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Once again, I have to ask myself: How did Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr miss this?

Former Arkansas state trooper L.D. Brown, one of then-Gov. Bill Clinton’s inner circle of state-sponsored guardians for seven years, confirmed for the nation this past weekend that first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and Vincent Foster were involved in a sexual relationship.

I say “confirmed” because this was not the first such report. The American Spectator reported on this years ago. Yet, like so many other compelling details, it just never seemed to come up in Starr’s long-awaited and expensive report on the mysterious death of Foster.

Why is it relevant? Well, if I had concluded, as Starr did, that Foster killed himself, this would certainly be an issue worth exploring. His extra-marital relationships would be of interest. Since Starr never was able to make a persuasive case that Foster was depressed enough to decide suddenly to blow his brains out, one might expect such facts to be probed.

Furthermore, given Starr’s later fixation — to the exclusion of other impeachable offenses — on sex, one could hardly suggest the matter was “too personal” to examine.

Brown, once a close confidante of both Clintons, made his sensational charge in a nationally televised speech on C-SPAN during the Free Republic rally in Washington Saturday. He repeated them on Matt Drudge’s Fox News program.

He made a point of saying that he believes the matter is important given its relevance in a criminal investigation — clearly referring to Foster’s death. He boldly stated that both Special Counsel Robert Fiske and Starr failed to investigate Foster’s intimate relationship with the first lady and the role it may have played in his death.

Will Brown’s allegations blow the lid off this case? I doubt it. Too much time has passed on the Foster matter. It has been relegated by the establishment press to “kookdom,” despite dozens of still unexplained inconsistencies and questions, powerful forensic evidence, facts that just don’t add up, even the sworn testimony of eyewitnesses.

Yet, if Foster’s death is never adequately investigated or explained, no American is safe — not Monica Lewinsky, not Paula Jones, not Kathleen Willey, not you and certainly not me.

Remember, Foster held a high-level White House post as deputy counsel. He was a lifelong friend of Bill Clinton. He was a partner in the Rose Law Firm with Hillary and Webster Hubbell. He was the administration’s original “fixer” — long before William Kennedy assumed that role. He knew where the bodies were buried. He joined them in July 1993.

Put Brown’s explosive charge together with Linda Tripp’s recent testimony regarding Foster’s death. Tripp served as Foster’s secretary and was the last White House employee who admits to seeing him alive. She says she was scared in the wake of Foster’s violent death. Things just didn’t add up, she says. People in the White House were acting very peculiar in the immediate aftermath of the discovery of his body.

Tripp was also alarmed, she says, by the death a few days later of Jerry Parks, a Clinton-Gore campaign security detail leader, who was gunned down execution-style outside Little Rock. His wife and son say Parks told them after Foster’s death that he was next.

Use your heads, folks: Foster’s fingerprints were not found on the gun; neither were they found on the so-called “suicide” note, found to be a blatant forgery by three international experts my organization commissioned to examine it; according to eyewitnesses, Foster’s car was not in the parking lot at the time he was said to be dead in Fort Marcy Park; no one has ever explained what appears to be a wound on his neck found in photographic evidence analyzed by a member of Starr’s own team, forced to resign because he would not go along with the suicide cover story; Foster’s shoes showed no sign of soil traces when they were first scraped by investigators, yet we are to believe he walked 700 feet into the park to kill himself; the fatal bullet was never found in the park despite several sweeps that turned up rounds dating back to the Civil War.

I could go on and on. But you get the point. The Foster death remains one of the biggest cover-ups of the Clinton administration. Starr, like it or not, is a part of it. So is the Congress of the United States.

Unless America screams about this at the top of its lungs — in numbers far greater than those at the Mall on Saturday — this country will never be the same again.

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