In appealing a federal judge’s dismissal of President Clinton’s use of
executive privilege, White House lawyers claim there’s a major difference
between this administration’s scandals and Watergate. For one thing, they
say, the Clinton White House hasn’t used its powers to target critics,
especially reporters, as did President Nixon.
I’m a journalist, and as early as December 1994, the White House
counsel’s office targeted me, my organization, the Western Journalism
Center, and one of my associates, Christopher Ruddy, for our role in
investigating administration corruption and cover-up. I have the memos to
Jane Sherburne, then an associate White House counsel, crafted a memo,
later uncovered by congressional investigators, which is — no matter how
you slice it — an official enemies list. Back in 1994, the White House
didn’t have very many enemies in the media. We were the only ones listed.
But there were many other people targeted in the still-obscure Sherburne
Later, the White House put out the 331-page Communication Stream of
Conspiracy Commerce report — a much more thorough and public effort by
the administration to identify and discredit its enemies. (I still highly
recommend this 1995-96 report to anyone trying to understand the Clinton
scandals and the White House’s attempts to spin them. It is available
exclusively through WorldNetDaily.)
Just think of what it takes to put together a 331-page report of this
kind — files, staff, time, effort, direction. The flurry of concern over
the report when its existence was revealed to the public by the Wall Street
Journal lasted only a few days. But if Congress was doing its job, hearings
would have been held on its content and on the process used to assemble it.
I’ve given up holding my breath.
The report contains a five-page biography of me — the only journalist
so profiled. It contains blatant lies, recycles stories from the press,
discusses my views on a host of unrelated issues and even mentions my
religious affiliation. To create such a document, it is absolutely
essential that White House operatives collect files or create a dossier on
me. Did you know that was a function of the White House counsel’s office?
Did you know a “plumbers unit” of this kind was still functioning? And
Clinton says there’s no comparison to Watergate.
In a sense, he’s right. There is no comparison. Clinton has far exceeded
the abuses of power committed by the Nixon White House. Clinton has been
far more successful, far more efficient.
There is far more at stake in the Clinton scandals than there was in
Watergate. Yes, Nixon did threaten to subvert the Constitution. But what he
was doing in that regard was child’s play by comparison to Clinton. Nixon
went to China, he didn’t sell out our vital national security interests to
Beijing for campaign contributions. Chuck Colson went to jail for
possession of one FBI file. Craig Livingstone and the rest of the Clinton
gang used at least 900, perhaps, for all we know, thousands. Nixon tried to
use the IRS to audit enemies, Clinton succeeded. And there was not one
unexplained death associated with Nixon and Watergate. I, for one, am still
waiting to hear the truth about Vincent Foster, Ron Brown, Barbara Wise,
Jerry Parks, Caity Mahoney, Kathy Ferguson, Bill Shelton, Jim McDougal,
Johnny Lawhon and a small graveyard of others.
Only last week did the Clinton White House finally acknowledge it has
been using taxpayer-funded government lawyers to defend the president
against accusations concerning his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Who
cares? The 1994 Sherburne memo revealed the White House was using
taxpayer-funded government lawyers to defend Clinton in 39 other scandals.
The “Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce” report revealed the White
House was using taxpayer-funded government lawyers not only to defend
Clinton but to smear its enemies.
Why is it that the press, Congress and the Independent Counsel’s Office
have such difficulty seeing the forest for the trees? Why is it they can’t
focus on the important issues? Why is it they can’t understand when they’ve
caught someone redhanded with a smoking gun? Are they stupid? Incompetent?
Or are they just plain scared to call Clinton on his lies?