Category Archives: Politics

Boycotting the new Confederates

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Dealing with Brexit

Sam Smith – Regular readers of the Review have likely observed that we are a strong believer in the rational devolution of power with some major exceptions such as human rights and voting laws that should be universal. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have single payer healthcare or public education, but that those at the top don’t become so obsessed with their power that they claim the right, say, to determine what goes on a kindergarten classroom or delivered into your arm.

This unfortunately, however, has been a major trend in government in recent decades and is an important – albeit largely unnoted – factor in the rise of problems such as the Trump campaign and Brexit.

The shift is not only ideological but cultural. A gradocracy of the advanced educated  – in law, economics, and corporate values – has pretty much washed Washington clean  of socially intelligent  politicians and officials who knew how to deal with people as well as facts, communities as well as numbers, and cultural variations as well as indices. Thus we face immensely complex and culturally insensitive legislation dealing with issues that most Americans regard as personal, such as in healthcare and education.

The result, sadly, is a constituency for dealing with the problem in the least constructive manner – either turning it over to an egomaniac like Trump or coming up with a destructive solution like Brexit.

But the fact that these solutions are not the right ones does not mean the problem doesn’t exist. And that the answer lies not In choosing sides but in coming up with better ideas. For example, what if Britain and the EU negotiated an agreement in which it would participated in some but not all off the latter’s provisions as a sort of associate member of the union? What if the EU learned something from the mistakes that led to Brexit and changed its own character?

There’s a tremendous irony in all this that I stumbled upon in a 2007 issue of the Progressive Review, namely that the EU supposedly modeled itself in part on a long time Catholic devolutionary principle of subsidiarity that I have long supported, but – as with America’s federal government – decided eventually that repeatedly giving itself more power was the answer.

Here is a 2007 Wikipedia account describing subsidiarity and the EU’s use of it:

 The word subsidiarity is derived from the Latin word subsidiarius and has its origins in Catholic social teaching. It is found in several constitutions around the world (see for example the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution).

It is presently best known as a fundamental principle of European Union law. According to this principle, the EU may only make laws where member states agree that action of individual countries is insufficient….

Subsidiarity was established in EU law by the Treaty of Maastricht, 1992.  The present formulation:

“The Community shall act within the limits of the powers conferred upon it by this Treaty and of the objectives assigned to it therein. In areas which do not fall within its exclusive competence, the Community shall take action, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, only if and in so far as the objectives of the proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore, by reason of the scale or effects of the proposed action, be better achieved by the Community. Any action by the Community shall not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the objectives of this Treaty.”

This extraordinary description suggests how rapidly subsidiarity has been replaced in the European Union and helps to explain a similar phenomena in American politics in which the once devolutionary progresives of the 1960 have been replaced by a manic faith in regulations, process and institutions  that make the values of community and culture irrelevant.

What follows are some items along these lines that might help in understanding factors in the unpleasant that conflicts we today.

Benjamin Wiker,  New Catholic RegisterIt is clarifying to shift our attention from trying to make accurate predictions about Britain’s future, to a consideration of principles that are more enduring than opinion polls and media pundits. In this instance, we should be looking at the most Catholic principle of subsidiarity, one which favors Brexit.

From the Catechism (1883-1885), which is itself quoting from St. John Paul II’s Centesimus Annus (48):

Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which ‘a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.’

There are a few points well worth making here.

To begin with, the dual problem with the modern state is that its overwhelming historical tendency has been to absorb “power” from below, and to impose secular agendas from above. The modern state thereby violates the principle of subsidiarity in two ways: (1) by taking away legitimate “power” from more fundamental social, moral, and economic levels of human communities, such as the family, the neighborhood, and the village, and (2) by harnessing that stolen power to secular ideas and policies that destroy these more fundamental social, moral, and economic levels, and the faith along with it.

Modern nation states are bad enough in this regard, but adding over and above that a European super-state, the European Union, and the violation of subsidiarity is even more egregious: not just the family, neighborhood, and village get subsumed into the higher order community, but now also the nation.

… But it isn’t just the family and the fundamental moral order that gets quashed from above. When political power concentrates at the top, it makes it far, far easier for Goliathan economic powers to seize control, and manipulate the economic order to their own enormous advantage. In the US, we know that concentration of power in the national Congress has meant that Big Banks end up defining public policy by giving Big Money to Congress. It’s easier and cheaper to buy a handful of congressmen in influential committees than it is to bribe a far greater number of people on the state and local level. All the more so with EU’s absorption of national power into the uber-state. It’s no accident that one of the main opponents of Brexit was Goldman Sachs.

Natalie Nougayrède, Guardian – In 1992 Denmark rejected the Maastricht treaty with a 50.7% majority. That set its European partners scrambling for a solution: opt-outs were granted on economic and monetary issues, on common defence and security policy, on home and justice affairs, and on the question of European citizenship. The following year, after that package had been presented, another referendum was held, with this time a 56.7% yes answer. In 2001, Irish voters said no to the treaty of Nice (by 54%). EU statements were then made that Ireland needn’t join a common defence policy and could refrain from other enhanced cooperation. In 2002, a new Irish vote produced a 63% majority in favour. In 2008, again Ireland rejected (by 53%) a new European text, the Lisbon treaty. A special document called “the Irish guarantees” was then produced, allowing for a rerun of the Irish referendum in 2009, with this time 67% of the electorate approving. But what was possible then is not necessarily possible now.

David T Koyzis, First Things – In many respects this principle [of subsidiarity] corresponds to the tenth amendment to the United States Constitution which provides that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” It should be possible for local identities to survive within a larger federal union. The American founders certainly thought so and staked their country’s future on it.

Of course, it could be argued that Washington has moved well beyond the powers originally enumerated in Article 1, section 8, encroaching on the prerogatives of the several states in ways not intended by the founders. Across the pond we hear similar arguments that Brussels has violated the spirit of subsidiarity, with the larger dream of unity taking on a life of its own at the expense of the hugely diverse interests of the member states. Hence E.U. leaders were shocked when French and Dutch voters rejected their proposed European constitution just over a decade ago. And now they are similarly incredulous that any country would want out of the Union altogether, when its benefits seem so obvious to them.
Yet this tale of discontent need not be the whole story. It may well be that future federations will more resemble the Holy Roman Empire or the pre-1848 Swiss confederation than the United States of America or Australia. Canada and Spain have already led the way towards a more asymmetrical federalism in which provinces or regions relate to the federal or central government in different ways.

The notion that all component units of a federation must be treated the same is itself an abstraction that may be hindering just governance. If one of your children requires braces on her teeth, you wouldn’t think of getting braces for all of your children for the sake of equality of treatment. Similarly, if one state or province aspires to greater autonomy than the others in certain policy areas, granting this in no way undermines just governance and may in fact facilitate it. While formally possessing the same powers as the other provinces as set out in section 92 of Canada’s Constitution Act, 1867, Québec in practice exercises certain powers, for example, over language, that the other provinces are content to leave to Ottawa. While Spain is formally a unitary state, Madrid has devolved powers unevenly to its regions, with Euskadi (the Basque region) and Catalunya retaining more autonomy than others.

If we abandon the peculiarly modern quest for strict equality of treatment, it should be possible for the E.U. to function with its member states unevenly integrated into the whole. A two- or three-tier Union would be the result. France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries might be the most tightly integrated federal core of the Union, with no internal border controls restricting the free movement of persons and goods. Other states could remain members of the Union but opt out of some of its integrating features, including the euro zone and the Schengen Agreement. These would retain greater autonomy vis-à-vis Brussels, keeping their own currencies and central banks, along with other markers of independent nationhood.

Such an arrangement may seem terribly untidy and chaotic, but the reality need not be so. If subsidiarity means that as many decisions as possible are made at the lowest levels closest to the people affected, then an unevenly decentralized European Union may, after all, best conform to this principle. If the British people prefer that London (or Edinburgh, Cardiff, or Belfast) take responsibility for matters that the core members prefer to delegate to Brussels, then there is no reason why this should not be permitted. Great Britain could remain part of the E.U. while, fully in accordance with subsidiarity, claiming as much independence as it needs and can handle.

A bare majority for Brexit is hardly a ringing endorsement of such a momentous move, which threatens to fragment the United Kingdom itself. Better, it seems to me, to opt for both independence and continued membership in the E.U., even if it means abandoning the artificial symmetry characterizing the classic modern constitutional federation.

Fun ways to steal elections

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The Vince Foster Case

101 Peculiarities Surrounding
the Death of Vincent Foster

Richard L. Franklin

Please bear in mind that the purpose of this catalog is rather modest. I merely want to highlight what I see as a large number of gross “peculiarities” surrounding the Foster case. I hope to convey to the reader some sense of the sheer weight of over 100 discrepancies and unanswered questions. Also bear in mind that the number “101” is itself a modest number. As a practical matter, I was forced to omit dozens of striking anomalies.

As you read this long list, consider that Vince Foster’s death was almost immediately labeled a suicide by the U.S. Park Police. Normal procedure in the case of a violent death is to treat it as a homicide until all doubts are resolved. Despite this, a homicide investigation was never launched. Even before the death scene or the body had been inspected, a suicide confirmation process was under way. In her sworn Senate testimony, senior Park Police officer Cheryl Braun said, “We made that determination [of suicide] prior to going up and looking at the body.” From that point on, all police and FBI efforts were directed toward collecting evidence that would support the suicide verdict. No effort has ever been made to seek or collect evidence supporting a possible homicide. Instead of seeing a proper homicide investigation, we have seen Foster’s death become mired in a morass of lies, confusion, and conflicting evidence. Faced with this labyrinth, I knew that any hope of putting together a challenge-proof list of over 100 items was unrealistic. Is it possible there are errors in this catalog? Certainly. Nonetheless, I am confident 90% of these assertions will hold up with time. For any rational person, the weight of 90-plus discrepancies must still remain staggering.

1. The man who discovered the body in Ft. Marcy Park says he was curious about the cause of death and looked closely for a gun. He emphatically says there was no gun in either hand. The FBI put great pressure on this witness to change his testimony. Why? Did he interrupt the staging of a suicide that was only completed after he had left the scene?

2. The powder-burn patterns found on both Foster’s hands apparently came from powder discharged from the front of a gun cylinder. If he had been gripping the handle, his hands would have had stain patterns consistent with powder discharged from the rear of the cylinder.

3. The gun was still in Foster’s hand. It is unusual for a .38 caliber weapon to remain in a person’s hand after discharge. Propelled by its powerful recoil, a .38 normally is thrown a considerable distance, sometimes as much as 15 feet. It is true a spasmodic reflex sometimes freezes the fingers around the gun; however, when the gun was removed from Foster’s hand, his fingers were still flexible, indicating such a reflex never took place.

4. There was no blood or tissue on the gun. Normally, the force of such a powerful explosion within the mouth blows back a large amount of blood and tissue.

5. No fingerprints were found on the exterior of the gun. The FBI claims this was due to a lack of sweat on Foster’s hands. Consider that the temperature that afternoon passed 95 degrees, and the temperature-humidity index reached 103 (this estimates the effect of temperature and moisture on humans, with 65 considered the highest comfortable level). Furthermore, a man about to fire a gun in his mouth is likely to be sweating excessively. If the FBI explanation is scientifically true, one has to conclude it is exceedingly rare to find prints on any weapon.

6. The FBI lab found two fingerprints underneath the removable hand grips. These prints did not belong to Foster. No effort was made to identify these prints through the FBI’s computerized data bank. (The FBI did try to find samples of prints belonging to Foster’s father.)

7. The gun was made up of parts from at least two guns. Consider that professional killers often use guns made from several guns to make them untraceable. These are known as “drop guns.”

8. There is no evidence this gun belonged to Foster. Nor is there any evidence this gun fired the fatal shot.

9. When Lisa Foster went to look for her husband’s silver gun in its normal place, she found a strange gun. No member of the Foster family recognized this gun. Did somebody make a swap? If so, who made the exchange? And for what purpose?

10. The gun in Foster’s hand, as shown in an ABC color photo, is clearly black. Members of Foster’s family all agree Foster’s gun was silver. The FBI showed Foster’s widow a silver gun and told her it was the gun found at the scene. Why did the FBI make this substitution?

11. It remains clouded as to what happened to Foster’s silver gun. We know it could not have been the black gun found in Foster’s hand. Was it the silver gun the FBI showed to Lisa Foster? Does the FBI have any proof this gun belonged to Foster? Is it possible the black gun in the ABC photo was merely a “place-holder” gun planted in Foster’s hand until Foster’s own gun could be retrieved?

12. No matching bullets for the crime-scene gun were found on Foster or at his home. The only bullets found in his home were .22 caliber. This suggests Foster’s silver gun was a .22, not a .38. FBI reports do not identify the caliber of the silver handgun in their possession. Why not?

13. The gun contained two cartridges, one spent and one unspent. They were stamped with a code indicating they were high velocity (extra powerful) rounds. This is inconsistent with the fact there was no pool of blood or large exit wound.

14. The rush to deliver a suicide verdict repeatedly corrupted normal police procedures. The gun was an 80-year-old Army Colt Special. Despite the age of the gun, the Park Police did not test it to see if it would actually fire. Six days after the investigation was closed, they asked the BATF to test the gun. The test results were announced five days later, or a total of 11 days after the case had already been closed.

15. Medical technician Richard Arthur was one of the first to reach the death scene. Arthur emphatically says he saw an automatic pistol in Foster’s hand. His description of the weapon is very precise and correctly matches the profile of an automatic. He adamantly swears it had a barrel with straight lines as opposed to a tubular shape and a hand grip that was “square in shape.” If his testimony is correct, it suggests an automatic was replaced with a revolver sometime after the
police arrived.

16. Gun powder residue on Foster’s glasses and clothing did not come from the gun found in his hand.

17. Foster’s glasses were found 19 feet from his head at the bottom of the embankment his body was found on. The Park Police have theorized that his glasses “jumped” to the bottom of the slope when the gun went off. High underbrush covered most of the slope. The police explanation suggests his glasses were propelled through 19 feet of this dense growth. Consider that his head would have been slammed backward against the embankment as his glasses flew toward the ditch. What force could have thrust his glasses 19 feet in the opposite direction? No tests were conducted to test this implausible theory. An earlier theory was that he threw his glasses into the ravine prior to killing himself. The presence of gun powder on his glasses refuted this odd explanation.

18. Five homes are located an average of 490 feet from the crime scene, yet nobody in the neighborhood heard a shot. The residence of the Saudi Arabia ambassador is 700 feet from the crime scene. Guards at the residence heard no shot. Presumably the sound of a shot would greatly alarm trained bodyguards. This anomaly is neatly accounted for if (1) a silencer was used, or (2) Foster was shot at another location.

19. The Saudi bodyguards and the neighbors living near the crime scene were not interviewed until months later. This was a gross disregard of police procedure. Evidence trails grow cold quickly, memories fade, people move, and witnesses become recalcitrant.

20. Authorities claim the bullet exited the rear of Foster’s skull. This bullet has never been found. Why not? A bullet smashing through a skull loses most of its force and rarely travels far. Is it because the bullet never exited the rear of Foster’s skull? Bear in mind there is substantial eyewitness testimony indicating no such exit wound existed.

21. Several people who were at the crime scene say there was little or no blood under Foster’s head. A .38 caliber weapon firing a high-velocity slug normally makes a large exit hole and produces a huge pool of blood. Following a fatal shot to the brain, the heart keeps pumping until it runs out of blood. This action can last as long as two minutes, thusly expelling a massive quantity of blood. The lack of blood raises two questions: (1) Did Foster die elsewhere? (2) Was the shot to the head administered after he was dead? A careful consideration of these possibilities was precluded by the frantic rush to support an official suicide verdict.

22. X-rays of Foster’s skull have either vanished or never were taken. Dr. James Beyer, who did the autopsy, has made contradictory statements as to whether he took X-rays. This controversy remains unresolved.

23. Foster’s head was moved after his death and before crime-scene photos were taken. Was this done intentionally? Or was it merely the product of an inept crime-scene investigation? The FBI report indicates the head was moved while the blood was still wet. This claim is intriguing because it suggests the head was moved before investigators arrived.

24. In his written report, paramedic Corey Ashford listed the death as a homicide. Did he do this because he thought it was obviously a homicide? Or was he only following proper police procedure by initially treating a violent death as a homicide?

25. Only a few trickles of dried blood were found on Foster’s face.One of these trickles had run uphill in defiance of gravity. This fact alone should have alerted the Park Police to the possibility Foster’s body had been moved from another location or the body had been tampered with after death.

26. The Army Colt .38 Special has a high sight and a bulky ejector-rod head. These items normally do significant damage to the teeth and mouth when the gun barrel is explosively expelled from the mouth. Foster’s teeth were not chipped, nor was his mouth damaged. The good condition of his mouth has never been explained by the FBI or Park Police. Is it possible a silencer was used? Consider that a silencer is a smooth, round extension that has no sight or ejector rod.

27. No blow-back of blood or tissue was found on the gun, on Foster’s hand, or on his sleeve. Most homicide experts believe this is physically impossible given the power of the Colt .38. How does one account for this discrepancy? A much-discussed theory is that Foster was killed with a .22 caliber pistol. Consider that this small weapon is a favorite of professional killers. There are four good reasons for this: (1) it makes far less noise than a larger weapon; (2) rather than blasting through a person’s head, its less powerful bullet tends to ricochet within the skull, doing lethal brain damage; (3) it does this deadly work without generating a blowout of the brain case, a pool of blood, or splattered brain parts; (4) there is almost no blow-back of atomized blood droplets to mark the assassin’s clothing with DNA.

28. No skull fragments were found at the scene, even though a .38 fired into the mouth normally inflicts severe damage as the slug blows out the back of the brain case. Park Police officer John Rolla observed, “There was no blowout. There weren’t brains running all over the place. . . I initially thought the bullet might still be in his head.” This is consistent with the theory a .22 was used to kill Foster. Why have Rolla’s observations been ignored?

29. All the paramedics who handled Foster’s body said they did not see an exit wound in Foster’s head. Corey Ashford helped lift Foster’s body into a body bag. While doing so, he cradled Foster’s head against his stomach. Ashford’s white shirt remained immaculate following this contact. Nor did he have to wash his hands. He says this is highly unusual in gunshot deaths, which are normally extremely messy.

30. Dr. Julian Orenstein, the doctor who certified Foster’s death at the morgue, says he did not see any exit wound in Foster’s head. The fact is all the people who initially handled the body say they did not see an exit wound. Consider that none of these people had a vested interest in the operative suicide conclusion.

31. Dr. Donald Haut, the medical examiner who visited the death site, has steadfastly supported the suicide conclusion. He told the FBI he saw an exit wound. He also stated it “was consistent with a low velocity weapon” (jargon for a small gun such as a .22). In other words, it was a small wound with little blood. Later he repeated his comments about a lack of blood to reporter Chris Ruddy. Haut later denied this in an interview with CBS reporter Mike Wallace. Why did Haut change what he had previously said on two separate occasions? Even more puzzling, why would he deny this when he knew Ruddy had tape recorded his comments?

32. A medical technician at the death scene says he saw a small, circular wound on Foster’s neck, just below the jaw line. He says it “looked like a small-caliber entrance wound.” (For reasons stated below, one has to consider the possibility this was an exit wound.)

33. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, a respected British reporter, claims he has seen a photo of this wound. He says the wound was on “the right-hand side, about halfway along the jaw and about an inch below the jaw.” He describes it as “a clearly visible wound about the size of a dime… It has the appearance of a small-calibre gunshot wound.” He later said in a radio interview that the “wound on the neck is the origin and source of the blood that comes down the neck and trickles down the collar.”

34. According to Hugh Sprunt, a highly respected Foster researcher, “White House sources… did indicate to the media very shortly after the death that two different guns were involved in the shooting a .22 and one a .38.” Park Police notes of 7/26/93 also mention this, adding that the information came from the FBI.

35. Dr. John Haut signed a document dated July 20, 1993, entitled “Report of Investigation of Medical Examiner.” In the words of Hugh Sprunt, “Page two says ‘Self-inflicted gunshot wound mouth-neck’ and there appears to be an alteration on page one from ‘Perforating gunshot wound mouth-neck’ to ‘Perforating gunshot wound mouth-head.'” It is probably more precise to say whiteout was used on page one to cover what appears to be a four-letter word, possibly “neck.” The word
“head” was typed next to this. Looking at this document, one notes that “head” is slightly higher than the rest of the typing. In other words, the document was removed from the typewriter and later re-inserted to alter it. Why? Consider that a .22 caliber slug fired into the mouth often ricochets and exits through soft locations such as the neck. “Mouth-neck” on a report indicates the gun was discharged in the mouth and the slug exited through the neck.

36. According to the FBI, no “coherent soil” from the park was found on Foster’s shoes. Investigators for the independent Scalise Report had two men walk the trail to the death site wearing shoes similar to Foster’s. In both cases, their shoes picked up microscopic dirt from the trail. CBS reporter Mike Wallace did the same experiment and also picked up dirt. In CBS’ televised report on Foster’s death a report that strongly endorsed the suicide conclusion, Wallace neglected to mention this private test. Why did he and CBS conceal this important fact?

37. A tow truck driver says he was sent to the Ft. Marcy Park to remove a car on the evening of Foster’s death. He says the driver’s window was broken, and there was blood on the dash and seats. No in-depth investigation of this odd story has ever been done by the FBI or Park Police. Did the premature suicide conclusion block another obvious path of investigation?

38. Also consider that hairs and multi-colored carpet fibers were found on Foster’s clothing, including his underwear; yet the seat of Foster’s car was never checked for matching hairs or fibers.

39. More significantly, the floor of Foster’s car trunk was not checked for carpet fibers matching those on his clothing. Is it possible his body was transported in the trunk of his car? Is it possible Foster’s body was wrapped in carpet before being transported to Ft. Marcy Park? Once again, the premature suicide verdict seems to have prevented such obvious hypotheses from being explored.

40. The White House discounted the abundance of carpet fibers on Foster’s clothing, claiming they came from his recently re-carpeted home. This was never substantiated by taking samples of carpet fibers from the Foster home for comparison.

41. If a person dies in a supine position, blood settles to the back of the body where it creates lividity marks. If the body is moved, gravity may pull blood to other parts of the body where it will imprint new marks. It was imperative for the police to strip Foster’s body and check its entire surface for lividity marks before taking it to the morgue. This was never done. As usual, the premature suicide verdict eliminated a vital police procedure. And once again, vital forensic evidence was lost or destroyed.

42. The driver’s seat of Foster’s Honda was pushed forward to a position appropriate for a person about 5′ 8″ tall. Foster was nearly 6′ 5″ tall. It would have been extraordinarily difficult for Foster to have driven his car with the seat in this position. Despite this, authorities have persisted in saying Foster drove his car to Ft. Marcy Park. The possibility somebody else drove Foster’s car has been steadfastly rejected.

43. On the afternoon of Foster’s death, at least four eyewitnesses saw an older-model brown car in the exact spot where Foster’s car would later be found. Foster’s car was a light-gray recent model. It materialized in place of the brown car sometime after 6 p.m. In other words, Foster’s car apparently arrived after his body was found. The tardy arrival of Foster’s car was further confirmed by a detective who felt the hood of the car. It was still warm.

44. At least four witnesses saw a briefcase lying on the front seat of Foster’s Honda after the police had arrived. Medical technician George Gonzalez described it as “a black briefcase-attach, case.” This briefcase has vanished. The contents of the briefcase might have shed light on what Foster was doing just prior to his death. Many items of evidence were immediately turned over to the White House. Was Foster’s briefcase among these items?

45. Foster’s pager was found at the scene. Somebody had apparently erased its memory. The Park Police turned it over to the White House within hours of finding it. It is blatantly illegal to give away key evidence, especially to associates of the victim. Coworkers of murder victims are pro forma suspects in homicide investigations. Any officer turning over physical evidence to potential suspects would normally face serious charges. Instead, praise and promotions were heaped on the Park Police by a grateful White House. Cheryl Braun, for example, was promoted to sergeant.

46. All the crime-scene photos taken with a 35 millimeter camera were “overexposed” or have vanished. Furthermore, most of the Polaroid photos of the crime scene have vanished or are blurred. This includes shots of Foster’s back taken by officer John Rolla. Rolla’s photos presumably would have confirmed (or refuted) the lack of a blood pool and a large exit wound, anomalies mentioned by several witnesses.

47. Miquel Rodriguez, an early member of the independent counsel’s office, was suspicious of the “original” Polaroid of Foster’s neck. His FBI staff repeatedly told him it was the original, and that was all they had. With the help of an accomplice, Rodriguez uncovered a hidden file of photos containing the actual original. He took the original and the blurred copy to outside photographic experts who determined that somebody had taken a photo of the original and then altered it to hide what appeared to be a small-caliber neck wound.

48. Mark Tuohey was head of the Office of Independent Counsel in Washington. He took Rodriguez aside and warned him he was not to challenge the findings of the Fiske Report. In other words, Rodriguez was given explicit orders not to challenge the suicide verdict.

49. Rodriguez told Kenneth Starr he wanted to summon FBI agents before the grand jury to compel sworn testimony concerning their handling of evidence. He also wanted to bring in private experts to evaluate evidence. Starr refused both requests and told him to wrap up the investigation as quickly as possible. When Rodriguez balked,Starr forced him to hand in his resignation.

50. Shortly thereafter, Starr dismissed the grand jury that had been getting information from Rodriguez and formed a new one. The new jury was not made privy to the thousands of pages of facts that Rodriguez had presented to the previous jury.

52. James Beyer, the deputy medical examiner, did the autopsy. At the time, Beyer was under considerable public suspicion for having previously labeled two obvious homicides as suicides. Since Foster’s body was found in Ft. Marcy Park, the autopsy fell under Dr. Beyer’s jurisdiction. Those who wanted a quick suicide verdict could not have hoped for a more compliant medical examiner than Dr. Beyer. If finding the body in Ft Marcy Park was a coincidence, it surely was a
convenient coincidence.

53. The X-rays are missing. Dr. Beyer told a Park Police investigator X-rays had not revealed any bullet fragments in Foster’s head. He later claimed he never took X-rays. Which statement is true? More tothe point, which is false?

54. Contrary to reports in the media, nothing that could plausibly pass for a suicide note was found. The note found by Bernie Nussbaum’s aide looks more like a list of reasons for returning to Arkansas, something Foster had been seriously contemplating. In fact, his wife says she had encouraged him to write such a list.

55. This alleged “suicide” note had been torn into 28 pieces. All but one of the pieces were found in one of Foster’s briefcases. This happened after the briefcase already had been searched twice by Bernie Nussbaum in the presence of Park Police. The missing piece was from the lower right-hand corner, the precise spot where Foster’s signature would presumably have appeared. Consider these facts: (1) a person’s signature is the most difficult item to forge; (2) forged suicide notes are often torn up in an effort to make it more difficult to verify the handwriting; (3) homicide experts believe a late-appearing suicide note must always be viewed with suspicion.

56. No fingerprints were found on the note despite the fact Foster allegedly had torn it into 28 pieces. Only Bernie Nussbaum’s palm print was found. Why would Foster wear gloves to tear up this list? And why would he tear it up in the first place? And what was Bernie Nussbaum doing handling critical evidence? Why did it take a week for the note to surface? How could Nussbaum have missed seeing the 27
pieces after having searched the briefcase twice?

57. Three handwriting experts independently concluded the note is a forgery. One of the experts, Reginald Alton of Oxford University, is arguably the most eminent handwriting expert in the world. He judged the forgery to be the clumsy work of an amateur.

58. When these experts held a press conference to announce their findings, the forum was almost completely boycotted by the mainstream media. These findings were a stunning development with dramatic implications. Why was this story almost totally ignored by the American media?

59. The handwriting “expert” for the Park Police had previously declared the note authentic. This “expert” has had no training in handwriting analysis and only does it as a hobby. Furthermore, he used only one sample of Foster’s handwriting, a clearly inadequate exemplar to work from. Trained experts prefer 20 to 30 exemplars, with 10 being a bare minimum.

60. When Foster’s wallet was found on the seat of his car, it contained a note with the names and phone numbers of three psychiatrists. When they were contacted, they said they did not know Foster and had never talked to him. Miquel Rodriguez and others in the Office of the Independent Counsel noted that the numbers jotted down on the note were visibly different from the way Foster wrote numbers.

61. The Park Police Department was immediately assigned to the investigation. Normally an investigation into the violent death of one of the highest officers of the federal government is handled by the FBI.

62. However, it now seems clear the entire time the Park Police worked on the case, the FBI was secretly involved. Did the WhiteHouse direct this subterfuge? If so, for what purpose?

63. The White House fired William Sessions, the head of the FBI, the day before Foster’s body was found. He was fired on charges of misusing minor perks. It was the first time in history a president had fired a head of the FBI. Sessions would later declare his firing had “seriously compromised” the Foster investigation.

64. The Park Police lead investigator assigned to the case had never handled a homicide case. Once again, the premature suicide conclusion compromised the investigation by directing it away from a homicide investigation. Was it the lead investigator’s job to rubber stamp a preordained suicide verdict?

65. The White House did not comply with police requests that Vince Foster’s office be immediately sealed following his death.

66. Later that night, police officers would passively sit outside Foster’s office, while White House aides freely went in and out. Since Foster’s office was technically part of a crime scene, this was a gross violation of police procedures.

67. White House aides were seen ransacking Foster’s office. A Secret Service agent saw Maggie Williams moving Foster’s files to her office. No efforts were made by the Park Police to recover this potential evidence. Why was this criminal interference with a police investigation tolerated?

68. Foster’s administrative assistant, Deborah Gorham, has testified that Foster’s file index, the document listing everything contained in his files, has vanished. Several other documents and letters, known by Gorham to have been in Foster’s safe, have also vanished.

69. Ms. Gorham testified that Bernie Nussbaum demanded the combination to Foster’s safe after he learned of Foster’s death. Technically, Foster’s safe was part of a crime scene. It is possible it contained critical evidence.

70. It is not known whether Foster’s appointment book was in his briefcase or his office. In any case, it has vanished. It would be considered important evidence in a homicide investigation. This is especially true in the case of Foster, whose whereabouts for the five hours preceding his death are unknown. Unaccountably, the disappearance of the appointment book has been ignored. As usual, the premature suicide conclusion insulated the investigation from a striking anomaly.

71. At the crime scene, Park Police officer John Rolla searched Foster’s pockets for personal effects. Officers Cheryl Braun and Christine Hodakievic watched while Rolla carefully searched Foster’s front and back pockets. Rolla found nothing. Foster’s wallet and credit cards were found in his Honda, but his car keys were missing. One of the most remarkable aspects of the crime-scene investigation is that the absence of the car keys never dampened the operative suicide conclusion.

72. Later that evening, Braun and Rolla went to the morgue to search Foster’s pockets a second time. Presumably they were ordered to so. Upon arriving, Braun immediately found two key rings in Foster’s right front pocket. One ring had four keys. How did Rolla miss them the first time? Two key rings with six keys inside a front pocket should have presented a bulky outline. Even a simple police “pat down” should have been enough to discover the keys. Who ordered Braun and Rolla to
the morgue to look for the keys a second time? Why was this order given?

73. Foster was easily identified using the photos on his White House pass and his driver’s license. The White House was then notified. White House aide Craig Livingstone was ordered to the morgue to “identify” the body. He called special counsel William Kennedy and asked him to meet him at the morgue. The reason for this rush to the morgue remains murky. The body had already been positively identified and two officers had already been dispatched to notify the Foster family. Kennedy was waiting at the morgue when Craig Livingstone arrived. Why couldn’t Kennedy do the identification alone? What was Livingstone expected to bring to the “identification”?

74. What transpired at the morgue is unclear. Livingstone and Kennedy must have asked for access to the body. It seems probable the two men did gain physical access, possibly an illegal act. Since civilian access to the body during a police investigation would have been improper, morgue supervisor Christina Tea must have balked. Did she call the Park Police commanding officer for an okay?. What would the commanding officer do in such a situation? Call the White House? Normally, family and friends must view a body from behind a glass window in a separate room. This regulation apparently was bypassed by Livingstone and Kennedy. Why couldn’t they have made the “identification” in the usual manner?

75. The chronology of activities is noteworthy. Shortly after Kennedy and Livingstone left the morgue, officers Rolla and Braun arrived and found the missing car keys. Bear in mind that Foster’s car keys were essential to the suicide hypothesis. When the keys suddenly appeared, the suicide verdict was rescued from a serious, if not fatal, discrepancy. Some observers have referred to this as the “magic keys” incident.

76. There are good reasons to doubt the White House claim it did not learn of Foster’s death until 8.30 p.m. At about 6.15 p.m., White House aide Helen Dickey called the governor’s mansion in Little Rock, Arkansas, to tell the governor Foster had killed himself. The call was received by trooper Roger Perry. He has said in a sworn affidavit (which subjects him to perjury charges) that he received the call about 6.15 p.m. Washington time. He states Ms. Dickey was crying. She told him Foster had shot himself in the White House parking lot. Perry says he promptly called several people to tell them the news. Among them was trooper Larry Patterson and former state police commander Lynn Davis. Both these men have signed affidavits attesting to these calls. Time estimates vary, but all three men agree the calls took place during rush-hour traffic in Little Rock. As a final note, consider that Ken Starr has never interviewed Helen Dickey.

78. That evening, at 8.30 p.m., Bill Clinton was waiting to be interviewed by Larry King. As Clinton was being prepared in the White House by a makeup artist, he chatted with Mack McLarty. According to the makeup artist, a male aide entered the room and told Clinton, “They found a note in Foster’s office.” This seems to contradict Clinton’s claim he was not told about Foster’s death until after his 9 p.m. interview with Larry King. Robert Fiske deposed the makeup artist, but her sworn statement was not included in the Fiske Report, one of many peculiar gaps in his porous report.

79. Patrick Knowlton drove into the parking lot at Ft. Marcy Park on July 20, 1993, the day of Foster’s death. He was looking for a place to relieve himself. As he was about to leave his car, he saw a dark-skinned “Hispanic-looking” man who glared at him. Knowlton says the man stared at him with such ferocity he felt intimidated and hid his wallet under his seat. He says he had an odd feeling the man was warning him to stay away. After Foster’s death was announced, Knowlton reported this to the Park Police. In the spring of 1994, an FBI agent finally interviewed Knowlton, nearly one year after Foster’s death. The agent later wrote a report quoting Knowlton as saying he would be unable to identify the man he had seen. Knowlton says this report was false. On the contrary, he had told the agent he remembered the man’s face extremely well and was confident he could identify him. Why did the FBI lie about Knowlton’s statement? Why wasn’t Knowlton invited to look at police photos?

80. Knowlton would later describe the man to a sketch artist for the London Telegraph. This sketch was published in England, but the FBI unaccountably ignored this key evidence. Instead, the FBI launched a campaign of harassment and intimidation of Knowlton. Teams of agents harassed him 24 hours a day. He was followed constantly. Agents on the street used threatening gestures. Cars filled with four agents followed him. His phone rang in the middle of the night. Agents knocked on his door at 3 a.m. A journalist, a private investigator, and many of Knowlton’s friends have witnessed this harassment. Knowlton is currently suing the FBI. Why has the FBI gone to such great lengths to intimidate Knowlton?

81. The Fiske Report makes no mention of Patrick Knowlton. Kenneth Starr refused to interview him until the artist’s sketch appeared in the London Telegraph. When Knowlton was brought before the grand jury, Starr’s prosecutor grilled him with great hostility, treating him as though he were a liar and a charlatan. (Note: The Fiske Report is riddled with lies and omissions. The following ten items (82-91) are examples of this malfeasance.)

82. The Fiske Report says, “Experienced FBI Laboratory Technicians in Washington performed extensive analyses of the physical evidence identified during the investigation.” Not true. The FBI never did any analysis of the hair and fiber evidence.

83. The Fiske Report says, “In addition to conducting interviews, this Office examined documentary and photographic evidence including… documents removed from Foster’s office at the White House and turned over to either the Clinton’s private attorney or the Foster family attorney.” This is ingenuous. For all we know, he may have seen only a handful of innocuous documents. Furthermore, he makes no reference to the documents that were placed in the private living quarters of Hillary Clinton.

84. The Fiske Report says, “The only vehicular entrance [to Ft. Marcy Park] is from the Parkway.” Not true. Fiske unaccountably tries to gloss over the existence of a back road. This road comes 300 feet closer to the body site than the lot where Foster’s Honda was parked. If Foster’s body had been transported to the park, the killers would probably have used this back road because of its privacy and proximity.

85. Besides ignoring this back road, Fiske pays little heed to the condition of the ground leading to Foster’s body. The relatively steep slope (about 45 degrees) drops down to a ditch. As described by a witness, the underbrush from the body down to the ditch and up the other side of the ditch had been trampled down. Foster could not have flattened this amount of underbrush without climbing up and down the slope several times. In other words, the swath looked like it had been created by several people climbing the slope. This trampled path led toward the old road that Fiske has not acknowledged. Once again, the operative suicide verdict precluded a reasonable theory: namely that Foster’s body had been brought in via the old road and carried over this trampled path by several men.

86. Fiske interviewed a couple that had been in the parking lot. His report states, “Neither individual heard a gunshot while in the Park or observed anything unusual.” This contradicts what the woman told the Park Police. She told officers she had noticed two men hovering around a Honda with its hood up. Was this Foster’s car? How can this be dismissed as not being “unusual”?

87. The Fiske Report only briefly refers to Foster’s car keys, saying, “The keys to the car were located in Foster’s pants pocket.” This is clearly misleading.

88. The Fiske Report tried to make a case for Foster being deeply depressed before his suicide. Fiske says, “Although no one noticed a loss of appetite, it was obvious to many that he had lost weight.” There is no basis for this claim. Based on Foster’s medical records, Foster actually gained six pounds during the time frame in question. Fiske saw these medical records. Why did he invent a weight loss?

89. In order to promote the suicide conclusion, Fiske and others have argued Foster was deeply depressed. This runs contrary to statements by all of Foster’s friends and professional associates. None detected any signs of depression, and they were all stunned by his suicide. Fiske brazenly altered or twisted the statements of all those
witnesses who said they saw no signs of depression in Foster.

90. Many depositions are conspicuous by their absence. For example: Fiske did not depose Maggie Williams, who was seen carrying boxes of documents from Foster’s office. He did not depose Helen Dickey, who made a 6.15 p.m. call to Little Rock to report that Foster had been found dead in the White House parking lot. Fiske did not depose Craig Livingstone to determine why it was necessary for him to drive to the morgue to join Kennedy for an alleged “identification.” And so forth.

91. The Fiske Report gives the impression that thorough forensic work was done in the original investigation. Some idea of how thorough this work was comes through in Dr. Beyer’s deposition. Consider the following questions and Beyer’s answers: Q: I would assume that most autopsies would be pretty standard but wonder if there is a way to determine if the autopsy on VF was SOP. You used the expression concerning the gunpowder on both hands, that it was interpreted “grossly” as gunpowder.A: “Grossly” noted the appearance of gunpowder. Q: But you didn’t make any more specific identification than that? A: No, sir. Q: Doctor, is it your testimony that your office would not make a determination as to, or make an analysis as to time of death absent a specific request from law enforcement personnel? A: If they wanted assistance, we would furnish it to them. In this particular case, I have no record that it was asked. Q: Did you have the fingernails scraped for debris? A: They didn’t ask for that examination to be done.

92. Beyer’s testimony that the autopsy was “standard” is simply false. When autopsies are done at the request of the police, it is standard procedure for the police department to have investigators present to serve as witnesses and to answer any questions the medical examiner may have. Under White House pressure, Beyer circumvented this by suddenly moving the autopsy up 24 hours. This enabled him to work on the body for an undetermined amount of time with no witnesses present. By the time police investigators arrived, Beyer had removed Foster’s soft palate and tongue and had driven a metal rod throughFoster’s skull to “illustrate” the official “exit wound.” A mysterious “assistant” had been working with Beyer. Beyer refused to identify this assistant to the police. As a final thought, consider that all those who originally handled the body never saw an exit wound in the back of Foster’s skull.

93. Sundry contradictions are found in the medical reports. Dr. Anh Hyunh, who did the blood toxicology, stated in the official repor tthat no Trazodone (an antidepressant) or Valium-derivatives were found in Foster’s blood. Subsequently, the FBI did a report for the Senate Whitewater Committee in which it was stated that Trazodone and Valium-derivatives had been found in Foster’s blood. This would help confirm Fiske’s claims that Foster was depressed, but it directly contradicts the report of Dr. Hyunh, the official toxicologist. Did the FBI falsify evidence to support the depression thesis? We now know from testimony by Dr. Frederic Whitehurst, formerly of the FBI labs, that the labs have a history of tampering with evidence.

94. The FBI reports that have been made available have been drastically censored. Large sections are entirely blacked out. In many cases, one asks why. For example, when Foster’s body was rolled, Officer John Rolla made an observation that was noted in the original report. His remark has been blacked out. Why did the FBI feel it was necessary to delete this? Better yet, why censor any forensic details from a report on a simple suicide?

95. According to Foster’s secretary, approximately six hours before his death, Foster mailed a letter to his mother. He has often been described as a “southern gentleman” with extremely genteel manners. He was especially courtly toward women. He seemingly had a healthy relationship with his mother. Despite this, his letter to his mother, sent only hours before he allegedly killed himself, does not contain a single expression of feeling. There is no hint whatsoever this would
be his last communication with his mother.

96. There is much in Foster’s behavior during the days preceding his death that indicates he had no intention of killing himself. Only days before his death, he called James Lyons, a friend and trusted advisor in Denver. He told Lyons he needed him in Washington. They made plans for Lyons to fly to Washington on Wednesday, July 21 (the day after Foster allegedly killed himself). Foster called Lyons again on Sunday
to confirm their Wednesday appointment. It seems clear Foster was planning on meeting Lyons. It also seems highly unlikely he intended to kill himself the day before the arrival of his friend.

97. All indications are that Foster deeply cared for his sister Sharon Bowman. Sharon still lived in Arkansas. She traveled 1,000 miles to Washington to visit her brother, only to arrive the day of her brother’s death. Consider that Vince had talked to Sharon and promised her an exciting personal tour of and lunch at the White House. It seems apparent he was looking forward to seeing his sister. Yet he supposedly killed himself on the day of her arrival. Such an incredibly cruel way to miss his date with Sharon is not consistent with the affection Foster felt for her.

98. For four years, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Telegraph relentlessly pursued the countless discrepancies of the Foster case. During his investigations, his Washington apartment was broken into, and his four computers were taken. Was this primarily to steal his hard drives? His car was later broken into and his briefcase was taken.

99. The late Jerry Parks owned a detective agency in Little Rock. According to Jane Parks, his widow, he had often done mysterious jobs for Vince Foster. She says that shortly before he died, Foster telephoned Jerry. She overheard Jerry’s half of the conversation. She says her husband became highly agitated. He begged Foster not to do something Foster was intent on doing. After Foster died, Jerry became extremely fearful and started carrying a gun. He was gunned down gangland style within a month of Foster’s death. According to Jane, shortly thereafter, teams of FBI agents ransacked the Parks’ house. They removed all office files, film negatives, tape recordings, and loppy disks. Jane says these searches happened repeatedly. Apparently, none of the searches or confiscations was legal.

100. According to Secret Service logs, at 7 p.m. the day of Foster’s death, an entry alarm went off in Foster’s office. To my knowledge, this has never been explained or even referred to in official reports on Foster’s death. According to Secret Service logs, at 7.10 p.m. that evening, a group listed as “MIG” logged into the White House. Aide Patsy Thomasson arrived at the same time. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard believes MIG stands for Maintenance and Installation Group, a group of experts who handle such things as safes and surveillance equipment. MIG and Patsy Thomasson left together. No official explanation has ever been given to account for these comings and goings. Patsy Thomasson was one of the White House aides who reportedly searched Foster’s office. Did MIG assist her by opening Foster’s safe? Did MIG disable the entry alarm?

101. To my knowledge the following story has never been investigated. Debra von Trapp was a member of George Bush’s staff during his presidency. She served as a computer surveillance expert. She worked with a team that has been described as Bush’s “plumbers unit.” In this capacity, she often worked with an FBI agent. According to von Trapp, [this agent] sounded drunk and extremely excited when he called her California home from Washington, D.C., at 11 p.m., July 20, 1993 (the day of Foster’s death). She says she records all phone conversations. This is a partial transcript of her alleged exchange with [the agent].

AGENT: “We did him! We did him!”
DT: “Did who?”
AGENT: “Vince Foster.”
DT “What do you mean?”
AGENT: “We did him!”
DT: “Well, where did you do him?”
AGENT: “Well, we did him somewhere else, but we dumped him in a queer
park to send Clinton and his queer wife a message!”

Although von Trapp wrote a long letter to Kenneth Starr detailing this and other allegations, to my knowledge, he never deposed her or [the agent]. Nor did he request the tape recordings of the alleged phone conversation. Nor did he check the phone company records to verify the phone call. Why not? Some Fostergate researchers suspect Ms. von Trapp is a disinformation agent trying to cloud the debate. I spent several hours interviewing Ms. von Trapp and did not hear anything that would support those suspicions. My strongest impression was that she was genuinely frightened. In any case, whatever one concludes about her credibility, it remains rather odd that she has never been deposed before a grand jury.

In the original of this report I did not include an item that now looms more significant. The Clintons had ordered that one of the White House offices be completely recarpeted shortly before the death of Vince Foster. The day following his death, a crew of workmen arrived at the White House and completely ripped up and removed what was a nearly brand new carpet. They hastily piled the carpeting into a van and quickly left. The final destination of that carpet and why it was so hastily removed during the chaos and trauma following the death of Foster are mysteries I’ve never been able to solve.

However, it strikes me as entirely possible this carpeting was evidence of a crime committed within the White House. Was the carpet bloodstained? Did it contain other forensic clues? In short, is it possible Vince Foster was actually murdered within the White House. The fact that two key videotapes, which would have shown Foster leaving the White House on the day of his death, are both missing. What did they show? Is it possible the tapes showed a large, bulky object being hastily removed and placed in the trunk of a vehicle?

I did not include these speculations in my original list of 101 precisely because they are just that — speculations. I’m tacking them on well after my first publishing of this report. I still have no clear answers as to where Foster was murdered. I do, however, now lean toward the possibility he was killed in the White House. . . .

This list is tentative and remains open to corrections and debate. I can be contacted at: usereason@earthlink.net

The Ronald Reagan myth

 “Ronald Reagan must be the nicest president who ever destroyed a union, tried to cut school lunch milk rations from six to four ounces, and compelled families in need of public help to first dispose of household goods in excess of $1,000…1f there is an authoritarian regime in the American future, Ronald Reagan is tailored to the image of a friendly fascist.” – Robert Lekachman

HOW THE REAGAN REVOLUTION DAMAGED THE AMERICAN ECONOMY

THINGS PEOPLE FORGET ABOUT REAGAN

Steve Kornacki, Salon – By the summer of 1992, just 24 percent of Americans said their country was better off because of the Reagan years, while 40 percent said it was worse off — and that more Americans (48 percent) viewed Reagan unfavorable than favorably (46 percent). .

REAGAN GAVE BIRTH TO TODAY’S FISCAL CRISES

Robert Brent Toplin, History News Network – Ronald Reagan promised to take government off the backs of enterprising Americans. He told voters that government was not the solution to the nation’s problems; it was the problem. “The nine most terrifying words in the English language,” said Reagan, are, ” ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’ ” His speeches contained numerous warnings about the chilling effects of bureaucratic regulation. Government leaders think, he said, “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”. . . The main problem with Reagan’s outlook was a failure to recognize that government regulation can serve business interests quite effectively. Many of the regulatory programs started by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s aimed to promote fairness in economic competition. That legislation required greater transparency so that investors could more intelligently judge the value of securities in the stock market. The reforms mandated a separation of commercial and investment bank activities, since speculative investments by commercial banks had been one of the principal causes of the financial crash. Roosevelt’s New Deal also created a bank insurance program, the FDIC, which brought stability to a finance industry that had been on the verge of collapse.

These and other improvements of the 1930s worked splendidly. For the next half century American markets operated with impressive stability. There were periods of boom and recession, but the country’s financial system did not suffer from the kinds of shocks that have upset the American economy in recent years. The turn away from rules that promote fair business practices fostered dangerous risk-taking. An early sign of the troubles occurred on Reagan’s watch. When the requirements for managing savings and loan institutions became lax in the 1980s, leaders of those organizations invested money recklessly. Many institutions failed or came close to failure, and the cleanup cost more than $150 billion. Yet blame for that crisis did not stick to the Teflon President. Recent troubles in the American economy can be attributed to a weakening of business regulation in the public interest, which is, in large part, a consequence of Reagan’s anti-government preaching. In the absence of oversight, lending became a wildcat enterprise. Mortgage brokers easily deceived home buyers by promoting sub-prime loans, and then they passed on bundled documents to unwary investors.

Executives at Fannie Mae packaged both conventional and sub-prime loans, and they too, operated almost free of serious oversight. Fannie’s leaders spent lavishly to hire sixty Washington lobbyists who showered congressmen with campaign funds. Executives at Fannie were generous to the politicians because they wanted to ward off regulation. Meanwhile, on Wall Street, brokerage firms became deeply committed to risky mortgage investments and did not make their customers fully aware of the risks. The nation’s leading credit rating agencies, in turn, were not under much pressure to question claims about mortgage-based instruments that were marketed as blue chip quality. Government watchdogs were not active during those times to serve the interests of the public and the investors. . . Reagan’s views of the relationship between government and business helped to put the nation and the world into a good deal of trouble. It is time to recognize that the former president’s understanding of economics was not as sophisticated as his enthusiastic supporters often claimed.

GREAT THOUGHTS OF RONALD REAGAN

 “A tree’s a tree.  How many more do you need to look at?” — Ronald Reagan (Governor of California), quoted in the Sacramento Bee, opposing expansion of Redwood National Park, March 3, 1966

“All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk.” –Ronald Reagan (Republican candidate for president), quoted in the Burlington (Vermont) Free Press, February 15, 1980

“It’s silly talking about how many years we will have to spend in the jungles of Vietnam when we could pave the whole country and put parking stripes on it and still be home by Christmas.” –Ronald Reagan (candidate for Governor of California), interviewed in the Fresno Bee, October 10, 1965

“…the moral equal of our Founding Fathers.” –President Reagan, describing the Nicaraguan contras, March 1, 1985

“Fascism was really the basis for the New Deal.” –Ronald Reagan, quoted in Time, May 17, 1976

“…a faceless mass, waiting for handouts.” –Ronald Reagan, 1965.  (Description of Medicaid recipients.)

“Unemployment insurance is a pre-paid vacation for freeloaders.” –California Governor Ronald Reagan, in the Sacramento Bee, April 28, 1966

“We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry every night.  Well, that was probably true.  They were all on a diet.” –Ronald Reagan, TV speech, October 27, 1964

MORE

LAST FOND MEMORIES

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESS BRIEFING BY LARRY SPEAKES
October 15, 1982
The Briefing Room
12:45pm EDT

Q: Larry, does the President have any reaction to the announcement – the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, that AIDS is now an epidemic and have over 600 cases?

MR. SPEAKES: What’s AIDS?

Q: Over a third of them have died. It’s known as “gay plague.” (Laughter.) No, it is. I mean it’s a pretty serious thing that one in every three people that get this have died. And I wondered if the President is aware of it?

MR. SPEAKES: I don’t have it. Do you? (Laughter.)

Q: No, I don’t.

MR. SPEAKES: You didn’t answer my question.

Q: Well, I just wondered, does the President –

MR. SPEAKES: How do you know? (Laughter.)

Q: In other words, the White House looks on this as a great joke?

MR. SPEAKES: No, I don’t know anything about it, Lester.

Q: Does the President, does anyone in the White House know about this epidemic, Larry?

MR. SPEAKES: I don’t think so. I don’t think there’s been any –

Q: Nobody knows?

MR. SPEAKES: There has been no personal experience here, Lester.

Q: No, I mean, I thought you were keeping –

MR. SPEAKES: I checked thoroughly with Dr. Ruge this morning and he’s had no – (laughter) – no patients suffering from AIDS or whatever it is.

Q: The President doesn’t have gay plague, is that what you’re saying or what?

MR. SPEAKES: No, I didn’t say that.

Q: Didn’t say that?

MR. SPEAKES: I thought I heard you on the State Department over there. Why didn’t you stay there? (Laughter.)

Q: Because I love you Larry, that’s why (Laughter.)

MR. SPEAKES: Oh I see. Just don’t put it in those terms, Lester. (Laughter.)

Q: Oh, I retract that.

MR. SPEAKES: I hope so.

Q: It’s too late.

OH, THAT EXPLAINS IT

GEORGE W. BUSH: ‘I learned more from Ronald Reagan than from anyone …’

REAGAN LIE DETECTOR

Reagan conducted one of the most absurd invasions of American history, targetting the tiny island of Grenada.

As president of the Screen Actors Guild, Ronald Reagan informed on fellow actors to the FBI.

The Reagan admininstration was one of the most corrupt in American history, including by one estimate 31 Reagan era convictions, including 14 because of Iran-Contra and 16 in the Department of Housing & Urban Development scandal. By comparison 40 government officials were indicted or convicted in the wake of Watergate. 47 individuals and businesses associated with the Clinton machine were convicted of or pleaded guilty to crimes with 33 of these occurring during the Clinton administration itself. There were in addition 61 indictments or misdemeanor charges. 14 persons were imprisoned.

Using a looser standard that included resignations, David R. Simon and D. Stanley Eitzen in Elite Deviance, say that 138 appointees of the Reagan administration either resigned under an ethical cloud or were criminally indicted. Curiously Haynes Johnson uses the same figure but with a different standard in “Sleep-Walking Through History: America in the Reagan Years: “By the end of his term, 138 administration officials had been convicted, had been indicted, or had been the subject of official investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violations.”

Four members of the Reagan cabinet came under criminal investiation, as compared with five in the Clinton cabinet. Three top officials of the Harding administration were in indicted in the Teapot Dome scandal.

The Reagan administration had secret plans for an unconstitutional takeover of the federal government under an ill-defined national emergency. Members of the government created by the coup had been selected and included Richard Cheney.

Reagan’s decision to send troops to Lebanon cost 241 lives. As the NY Times noted recently, “Mr. Reagan’s decision to send marines to Lebanon was disastrous and his invasion of Grenada pure melodrama.”

During the Reagan administration the number of families living below the poverty line increased by one-third.

Reagan’s policies led to the greatest financial scandal in American history: the Savings & Loan debacle which cost taxpayers billions of dollars.

Julian Bond, president of the NAACP: “He was a polarizing figure in black America. He was hostile to the generally accepted remedies for discrimination. His appointments were of people as equally hostile. I can’t think of any Reagan policy that African Americans would embrace.”

Reagan made major cuts in Medicaid, food stamps, aid to families with dependent children, and school lunch programs.

Reagan fired 13,000 air traffic controllers in a devasting blow to government union members from which the labor movement never recovered.

Washington Post: “Reagan, during his 1980 campaign, blamed trees for emitting 93 percent of the nation’s nitrogen oxide pollution — giving rise to jokes about ‘killer trees.'”

The national debt tripled under Reagan

The AIDS crisis exploded (with 20,000 deaths) before Reagan could even bring himself to address the issue six years later. In his authorized biography he is quoted as saying that “maybe the Lord brought down this plague,” because “illicit sex is against the Ten Commandments.”

Washington Post: “The administration in 1984 secretly sold arms to Iran — which the United States considered a supporter of terrorism — to raise cash for Nicaraguan contra rebels, despite a congressional ban on support for the Latin American insurgency. An independent investigation concluded that the arms sales to Iran operations “were carried out with the knowledge of, among others, President Ronald Reagan [and] Vice President George Bush,” and that “large volumes of highly relevant, contemporaneously created documents were systematically and willfully withheld from investigators by several Reagan Administration officials.” . . . Lawrence E. Walsh, the independent counsel who ran the inquiry, said there was “no credible evidence” that Reagan broke the law, but he set the stage for the illegal activities of others. Impeachment, Walsh said, “certainly should have been considered.”

His administration was responsible for numerous brutal actions in Latin America, including massacres in El Salvador and the war against Nicaragua.

The claim that Reagan won the Cold War is pure rightwing propaganda. The Soviet Union had long been far weaker than many American leaders knew, or wished to acknowledge, thanks to CIA gross overestimates of its economy. The Soviet Union was brought down by a number of factors including the inherent weaknesses of dictatorship and ethnic divides that eventually forced its breakup.

William Blum: “[George Kennan], the former US ambassador to the Soviet Union, and father of the theory of ‘containment’ of the same country, asserts that ‘the suggestion that any United States administration had the power to influence decisively the course of a tremendous domestic political upheaval in another great country on another side of the globe is simply childish.’ He contends that the extreme militarization of American policy strengthened hard-liners in the Soviet Union. ‘Thus the general effect of Cold War extremism was to delay rather than hasten the great change that overtook the Soviet Union.'”

After a major tax cut, there was a long recession and unemployment that hit ten percent.

Bill Press – “It was Reagan who first proposed a missile defense system — immediately dubbed “Star Wars” by skeptical reporters — in a March 23, 1983 speech from the Oval Office. However, as Frances Fitzgerald reveals in her brilliant history “Way Out There in the Blue,” Reagan didn’t get his plan from the scientists or the generals. The Pentagon wasn’t even notified of his speech ahead of time. Reagan stole Star Wars directly from — the movies.

In 1940, appearing in the Warner Brothers thriller “Murder in the Air,” Reagan played an American secret agent charged with protecting a super weapon that could strike all enemy planes from the air. Seed planted in Reagan’s brain. Then in 1966, Alfred Hitchcock released a Reagan favorite, “Torn Curtain,” in which American agent Paul Newman works on developing an anti-missile missile. In words that must have made Ronnie tingle, Newman’s character asserts: “We will produce a defensive weapon that will make all nuclear weapons obsolete, and thereby abolish the terror of nuclear warfare.” Sound familiar? Reagan used almost the exact words in selling missile defense from the office, 17 years later.

The real costs of Reaganism

DEMOCRATS HUGGING REAGAN MYTH

REAGAN LIES UPDATE

Recovered history
REAGAN’S SECRET COUP PLANS

PROGRESSIVE REVIEW – With few exceptions, the media ignored what well could be the most startling revelation to have come out of the Iran/Contra affair, namely that high officials of the US government were planning a possible military/civilian coup. First among the exceptions was the Miami Herald, which on July 5, 1987, ran the story to which Jack Brooks referred. The article, by Alfonzo Chardy, revealed Oliver North’s involvement in plans for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to take over federal, state and local functions during an ill-defined national emergency. . .

According to Chardy, the plan called for ‘suspension of the Constitution, turning control of the government over to the Federal Management Agency, emergency appointment of military commanders to run state and local governments and declaration of martial law.’ The proposal appears to have forgotten that Congress, legislatures and the judiciary even existed.

In a November 18, 1991 story, the New York Times elaborated:

“Acting outside the Constitution in the early 1980s, a secret federal agency established a line of succession to the presidency to assure continued government in the event of a devastating nuclear attack, current and former United States officials said today.”

The program was called “Continuity of Government.” In the words of a report by the Fund for Constitutional Government, “succession or succession-by-designation would be implemented by unknown and perhaps unelected persons who would pick three potential successor presidents in advance of an emergency. These potential successors to the Oval Office may not be elected, and they are not confirmed by Congress.

According to CNN, the list eventually grew to 17 names and included Howard Baker, Richard Helms, Jeanne Kirkpatrick James Schlesinger, Richard Thornberg, Edwin Meese, Tip O’Neil, and Richard Cheney.

The plan was not even limited to a nuclear attack but included any “national security emergency” which was defined as:

“Any occurrence, including natural disaster, military attack, technological or other emergency, that seriously degrades or seriously threatens the national security of the United States.”

This bizarre scheme was dismissed in many Washington quarters as further evidence of the loony quality of the whole Iran/contra affair. One FEMA official called it a lot of crap while a representative for Attorney General Meese described it as ‘bullshit.”. . .

At least one high government official took the plan seriously enough to vigorously oppose it. In a August 1984 letter to NSC chair Robert McFarlane, Attorney General William French Smith wrote:

“I believe that the role assigned to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the revised Executive Order exceeds its proper function as a coordinating agency for emergency preparedness . . . This department and others have repeatedly raised serious policy and legal objections to the creation of an ’emergency czar’ role for FEMA.”

FEMA was clearly out of control. Another memo, written in 1982 to then FEMA director Louis Giuffrida and given only tightly restricted circulation even within the agency, made this astonishing assertion:

“Over the long term, the peacetime action programs of FEMA and other departments and agencies have the effect of making the conceivable need for military takeover less and less as time goes by. A fully implemented civil defense program may not now be regarded as a substitute for martial law, nor could it be so marketed, but if successful in its execution it could have that effect.”

The memo essentially proposed that the American people would rather be taken over by FEMA than by the military. When those are the options on the table, you know you’re in trouble.

The head of FEMA until 1985, Giuffrida also once wrote a paper on the Legal Aspects of Managing Disorders. Here is some of what he said:

“No constitution, no statute or ordinance can authorize Martial Rule. [It commences] upon a determination (not a declaration) by the senior military commander that the civil government must be replaced because it is no longer functioning anyway . . . The significance of Martial Rule in civil disorders is that it shifts control from civilians and to the military completely and without the necessity of a declaration, proclamation or other form of public manifestation . . . As stated above, Martial Rule is limited only by the principle of necessary force.”

Those words come from a time when Giuffrida was the head of then-Governor Reagan’s California Specialized Training Institute, a National Guard school. It was not, for Giuffrida, a new thought. In 1970 he had written a paper for the Army War College in which he called for martial law in case of a national uprising by black militants. Among his ideas were “assembly centers or relocation camps” for at least 21 million “American Negroes.”

During 1968 and 1972, Reagan ran a series of war games in California called Cable Splicer, which involved the Guard, state and local police, and the US Sixth Army. Details of this operation were reported in 1975 in a story by Ron Ridenour of the New Times, an Arizona alternative paper, and later exhumed by Dave Lindorff in the Village Voice.

Cable Splicer, it turned out, was a training exercise for martial law. The man in charge was none other than Edwin Meese, then Reagan’s executive secretary. At one point, Meese told the Cable Splicer combatants:

“This is an operation, this is an exercise, this is an objective which is going forward because in the long run . . . it is the only way that will be able to prevail [against anti-war protests.]”

Addressing the kickoff of Cable Splicer, Governor Reagan told some 500 military and police officers:

“You know, there are people in the state who, if they could see this gathering right now and my presence here, would decide their worst fears and convictions had been realized — I was planning a military takeover.”

REAGAN’S HEART OF DARKNESS

DERRICK Z. JACKSON BOSTON GLOBE – In the weeks leading up to his appearance on Capitol Hill, [Desmond] Tutu said in speeches that it seemed that the Reagan White House saw “blacks as expendable” in South Africa. . . On Capitol Hill, Tutu became a public relations disaster for Reagan. Tutu started off the hearing by saying apartheid itself “is evil, is immoral, is un- Christian, without remainder.” I was there, and all breathing stopped, without remainder. Tutu continued:

“In my view, the Reagan administration’s support and collaboration with it is equally immoral, evil, and totally un-Christian. . . . You are either for or against apartheid and not by rhetoric. You are either in favor of evil or you are in favor of good. You are either on the side of the oppressed or on the side of the oppressor. You can’t be neutral.”

DEATH FEST DAY 4

JESSE WALKER, HIT & RUN – You can count me among those who find the Week-Long Death Festival more appropriate for the expiration of a North Korean dictator than an American president. But as long as we’re all still talking about Reagan, can I pipe up and say I never was one of those people who found his speeches “inspiring”? If the best thing Reagan ever did was to pardon Merle Haggard, the worst was to saddle us with Peggy Noonan.

Yes, I’m getting grumpy. At least I’m not as grumpy as Col. Qaddafy, who had this reaction to Reagan’s death: “I express my deep regret because Reagan died before facing justice for his ugly crime that he committed in 1986 against the Libyan children.” (Hey, if you lost an infant daughter to an American bomb, you might not like the fellow who ordered the raid either. Though when it comes to evading justice for your crimes against Libyans, Qaddafy’s the expert)

TEFLON UNTO DEATH

JOE STRUPP, EDITOR & PUBLISHER – The death of Ronald Reagan has become yet another reminder that news organizations often turn sentimental at the death of a former leader, no matter what legacy he or she leaves behind. . .

The overwhelming praise for a president who plunged the nation into its worst deficit ever, ignored and cut public money for the poor, while also ignoring the AIDS crisis, is a bit tough to take. During my years at Brooklyn College, between 1984 and 1988, countless classmates had to drop out or find other ways to pay for school because of Reagan’s policies, which included slashing federal grants for poor students and cutting survivor benefits for families of the disabled.

Not to mention the Iran-contra scandal, failed ‘supply-side economics,’ the ludicrous invasion of Grenada, 241 dead Marines in Lebanon, and a costly military buildup that may have contributed to the breakup of the Soviet Union (there were plenty of other reasons too) but also kept us closer to nuclear war than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis, besides leaving us billions of dollars in debt.

And should we even mention the many senior Reagan officials, including ex-White House aide Michael Deaver and national security adviser Robert McFarlane, convicted of various offenses? What about Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger indicted but later pardoned by the first President Bush?

DEATH OF A SALESMAN

TOM CARSON, VILLAGE VOICE – Ronald Reagan is the man who destroyed America’s sense of reality – a paltry target, all in all, given our predilections. It only took an actor: the real successor to John Wilkes Booth. In our bones, we had always been this sort of bullshit-craving country anyhow, founded on abstractions: not land (somebody else’s), not people (Red Rover, Red Rover, send Emma Lazarus right over), not even shared history (nostalgia isn’t the same thing, and try pulling that Civil War Shinola anywhere west of the Rio Grande). Just monumental words and wordy monuments, with two convenient oceans between them and circumstance; from Nat Turner’s status as three-fifths of a man-even though we ended up hanging all of him-to Reagan’s child Lynndie England (b. 1983, the year we invaded Grenada and lost 241 Marines in Lebanon), any shortfall could be blamed on something lost in translation. But it was Reagan, whose most profound Freudian slip was the immortal “Facts are stupid things,” who beguiled us into living in the theme park full-time.

ERIC PIANIN AND THOMAS B. EDSALL WASHINGTON POST – The lavish praise obscures that much of Reagan’s record through eight years in office was highly controversial and intensified social and political divisions. . .

“For many Americans, this was a time best forgotten,” said Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP and a longtime civil rights activist. “He was a polarizing figure in black America. He was hostile to the generally accepted remedies for discrimination. His appointments were of people as equally hostile. I can’t think of any Reagan policy that African Americans would embrace.”

The former actor and California governor offended blacks when he kicked off his 1980 general election campaign by promoting “states rights” — once southern code for segregation — in Philadelphia, Miss., scene of the murder of three civil rights workers 16 years before. Early in his first term, Reagan ordered some of his toughest budget cuts in Medicaid, food stamps, aid to families with dependent children and other “means tested” programs that were critical to large numbers of lower-income black families. Until a public protest forced Reagan to back away, his Agriculture Department sought to cut the school lunch program and redefine ketchup and relish as vegetables.

 SAM SMITH – Ronald Reagan has carried out his last con. The first occupant of the White House to make politics just another form of show business is being buried as a hero despite having been one of the worst presidents America ever had.True, he was not as corrupt as Nixon or Clinton, nor as gleefully imperial as George Bush the Lesser, and the damage he did was largely unintentional, the fatal mischief of a small minded man granted too much power.But the result was to begin the decline and fall of the first American republic by convincing its leaders, media, and citizens that the main thing they needed for happiness was a free, unfettered market accompanied by sufficient faux cowboy rhetoric. That there was never any empirical evidence for the absurd economic assumptions didn’t matter; his charm sufficed where logic failed.A quarter century later we are left with a middle class with substantially greater problems, a lower class far more ignored, an ecology far more damaged, a much larger gap between rich and poor and between CEO and employee, Medicare and Social Security in danger, and a culture of greed and narcissism that has buried ideals of democracy, community, and cooperation.

The nausea-inducing elevation of Reagan into someone he never was is another triumph of rightwing spin being swallowed whole by a media that not only doesn’t know the facts, it doesn’t even think it has to, for it, too, has become just another part of show business.

PHIL GASPER, COUNTERPUNCH – Reagan refused to mention AIDS publicly for six years, under-funded federal programs dealing with the disease and, according to his authorized biography, said, “Maybe the Lord brought down this plague,” because “illicit sex is against the Ten Commandments.”

DAVID CORN, NATION – The firing of the air traffic controllers, winnable nuclear war, trees that cause pollution, Elliott Abrams lying to Congress, ketchup as a vegetable, public housing cutbacks, getting cozy with Argentine fascist generals, tax credits for segregated schools, disinformation campaigns, “homeless by choice,” Manuel Noriega, falling wages, “constructive engagement” with apartheid South Africa, the invasion of Grenada, assassination manuals, drug tests, the S&L scandal, silence on AIDS, food-stamp reductions, Ed Meese (“You don’t have many suspects who are innocent of a crime”), massacres in El Salvador, $640 Pentagon toilet seats, William Casey, Iran/contra, Robert Bork, naps, Teflon.

JUAN COLE – I remember seeing a tape of Reagan speaking in California from that era. He said that he had heard that some asserted there was hunger in America. He said it sarcastically. He said, “Sure there is; they’re dieting!” or words to that effect

GLENN KESSLER WASHINGTON POST – Reagan’s spending cuts barely nicked the fastest-growing parts of government, his tax cuts reduced revenue so much that later in his tenure taxes had to be raised repeatedly, his regulatory approach was criticized for leading to the savings and loan crisis and his unbalanced budgets to a near-tripling of the federal debt in eight years.

BILLMON – The legacy of Reagan’s policies in the Middle East, meanwhile, are still being paid for – in blood. The cynical promotion of Islamic fundamentalism as a weapon against the Soviets in Afghanistan, the alliance of convenience with Saddam Hussein against Iran, the forging of a new “strategic relationship” with Israel, the corrupt dealings with the House of Saud, and (perhaps most ironic, given Reagan’s tough guy image) the weakness and indecision of his disastrous intervention in Beruit – all of these helped set the stage for what the neo-cons now like to call World War IV, and badly weakened the geopolitical ability of the United States to wage that war.

MICHAEL BRONSKI, Z MAGAZINE – The most memorable Reagan AIDS moment was at the 1986 centenary rededication of the Statue of Liberty. The Reagan’s were there sitting next to the French Prime Minister and his wife, Francois and Danielle Mitterrand. Bob Hope was on stage entertaining the all-star audience. In the middle of a series of one-liners, Hope quipped, “I just heard that the Statue of Liberty has AIDS, but she doesn’t know if she got it from the mouth of the Hudson or the Staten Island Fairy.” As the television camera panned the audience, the Mitterrands looked appalled. The Reagans were laughing. By the end of 1989, 115,786 women and men had been diagnosed with AIDS in the United States-more then 70,000 of them had died.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, SLATE – Ronald Reagan claimed that the Russian language had no word for “freedom.” (The word is “svoboda”; it’s quite well attested in Russian literature.) Ronald Reagan said that intercontinental ballistic missiles (not that there are any non-ballistic missiles-a corruption of language that isn’t his fault) could be recalled once launched. Ronald Reagan said that he sought a “Star Wars” defense only in order to share the technology with the tyrants of the U.S.S.R. . . Ronald Reagan used to alarm his Soviet counterparts by saying that surely they’d both unite against an invasion from Mars. Ronald Reagan used to alarm other constituencies by speaking freely about the “End Times” foreshadowed in the Bible. In the Oval Office, Ronald Reagan told Yitzhak Shamir and Simon Wiesenthal, on two separate occasions, that he himself had assisted personally at the liberation of the Nazi death camps. . .

GREG PALAST – In 1987, I found myself stuck in a crappy little town in Nicaragua named Chaguitillo. The people were kind enough, though hungry, except for one surly young man. His wife had just died of tuberculosis. People don’t die of TB if they get some antibiotics. But Ronald Reagan, big hearted guy that he was, had put a lock-down embargo on medicine to Nicaragua because he didn’t like the government that the people there had elected.

THE BIGGEST REAGAN LIE

THE BIGGEST REAGAN lie is that he won the Cold War by terrifying the Soviets with Star Wars, upping defense expenditures, and generally being such a tough guy. The myth, though basically just GOP campaign spin, has been widely promulgated in current news coverage. The facts of the matter are quite different.

FOR EXAMPLE, two years before the breakup, the Progressive Review ran an article by Thomas S. Martin – Devolution, Soviet Style, that reported that “Mikhail Gorbachev’s policy of perestroika, or restructuring, has opened a Pandora’s box of separatist and devolutionary movements in the Soviety Union. The article went through the union, state by state, and spoke of the “the last desperate cry of Soviet statism.” Thanks to the American right’s distortion of the issue, Americans to this day have little idea of what really was happening in the Soviet Union. Besides, it’s part of the delusional American creed that good things in the world only happen because we will them.

ARCHIE BROWN, BBC, 2001 – The Soviet Union on the eve of Gorbachev’s perestroika (reconstruction) had serious political and economic problems. Technologically, it was falling behind not only Western countries but also the newly industrialized countries of Asia. Its foreign policy evinced a declining capacity to win friends and influence people. Yet there was no political instability within the country, no unrest, and no crisis. This was not a case of economic and political crisis producing liberalization and democratization. Rather, it was liberalization and democratization that brought the regime to crisis point. . .

SOUTH ASIA ANALYST GROUP – The Congressional Quarterly Researcher wrote on December 11,1992: “After the Soviet break-up, economists were amazed at the extent to which the CIA had overestimated the performance of the Soviet economy, leading many to speculate that the numbers were hyped to fuel the arms race.” Mr. Allan Goodman, Dean of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, described the CIA’s economic intelligence performance as “between abysmal and mediocre.” Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, former Vice-Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said after the Soviet break-up: ” For a quarter century, they (the CIA) told the President everything there was to know about the Soviet Union, excepting the fact that it was collapsing (due to a bad economy). They missed that detail.”

FAREED ZAKARIA, NEWSWEEK – During the early 1970s, hard-line conservatives pilloried the CIA for being soft on the Soviets. As a result, CIA Director George Bush agreed to allow a team of outside experts to look at the intelligence and come to their own conclusions. Team B–which included Paul Wolfowitz–produced a scathing report, claiming that the Soviet threat had been badly underestimated. In retrospect, Team B’s conclusions were wildly off the mark. Describing the Soviet Union, in 1976, as having “a large and expanding Gross National Product,” it predicted that it would modernize and expand its military at an awesome pace. For example, it predicted that the Backfire bomber “probably will be produced in substantial numbers, with perhaps 500 aircraft off the line by early 1984.” In fact, the Soviets had 235 in 1984.

BILL BLUM, KILLING HOPE – It has become conventional wisdom that it was the relentlessly tough anti-communist policies of the Reagan Administration, with its heated-up arms race, that led to the collapse and reformation of the Soviet Union and its satellites. American history books may have already begun to chisel this thesis into marble. The Tories in Great Britain say that Margaret Thatcher and her unflinching policies contributed to the miracle as well. The East Germans were believers too. When Ronald Reagan visited East Berlin, the people there cheered him and thanked him “for his role in liberating the East”. Even many leftist analysts, particularly those of a conspiracy bent, are believers. But this view is not universally held; nor should it be. Long the leading Soviet expert on the United States, Georgi Arbatov, head of the Moscow-based Institute for the Study of the U.S.A. and Canada, wrote his memoirs in 1992. A Los Angeles Times book review by Robert Scheer summed up a portion of it:

“Arbatov understood all too well the failings of Soviet totalitarianism in comparison to the economy and politics of the West. . . Arbatov not only provides considerable evidence for the controversial notion that this change would have come about without foreign pressure, he insists that the U.S. military buildup during the Reagan years actually impeded this development.”

George F. Kennan agrees. The former US ambassador to the Soviet Union, and father of the theory of “containment” of the same country, asserts that “the suggestion that any United States administration had the power to influence decisively the course of a tremendous domestic political upheaval in another great country on another side of the globe is simply childish.” He contends that the extreme militarization of American policy strengthened hard-liners in the Soviet Union. “Thus the general effect of Cold War extremism was to delay rather than hasten the great change that overtook the Soviet Union.”

Though the arms-race spending undoubtedly damaged the fabric of the Soviet civilian economy and society even more than it did in the United States, this had been going on for 40 years by the time Mikhail Gorbachev came to power without the slightest hint of impending doom. Gorbachev’s close adviser, Aleksandr Yakovlev, when asked whether the Reagan administration’s higher military spending, combined with its “Evil Empire” rhetoric, forced the Soviet Union into a more conciliatory position, responded:

“It played no role. None. I can tell you that with the fullest responsibility. Gorbachev and I were ready for changes in our policy regardless of whether the American president was Reagan, or Kennedy, or someone even more liberal. It was clear that our military spending was enormous and we had to reduce it.”. . .

ORDER

ARCHIE BROWN, BBC, 2001 – The Soviet Union on the eve of Gorbachev’s perestroika (reconstruction) had serious political and economic problems. Technologically, it was falling behind not only Western countries but also the newly industrialized countries of Asia. Its foreign policy evinced a declining capacity to win friends and influence people. Yet there was no political instability within the country, no unrest, and no crisis. This was not a case of economic and political crisis producing liberalization and democratization. Rather, it was liberalization and democratization that brought the regime to crisis point. . .

The Soviet economy was in limbo in the last two years of the Soviet Union’s existence – no longer a command economy but not yet a market system. Significant reforms, such as permitting individual enterprise (1986), devolving more powers to factories (1987), and legalising co-operatives (1988), which were to become thinly disguised private enterprises, had undermined the old institutional structures and produced unintended consequences, but no viable alternative economic system had been put in their place. . .

SOUTH ASIA ANALYST GROUP – The Congressional Quarterly Researcher wrote on December 11,1992: “After the Soviet break-up, economists were amazed at the extent to which the CIA had overestimated the performance of the Soviet economy, leading many to speculate that the numbers were hyped to fuel the arms race.” Mr. Allan Goodman, Dean of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, described the CIA’s economic intelligence performance as “between abysmal and mediocre.” Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, former Vice-Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said after the Soviet break-up: ” For a quarter century, they (the CIA) told the President everything there was to know about the Soviet Union, excepting the fact that it was collapsing (due to a bad economy). They missed that detail.”

KEVIN BRENNAN – Sovietology failed because it operated in an environment that encouraged failure. Sovietologists of all political stripes were given strong incentives to ignore certain facts and focus their interest in other areas. I don’t mean to suggest that there was a giant conspiracy at work; there wasn’t. It was just that there were no careers to be had in questioning the conventional wisdom.

A good example of this was the nationalism that helped to bring about the downfall of the USSR — something that was overlooked by Westerners. You see, the USSR used to claim that socialist amity had made nationalism irrelevant. Nobody quite bought that, but Sovietologists did think that the Soviets had managed to mostly eliminate nationalism, because after all they never saw any evidence of it. How could they? Anyone who wanted to pursue a career in Soviet Studies had to be able to get into the Soviet Union to do their research, after all. Without doing research, you didn’t get tenure, and the Soviets made sure you didn’t get to do research on that topic by simply denying you access to the country. Even if you thought it might be a bigger problem then the Soviets let on, you’d never be able to prove it. So you found other things to work on, and eventually you got onto other topics that kept you busy.

There were other kinds of institutional biases as well, such as those that led to the now-infamous “Team B” Report:

“During the early 1970s, hard-line conservatives pilloried the CIA for being soft on the Soviets. As a result, CIA Director George Bush agreed to allow a team of outside experts to look at the intelligence and come to their own conclusions. Team B–which included Paul Wolfowitz–produced a scathing report, claiming that the Soviet threat had been badly underestimated.

“In retrospect, Team B’s conclusions were wildly off the mark. Describing the Soviet Union, in 1976, as having “a large and expanding Gross National Product,” it predicted that it would modernize and expand its military at an awesome pace. For example, it predicted that the Backfire bomber “probably will be produced in substantial numbers, with perhaps 500 aircraft off the line by early 1984.” In fact, the Soviets had 235 in 1984.

“The reality was that even the CIA’s own estimates–savaged as too low by Team B–were, in retrospect, gross exaggerations. In 1989, the CIA published an internal review of its threat assessments from 1974 to 1986 and came to the conclusion that every year it had “substantially overestimated” the Soviet threat along all dimensions. For example, in 1975 the CIA forecast that within 10 years the Soviet Union would replace 90 percent of its long-range bombers and missiles. In fact, by 1985, the Soviet Union had been able to replace less than 60 percent of them.” – Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek

In short, Team B . . . brought a substantial set of preconceived notions about the nature and functioning of Soviet Russia to the task of evaluating the CIA assessments and any data that contradicted those conceptions was summarily discarded. No doubt it was easy enough to justify–after all, the data was flawed, just not flawed in the way that Team B assumed. So they went looking for things that would let them discount the data, and found them in the rhetoric of their opponents. It’s an error in judgment that Wolfowitz seemed destined to repeat.

HOW THE MEDIA USED TO COVER REAGAN

HOWARD KURTZ, WASHINGTON, POST – Most reporters liked the Gipper personally — it was hard not to — but often depicted him as detached, out of touch, a stubborn ideologue. Sam Donaldson, Helen Thomas and company would do battle in those prime-time East Room news conferences that Reagan relished, and he would deflect their toughest questions with an aw-shucks grin and a shake of the head. Major newspapers would run stories on all the facts he had mangled, a practice that faded as it became clear that most Americans weren’t terribly concerned.

The media dubbed him the Teflon president, and it was not meant as a compliment. Reagan was, quite simply, a far more controversial figure in his time than the largely gushing obits on television would suggest.

He took a pounding in the press after his first tax cut when a deep recession pushed unemployment to 10 percent and drowned the budget in red ink.

He was widely portrayed as uninformed and uninterested in details, the man who said trees cause pollution and once failed to recognize his own housing secretary.

He was often described as lazy, “just an actor,” a man who’d rather be clearing brush at his California ranch and loved a good midday nap.

JAMES RIDGEWAY, VILLAGE VOICE – The elaborate Reagan state funeral may well prove a satisfying goodbye for Nancy, relatives, and close friends. For the Bush re-election campaign managers, it comes as an unexpected gift. This shouldn’t surprise us in an era in which D-Day is compared to the war on terror, Bush Junior (by inference) to Eisenhower, and the occupation of Baghdad to the liberation of Paris. . .

The Democrats who voted for Reagan abandoned the sour, nitpicking Jimmy Carter for the cheerful Hollywood figure, but they also did what the political pros and historians still don’t get. Led by the determined cadres of the “New Right,” they supported a candidate and a plan for a new America with an ideological agenda. That agenda called for doing the unthinkable: grabbing control of Congress and smashing the New Deal, while leaving a token “safety net” in its place. It was in the early days of Reagan that the homeless began to appear in growing numbers on the streets of American cities, an early sign of the slow process of turning over the functions of the federal government to companies through such ideas as privatization. Reagan practically initiated the concept of turning social welfare over to charitable foundations. All of this was accomplished with the glue of anti-Communism, a shared bond that tied otherwise quarreling factions together—the libertarian-minded Republicans, the anti-feminist crusaders, the Christian fundamentalists. Under Reagan, the government borrowed the concept of guerrilla warfare from the winning side in Vietnam and used it to win a victory over the Sandinistas. Reagan escaped the Iran-Contra scandal without a scratch. For some, Reagan spelled the turning point in the death of the first American republic.

Reagan aided Guatemalan genocide

The strange rise of Obama

2009

One  of the unanswered questions about Barack Obama is how a young politician of such little achievement got so far so fast – from state senator to president in four years. Bill Blum provides new light on the subject. To understand this phenomenon, it is important to recognize that if a young Obama was vetted or otherwise used by the CIA, it was not all that unusual. From the 1950s on, the agency repeatedly interfered in the education of the talented young by recruiting or co-opting them for its own purposes. Yale’s Skull & Bones Club, for example, was a classic case of a recruitment camp for future intelligence types. The purpose – for the short run – is more information, and – for the long run – a supply of US future government officials whom the agency trusts and can use. And it often begins with a bright college student an insider thinks might fill the bill. . . .

Bill Blum, Anti-Empire Report – The question that may never go away: Who really is Barack Obama? In his autobiography, “Dreams From My Fathers”, Barack Obama writes of taking a job at some point after graduating from Columbia University in 1983. He describes his employer as “a consulting house to multinational corporations” in New York City, and his functions as a “research assistant” and “financial writer.” The odd part of Obama’s story is that he doesn’t mention the name of his employer.

However, a New York Times story of 2007 identifies the company as Business International Corporation. Equally odd is that the Times did not remind its readers that the newspaper itself had disclosed in 1977 that Business International had provided cover for four CIA employees in various countries between 1955 and 1960. The British journal, Lobster Magazine — which, despite its incongruous name, is a venerable international publication on intelligence matters — has reported that Business International was active in the 1980s promoting the candidacy of Washington-favored candidates in Australia and Fiji. In 1987, the CIA overthrew the Fiji government after but one month in office because of its policy of maintaining the island as a nuclear-free zone, meaning that American nuclear-powered or nuclear-weapons-carrying ships could not make port calls. After the Fiji coup, the candidate supported by Business International, who was much more amenable to Washington’s nuclear desires, was reinstated to power.

In his book, not only doesn’t Obama mention his employer’s name; he fails to say when he worked there, or why he left the job. There may well be no significance to these omissions, but inasmuch as Business International has a long association with the world of intelligence, covert actions, and attempts to penetrate the radical left — including Students for a Democratic Society — it’s valid to wonder if the inscrutable Mr. Obama is concealing something about his own association with this world.

Colony Net, 2008 –In an effort to shore up his foreign policy credentials during the primary campaign, the junior senator from Illinois – then in a tight primary contest with Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania – bragged about the time he had spent in Pakistan. He argued that Clinton’s foreign policy “experience” consisted only of quick photo ops, while he had spent “quality time” with “real people.” Not only that, he had actually gone on a partridge-hunting trip near the Pakistan city of Larkana. His partridge-hunting apparently impressed the gun owners of Pennsylvania very little, inasmuch as Clinton won that primary by 10 per cent.

Eager to impress the Pennsylvania crowd with his “foreign policy experience” and knowledge of guns, Obama thus let slip the fact that he’d been to Pakistan. (It is believed that he made two trips to Pakistan.) There must have been more to that trip than meets the eye, however, because the candidate has said virtually nothing about it since. You won’t find anything on the Obama campaign site. . .

Astute readers may have begun to wonder how a struggling young college student with a divorced, middle-class mother managed to fund a three week trip to Pakistan. . . But Barry Obama-Soetoro was off shooting partridges in Pakistan, hosted by a young man named Muhammed Hasan Chandio. Chandio’s family owned a substantial amount of land in the region, and Obama apparently met him while both were students. (Chandio is currently a financial consultant in New York, and a donor to the Obama campaign.). . .

Another of Obama’s hosts in Pakistan was Muhammadian Mian Soomro, Obama’s senior by about 11 years, son of a Pakistani politician and himself a politician, who became interim President of Pakistan when Pervez Musharraf resigned in August of 2008. Soomro has said that “someone”� personally requested that he “watch over” Barack Obama, but will not name that individual . . .

A trip to Pakistan is no doubt more than a jaunt to a Florida beach. Few Americans would consider traveling there now, thinking it to be a dangerous place. In 1981, when one of Obama’s possible two trips there occurred, it was less safe. Because of the war between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union, millions of Afghan refugees fled to Pakistan, which was under martial law. The Afghan “mujahedeen” fighters had bases in Pakistan, and they moved back and forth to fight the Soviets. . .

In the early 1980s, Pakistan was one of the destinations Americans were prohibited from visiting – it was on the State Department’s list of banned countries. Non-Muslims were not welcome, unless they were on official business, formalized through the embassy of the country of origin. The simple truth is that no young American would have a reason to or be able to visit Pakistan in 1981, unless he was on official government business of which the State Department was aware. . .

Adding to the mix is the fact that Ann Dunham, Obama’s mother, had visited at least 13 countries in her lifetime, and had worked for companies that required travel to Pakistan. Her employers appear to have included the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Ford Foundation, Women’s World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank. Note that USAID and the Ford Foundation have (allegedly) been used as covers for CIA agents. . . .

The story of Business International also includes its 1960s joint meetings with members of SDS at the prodding of Carl Oglesby. Not everyone was happy at the idea – including Bernadette Dorn – and probably for good cause.
Obama also was one of eight students selected to study sovietology by Columbia professor Zbigniew Brzezinski who, if he wasn’t a CIA official, was as close as you can otherwise get. Brzesinski is now a member of Obama’s inner circle.

If the Obama Pakistan story sounds somewhat familiar, it may because the Review was one of the few places that reported one of Bill Clinton’s similarly interesting trips:

“1960s: Bill Clinton, according to several agency sources interviewed by biographer Roger Morris, works as a CIA informer while briefly and erratically a Rhodes Scholar in England. Although without visible means of support, he travels around Europe and the Soviet Union, staying at the ritziest hotel in Moscow. During this period the US government is using well educated assets such as Clinton as part of Operation Chaos, a major attempt to break student resistance to the war and the draft. According to former White House FBI agent Gary Aldrich Clinton is told by Oxford officials that he is no longer welcome there.”

HOW THE OBAMA FAIRY TALE BEGAN

Paul Street Z Mag – Conventional wisdom holds that Obama entered national politics with his instantly famous keynote address to the 2004 Democratic National Convention. But, as Ken Silverstein noted in Harper’s in the fall of 2006, “If the speech was his debut to the wider American public, he had already undergone an equally successful but much quieter audition with Democratic Party leaders and fund-raisers, without whose support he would surely never have been chosen for such a prominent role at the convention.

The favorable elite assessment of Obama began in October of 2003. That’s when “Vernon Jordan, the well-known power broker and corporate board-member who chaired Bill Clinton’s presidential transition team after the 1992 election, placed calls to roughly twenty of his friends and invited them to a fund-raiser at his home. That event,” Silverstein noted, “marked his entry into a well-established Washington ritual-the gauntlet of fund-raising parties and meet-and-greets through which potential stars are vetted by fixers, donors, and lobbyists.”

Drawing on his undoubted charm, wit, intelligence, and Harvard credentials, Obama passed this trial with shining colors. At a series of social meetings with assorted big “players” from the financial, legal and lobbyist sectors, Obama impressed key establishment figures like Gregory Craig (a longtime leading attorney and former special counsel to the White House), Mike Williams (the legislative director of the Bond Market Association), Tom Quinn (a partner at the top corporate law firm Venable and a leading Democratic Party “power broker”), and Robert Harmala, another Venable partner and “a big player in Democratic circles.”

Craig liked the fact that Obama was not a racial “polarizer” on the model of past African-American leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

Williams was soothed by Obama’s reassurances that he was not “anti-business” and became “convinced…that the two could work together.”

“There’s a reasonableness about him,” Harmala told Silverstein. “I don’t see him as being on the liberal fringe.”

By Silverstein’s account, the good “word about Obama spread through Washington’s blue-chip law firms, lobby shops, and political offices, and this accelerated after his win in the March [2004] Democratic primary.” Elite financial, legal, and lobbyists contributions came into Obama’s coffers at a rapid and accelerating pace.

The “good news” for Washington and Wall Street insiders was that Obama’s “star quality” would not be directed against the elite segments of the business class. The interesting black legislator from the South Side of Chicago was “someone the rich and powerful could work with.” According to Obama biographer and Chicago Tribune reporter David Mendell, in late 2003 and early 2004:

“Word of Obama’s rising star was now spreading beyond Illinois, especially through influential Washington political circles like blue chip law firms, party insiders, lobbying houses. They were all hearing about this rare, exciting, charismatic, up-and-coming African American who unbelievably could win votes across color lines. . . [his handlers and] influential Chicago supporters and fund-raisers all vigorously worked their D.C. contacts to help Obama make the rounds with the Democrats’ set of power brokers. . .

According to Mendell, Obama now cultivated the support of the privileged few by “advocat[ing] fiscal restraint” and “calling for pay-as-you-go government” and “extol[ing] the merits of free trade and charter schools.” He “moved beyond being an obscure good-government reformer to being a candidate more than palatable to the moneyed and political establishment.” .

“On condition of anonymity,” Silverstein reported two years ago, “one Washington lobbyist I spoke with was willing to point out the obvious: that big donors would not be helping out Obama if they didn’t see him as a ‘player.’ The lobbyist added: ‘What’s the dollar value of a starry-eyed idealist?'”

Arkansas Connections

A CHART THAT APPEARED IN THE PROGRESSIVE REVIEW, MAY  1992

The media tried to turn the Clinton story into Camelot II.  Just the truth would have made life easier for all of us.     And a much better tale as well.

Sam Smith

COPYRIGHT 1998 THE PROGRESSIVE REVIEW
Updated January 2001 and periodically thereafter

1950s

When Bill Clinton is 7, his family moves from Hope, Arkansas, to the long-time mob resort of Hot Springs, AR. Here Al Capone is said to have had permanent rights to suite 443 of the Arlington Hotel. Clinton’s stepfather is a gun-brandishing alcoholic who loses his Buick franchise through mismanagement and his own pilfering. He physically abuses his family, including the young Bill. His mother is a heavy gambler with mob ties. According to FBI and local police officials, his Uncle Raymond — to whom young Bill turns for wisdom and support — is a colorful car dealer, slot machine owner and gambling operator, who thrives (except when his house is firebombed) on the fault line of criminality.

Paul Bosson, Hot Springs Prosecutor – In Hot Springs, growing up here, you were living a lie. You lived a lie because you knew that all of these activities were illegal. I mean, as soon as you got old enough to be able to read a newspaper, you knew that gambling in Arkansas was illegal, prostitution was illegal. And so you lived this lie, so you have to find some way to justify that to yourself and, you know, you justify it by saying, “Well,” you know, “it’s okay here.”

Virginia Kelly, Clinton’s mother (1923-1994) – Hot Springs was so different. We had wide-open gambling, for one thing, and it was so wide open that it never occurred to me that it was illegal – it really didn’t – until it came to a vote about whether we were going to legalize gambling or not. I never was so shocked.

HOT SPRINGS BEFORE THE CLINTONS

In the 1930s, Hot Springs represented the western border of organized crime in the U.S with the local syndicate headed by Owney Madden, a New York killer who had taken over the mob’s resort in Arkansas. Owney Madden was an English born gang member who had been arrested more than 40 times in New York by the time he was 21. Madden got the assignment from his boss, Myer Lansky. The plan for Arkansas was modeled on an earlier one in which Governor Huey Long opened a Swiss bank account into which the mob would put $3 to $4 million annually for the right to run casinos in the state. Lansky then moved to Hot Springs where he hired Madden, former operator of Harlem’s Cotton Club. According to one account, ” The Hot Springs set up was so luxurious and safe that it became known as a place for gangsters on the lam to hole up until the heat blew over.”

Hot Springs was where Lucky Luciano was arrested and brought back for trial prosecuted by Thomas E.Dewey. According to one account, “Dewey proclaimed Luciano Public Enemy No 1, and a grand jury returned a criminal indictment against him that carried a maximum penalty of 1,950 years. . . He was arrested in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and extradited back to New York. There, in the New York State Supreme Court he was tried, and on June 7, the verdict of guilty was returned. Eleven days later, he was sentenced to a total of from 30-to-50 years in state prison. It was the longest sentence ever handed out for compulsory prostitution.”

THE DICE MAN – There is evidence that many syndicate groups became involved in Hot Springs. Owney Madden was the overseer of everything and watched out for the New York mob’s interests. Morris Kleinman, who was one of the founding gangsters of the Cleveland syndicate spent much time in Hot Springs. It is rumored that the Cleveland boys had pieces of the profits from Hot Springs gambling. Johnny Roselli, an “upper level” member of the Chicago mob was a silent partner in many Hot Springs casinos in the 1940’s and 1950’s, as was Frank Costello. All of these groups used local operators as “fronts”, a system perfected by the Cleveland syndicate in Ohio, Florida, and Kentucky. Since Hot Springs was a very popular tourist spot, the command went out from the different syndicates that there should be no murders carried out in Hot Springs. This would be the rule in Las Vegas too. If bodies littered the streets like in Chicago, it would only hurt business. Also “petty” crimes like burglary and armed robbery were not to be tolerated. If the suckers weren’t comfortable, they wouldn’t come to Hot Springs.

Owney Madden laid the groundwork for gangsters on the lam to hide out in Hot Springs. The city had a resort-like atmosphere and elegant nightlife, with people coming and going all the time. This was the perfect situation to “hide” mobsters who couldn’t be seen in their hometowns. Al Capone would stay at the Arlington Hotel when things got too hot in Chicago.. . .

1960s

A federal investigation concludes that Hot Springs has the largest illegal gambling operations in the United States.

Clinton goes to Georgetown University where he finds a mentor in Professor Carroll Quigley. Quigley writes: “That the two political parties should represent opposed ideals and policies. . . is a foolish idea. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical . . .The policies that are vital and necessary for America are no longer subjects of significant disagreement, but are disputable only in detail, procedure, priority, or method. “

Bill Clinton, according to several agency sources interviewed by biographer Roger Morris, works as a CIA informer while briefly and erratically a Rhodes Scholar in England. Although without visible means of support, he travels around Europe and the Soviet Union, staying at the ritziest hotel in Moscow. During this period the US government is using well educated assets such as Clinton as part of Operation Chaos, a major attempt to break student resistance to the war and the draft. According to former White House FBI agent Gary Aldrich Clinton is told by Oxford officials that he is no longer welcome there.

Bill Clinton and his friend Jim McDougal get a job in the office of Senator J. William Fulbright. The Washington Post will later write, “McDougal was interested in making money while Clinton was obsessed with political stature.”

After becoming involved in politics, Wellesley graduate Hillary Rodham will order her senior thesis sealed from public view.

1969

Bill Clinton fails to report to his duty station at the University of Arkansas ROTC. Reclassified 1-A on October 30, 1969, as enlistment with Army Reserves is revoked by Colonel E. Holmes.

1974

27 year old Clinton, only months out of Yale Law School, is back in Arkansas eager to run for Congress. Roger Morris writes later, “A relative unknown, he faces an imposing field of rivals in the Democratic primary, and beyond, in the general election, a powerful Republican incumbent. 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 , his showing is so impressive, especially in his capacity to attract such money and favours, 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 backroom bookie operation that was one of Hot Springs’ most lucrative criminal enterprises. [And the] inimitable Uncle Raymond – who had also played a pivotal behind-the-scenes role in keeping young Bill out of the Vietnam draft – was far more than an auto dealer. In the nationally prominent fount of vice and corruption that was Hot Springs from the 1920s to the 1980s (its barely concealed casinos generated more income than Las Vegas well into the 1960s), the uncle’s Buick agency and other businesses and real estate were widely thought to be facades for illegal gambling, drug money laundering and other ventures, in which Raymond was a partner. He was a minion of the organized crime overlord who controlled the American Middle South for decades, New Orleans boss Carlos Marcello or “Mafia Kingfish” as his biographer John Davis called him.”

1976

Bill Clinton is elected attorney general of Arkansas.

Two Indonesian billionaires come to Arkansas. Mochtar Riady and Liem Sioe Liong are close to Suharto. Riady is looking for an American bank to buy. Finds Jackson Stephens with whom he forms Stephens Finance. Stephens will broker the arrival of BCCI to this country and steer BCCI’s founder, Hassan Abedi, to Bert Lance.

Riady’s teen-age son is taken on as an intern by Stephens Inc. He later says he was “sponsored” by Bill Clinton.

1977

Hillary Clinton joins the Rose Law Firm.

Apparently because of pressure from Indonesia, Riady withdraws his bid to buy Lance’s 30% share of the National Bank of Georgia. Instead, a BCCI front man buys the shares and Abedi moves to secretly take over Financial General – later First American Bankshares — later the subject of the only BCCI-connected scandal to be prosecuted in the US.

1978

Clinton is elected governor.

The Clintons and McDougals buy land in the Ozarks for $203,000 with mostly borrowed funds. The Clintons get 50% interest with no cash down. The 203 acre plot, known as Whitewater, is fifty miles from the nearest grocery store. The Washington Post will report later that some purchasers of lots, many of them retirees, “put up houses or cabins, others slept in vans or tents, hoping to be able to live off the land.” More than half of the purchasers will lose their plots thanks to the sleazy form of financing used.

Two months after commencing the Whitewater scam, Hillary Clinton invests $1,000 in cattle futures. Within a few days she has a $5,000 profit. Before bailing out she earns nearly $100,000 on her investment. Many years later, several economists will calculate that the chances of earning such returns legally were one in 250 million.

Governor Clinton appoints Jim McDougal an economic development advisor.

Bill Clinton’s mother hangs out at the race track with mobsters and other local figures, including Dan Lasater who breeds race horses in Kentucky and Florida and has a box at the track next to hers. Mrs. Clinton introduces Lasater to Roger Clinton.

More than a few Little Rock insiders believe Hillary Clinton is having an affair with Vince Foster.

Roger Clinton develops a four-gram a day cocaine habit, getting his stuff from New York and Medellin suppliers, based (as one middleman will later testify) on “who his brother was.” Sharlene Wilson is one of his dealers. Dan Lasater will give Roger work and loan him $8,000 to pay off a drug debt.

Juanita Broaddrick, a volunteer in Clinton’s gubernatorial campaign, will later claim she was attacked by by Clinton and her lip almost bitten off.

According to Roger Morris in Partners in Power, a young woman lawyer in Little Rock will later claim that she was accosted by Clinton this year and that when she recoiled he forced himself on her, biting and bruising her. “Deeply affected by the assault, the woman decided to keep it all quiet for the sake of her own hard-won career and that of her husband. When the husband later saw Clinton at the 1980 Democratic Convention, he delivered a warning. ‘If you ever approach her,’ he told the governor, ‘I’ll kill you.’ Not even seeing fit to deny the incident, Bill Clinton sheepishly apologized and duly promised never to bother her again.”

1979

Sharlene Wilson will testify in a 1990 federal drug probe that she began selling cocaine to Roger Clinton as early as this year. She will also tell reporters that she sold two grams of cocaine to Clinton’s brother at the Little Rock nightclub Le Bistro, then witnessed Bill Clinton consume the drug. “I watched Bill Clinton lean up against a brick wall,” Wilson reveals to the London Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in 1995. “He was so messed up that night, he slid down the wall into a garbage can and just sat there like a complete idiot.” Wilson also describes gatherings at Little Rock’s Coachman’s Inn between 1979 and 1981, where she saw Clinton using cocaine “quite avidly” with friends. Drug prosecutor Jean Duffey will say that she has no doubt that Wilson was telling the truth.

The Clintons and McDougals form Whitewater Development Company.

1980s

Governor Clinton appoints Web Hubbell to head a new state ethics commission. First task: to weaken ethics legislation currently under consideration by exempting the governor from some of its most rigorous provisions.

Arkansas becomes a major center of gun-running, drugs and money laundering. The IRS warns other law enforcement agencies of the state’s “enticing climate.” According to Clinton biographer Roger Morris, operatives go into banks with duffel bags full of cash, which bank officers then distribute to tellers in sums under $10,000 so they don’t have to report the transaction.

Sharlene Wilson, according to investigative reporter Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, flies cocaine from to a pickup point in Texas. Other drugs, she and others say, are stuffed into chickens for shipping around the country. Wilson also serves as “the lady with the snow” at “toga parties” attended, she reports, by Bill Clinton.

According to Wilson,”I lived in Little Rock, Arkansas, O.K.? And I worked at a club called Le Bistro’s, and I met Roger Clinton there, Governor Bill Clinton, a couple of his state troopers that went with him wherever he went. Roger Clinton had come up to me and he had asked me could I give him some coke, you know, and asked for my one-hitter, which a one-hitter is a very small silver device,O.K., that you stick up into your nose and you just squeeze it and a snort of cocaine will go up in there.And I watched Roger hand what I had given him to Governor Clinton, and he just kind of turned around and walked off.”

Investor’s Business Daily would later write, “Sally Perdue, a former Miss Arkansas and Little Rock talk show host who said she had an affair with then-Gov. Clinton in 1983, told the London Sunday Telegraph that he once came over to her house with a bag full of cocaine. ”He had all the equipment laid out, like a real pro.”

In the 1990s, Genifer Flowers tells Sean Hannity’s WABC talk radio show: “He smoked marijuana in my presence and and offered me the opportunity to snort cocaine if I wanted to. I wasn’t into that. Bill clearly let me know that he did cocaine. And I know people that knew he did cocaine. He did tell me that when he would use a substantial amount of cocaine that his head would itch so badly that he would become self conscious at parties where he was doing this. Because all he wanted to do while people were talking to him is stand around and scratch his head. ….”

Two Arkansas state troopers will swear under oath that they have seen Clinton ”under the influence” of drugs when he was governor. Sharlene Wilson is a bartender who ended up serving time on drug crimes and cooperating with drug investigators. She told a federal grand jury she saw Clinton and his younger brother ”snort” cocaine together in 1979. Jack McCoy, a Democratic state representative and Clinton supporter, told the Sunday Telegraph that he could ”remember going into the governor’s conference room once and it reeked of marijuana.” Historian Roger Morris, in his book ”Partners in Power,” quotes several law enforcement officials who say they had seen and knew of Clinton’s drug use. One-time apartment manager Jane Parks claims that in 1984 she could listen through the wall as Bill and Roger Clinton, in a room adjoining hers, discussed the quality of the drugs they were taking.

Hillary Clinton makes a $44,000 profit on a $2,000 investment in a cellular phone franchise deal that involves taking advantage of the FCC’s preference for locals, minorities and women. The franchise is almost immediately flipped to the cellular giant, McCaw.

A drug pilot brings a Cessna 210 full of cocaine into eastern Arkansas where he is met by his pick-up: a state trooper in a marked police car. “Arkansas,” the pilot will recall years later, “was a very good place to load and unload.”

VINCE FOSTER

According to his wife, security operative Jerry Parks delivers large sums of money from Mena airport to Vince Foster at a K-Mart parking lot. Mrs. Parks discovers this when she opens her car trunk one day and finds so much cash that she has to sit on the trunk to close it again. She asks her husband whether he is dealing drugs, and he allegedly explains that Foster paid him $1,000 for each trip he took to Mena. Parks said he didn’t “know what they were doing, and he didn’t care to know. He told me to forget what I’d seen.”. . . .Later Evans-Pritchard will write, “Foster was using him as a kind of operative to collect sensitive information on things and do sensitive jobs. Some of this appears to have been done on behalf of Hillary Clinton. . . Foster told him that Hillary wanted it done. Now, my understanding . . . is that she wanted to know how vulnerable he would be in a presidential race on the question of — how shall I put it? — his appetites.”

Hillary Clinton quietly lobbies on behalf of the Contras and against groups and individuals opposing them.

Dan Lasater’s parties become known around Little Rock for the availability of cocaine and women.

Judy Gibbs, a model and call girl who appeared in Penthouse magazine, runs a powerful house of prostitution in Fordyce with her sister Sharon. They also blackmail some of their more powerful clients. Both her family and one of Clinton’s bodyguards will later link Judy Gibbs to the governor. She decides to cooperate with police in an investigation of Arkansas cocaine trafficking, but is burned to death inside her home from a fire of undetermined origin. In 1999, Newsmax will report, “[Former Clinton bodyguard Barry] Spivey had become something of a mystery man, who insisted on meeting [Paula Jones investigator] Rick Lambert on a deserted road nestled deep in the Arkansas backwoods. The Jones investigator admitted he was none too comfortable with the situation. Spivey shared a story about a conversation he had with Clinton while on a flight over southeast Arkansas. The trooper noticed a blackened patch amidst the greenery below that, surprisingly, Clinton recognized. That patch was all that was left of an estate that had burned to the ground in the mid-80s. According to the trooper, Clinton began reminiscing about rumors of his involvement with the woman of the house, a onetime “Penthouse pet.” Her husband, Spivey said, was involved in a pornography ring. Clinton explained to Spivey, ‘You know that mansion just burned down right on top of them.’ Years later, Spivey remains struck by one thing: the eerie expression that crossed Clinton’s face as he spoke those words. ….”

The sudden and/or violent deaths of persons connected in some way to the Clinton machine have been at best shoddily investigated by public officials. It is impossible in many cases to determine which are the result of foul play and which are coincidental. Barbara Wise is a case in point. This woman, whose partially nude body was found in the Commerce Department, has been described by some as being a highly disturbed person whose death may be totally unrelated to the Clinton scandals.

In cases of foul play, readers are warned not to leap to conclusions as to motivation or potential perpetrators. For example, if Vincent Foster was killed rather than committing suicide, it may not have been because of the shady dealings at the White House but because public investigations of these shady dealings threatened to expose peripheral criminality such as past money laundering, drug trafficking, or illegal intelligence activities.

1980

Bill Clinton loses re-election as governor. He will win two years later. Larry Nichols will tell the George Putman Show in 1998 that he had met with Clinton and Jackson Stephen’s brother Witt and that Witt had told Clinton that the Stephens were ready to back him for another run at the governorship but that he had to “dry out on the white stuff.”

There are reports that following his loss, Clinton ended up in the hospital for a drug overdose. Journalist R. Emmett Tyrrell later asked emergency room workers at the University of Arkansas Medical Center if they could confirm the incident. He didn’t get a flat ”no” from the hospital staff. One nurse said, ”I can’t talk about that.” Another said she feared for her life if she spoke of the matter. Newsmax will report: “Dr. Sam Houston, a respected Little Rock physician and once a doctor for Hillary’s cantankerous father, Hugh Rodham, says it is well known in Little Rock medical circles that Clinton was brought to a Little Rock hospital for emergency treatment for an apparent cocaine overdose. According to Houston, who told us he spoke to someone intimately familiar with the details of what happened that night, Clinton arrived at the hospital with the aid of a state trooper. Hillary Clinton had been notified by phone and had instructed the hospital staff that Clinton’s personal physician would be arriving soon. When Mrs. Clinton arrived, she told both of the resident physicians on duty that night that they would never practice medicine in the United States if word leaked out about Clinton’s drug problem. Reportedly, she pinned one of the doctors up against the wall, both hands pressed against his shoulders, as she gave her dire warning.”

According to Jim McDougal’s later account, he and Henry Hamilton, “developed a system to pass money to Clinton,” then governor of Arkansas. “I considered it just another way of helping to take care of Bill. A contractor agreed to pad my monthly construction bill by $2,000. The contractor put the figure on his invoice as a cost for gravel or culvert work. After I paid the full amount … the contractor reimbursed me the $2,000. I turned the money over to Henry to give to Clinton. Once, after I handed Henry his latest consignment of 20 hundred-dollar bills to relay to the governor’s office, he turned the bills over and over in one hand, like a magician. Henry grinned. `You know,’ he said, `Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First had Cromwell. Clinton could profit from these examples if he crosses us.'”

1981

Hillary Clinton writes Jim McDougal: “If Reagonomics works at all, Whitewater could become the Western Hemisphere’s Mecca.”

Major drug trafficker Barry Seal, under pressure from the Louisiana cops, relocates his operations to Mena, Arkansas. Seal is importing as much as 1,000 pounds of cociane a month from Colombia according to Arkansas law enforcement officials. He will claim to have made more than $50 million out of his operations. As an informant, Seal testified that in 1980-81, before moving his operation to Arkansas, he made approximately 60 trips to Central America and brought back 18,000 kilograms. In 1996 the Progressive Review will report: “The London Telegraph has obtained some of the first depositions in ex-CIA contract flyer Terry Reed’s suit against Clinton’s ex-security chief – and now a high- paid FEMA director – Buddy Young. According to the Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, “Larry Patterson, an Arkansas state trooper, testified under oath that there were ‘large quantities of drugs being flown into the Mena airport, large quantities of money, large quantities of guns.’ The subject was discussed repeatedly in Clinton’s presence by state troopers working on his security detail, he alleged. Patterson said the governor ‘had very little comment to make; he was just listening to what was being said.'”

Roger Morris & Sally Denton, Penthouse Magzine – Seal’s legacy includes more than 2,000 newly discovered documents that now verify and quantify much of what previously had been only suspicion, conjecture, and legend. The documents confirm that from 1981 to his brutal death in 1986, Barry Seal carried on one of the most lucrative, extensive, and brazen operations in the history of the international drug trade, and that he did it with the evident complicity, if not collusion, of elements of the United States government, apparently with the acquiescence of Ronald Reagan’s administration, impunity from any subsequent exposure by George Bush’s administration, and under the usually acute political nose of then Arkansas governor Bill Clinton. . .

Mena state police investigator Russell Welch will later describe the airport, pointing to one hanger he says is owned by a man who “doesn’t exist in history back past a safe house in Baltimore in 1972.” Another is owned by someone who “smuggled heroin through Laos back in the seventies.” Still another is “owned by a guy who just went bankrupt. So what’s he do? Flies to Europe for more money.” Welch points to a half dozen Fokker aircraft parked on an apron, noting that “the DEA’s been tracking those planes back and forth to Columbia for a while now.”

1982

A DEA report uncovered by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard will cite an informant claiming that a key Arkansas figure and backer of Clinton “smuggles cocaine from Colombia, South America, inside race horses to Hot Springs.”

The London Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Prichard writes, “Basil Abbott, a convicted drug pilot, says that he flew a Cessna 210 full of cocaine into Marianna, in eastern Arkansas, in the spring of 1982. The aircraft was welcomed by an Arkansas State Trooper in a marked police car. ‘Arkansas was a very good place to load and unload’ he said.”

IRS agent William Duncan and an Arkansas State Police investigator take their evidence concerning drug trafficking in Mena to US Attorney Asa Hutchinson. They ask for 20 witnesses to be subpoenaed before the grand jury. Hutchinson chooses only three. According to reporter Mara Leveritt, “The three appeared before the grand jury, but afterwards, two of them also expressed surprise at how their questioning was handled. One, a secretary at Rich Mountain Aviation, had given Duncan sworn statements about money laundering at the company, transcripts of which Duncan had provided to Hutchinson. But when the woman left the jury room, she complained that Hutchinson had asked her nothing about the crime or the sworn statements she’d given to Duncan. As Duncan later testified, ‘She basically said that she was allowed to give her name, address, position, and not much else.’ The other angry witness was a banker who had, in Duncan’s words, ‘provided a significant amount of evidence relating to the money-laundering operation.’ According to Duncan, he, too, emerged from the jury room complaining ‘that he was not allowed to provide the evidence that he wanted to provide to the grand jury.'”

Roger Morris & Sally Denton, Penthouse Magzine – According to l.R.S. criminal investigator Duncan, secretaries at the Mena Airport told him that when Seal flew into Mena, I’there would be stacks of cash to be taken to the bank and laundered.” One secretary told him that she was ordered to obtain numerous cashier’s checks, each in an amount just under $10,000, at various banks in Mena and surrounding communities, to avoid filing the federal Currency Transaction Reports required for all bank transactions that exceed that limit. Bank tellers testified before a federal grand jury that in November 1982, a Mena airport employee carried a suitcase containing more than $70,000 into a bank. “The bank officer went down the teller lines handing out the stacks of $1,000 bills and got the cashier’s checks.” Law-enforcement sources confirmed that hundreds of thousands of dollars were laundered from 1981 to 1983 just in a few small banks near Mena, and that millions more from Seal’s operation were laundered elsewhere in Arkansas and the nation.

Bill Clinton wins back the governorship.

Financial General changes its name to First American and Clark Clifford is appointed chairman. BCCI fronts begin acquiring controlling interest in banks and other American financial institutions. In Arkansas, Jim McDougal purchases Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan. I

1983

Mochtar Riady forms Lippo Finance & Investment in Little Rock. A non-citizen, Riady hires Carter’s former SBA director, Vernon Weaver, to chair the firm. The launch is accomplished with the aid of a $2 million loan guaranteed by the SBA. Weaver uses Governor Clinton as a character reference to help get the loan guarantee. First loan goes to Little Rock Chinese restaurant owner Charlie Trie.

State regulators warn McDougal’s Madison Guarantee S&L to stop making imprudent loans. Gov. Clinton is also warned of the problem but takes no action.

According to a later account in the Tampa Tribune, planes flying drugs into Mena in coolers marked “medical supplies.” are met by several people close to then-Governor Bill Clinton.

Although he is under investigation for drug activities, Dan Lasater’s firm is given a piece of 14 state bond issues.

Judge David Hale’s Capital Management Services starts making loans to state figures.

Jackson Stephens forms United Pacific Trading with Mochtar Riady to do business in the U.S. and Asia.

1984

Stevens and Riady buy a banking firm and change its name to Worthern Bank with Riady’s 28-year-old son James as president. Other Worthen co-owners will eventually include BCCI investor Abdullah Taha Bakhish.

The Federal Home Loan Bank Board issues a negative report on Madison Guaranty, questioning both its lending practices and its financial stability. The Arkansas Securities Department begins to take steps to close it down.

The Washington Times will later quote an unnamed Clinton business associate who claims the governor used to “jog over to McDougal’s office about once a month to pick up the [retainer] check for his wife.” Jim McDougal will claim later that Clinton on one of his jogs had asked that Madison steer business to Hillary Clinton.

Foreshadowing future Wall Street interest in Clinton, Goldman Sachs, Payne Webber, Salomon Brothers and Merrill Lynch all show up as financial backers of the governor. Also on the list: future king-maker Pam Harriman. But Bill Clinton’s funders include not only some of the biggest corporate names ever to show an interest in the tiny state of Arkansas but some of the most questionable. A former US Attorney will later tell Roger Morris, “That was the election when the mob really came into Arkansas politics. . . It wasn’t just Bill Clinton and it went beyond our old Dixie Mafia. . . This was eastern and west coast crime money that noticed the possibilities just like the legitimate corporations did.”

Dan Lasater buys a ski resort in New Mexico for $20 million and uses Clinton’s name (with permission) to promote it. Later, a US Customs investigative report will note that the resort is being used for drug operations and money laundering. Lasater also flies to Belize with his aide Patsy Thomasson to buy a 24,000 acre ranch. Among those present at the negotiations is the US Ambassador. The deal falls through because of the opposition of the Belize government.

A private contractor for Arkansas’ prison system stops selling prisoners’ blood to a Canadian broker and elsewhere overseas after admitting the blood might be contaminated with the AIDS virus or hepatitis. Sales of prisoners’ blood in US are already forbidden. Contaminated blood will later become a big scandal in Canada.

Tens of thousands of dollars in mysterious checks begin moving through Whitewater’s account at Madison Guaranty. Investigators will later suspect that McDougal was operating a check-kiting scheme to drain money from the S&L

Hot Springs police record Roger Clinton during a cocaine transaction. Roger says, “Got to get some for my brother. He’s got a nose like a vacuum cleaner.” Roger is arrested while working at menial jobs for Arkansas “bond daddy” Dan Lasater.

Barry Seal estimates that he has earned between $60 and $100 million smuggling cocaine into the US, but with the feds closing in on him, Barry Seal flies from Mena to Washington in his private Lear Jet to meet with two members of Vice President George Bush’s drug task force. Following the meeting, Seal rolls over for the DEA, becoming an informant. He collects information on leaders of the Medellin cartel while still dealing in drugs himself. The deal will be kept secret from investigators working in Louisiana and Arkansas. According to reporter Mara Leveritt, “By Seal’s own account, his gross income in the year and a half after he became an informant – while he was based at Mena and while Asa Hutchinson was the federal prosecutor in Fort Smith, 82 miles away – was three-quarters of a million dollars. Seal reported that $575,000 of that income had been derived from a single cocaine shipment, which the DEA had allowed him to keep. Pressed further, he testified that, since going to work for the DEA, he had imported 1,500 pounds of cocaine into the U.S. Supposed informant Seal will fly repeatedly to Colombia, Guatemala, and Panama, where he meets with Jorge Ochoa, Fabio Ochoa, Pablo Escobar, and Carlos Lehder – leaders of the cartel that at the time controlled an estimated 80 percent of the cocaine entering the United States.”

Ronald Reagan wants to send the National Guard to Honduras to help in the war against the Sandanistas. Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis goes to the Supreme Court in a futile effort to stop it but Clinton is happy to oblige, even sending his own security chief, Buddy Young, along to keep an eye on things. Winding up its tour, the Arkansas Guard declares large quantities of its weapons “excess” and leaves them behind for the Contras.

Clinton bodyguard, state trooper LD Brown, applies for a CIA opening. Clinton gives him help on his application essay including making it more Reaganesque on the topic of the Nicaragua. According to Brown, he meets a CIA recruiter in Dallas whom he later identities as former member of Vice President Bush’s staff. On the recruiter’s instruction, he meets with notorious drug dealer Barry Seal in a Little Rock restaurant. Joins Seal in flight to Honduras with a purported shipment of M16s and a return load of duffel bags. Brown gets $2,500 in small bills for the flight. Brown, concerned about the mission, consults with Clinton who says, “Oh, you can handle it, don’t sweat it.” On second flight, Brown finds cocaine in a duffel bag and again he seeks Clinton’s counsel. Clinton says to the conservative Brown, “Your buddy, Bush, knows about it” and, of the cocaine, “that’s Lasater’s deal.”

Clinton wins re-election with 64% of the vote.

1985

Roger Clinton pleads guilty to cocaine distribution but cops a plea on more serious charges with a promise to cooperate. He will serve a short prison term.

Mrs. Clinton is put on a $2,000 a month retainer by Madison Guaranty. Jim McDougal will later write in his book that the payments were in lieu of his earlier system of passing money to Bill Clinton. Ms. Clinton will later claim not to have received any retainer nor to have been deeply involved with Madison. Subsequent records show, however, that she represented Madison before the state securities department. After the revelation, she says, “For goodness sakes, you can’t be a lawyer if you don’t represent banks.”

Bill Clinton establishes the Arkansas Development Finance Authority that will be used, in the words of one well-connected Arkansan as “his own political piggy bank.” Though millions of dollars are funneled to Clinton allies, records of repayments will be hazy or non-existent. AFDA brags to prospective out-of-state corporations of Arkansas’ anti-union climate. Dan Lasater is a major underwriter and gets a $30 million bond deal for state police radios even as the governor’s stepbrother Roger is making a bargain with the US attorney to testify against Lasater in a drug case.

The New Jersey securities firm Bevill, Bresler & Schulman files for bankruptcy amid fraud charges and an estimated $240 million in losses; one of the biggest apparent losers is Stephens-dominated Worthen Bank, which holds with Bevill $52 million of Arkansas state funds in uncollateralized repurchase agreements.

Arkansas state pension funds — deposited in Worthen by Governor Bill Clinton — suddenly lose 15% of their value because of the failure of high risk, short-term investments and the brokerage firm that bought them. The $52 million loss is covered by a Worthen check written by Jack Stephens in the middle of the night, an insurance policy and the subsequent purchase over the next few months of 40% of the bank by Mochtar Riady. Clinton and Worthen escape a major scandal.

Lippo executive and Chinese native John Huang becomes active in Lippo’s operations in Arkansas. China Resources pays for a Lippo-organized trip to Asia by Governor Clinton, according to a later FBI interview with John Huang.

Mochtar and James Riady engineer the takeover of the First National Bank of Mena in a town of 5,000 with few major assets beyond a Contra supply base, drug running and money-laundering operations.

Terry Reed is asked to take part in Operation Donation, under which planes and boats needed by the Contras “disappear,” allowing owners to claim insurance. Reed has been a Contra operative and CIA asset working with Felix Rodriguez, the Contra link to the CIA and then-Vice President Bush’s office. Reed later claims he refused, but that his plane was removed while he was away.

Park on Meter, a parking meter manufacturer in Russellville, Arkansas, receives the first industrial development loan from the Arkansas Development Finance Authority in 1985. Some suspect that POM is doing a lot more than making parking meters — specifically that it has secret federal contracts to make components of chemical and biological weapons and devices to carry them on C-130s for the Contras. The company later denies the Contra connection although it will admit having secret military contracts. Web Hubbell is the company’s lawyer. Right next to POM, on land previously owned by it, is an Army reserve chemical warfare company.

A series of checks to Clinton and his campaign are endorsed and deposited in Madison S&L. One of the checks — a cashiers check in the amount of $3,000 — has the name of a 24-year-old college student on it. When informed of this in 1993, the then-student, Ken Peacock, will deny having made any such donation.
Whitewater fails to file corporate tax returns for this year.

Asa Hutchinson leaves the US Attorney’s office to make an unsuccessful bid for US Senate. According to police sources, Hutchinson had been aware of what was happening at Mena and the investigation into it, but did nothing. Hutchinson is replaced by Mike Fitzhugh who is reluctant to let investigators Russell Welch of the state police and William Duncan of the IRS present evidence of money-laundering to a grand jury.

Jim McDougal sets up a late controversial land deal called Castle Grande.

According to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, on June 4, 1985, the diary of Arkansas State police lieutenant Russell Welch says that an agent from the DEA “informed me in strictest confidence that it was believed, within his department, that [major drug transporter] Barry Seal is flying weapons to Central and South America. In return he is allowed to smuggle what he wanted back into the United States”.

1986

Journalist Evans-Pritchard will describe the Arkansas of this period as a “major point for the transshipment of drugs” and “perilously close to becoming a ‘narco-republic’ — a sort of mini-Columbia within the borders of the United States.” There is “an epidemic of cocaine, contaminating the political establishment from top to bottom,” with parties “at which cocaine would be served like hors d’oeuvres and sex was rampant.” Clinton attends some of these events.

According to former CIA officials David MacMichael and Ray McGovern, Barry Seal, a former TWA pilot who had trained Nicaraguan Contra pilots in the early eighties, and who is facing a long sentence after a federal drug conviction in Florida, makes his way to the White House’s National Security Council to make the following proposition to officials there. He would fly his own plane to Colombia and take delivery of cocaine. He would then make an emergency landing in Nicaragua and make it appear that Sandinista officials were aiding him in drug trafficking. Seal made it clear that he would expect help with his legal problems. The Reagan White House jumps at the offer. Seal’s plane is flown to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where it was fitted with secret cameras to enable Seal to photograph Nicaraguan officials in the act of assisting him with the boxes of cocaine.

On January 17, the U. S. Attorney for the Western District drops a money laundering and narcotics-conspiracy charges against associates of drug smuggler Barry Seal over the protests of investigators Russell Welch of the state police and Bill Duncan of the Internal Revenue.

In a letter to U.S. attorney general Edwin Meese the Louisiana attorney general wrote, Barry Seal “smuggled between $3 billion and $5 billion of drugs into the U.S.”

The operation goes as planned. The photos are delivered to the White House, and a triumphant Ronald Reagan goes on national TV to show that the Sandinistas are not only Communists but also criminals intent on addicting America s youth.

A Federal Home Loan Bank Board audit describes Madison as financially reckless, rife with conflicts and on the brink of collapse. It says that the S&L’s records are so poor that examiners often could not discover the “real nature” of transactions. In August federal regulators will remove McDougal from the board of Madison.

Capital Management Services Inc., owned by David Hale, makes an SBA-approved loan of $300,000 to Susan McDougal, sole owner of an advertising firm called Master Marketing. The loan will never be repaid. Hale will later claim that Clinton and Jim McDougall pressured him into making the loan.

Dan Lasater, Arkansas bond don who is close to Clinton, pleads guilty to cocaine distribution charges. The case also involves Clinton step brother Roger, who testifies against Lasater in a plea agreement. Both Lasater and Roger Clinton will serve brief prison terms. While Lasater is in prison his affairs will be run by Patsy Thomasson, who later becomes a White House aide.

BARRY SEAL FOLLOWING HIS MURDER

Seal is scheduled to testify at the trial of Jorge Ochoa Vasques. But on February 19, shortly before the trial is to begin, Seal is murdered in Baton Rouge gangland style by three Colombian hitmen armed with machine guns who attack while he seated behind the wheel of his white Cadillac in Baton Rouge, La. The Colombians, connected with the Medellin drug cartel, are tried and convicted. Upon hearing of Seal’s murder, one DEA agent says, “There was a contract out on him, and everyone knew it. He was to have been a crucial witness in the biggest case in DEA history.”

According to the London Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Prichard, “Seal was probably the biggest importer of cocaine in American history. Between 1980 and his assassination in 1986, his team of pilots smuggled in 36 metric tons of cocaine, 104 tons of marijuana and three tons of heroin, according to a close associate of Seal. The sums of money involved were staggering. At his death, Seal left a number of operational bank accounts. One of them, at the Cayman Islands branch of the Fuji Bank, currently has an interest-earning balance of $1,645,433,000. “

Roger Morris & Sally Denton, Penthouse Magzine Seal himself spent considerable sums to land, base, maintain, and specially equip or refit his aircraft for smuggling. According to personal and business records, he had extensive associations at Mena and in Little Rock, and was in nearly constant telephone contact with Mena when he was not there himself. Phone records indicate Seal made repeated calls to Mena the day before his murder. This was long after Seal, according to his own testimony, was working as an $800,000-a-year informant for the federal government.

Eight months after the murder, Seal’s cargo plane is shot down over Nicaragua. It is carrying ammunition and other supplies for the Contras from Mena. One crew member, Eugene Hasenfus, survives.

Roger Morris & Sally Denton, Penthouse Magzine – Tax records show that, having assessed Seal posthumously for some $86 million in back taxes on his earnings from Mena and elsewhere between 1981 and 1983, even the l.R.S. forgave the taxes on hundreds of millions in known drug and gun profits over the ensuing two-year period when Seal was officially admitted to be employed by the government.

Roger Morris & Sally Denton, Penthouse Magzine – Arkansas state trooper Larry Patterson [would later testify] under oath, according to *The London Sunday Telegraph*, that he and other officers “discussed repeatedly in Clinton’s presence” the “large quantities of drugs being flown into the Mena airport, large quantities of money, large quantities of guns,” indicating that Clinton may have known much more about Seal’s activities than he has admitted.

Whitewater fails to file corporate tax returns for this year.

James Riady resigns as president of Worthen Bank.

Clinton is reelected governor.

Roger Clinton is paroled.

1987

According to the McDougals, the Whitewater files are transferred to the Clintons. In the 1992 campaign, the Clintons will say they can not find the records.

Clinton gives Arkansas Traveler awards to Contra operatives Adolpho and Mario Calero and John Singlaub.

Accordind to Ambrose Evans Prichard of the London Telegraph, on August 1987 Arkansas police lieutenant Russell Welch receives a secret teletype from the FBI office in Chicago advising him that “a CIA or DEA operation is taking place at the Mena airport”. The Sunday Telegraph has a copy of the telex. In late 1987, Welch writes in his diary,. “I feel like I live in Russia, waiting for the secret police to pounce down. A government has gotten out of control. Men find themselves in positions of power and suddenly crimes become legal. National Security?!”

Two boys, Kevin Ives and Don Henry, are killed in Saline County and left on a railroad track to be run over by a train The medical examiner will initially rule the deaths accidental, saying that the boys were unconscious and in a deep sleep due to marijuana. The finding will be punctured by dogged investigators whose efforts are repeatedly blocked by law enforcement officials. Ultimately, the bodies will be exhumed and another autopsy will be performed, which finds that Henry had been stabbed in the back and Ives beaten with a rifle butt. Although no one will ever be charged, the trail will lead into the penumbra of the Dixie Mafia and the Arkansas political machine. Some believe the boys died because they accidentally intercepted a drug drop, but other information obtained by the Progressive Review suggests the drop may have dispensed not drugs but cash, gold and platinum — part of a series of sorties through which those working with US intelligence were being reimbursed. According to one version, the boys were blamed in order to cover up the theft of the drop by persons within the Dixie Mafia and Arkansas political machine. Ives mother will later charge that high state and federal officials participated in a coverup: “I firmly believe my son and Don Henry were killed because they witnessed a drug drop by an airplane connected to the Mena drug smuggling routes.”

Prosecutor Jean Duffey will later tell talk show host in answer to whether law enforcement people were involved in the train death murders: “I believe the law enforcement agents were connected to some very high political people because they have never been brought to justice and I don’t think they ever will be. I think they are protected to avoid exposing the connection…There have been several murders of potential witnesses. Anyone who could have solved this murder many years ago has been systematically eliminated.”

Nine persons reportedly having information on the Ives-Henry murders will end up dead themselves. Keith McKaskle will express fear for his life because of the “railroad track thing” and tell his parents good-bye before his murder. An inmated will report being offered $4,000 to kill McKaskle. A suspect in the Ives-Henry murders will die in what initially is thought to have been a robbery but turns out to have been a set-up. Boonie Bearden vanishes without a trace. It is rumored he knows exactly what had happened at the tracks. James Milam is found decapitated; nonetheless, the state medical examiner, Fahmy Malak – who also called the Ives-Henry deaths accidental — will declare the death to be of natural causes. Jeff Rhodes will be shot, burned, and have his hands and feet partially sawed off.

Terry Reed’s plane is returned but, according to his account, he is asked not to report it because it might have to be “borrowed” again. Reed later says that he had become aware that the Contra operation also involved drug running and had gotten cold feet. He also believed that large sums of drug money were being laundered by leading Arkansas financiers. He went to Felix Rodriguez and told him he was quitting. Reed was subsequently charged with mail fraud for having allegedly claimed insurance on a plane that was in fact hidden in a hanger in Little Rock. The head of Clinton’s Swiss Guard, Capt. Buddy Young, will claim to have been walking around the North Little Rock Airport when “by an act of God” a gust of wind blew open the hangar door and revealed the Piper Turbo Arrow.

Whitewater fails to file corporate tax returns for this year.

Harken Energy, with George W Bush on the board, gets rescued by aid from the BCCI-connected Union Bank of Switzerland in a deal brokered by Jackson Stephens, later to show up as a key supporter of Bill Clinton. The deal was also pushed along by another Clinton friend, David Edwards. Edwards will bring BCCI-linked investors into Harken deals including Abdullah Bakhsh, purchases $10 million in shares of Stephens dominated Worthen Bank.

1988

Conservative Democrats begin a series of nearly 100 meetings held at the home of Pam Harriman to plot strategy for the takeover of the Democratic Party. Donors cough up $1,000 to attend and Harriman eventually raises $12 million for her kind of Democrat. The right-wing Dems will eventually settle on Bill Clinton as their presidential choice.

Charles Black, a prosecutor for Polk County, which includes Mena, meets with Governor Clinton and asks for assistance in a probe of illegal activities. “His response,” Mr. Black will tell CBS News later, “was that he would get a man on it and get back to me. I never heard back.”

Following pressure from then-Arkansas Rep. Bill Alexander, the General Accounting Office opens a probe in April 1988; within four months, the inquiry is shut down by the National Security Council, according to a later report by Micah Morrison of the Wall Street Journal. Several congressional subcommittee inquiries sputter and stop.

The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations issues a report that describes the seriousness of the Barry Seal disaster. That report says, “Law enforcement officials were furious that their undercover operation was revealed and agents’ lives jeopardized because one individual in the U.S. government – Lt. Col. Oliver North- decided to play politics with the issue . . . Associates of Seal, who operated aircraft service businesses at the Mena, Arkansas airport, were also targets of grand jury probes into narcotics trafficking. Despite the availability of evidence sufficient for an indictment on money laundering charges and over the strong protests of state and federal law enforcement officials, the cases were dropped.”

According to journalist Philip Weiss, “In 1988, Bill Clinton chose not to run for the presidency, in part out of fear of personal disclosure about his sex life. The story goes–and now we are into rumor/recollection, but it’s persuasive–that Hillary Clinton was angry that he had bowed out and wanted a divorce. She compiled a divorce file with her friend, lawyer Vince Foster, involving a number of women in Arkansas. Ultimately she dropped the plan.

1989

Madison S&L is closed by federal regulators at an eventual cost to taxpayers of $47 million. Jim McDougal is indicted for bank fraud

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau begins a wide-ranging probe of BCCI. .

FDIC hires Webster Hubbell of the Rose firm to press its case concerning Madison. Rose law firm, now representing FDIC, sues an accounting firm for $60 million, blaming its audits for causing millions of dollars in losses to the S&L. Although the job earns Rose $400,000 in fees and expenses the accounting firm will eventually settle by paying the government just $1 million.

What will later be known as the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy begins on the left as a group of progressive students at the University of Arkansas form the Arkansas Committee to look into Mena, drugs, money laundering, and Arkansas politics.

Dan Short, a bank president, is abducted from his home in Benton Co., Arkansas and allegedly forced to open the State Bank in Noel, MO were $71,000 is allegedly taken. Three days before his abduction, he had told friends that he had been laundering drug money and was in trouble.

1990

James Riady takes over operations of a new branch of the Lippo Bank, working with Hong Kong Lippo executive, John Huang. China Resources Company Ltd begins buying stock in the branch, Hong Kong Chinese Bank, at 15% below market value. Intelligence sources later report that the firm is really a front for Chinese military intelligence.

Warren Stephens raises $50,000 overnight so Clinton can buy TV time in his struggling re-election bid.

Sharlene Wilson tells a US grand jury investigating drugs in Arkansas that she provided cocaine to Clinton during his first term and that once the governor was so high he fell into a garbage can. The federal drug investigation is shut down within days of her testimony. Wilson flees, terrified of the state prosecuting attorney — her former lover, and Clinton ally, Dan Harmon. She will be eventually arrested by Harmon himself and sent up for 31 years on a minor drug charge.

The case against Terry Reed goes to court. Terry Reed had been asked to take part in Operation Donation, under which planes and boats needed by the Contras “disappear,” allowing owners to claim insurance. Reed has been a Contra operative and CIA asset working with Felix Rodriguez, the Contra link to the CIA and then-Vice President Bush’s office. Reed later claimed he refused, but that his plane was removed while he was away. Terry Reed’s plane was returned but, according to his account, he is asked not to report it because it might have to be “borrowed” again. Reed later says that he had become aware that the Contra operation also involved drug running and had gotten cold feet. He also believed that large sums of drug money were being laundered by leading Arkansas financiers. He went to Felix Rodriguez and told him he was quitting. Reed was subsequently charged with mail fraud for having allegedly claimed insurance on a plane that was in fact hidden in a hanger in Little Rock. The head of Clinton’s Swiss Guard, Capt. Buddy Young, will claim to have been walking around the North Little Rock Airport when “by an act of God” a gust of wind blew open the hangar door and revealed the Piper Turbo Arrow.

The case against Terry Reed is thrown out of court by the federal judge who said, “It’s my opinion no jury could find by reasonable doubt that the defendant was guilty. There are too many holes in the chain of proof for the government to prove mail fraud.” Clinton’s security chief, Captain Buddy Young, is described by the judge as having a “reckless disregard for the truth.” Young, who will play a major role in keeping state troopers quiet about Clinton, will end up in a $92,000-a-year job with FEMA, a federal agency established to handle major disasters.

Reed will file a civil action against Buddy Young. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard will report that one witness, Arkansas state trooper Larry Patterson, testified that there were “large quantities of drugs being flown into Mena airport, large quantities of money, large quantities of guns.” Patterson says 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 will unravel when the judge rules that no evidence regarding Mena, the CIA, Dan Lasater, the Arkansas Development Finance Agency or the Clintons will be permitted.

Drug distributor Dan Lasater is pardoned by Governor Clinton after serving just six months in jail and four in a halfway house on minor charges. One law enforcement official will describe the investigation into Lasater’s operations as “either a high dive or extremely unprofessional. Take your pick.” The alleged reason for the pardon: so Lasater can get a hunting license. Lasater returns to his 7,400 acre ranch in Saline County.

Jean Duffey, the head of a newly created drug task force, starts investigating between the train deaths and drugs. She is told by her prosecuting attorney boss, “You are not to use the drug task force to investigate public officials.” Duffey will later tell the Wall Street Journal, “We had witnesses telling us about low-flying aircraft and informants testifying about drug pick-ups.”

Jim McDougal is acquitted of bank fraud.

Gov. Clinton is elected to a second four-year term. He promises to serve the full term and not run for president.

Clinton talks to Gennifers on the phone. The call is recorded. An excerpt

[[Flowers asks him if he is going to run for president]: I want to but I don’t want to be blown out of the water with this. I don’t see how they can hurt me so far. If they don’t have pictures of me and . . . if no one says anything. Or even if someone says something, they don’t have much.

1991

The Arkansas Industrial Development Commission furthers the Indonesian – Arkansas connection. Deals are worked on for Wal-Mart, Tyson’s Foods, and JB Hunt. The US ambassador in Jakarta at the time will later remark, “There were lots of people from Arkansas who came through Indonesia.”

An IRS memorandum reveals that even at this late date “the CIA still has ongoing operations out of the Mena, AR airport. “

Arkansas State Police investigator Russell Welch, who has been working with IRS investigator Bill Duncan on drug running and money laundering at Mena, develops pneumonia-like symptoms. The Washington Weekly later described the incident: “On the weekend of September 21, 1991, Arkansas State Police Investigator Russell Welch met with IRS Investigator Bill Duncan to write a report on their investigation of Mena drug smuggling and money laundering and send it to Iran-Contra prosecutor Lawrence Walsh.. Returning to Mena on Sunday, Welch told his wife that he didn’t feel too well. He thought he had gotten the flu . . . In Fort Smith a team of doctors were waiting. Dr. Calleton had called them twice while Welch was in transport and they had been in contact with the CDC. Later the doctor would tell Welch’s wife that he was on the edge of death. He would not have made it through the night had he not been in the hospital. He was having fever seizures by now. A couple of days after Welch had been admitted to St. Edwards Mercy Hospital, his doctor was wheeling him to one of the labs for testing when she asked him if he was doing anything at work that was particularly dangerous. He told her that he had been a cop for about 15 years and that danger was probably inherent with the job description. She told Welch that they believed he had anthrax. She said the anthrax was the military kind that is used as an agent of biological warfare and that it was induced. Somebody had deliberately infected him. She added that they had many more tests to run but they had already started treating him for anthrax.”

While in Washington, D.C., where he holds a permit to carry a gun, IRS agent Bill Duncan is arrested for weapons possession (his service revolver), roughed up and handcuffed to a pipe in the basement of a DC police station. After the incident he is taken off of the Mena investigation. Later, when he was asked to falsify testimony for a federal grand jury, he refuses and is fired on the spot.

State Attorney General Winston Bryant and Arkansas Rep. Bill Alexander send two boxes of Mena files to special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh. Bryant says the boxes contain “credible evidence of gunrunning, illegal drug smuggling, money laundering and the governmental coverup and possibly a criminal conspiracy in connection with the Mena Airport.” Seventeen months later, Walsh writes Bryant a letter saying, without explanation, that he had closed his investigation. Says Alexander later, “The feds dropped the ball and covered it up. I have never seen a whitewash job like this case.”

Dan Harmon becomes the new prosecuting attorney in the district responsible for the train deaths investigation.

Harmon’s drug investigator Jean Duffey is discredited, threatened and ultimately has to flee Arkansas.

A Washington, DC, political fundraiser will later claim presidential candidate-to-be Clinton invites her to his hotel room during a political trip to the nation’s capital, pins her against the wall and sticks his hand up her dress. She says she screamed loud enough for the Arkansas state trooper stationed outside the hotel suite to bang on the door and ask if everything was all right, at which point Clinton releasesher and she flees the room. When she reports the incident to her boss, he advises her to keep her mouth shut if she wants to keep working.

The day Clinton announces his candidacy for the White House, Meredith Oakley sizes him up in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette: “His word is dirt. Not a statesman is he, but a common, run-of-the-mill, dime-a-dozen politician. A mere opportunist. A man whose word is fallow ground not because it is unwanted but because it is barren, bereft of the clean-smelling goodness that nurtures wholesome things. Those of us who cling to the precepts of another age, a time in which a man’s word was his bond, and, morally, bailing out was not an option, cannot join the madding crowd in celebrating what is for some Bill Clinton’s finest hour. We cannot rejoice in treachery. The bleaters who care more for celebrity than veracity are basking in a false and empty light. They trumpet the basest form of political expediency, for they revel amid the debris of a broken promise. Clinton will never accept that assessment of his actions or his following. He subscribes to the credo that the anointed must rule the empire, and he has anointed himself. In his ambition-blinded eyes, one released from a promise has not broken any promise. He ignores the fact that he granted his own pardon.”

Clinton buddy and Little Rock restaurant owner, Yah Lin “Charlie” Trie, starts Daihatsu International Trading Co., with offices in Arkansas, Washington, and Beijing.

The Federal Reserve begins an investigation of BCCI’s alleged control of First American Bank. A few months later BCCI itself is shut down in what would be revealed as the world’s biggest bank scandal ever. Bill Clinton announces for president. Among his targets: “S&L crooks and self-serving CEOs.”

Another call between Clinton and Flowers is recorded:

[From 1991: With Clinton running for president, the Flowers rumors are heating up again]: If they ever hit you with it, just say no and go on. There’s nothing they can do… I just think if everyone’s on record denying it, you got no problems.

FLOWERS: Why would they waste their money and time coming down here?

CLINTON: They’re gonna try and run this. [But if] everybody kinda hangs tough, they’re just not gonna do anything. They can’t. They can’t run a story like that unless somebody says, ‘Yeah, I did it.’

Art Harris in a Penthouse story also reports that on “another tape they discuss how she might turn double agent and attempt to entrap the local Republicans who had approached her with a reported $50,000 to go public.” Flowers also phones Clinton to ask him to help her get out of town before reporters began digging into how she got her state job. Clinton promises to help.

1992

The Worthen Bank gives Clinton a $3.5 million line of credit allowing the cash-strapped candidate to finish the primaries. Stephens Inc. employees give Clinton more than $100,000 for his presidential campiagn.

Soraya and Arief Wiriadinata, the daughter and son-in-law of Lippo’s co-founder, donate $450,000 to the DNC. Arief Wiriadinata came to the US from Indonesia allegedly to study landscape architecture — although some accounts describe him simply as a gardener. At last reports Wiriadinata is now back home, working for Sea World Indonesia.

Little Rock Worldwide Travel provides Clinton with $1 million in deferred billing for his campaign trips. Clinton aide David Watkins boasts to a travel magazine, “Were it not for World Wide Travel here, the Arkansas governor may never have been in contention for the highest office in the land.” In fact, without the Worthen and Worldwide largess, it is unlikely that the cash-strapped candidate could have survived through the later primaries.

A massive “bimbo” patrol is established to threaten, buy, or otherwise disarm scores of women who have had sexual encounters with Clinton. The campaign uses private investigators in an extensive operation that will be joked about at the time but later will be seen as a form of blackmail as well as psychological and physical intimidation.

The Pine Bluff Commercial notes, “It’s very difficult to catch Bill Clinton in a flat lie. His specialty is a lengthy disingenuousness.”

Money magazine reports that Clinton annually receives about $1.4 million in admissions tickets to the state-regulated Oaklawn racetrack which he hands out to campaign contributors and others.

According to Brooks Jackson of CNN, the commission that regulates Arkansas’s only greyhound track meets several times a year at the track’s exclusive Kennel Club, with the Southland Greyhound Park paying for the commissioners’ food and booze.

Gennifer Flowers records her last conversation with Bill Clinton. On the tape Clinton says, “If they ever ask if you’ve talked to me about it, you can say no.” Clinton describes Mario Cuomo as a “mean son of a bitch” and when Flowers says, “I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t have some Mafioso connections,” the reply is: “Well, he acts like one,” followed by a chuckle. Of the press, Clinton advises, “If they ever hit you with it, just say no and go on. There’s nothing they can do. I expected them to look into it and come interview you. But if everybody is on record denying it, no problem” Many papers, including the Washington Post and the New York Times, fail to let their readers know what is on the tapes. In 1997 Gennifer Flowers, interviewed by Penny Crone and Curtis Sliwa on New York’s WABC, will claim that she had received threats — including death threats — around the time of her tape recorded conversations with Bill Clinton and that this was why she had made the recordings. Asked whether she thought Clinton was behind the threats, Flowers replies, “What I thought, after my home was ransacked, was that he was behind that — simply because I had called to tell him about it and it was his reaction it. I mean, he acted, he was aloof. Her didn’t act that concerned. He said, ‘Well, why do you think they came in there?’ And I said, ‘Well, why the hell do you think?’ He said, ‘Well, do you think they were looking for something on us?’ I said, ‘Well, yes.’ And at that moment I thought, well, maybe you’re behind this because he would have as much interest to know what evidence I might have as anyone else would.” Flowers also said, “One thing that Bill said on those tapes that I think has run true throughout his presidency. He told me, ‘If we stick together and we continue to deny it, everything will be OK.”

A survey of campaign reporters finds that by February, 90% favor Clinton for president.

Major media censor a second alleged sex scandal involving Bill Clinton that breaks in a supermarket tabloid just days before the New Hampshire primary. The story, in the Globe, charges that Clinton had a relationship with a woman who claimed that Clinton was the father of her child. The woman also claims she attended group sex sessions with Clinton. The woman is now reportedly in Australia.

Time Magazine runs an article called “Anatomy of a Smear” in which Clinton’s involvement in the Mena drug/Contra operation is whitewashed and those trying to expose it are, well, smeared.

The Pine Bluff Commercial notes: “It’s very difficult to catch Bill Clinton in a flat lie. His specialty is a lengthy disingenuousness.”

Former Miss Arkansas Sally Perdue goes on the Sally Jesse Raphael Show and says she had an affair with Bill Clinton. She will later tell the London Sunday Telegraph that state troopers often dropped Clinton off at her place in his jogging gear: “He saw my Steinway grand piano and went straight over to it and asked me to play. . . When I see him now, president of the United States, meeting world leaders, I can’t believe it. . . I still have this picture of him wearing my black nightgown, playing the sax badly. . . this guy tiptoeing across the park and getting caught on the fence. How do you expect me to take him seriously?”

After the TV show, Perdue says she was visited by a man who described himself as a Democratic Party operative and who warned her not to reveal specifics of the affair. “He said there were people in high places who were anxious about me and they wanted me to know that keeping my mouth shut would be worthwhile. . . If I was a good little girl, and didn’t kill the messenger; I’d be set for life: a federal job, nothing fancy but a regular paycheck. . . I’d never have to worry again. But if I didn’t take the offer, then they knew that I went jogging by myself and he couldn’t guarantee what would happen to my ‘pretty little legs.'”

Perdue says she later found a shotgun cartridge on the driver’s seat of her Jeep and had her back window shattered.

James Riady, his family, and employees give $700,000 to Clinton and the Democratic campaign.

Clinton’s speech interpreter for the deaf, Paula Grober, is killed in a high-speed, no-witness one-car crash. Had traveled extensively with Clinton since 1978

During the New Hampshire primary Clinton flies back to Little Rock to preside over the execution of Ricky Ray Rector. The prisoner was so brain damaged that he saved his pie to eat later. Rector was accustomed to placing his dessert in a corner of the cell to be eaten just before he went to sleep.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, SLATE – The Country Club of Little Rock had 500 members, all of them white, and the aspirant candidate had himself photographed there more than once until Jerry Brown made an issue of it. It was then announced by Clinton’s people that “the staff and facilities” at the club were “integrated” – a pretty way of stating that the toilets were cleaned by black Arkansans.

A grand jury indicts BCCI principals, including Clark Clifford and Robert Altman. A week later, a grand jury in Washington and the Federal Reserve issue separate actions against Clifford and Altman.

Resolution Trust Corporation field officers forward a criminal referral on Madison Guaranty to Charles Banks, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. The referral alleges a check-kiting scheme by Madison owners Jim and Susan McDougal and names the Clintons and Jim Guy Tucker as possible beneficiaries. Banks forwards the referral to Washington.

After the election Vincent Foster meets with James McDougal and arranges for him to buy the Clintons’ remaining shares in Whitewater Development Co. for $1,000.

1993

Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker comes to Washington to see his old boss sworn in, leaving his state under the control of the president pro tem of the senate, Little Rock dentist Jerry Jewell. Jewell uses his power as acting governor to issue a number of pardons, one of them for a convicted drug dealer, Tommy McIntosh. According to the Washington Times, many in the state “say it was a political payoff, offered in exchange for dirty tricks Mr. McIntosh played on Clinton political opponents during the presidential campaign, or as a payoff for stopping his attacks on Mr. Clinton.” It seems that the elder McIntosh had worked for Clinton in his last state campaign and, according to McIntosh in a 1991 lawsuit, had agreed not only to pay him $25,000 but to help him market his recipe for sweet potato pie and to pardon his son.

Webster Hubbell’s name surfaces as a potential nominee for deputy attorney general but he tells friends he does not want that job or, reports Time, “to take any other position that involves Senate confirmation — perhaps to avoid fishing expeditions into the law firm’s confidential business.”

New attorney general Janet Reno fires all US Attorneys

Two Arkansas state troopers describe arguments between the Clintons, including (in the words of Washington Times reporter Jerry Seper) “foul-mouthed shouting matches and furniture-breaking sessions.”

Hillary Clinton and David Watkins move to oust the White House travel office in favor of World Wide Travel, Clinton’s source of $1 million in fly-now-pay-later campaign trips. The White House fires seven long-term employees for alleged mismanagement and kickbacks. The director, Billy Dale, charged with embezzlement, will be acquitted in less than two hours by the jury. An FBI agent involved in the case, IC Smith, will write later, “The White House Travel Office matter sent a clear message to the Congress as well as independent counsels that this White House would be different. Lying, withholding evidence, and considering – even expecting – underlings to be expendable so the Clintons could avoid accountability for their actions would become the norm.”

According to a later report in Insight Magazine, the Clinton administration eavesdrops on over 300 locations during the Seattle Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference. FBI videotapes of diplomatic suites “show underage boys engaging in sexcapades with men in several rooms over a period of days.” The operation involves the FBI, CIA, NSA and Office of Naval Intelligence. Bugged are hotel rooms, telephones, conference centers, cars, and even a charter boat. Some of the information obtained is apparently passed on to individuals with financial interests in Asia.

Washington attorney Paul Wilcher is found dead on a toilet in his apartment. He is said to be investigating various scandals including the October Surprise, the 1980 election campaign, drug and gun-running through Mena and the Waco assault. He was also planning a TV documentary on his findings. He delivered an extensive affidavit to Janet Reno three weeks before his death.

Joseph Giroir, former chairman of the Rose Law Firm, incorporates the Arkansas International Development Corp. to work with Indonesia’s Lippo Group

Vince Foster, the Clintons’ attorney, finally files missing Whitewater tax returns.

The RTC and SBA investigate the $300,000 SBA-approved loan to Susan McDougal in 1986, provided by Capital-Management Services Inc. owned by David L. Hale. The FBI obtains a warrant to search Hale’s office.

On July 19, FBI director William Sessions is fired. Clinton personally orders him by phone to turn in his FBI property and leave headquarters.

That evening, Clinton security aide Jerry Parks’ wife Jane says she overhears a heated telephone conversation with Vince Foster in which her husband says, “You can’t give Hillary those files, they’ve got my name all over them.”

On July 20, Clinton names Louis Freeh as Sessions’ successor.

That same day, the FBI raids David Hale’s Little Rock office and seizes documents including those relating to Capital-Management.

Just hours after the search warrant authorizing the raid is signed by a federal magistrate in Little Rock, Vince Foster apparently drives to Ft. Marcy Park without any car keys in a vehicle that changes color over the next few hours, walks across 700 feet of park without accruing any dirt or grass stains, and then shoots himself with a vanishing bullet that leaves only a small amount of blood. Or at least that is what would have to had occurred if official accounts are to be reconciled with the available evidence. There are numerous other anomalies in this quickly-declared suicide. Despite two badly misleading independent counsel reports, Foster’s death will remain an unsolved mystery.

Less than three hours after Foster’s body is found, his office is secretly searched by Clinton operatives, including Mrs. Clinton’s chief of staff. Another search occurs two days later. Meanwhile, US Park Police and FBI agents are not allowed to search the office on grounds of “executive privilege.”

Foster’s suicide note is withheld from investigators for some 30 hours. The note is in 27 pieces with one other piece missing. Foster’s personal diary will be withheld from the special prosecutor for a year despite being covered by a subpoena.

Patrick Knowlton, who stops in the park seventy minutes before Foster’s body is found, reports seeing things that do not fit the official version. Declining under pressure to change his story, he is eventually subpoenaed by the Whitewater prosecutor. On that day, he becomes the target of extensive overt harassment and surveillance of a sort used by intelligence agencies to intimidate witnesses.

Jerry Parks, the Clinton security aide in Arkansas, known to have been keeping a dossier on Clinton, is gunned down two months after Foster’s death in his car outside of Little Rock. Parks is shot through the rear window of his car and shot three more times, thru the side window, with a 9mm pistol. Parks ran American Contract Services, the business which supplied bodyguards for Clinton during his presidential campaign and the following transition. Bill Clinton still owed him $81,000. Parks had collected detailed data on Clinton’s sexual escapades, including pictures and dates. Wife claims federal agents subsequently removed files and computer. She also says that upon learning of Vincent Foster’s death, he told her, “I’m a dead man.” In 2005, however, a woman claiming to be Parks’ daughter will post on the Internet the claim that the murder was done at the behest of a member of the family.

Writing of the purported Hillary Clinton divorce draft papers of 1988, journalist Philip Weisss will report: “That file still existed in ’93, and the Clintons were scared it would get out. Remember–and this is fact–that on the night of Foster’s death in July 93, his office was rifled of files. And the phone records unearthed by Michael Chertoff suggested strongly that Hillary was in on that activity, talking to Maggie Williams and Bernie Nussbaum and as I recall Susan Thomases too, in a series of frenetic calls that night. . . .Two months after Foster died, a former Clinton aide named Luther “Jerry” Parks was murdered gangland style as he drove through Little Rock. … Parks’s son told me that his father had worked with Foster to put together the divorce file, and that he kept a copy of that file, and the Clinton people wanted it. There have been suggestions that Parks was shaking people down with what he knew; and he came to a bad end.”

Four years after Foster’s death, the Progressive Review will summarize some of the remaining questions: “Why did Miquel Rodriquez, the assistant US Attorney assigned by Starr to reopen the investigation into Foster’s death, resign? Was it true, as some have alleged, that he was blocked from aggressively pursuing the case? Why was he denied the opportunity to bring in experts outside the FBI to deal with inconsistencies? Why did Starr, in reopening the Foster case, permit FBI agents to review their own work in the previous investigation? There have been conflicting statements as to whether any x-rays were taken of Foster after his death. Were there or weren’t there? If there were, where have they gone? If there weren’t, why not? It is standard police procedure to investigate suicides is though they were murders? Why wasn’t this done in the case of Vince Foster? Why did Bernard Nussbaum ask for the combination of Foster’s safe immediately after his death? Why were manila envelopes in the safe addressed “Eyes Only” to Janet Reno and William Kennedy never delivered to them? Where are these envelopes and what was in them? Whose blood-stained car was towed to the FBI garage from Ft. Marcey Park the same night as Foster’s death? How did Foster walk 750 feet through a park without gathering any physical evidence of the hike on his shoes? How did his glasses end up 19 feet from his body? What were the origins of numerous carpet fibers found all over Foster’s clothing and underwear? How did it happen that all 35 mm film of the scene was either overexposed or missing? How did it happen that most of the Polaroid shots have vanished? How did Foster manage to shoot himself yet die laid out in the careful manner of someone placed in a coffin? Why were there no fingerprints on the gun? Why did no one hear the shot? Where is Foster’s appointment book? How did car keys, not found during the investigation in the park, turn up with Foster at the morgue? How was Foster’s car opened at the park since officials claimed it was locked? Where is the bullet that killed Foster? Why did witnesses have their testimony changed and why was one witness subsequently harassed in a manner used by intelligence agents for intimidation? What did Foster do in the hours between lunch time and when he supposedly killed? What did Marsha Scott of the White House staff and Vince Foster talk about during the two hour meeting they had the day before he died? Why can’t Marsha Scott remember? What did Foster do on secret trips to Switzerland and other locations about which his wife knew nothing? Why have police and rescue workers been forbidden to discuss the case?

John Clarke, the lawyer for Patrick Knowlton, raises some other issues:

— 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.

— 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?

The Washington Times will report later that Whitewater files were removed from Vince Foster’s office after his death.

Clinton confidante Paula Casey is appointed US Attorney in Arkansas. She turns down a proposed plea agreement with David Hale in which he promises to reveal information concerning the “banking and borrowing practices of some individuals in the elite political circles of the State of Arkansas.” Hale will later be charged with fraud.

Nine new criminal referrals on Madison Guaranty are forwarded to U.S. Attorney Casey. Casey will reject an earlier one and recuse herself from the latest cases.

Buddy Young, former head of Bill Clinton’s security detail, is promoted to a senior position in FEMA paying $92,000 a year and moved from DC to Denton, TX, one day after Vince Foster’s death. Would eventually become number two in the agency.

A package for Bill Clinton arrives from Arkansas containing a vial of something labeled as an allergy medicine. White House physician Burton Lee is instructed to inject the president with the serum. He refuses to do so without knowing more about the serum and seeing Clinton’s medical history. When Dr.Lee calls Clinton’s Arkansas doctor, she says she has to check with Hilllary before releasing the records. Just one hour later, Dr. Lee is fired. In 1996 Richard Reeves will state that Clinton “tries to avoid heavy lifting or meetings after he has taken his allergy shots because he is so punchy; he has trouble thinking coherently.”

Four former ATF agents are killed during the Waco Massacre – all had served as bodyguards to Bill Clinton. Questions will be raised as to the nature and source of their wounds.

Four Clinton bodyguards are killed in a helicopter crash in woods near Quantico VA. Reporters are barred from site, but fire department chief reports security tight with “lots of Marines with guns.” Videotape made by firefighter is seized by Marines.

John Huang and James Riady give $100,000 to Clinton’s inaugural fund . . . February: Huang arranges private meeting between Mochtar Riady and Clinton at which Riady presses for renewal of China’s ‘most favored nation” status and a relaxation of economic sanctions . . . June: China’s ‘most favored nation’ status is renewed. Price being paid by China Resources Company Ltd. for Lippo’s Hong Kong Chinese Bank jumps to 50% above market value. The Riadys make $163 million.

Proposed poultry regulations would cost Tyson Food an estimated $57 million initially and $39 million annually. Tyson will later be found to have given illegal gifts to Agriculture Secretary Michael Espy during the time these regulations were under consideration. Tyson will pay fines and cost of $6 million. Value of government contracts Tyson Food will still have: $200 million. Espy will get off because there is insufficient evidence that he did any favors in return for the bribes.

ROGER MORRIS & SALLY DENTON, PENTHOUSE – Prominent backers of Clinton’s over the same years . . . have themselves been subjects of extensive investigative and surveillance files by the D.E.A. or the F.B.I. similar to those relating to [Barry] Seal, including allegations of illegal drug activity . . .

“This may be the first president in history with such close buddies who have NADDIS numbers,” says one concerned law-enforcement official, referring to the Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Intelligence System numbers assigned those under protracted investigation for possible drug crimes.

The government sees ATT’s new tap-proof phone as a threat. Webster Hubbell is assigned by Janet Reno to deal with the secure phone issue. Assistant Attorney General Colgate writes Hubbell: “The FBI, NSA and NSC want to purchase the first production run of these devices to prevent their proliferation. They are difficult to decipher and are a deterrent to wiretaps.” Webster Hubbell arranges to buy the entire production run of secure AT&T phones using a slush fund filled by drug war confiscations. Part of the plan is to refit the phones with a new chip called Clipper that has been developed by NSA. This chip allows the government to tap the phone using a special key. A supply of these refitted phones is given to the Drug Enforcement Agency. Now other government agencies can tap the DEA. The plan also mandates Clipper chips for all American telephones. According to the Colgate memo to Hubbell, “FBI, NSA and NSC want to push legislation which would require all government agencies and eventually everyone in the U.S. to use a new public- key based cryptography method.” The Clipper plan will eventually put on hold because of a large public outcry.

White House agrees to sell a Cray supercomputer to China in what was described as a good will gesture. Up to that point the fastest computer in China could do no more than 70 million calculations per second; the Cray has a speed of 958 million calculations per second. Before the China – Clinton connection is over, the president will have removed $2 billion in trade with China from national security scrutiny. Among the results: the Chinese will obtain 77 supercomputers that can scramble and unscramble secret data and design nuclear weapons. At least some of them will be used by the Chinese military.

President Clinton will also sign national security waivers to allow four US commercial satellites to be launched in China, despite evidence that China was 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. A subsequent law 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 US authorities, even though a control box containing the circuit board was recovered intact. After the crash, NSA reportedly changes the encoded algorithms used by US satellites because of the apparent release of highly classified information. Throughout these dealings, the CEO of Loral, Bernard Schwartz, will contribute at least $1.5 million to the Democrats, making him the single largest contributor to these groups during the period in question.

Commerce Secretary Ron Brown okays the sale of new American engines for China to put in its cruise missiles. The engines were built as military equipment but Brown reclassifies them as civilian. The Saudis want some American planes; Brown tells them: you want the planes you also want a phone contract with ATT. Cost of the planes and hardware: $6 billion. Cost of the phone contract: $4 billion. Part of the deal is an ATT side agreement with a firm called First International. The owner: Ron Brown

1994

Ron Brown goes to China with an unprecedented $5.5 billion in deals ready to be signed. Included is a $1 billion contact for the Clinton-friendly Arkansas firm, Entergy Corporation, to manage and expand Lippo’s power plant in northern China. Entergy will also get contracts to build power plants in Indonesia. James Riady tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: “I think the idea of having President Clinton from Arkansas in the White House shouldn’t be underestimated.”

Gandy Baugh, an attorney who had represented Clinton buddy and drug distributor Dan Lasater, allegedly jumps to his death. Baugh’s law partner commits suicide one month later.

Five days after her ex-husband, Danny Ferguson, is named a co-defendant in the Jones law suit, Kathy Ferguson is found dead. She leaves a suicide note but the body is found in her living room next to packed bags as though she was planning to take a trip. Not long afterwards, Kathy Ferguson’s fiancée, a state trooper, is found dead by gunshot at her gravesite. Leaves note saying “I can’t stand it any more.” The local police chief says, “It puts big questions in your mind. Why?”

White House-assigned FBI agent Gary Aldrich agrees to help trim the Christmas tree in the Blue Room. Aldrich is surprised to find a small clay ornament of 12-lords-aleaping. Among the things that were aleaping on the 12 lords are their erections. Also provided by Hillary Clinton and her staff for the tree: ornaments made of drug paraphernalia such as syringes and roach clips, three French hens in a menage á trois, two turtle doves fornicating, five golden rings attached to a gingerbread man’s ear, nipple, belly button, nose, and penis.

Hundreds of White House employees still do not have security clearances.

White House staffers get a memo designed to help them keep track of the two score scandal issues that have arisen under Clinton.

Bill Clinton speaks to a group of Southeast Washington high school students about sex: “This is not a sport, this is a solemn responsibility.” He tells the young men at the gathering that they should stop having sex “when they’re not prepared to marry the others, they’re not prepared to take responsibility for the children and they’re not even able to take responsibility for themselves.”

Webster Hubbell is convicted 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 is a busy man. He meets with Hillary Clinton, and follows up by getting together with major scandal figures John Huang, James Riady, and Ng Lapseng. Riady and Huang go 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, sends $100,000 to Hubbell. Huang, incidentally, formerly worked for the Hong Kong Chinese Bank. Hubbell also receives $400,000 from other sources.

Three weeks later, John Huang quits the Lippo Group — with a golden parachute of around $800,000 — and goes to work for the Commerce Department. Some believe the move is instigated by Hillary Clinton. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown orders a top secret clearance for Huang. While at Commerce, Huang visits the White House about 70 times, is briefed 37 times by the CIA, views about 500 intelligence reports, and makes 281 calls to Lippo banks. He also makes extraordinary use of the fax machine at a Stephens Inc office across the street from Commerce.

House Banking Committee chair James Leach finds a known Clinton private investigator scoping out his house. The PI quickly leaves. Leach doesn’t go public with the story but tells colleagues that the intended message was clear: “You mess with us, we’ll mess with you.”

Macao businessman Ng Lap Seng, closely linked to a couple of major Chinese-owned enterprises, is regularly bringing in large sums of money to the US, according to customs records. On June 20 he arrives with $175,000 and then two days later meets with Charlie Trie and Mark Middleton at the White House. That evening Ng sits at Clinton’s table at a DNC fundraiser. Middleton, incidentally, has a 24-hour pass that allowed him to visit Trie’s apartment at the Watergate at any time. The apartment is paid for by Ng.

A top RTC attorney meets with agency investigator Jean Lewis and is secretly taped saying that top RTC officials “would like to be able to say that Whitewater did not cause a loss to Madison.”

1995

Operating with an interim top secret clearance (but without FBI investigation or foreign security check) new Commerce official Huang requests several top secret files on China just before a meeting with the Chinese ambassador.

Huang and the Riadys hold a meeting with Clinton. Not long after, Huang goes to work as a Democratic fundraiser, but remains on Commerce’s payroll as a $10,000 a month consultant. Huang raises $5 million for the campaign. About a third of that is returned as having come from illegal sources. Among the problem contributions: $250,000 to the DNC from five Chinese businessmen for a brief meeting with Clinton at a fundraiser.

Webster Hubbell, a former Rose law firm partner — although not known for skill in Asian trade matters — goes to work for a Lippo Group affiliate after being forced out of the Clinton administration and before going to jail. Is asked at a Senate hearing by the majority counsel: “I guess the question is really this, it is whether, in connection with this representation, you received a large amount of money and that may have had an impact on the degree of your cooperation with the independent counsel or with us?” Hubbell responds, “That’s pretty rotten” and chair Al D’Amato changes the subject. Hubbell had represented both Worthen and James Riady during the 1980s.

The White House hosts a major drug dealer at its Christmas party. Jorge Cabrera — who gave $20,000 to the DNC — is also photographed with Al Gore at a Miami fund-raiser, a fact the Clinton administration initially attempts to conceal by arguing that a publicity shot with the Veep is covered by the Privacy Act. Cabrera was indicted in 1983 by a federal grand jury — on racketing and drug charges — and again in 1988, when he was accused of managing a continuing narcotics operation. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges and served 54 months on prison. After his visit to the White House he will be sentenced to 19 years on prison for transporting 6,000 pounds of cocaine into the US. The Secret Service says letting him come to the WH was okay because he posed no threat to the president.

The Washington Times reports that Clinton has pardoned without fanfare a gambling pal of his mother. Jack Pakis was convicted under the Organized Crime Control Act, sentenced to two years in prison, but the sentence was suspended. He was fined and put on probation. Pakis had been arrested as part of an FBI sting operation against illegal gambling in Hot Springs. According to the Washington Times, “his trial judge described Mr. Pakis as a professional gambler, part owner of an illegal casino and an illegal bookmaker for football and horse-racing bets.” US District Judge Oren Harris remarked that the FBI had “reached into Hot Springs to put a stop to gambling that has existed here since the 1920s.” But he suspends the sentence, saying that since local acceptance of gambling was so widespread it would be unfair to send Pakis and his co-defendants to jail. Pakis, incidentally, once owned a piece of the Southern Club — Al Capone’s favorite — in Hot Springs where, as Clinton’s mom put it in her autobiography, “gangsters were cool and the rules were meant to be bent.”

Roger Morris and Sally Denton write a well-documented account of drug and Contra operations in Arkansas during the ’80s. The Washington Post’s Outlook section wants to run it, offers their highest price ever for a story, but is overruled by higher-ups. Reports Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the London Telgraphi, “The article was typeset and scheduled to run in today’s edition of The Washington Post. It had the enthusiastic backing of the editors and staff of the Sunday Outlook section, where it was to appear after eleven weeks of soul-searching and debate. Lawyers had gone through the text line by line. Supporting documents had been examined with meticulous care. The artwork and illustrations had been completed. The contract with the authors had been signed. Leonard Downie, the executive editor of the newspaper, had given his final assent. But on Thursday morning the piece was cancelled. It had been delayed before – so often, in fact, that its non-appearance was becoming the talk of Washington – but this time the authors were convinced that the story was doomed and would never make it into the pages of what is arguably the world”s most powerful political newspaper.” Morris and Denton withdraw the story, which is later published by Penthouse Magazine after being rejected by Vanity Fair, one of whose editors told the pair, “We don’t do substantive stories.”

A burglar breaks into the car of White House lawyer Cheryl Mills as she was preparing to testify before a Senate committee on the Whitewater affair. Taken, according to a friend, were her notes on handling Vince Foster’s papers after his death.

IRS investigator Bill Duncan has his computer broken into and his 7,000 page file on Mena is tampered with.

The American Spectator magazine publishes an article by L.D. Brown, a former member of Clinton’s Arkansas State Police security detail, in which he describes participating in two secret flights from Mena in 1984, during which M-16 rifles were traded to Nicaraguan Contra rebels in exchange for cocaine. Brown also claims that Clinton knew of the activity.Writes Mara Leveritt in the Arkansas Times: “That announcement spurred Fort Smith lawyer Asa Hutchinson, chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party, to request yet another congressional inquiry into long-standing allegations of money-laundering at Mena. Hutchinson was the U.S. attorney for the western district of Arkansas when investigators first presented evidence supporting those allegations. In an argument disputed by police investigators, Hutchinson claims he left office before the evidence was well established. Since he harbors political ambitions, he has an interest in clearing his name.”

Johnny Chung testifies before a house committee, describing himself as a somewhat befuddled but well-meaning pawn of macro-politics. His testimony describes how a fax broadcast service owner became sought after by the White House, the DNC, various Chinese generals and officials, not to mention being called to a karaoke bar in the middle of the night to advise a Chinese-American on the lam from the US. Things seldom worked out quite right for Chung – witness this tale: “I next saw General Ji’s wife when she came back to the United States with her son. I set up their attendance at a Presidential fundraiser – the “Back to the Future” event – at a California movie studio on October 17, 1996. I took my driver and secretary as well as the General’s wife and Alex to meet the President. There was a mix-up with the DNC and my driver and secretary were given a private audience with the President while me and the General’s wife and son were not included. While my driver and secretary were very appreciative, I was very upset.”

According to the Legal Times, Independent Counsel Donald Smaltz’s probe has been “significantly curtailed by the Justice Department” as he turns his attention to Tyson Foods.

State trooper Russell Welch, who investigated Mena, is forced into early retirement.

Monica Lewinsky begins an internship at the White House. In November she starts having an affair with Bill Clinton

RTC investigator Jean Lewis testifies to the House Banking Committee that there is a “concerted effort to obstruct, hamper and manipulate” the Madison investigation.

Governor Jim Guy Tucker and the McDougal are indicted for bank fraud and conspiracy.

In yet another precipitous resignation by a White House counsel, Abner Mivka leaves the post and is replaced by Jack Quinn who is Al Gore’s chief of staff. It is unheard of for a president to put someone that close to the vice president in such a key position, suggesting that Gore may have strong-armed Clinton into it as a condition of remaining loyal to him. Quinn is Clinton’s fourth White House counsel in one term. Quinn will resign shortly after Clinton’s reelection the following year.

AFP – Michael Scheuer, a 22-year veteran of the CIA who resigned from the agency in 2004, has told Die Zeit that the US administration had been looking in the mid-1990s for a way to combat the terrorist threat and circumvent the cumbersome US legal system. “President Clinton, his national security adviser Sandy Berger and his terrorism adviser Richard Clark ordered the CIA in the autumn of 1995 to destroy Al Qaeda,” Mr Scheuer said. “We asked the president what we should do with the people we capture. Clinton said ‘That’s up to you’.” Mr Scheuer, who headed the CIA unit that tracked Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden from 1996 to 1999, says he developed and led the “renditions” program.He says the program includes moving prisoners without due legal process to countries without strict human rights protections.

1996

Clinton gives a speech to a group of Little Rock supporters in which he calls those pressing the Whitewater and other investigations “a cancer” that he will “cut out of American politics.”

Barbara Wise, a Commerce Department (International Trade Administration) secretary and associate of John Huang, is found bruised and partially nude in a locked office at Commerce. Cause of death remains unknown.

In late March, a score of witnesses are subpoenaed for a grand jury probe of Ron Brown, who hires a $750/hour criminal attorney. Among the issues: an Oklahoma gas company’s alleged funneling of over a half million dollars to in order to get him to fix a lawsuit pending against the firm.

Janet Reno names Daniel Pearson to head the probe. She says he can investigate anything. Brown reportedly urges Clinton to get Reno off his back, but evidence of his crookedness has reached Capitol Hill and the Attorney General apparently feels there is no turning back. It will be later alleged by some close to Brown that the Commerce Secretary has told the president that if he is going down, he is not going down alone.

Four days after the grand jury subpoenas are issued, Ron Brown is dead — killed when the plane in which he was flying (along with nearly three dozen other Americans) crashes into a mountain in Croatia. From the start, there are a number of anomalies including inconsistencies over the purported state of the weather, where the plane is reported to have crashed, what happened to the plane’s black boxes, and the subsequent suicide of an airport official in charge of navigational aids. Further, even though the crash site is a little over a mile from the runway, the first rescuers do not officially arrive on the scene for more than four hours.

Hillary Clinton attempts to conceal the fact that she had $120,000 of editorial help in preparing her book-like substance.

Hillary Clinton tells New Zealand television that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary. At the time of Mrs. Clinton’s birth, Hillary was an unknown beekeeper.

Senator Bob Kerrey, chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, tells Esquire that Clinton is “an unusually good liar.”

Convicted cocaine distributor Dan Lasater testifies before Congress. The New York Times, among others, does not cover the story even though Lasater is close to Clinton and paid off Roger Clinton’s debt to the drug cartel. Lasater also raised race horses and was a track buddy of Virginia Kelly, through whom he met her son Bill. When Lasater started a bonding company, Bill Clinton recommended to him highway commissioner Patsy Thomasson, who would become vice president of the Lasater firm and have power of attorney while he was in jail. Thomasson would eventually become director of White House Management and Administration, responsible for drug testing among other things. While with Lasater, Thomasson hired Clinton’s half-brother as a limo driver. Roger was also employed as a stable hand at Lasater’s Florida farm. In his trial, and in testimony before the Senate Whitewater committee, Lasater admits to being free with coke, including ashtrays full of it on his corporate jet. He also admits to having given coke to employees and to minors. But he takes umbrage at being called a drug dealer since he didn’t charge for the stuff.

According to some witnesses, Lasater also had a back door pass to the governor’s mansion. One state trooper reported taking Clinton to Lasater’s office regularly and waiting forty-five minutes or an hour for him to come out.

The death of ex-CIA director William Colby, allegedly while canoeing, raises a number of questions. For example, Colby left his home unlocked, his computer on, and a partly eaten dinner on the table. Colby had recently become an editor of Strategic Investment a newsletter which was doing investigative reporting on the Vince Foster death.

Jim McDougal tells a reporter that he doesn’t expect to leave prison alive.

An independent investigator finds evidence of an electronic transfer of $50 million from the Arkansas Development Financial Authority to a bank in the Cayman Islands. Grand Cayman has a population of 18,000, 570 commercial banks, one bank regulator and a bank secrecy law. It is a favorite destination spot for laundered drug money.

The Associated Press reports: “Some of the Clinton White House employees who were placed in a special drug testing program had used cocaine and hallucinogens and were originally denied White House security passes, Secret Service agents testified Wednesday. The testing program was created as a compromise so the new administration’s workers could keep their jobs, according to Arnold Cole, who supervised the Secret Service’s White House operations. “Initially, our response was that we denied them passes,” Cole said in a deposition released by the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee. . . Another agent’s deposition revealed the background checks turned up use of hard drugs. “I have seen cocaine usage. I have seen hallucinogenic usages, crack usages,” said Jeffrey Undercoffer, when asked to describe the types of drugs used by employees who were placed in the special programs. The Associated Press reported Monday that 21 Clinton White House workers had been placed in the special testing after their background checks indicated recent drug abuse.”

The son of the man Vince Foster’s widow married is killed in a single car crash against a brick wall. There are reports that he had been talking to reporters and that Neil Moody had discovered something unsettling among his stepmother’s private papers and was threatening to go public with it just prior to the beginning of the Democratic National Convention. Witnesses say they saw Neil sitting in his car arguing with another person and suddenly speeding off out of control and hitting a brick wall.

Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jeremy Boorda, allegedly kills himself after going home for lunch. Explanations for suicide include his wearing an improper medal and/or stresses over Navy downsizing. Explanations for Boorda’s suicide focus on a claim that he was embarrassed over two “V for Valor” pins he was not authorized to wear. When it turns out that Boorda was entitled to those decorations, blame shifts to stresses over down sizing of the Navy and the adverse affect that feminism was having on the Navy’s morale.

Shelly Kelly is the flight attendent on Ron Brown’s ill fated flight. James Nugent of the Wall Street Underground writes, “Four hours and 20 minutes after the crash, the first Croatian Special Forces search party arrives on the scene and finds only Ms. Kelly surviving. They call for a helicopter to evacuate her to the hospital. When it arrives, she is able to get aboard without assistance from the medics. But Kelly never completes the short hop. She dies enroute. According to multiple reports given to journalist/editor Joe L. Jordan, an autopsy later reveals a neat three-inch incision over her main femoral artery. It also shows that the incision came at least three hours after her other cuts and bruises.”

Chief Niko Jerkuic, technician in charge of the radio beacons used during the fatal Ron Brown flight commits suicide. Christopher Ruddy and Hugh Sprunt write, “Brown’s plane was probably relying on Croatian ground beacons for navigation. In the minutes before Brown’s plane crashed, five other planes landed at Dubrovnik without difficulty, and none experienced problems with the beacons. But additional questions about the beacons and the crash will remain unanswered because, as the Air Force acknowledges, airport maintenance chief Niko Junic died by gunshot just three days after the crash and before he could be interviewed by investigators. Within a day of his death, officials determined the death was a suicide.”

The three major networks spend an average of one hour and twelve minutes each on the Clinton scandals during all of the year.

According to a report by Michael Isikoff of Newsweek, Charles Uribe, chairman of A.J. Construction Co. in New York, gets an unusual phone message . “The vice president is on the line,” his secretary says. “Vice president of what?” Uribe barks. “The vice president of the United States,” she says. Uribe immediately takes the call, and other executives in the room listened curiously to their boss’s end of the conversation, a string of “yes, sirs” and “no, sirs.” When Uribe gets off he explains, “We need to raise $50,000 for the campaign,” he said, according to an account a colleague later give the FBI.

In his 2004 book, “Rewriting History,” Dick Morris will allege that Clinton improperly influenced U.S. District Court Judge Henry Woods to dismiss Whitewater charges against then-Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, who had threatened to go public about Hillary’s involvement in the fraudulent Castle Grande land deal. After Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno ruled that Starr had jurisdiction over Tucker’s involvement in Whitewater, Tucker was “furious,” said Morris. Using Morris as a go-between, Tucker sent a warning: “Tell the president that if that SOB wants to play the game this way, I know all about the IDC,” the formal business name for Castle Grande.

When Morris passes on the threat to Clinton, “he turned white as a sheet.”

“Clinton sat down, put his head in his hands and said, ‘Oh my God, do you know what he means?” Morris said he replied, “No, but I think you know what he means.”

Later that night, Morris said Clinton told him, “I took care of that problem today.” Three weeks later Judge Woods tossed out the Tucker indictment. Though the case was later reinstated, Tucker never followed through on his threat.

Hillary Clinton’s Rose law firm billing records, sought for two years by congressional investigators and the special prosecutor are found in the back room of the personal residence at the White House.

Two Arkansas bankers are indicted on bank fraud and conspiracy charges in connection with Clinton’s 1990 run for governor.

David Hale is convicted of fraud and sentenced to prison.

Al Gore raises an illegal $100,000 at a fund-raiser at a Buddhist temple in California.

It is revealed that the White House has been improperly in the possession of large numbers of FBI files on people including political figures.

The CIA admits to having operated out of Mena but denies involvement with drug trafficking and other illegal activities. Writes the Wall Street Journal’s Micah Morrison, “Three days after the 1996 presidential election, the CIA issued a brief report saying it had engaged in ‘authorized and lawful activities’ at the airfield, including ‘routine aviation-related services’ and a secret ‘joint-training operation with another federal agency.’ The agency said it was not ‘associated with money laundering, narcotics trafficking, arms smuggling, or other illegal activities’ at Mena.”

Boris Yeltsin, as he will later recount in his memoirs, learns of Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. He thinks Lewinsky is part of a GOP plot to bring Clinton down. Says Yeltsin: “Clinton’s enemies planned to plant a young provocateur in his entourage who would spark a major scandal capable of ruining the president’s reputation.”

Years later, Yeltsin will be interviewed by Giles Whittell for the Times of London: “It seemed the moment to ask about a claim in the new book, Midnight Diaries, that Russian intelligence warned Yeltsin as early as 1996 that US Republican party activists intended to plant an attractive young woman in the Clinton White House to embarrass its most senior occupant. Did he know then that this woman would be Monica Lewinsky?”. . . ‘I knew,’ Yeltsin replied. . . Why then did he not tell President Clinton, whom he famously referred to as ‘Friend Bill?’. . . ‘He had enough problems already,’ Yeltsin said. ‘But it was not only because of that. I decided not to mention it because I didn’t fully believe it, and because we are very sensitive to such issues in Russia. I was also convinced that he would overcome the problem himself, which in the end he did.'”

The NY Post will take a less benign view, reporting that US intelligence was worried about “indications that the Russians were aware of Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky well before the scandal broke” and that “the Russian SVR spy agency, successor to the KGB, may have intercepted Clinton’s phone-sex conversations with her.” If true, the Russians could have blackmailed Clinton beginning almost at the start of his second term.

The conservative British journal Brookes News later writes:”In her testimony for Ken Starr’s grand jury, Lewinsky told of a curious comment of Clinton’s after she performed her services: that he was worried about a ‘foreign power listening in’ to their activities and conversations. He was especially concerned about the many phone-sex conversations he had with her, calling her from the White House and Air Force One.”

1997

Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor says he is “stunned” to learn that some of the companies joining him on trade missions were DNC campaign contributors. He apparently has missed material sent out by the DNC, complete with letter from Bill Clinton, that promised donors of at least $10,000 an invitation to “join Party leadership as they travel abroad to examine current and developing issues.”

Hillary Clinton goes for her daily dose of photographic self-aggrandizement – at the pediatrics ward of the Georgetown University Medical Center. She is to be pictured reading to the kids. The problem: sick children don’t look that cute, especially those who are bald from cancer treatments or fitted out with tubes and such. The solution: replace the sick children with well versions belonging to the hospital staff. It works beautifully.

Webster Hubbell is released after serving 15 months for mail fraud and tax evasion.

James McDougal gets a sharply reduced three year prison term for his role in the Madison Guaranty bank case upon the recommendation of special counsel Kenneth Starr.

Former White House intern Mary Caitrin Mahoney is shot five times during the murder of three Starbucks employees in an execution-style slaying. No money is taken. Informant assisting police in case is murdered when sent by DC police into a botched drug sting. The handling of the Starbucks murder case will continue to raise questions. Why, of all the 301 slayings that took place in DC that same year, did only these three killings attract the attention not only of the FBI but of Attorney General Reno herself? Reno overruled her own US Attorney and called for the death penalty in the case. Reno had intervened in only one other local case — a gang leader accused of 14 deaths. Carl Derek Cooper will plead guilty to the crimes in April 2000 after being threatened with the death penalty by Reno.

Foutanga Dit Babani Sissoko, a West African multi-millionaire, tries to get released from jail on bribery and smuggling charges by showing the judge a dinner invitation he received to dine with the president at a Washington hotel. The judge does not release Sissoko, however, and sets bail at $20 million. This is a South Florida record.

LD Brown, a former Arkansas state trooper who worked on Clinton’s security details, claims he was approached on a bus in England and offered $100,000 and a job to change his Whitewater testimony. A second offer was allegedly made in Little Rock.

Gennifer Flowers reports that after her revelations she had received death threats and that her house was ransacked.

Two Armed Forces medical examiners confirm that Ron Brown had a perfectly circular hole in his head that looked like a gun wound. Army Lt. Col. David Hause was working two tables away from the one at Dover Air Force Base where Brown was being examined when a “commotion” erupted and someone said, “Gee, this looks like a gunshot wound.” Hause remembers saying, “Sure enough, it looks like a gunshot wound to me, too.” No autopsy or investigation followed.

A federal grand jury finds state prosecutor Dan Harmon guilty of drug dealing and extortion. He is sentenced to eight years in prison.

Jim McDougal says, “Hubbell knows where the bodies are buried.”

Over the strenuous opposition of Kenneth Starr, the Whitewater supervising judges unanimously allow a 20-page exception by a key witness to the prosecutor’s report on Vince Foster to be included as part of the official filing. Seven times Starr tries to get the statement of Patrick Knowlton rejected but the judges let it stand — despite the fact that it directly contradicts Starr and his staff on key points. Starr declares that Foster committed suicide.

Independent prosecutor Dan Smaltz and FBI agents grill a former Tyson food pilot for three days. The pilot claims to have carried cash in envelopes from Tyson Food to the Arkansas governor’s mansion. Says Smaltz later to Time magazine, “I nearly fell off my chair when I heard Joe make the allegation. I took over the questions.” Janet Reno, however, blocks Smaltz from pursuing the issue.

Monica Lewinsky speaks to Linda Tripp about telling Clinton that 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
conversation.

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.

A reporter finds Charlie Trie in China where he says he’s going to stay rather than returning to the US to face the music. Trie says, “I’m not hiding. I want to stay alive.”

Fox’s Carl Cameron reveals that FBI surveillance observed Charlie Trie’s employees destroying evidence in the campaign fundraising investigation. On the eve of Senate hearings into campaign finance abuse, the Justice Department pulled back on the warrants and the search of Trie’s office leaving frustrated FBI agents to watch as more documents were destroyed.

White House aide Cheryl Mills admits to the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee that she and White House Counsel Jack Quinn have withheld documents from investigators for 15 months, including a memo suggesting Clinton wanted the $1.7 million White House Office Data Base shared with the DNC. Several years later she will again testify about missing documents (in this case, e-mails) and when asked about them states: “[Your investigations will not] feed one person, give shelter to someone who is homeless, educate one child, provide health care for one family or offer justice to one African-American or Hispanic juvenile . . . You could spend your time making the lives of the individuals you serve better, as opposed to tearing down the staff of a president with whose vision and policies you disagree.” On Today, Pete Williams spoke of “A devotion that led her to conclude her defense with an emotional tribute to the President as a champion of civil rights.” Said Newsweek: “A star is born.”

The Supreme Court unanmously rules that Paula Jones’s sexual harassment suit against President Clinton may proceed even though he is in office.

Mike Espy’s chief of staff, Ronald Blackley, is convicted of lying to investigators about receiving funds from those who had dealing with the Agriculture Department.

In a 1997 story, Don Van Natta Jr. of the NY Times reports, “Jorge Cabrera, a drug smuggler who has emerged as one of the most notorious supporters of President Clinton’s re-election campaign, was asked for a campaign contribution in the unlikely locale of a hotel in Havana by a prominent Democratic fund-raiser, congressional investigators have learned. . . On his return to the United States several days after that meeting, in November 1995, Cabrera wrote a check for $20,000 to the Democratic National Committee from an account that included the proceeds from smuggling cocaine from Colombia to the United States, said the investigators, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“Within two weeks of the contribution, Cabrera met Gore at the dinner in Miami. Ten days later, Cabrera attended a Christmas reception at the White House hosted by Hillary Rodham Clinton. At the events, Gore and Mrs. Clinton posed for photographs with Cabrera, who has two felony convictions dating from the 1980s and is now in a prison here on a drug-smuggling conviction. . .

“A Cuban-born American, Cabrera was arrested two times on serious drug charges in the 1980s. Both times he pleaded guilty to nondrug felony charges. In 1983, he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for conspiring to bribe a grand jury witness and served 42 months in prison. In 1988, he pleaded guilty to filing a false income-tax return and served one year in prison. After his brief brush with presidential politics, Cabrera was arrested in January 1996 inside a cigar warehouse near here in Dade County, where more than 500 pounds of cocaine had been hidden. He and several accomplices were charged with having smuggled 3,000 pounds of cocaine into the United States through the Keys. . . In January, Cabrera received an invitation to Clinton’s inauguration.”

1998

Jim McDougal tells reporter Chris Ruddy that in all his conversations with the special prosecutors he was never asked about Vince Foster.

Jim McDougal, who once said that the Clintons move through people’s lives like a tornado, dies after being placed in solitary confinement again. On 12 medications. There are questions about other drugs given, including Lasix, which is contraindicated for heart patients. In the hours before McDougal died he had complained of dizziness and became ill but was never seen by a doctor. He had also been separated from his heart medication when placed in an isolation cell before his death. An autopsy on McDougal finds “a toxic but non-lethal amount” of Prozac in his body according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The medical examiner declares the death unrelated to the amount of Prozac, which was three times the normal dosage.

Shortly before he dies, McDougal completes a book with Curtis Wilkie, staff writer for the Boston Globe. The NY Times writes of the book, “Moments after President Clinton gave videotaped testimony for the criminal trial of James and Susan McDougal, his former Whitewater partners, he privately agreed to give Mrs. McDougal a pardon if she was convicted, a new book by James McDougal says. ‘I’m willing to stick with it, but if it doesn’t work out, or whatever, can you pardon Susan?” McDougal recalled asking Clinton – shortly after the president had completed his testimony – in the Map Room at the White House two years ago.

‘You can depend on that,’ Clinton is said to have replied quietly in the private conversation, apparently out of earshot of others. McDougal then asked, ‘Like I say with all lawyers, I mean promptly?’ The president grinned and nodded, by McDougal’s account, and said, ‘If you hang with me, I’ll do it.’

Curiously, the medical examiner made no mention of having found traces of any of the 12 medications McDougal was taking. There was also a report from an inmate that McDougal had been given Lasix to encourage urination. Lasix must be taken with a potassium supplement — without it serious heart problems can develop. Wesley Phelan of the Washington Weekly reports that Lasix can cause “excessive diuresis, blood volume reduction, circulatory collapse, and vascular thrombosis.” Further, if McDougal was on the heart medication digitalis, the use of Lasix would be even more serious. The ME would not confirm to Phelan whether he had tested for the presence of Lasix.

Not long thereafter, another potential witness in the Clinton scandals investigation dies suddenly. Johnny Franklin Lawhon Jr, 29, was the owner of the auto transmission shop in Mabelville, Arkansas, who discovered a $27,000 cashier’s check made out to Bill Clinton in a trunk of a tornado-damaged car. Lawhon strikes a tree in the early hours of March 30 after, according to one witness, “taking off like a shot” from a filling station.

The Lewinsky affair story breaks in the Washington Post. President Clinton appears on television and says that he “never had sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky,” and that he “never told anyone to lie.”

Jorge Cabrera — the drug dealer who gave enough to the Democrats to have his picture take with both Hillary Clinton and Al Gore — is back in the news as a businessman pleads guilty to laundering $3.5 million for Cabrera between 1986 and 1996

Hillary Clinton goes on the Today Show and blames her husband’s problems on a “vast right wing conspiracy.”

National Journal – In 1998, the Clinton administration poll tested the idea of making college students pee in cups to prove they’re not on drugs in order to qualify for financial aid, according to papers released by the Clinton Library. While the collect-student-pee idea was never implemented, Clinton did sign the Higher Education Act reauthorization into law in 1998. The legislation included a measure stripping aid from more than 200,000 students convicted for drug offenses, something drug reformers have come to refer to as the “smoke a joint, lose your federal aid” provision. The provision has since been scaled back, though never fully repealed.

George Stephanopoulos tells ABC This Week that the White House has a “different, long-term strategy, which I think would be far more explosive. White House allies are already starting to whisper about what I’ll call the Ellen Rometsch strategy . . . She was a girlfriend of John F. Kennedy, who also happened to be an East German spy. And Robert Kennedy was charged with getting her out of the country and also getting J. Edgar Hoover to go up to the Congress and say, ‘Don’t you investigate this, because if you do, we’re going to open up everybody’s closets.” . . . . Asks Sam Donaldson, “Are you suggesting for a moment that what they’re beginning to say is that if you investigate this too much, we’ll put all your dirty linen right on the table? Every member of the Senate? Every member of the press corps?” “Absolutely,” says Stephanopoulos. “The president said he would never resign, and I think some around him are willing to take everybody down with him.”

Democratic fund-raiser Johnny Chung wins a plea bargain under which he is charged with funneling illegal contributions to the Clinton-Gore campaign.

Linda Tripp is sequestered in an FBI safe house because of threats against her life.

Arkansas Highway Police seize $3.1 million in cash from four suitcases in a tractor-trailer rig’s sleeper section. The driver is charged with money laundering among other things. The seizure is the fourth largest in American history and nearly fifty times more than all the illegal money seized by Arkansas highway police in a typical year.

Monica Lewinsky tells Linda Tripp that if she would lie under oath, “I would write you a check. ” Also: “I mean, telling the truth could get you in trouble. I don’t know why you’d want to do that.” Also: “I would not cross these — these people — for fear of my life.” Several reports have Lewinsky saying on another occasion that she didn’t want to end up like former White House intern Mary Caitrin Mahoney, killed in the Starbucks execution-style murders.

Monica Lewinsky talks with Linda Tripp about filing a false affidavit in the Paula Jones case:

TRIPP: You – you are – are you positive in your heart that you want to do
that? I mean –

LEWINSKY: Uh-huh.

TRIPP: I’m only saying – I’m only saying that in case you should change your
mind.

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.

The sale of Arkansas prisoners’ blood during the 1980s becomes a major scandal in Canada as news of it is published. The story is ignored in the US media.

Prior to her testimony in the Clinton investigation, Kathleen Willey claims that the tires on her car were mysteriously punctured with dozens of nails and the cat she had for many years suddenly disappeared. Reports ABC’s Jackie Judd, “Then just days before she testified in the Paula Jones lawsuit in early January, Willey was out jogging near her home when a stranger approached her. . .The man knew what had happened at her home and that he asked her if the tires had been fixed and if the cat had been found.” The man then allegedly asked Willey, ‘Don’t you get the message?’ and jogged off.”

Department of Justice announcement: “James Tjahaja Riady will pay a record $8.6 million in criminal fines and plead guilty to a felony charge of conspiring to defraud the United States by unlawfully reimbursing campaign donors with foreign corporate funds in violation of federal election law, the Justice Department’s Campaign Financing Task Force and the United States Attorney in Los Angeles announced today. In addition, LippoBank California, a California state-chartered bank affiliated with Lippo Group, will plead guilty to 86 misdemeanor counts charging its agents, Riady and John Huang, with making illegal foreign campaign contributions from 1988 through 1994. Riady is one of 26 people and two corporations charged by the Campaign Financing Task Force, which was established four years ago by Attorney General Janet Reno to investigate allegations of campaign financing abuses in the 1996 election cycle. . . The $8.6 million fine represents the largest sanction imposed in a campaign finance matter in the history of the United States . . . During the period of August 1992 through October 1992, shortly after Riady pledged $1 million in support of Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton’s campaign for the Presidency of the United States, contributions made by Huang were reimbursed with funds wired from a foreign Lippo Group entity into an account Riady maintained at Lippo Bank and then distributed to Huang in cash. . . The purpose of the contributions was to obtain various benefits from various campaign committees and candidates for Lippo Group and LippoBank, including: access, meetings, and time with politicians, elected officials, and other high-level government officials; contacts and status for Lippo Group and LippoBank with business and government leaders in the United States and abroad; business opportunities for Lippo Group and defendant LippoBank; government policies which would inure to the benefit of Lippo Group and defendant LippoBank, including Most Favored Nation status for China, open trade policies with Indonesia, normalization of relations with Vietnam, Community Reinvestment Act exemptions for LippoBank, a repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act which limited business opportunities for LippoBank, and a relaxation of Taiwanese restrictions on investment by foreign banks; the deposit of funds into LippoBank by political campaign committees and government agencies; and local government support for Lippo Group’s California property development projects which would in turn benefit LippoBank’s plans for expansion.”

Dr. Cyril Wecht, who has done more than 13,000 autopsies, says there is “more than enough” evidence to suggest possible homicide in the Ron Brown death and that an autopsy should have been performed: “It is not even arguable in the field of medical legal investigations whether an autopsy should have been conducted on Brown.”

FBI Director Louis Freeh appears before Rep. Dan Burton’s committee and this exchange takes place:

BURTON: Mr. Freeh, over 65 people have invoked the 5th Amendment or fled the country in the course of the committee’s [Clinton scandals] investigation. Have you ever experienced so many unavailable witnesses in any matter in which you’ve prosecuted or in which you’ve been involved?

FREEH: Actually, I have.

BURTON: You have? Give me, give me a rundown on that real quickly.

FREEH: I spent about 16 years doing organized crime cases in New York City and many people were frequently unavailable.

Former state trooper Larry Patterson will testify in the Paula Jones case:

Larry Patterson: [Governor Clinton] said, “I’ve got someone I need to see.” I said “Okay, “Where are going?” He said “To Booker Elementary School. . . [Chelsea attended Booker] So we went to Booker Elementary School and he said, “I’ve a friend waiting down here, Larry and I’d like to spend some time alone with her.” . . This particular lady was driving a small red compact car. it was parked beside the school underneath a streetlight. . . I was out of the car smoking, could see the action going on. Two Little Rock city policemen pulled up, said, “What are you doing here?” I I.D.’d myself. I said, “I’ve a friend that’s meeting a married lady down here, and they’d like some privacy. The Little Rock city policeman on the passenger side said, “If the school gets burglarized, I hope you can cover this. . . I said, “Yeah I can cover this. No problem.”

Q: You said that the woman’s car was under a streetlight and you could see what was going on?

Mr. Patterson: Yes, Sir.

Q: What was going on? What did you see?

Mr. Patterson: I saw Bill Clinton on the passenger side of the front seat. I was the woman get into the driver’s side. I saw her head disappear into what looked like his lap. . . .

The criminal investigation into the Clinton scandals is set back as a lower court judge throws out on technical grounds major new charges against Whitewater figure Webster Hubbell. Hubbell had gone to jail after pleading guilty to tax evasion and mail fraud involving the theft of nearly a half million dollars from the law firm and $143,000 in unpaid taxes. Hubbell, as part of the plea, is supposed to cooperate with the independent counsel. There will be no evidence that he does.

Yu Quanyu, director of the Chinese Academy of Social Studies, writes in the latest issue of Ideological and Political Work Studies: “Communist Party cadres should study the speeches of Hillary Clinton because she offers a very good example of the skills of propaganda. Her sentences are short and stimulating. That’s why she gets a lot of applause. But Chinese people have a habit of giving long speeches in which the sentences are long and tedious.”

The Washington Times reports that in the portions of President Clinton’s deposition that have been made public in the Paula Jones case, his memory failed him 267 times. This is a list of his answers and how many times he gave each one.

I don’t remember – 71
I don’t know – 62
I’m not sure – 17
I have no idea – 10
I don’t believe so – 9
I don’t recall – 8
I don’t think so – 8
I don’t have any specific recollection – 6
I have no recollection – 4
Not to my knowledge – 4
I just don’t remember – 4
I don’t believe – 4
I have no specific recollection – 3
I might have – 3
I don’t have any recollection of that – 2
I don’t have a specific memory – 2
I don’t have any memory of that – 2
I just can’t say – 2
I have no direct knowledge of that – 2
I don’t have any idea – 2
Not that I recall – 2
I don’t believe I did – 2
I can’t remember – 2
I can’t say – 2
I do not remember doing so – 2
Not that I remember – 2
I’m not aware – 1
I honestly don’t know – 1
I don’t believe that I did – 1
I’m fairly sure – 1
I have no other recollection – 1
I’m not positive – 1
I certainly don’t think so – 1
I don’t really remember – 1
I would have no way of remembering that – 1
That’s what I believe happened – 1
To my knowledge, no – 1
To the best of my knowledge – 1
To the best of my memory – 1
I honestly don’t recall – 1
I honestly don’t remember – 1
That’s all I know – 1
I don’t have an independent recollection of that – 1
I don’t actually have an independent memory of that – 1
As far as I know – 1
I don’t believe I ever did that – 1
That’s all I know about that – 1
I’m just not sure – 1
Nothing that I remember – 1
I simply don’t know – 1
I would have no idea – 1
I don’t know anything about that – 1
I don’t have any direct knowledge of that – 1
I just don’t know – 1
I really don’t know – 1
I can’t deny that, I just — I have no memory of that at all – 1

Monica Lewinsky talks with Linda Tripp about filing a false affidavit in the Paula Jones case:

TRIPP: You – you are – are you positive in your heart that you want to do
that? I mean –

LEWINSKY: Uh-huh.

TRIPP: I’m only saying – I’m only saying that in case you should change your
mind.

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.

Wagging the dog:

  • Election eve 1996: US jets fire on Iraqi radar sites
  • January 26, 1998: President goes on TV to deny Lewinsky affair; sends top officials on tour to build support for attack on Iraq. Warns Hussein not to “defy the will of the world.”
  • June 30, 1998: Judge Suzan Webber Wright orders unsealing of Clinton’s Jones case deposition; US jets fire on Iraqi radar sites.
  • August 20, 1998: Monica Lewinsky appears before grand jury; Clinton attacks alleged terrorist centers in Sudan and Afghanistan.
  • November 13, 1998: Clinton settles Paula Jones suit for $850,000; Clinton orders, then aborts, massive missile attack on Iraq.
  • Impeachment eve 1998: Clinton launches massive missile attack on Iraq.

The Washington Times calculates that the number of Kenneth Starr-like investigations that could have been carried out for the price of one day’s assault on Baghdad by Tomahawk missiles: 7

The Defense Technology Security Administration reports that Loral’s unauthorized release of sensitive technology to the Chinese gave rise to at least three “major” violations of US national security, three medium violations and twelve “minor” infractions.

Federal Judge Susan Webber Wright of Arkansas dismisses Paula Jones’ suit against Bill Clinton, ruling that Jones had not suffered harm.

Kenneth Starr sends his report to Congress. Impeachment hearings begin. The House will approve two articles of impeachment.

During the impeachment trial the following statements were made:

Sen. Barbara Boxer: “Rejecting these articles of impeachment does not place this President above the law. As the Constitution clearly says, he remains subject to the laws of the land just like any other citizen of the United States.”

Sen. Herbert Kohl: “President Clinton is not ‘above the law.’ His conduct should not be excused, nor will it. The President can be criminally prosecuted, especially once he leaves office. In other words, his acts may not be ‘removable’ wrongs, but they could be ‘convictable’ crimes.”

Sen. Joseph Lieberman: “Whether any of his conduct constitutes a criminal offense such as perjury or obstruction of justice is not for me to decide. That, appropriately, should and must be left to the criminal justice system, which will uphold the rule of law in President Clinton’s case as it would for any other American.”

Sen. Richard Bryan: “For those who believe that the President is guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice — criminal offenses — there is a forum available for that determination.”

Sen. Frank Lautenberg: “[The] legal system, our civil and criminal laws provide the proper venue for a President who has failed in his private character. . . . And in this case, the legal system can and will continue to address the President’s personal transgressions.”

Sen. Kent Conrad: “Offensive as they were, the President’s actions have nothing to do with his official duties, nor do they constitute the most serious of private crimes. In my judgment, these are matters best left to the criminal justice system.”

Sen. John Breaux: “For wrongful acts that are not connected with the official capacity and duties of the President of the United States, there are other ways to handle it. There is the judicial system. There is the court system. There are the U.S. attorneys out there waiting. There may even be the Office of Independent Counsel, which will still be there after all of this is finished.”

It is announced that there will be no criminal indicment of Clinton for the offenses outlined in the impeachment.

After only four months of a two-year fraud sentence and after serving 18 months for refusing to talk to a grand jury about Bill Clinton, Susan McDougal is released by a federal judge for medical reasons.

Clinton settles with Paula Jones, paying her $850,000 but not apologizing.

Webster Hubbell is indicted again over the Castle Grande land scheme. Hillary Clinton is named in the indictment as the Rose Law firm “billing partner.”

On April 27, 1998, deputy independent counsel Hickman Ewing meets with his prosecutors to decide on whether to indict Hillary Clinton. Here’s what happened as reported by Sue Schmidt and Michael Weisskopf in their book, “Truth at Any Cost:”

“[Ewing] paced the room for more than three hours, recalling facts from memory in his distinctive Memphis twang. He spoke passionately, laying out a case that the first lady had obstructed government investigators and made false statements about her legal work for McDougal’s S & L, particularly the thrift’s notorious multimillion-dollar Castle Grande real estate project. . .The biggest problem was the death a month earlier of Jim McDougal. . . Without him, prosecutors would have a hard time describing the S & L dealings they suspected Hillary Clinton had lied about.”

CNN- Deputy independent counsel Hickman Ewing testified at the Susan McDougal trial Thursday that he had written a “rough draft indictment” of first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton after he doubted her truthfulness in a deposition. Ewing, who questioned Mrs. Clinton in a deposition at the White House on April 22, 1995, said, “I had questions about whether what she was saying were accurate. We had no records. She was in conflict with a number of interviews.”

Ewing said those interviews by investigators were primarily with other people in the Rose Law Firm. Ewing said he had questioned Mrs. Clinton about her representation of Jim McDougal’s Madison Guarantee Savings & Loan when she was at the Rose Law firm in Little Rock. “I don’t know if she was telling the truth. I did not circulate the draft. I showed it to one lawyer (in the independent counsel’s office) who said he didn’t want to see it,” Ewing said, under questioning from McDougal attorney Mark Geragos. . .

Ewing also testified that in a later deposition with both the president and first lady on July 22, 1995, he had questions about the truthfulness of both Clintons. McDougal’s attorney Mark Geragos asked Ewing: “Did you say the Clintons were liars?” “I don’t know if I used the ‘L-word’ but I expressed internally that I was concerned,” Ewing said.

1999

FBI agents arrest an unidentified suspect in connection with an attempt to kill key Chinagate witness Johnny Chung. Chung claims that a lone gunman showed up at his Los Angeles office after attempting to arrange a meeting over the phone.

Neal Travis of the New York Post reports that, according to a new book on the Mossad, Israel blackmailed President Clinton with 30 hours of tapes of his phone sex talks with Monica Lewinsky. The agency allegedly agreed not to release the material in return for Clinton calling off an FBI hunt for a top-level Israeli mole supposedly in the White House. The allegation appears in “Gideon’s Spies – The Secret History of the Mossad,” written by Gordon Thomas. Lewinsky testified under oath that after a session of heavy petting and oral sex in the White House, Clinton told her a foreign embassy was tapping the two phone lines in her DC apartment. She claims Clinton told her that if questioned they should say they knew their calls were being bugged and were only joking to fool the tappers. Kenneth Starr does not pursue the matter. Thomas tells the NYP: “So far as anyone knows, the Israeli agent MEGA – a much more important spy than the imprisoned CIA traitor Jonathan Pollard, and probably his controller – is still in place at the White House.”

About 1000 Canadian hemophiliacs file a $660 million class action suit in Toronto saying they got tainted blood from the Arkansas prison system during a period when Clinton was governor.

The New York Daily News quotes John Gotti as saying that Clinton got away with things a Mafia boss would never have gotten away with. In a conversation with his brother Peter, he is particularly struck with Clinton’s taped conversation with Gennifer Flowers: “He’s telling her, ‘Why would you want to bring this out? If anybody investigates, you lie.’ ” Said Gotti, “If he had an Italian last name, they would’ve electrocuted him.” Ironically, it was on the Gennifer Flowers tape that Clinton says that Mario Cuomo acted like a Mafioso.

The American Bar Association features felon Webster Hubbell at its national convention. Hubbell was sent to jail for overbilling his clients. The ABA also invites Clinton to speak. The invitation is announced the same week that a federal court judge imposes a $90,000 fine on Clinton for having given “false, misleading and evasive answers that were designed to obstruct the judicial process.” The judge took the action, “not only to redress the misconduct of the President in this case, but to deter others who might themselves consider emulating the President of the United States by engaging in misconduct that undermines the integrity of the judicial system.” Clinton is also under consideration for disbarment in Arkansas

A former White House official invokes his Fifth Amendment rights 28 times in refusing to testify at a rancorous House committee hearing on campaign finance abuses during the 1996 presidential election. Mark Middleton, an Arkansas lawyer and longtime confidant of President Clinton, steadfastly refuses to answer questions by House Government Reform Committee Republicans on whether he conspired with government officials in China or elsewhere to illegally funnel contributions to the Democratic National Committee or the Clinton-Gore re-election campaign. At one point, a frustrated Rep. Bob Barr, Georgia Republican, asks Middleton if he was “a bag man” for Chinese government interests. The former White House official quietly replies, “I respectfully decline to answer the question.”

In a startling interview with Terence Jeffrey of Human Events, former counsel to the House Judiciary Committee David Schippers – a Democrat from Chicago – charges that the Senate impeachment trial was rigged from the start. Here is an excerpt:

HUMAN EVENTS: What is the most significant thing that happened during the impeachment process that the country doesn’t know about but should?

SCHIPPERS: I think the most important factor that the public should know that they don’t know is that, before we ever appeared on the floor of the United States Senate, the House impeachment managers and I were told that there was no way we could win.

HUMAN EVENTS: Who told you that?

SCHIPPERS Six Republican senators. Members of the leadership.

HUMAN EVENTS: Members of the Republican leadership came over to you?

SCHIPPERS No, we were over there. We were discussing the kind of method by which we would try the case, and we, the managers and myself, were told, “Look we’re just trying to keep you from embarrassing yourselves.” I mean, this is after a vote of the House of Representatives impeaching the President.

In that same meeting one of the senators — and because I do not know which one it was, I will not name any of the senators — turned to Henry Hyde and he said, “Henry, I don’t care. No way are you going to get 67 votes.” This was before anything had occurred on the floor of the Senate.

And Henry Hyde said, “Well, you know Senator, we have other materials over there in that room that were furnished by Mr. Starr and I think that some of them may have to do with assaults or things like that. And the senator said, “Henry” — this is a direct quote — “I don’t care if you have proof that he raped a woman, stood up and shot her dead, you’re still not going to get 67 votes.”

At that point I raised my hand and I said, “Senator, are you telling me I just watched a hundred senators raise their right hand to God and swear to do equal and impartial justice and that they will ignore that oath too?” And the senator said, “You’re darn right they are.”

From that moment on I knew that we were in a rigged ball game. In Chicago we’d refer to it as a First Ward election …. It was rigged to make it impossible for us to win. I don’t know why they were so anxious to keep the American people from hearing the evidence. I just will never know.

Former Arkansas state trooper and Clinton bodyguard L.D. Brown charges in his new book ‘Crossfire’ that Alphonse D’Amato, after subjecting him to bear hugs, head locks, and other forms of gratuitous bonhomie at a large dinner party, asked, “L. D., that Mena thing, that was just a drug deal gone bad wasn’t it?” Writes Brown, “I came away from that conversation thinking he was trying to convince me Mena was nothing but a drug operation. It reminded me of the strange Bush and Clinton connection all over again.” Later, D’Amato said to Brown, “C’mon, L. D., let’s go take a leak.” Brown’s lawyer and aide to the senator accompanied them on the trip to the men’s room. Here’s what happened next, according to Brown:

There were a couple of people in the rest room. While they finished their business, we also did what we ostensibly came there to do. But there was more business to do. The Senator’s aide checked the stalls in the rest room to make sure they were vacant and then walked to the only door leading into the room. The Senator now grabbed me in the familiar headlock. ~~~ Justin [Brown’s lawyer] looked around to see what was going on as the aide put his foot at the bottom of the door, thus placing an improvised locking mechanism on it. Then the Senator went for the kill.

While putting an extra squeeze on the headlock he said, “L. D., we got to have your help. We need you to cooperate with us.” I could hear by now that people were banging on the door to get in the rest room. “We’re fucking in here!” the aide yelled. D’Amato continued on, oblivious to the commotion as the aide struggled to keep the door shut. “Now L. D., we’ll take care of you, we’ll get you a job.” With the cigar in his mouth and his arm around my neck, the Senator looked more like a character from a Mario Puzo novel making me ‘an offer I couldn’t refuse’ than a United States Senator conducting an investigation on the President of the United States. I was shocked and I could tell Justin didn’t want to be there either.

People outside obviously were about to wet their pants while this seemed to drag on forever. The aide was now vigorously struggling to keep the door shut while I had ‘the arm’ put on me. The Senator finally released his grip and I mumbled something about being concerned for my family as we finally walked out of the bathroom. The aide, clearly exhausted from his bathroom chores went back to the table with Justin and me while being led by the Senator. The party was about to break up and I was wishing I had never come. Justin and I rolled our eyes at each other at what had just happened. We knew it was improper at best to offer jobs to potential witnesses. It also disappointed me to no end to find yet another person in this entire Whitewater fiasco who wanted to use me.

Michael Espy is appointed a senior advisor to the Department of Energy. Columnist Paul Greenberg notes, “He seems to have passed this administration’s high ethical test: he’s been acquitted.”

Whitewater criminal Susan McDougal is the keynote speaker at the Tulsa County OK Democratic Party’s first Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.

Susan McDougal refuses to answer questions from a grand jury and is jailed for contempt. She will later be acquitted of obstruction of justice charges and freed of contempt charges by a hung jury.

A Democratic National Committee staffer writes DNC chair Don Fowler, “Johnny [Chung] committed to contribute $75,000 to the DNC reception in Los Angeles on September 21. Tell him if he does not complete his commitment ASAP bad things will happen.”

The Senate votes not to convict President Clinton of the impeachment charges. Clinton will tell Dan Rather on CBS that he does not regard impeachment as “some great badge of shame” but is “honored” to have had “the opportunity to defend the Constitution.”

The Wall Street Journal reports a claim by Juanita Broaddrick that she was raped by Bill Clinton in 1978. Clinton’s lawyers deny the charge.

Deputy special prosecutor Hickman Ewing reveals that a criminal indictment against Hillary Clinton concerning Whitewater had been prepared but never presented to a grand jury.

Hillary Clinton announces her intention to run for US Senator from New York

Federal judge Susan Wright holds Clinton in contempt for “intentionally false” statements under oath and “willful failure” to testify truthfully in the Paula Jones sexual harrasment case. This is the only time a president has been found in contempt of court.

On November 1, Yah Lin “Charlie” Trie, is sentenced, after pleading guilty to a two-count information filed in Little Rock, Arkansas, to three years probation, four months home detention, 200 hours of community service, and a $5,000 fine for violating federal campaign finance laws by making political contributions in someone else’s name and by causing a false statement to be made the FEC.

On August 12, former Lippo Executive John Huang pleads guilty to a felony charge, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, that he conspired with other employees of the Indonesia-based Lippo Group to make campaign contributions and reimburse employees with corporate funds or with funds from Indonesia.

2000

According to John Haris’ book on Clinton, Tipper Gore was so disgusted in 2000 with Bill and Hillary that she stayed cloistered in a holding room instead of going to a New York reception with major Democratic fund-raisers where the Clintons would be. “No, I’m not doing it,” she snapped to an aide. “I’m not going out there with that man.”

President Clinton declares “National Character Counts Week,” issuing a proclamation that reads in part: “The character of our citizens has enriched every aspect of our national life and has set an example of civic responsibility for people around the world.”

Juanita Broaddrick, who accused Bill Clinton of having raped her, is being audited by the Internal Revenue Service. Among others involved with the president who have been audited: Elizabeth Ward Gracen; Billy Dale (fired in travel office affair); Fox News critic Bill O’Reilly; Kent Masterson Brown (brought lawsuit compelling Hillary’s health care task force to reveal its members); and Paula Jones. Also: National Review, American Spectator, Christian Coalition, Citizens for a Sound Economy,Freedom Alliance, Heritage Foundation, National Rifle Association, Western Journalism Center, National Center for Public Policy Research, Fortress America and Citizens Against Government Waste.

A former Justice Department prosecutor testifies to Congress that he recommended an investigation into President Clinton’s connection to a top Democratic fund-raiser involved in the sale of missile-related expertise to China. Attorney General Janet Reno rejected the proposal and one of Reno’s top executives, Lee Radek, head of the department’s public integrity section, called the recommendation “silly.”

The Association of Trial Lawyers invites Clinton to speak. So does the American Association of Newspaper Editors

Former White House counsel Charles Ruff uses variants of “I don’t know, I don’t remember, I don’t’ recall or I have no specific recollection…” 12 times within the first 30 minutes of questioning before a congressional committee investigating missing White House e-mails. This technique may have been foreshadowed in a 1997 interview Bob Woodward had with Ruff. Ruff told Woodward how Watergate may all look different to future congressional investigators, and if called to testify someday at such an inquiry, Ruff said he knows just what to do. “I’d say, ‘Gee, I just don’t remember what happened back then’, and they won’t be able to indict me for perjury and that, maybe, that’s the principal thing that I’ve learned in four years….I just intend to rely on that failure of memory.”

In FBI interviews, Vice President Al Gore changes his answers when confronted with documents in a fund-raising investigation, and suggests he may have missed a key discussion during a meeting because he drank too much iced tea. In one FBI interview, Gore says 23 times that he is unable to recall aspects of the Nov. 21, 1995 meeting and other fund-raising issues brought up by the FBI.

Arthur A. Coia, the former president of a labor union who has raised millions of dollars for Bill Clinton, Al Gore and the Democratic Party, pleads guilty to defrauding taxpayers in Rhode Island of nearly $100,000 in taxes that were due on three Ferrari sports cars worth more than $1.7 million. Coia gets two years probation and a $10,000 fine.

Independent Counsel Robert Ray’s final report on the White House travel office case finds first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s testimony in the matter was “factually false,” but concluded there were no grounds to prosecute her. The special prosecutor determined the first lady did play a role in the 1993 dismissal of the travel office’s staff, contrary to her testimony in the matter. But Ray said he would not prosecute Clinton for those false statements because “the evidence was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt” that she knew her statements were false or understood that they may have prompted the firings. . . The final report concludes that “despite that falsity, no prosecution of Mrs. Clinton is warranted.”

Special prosecutor Ray says there is insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against the Clintons. Ray criticizes the White House for what he called “substantial resistance” to providing “relevant evidence” to his investigators. “The White House asserted unfounded privileges that were later rejected in court,” Ray said. “White House officials also conducted inadequate searches for documents and failed to make timely production of documents, including relevant e-mails.”

2001

President Clinton makes a deal with special prosecutor Robert Ray under which he admits that he made false statements in the Monica Lewinsky case and surrenders his law license for five years.

A few hours before leaving office, President Clinton issues 140 pardons including to friends including Susan McDougal.

2002

Special prosecutor Ray issues his final report in which he claims he had enough evidence to indict Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice and obtain a conviction in the Lewinsky case. but he declines to do so. FBI agent IC Smith summarizes in his memoir, “He concluded Clinton had been punished in other ways, citing the $850,000 paid to settle the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit, his contempt of court citation, the fines of $25,000 and $90,000 in attorney fees he had to reimburse in that case. Further, he cited the final fine of $25,000 and suspension of Clinton’s law license in Arkansas. He may have cited those as examples of how Clinton had been punished, but if there was any punishment, it wasn’t thanks to the independent counsel. It’s interesting the the most signficant punishment in the whole saga was meted out by two female natives of Arkansas.”

2005

JOSEPH FARRAH, WORLDNET DAILY, 2005 – A significant portion of the [Clinton’s] Shadow Team’s operations were carried out by private investigators, among them: Terry Lenzner, founder and chairman of the powerful Washington, D.C., detective firm Investigative Group International; high-ticket San Francisco private eye Jack Palladino and his wife Sandra Sutherland; and Hollywood sleuth Anthony J. Pellicano. . .Hillary’s secret police tend to be a tight-lipped bunch, professionally skilled at keeping a low profile. However, we know more about Anthony “The Pelican” Pellicano than about most Hillary operatives, thanks to his boastfulness and taste for the limelight. Pellicano’s violent career as a private investigator reveals much about the sorts of qualifications Hillary sought in her Shadow Team.

In the January 1992 issue of GQ magazine, Pellicano boasted of the dirty work he had performed for his clients, including blackmail and physical assault. He claimed to have beaten one of his client’s enemies with a baseball bat. “I’m an expert with a knife,” said Pellicano. “I can shred your face with a knife.” FBI agents raided Pellicano’s West Hollywood office on Nov. 22, 2002, and arrested him on federal weapons charges. In his office, they found gold, jewelry, and about $200,000 in cash – most of it bundled in $10,000 wrappers – thousands of pages of transcripts of illegal wiretaps; two handguns; and various explosive devisces stored in safes, including two live hand grenades and a pile of C4 plastic explosive, complete with blasting cap and detonation cord.

2008

Hillary Clinton’s private eye, Anthony Pellicano is sentenced to 15 years in prison after being convicted, reported the Washington Post, “of conspiring to run a criminal enterprise that employed illegal wiretaps to dig up dirt on the rich and famous on behalf of his elite Hollywood clients.”

Among the public sources for this article were Partners in Power by Roger Morris; The Secret Life of Bill Clinton by Ambrose Evans Pritchard; Unlimited Access Unlimited Access by Gary Aldrich and Shadows of Hope by Sam Smith. Also various newspaper and magazine articles, particularly in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Washington Times, New York Times, Washington Post, London Telegraph, Times of London, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, American Spectator, Washington Weekly, Insight, as well as the Internet service Free Republic, the Clinton Administration Scandals bulletin board, and the columns of Alexander Cockburn and Christopher Ruddy.

COPYRIGHT 1998 THE PROGRESSIVE REVIEW

The other way to deal with the national debt

Bob Blain – President Bill Clinton faces the same dilemma as every president since George Washington; how to fund needed projects without increasing the federal debt. The federal debt was $75 million when Washington became president and $82 million when he left office. To collect taxes to pay interest on the debt he sent federal troops into western Pennsylvania to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion. By 1836, Andrew Jackson had reduced the federal debt to $38 thousand, only to see the country plunge into a severe depression a year later.

By 1993 federal debt was $4.4 trillion. From 1790 to 1993, taxpayers were charged $3.2 trillion in interest on federal debt. The original debt of $75 million at 5.37 percent interest compounded annually for 204 years is $3.2 trillion. The original debt at 5.53 percent interest compounded for 204 years equals $4.4 trillion. The present federal debt is arguably the original debt enlarged by 204 years of compounding interest.

According to the Federal Reserve Bulletin, the total money supply (currency, travelers checks, demand deposits, and savings accounts) in the U.S. economy in March 1993 was $4 trillion. The total debt of the federal government, state and local governments, corporations, farmers, home buyers, and consumers was in excess of $15 trillion. If the total money supply is $4 trillion, where is the other $11 trillion of borrowed money?

Here is another curious fact. We have been told for years that government borrowing to cover hundreds of billions of dollars of deficits would drive interest rates through the roof. Instead, interest rates have fallen dramatically. In March, 1993 they were between 4.9 and 2.2 percent, far below what they were in the early 1980s when federal debt was a small fraction of what it is now.

The explanation for these anomalies is that the missing money never existed. We never borrowed it, in the normal sense that it was turned over to us and spent. Most debt is not the result of people borrowing money; it is the result of people not being able to repay what they owed at some earlier time. Instead of declaring them bankrupt, creditors just add more to their debt.

The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of government, but is the government’s greatest creative opportunity. By the adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. — Abraham Lincoln

The federal government has been adding interest to its debt for 204 years. James Jackson, Congressman from Georgia, predicted that this would happen in a speech he made to the First Congress on February 9, 1790. Jackson warned that passing Alexander Hamilton’s plan to base the country’s money supply on the existing federal debt of $75 million would “settle upon our posterity a burden which they can neither bear nor relieve themselves from.” He predicted: “In the course of a single century it would be multiplied to an extent we dare not think of,” He clearly saw that Hamilton’s plan would put in place an exponential process of debt growth. To support his warning he cited the experience of Florence, Genoa, Venice, Spain, France, and England.

Hamilton’s plan was for Congress to commit the country to pay interest on the debt until the debt was paid. In the meantime the debt certificates would circulate as money. He argued that this would turn a $75 million debt into a $75 million money supply. The problem was that interest payments would have come out of the money supply. This would reduce the quantity of money that remained in circulation — and cause recession — until new loans returned the interest money back into circulation. The history of federal government finance shows such periodic swings between debt reduction and recession to debt increase and recovery.

The power to deal with this problem that Congress has neglected all these years is the power “to coin money and regulate the value thereof.” It has overused its power “to borrow money on the credit of the United States.” According to the Federal Reserve, 98 percent of the U.S. money supply is borrowed. Only 2 percent is coined.

The First Congress set the wrong precedent. It should have created $75 million in money and paid off the debt. With a population of 4 million people and an economy starved for a medium of exchange, that would have increased the money supply by $18.75 per person.

Why did the First Congress borrow instead of coin money? Newspapers at the time accused members of Congress of acting to serve their own interests. They sent agents into the countryside to buy up debt certificates that the general public thought were worthless. They then passed the Funding Act knowing that it would give themselves and their heirs a source of income that would grow exponentially with the debt. For every debtor there is a creditor. What is a $4 trillion debt for debtors is $4 trillion in claims for creditors.

To get out of this trap Congress has a range of options:

First, it could stop paying interest on the debt. Interest is the fuel that is exploding the debt. Cut off the fuel; stop the explosion. Since 1790 over $3 trillion in interest has been added to the original $75 million. Cutting interest would immediately cut the annual deficit by about $300 billion. Experience shows that all other conventional actions, no matter how painful, do no more than slow slightly the rate of debt growth. Then Congress could begin the process of paying off the debt.

A political problem with stopping the payment of interest is that people with money control politics. And many of them would have their interest income stopped. Insurance companies and pension funds are invested in federal debt and foreign holders would also be upset. Economically, however, we cannot continue to add compounding interest to existing debt. The biggest debtor is not the federal government. It is business corporations. It is impossible for them to increase the physical production of goods and services in order to keep up with exponential debt growth that is limited by nothing but arithmetic. Unlike the debt, the physical economy has limits.

The question holders of federal debt must ask themselves is this: Do we want to insist on more interest that will add debt to existing debt until the only option is debt repudiation and we lose everything? Or are we willing to stop where we are while we may still be able to recover our original investment plus a reasonable profit?

A second option is for Congress to create the money necessary to fund public works. As a sovereign government, Congress’ power is unique. It can create money debt-free and interest-free. Congress needs to stop thinking of itself as the same as other organizations that must take money in before they can spend it. Money does not grow on trees. It must be created. The only choice is whether to have it created as loans at interest from private banks or to have it created by Congress debt-free and interest-free.

How can Congress create money without causing inflation? Congress must regulate its value. The power to create money includes this regulatory power.

A good way for Congress to regulate the value of money is by funding projects at the current national price level. The current national price level can be calculated by dividing the most recent gross domestic product by the number of hours of work that produced it. For example, in 1991 the total gross domestic product was $5.6 trillion. The employed labor force produced it with 237 billion hours of work. So the GDP was produced at the rate of $23.95 per hour of work. By now the price level per hour is probably $25.00. So let Congress fund projects at $25 per hour. How this amount is allocated among labor, land, and capital can be negotiated.

How much money should Congress create? How about enough to reach full employment? We have about 9.5 million people actively looking for work. That includes a million managers and professionals; two and a quarter million technical, sales, and clerical people; a million and a quarter precision production, craft and repair people; over two million operators, fabricators and laborers; and 305,000 framers, foresters and fishermen. That’s a skilled labor force as big as many nations — all now idle. Employed at an average $25 per hour, ($50,000 per year), they would add $475 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product and reduce spending for unemployment compensation. The pie would grow as unemployment went down. Congress could start by creating, say, $50 billion, or $200 per person, in debt-free interest-free money, then fund $50 billion worth of works projects, monitor the results, and make adjustments as needed. Meanwhile the Fed could raise bank reserve rates, not interest rates, to make checking accounts more secure.

A third more conservative option is being proposed by an organization called Sovereignty, which believes that a country that borrows money loses its sovereignty to its creditors. Their proposal is intended to restore U.S. sovereignty by reducing our dependence on borrowed money.

The Guernsey experience. . .

Guernsey is an island state located among the British Channel Islands about 75 miles south of Great Britain. In 1816 its sea walls were crumbling, its roads were muddy and only 4 1/2 feet wide. Guernsey’s debt was 19,000 pounds. The island’s annual income was 3,000 pounds of which 2,400 had to be used to pay interest on its debt. Not surprisingly, people were leaving Guernsey and there was little employment.

Then the government created and loaned new, interest-free state notes worth 6,000 pounds. Some 4,000 pounds were used to start the repairs of the sea walls. In 1820, another 4,500 pounds was issued, again interest-free. In 1821, another 10,000; 1824, 5,000; 1826, 20,000. By 1837, 50,000 pounds had been issued interest free for the primary use of projects like sea walls, roads, the marketplace, churches, and colleges. This sum more than doubled the island’s money supply during this thirteen year period, but there was no inflation. In the year 1914, as the British restricted the expansion of their money supply due to World War I, the people of Guernsey commenced to issue another 142,000 pounds over the next four years and never looked back. By 1958, over 542,000 pounds had been issued, all without inflation.

In 1990 there was $13 million in interest-free state issued notes. A visitor to the island that year later wrote:

“I returned from Guernsey last weekend. It is a fascinating little island. There are about 60,000 permanent residents on the island. The average family owns 3.3 cars, their unemployment rate is zero and their standard of living is very high. There is no public debt. There is a surplus of public funds which earn interest. The Guernsey Treasury increased the Ml of the island by 40 percent in the last three-year period, and this increase did not do anything to inflation. The price for a gallon of gasoline in England translates to about $5US whereas, the price in Guernsey is about $2US. Contrary to the teachings of current economics in all higher institutions, inflation is not related to the volume of money but rather to the size of the commercial debt.”

Sovereignty proposes that Congress create money and lend it interest-free on a per capita formula to tax-supported bodies for capital projects and to convert existing debt to non-interest-bearing debt. Since first proposed in January 1989, the Sovereignty loan plan has been endorsed by over 1,814 city, town, and county governments and school boards, as well as by the U.S. conference of Mayors, the Michigan state legislature and the Community Bankers Association of Illinois, which represents 515 banks.

As loans, the money would be repaid, so money injected into communities would fund projects, then be removed. Of the three methods for putting money into circulation available to Congress, giving, paying, and lending, lending is the most cautious.

Benjamin Franklin attributed the economic success of the colonies to their creation of all the money they needed. He said that the root cause of the Revolution was the act of Parliament that prohibited the colonies from continuing to issue their own money. The moneylenders of England thought it more profitable that the colonies borrow their money.

We hear from Washington that we need to sacrifice to bring the deficits under control — cut consumption, save, and invest. When that slows the economy, we will be told to spend more to stimulate the economy. We have heard it all before. Neither method works. We need debt-free interest-free money to fund the work that needs to be done. It’s not sacrifice we need; it’s productive employment. Let Congress use its unique power to coin money and regulate its value to fund that employment.

Money is no more than an accounting device, a system of notes certifying that the bearer has done a share of the work and deserves a share of the wealth. Money’s backing is the goods and services produced by the labor force. By creating money Congress can activate the idle productive power of our people. And what they produce will add real wealth to the U.S. Treasury and add nothing to the federal debt.

Bob Blain, Ph.D., is Professor of Sociology at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. His research on the history of U.S. public and private has been published in the International Social Science Journal of UNESCO, Paris.

The other way to deal with the national debt

This article appeared in the June 1994 issue of the Progressive Review.

Bob Blain

President Bill Clinton faces the same dilemma as every president since George Washington; how to fund needed projects without increasing the federal debt. The federal debt was $75 million when Washington became president and $82 million when he left office. To collect taxes to pay interest on the debt he sent federal troops into western Pennsylvania to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion. By 1836, Andrew Jackson had reduced the federal debt to $38 thousand, only to see the country plunge into a severe depression a year later.

By 1993 federal debt was $4.4 trillion. From 1790 to 1993, taxpayers were charged $3.2 trillion in interest on federal debt. The original debt of $75 million at 5.37 percent interest compounded annually for 204 years is $3.2 trillion. The original debt at 5.53 percent interest compounded for 204 years equals $4.4 trillion. The present federal debt is arguably the original debt enlarged by 204 years of compounding interest.

According to the Federal Reserve Bulletin, the total money supply (currency, travelers checks, demand deposits, and savings accounts) in the U.S. economy in March 1993 was $4 trillion. The total debt of the federal government, state and local governments, corporations, farmers, home buyers, and consumers was in excess of $15 trillion. If the total money supply is $4 trillion, where is the other $11 trillion of borrowed money?

Here is another curious fact. We have been told for years that government borrowing to cover hundreds of billions of dollars of deficits would drive interest rates through the roof. Instead, interest rates have fallen dramatically. In March, 1993 they were between 4.9 and 2.2 percent, far below what they were in the early 1980s when federal debt was a small fraction of what it is now.

The explanation for these anomalies is that the missing money never existed. We never borrowed it, in the normal sense that it was turned over to us and spent. Most debt is not the result of people borrowing money; it is the result of people not being able to repay what they owed at some earlier time. Instead of declaring them bankrupt, creditors just add more to their debt.

The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of government, but is the government’s greatest creative opportunity. By the adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. — Abraham Lincoln

The federal government has been adding interest to its debt for 204 years. James Jackson, Congressman from Georgia, predicted that this would happen in a speech he made to the First Congress on February 9, 1790. Jackson warned that passing Alexander Hamilton’s plan to base the country’s money supply on the existing federal debt of $75 million would “settle upon our posterity a burden which they can neither bear nor relieve themselves from.” He predicted: “In the course of a single century it would be multiplied to an extent we dare not think of,” He clearly saw that Hamilton’s plan would put in place an exponential process of debt growth. To support his warning he cited the experience of Florence, Genoa, Venice, Spain, France, and England.

Hamilton’s plan was for Congress to commit the country to pay interest on the debt until the debt was paid. In the meantime the debt certificates would circulate as money. He argued that this would turn a $75 million debt into a $75 million money supply. The problem was that interest payments would have come out of the money supply. This would reduce the quantity of money that remained in circulation — and cause recession — until new loans returned the interest money back into circulation. The history of federal government finance shows such periodic swings between debt reduction and recession to debt increase and recovery.

The power to deal with this problem that Congress has neglected all these years is the power “to coin money and regulate the value thereof.” It has overused its power “to borrow money on the credit of the United States.” According to the Federal Reserve, 98 percent of the U.S. money supply is borrowed. Only 2 percent is coined.

The First Congress set the wrong precedent. It should have created $75 million in money and paid off the debt. With a population of 4 million people and an economy starved for a medium of exchange, that would have increased the money supply by $18.75 per person.

Why did the First Congress borrow instead of coin money? Newspapers at the time accused members of Congress of acting to serve their own interests. They sent agents into the countryside to buy up debt certificates that the general public thought were worthless. They then passed the Funding Act knowing that it would give themselves and their heirs a source of income that would grow exponentially with the debt. For every debtor there is a creditor. What is a $4 trillion debt for debtors is $4 trillion in claims for creditors.

To get out of this trap Congress has a range of options:

First, it could stop paying interest on the debt. Interest is the fuel that is exploding the debt. Cut off the fuel; stop the explosion. Since 1790 over $3 trillion in interest has been added to the original $75 million. Cutting interest would immediately cut the annual deficit by about $300 billion. Experience shows that all other conventional actions, no matter how painful, do no more than slow slightly the rate of debt growth. Then Congress could begin the process of paying off the debt.

A political problem with stopping the payment of interest is that people with money control politics. And many of them would have their interest income stopped. Insurance companies and pension funds are invested in federal debt and foreign holders would also be upset. Economically, however, we cannot continue to add compounding interest to existing debt. The biggest debtor is not the federal government. It is business corporations. It is impossible for them to increase the physical production of goods and services in order to keep up with exponential debt growth that is limited by nothing but arithmetic. Unlike the debt, the physical economy has limits.

The question holders of federal debt must ask themselves is this: Do we want to insist on more interest that will add debt to existing debt until the only option is debt repudiation and we lose everything? Or are we willing to stop where we are while we may still be able to recover our original investment plus a reasonable profit?

A second option is for Congress to create the money necessary to fund public works. As a sovereign government, Congress’ power is unique. It can create money debt-free and interest-free. Congress needs to stop thinking of itself as the same as other organizations that must take money in before they can spend it. Money does not grow on trees. It must be created. The only choice is whether to have it created as loans at interest from private banks or to have it created by Congress debt-free and interest-free.

How can Congress create money without causing inflation? Congress must regulate its value. The power to create money includes this regulatory power.

A good way for Congress to regulate the value of money is by funding projects at the current national price level. The current national price level can be calculated by dividing the most recent gross domestic product by the number of hours of work that produced it. For example, in 1991 the total gross domestic product was $5.6 trillion. The employed labor force produced it with 237 billion hours of work. So the GDP was produced at the rate of $23.95 per hour of work. By now the price level per hour is probably $25.00. So let Congress fund projects at $25 per hour. How this amount is allocated among labor, land, and capital can be negotiated.

The quiet movement. . .

Sovereignty is a nonpartisan, not for profit organization founded to reduce the high and escalating taxes, both income and property, and to fund to a greater degree the necessary and legitimate needs of our communities and nation — such as bridges, roads, water/sewer/waste disposal systems, environmental projects, education, housing, and health care. In summary, Sovereignty wants less taxes and greater funding.

The cost per person for just interest on the federal debt is $1,200 per year. When one multiplies this amount times the population of one’s city or county, it is evident that the waste is massive. It is waste because no borrower gets any value from interest payments.

Sovereignty wants tax-supported bodies to be able to borrow money interest free directly from the U. S. Treasury for capital projects and for paying off existing debt. It would be a loan, not a grant, to be used to build capital projects, not to pay day-to-day expenses. As the loans are repaid to the U.S. Treasury, the money would be extinguished out of the money supply. The Treasury would get the money not from the federal budget, but rather, Congress would create the money, as authorized in the U. S. Constitution, just like banks and the Federal Reserve do every day.

Creating additional money for such loans would increase bank deposits. However, the Federal Reserve already knows how to regulate the reserve requirement of banks to prevent excess money available to the general public leading to inflation.

State and local governments would also be allowed to borrow to pay off debt — thus freeing up years of interest payments.

Sovereignty can be reached at 1154 West Logan Street Freeport, Illinois 61032, (815) 232-8737

How much money should Congress create? How about enough to reach full employment? We have about 9.5 million people actively looking for work. That includes a million managers and professionals; two and a quarter million technical, sales, and clerical people; a million and a quarter precision production, craft and repair people; over two million operators, fabricators and laborers; and 305,000 framers, foresters and fishermen. That’s a skilled labor force as big as many nations — all now idle. Employed at an average $25 per hour, ($50,000 per year), they would add $475 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product and reduce spending for unemployment compensation. The pie would grow as unemployment went down. Congress could start by creating, say, $50 billion, or $200 per person, in debt-free interest-free money, then fund $50 billion worth of works projects, monitor the results, and make adjustments as needed. Meanwhile the Fed could raise bank reserve rates, not interest rates, to make checking accounts more secure.

A third more conservative option is being proposed by an organization called Sovereignty, which believes that a country that borrows money loses its sovereignty to its creditors. Their proposal is intended to restore U.S. sovereignty by reducing our dependence on borrowed money.

The Guernsey experience. . .

Guernsey is an island state located among the British Channel Islands about 75 miles south of Great Britain. In 1816 its sea walls were crumbling, its roads were muddy and only 4 1/2 feet wide. Guernsey’s debt was 19,000 pounds. The island’s annual income was 3,000 pounds of which 2,400 had to be used to pay interest on its debt. Not surprisingly, people were leaving Guernsey and there was little employment.

Then the government created and loaned new, interest-free state notes worth 6,000 pounds. Some 4,000 pounds were used to start the repairs of the sea walls. In 1820, another 4,500 pounds was issued, again interest-free. In 1821, another 10,000; 1824, 5,000; 1826, 20,000. By 1837, 50,000 pounds had been issued interest free for the primary use of projects like sea walls, roads, the marketplace, churches, and colleges. This sum more than doubled the island’s money supply during this thirteen year period, but there was no inflation. In the year 1914, as the British restricted the expansion of their money supply due to World War I, the people of Guernsey commenced to issue another 142,000 pounds over the next four years and never looked back. By 1958, over 542,000 pounds had been issued, all without inflation.

In 1990 there was $13 million in interest-free state issued notes. A visitor to the island that year later wrote:

“I returned from Guernsey last weekend. It is a fascinating little island. There are about 60,000 permanent residents on the island. The average family owns 3.3 cars, their unemployment rate is zero and their standard of living is very high. There is no public debt. There is a surplus of public funds which earn interest. The Guernsey Treasury increased the Ml of the island by 40 percent in the last three-year period, and this increase did not do anything to inflation. The price for a gallon of gasoline in England translates to about $5US whereas, the price in Guernsey is about $2US. Contrary to the teachings of current economics in all higher institutions, inflation is not related to the volume of money but rather to the size of the commercial debt.”

Sovereignty proposes that Congress create money and lend it interest-free on a per capita formula to tax-supported bodies for capital projects and to convert existing debt to non-interest-bearing debt. Since first proposed in January 1989, the Sovereignty loan plan has been endorsed by over 1,814 city, town, and county governments and school boards, as well as by the U.S. conference of Mayors, the Michigan state legislature and the Community Bankers Association of Illinois, which represents 515 banks.

As loans, the money would be repaid, so money injected into communities would fund projects, then be removed. Of the three methods for putting money into circulation available to Congress, giving, paying, and lending, lending is the most cautious.

Benjamin Franklin attributed the economic success of the colonies to their creation of all the money they needed. He said that the root cause of the Revolution was the act of Parliament that prohibited the colonies from continuing to issue their own money. The moneylenders of England thought it more profitable that the colonies borrow their money.

We hear from Washington that we need to sacrifice to bring the deficits under control — cut consumption, save, and invest. When that slows the economy, we will be told to spend more to stimulate the economy. We have heard it all before. Neither method works. We need debt-free interest-free money to fund the work that needs to be done. It’s not sacrifice we need; it’s productive employment. Let Congress use its unique power to coin money and regulate its value to fund that employment.

Money is no more than an accounting device, a system of notes certifying that the bearer has done a share of the work and deserves a share of the wealth. Money’s backing is the goods and services produced by the labor force. By creating money Congress can activate the idle productive power of our people. And what they produce will add real wealth to the U.S. Treasury and add nothing to the federal debt.

Bob Blain, Ph.D., is Professor of Sociology at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. His research on the history of U.S. public and private has been published in the International Social Science Journal of UNESCO, Paris.