Is it possible for the press to follow two important national stories
at the same time?
I’m beginning to wonder.
Last week, WorldNetDaily’s Paul Sperry broke a story that should be
having reverberations for the remainder of the Clinton administration
and possibly for years to come after that. Yet, events largely
orchestrated by the Clinton’s own Justice Department involving
six-year-old Elian Gonzalez have obscured virtually any serious interest
in the latest cover-up in the White House.
I’m talking about Sperry’s revelations that some of the same White
House officials who dragged their feet restoring missing West Wing
e-mail are now working for a firm hired by the White House to “restore”
the data for Congress.
One was a special aide to President Clinton; another headed the White
House technology office that was supposed to be finding ways to restore
tapes of the unrecorded e-mail all along.
But it gets worse.
In other words, this is an “inside job.” Once again, the White House
is controlling the entire investigation of itself — just as it has so
many times throughout the series of scandals that have plagued the
When Congress got into an uproar briefly over the e-mail scandal, the
White House reassured members that it would get to the bottom of the
problem as quickly and efficiently as possible by turning over the work
to a “private” contractor. What Clinton administration officials didn’t
say was that it was actually handpicking a subcontractor employing
former White House officials.
Dorothy “Dotty” Cleal was associate director of the Office of
Administration’s Information Systems and Technology unit, which manages
the White House computer systems, including e-mail archiving. Cleal left
her post in January and hired on with SRA International, the
subcontractor chosen by the White House to do the restoration. John
Dankowski was President Clinton’s special assistant and director of
White House operations. He left the White House in September to work for
According to Sperry’s sources, both officials “worked closely” with
Mark Lindsay, Clinton’s assistant and director of management and
Six Northrop Grumman computer contractors have already testified that
Lindsay ordered them to keep quiet about the e-mail records gap, known
inside the White House as “Project X.” Four of the six said they felt
As a so-called 8(a) minority-owned small business, ECS did not have
to bid for the White House contract — which is how the White House was
able to hire a new contractor so quickly after the e-mail scandal broke.
SRA didn’t have to bid either, as a subcontractor.
While the White House has reported the restoration project will take
six months or longer, many independent computer experts have questioned
why it should take longer than a few days.
In another generation, when the journalistic ranks were more
skeptical of government, the press would have characterized this as a
major cover-up. During Watergate, these kinds of clean-up operations
were run by political “plumbers” and dirty tricksters. An 18-minuite gap
in a tape transcribed by President Nixon’s secretary became a national
scandal in itself. Today, the press, with a few exceptions, waits for
White House press releases on the subject and passively reports on
official actions of Congress in trying to plumb the depths of this
There are some heroes in this story, however. Paul Rodriguez of
Insight first reported on this scandal a
year ago. Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch brought it to life by filing court actions
demanding evidence be produced. Sheryl Hall, a courageous White House
whistle-blower, came forward to tell what she knew about Project X. And
now Sperry has joined the fray by breaking story after story about the
ongoing cover-up being orchestrated by the White House.
It hasn’t been unusual for the New Media to be out front in
aggressive coverage of government fraud, waste, abuse and corruption in
the last several years. Meanwhile, the Old Media — the establishment
press — sits on the sidelines waiting for the action to unfold and
preoccupied with another national story whose every development is
controlled by Clinton’s own Justice Department.
Unbelievable? Not in the age of the manipulative Clinton White House
and the easily manipulated establishment press.