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Foster's death: The questions linger

Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 11/17/1998 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled

U.S. Park Police Chief Robert Langston, FBI Special Agent Robert Bryant, Special Prosecutor Robert Fiske, Congressman William Clinger, Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr and the major newspapers and television
networks all have agreed: Vincent Foster, deputy White House counsel and confidant of President and Mrs. Clinton, drove his car to Fort Marcy Park and committed suicide there, by shooting himself in the mouth with a .38 caliber pistol.

All agree; and all are wrong.

If you get all of your news from the mainstream media, you can be forgiven for sharing their mistaken view. From the earliest news of Foster’s death they have rubber-stamped the government findings. They did
not question, they did not verify; they abandoned their proper role — to
investigate independently. Worse still, given evidence by able investigators that the conclusion was wrong, they neither published an admission of error nor attempted to invalidate the evidence. They simply closed their minds to the possibility that all these government authorities
could be wrong. You were misled.

On the other hand, if you have read Christopher Ruddy’s book, “The Strange Death of Vincent Foster: An Investigation,” or Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s book, “The Secret Life of Bill Clinton,” or Hugh Sprunt’s
“Citizen’s Independent Report,” or Reed Irvine’s semimonthly AIM Report, or
if you get your news from the Internet in sources such as WorldNetDaily or Washington Weekly you know that the official conclusion of Starr’s report on Foster’s death is not credible.

Fortunately for the truth, the three-judge panel that appointed Starr, headed by Judge David Sentelle, was willing to review the facts before making a judgment. Over Starr’s strenuous objections, the judges ordered him to include with his report an appendix that refutes the main conclusions of the report itself. The appendix was written by John Clarke,
attorney for Patrick Knowlton, a witness who entered Fort Marcy Park after
Foster’s death but before his body was found. Knowlton described to the FBI a rust-brown Honda then occupying the spot where Foster’s newer model, gray Honda was later found by the Park Police. Dead men don’t drive, so someone else must have driven Foster’s car to the park. Knowlton claims the FBI falsified his account of what he saw and tried to intimidate and
discredit him. He has filed a federal civil rights suit in Washington, D.C.

Neither the Washington Post nor the Washington Times nor any major American newspaper mentioned the existence of the Knowlton appendix or Starr’s unsuccessful litigation to suppress it.

The major media have lost interest in this story, but it lives on the Internet, and new developments keep coming. Recently released grand jury testimony of Linda Tripp shows that she was aware of, and concerned by actions of high level White House officials to cover up circumstances surrounding Foster’s death, and that she observed a similar response to what may be a related murder, that of Jerry Parks in Little Rock, Arkansas,
two months after Foster’s death. As disclosed in Evans-Pritchard’s book, Parks, upon learning of Foster’s death told his son Gary, “I’m a dead man.”

Moreover, Knowlton has filed an amended complaint in his lawsuit. You will not learn about this in the major media, but with the Internet, you can read Knowlton’s amended complaint. There he states that Starr concealed evidence, or omitted mention of contradictory evidence, in 23 findings, some of which are quoted below, with “Starr” substituted for “OIC” (Office of Independent Counsel). Notes inserted by the writer are in brackets:

  • Starr concealed that there is no record of Foster’s having left the White House complex alive.

  • Starr conceal[ed] that Park Police and Fire & Rescue workers knew by 6:35 p.m. that Mr. Foster was employed at the White House but that officially, the White House was not notified until about 8:30 p.m. [Other information concealed about the timeline showed that the White House knew about Foster's death sooner than they admitted].
  • Starr concealed the Medical Examiner’s Report of Investigation, documenting the bullet wound in Foster’s neck. [Described by paramedic Richard Arthur as a small gunshot wound near the jawline, it could not have been made by the .38 caliber revolver found in Foster's hand.]
  • Starr concealed that there is no record of any of 25 persons who viewed the body before autopsy having seen an exit wound in Mr. Foster’s head. [Indeed, some witnesses explicitly stated that there was no exit wound. Officer John Rolla probed for an exit wound, but found only a "mushy" spot, "no big blowout."]

  • Starr conceal[ed] that Mr. Foster’s car keys were not at Fort Marcy Park. … Starr’s claim that Rolla had “simply missed” two sets of keys when he patted” Mr. Foster’s pockets is contradicted by the accounts of Rolla and at least two other Park Police.
  • Starr conceal[ed] that there were other unidentified persons at Fort Marcy.

Knowlton’s amended complaint adds to the list of defendants the names of Robert Bryant, now Deputy Director of the FBI and at the time of Foster’s death, head of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area FBI field office, and Dr. James C. Beyer, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Foster. Beyer is accused of falsifying the autopsy, and telling lies about it under oath. Also, Beyer was alleged to have improperly commenced the autopsy and removed critical elements — the tongue and soft palate — before the Park Police investigators arrived. He performed the autopsy with an assistant, whom he refused to identify. Bryant is accused of affirming the suicide conclusion when he knew otherwise, as demonstrated by an FBI teletype stating that there was “no exit wound.”

Both Patrick Knowlton and John Clarke spoke at a conference in Washington, DC on October 24. The title of the conference, sponsored by Accuracy In Media, was “The Corruption Epidemic: Where Have All the Heroes Gone?” The media were invited, but they were largely a no-show. Clarke graphically demonstrated that powder marks showed that Foster could not have pulled the trigger. Knowlton believes that neither the press, nor Congress, nor the executive branch of government is seeking the truth in this case. The one institution for which he held out hope is the judicial branch, the federal courts. Clarke amplified these sentiments by saying that he had not received a single adverse ruling to date, and that he was confident he and Knowlton would prevail in court, and would prove Starr’s report on Foster’s death to be wrong.

Clarke gave a brief but compelling presentation, touching on some of the many faults in Starr’s report. He said that he could easily document one hundred or more errors or inaccuracies in Starr’s report, and was in the process of doing just that. Many points in the report, he said, were surprisingly easy to disprove. Evans-Pritchard gave Starr an opportunity to respond to the issues raised in his book. The OIC response: “… we will be unable to accommodate you with answers.” Simply put, Starr’s report on Foster’s death cannot withstand serious critical scrutiny.

The matter is not settled in United States court, and it is not settled in the minds of those who have pursued it most vigorously. There is a big unfinished story that all of the traditional news media are missing.

If you agree, you might consider saying so to your favorite local or national newspaper editor or opinion columnist, broadcast news editor, or talk show host. Give them a copy of this article and ask them these questions:

  • Why did no major American newspaper report the existence of the Knowlton appendix to Starr’s report or Starr’s unsuccessful litigation to suppress it?

  • Why has no major American newspaper reported on Knowlton’s lawsuit?

  • Why has Starr not answered critics of his report on Foster’s death?

Why, in contrast to the thousands of pages of materials released on the Lewinsky matter, has virtually none of the investigative record, other than the Senate Banking Committee hearings, on the Foster investigation been released?

Charles Rozier is a retired Navy Captain, veteran of WWII and Vietnam (Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and Navy Commendation), alumnus of the Naval Academy, MIT and RPI and volunteers his time with Accuracy In Media. His
email address is roziercp@compuserve.com.


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