-old felony conviction. "I told him it was crazy," O'Daniel said in an interview. "I had to talk him out of it." The caterer ultimately received a pardon without paying Clinton, O'Daniel said.

NEIL A. LEWIS, NY TIMES: Federal prosecutors are investigating complaints from several people who say they were swindled by two Arkansas businessman who claimed they were partners with Roger Clinton, the former president's half- brother, and could deliver pardons and business deals, law enforcement officials and lawyers said today. One Texas man, Guy H. Lincecum, said he and his mother paid $235,000 to the Arkansas businessmen, Dickey Morton and George Locke, for a pardon for his brother but never received one. The checks from Mr. Lincecum and his mother, Alberta, were deposited in the Arkansas account of a company called C.L.M. Mr. Lincecum said he was told by Mr. Locke and Mr. Morton that the company's initials stood for Clinton, Locke and Morton. Roger Clinton said through a spokeswoman today that though he knew Mr. Locke and Mr. Morton, he never heard of C.L.M. and had never authorized either man to use his name in any way. In fact, all those who said they dealt with Mr. Morton and Mr. Locke said that while they believed their assertions that Mr. Clinton was their partner, they never saw nor spoke to Mr. Clinton.

ROGER MORRIS, GLOBE & MAIL, CANADA: There is an emblematic moment at the start of Bill Clinton's political life. It is January, 1974, and the 27-year-old future president, only months out of Yale Law School, is back in Arkansas eager to run for Congress. A relative unknown, he faces an imposing field of rivals in the Democratic primary, and beyond, in the general election, a powerful Republican incumbent. Yet as soon as he enters the race, Mr. Clinton enjoys a decisive seven-to-one advantage in campaign funds over the nearest Democratic competitor, and will spend twice as much as his well-supported GOP opponent. It begins with a quiet meeting at his mother's house in Hot Springs. Around the kitchen table, as Virginia Clinton will describe the scene, avid young Billy meets with two of his most crucial early backers -- uncle Raymond G. Clinton, a prosperous local Buick dealer, and family friend and wealthy businessman Gabe Crawford. As they talk, Mr. Crawford offers the candidate unlimited use of his private plane, and uncle Raymond not only provides several houses around the district to serve as campaign headquarters, but will secure a $10,000 loan to Bill from the First National Bank of Hot Springs -- an amount then equal to the yearly income of many Arkansas families. Together, the money and aircraft and other gifts, including thousands more in secret donations, will launch Mr. Clinton in the most richly financed race in the annals of Arkansas -- and ultimately onto the most richly financed political career in American history. Though he loses narrowly in 1974, his showing is so impressive, especially in his capacity to attract such money and favors, that he rises rapidly to become state attorney-general, then governor, and eventually, with much the same backing and advantage, president of the United States . . . No mere businessman with a spare plane, Gabe Crawford presided over a back room bookie operation that was one of Hot Springs' most lucrative criminal enterprises. And just as Marc Rich, with his sordid international trafficking from Manhattan to Tripoli, was no ordinary investor, the inimitable uncle Raymond - who had also played a pivotal behind-the-scenes role in keeping young Bill out of the Vietnam draft - was far more than an auto dealer. In the nationally prominent fount of vice and corruption that was Hot Springs from the 1920s to the 1980s (its barely concealed casinos generated more income than Las Vegas well into the 1960s), the uncle's Buick agency and other businesses and real estate were widely thought to be facades for illegal gambling, drug money laundering and other ventures, in which Raymond was a partner. He was a minion of the organized crime overlord who controlled the American Middle South for decades, New Orleans boss Carlos Marcello or "Mafia Kingfish" as his biographer John Davis called him.


FROM TIME TO TIME, readers lambaste us for not "moving on" from the Clinton story. Some of this reaction, we suspect, reflects a realistic understanding that much of the media feels it has the right to exercise plenary power over the news.

Undernews, on the other hand, sees itself as readers' surrogate eyes and ears, surveying the world on their behalf. It is easily distracted by the bawdy, the salacious, the corrupt, and the obscurely profound, but on its best days it will judge news with the help of questions such as these:

Will this story help readers survive their time on this orb? Such inquiry leads to much of the ecological news.

Will this help readers do their work as democratic citizens? Learning things about politicians others don't want you to know would be an example.

When was the last time something like this happened? A query that has led to many of the Clinton stories. Much of what Clinton has done has not only been impeachable, corrupt and/or criminal, but unprecedented as well.

Did your cynical, hard-hitting, seen-it-all editor say, "You gotta be kidding" or something similar upon first learning of the story? That's one of the best journalistic tests.

In classic journalism, which should be covered by the Endangered Species Act, such questions are supreme. This doesn't mean that ideological or philosophical influences are absent, merely that they are easily trumped. The good journalist must, for any good story, be willing to betray his political or social class at a moment's notice. The decline of American journalism accelerated dramatically when reporters agreed instead to be both loyal and predictable. This decline, incidentally, was almost perfectly matched by the rise in journalists' social standing.

There is also the question of what one might move on towards. Another eight years of drug traffickers, other racketeers, and corporate con persons having easy access to the White House? Another president immune from the moral and legal sanctions of the public, media, courts and Congress? Another doubling of the prison population and expansion of the war on drugs with utter silence from the liberal wing of the Democratic Party? More liberal acquiescence to the destruction of democracy and the social welfare programs their forbears so painfully constructed? More dramatic erosion of the electoral position of the party? All these phenomena reflect at least in part the cost of Democrats' denial of events that have gone on about them.

There is finally the fact that Bill and Hillary Clinton remain the leading icons of the Democratic Party, they control its infrastructure, and they control much of the flow of its funding. This is no journalist's fault but it sure is news. If Democrats want a different sort of news, there's a fairly simple solution: create a reform movement - as has occurred many times in the past - to rid the party of the influences that are causing it so much harm. Create some new leaders. Come up with an idea or two. The choice of moving on is in the hands of the Democrats and not the press. Until then, the Clintons remain -- much as with Kissinger in Chile and Bush in Iraq - part of the unfinished business of America.


ROGER FRIEDMAN, FOX NEWS: Despite his former status as one of the country's most wanted white-collar fugitives, Marc Rich controlled a company with a New York-area head office and at least 17 branch offices that has done millions of dollars of business with the federal government. The company continues to operate today. Novarco Ltd. - which has been registered since 1996 with the US Department of Agriculture - handles the export of commodities like aluminum and oil, among other things, to nations around the world. The company's international headquarters is listed as Zug, Switzerland, Rich's home since he fled the United States in 1983 . . . The US executives named in Novarco's incorporation papers include W. David Long, Mike Hopkovitz, Mary Ellen Yacura and Clyde Meltzer. The latter is the same Rich lieutenant who was indicted in 1983 along with Rich for participating in illegal oil sales and creating "daisy chains" - endless corporate shells which kept changing names in order to conduct illegal commodity trading and sales of oil and metal . . . Novarco is not Rich's first US company to flourish since he renounced his citizenship and fled the country in 1982. For many years in the 1980s he operated under the guise of Clarendon Ltd., which dealt mostly in aluminum trading and oil refining. Clarendon was placed on the Defense Logistics Agency's debarment list for three years from 1984-87, after Rich began his exile. Clarendon, however, was removed from the debarment list in January 1988 and six months later it submitted a low bid on solicitation by the US Mint. Clarendon subsequently won 19 other contracts for copper, zinc and nickel. During 1988-92, Clarendon made $45 million from doing business with the U.S. government by selling copper, zinc, and nickel to the U.S. Mint for making nickels. That was until then-Rep. Bob Wise, D-W.Va. - now governor of West Virginia - got wise and helped put a stop to the practice.

WASHINGTON TIMES: "Efforts that piggyback off the current pardon controversy to see if former President Clinton favored contributors while Arkansas governor have dead-ended - where else? - at a Little Rock mini-storage," Paul Bedard writes in US News & World Report. "Briefly: Clinton's official papers and correspondence from his 12 years in office are protected as 'private property' from Freedom of Information Act snoops. Unlike past governors, Clinton didn't turn most over to state schools, leaving a big gap in state history documentation . . . "John Ferguson, director of the Arkansas History Commission, says the University of Arkansas had Clinton's papers from his first term, 1978-1980, but they disappeared before the ex-guv's 1992 presidential bid. He also says no Clinton contributor lists exist. 'Sometimes a politician literally disposes of the records.' Ask about the papers and the mystery grows. Correspondent Suzi Parker says requests are rebuffed with, 'Don't ask about the papers.'"

ALEXANDER COCKBURN & JEFFREY ST. CLAIR, NEW YORK PRESS: The vultures are picking his bones. Bob Herbert, Salon, Joe Biden, Barney Frank, Lanny Davis . . . They've all finally thrown Bill over the side . . . Salon stuck with Clinton through thick and thin, never conceding the jaunty corruption that has been Bill's preeminent characteristic since the day he entered the gubernatorial mansion in Little Rock, but insisting all the while on his honesty and innocence on all charges . . . Salon could take the welfare bill, the Effective Death Penalty Act, the telecommunications reform bill, Waco, the war on drugs, the doubling of the prison population, the sale of the Lincoln bedroom as testimonies to a successful presidency. Clinton spoiled everything by issuing a pardon urged on him by people normally held in the highest respect by liberal Democrats, among them outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Shimon Peres, Abe Foxman of the ADL and Elie Wiesel . . . Yes, this is the Bob Herbert who only four months ago managed to avert his gaze from the mountain of evidence about the ethics and vulgarity of the Clintons, and who lashed Ralph Nader for presuming to raise the standard of honesty and dignity in government. There's nothing more distasteful than listening to a bunch of dupes suddenly announcing eight years after the evidence was in that they'd been duped. Bill has a legitimate gripe.

REUTERS: New York state officials said they were suing pardoned billionaire financier Marc Rich for income tax evasion and were seeking $137 million owed on money he made in the 1980s while in control of two companies that admitted fraud involving illegal oil trading . . . "Mr. Rich has avoided his tax payments in New York for nearly two decades while he was under federal indictment," New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Arthur Roth said in a statement. "It is now time for him to pay the piper," said Roth, who added that the department had not previously filed civil litigation against Rich in order not to jeopardize the federal investigation against him that led to criminal charges.


THE PARDON SCANDAL has brought to some media and political circles the first glimmer of comprehension of the deep and corrosive connections between WJ Clinton and the criminal underworld. These connections have been apparent from the start to those who bothered to look behind the patina of the Clinton myth. Clinton was raised by mob-connected relatives and backed in his campaigns by members of the Dixie Mafia - including major drug traffickers. He used their cocaine, appointed them, covered for them, looked the other way for them, partied with them, cut deals with them, and now has pardoned some of them.

The Marc Rich pardon opens one window on this little covered, sordid side of the Clinton saga, as does the commutation of Carlos Vignali's sentence. Vignali was sent to jail in 1994 for conspiring to sell 800 pounds of cocaine. He has said that the word was out in prisons that the White House was open for pardon business. Now the word is out elsewhere that the war on drugs means little if you have a line to the White House.

But the pardon that perhaps offers the best insight into the real Bill Clinton is that of his half-brother Roger. Roger is being falsely presented as a small time user who got caught. In fact, when his case was coming to trial, the US attorney, Asa Hutchinson, described him as one of the "tentacles of the drug distribution system" in Arkansas.

Roger early developed a four-gram, 16 times a day cocaine habit, getting his stuff from New York and Medellin suppliers, based (as one middleman would later testify) on "who his brother was." According to federal drug probe testimony, Sharlene Wilson, one of his dealers, began selling cocaine to Roger as early as 1979. A therapist would testify later that Roger had been getting close to a "lethal dose."

Meanwhile the Clinton boys' mother was hanging out at the race track with mobsters and other local figures, including Dan Lasater who bred race horses in Kentucky and Florida and had a box at the track next to hers. Mrs. Clinton introduced Lasater to Roger Clinton. Lasater gave Roger work and later loaned him $8,000 to help pay off a $20,000 drug debt. Lasater was a colorful character who made his early money with his Ponderosa steak house operation. His later sources of income would become far less clear, but he had plenty of money to throw around. According to FBI reports cited by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, he lost a Lear jet in Colombia in 1977 after authorities there seized it on suspicion of narcotics trafficking. Among the passengers on the jet was Jamiel "Jimmy" Chagra, a major American mob boss. Evans-Pritchard reports that the DEA opened a file on Lasater in 1983. Lasater was tipped off at once by one of his friendly sources in law enforcement. On another occasion he bailed out the governor of Kentucky, John Y. Brown, delivering $300,000 in cash in a paper bag to Brown at the Lexington airport. He also offered New Mexico governor Tony Anaya a job at the end of his term. The governor declined, but built - with taxpayer's funds - a 8,900 foot runway at Lasater's Angel Fire Ski Resort. Later, a US Customs investigative report would note that the resort was being used for drug operations and money laundering. The state attorney general investigated Lasaster for suspected "narcotics trafficking via aircraft with possible organized crime ties." Lasater also bought a ranch in Belize that was reportedly used for drug trafficking. One drug pilot described to Evans-Pritchard the trip from Belize to Arkansas, including having once been met by his pickup - an Arkansas trooper in a marked car. Said the pilot, "Arkansas was a very good place to load and unload."

Sharlene Wilson partied with both the Clinton boys. She told the London Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in 1995 that she sold two grams of cocaine to Bill Clinton at the Little Rock nightclub Le Bistro: "I watched Bill Clinton lean up against a brick wall. He was so messed up that night, he slid down the wall into a garbage can and just sat there like a complete idiot." Wilson also described gatherings at Little Rock's Coachman's Inn between 1979 and 1981, where she saw Clinton using cocaine "quite avidly" with friends. State drug prosecutor Jean Duffey said that she had no doubt that Wilson was telling the truth.

The stories were confirmed by others. Two Arkansas state troopers swore under oath that they had seen Clinton "under the influence" of drugs when he was governor. Historian Roger Morris, in his book "Partners in Power," quoted several law enforcement officials who claimed to have seen and knew of Clinton's drug use. One-time apartment manager Jane Parks said that in 1984 she would listen through the wall as Bill and Roger Clinton, in a room adjoining hers, discussed the quality of the drugs they were taking as they partied with numerous women noisily enough that neighbors complained. The same year, Hot Springs police recorded Roger Clinton during a cocaine transaction in which he is heard saying, "Got to get some for my brother. He's got a nose like a vacuum cleaner."

According to some witnesses, Lasater had a back door pass to the governor's mansion, and one state trooper reported taking Clinton to Lasater's office regularly and waiting forty-five minutes or an hour for him to come out. Although similar stories about Washington mayor Marion Barry were widely circulated, the Clinton cocaine connection was kept under wraps by the Washington press.

In 1984, a Clinton bodyguard, state trooper L.D. Brown, applied for a CIA opening. Clinton gave him help on his application essay including making it more Reaganesque on the topic of Nicaragua. According to Brown, he met a CIA recruiter in Dallas whom he later identified as former member of Vice President Bush's staff. On the recruiter's instruction, he also met with notorious drug dealer Barry Seal in a Little Rock restaurant, later joining Seal in flight to Honduras with a purported shipment of M16s and a return load of duffel bags. Brown got $2,500 in small bills for the flight. Concerned about the mission, Brown consulted with Clinton who said, "Oh, you can handle it, don't sweat it." On second flight, Brown found cocaine in a duffel bag and again he sought Clinton's counsel. Clinton allegedly said to the politically conservative Brown, "Your buddy Bush knows about it" and of the cocaine, "that's Lasater's deal."

According to Morris, the then 27-year-old Roger Clinton's name began to appear in federal and local narcotics files in early 1984. He already had a string of other offenses, including speeding and drunk driving, none of which prevented his brother from appointing him to the state crime commission's juvenile advisory board. He was soon removed for nonattendance.

Roger Clinton's actions were caught both on videotape and by wired informers, one of whom recorded him negotiating a $10,000 coke deal. A video caught him discussing payoffs to arrange state approval of sewer lines in a development. Roger said, "I need $10,000 for my brother to take care of EPA regs and other environmental oversight problems." And between 1983 and 1985, state troopers at the governor's mansion logged Roger in at least 36 times with "females," "girl," or "a friend."

But the big time drug operative began running into big time trouble. Someone slashed his convertible's roof and stole $8,000 worth of cocaine. His New York and Medillin dealers were on his case and, according to his own and Lasater's later statements to police and FBI, they even threatened his mother and Bill. It was the last thing Bill needed and he got Lasater to provide a haven for Roger at his 1000-acre horse ranch in Ocala FL, where the drug parties and lifestyle continued with more safety. Roger Morris quotes a senior employee at the ranch as saying, "I was told we were stashing him for some politician Mr. Lasater was working."

In 1985, Clinton established the Arkansas Development Finance Authority that would become, in the words of one well-connected Arkansan "his own political piggy bank." Though millions of dollars were funneled to Clinton allies, records of repayments would be hazy or non-existent. Dan Lasater was a major underwriter and got a $30 million bond deal for state police radios even as Roger Clinton was making a bargain with the US attorney to testify against Lasater in a drug case. Later, an investigator found evidence of an electronic transfer of $50 million from the Arkansas Development Financial Authority to a bank in the Cayman Islands. Grand Cayman had a population of 18,000, 570 commercial banks, one bank regulator and a bank secrecy law. It has been a favorite destination spot for laundered drug money.

Meanwhile, there was a struggle between those trying to quash the growing case against Roger Clinton and Dan Lasater and those trying to make sure it went ahead. In the end, the case was pursued but simultaneously it was ensured that the investigation would go no further. In 1986 Lasater pled guilty to cocaine distribution charges after the younger Clinton copped a plea and agreed to testify against Lasater and Roger's friend, Sam Anderson Jr. One law enforcement official described the investigation into Lasater's operations as "either a high dive or extremely unprofessional. Take your pick." It seems clear to some that the US prosecutor on the case, George Proctor, found it best not to dig too deep. While Lasater was in prison, his affairs were run by Patsy Thomasson, who later would become a White House aide, responsible, among other things, for drug testing. George Proctor would become a high Justice Department official, heading an office that handled, among other things, narcotics and the BCCI case.

Historian Morris writes, "Law enforcement officials were dismayed and angry at the stunted probe of Lasater. Whatever the limits or extent of Lasater's cocaine trafficking or the nature of his other dealings, most believe that beyond him the larger corruption in Little Rock and elsewhere pointed unmistakably to organized crime, not to mention the vast crimes of Mena - none of which would be pursued."

In 1989 Terry Reed filed a civil action against Buddy Young, chief of the Clinton security detail and later a top FEMA official. Reed asrgued that he had been framed after trying to pull away from his involvement in the Iran-Contra machinations. His suit threatened to expose not only Clinton misdeeds but details of the Contra guns-for-drugs scheme. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports in "The Secret Life of Bill Clinton" that one witness, trooper Patterson, had testified that there were "large quantities of drugs being flown into Mena airport, large quantities of money, large quantities of guns." One estimate was that ten million dollars were passing through Mena every week. Patterson said the matter was repeatedly discussed in front of Clinton by his bodyguards. Patterson said the governor had "very little comment to make; he was just listening to what was being said." Reed's case unraveled when the state judge ruled that no evidence regarding Mena, the CIA, Dan Lasater, the Arkansas Development Finance Agency, or the Clintons would be permitted.

In 1990 Dan Lasater was pardoned by Governor Clinton after serving just six months in jail and four in a halfway house on minor charges. The pardon, which was of dubious value given that Lasater had been charged under federal law, was purportedly issued so that Lasater could get a hunting license. Lasater returned to his 7,400 acre ranch in Saline County.

Four years later Gandy Baugh, an attorney who had represented Lasater, jumped to his death. Baugh's law partner committed suicide a month after Baugh. That same year, according to Greg Hitt of Dow Jones News Service, minutes of a high level Resolution Trust Corporation meeting included this note: "Dan Lasater may have been establishing depository accounts at Madison and other financial institutions and laundering drug money through them via brokered deposits and bond issues."

In 1996, Lasater testified before Congress. In his trial and in testimony before the Senate Whitewater committee, Lasater admitted to being free with coke, including ashtrays full of it on his corporate jet. He also admitted to having given coke to employees and to minors. But he took umbrage at being called a drug dealer since he claimed he didn't charge for the stuff.

The New York Times, among many other mainstream media, did not bother to cover the story despite Lasater's closeness to the Clintons. In fact, that year, Clinton scandals rated all of one hour and twelve minutes on major evening TV news programs.

The other day, the three major networks spent 33 minutes in just one evening on Clinton scandals. That's a form of progress. Maybe some day they and the rest of the corporate media will take a few minutes and explain to us how and why it was that for nearly a decade they gave a preemptive pardon to a national politician as mobbed up as any this country has ever seen.


SUSAN SCHMIDT, WASHINGTON POST: Two friends of Roger Clinton convicted of drug offenses in the 1980s said today the half-brother of former president Bill Clinton talked to them about obtaining presidential pardons . . . Lasater was not among those pardoned by Clinton, which dismayed both him and the president's sibling, who said he had promised six longtime friends they would get pardons. When they were not pardoned but he was, Roger Clinton told the Los Angeles Times today, "it caused a rift" with his brother . . . A second friend of Roger Clinton, Sam Anderson of Hot Springs, Ark., said in an interview that he too discussed a pardon with the president's brother. In exchange for a reduced sentence on a cocaine distribution conspiracy charge, Roger Clinton testified against Anderson during Anderson's drug trial in 1985 and against Lasater during grand jury proceedings . . . "Maybe my name was on a list, but it was not something I sought or went for," he said. "Roger tends to tell people what they want to hear." WASHINGTON POST

NEWSMAX: Chief House Pardongate prober Dan Burton is getting death threats as he moves forward with his investigation of Bill and Hillary Clinton's role in the pardons-for-cash scandal . . . Burton is the latest in a long line of investigators and witnesses who were subject to death threats and various other forms of intimidation after speaking out against the Clintons. Others who had to take extra security precautions include former independent counsel Kenneth Starr, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Webber Wright, Whitewater witness David Hale, and Sexgate witnesses Monica Lewinsky, Linda Tripp, Kathleen Willey and Gennifer Flowers NEWSMAX:

JAMES RIDGEWAY, VILLAGE VOICE: The mystery man in the Hugh Rodham pardon scandal may turn out to be Kendall Coffey, another Florida lawyer. The current coverage is focusing on Rodham, Senator Hillary Clinton's brother, and the $400,000 he was paid after President Clinton pardoned and commuted the sentences of two men, convicted herbalist swindler A. Glenn Braswell and drug smuggler Carlos Vignali. . . . But the man who actually prepared the testimonials and applications was Kendall Coffey, a former US attorney appointed by Clinton and lead attorney for the White House in the Elián González case . . . Coffey lost his US attorney job for biting a stripper. He is remembered for having lost a key drug case against two smugglers who had been accused of importing 75 tons of cocaine, said to be worth $2 billion. It was the biggest drug-smuggling case ever lost by federal prosecutors. On a February 1996 evening Coffey was at Lipstik, a Miami nude bar, where he had a private session in which stripper Tamara "Tiffany" Gutierrez danced naked for him. Inexplicably, Coffey lunged for her breast and missed, biting her on the arm. He was escorted out of the establishment. Coffey had put his tab on a credit card. When exposed, Coffey resigned. Most recently, Coffey was in the news as one of the attorneys working on the recount for the Gore campaign in Florida. VILLAGE VOICE

NEWSMAX: First brother-in-law and central Pardongate figure Hugh Rodham was "barricaded" inside the White House residence during President Clinton's final days in office, rebuffing attempts to get him to leave. That's one of the reports currently making the rounds behind the scenes in DC, according to NBC Washington Bureau chief Tim Russert. "The stories about Hugh Rodham moving into the White House -- I mean, you know, he was barricaded on the third floor," Russert told radioman Don Imus. "There's all kinds of reports that he wouldn't leave, they couldn't get him out," Russert added. "Episodes about eating whole chickens -- I can't begin to tell you what's going on down here."