Whitewater and Clinton Scandal Clips
from The Progressive Review
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
CLINTONISTA CROOK HIT WITH $80,000 FINE
While the House can seem to find anything much wrong, Clintonista racketeers continue to be called to account elsewhere. A federal judge has fined Miami businessman, Democratic fundraiser, and Bill&Al buddy Howard Glicken $80,000 for illegally soliciting $20,000 in foreign contributions. The judge also gave Glicken 18 months probation and 500 hours of community service. Glicken is one of 14 members of the Clinton machine who have been charged so far by the Justice Department in its campaign finance investigation.
THIS ISN'T ABOUT SEX, EITHER
From Francis Boyle, Professor of Law
University of Illinois -- Urbana
An excellent example of impeachable offenses, high crimes and misdemeanors, and abuses of power by President Clinton are his gratuitous bombings of Sudan and Afghanistan and his aborted attack on Iraq. .... For President Clinton to go to war against two states, to launch military attacks on them in the middle of the night, without any authorization by Congress, to destroy the civilian pharmaceutical factory in Sudan killing at least one person, and we still do not know how many people Clinton killed and exactly what he destroyed in Afghanistan while also hitting Pakistan, subverts our constitutional system of government.
First comes the War Powers Clause of the United States Constitution, Article I, Section 8 that expressly requires authorization by Congress before the President can engage in acts of war, unless there is a direct attack upon the United States. ....
Second comes the War Powers Resolution of 1973 that was enacted by
Congress over President Nixon's veto in order to prevent a repetition of
the Vietnam War scenario, which America gradually entered because of
repeated presidential lies, misrepresentations, deceits, and falsehoods at
every step of the way.
FRANCIS A. BOYLE
SENTENCED CLINTON-GORE PAL GETS RUN OF EMBASSY
Howard Glicken, one of the more than two-score criminal friends and firms close to Clinton and Gore identified so far, didn't waste any time between pleading guilty and being sentenced for illegal fund-raising. An investigator for the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, in Buenos Aires on
official business spotted Glicken who, he learned, had the run of the US Embassy there despite his criminal status. Reports Robert Novak, Glicken's "specialty has been bringing Latin Americans into contact with top-level Clinton administration officials."
DID CLINTON LEGAL FUND
Insight Magazine reports that some federal investigators and private lawyers view Clinton's legal defense fund solicitations as racketeering-related mail and wire fraud since "the president made specific claims that the Monica Lewinsky allegations were completely false. Clinton and his aides denied in the fund-raising appeals all the Lewinsky-affair charges of perjury, obstruction of justice and witness tampering." Insight quotes an unnamed Justice Department official: "It's classic wire fraud. The fund-raising appeals were in furtherance of a conspiracy and could easily rise to racketeering."
HANKS REGRETS GIVING
TO CLINTON FUND
Tom Hanks says that he "regrets" ever giving $10,000 to the President's legal defense fund because of what he has since learned about the president's behavior. This is the first break in the sycophantic phalanx of Hollywood Clintonistas. .... But it's seems to have given Hanks an idea: run for office himself. He tells the New Yorker, "My image is a really good one. I made a nice acceptance speech on TV a couple of times. I handle myself pretty well in the glare of the entertainment media. The actual ideology that anyone can glean as projected by my appearances on TV is that America is good because we are all so different, and respecting each other is not so hard a thing to do. Not a bad platform, I suppose, to run for some office."
Mr. Clinton is asking members to decide whether lying and dissembling are a sufficient defense for a president accused of lying and dissembling. -- Washington Post editorial
SECRET SERVICE LOST
TRACK OF FOSTER
ON DAY OF DEATH
Most kindly suggestive of a major lapse of security, the Secret Service says it has no logs or surveillance video showing the arrival or departure of Vince Foster to the White House on his last day of work, July 20, 1993. The SS was replying to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by independent Whitewater investigator Allan J. Favish. Logging staff and visitors in and out of the white House is one of the most basic functions of the SS.
FOIA REQUEST AND RESPONSE
BILL ON BILL
DON PEDRO, PRINCE OF ARRAGON: Officers, what offence have these men done?
DOGBERRY, A CONSTABLE: Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust things; and to conclude, they are lying knaves. -- Much Ado About Nothing
ANOTHER BILL ON BILL
What Clinton has done in his mocking answers to 81 questions is to fling down a gauntlet: Impeach me if you dare. If you dare not, then the only adjectives acceptable to me in a shame-on-you-resolution are "indefensible" and "wrong" about my initial behavior and "misled" about my subsequent denials under oath (not 'lied' and certainly never 'unlawful'). You have my permission to be cross, goes this message -- but not judgmental. -- William Safire
TAINTED BLOOD FOR "POCKET MONEY"
The men who ran the 1980s tainted blood program in Arkansas have told the Ottawa Citizen that the program was justified because the inmate-donors needed "pocket money."
Writes Mark Kennedy: "That excuse has sparked outrage from Canadian victims who received the prison plasma which is believed to have been infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and with hepatitis C."
"I don't really feel that we did anything wrong," said John Byus, medical
director for the Arkansas Department of Corrections. "Does our conscience
bother us? I'm sorry, I think our conscience was led by the reality of what
we were trying to do. The reality was trying to maintain a program."
Dr. Francis "Bud" Henderson, medical director of Health Management Associates (HMA), the private firm that ran the blood program for the state, told Kennedy there were concerns prisoners' morale would be harmed if they couldn't donate.
Although the tainted blood story has been ignored in the US, it is a major scandal in Canada and the target of an investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned in the early 80s that prison plasma carried a high risk of being contaminated. Says Kennedy, "At the request of the FDA, U.S. companies that fractionate blood products stopped buying prison blood in late 1982. But HMA found a willing buyer in a Montreal blood broker which resold it to Toronto-based Connaught Laboratories. From there, the plasma was pooled and turned into a special blood product and then sent to the Canadian Red Cross, which distributed it to hundreds of hemophiliacs.
"The prison-plasma pipeline was suddenly capped in the summer of 1983 when
it was discovered that plasma from several Arkansas prisoners should not
have been collected. .... The products were recalled, but not quickly enough, leaving 3,933 vials to be injected into the arms of unsuspecting hemophiliacs. The Red Cross immediately cancelled the Connaught contract."
Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas at the time the tainted blood was being collected from the state's inmates.
"Someone close to the President" explained to the New York Post's Neal Travis, why the White House wants censure: "Censure means nothing. Why, the next time there's a Democratic-controlled Congress, they could have the censure expunged from the Congressional Record."
Attorney Christopher Horner offered the Washington Times' John McCaslin this take on the warped logic of the Clintonistas: "Lie under oath - bad. Lie under oath about sex or to facilitate your sex life -- fine. Steal a car -- bad. Steal a car to have sex in, or get to your sex -- fine. Rob a bank -- bad. Rob a bank and use the proceeds to assist with sex -- fine. .... Do anything you want illegal; but ensure that at some point in the process you have some sex; you are then off the hook."
THE ESPY ACQUITTAL
Not about sex but about your dinner
Independent prosecutor Dan Smaltz brought 15 criminal or civil prosecutions against 14 persons, seven companies and one law firm. He obtained 15 convictions and collected over $11 million in fines and civil penalties. Offenses for which convictions were obtained included false statements, concealing money from prohibited sources, illegal gratuities, illegal contributions, falsifying records, interstate transportation of stolen property, money laundering, and illegal receipt of USDA subsidies. The largest corporate offender, Tyson Foods, paid the government $6 million in settlement of its case.
Net cost of investigation: $6 million or 3% of what Tyson Foods receives annually in federal government contracts.
Because of the acquittal of former ag Secretary Michael Espy, however, one would never guess that Smaltz had done anything right. In fact, the Washington elite, led by the major media, has leaped on the acquittal as evidence of the gross failure of the independent prosecutor statute.
Smaltz' work demonstrates precisely what such a position is essential. No one else in Washington -- not the Justice Department, not Congress, not the media wanted to look into the Ag Department scandals which were, at their heart, not about sex nor about tickets to footballs games but about the safety of food that appears on your dinner plate.
For example, last spring Consumer Reports revealed significant levels of contamination in chickens purchased from a number of different sources, including Tyson and Holly Farms. Although the precise number of food poisoning cases is impossible to come by, US officials say the reported cases of chicken poisoning rose three-fold between 1988 and 1992.
Espy was made ag secretary only after being flown to Arkansas to get the approval of Don Tyson. In office, Espy backtracked on tougher chicken contamination standards.
The primary reason Espy was let off was not because he had not received illegal gratuities -- in fact, others were convicted of giving them to him -- but because a US Court of Appeals last spring ruled that the applicable law required that Espy "knowingly and willfully" acted to break the law. As the Washington Times put it, "Intent by the companies who gave him the gifts did not matter in the decision." Further Espy claimed that he fell under another exception -- that all the gratuities had come from friends.
As the law now stands -- it's before the Supreme Court in another Smaltz case -- it is okay for federal officials to accept bribes as long as no one can prove they did anything specific in return and further that if the bribers and bribee are buddies, than the latter is off the hook.
Clearly this interpretation makes a mockery of bribery laws and, if allowed to stand, will contribute further to the rampant culture of impunity among the powerful. You can add "payoff" to the growing list of words -- like "sexual relations" and "is" -- that those in high places no longer comprehend.
There were another reason the Smaltz probe was important. Back in 1994, Time reported that a senior pilot for Tyson had been grilled for three days by Smaltz and FBI agents about transfers of cash to the governor's mansion. Joe Henrickson claimed to have carried white envelopes containing a quarter-inch stack of $100 bills on six occasions.
Here's how Ambrose Evans-Pritchard describes what happened next:
"In one case, [Henrickson claimed] a Tyson executive handed him an envelope of cash in the company's aircraft hanger in Fayetteville and said, 'This is for Governor Clinton."
"'I nearly fell off my chair when I heard Joe make the allegation. I took over the questions,' Smaltz told Time."
But Smaltz had no authority to investigate Clinton and when he asked Janet Reno for permission she said no. Reno's refusal, along with Starr's mishandling of the Mena drug and Foster death investigations, rank among the biggest scandals that lie within the Whitewater scandal.
RACKETEERING LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST CLINTON MACHINE
Judicial Watch -- the group that does the work that Congress, the Justice Department, Kenneth Starr and the media won't -- has filed an omnibus civil lawsuit aimed at getting to the bottom of the "Chinagate" scandal being so persistently ignored elsewhere.
Judicial Watch filed the civil lawsuit on behalf of Loral Space and Communications, LTD, whose rights and holdings have allegedly been jeopardized by its management's illegal dealings with the Clinton Administration and the Chinese government. The suit &SHY; a shareholder, civil conspiracy and anti-racketeering action &SHY; names as defendants Loral Chairman and CEO Bernard Schwartz, President Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Clinton-Gore fundraiser John Huang, the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and a number of other individuals.
The lawsuit charges Schwartz with allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and negligence. It charges the DNC, DSCC and DCCC with unjust enrichment and further charges all the named parties with civil conspiracy and violation of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. It draws connections between over $1 million in campaign contributions by Schwartz and such government favors as participation in the notorious Ron Brown "trade missions," administration assistance in obtaining huge contracts with the Chinese, and Clinton waivers of export and national security regulations despite objections from the State Department and intelligence agencies.
Although charges related to compomise of national serous are the mmost serious, the Ron Brown "pay-now-play-later" trade mission scam is perhaps most emblematic of the campaign contribution scandal, amounting on its face to what previous generations of reporters and politicians would have seen as highly organized bribery. Here's how the suit describes it:
Under Secretary Brown, the Commerce Department sponsored a series of foreign trade missions, allegedly to promote U.S. business interests abroad. On such trade missions, U.S. business leaders traveled overseas with Secretary Brown and other Commerce Department officials to meet with foreign business leaders and government officials. These trade missions often resulted in lucrative business deals for U.S. businesses, or expanded business contacts that led to, or could lead to, future business deals.
Before the start of a trade mission, participating U.S. business leaders often met with President Clinton or Vice-President Gore at the White House, during which time information was provided to U.S. business leaders. .... Seats on Commerce Department trade missions were provided in exchange for $100,000 contributions to the DNC at the direction of Hillary Rodham Clinton and with the knowledge and approval of President Clinton and Vice-President Gore.
.... A January 13, 1994 memorandum from DNC official Eric Silden shows that the DNC had a direct role in selecting participants for Commerce Department trade missions. The memorandum states:
"[OBL Deputy Director] Sally Painter at Commerce called to ask for a list of candidates for a trade mission to Russia. She needs an initial list by tomorrow (Friday 1/14) of 20-30 names . . . . Ari will use the "Belgium trade mission list" as a base of names, to be augmented by additional names that he feels are relevant to Russian trade. It was suggested that he contact Reta Lewis to determine which names on the Belgium list will be included in the delegation, so that they are not submitted to Commerce for the Russian delegation."
According to a DNC brochure regarding its "Managing Trustees Program," individuals who contributed $100,000 to the DNC were "invited to participate in foreign trade missions, which affords opportunities to join Party leaders in meeting with business leaders abroad," among other perquisites.
JUDICIAL WATCH LAWSUIT
& EXPENSE ACCOUNT
[Note each $ represents $10,000 paid by Loral CEO Bernard Schwartz to Democratic organizations in the month indicated. According to the Judicial Watch suit, Schwartz contributed at least $1.5 million to the Democrats between 1994 and 1998, making him the single largest contributor to these groups.]
JUN 94: $$$$$$$$$$
AUG 94: Schwartz goes on trade mission to Chine with Ron Brown. Brown and agents of John Huang orchestrate meetings between Schwartz and Chinese government and business leaders. Late Schwartz will tell the Washington Post that the mission "helped open doors that were not open before."
SEP 94: Schwartz tells the Wall Street Journal "I think that political involvement does enhance the visibility of a corporate executive and to the extent that visibility is enhanced, access is enhanced as well." He tells Business Week: "I can open any door I want as chairman of a $6 billion company."
APR 95: $$$
JUN 95: $$$$$$$$$$
SEP 95: $$$$
OCT 95: Secretary of State Warren Christopher refuses to change special export restrictions as requested by Loral and other aerospace corporations. In doing so, Secretary Christopher sided with the Defense Department, CIA, NSA and some of his own advisors, who noted that sensitive technological secrets were embedded in U.S. commercial satellites that could jeopardize "significant military and intelligence interests."
NOV 95: $$$$$$$$$$
FEB 96: $$
President Clinton signs national security waivers to allow four U.S. commercial satellites to be launched in China, despite evidence that China is exporting nuclear and missile technology to Pakistan and Iran, among other nations. One of these satellites belongs to Loral. Nine days later a Chinese Long March rocket carrying a $200 million satellite belonging to Loral fails in mid-flight. The suit charges that the circuit board from the highly classified encryption device in the satellite was found to be missing when the Chinese returned debris from the explosion to U.S. authorities, even though a control box containing the circuit board was recovered intact. Peoples Liberation Army soldiers reportedly sorted through the debris while U.S. officials were kept away from the crash site for five hours. U.S. officials have publicly stated that they suspect the Chinese authorities took the board. After the crash, NSA reportedly changes the encoded algorithms used by U.S. satellites because of the apparent release of highly classified information. The Justice Department subsequently begins an investigation of Loral's alleged release of secret information.
APR 96: $$$$$$
MAR 96: Clinton overrules Christopher at the urging of the Commerce Department on the export restrictions
JUN 96: $$$$$$$$$$
JUL 96: $
SEP 96: $$$$$
OCT 96: $$$
NOV 96: On the same day that President Clinton and Vice-President Gore are reelected, authority for licensing the export of U.S. commercial satellites is shifted from the State Department to the Commerce Department.
JAN 97: $$$$$
APR 97: $
JUN 97: $$$$$$$$$$
JUL 97: $$$$$
DEC 97: $$$$$$$$$$$
JAN 98: $$$
FEB 98: President Clinton approves a waiver allowing the launch of another satellite belonging to Defendant Loral on board a Chinese rocket, despite a recommendation by the Department of Justice that the waiver would have a significant adverse impact on any prosecution arising from its pending investigation. Justice advises Clinton that it does not believe it could obtain convictions from a jury once the jury learned that the President had found a subsequent waiver to be in the national interest.
MAR 98: $$$
APR 98: $$$$$$$$$$
JUN 98: According The New York Times, a report by the Defense Technology Security Administration says Loral's unauthorized release of sensitive technology to the Chinese gave rise to at least three "major" violations of U.S. national security, three medium violations and twelve "minor" infractions.
JUL 98: CIA Director George Tenent orders his agency to assess Loral's unauthorized technology transfer for national security damage.
AUG 98: $$$$$$$$$$
LET'S SEE, FIRST CALL DICK MORRIS,
THEN GO ON TV AND POINT YOUR FINGER. . .
A Navy admiral on the staff of the chief of naval operations has been charged with adultery and lying to investigators about two suspected affairs.
HOW TANGLED WEBB PRACTICED TO DECEIVE
When Webster Hubbell was indicted yet again -- this time on 15 counts stemming from allegedly criminal legal work he did with Hillary Clinton -- the Associated Press described the major Whitewater crook as a "former golf buddy of the president's" and Reuters called him "a confident and golfing partner."
Thus do major media continue to distort the scandals of the Clinton machine -- building up trivial targets such as Linda Tripp and minimizing central figures such as Hubbell. Here are a few of the things worth knowing about this central figure:
-- Hubbell's relationship with the Clintons goes back to the 1970s. In fact, Webster Hubbell's father-in-law, Seth Ward (another mystery figure in the Whitewater saga) was one of the members of the Little Rock Airport Commission that hired Hillary as its lawyer in 1978 after dumping another attorney.
-- In 1983, Hubbell, Hillary, and her purported lover Vince Foster joined in an investment scheme that named each other (rather than their spouses) as beneficiaries, according to Clinton biographer Roger Morris.
-- In the mid-1980s Hubbell helped to draft the legislation that allowed the later notorious Arkansas Development Finance Authority to take over most of the best state bond business. The bonds, involving hundreds of millions of dollars, were personally approved by Clinton and his cronies with the details handled by the brokerage firm of subsequently jailed drug distributor and Roger Clinton drug debt underwriter Dan Lasater. AFDA became a political piggy bank for Clinton's friends or, as we say these days, his golf buddies.
-- According to Morris, Hubbell, Hillary, and Foster "staged a veritable coup to wrest control of the Rose Law firm in 1988."
-- In February 1993, TPR reported, "As Clinton was fumbling around trying to find an attorney general, the Justice Department was under the watchful, albeit highly unofficial, eye of Webb Hubbell, Hillary Clinton's former law partner. Hubbell is also a close buddy of Clinton's. Back when Clinton decided it was time for a state ethics commission, he appointed Hubbell to it. After the state house of representatives passed strong ethics legislation, it got hung up in the state senate. Thereupon, according to the New York Times last spring, Clinton, Hubbell and others rewrote the legislation to exempt the governor from some of its most rigorous provisions. .... Hubbell also was the lawyer for Park on Meter, a parking meter manufacturer in Russellville, Arkansas, which received the first industrial development loan (for $2.75 million) from the Arkansas Development Finance Authority in 1985. It has been suspected that POM was doing a lot more than making parking meters -- specifically that it had secret federal contracts to make components of chemical and biological weapons and devices to carry them on C-130s for the Contras."
-- Charles R. Smith of Softwar newsletter reported recently that "Republican insiders are grumbling" that their efforts to investigate Webster Hubbell's involvement in the handling of encryption technology has been blocked "because the secret National Security Agency is threatening to retaliate against Hill members." At issue is Hubbell's role in the Clipper chip fiasco in which the NSA-pushed "bug on chip" was to be required on all telephones, faxes and computer modems. Softwar quoted a Republican Capitol Hill staff member as saying that the NSA 'does not want Hubbell investigated.' The NSA has quietly threatened to 'out any congressional member like Burton' who mentions Hubbell with encryption and China.
-- Hubbell was eventually convicted not of some offense the Washington establishment now regards as trivial -- such as lying to a grand jury or obstruction of justice -- but of the real crime of tax evasion and mail fraud involving the theft of nearly a half million dollars from his partners at the Rose firm and failing to pay nearly $150,000 in taxes.
-- After quitting the Justice Department and before going to jail, Hubbell was a busy man. He met with Hillary Clinton, and followed up by getting together with major scandal figures John Huang, James Riady, and Ng Lapseng. Riady and Huang went to the White House every day from June 21 to June 25, 1994 according to White House records. Hubbell had breakfast and lunch with Riady on June 23. Four days later -- and one week after Hubbell's meeting with Hillary -- the Hong Kong Chinese Bank, jointly owed by Lippo and the Chinese intelligence services, sent $100,000 to Hubbell. Huang, incidentally, formerly worked for the Hong Kong Chinese Bank. Hubbell also received $400,000 from other sources.
-- Three weeks later, according to the Washington Weekly, Huang began working for the Commerce Department, receiving numerous top secret intelligence briefings and making extraordinary use of the fax machine at a Stephens Inc office across the street from Commerce.
-- Here is the president's response to a news conference question about whether the Lippo Group's hiring of Webb Hubbell after he resigned from the Justice Department and shortly before he went to jail wasn't a bit suspicious. For your benefit, we have numbered Clinton's denials: "(1)Well, first of all, I didn't know about it. (2) To the best of my recollection, I didn't know anything about his having that job until I read about it in the press. (3) And I can't imagine who could have ever arranged to do something improper like that and no one around here know about it. (4) And I can tell you categorically that that did not happen. (5) I knew nothing about it -- no -- none of us did -- before it happened. (6) And I didn't personally know anything about it till I read about it in the press . . . (7) And I am just telling you it's not so."
-- Although supposedly cooperating with the independent prosecutor, Hubbell has never revealed what he did for Lippo, telling a 1996 congressional hearing only that "nobody promised me a damn thing."
-- Hubbell was accused of other cons after his departure from the Justice Department, LA controller Rick Tuttle charged that Hubbell defrauded the city by submitting consulting bills that were "materially false" and which "greatly exaggerates the services provided." The LA contract -- dreamed up by some Clintonistas -- was one of the sweetheart deals provided Hubbell to help him wile away the time before going to jail.
-- Before serving time, Hubbell testified at a Senate Whitewater Committee hearing concerning Vince Foster. He told the committee, "I think, you know, we were all concerned. Vince had lost weight, had seemed to be depressed." In fact, Foster weighed three pounds more at his autopsy than he had seven months earlier. Following Foster's death, reported Christopher Ruddy, Hubbell also told the FBI a story dramatically different in other respects. The FBI report said that Hubbell "did not notice Foster acting differently in the days or weeks before his death. .... Hubbell answered no to all questions concerning any noticeable changes in Foster's personal appearance, physical ailments, headaches, loss of appetite or any nod of stomach trouble. .... Hubbell stated that he was not aware that Foster was experiencing any type of stress."
-- Hubbell talked from jail with White House aide Marcia Scott. Scott -- after warning Hubbell off a law suit that might hurt HRC -- adds, "Peter Lewis is this very, very wealthy man from Cleveland and, in fact, I talked to him about you. He owns Progressive Insurance Company." Scott said that Lewis thought Hubbell could help set up a fraud division in the company:
HUBBELL: I certainly know about that.
SCOTT: This is why I was talking to you. He said 'God he could . . .could come in and teach us a bunch of stuff.'
HUBBELL: You bet.
SCOTT: I said, 'He's been on both sides of it.'
HUBBELL: I've seen it all. I've seen every bit of it.
Scott also told Hubbell that she had vacationed with Lewis in Italy and flown back to America in his jet with him. And the top White House aide assured Hubbell, "People are starting to talk about what you're going to do next -- how they can help. You've not been forgotten. I mean, people have sought me out to tell me that. Frank was one of them . . .And he's talked to, I think, Mickey and some others."
-- A December 1994 White House memo designed to help staffers keep tract of the two score scandal issues that had arisen listed as number 11, "monitor cooperation" of Hubbell with the federal prosecutor.
-- According to a subsequent indictment Hubbell continued his criminal ways by failing to pay taxes on the close to a million dollars that he had mysteriously received from a variety of sources including his "consulting" contracts.
-- US Judge James Robertson, a 1994 Clinton appointee, threw out the tax evasion case on technical grounds. Neither the Justice Department nor the IRS would show the slightest interest in collecting the back taxes Hubbell still allegedly owed. Unless overturned on appeal, it appears that Hubbell will not only avoid trial for his alleged crime but not have to pay back taxes either. Before the appeals court on October 21, Kenneth Starr said, "Let us assume arguendo that the Riady money was hush money. We are talking here about literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in consultancy income in a business that was rendering virtually no services."
-- From the late James McDougal: "Hubbell knows where the bodies are buried"
Several observers believe that Starr made a bad mistake giving John Huang partial immunity in the Hubbell case. Huang, believed to know about far more serious matters including illegal foreign campaign contributions and possible espionage, could become a far less useful source (a la Hubbell) now that he can play the immunity game. Says Judicial Watch attorney Larry Klayman, who confirmed 100 intelligence briefings given Huang, "Starr has shown a tendency to further his own investigations at the expense of others .... Now he appears to have potentially compromised criminal prosecutions of John Huang."
SOME REAL QUESTIONS FOR STARR
John Clarke, the lawyer for Patrick Knowlton -- a Foster case witness repeatedly harassed after refusing to change his story about what he saw at Ft. Marcy Park -- has a few questions for Kenneth Starr that probably won't get asked in the impeachment hearings. They remain, however, among the most important queries of the Clinton scandals, so we'll pass a few of them along:
-- As you know, Vincent Foster spent the weekend before his death at Mr. Landow's estate with Mr. Hubbell, then the number three official at the Justice Department. In your report on Mr. Foster's death, you state that Mr. Foster's last 96 hours, which includes the weekend in question, was crucial in determining Mr. Foster's state of mind. Can you tell us what information your investigators received from those present at the Landow estate that weekend regarding Mr. Foster's state of mind and why your report is silent on this information?
-- Can you tell us why no fingerprints were found on (1) the external surface of
the gun found in Mr. Foster's hand; (2) the cartridge casing of the bullets
found in the gun; (3) Mr. Foster's eyeglasses; (4) Mr. Foster's car; (5) any
of the contents in his car; and (6) the torn "suicide" note?
-- Your report on Mr. Foster's death claims there was a 1 1/4 x 1 inch, or half-dollar sized exit wound in the back of Mr. Foster's head caused by a .38 caliber gunshot with high velocity ammunition. Please explain why out of all the witnesses at the scene, not one reported or documented having seen this wound, or brain matter, or bone fragments or blood splatter on or around the body, head or vegetation, as would be expected.
-- On July 20, 1993 between the hours of 4:30 p.m. and 6:05 p.m., there is a record of six witnesses -- Jennifer Wacha, Judith Doody, Mark Fiest, Todd Hall, Patrick Knowlton and George Gonzalez -- having seen an older brown Honda within the Fort Marcy parking lot, parked in the same spot as Mr. Foster's car was later found. Inasmuch as Mr. Foster's Honda was silver and much newer than the brown Honda described by the witnesses, and inasmuch as Mr. Foster was dead by 4:30, how is it that Mr. Foster's car arrived in the park after he was already dead?
-- Mr. Foster's body was found at Fort Marcy Park with his car but without any car keys. Later that evening William Kennedy and Craig Livingstone showed up at the morgue and so did Mr. Foster's car keys. There are conflicting reports in the record about when Kennedy and Livingstone and the U.S. Park Police arrived at the morgue. Can you explain where William Kennedy and Craig Livingstone were during the five-hour period when Vincent Foster was last seen and his body was discovered?
HILL STAFFERS CLAIM NSA BLACKMAIL
Charles R. Smith of Softwar newsletter reports that "Republican insiders are grumbling" that their efforts to investigate Webster Hubbell's involvement in the handling of encryption technology has been blocked "because the secret National Security Agency is threatening to retaliate against Hill members." At issue is Hubbell's role in the Clipper chip fiasco in which the NSA-pushed "bug on chip" was to be required on all telephones, faxes and computer modems. With an encryption key, intelligence agencies would have been able to bug these devices. The idea was shot down by massive protests from the cyber-community and civil liberties groups, and by the eventually noted fact that discovering the encryption key would give a foreign country or others equally direct access to America's secrets. There were, in fact, signs that the encryption technology might have been passed to China.
Hubbell, among a number of other Clintonistas, was involved in all this. He headed Janet Reno's Clipper project and met frequently with later-CIA director George Tenet on the matter. Softwar quotes a Republican Capitol Hill staff member as saying that the NSA 'does not want Hubbell investigated.' The NSA has quietly threatened to 'out any congressional member like Burton' who mentions Hubbell with encryption and China. The NSA threat is not a hollow one because the agency is certainly equipped with incriminating and/or embarrassing personal information gathered from years of phone intercepts. The NSA is the prime listening agency for national intelligence. The NSA is equipped with satellites, super computers, employs an estimated 25,000 and has a budget estimated to be one third of the $26 billion U.S. intelligence budget each year. John Huang, Ron Brown and Web Hubbell were deeply involved in classified NSA encryption systems. Specifically, John Huang, Lippo banker, DNC fundraiser and secret-cleared Commerce employee was briefed 37 times by the CIA on satellite encryption technology."
UNSOLVED MYSTERY #356
On the evening of June 16, 1993, assistant White House chef Sean Haddon was cooking dinner for the first family and guests when -- according to a new account by investigative reporter Chris Ruddy -- he was seized by Secret Service agents who eventually told him that others "have said that you threatened the life of the president and members of the first family." Haddon's lawyer suggested that the claim was in retaliation for an informal complaint Haddon had filed with an EEO counselor which was to be considered the following day. The white chef married to a black woman said he had been subjected to taunts. Haddon volunteered for a polygraph test which he passed and the SS cleared him the next day. He was dismissed by the White House nine months later. According to Ruddy, the mystery of who framed Haddon has never been solved, but his case was important enough that following the death of Vincent Foster, two documents were found in his office and listed by a staff member as "notebook re Sean Haddon" and "Executive Resident, EEO - Sean Haddon."
Incidentally, Haddon also recounts bizarre behavior by the Clintons similar to that reported by ex-White House FBI agent Gary Aldrich. Writes Ruddy:
"So careful were the Clintons to avoid personal contact with the White
House staff that Secret Service agents would send out advisories to computer work stations throughout the residence advising workers of the Clintons' impending movements in the house. This would give workers a chance to get out of the Clintons' path. 'We were told if they came down the hallway, we would have to get out of the hallway,' said Haddon in describing how White House staffers would scramble into the nearest room or closet as the president or first lady moved down a corridor."
Our nation's recent experience with impeachments under the United States Constitution provides a number of clear guiding principles for those who must conduct future impeachment inquiries, draft future articles of impeachment, and vote on those articles:
First, in most instances of impeachment since 1974, making false and misleading statements under oath has been the most common compelling basis for impeachment -- whether it is before a jury, a grand jury, or on a tax return.
Second, the constitutional standard for impeachable offenses is the same for federal judges as it is for presidents and all other civil officers.
Third, impeachable offenses can involve both personal and professional misconduct.
Fourth, impeachable offenses do not have to be federal or state crimes.
The research conducted by the staff in 1974, and this update, are meant to provide guidance and background to members as they prepare to undertake this constitutional responsibility of determining whether or not any acts allegedly committed by the president rise to the level of an impeachable offense. Impeachment is a unique and distinct procedure established by the Constitution. Each member must decide for himself or herself, after the conclusion of the fact-finding process and in the light of historical precedents, based on his or her own judgment and conscience, whether the proven acts constitute a high crime or misdemeanor. -- Staff report of House Judiciary Committee
THE KOOL-AID CLINTONISTAS
As impeachment hearings get underway, the Kool-Aid Clintonista media has dropped all pretense of objectivity -- loyally chugalugging cups of White House spin at their moral Jonestown. Not since the days when some 400 of its members were caught shilling for the CIA have so many media members betrayed their own craft with such mindless loyalty to terminally corrupted power.
The charge is being led by upper class media. There is Vogue, which gave Hillary Clinton a free make-over just in time for the House hearings. There is NPR, which still thinks that Linda Tripp's deception of Monica Lewinsky is a greater affair of state than Clinton's deception of his wife, daughter, cabinet members, media, law enforcement officials, Congress, and the grand jury. And there is the New Yorker, which sees its primary function these days as translating the philosophy of James Carville into Larchmont lockjaw.
The techniques are varied. For Vogue, the photo; for NPR a pseudo-literary deconstruction of the Tripp-Lewinsky tapes; for Newsweek, the massively destructive headline: ". . An implausibly optimistic Starr grinds on: The Last True Believer." And for the New Yorker, the convenient pocket quote: "Virtually nothing that Starr may say about Whitewater can matter anymore."
The tone and substance drips into media of less socio-economic status so effectively that Christopher Matthews of Fox remains one of the few major pundits not yet hopelessly boxed in on the issue.
Oh yes . . . Vanity Fair is still trying to keep its moral options open, running contrary pieces by Renata Adler and Christopher Hitchens in the same issue. Vanity Fair has heretofore distinguished itself in this scandal by turning down a blockbuster story with the explanation that it wasn't interested in substance.
Adler has probably written the single worst major piece yet about the Clinton scandals, a tower of twaddle based entirely on an uninformed reading of the Starr report which she calls "utterly preposterous . . . inaccurate, mindless, biased, disorganized, unprofessional and corrupt." Adler also tosses off incorrect constitutional legal opinions with such aplomb you would never guess she was only a novelist -- that is until you get to strange sentences like "if Ms. Lewinsky had had a constitutional lawyer the case against her would have been thrown out." It's hard to throw out a case when no one has been charged.
Adler draws vast conclusions from tertiary data with the speed of a tenured member of the John Birch Society and describes Tripp's first meeting with prosecutors as "the day -- and the night -- when the prosecutors came as close as they have so far to bringing the entire constitutional system down." She complains about the small type of the Starr Report and finds evil lurking in the fact that the Tripp tapes are not listed in proper numerical order.
Adler has one righteous point-- the apparent abuse (apparent because we've only heard Monica's side of the story) of Lewinsky's rights after being accosted by the FBI and prosecutors. If accurate, this abuse was so flagrant as to make one wonder if there was ever any intent to prosecute Lewinsky as opposed to just scaring her. In any case, there was sadly nothing unusual about this. It just took a presidential concubine to focus the liberal mind on how prosecutors really act, thanks in part to crime legislation strongly backed by liberal politicians.
Although Hitchens, like Adler, is disinclined to enlightened his readers beyond the matter of sex, he does score some good points.
For example, on hearing people say, "Let's get on with the agenda," Hitchens writes, "Excuse me -- what fucking agenda? Clinton hasn't had a press conference, except when hiding behind embarrassed foreign statesmen, since April, hasn't been to anything much but fund-raisers on the domestic front, and on the international scene has sleepwalked through several major crises."
Hitchens also notes that by virtue of a much-touted law 'n' order bill signed by Clinton in 1994, not only is sexual harassment a crime, but "those accused of sexual harassment may be asked in court about their own sexual history." He also notes that Dr. Jocelyn Elders was fired for talking about masturbation, that both Clintons have urged sexual abstinence as a replacement for contraception among teens, that Clinton signed a bill that expelled from welfare women who could not or would not reveal the names of their children's fathers, and that he "signed the gay-baiting 'Defense of Marriage Act' and bragged about the fact in 70 purchased spots on Christian radio."
But in the end, Hitchens -- like Adler and most other commentators -- is so obsessed with the very prurient interest so frequently ascribed to Starr, that he, too, misses the story.
Which is that the Clinton scandals are truly not about sex. The Lewinsky saga is a metaphor, a window out of which one can look upon toxic brownfields of crime and corruption. It has come to the fore in no small part precisely because Clinton and his capos were so effective at the very things of which he is accused -- lying and obstruction of justice -- that the prosecutor has been repeatedly blocked in his search for the truth.
Starr, to be sure, has fallen down badly. He has turned his back on evidence of massive drug-dealing in Arkansas, took a high dive in the Foster death, and mangled various matters including the prosecution of Webster Hubbell. But neither this nor any personal failings of Linda Tripp alter one iota the true essence of the story.
The Clinton scandals are not about sex, but about the unprecedented criminal corruption of an administration. It is about a mobbed-up president whose close allies have included over two-score individuals and firms convicted of such crimes as drug trafficking, racketeering, extortion, bribery, tax evasion, kickbacks, embezzlement, fraud, conspiracy, fraudulent loans, illegal gifts, illegal campaign contributions, money laundering, perjury, and obstruction of justice. It is many more members of his political machine who have taken the Fifth or fled the country.
It is about members of the Dixie Mafia and other criminals including drug dealers having direct access to the White House.
It is about a criminal, Webster Hubbell, being appointed to the number 3 spot at the Justice Department.
It is about the President's lifelong association with the Dixie Mafia, including members active in the drug trade.
It is about the abuse of 1,000 FBI files.
It is about the false prosecution of a White House official whose only real crime was occupying a position wanted by a Friend of Bill.
It is about illegal foreign campaign contributions and possibly related espionage.
It is about the extraordinary number of people around Clinton who have died under mysterious circumstances.
It is about the repeated abuse of women with whom Clinton has had relations, women who have often been multiple victims: first as abused sexual partners and then as terrorized, bribed, or publicly trashed former partners.
It is about Bill Clinton saying "I don't recall" or its equivalent 140 times before the grand jury.
It is about a president who has consistently used the power of his office to prevent law enforcement officials from carrying out their duties and, when that hasn't worked, has conducted a propaganda jihad against them and anyone else who dared to challenge him.
It is about a leader who has manifestly failed to faithfully execute the laws of the land and has become America's most corrupt president.
And, finally, it is about a media that won't tell the public these truths
STARR TAKES DIVE ON FILEGATE
Kenneth Starr's conclusion that there was no evidence of presidential culpability in the abuse of 1,000 FBI files is based on an investigation even more shoddy than that pursued in the death of Vincent Foster. We know this for the simple reason that the public interest law group, Judicial Watch, has been deposing many of the people Starr should have talked to about the matter and didn't. Judicial Watch says it has asked key witnesses "if they have ever talked to Starr's people much less been called before a grand jury. Except in a few instances, the answer is always no. Even Mack McLarty, the President's closest friend and the White House Chief of Staff when the FBI files were illegally obtained, was not questioned. Nor was Terry Good, the keeper of the FBI files. And Hillary Clinton, who Dick Morris has called the mastermind of Filegate .... was questioned for only 9 minutes, and then over tea and coffee." FBI Director Louis Freeh has called the release of the FBI tapes an "egregious violation of privacy . . . without justification." It now appears that no one will be punished for it.
WHO'S IN CHARGE?
Those of the sea have a self-exculpatory saying: "It didn't happen on my watch." The reason this explanation is so effective is because it assumes the obverse: that if it had been your watch you would have been totally responsible. Joseph Conrad explained why: "Of all the living creatures upon land and sea, it is ships alone that cannot be taken in by barren pretenses, that will not put up with bad art from their masters."
Harry Truman proposed a similar standard for himself and put a sign on his desk saying "The Buck Stops Here."
Less honorable CEOs and corporations have shelled out millions of dollars for failing to observe this rule of command; arguments that it was only some subordinate who had sexually harassed someone or who had failed to complete the required safety check have fallen on deaf judicial ears.
In Washington these days, however, the rules are different. Here the perks of power now include the right to divorce oneself from responsibility for those under your command. Welfare mothers may be evicted from public housing because their sons committed a crime, wives may lose their house or car because their husbands were selling drugs, liquor store owners can be criminally charged because customers lie about their age, but a president, as we have been repeatedly informed, is not legally liable for what happens on his watch.
This standard -- a product of the perverse logic of the lawyers who dominate capital culture -- got rolling, if memory serves correctly, when Edwin Meese came under investigation. We were told by journalists that Meese had been cleared because "no smoking gun had been found." In one fell swoop we had reduced the standard for high public office to roughly that required for purchasing a smoking gun -- namely lack of a criminal record. The politicians liked this new paradigm immensely and the Washington media -- never one to run from a cliche -- educated the public to the idea that officials were only to be judged by criminal law, rather than by the collective judgement of a constituency. We were reduced from the status of full citizens to mere members of a jury.
It was just a matter of time before someone like Clinton showed up and took full advantage of the situation. Now we are told, most recently by the independent counsel, that we cannot judge the President harshly even if he has presided, godfather like, over an animal house of crime, corruption, and constitutional contempt. The reason: his hand was not on the trigger. In short, a standard far lower than that normally applied to the driver of the getaway car whose bank-robbing compatriots have killed a teller.
The Constitution specifies the oath of the president: "I do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to be best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
That's it. It does not add, as most in Washington's inner party seem to believe, "as long, that is, as no one actually catches me personally and provably and preferably on tape in the specific act of doing otherwise."
Confusion over this is rampant. For example, the day before the impeachment hearings began, former White House chief of staff Leon Panetta testified in the Michael Espy trial. [For reasons best known to the Congress, the number two appointee in a president's administration is not subject to senatorial confirmation while lesser lights like cabinet members, ambassadors, and judges are.]
Panetta had just spoken of news reports concerning Espy's alleged misdoing. He called Espy in for a meeting with Abner Mikva -- White House counsel and another top federal officer not subject to confirmation. Panetta continued:
"Very frankly, at the end of that conversation, I indicated to the secretary that, based on what he said to me, he ought to submit his resignation. This was a Friday we were talking, and I said that we ought to have the letter of resignation by Monday." Reports the Washington Post, "Three days later, Espy made one last appeal to save his job, but Panetta rejected it."
How does a unconfirmed, unelected shotgun riding sidekick of the president get to fire a Senate-confirmed cabinet officer? Simply so Clinton doesn't have to. This is in the best tradition of post-modern executive privilege modeled on the deniability so effectively used by the CIA in escaping responsibility for proper blame in the spread of drugs across the country.
For ordinary citizens the best rule of thumb is to hold the president to at least as high a standard of responsibility for the actions of his colleagues as, say, the non-firing accomplice in a murder case. Even more important is to remember that the members of the House are, indeed, citizens and they are engaged in a properly political act in which moral judgments need not constrained by the sophistry of legal commentators but rather by decent wisdom and a fair sense of right and wrong.
The smoking gun need not be found on Clinton's person, but only in the White House. The evil done in Filegate, Travelgate, and the post-Foster death cover-up need not have been done by his hand, but on his ship on his watch by his crew.
FILLING IN FOR STARR
Americans United for Separation of Church and State has filed a complaint with the IRS over Clinton's open campaigning in a prominent black church right before election day.
Judicial Watch plans to reinstitute it suit against State Farm Insurance to prevent the company from providing any funds for Clinton's pay-out to Paula Jones, a $850,000 substitute for apologizing for sexually harassing Jones. JW says the pay-out would be improper.
FROM REP. JOHN CONYERS TO ANNE COULTER, author of 'High Crimes and Misdemeanors The Case Against Bill Clinton': "I am writing this letter to ask that you provide the House Committee on the Judiciary with the documents described in the attached Schedule A."
The documents demanded included "phone records, messages, or letters, that memorialize or relate to any contacts or communications between yourself and the following individuals or entities" namely the independent counsel, Lucianne Goldberg, Linda Tripp, Paula Jones' attorneys, Jerome Marcus, George Conway, Richard Porter and Jim Moody.
FROM ANNE COULTER TO REP. JOHN CONYERS: "Thanks you for your correspondence. I wish you the best success in your impeachment inquiry. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that your committee is looking into impeachment the President. I do not believe you have the authority to impeach a private citizen for expressing her First Amendment rights by writing a book critical of the President. For that reason, I have no intention of complying with your burdensome, irrelevant and harassing request. . . If it's any help, however, I believe that you should be able to obtain the same information from Terry Lenzner or another of the president's private investigators."
MONICA-LINDA TAPES YOU DIDN'T HEAR ON TV
Monica talks with Linda about filing a false affidavit in the Paula Jones case, January 13, 1998:
TRIPP: You - you are - are you positive in your heart that you want to do
that? I mean -
TRIPP: I'm only saying - I'm only saying that in case you should change your
LEWINSKY: No. I - I - I - first of all, for fear of my life. I would not - I
would not cross these - these people for fear of my life, number one.
And from a November 20,1997 tape in which Monica is talking about telling Clinton she wants to break up with him:
TRIPP: Well, let me put it to you this way. By hanging up and saying
you're telling your parents and then hanging up the phone, you're saying
a whole hell of a lot more than you could ever do in a 20 minute
LEWINSKY: I know (tape skip) (inaudible) my mom will kill me if I don't
tell him - make it clear at some point that I'm not going to hurt him,
because - see, my mom's big fear is that he's going to send somebody
out to kill me.
TRIPP: Oh, my God. Oh, my God.
LEWINSKY: So --
TRIPP: Shut up.
LEWINSKY: Well, that's what she thinks.
TRIPP: Oh, my God. Don't even say such an asinine thing. He's not that
stupid. He's an arrogant....but he's not that stupid.
LEWINSKY: Well, you know, accidents happen.
As Carl Limbacher of NewsMax writes: "Here's Monica explaining to her friend that her numero uno reason for committing perjury on Bill Clinton's behalf is - not the mere job she was promised by Vernon Jordan - but Monica's own perception that telling the truth could be deadly. Why are the airwaves filled with Monica's Valley Girl audio moments - instead of this woman's dead serious suspicion that the President of the United States might have her bumped off and make it look like an accident? Will Barbara Walters to broach this topic in her exclusive interview with Monica?"
IMPEACHMENT IS CENSURE
Impeachment is the only constitutionally feasible way in which the public's
wish to see the president meaningfully punished can be reconciled with its desire that he not be driven from office. Unlike censure, impeachment, even without conviction, would record in clear and constitutional terms the gravity of the president's wrongdoing; in the language of the founding fathers, it would be an "indelible reproach." It could not be shrugged off as a mere slap on the wrist. -- Gary L. McDowell, Institute of United States Studies at the University of London
IT'S ABOUT BRIBERY, STUPID
The chief counsel for the House Judiciary Committee during Watergate has suggested that Clinton be impeached for bribery. Jerom Zeifman, a Democrat, has sent a memo outlining the "law and facts on bribery as an impeachable offense" to Rep. Bob Barr of the House Judiciary Committee:
"In his conduct of the office of the president of the United States, William J. Clinton has given or received bribes with respect to one or more of the following: (1) Approving, condoning or acquiescing in the surreptitious payment of bribes for the purpose of obtaining the silence or influencing the testimony of Webster Hubbell as a witness or potential witness in criminal proceedings. "(2) Approving, condoning or acquiescing in the use of political influence by Vernon Jordan in obtaining employment for the purpose of obtaining the silence or influencing the testimony of Monica Lewinsky as a witness or potential witness in civil or criminal proceedings; and 3) Approving, condoning or acquiescing in the receipt of bribes in connection with the issuance of an executive order which had the effect of giving Indonesia a monopoly on the sale of certain types of coal."
Certain types of coal? And you thought you knew everything about this scandal.
Zeifman's argument is that when Clinton created the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument wilderness area in Utah, he declared off-limits to development over $1 trillion worth clean-burning coal. And wouldn't you know it, who has the second largest clean-coal reserves in the world? The homeland of the billionaire Riady family, which has stuck to Clinton like flypaper since the 1970s.
Writes Joseph Farrah for WorldNet Daily:
The Riadys, who are suspected of spying for the Chinese government and are closely connected with Beijing (the Riadys are native Chinese, not Indonesian), stand to benefit big-time from Clinton's executive order. China will be a major market for this clean-burning coal.
"With a stroke of his pen he wiped out the only significant competition to Indonesian coal interests in the world market," Sarah Foster noted in 1996.
"Zeifman adds: "A few weeks after the signing of the executive order, a person inexplicably identified as an unemployed gardener gave the Clinton campaign $400,000. It was not until after the president's re-election that the Democratic National Committee promised to refund the money -- after it was revealed it had come from Arief Wiriadmata and his wife, Soraya, whose father is an executive of the Riady's Lippo Group.
Zeifman calls that a "substantial circumstantial" case of bribery. Using Watergate-era language to craft his articles of impeachment, Zeifman points out that Congress is not bound by the rules of evidence applied in criminal courts. "However, even if Congress were to comply with criminal rules of evidence, the fact that President Clinton signed the executive order under such questionable conditions is substantial circumstantial evidence that the (Grand) Escalante National Monument is a 'quid pro quo' related to the receipt of illegal campaign contributions from the Riadys, the Lippo Group and others with financial interests in Indonesia," concludes Zeifman.
CONNECTING THE DOTS ON DASH
"The comparison would be 10 to 0, with the 10 being Watergate and the 0 being Whitewater. Whatever Whitewater is, it doesn't involve criminality. It never came close to being a danger and threat to our constitutional government. In Watergate, we came close to losing constitutional government." -- Samuel Dash, summer 1997
"At the public urging of Committee Democrats, the Judiciary Committee invited Judge Starr to testify. If he had not agreed to testify at our request, we would have been compelled to subpoena him. I want to make clear that Judge Starr was providing an overview of his referral to the House of Representatives. After four years of relentless abuse and unanswered accusations, I think the public was owed an explanation by the Independent Counsel to provide some balance to this highly controversial matter. Judge Starr rightly made it clear that while he stood behind his referral, the question of impeachment is left solely to the discretion of the Committee. Therefore, in testifying yesterday, Judge Starr complied with the law and provided valuable clarification to the Committee as it searches for the facts." -- Rep. Henry Hyde
NBC's Lisa Myers reports that "a lawyer involved in daily White House strategy" began whispering to the press even before Ken Starr testified about a coming defection by Dash. Journalists for ABC and USA Today also reported on the day of Dash's resignation that the White House was aware of Dash's intention to
resign several days before his announcement.
The Landmark Legal Foundation has raised the question of whether Dash's behavior violates Rule 1.3 of the District of Columbia's Rules of Professional Ethics applicable to lawyers practicing in that jurisdiction. The rule states that "A lawyer shall not intentionally . . . prejudice or damage a client during the course of the professional relationship." Says LLF: "If Mr. Dash felt he could no longer represent Mr. Starr and the OIC, he was free to resign, but not in a manner damaging to his clients. Yet, Mr. Dash's timing and statements - perhaps before he resigned and at the time of his resignation -- couldn't have been more damaging to Mr. Starr and the OIC if they had been planned by a political partisan like James Carville."
Dash's behavior has also raised questions as to whether he might not be the one referred to as "sources close to the prosecutor's office" in news stories that have led to a court inquiry into alleged leaks by Starr.
HILLARY'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE
Hillary Clinton has been getting almost pornographic attention from the media in curious correlation to rumors that Ken Starr is considering indicting her. But one tale you may not have heard about was that during her recent tour to the Dominican Republic to wallow photogenicly in the damage from Hurricane Mitch, she took some time off to stay with Oscar de La Renta. According to Andrew Serwer in Fortune Business Report, Mrs. Clinton was looking at some land near Oscar's place. De la Renta is involved in a major development project with Julio Iglesias. Sorry, can't tell you what the extradition laws are like in the Dominican Republic.
FRIENDS OF BILL (CHINESE LODGE)
The Chinese government is trying Lin Hai for a number of crimes including giving thousands of Chinese e-mail addresses to hostile foreign publications, writing e-mails about democracy, and teaching one person how to subscribe to an Internet newsletter.
WHAT "IS" MEANS
"This appeal calls upon us to clarify the law of this Circuit as to whether a
person may be found guilty of perjury where he gives sworn testimony which,
from the context of the questioning and circumstances surrounding the
investigation, can reasonably be inferred to be knowingly untruthful and
intentionally misleading, even though the specific question to which the
response is given may itself be imprecise. Because we believe that the crime of
perjury depends not only upon the clarity of the questioning itself, but also
upon the knowledge and reasonable understanding of the testifier as to what is
meant by the questioning, we hold that a defendant may be found guilty of
perjury if a jury could find beyond a reasonable doubt from the evidence
presented that the defendant knew what the question meant and gave knowingly
untruthful and materially misleading answers in response. Accordingly, for the
reasons more fully developed below, we affirm the Defendant's conviction and
sentence in this case." -- United States v. DeZarn, 1998 WL 712524 (6th Cir.
1998) (No. 97-5156).
EX CATHEDRA, EX CATHEDRA, EX CATHEDRA ONWARD;
INTO THE VALLEY OF FIN-DE-SIECLE DECADENCE
RODE THE 400 HISTORIANS ....
As part of the professional wrestling and impeachment exhibition currently underway in the House of Representatives, a gaggle of law professors and historians were brought in to tell congressmembers just what impeachment should be about. The testimony follows a much-bruited ad by hundreds of historians trying to help Clinton wiggle out of impeachment. One little problem: impeachment is not a matter of law or history but of contemporary politics. This surrender of political judgement and democratic prerogative to supercilious and sophistic "professionals" is one more example of the flight from individual responsibility for democracy.
As TPR pointed out nearly two years ago (when it was among the few journals that even dared to speak of impeachment):
"The offenses for which a president may be impeached are primarily political ones. Hamilton said that impeachment was for 'offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to society itself.' Madison, in arguing for an impeachment provision, said 'that some provision should be made for defending the community against the incapacity, negligence or perfidy of the chief magistrate.' He also, incidentally, foresaw the danger of a president who betrayed 'his trust to foreign powers' and that "no one would say that we ought to expose ourselves to the danger of seeing the first magistrate in foreign pay without being able to guard against it by displacing him.'
Since these offenses may "with peculiar propriety be denominated political" what a bunch of political ambitious profs have to say should be of minor concern. An early Quaker was once asked whether it was true that his religion had no ministers. He replied, "No, we have ministers. We just have no laity." Democracy should function the same way.
Instead we have the media prattling on about what the "experts" think and -- in the manner of the New York Times -- brooding over whether impeachment "could dangerously weaken the institution of the Presidency." Although we haven't kept track, TPR can't recall a single expression of concern over any action of the past few decades "dangerously weakening the institution of Congress," even though during this period the White House has achieved Peronist-type powers while the Congress has been steadily eviscerated. Of course, this doesn't particularly bother the "experts" as long as they are still regularly consulted. And they clearly prefer such a system to open debate, witness how Princeton professor Sean Wilentz ended his attack on David Broder's attack on the historians pro-Clinton ad: "As he is normally a careful observer, we expect that he will start paying attention, lest he risk flunking this course." And these are the people who lecture us on democracy.
CLASS OF 1988
Mark Swaney, one of the original Whitewater Irregulars, passes on this historical note: In 1988, just four years before running for President, Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas. Today he is only the third president in history to be target of impeachment hearings. But he's not the only high state official of that year who ended up in criminal trouble. Clinton's lieutenant governor, Jim Guy Tucker, as well as the attorney general and secretary of state all ended up as convicted felons.
FRIENDS OF BILL
While it's hard to keep track of all the Friends of Bill who have been indicted
or convicted, it may be worthwhile keeping an eye on recently charged -- 44
counts -- real estate developer Fred Haney because he's also the guy who has
been under fire for giving former Clinton-Gore campaign manager Peter Knight a
$1 million fee for "strategic advice" on how to get the FCC to lease space in
one of his Washington projects. GOP members of Congress have wondered whether
the payment was in return for getting the FCC to move, something Knight and
Haney have denied. Haney is the 14th Clintonista charged by the Justice
Nat Hentoff has joined your editor, Phillip Weiss, Jim Ridgeway, Roger Morris and a sadly few others in political left field daring to challenge the First Fraud. Taking on the glitterati who can think of no better cause than defending a serial sexual predator, congenital liar and chronic thwarter of justice, Hentoff concludes that "Clinton is not fit to be president."
If for nothing else, William Clinton should be impeached for terminal cynicism, witness his latest approach to atonement: "I hope the American people have seen in me over the last few weeks a real commitment to doing what I told them I would do from the beginning, to try to atone to them for what happened and to try to redouble my efforts to be a good president." Apparently Clinton believes atonement is just another mid-course political strategy adjustment.
FRIENDS OF BILL
ABE HIRSHFELD, the NYC magnate who is paying Paula Jones a million bucks if she settles her suit against Clinton is under indictment on charges of evading $2.2 million in taxes since 1989. According to AP: "Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said Hirschfeld illegally mixed personal and business income and falsified revenues and expenses. Hirschfeld pleaded innocent and was freed on $1 million personal recognizance bond. He could face up to 15 years in jail if convicted." . . . Hirschfeld may have caused himself some additional problems since the president, under federal law, is not allowed to solicit, accept or benefit from gifts of money. Aggravating the problem is the fact that Hirschfeld is under federal indictment and thus just might have a slight interest in how kindly the Justice Department feels towards him.
TELEMARKETER MICHAEL ANSARA, awaiting sentencing in the Teamsters election fraud case is still raising money for the Democratic National Committee and providing advice. Reports Insight Magazine, "According to FEC records his company, the Share Group, received approximately $300,000 from the DNC for consulting services during a three-month period ending Sept. 30, 1998."
NG LAP SENG: Washington Weekly reports that on six occasions from 1994 to 1996, mysterious Macao businessman Ng Lap Seng passed customs at San Francisco airport declaring suitcases full of cash, ranging from $12,000 to $175,000 in amount. On every occasion he appeared at the White House a day later. There is no record of any contributions from Ng Lap Seng to Clinton or the Democrats, however. The Weekly story contains many more interesting facts about this curious FOB.
SON OF BILL?
Now that the media is busy outing the inappropriate offspring of various GOP members of Congress, it seems only fair to mention again Bill Clinton's problem in this regard. Which is precisely what Lucille Bolton, aunt of 13-year-old Danny Williams did the other day to Carl Limbacher of the on-line Newsmax. Writes Limbacher: "Bolton was the boy's guardian for years as his mother, Bobbie Ann Williams, led a hard life on the streets of Little Rock. . . . Once, she even tried to enlist the help of Hillary Clinton during a personal conversation with the state's then first lady. Another time, Bolton showed up at the governor's mansion with little Danny in tow -- only to be turned away at the gates.
"The Danny Williams story first broke in the Feb. 18, 1992, issue of the supermarket tabloid magazine the Globe. Globe featured lengthy direct quotes from Danny's mother, who described encounters with Clinton that ranged from furtive oral sex behind the bushes to frolicking threesomes in the cabin owned by the president's late mother, Virginia Kelly. Clinton reportedly paid handsomely for each session of sex. Bobbie Ann Williams said that Danny was conceived during one of 13 such encounters. Globe subjected Bolton and Bobbie Ann to two lie-detector tests each. Former Globe editor Phil Burton confirmed to NewsMax.com that both passed with flying colors," but because of Williams' history of drug use decided not to hold a Gennifer Flowers-type news conference.
[Note: Bolton said that the boy's mother was still in Arkansas and had not gone to Australia as TPR and some other sources had reported.]
One of the great myths of the Clinton scandals is that the Republicans and Kenneth Starr have been inordinately tough on the president. On the contrary, the GOP and Starr have taken numerous dives worthy of high-paid professional wrestlers. The independent counsel, Senator D'Amato, Rep. Leach, and Burton have all trimmed or halted investigations which might have actually led to important revelations.
Currently balancing atop the ropes at the corner of the ring is Henry Hyde himself who says his committee will concentrate almost entirely only the perjury question -- leaving aside such serious matters as Filegate, Travelgate and the flow of illegal money from foreign espionage sources. With such a limited impeachment presentation, the Senate can amuse itself with a PBS-like discussion of whether perjury rises to an impeachable offense as its mignons work out a back-room deal for Clinton to be symbolically censured on the floor, Then everybody can get back to doing what they were doing before all this unpleasantness arose. . . . One possible flaw in the plan would be if Starr lets another shoe drop after Election Day. But absent that, what you will be seeing from here on out is pro wrestling by other means.
It's not surprising. Like other GOP members of Congress, Hyde has been feeling the heat of the Ellen Rometsch strategy -- namely do unto others before they have time to do under you. Thus leakees Pacifica, the Chicago Tribune, and Roll Call among others have finally decided to take a look at Hyde's role was in the fall of the Clyde S&L -- a disaster that cost the taxpayers $70 million. Included in Clyde's bad investments: a bank in Little Rock.
[Those who feel TPR has been too tough on Clinton might be interested to learn that we -- and few other media -- reported a long time ago Hyde's part in this S&L disaster (including the fact that his share of damages was covered by fellow board members), but it seemed we served the story before its time.]
WE ARE NOT MAKING THIS UP
ABC News is running a poll on its web site that asks "What Do You Think: If there were an Ig-Nobel Peace Prize, who would win it?" Here were some early returns as reported by Matt Drudge:
Linda Tripp 32.3%
Slobodan Milosevic 26.6%
Saddam Hussein 25.4%
Osama bin Laden 15.5%
SCOOP FALLS OUT OF NPR TOTEBAG
Just when NPR thought it had gotten a real scoop [see Oct 15], namely that Kenneth Starr had an "apparent conflict of interest," it turns out that the information Starr supposedly failed to give the Justice Department was on the public record and had been in the news.
David Shuster of Fox News reported that Robert Bennett notified Reno and the Supreme Court years ago that Starr had been consulted about the brief for the Jones case - concerning constitutional issues rather than the details of the case.
In fact, Starr's talks were publicly known since January 23 -- shortly after the Monica story broke. Geraldo Rivera, no Clinton-basher, has even produced a clip of his interview that night with Jones attorney Gil Davis in which the issue came up.
After treating the matter as though it was still a hot item, AP then was forced to report that, "Discussions between Starr and the Jones team first were revealed by news organizations in 1994 and were brought up by the news media again in January."
AP tried to rescue Nina Totenberg's faux scoop, saying that "National Public Radio focused new attention on the contacts Wednesday" and went on to quote Barney Frank as saying that Starr "may have wrecked the institution of the independent counsel beyond repair."
The incident is a nice example of the ease with which Washington reporters are spun by the White House as well as the increasingly weird ways in which the Clinton machine is trying to derail impeachment proceedings.
THE GAITH PHARAON-ARKANSAS CONNECTION
The Supreme Court has upheld a $37 million civil fine against Saudi Arabian banker Gaith Pharaon in connection with the BCCI scandal. Pharaon is also permanently banned from the US banking industry. The amount of the fine is unprecedented and should attract considerably more attention than it has. The largest civil penalty the Fed otherwise assessed during the period in question was only $600,000.
Pharaon was also part of complex financial dealings in Arkansas beginning in the late 1970s that centered around a man who would become, on at least two occasions, Bill Clinton's multi-million dollar savior: Jackson Stephens. Stephens helped bail then-governor Clinton out of a state pension fund disaster that caused the value of the funds to drop 15% overnight. His bank also provided a $3.5 million line of credit that allowed 1992 presidential candidate Clinton to stay in a race which he otherwise would have been forced to leave.
In 1977, the Indonesian billionaire, Mochtar Riady came to Arkansas looking for an American bank to buy. Riady's agent was Stephens, who also brokered the arrival of BCCI to this country and steered BCCI's founder, Hassan Abedi, to Bert Lance. Apparently because of pressure from Indonesia, Riady withdrew his bid to buy Lance's 30% share of the National Bank of Georgia. Instead, a BCCI front man bought the shares while Abedi moved to secretly take over First American Bankshares -- later the subject of the only BCCI-connected scandal to be prosecuted in the US. The front man: Gaith Pharaon.
In 1991 Stephens and Riady bought BCCI's former Hong Kong subsidiary. That same year Pharaon helped BCCI illegally acquire the former Independence Bank of Encio, CA, which failed one year later. It is this transaction that resulted in the $37 million fine.
BCCI collapsed in 1991 defrauding 1.3 million depositors in 70 countries in the biggest financial scandal in history. It turned out the bank had been serving as a conduit for Colombian drug cartels, Abu Nidal, as well the intelligence agencies of at least five countries, including the CIA.
IMPORTANT NEW FACTOR
Louis Farrakhan told a Howard University audience that if Clinton truly humbled himself, "God would not let a storm touch the country for 90 days."
WE ARE NOT MAKING THIS UP
This is Character Counts Week, proclaimed by President Clinton who says, "I call upon the people of the United States, government officials, educators, religious, community, and business leaders, and the states to commemorate this week with appropriate ceremonies, activities and programs."
Contrary to the media spin, Kenneth Starr has slighted vast areas of misdeeds with links to the Clinton machine. Not only did Starr turn his back on getting to the bottom of the Arkansas drug trade and the Vince Foster death, but Judicial Watch, from its public interest lawsuit depositions, has uncovered a pattern of less than aggressive investigation into other matters. . . Still, like other media (although, unlike other media, TPR admits it) we do not know what else Starr has on his plate, but it may be important that Michael Copperthite was called before the Alexandria grand jury. Copperthite is a Democratic consultant who ran up against curious Clintonista figure Nathan Landow who allegedly put the squeeze on him in connection with efforts to get Clinton administration support for an Indian land claim. What's that got to do with anything? Only that Kathleen Willey was flown in a private plane from Richmond to Landow's eastern shore estate where she also got the Landow treatment on how she was going to handle Clinton's alleged sexual assault on her in the Oval office. Watch this space.
THE CHINESE CONNECTION
According to the New York Times, William Clinton removed $2 billion in trade with China from national security scrutiny. Among the results: 77 supercomputers that can scramble and unscramble secret data and design nuclear weapons have been purchased by the Chinese without a peep stateside. At least some of these computers are now being used by the Chinese military.
Four of Panama's ports are controlled by a company partially owned by Hutchinson-Whampoa Ltd., which in turn is owned by Li Ka-Shing, a billionaire so close to the Chinese power structure that he was offered the governorship of Hong Kong. Another owner of the Panamanian ports is China Resources Enterprise, which has been called an "agent of espionage" by Senator Fred Thompson. CRE is also a partner of the Lippo Group, owned by the Riady family that has played a central if mysterious role in the rise of William Clinton. According to congressional testimony by ex-JCS chief Admiral Thomas Moorer, Hutchinson-Whampoa has the right to pilot all ships thought the Panama Canal, including US Naval vessels.
Two House committees have become extremely interested in Dr. Chiao Jen Wang, a US citizen who, with his wife, has contributed $20,000 to the president's legal defense fund and nearly $400,000 in donations to Democratic campaign organizations. Wang heads an export company and, according to Fox News, brokered key aerospace deals between the United States and China and was a member of the President's Export Council between 1993 and 1996, a period during which security monitoring of Chinese trade disintegrated.
QUESTION OF THE DAY
Why does the media refuse to question the legal and ethical ramifications of the president taking enormous gifts ranging from free vacation hospitality to contributions to his legal trust fund?
ARKANSAS SUDDEN DEATH SYNDROME
Back in the late 60s early 70s, Arkansas had a different sort of governor. Unlke William Clinton and others, the late Winthrop Rockefeller actually took on the Dixie Mafia. In a story posted on Newsmax, investigative reporter Christopher Ruddy tells the startling tale of how Rockefeller became the target of three assassination attempts as a result. One example, as told to Ruddy by a member of the Rockefeller family (whom he identifies only as "Rock"):
>>>> Winthrop owned a private jet. Rock had joined his uncle on a jet trip he was taking to Memphis . . . The short, peaceful trip from Little Rock was interrupted by the pilot, who came into the passenger cabin with an ominous report. "Governor, it looks like the landing gear won't stay down," he said. "We are going to have to make a controlled crash."
Rockefeller and the other passengers were shaken. They knew what the pilot's action meant: probable combustion of the plane and death for them. One of the troopers came up with the bright idea of using the plane's fire ax to break through the floor to examine the landing gear. Circling above Memphis, the troopers cut a wide hole in the jet's floor. They discovered the plane had been sabotaged. Metal rods had been placed in the landing mechanism, so when the gear had retracted upon takeoff, the metal braces needed to keep the tires down had also broken. Without the tires locked into place, the plane would immediately skid on its belly. Disaster would surely follow.
Rock said his uncle was livid. After two previous attempts to sabotage the plane, he had lavished money on round-the-clock security at the Little Rock hangar where the plane was kept. Plane crashes were a favorite method of assassination with the Dixie Mafia, Rock said. He added that it was the "perfect cover for murder" because most of the evidence is destroyed or mutilated in a crash. Also, many people have an inability to accept the notion murderers would kill so many innocent passengers to get one target. So the death of the target appears purely accidental. . .
Fortunately, the plane did not crash. One of the troopers came up with an ingenious idea. Break up some of the passenger seats and jam the metal pieces into the landing gear to keep the tires stable as they landed. It worked. . . >>>>
THE ROCKEFELLER STORY
QUESTION OF THE DAY
Aren't you meant to confess your sins before being forgiven?
Or are Clinton and Congress going to rewrite that rule, too?
JAY SEVERIN'S HOME IMPEACHMENT TEST
1. Do you deny the authority of Constitution of the United
2. Do you believe the laws should apply equally to all citizens?
3. Do you believe it is permissible for the president of the
United States to be a felon?
4. (If Yes to #2) Should the laws of the United States be
amended so as to grant all felons to right to vote and hold any
5. Do you believe perjury should no longer be criminal?
6. (If Yes to #4) Do you believe all persons now in prison for the
crime of perjury should be released and exonerated?
7. Do you deny President Clinton committed perjury?
8. (If Yes to #7) Do you believe every felony is impeachable?
9. (If No to #8) What other felony crimes do you advocate
should be legal for a president to commit in office?
10. Do you believe that, were Bill Clinton a Republican, your
answers above would be identical?
CLINTON FRIENDS PAY BIG TO SETTLE CHARGES
Stephens Inc. -- an Arkansas investment firm that has been financially and politically tied to Bill Clinton's fortunes since the 1970s -- has agreed to pay $6.5 million to settle charges including that it had paid bribes to obtain Florida municipal bond business. The settlement was announced by the US Securities & Exchange Commission and the US Attorney, both of whom had been on the trail of Stephens' fiscal manipulations.
A SEC official called Stephens activities "more widespread than any the SEC had seen in previous enforcement cases." Include in the complaints were charges of mail fraud as well as "bribing local government entities to obtain an unfair competitive advantage."
In the 1970s, when Clinton was getting started as a politician, Stephens, founded by Witt and Jackson Stephens, was the biggest investment firm in the country outside of Wall Street. Jackson Stephens proved particularly useful to Clinton on two occasions: when he helped Clinton out of a state pension fund disaster caused by reckless investment and when his bank coughed up a multi-million line of credit so Clinton could continue in the 1992 primaries. It is fair to say that without Jackson Stephens' help, Clinton would never be president today.
FUN FACTS ABOUT. . .
Man who hired Lenzner to work on Watergate: Sam Dash
Interesting Lenzner quote: "I think the only work I've ever done with the CIA was, I represented two or three former CIA employees during the Church Senate hearings [in 1975], including the former head of the Technical Services Division, Sidney Gottlieb. And, indeed, I sued the Senate committee to keep his name out of the assassination report on the grounds that it might endanger his life and his family's life." -- From a deposition by Judicial Watch
More about Lenzner's client: Sidney Gottlieb was in charge of the CIA's notorious MK ULTRA program which researched such things as how to program someone to become a killer, truth drugs, how germs could target a single person in a group, poisons that don't show up in autopsies, and how LSD affected people. Subjects for these tests included mental patients, ethnic minorities, drug addicts and prisoners. -- From Sarah Foster, learned that the President had found a subsequent waiver to be in the national interest.