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Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand.
The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater Measure, than they have it now, they may change their Rulers and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty.
–John Adams (June 21, 1776; 23 days before signing the Declaration of Independence).
After eight years of criminality by Bill and Hillary Clinton, not to mention Al Gore, Americans who put a premium on the rule of law and the nation’s justice system — which is based on the fundamental premise that no one is above the law — rejoiced during the
inauguration of President George W. Bush on the cold and rainy afternoon of Jan. 20, 2001.
However, the storm clouds engulfing
Washington, D.C., on that historic day were not only related to the weather, but what the man who would be our nation’s second president, John Adams, had forecast in 1776, just days before he signed the Declaration of Independence in my birthplace, Philadelphia.
Not obvious perhaps to most observers
were the past actions, inactions and statements by the president-to-be and some of his family members, showing an insensitivity — if not hostility — to issues involving government corruption and whether our justice system will address it before the country slips fatally into an ethical and moral abyss, like ancient Rome.
Perhaps it all begins with the Bush family itself — the Republican counterpart to the icons of the Democratic left, the “Kennedy Klan.” Our nation does not officially sanction royalty, but it has always envied the British tradition, and has thus anointed certain politicians and actors as the new “American nobility.” While G.W. may speak with a Texas twang, his blue-blooded New England roots permeate his
mentality and the psyches of his father, George Herbert Walker Bush — as well as his
brothers, Jeb and Neil. They not only believe, but have been led to believe by the hordes of opportunists around them, such as “enterprising” businessmen, that the Bush family’s historic access to highest levels of
political power places them in a unique position — in effect as part of a select group of people entitled to the status of “American nobility,” the superior rights of rulers who stand “above” the same legal
scrutiny as fellow citizens.
This explains why the Bush brothers — G.W., Jeb and Neil — were, despite
their youth and inexperience, anointed by “fat cat” corporate tycoons to sit on their boards of directors, and became company presidents, at early ages. G.W.
was taken into the fold of Texas oilmen, and later given a stake in the Texas Rangers which, without any real seed money, business acumen or effort, made him a multi-millionaire. Jeb, for his part, moved to Miami, to be instantly made a business partner of Armando Codina, the largest commercial real estate developer in the area. And, Neil Bush “miraculously” found his
way into the inner sanctum of Colorado’s Silverado Savings and Loan, only to be later enmeshed in the now-infamous S&L scandal.
The three Bush brothers have more in common than just being the offspring of Bush Sr., the son of the late Connecticut senator, Samuel Prescott Bush. In the 1980s and early 1990s, what G.W., Jeb and Neil could offer to their new and eager business partners was not expertise, or even raw intellect, but rather access to favors from their patriarch, the vice president and
then president of the United States. For this, and for the prestige of having “American nobility” sit on their corporate boards, the Bush brothers were
Sometimes, however, their access
to their “presidential father” caused problems, as when Jeb Bush was revealed to have made “some calls” to Cabinet secretaries on behalf of one of his Miami
real estate “clients.”
One incident — which was revealed during Jeb’s first Florida gubernatorial campaign — involved the Bush son’s receipt of a real
estate commission from a fugitive (who was then living overseas, like Mark Rich), despite not having consummated any real estate transaction for him. G.W. and Neil got themselves into similar scrapes over
Texas Rangers’ stadium land deals and sleazy banking practices in Denver.
Investigative reporters of all political persuasions have documented the “opportunities” offered to the
Bush brothers by businessmen and fugitives seeking to buy influence with their father. As early as 1992, when Bush Sr. ran for reelection against Bill Clinton, respected Los Angeles Times reporter Sara Fritz in her May 10, 1992, article, “Bush Kin Trading on the Name?” suggested that family members many have been “Exploiting their relationship”:
Now, however, as the President prepares
to seek reelection in a rugged political climate, questions are being raised about whether this represents an admirable saga of energy and pluck or instead adds up to trading on the family name for business advantage and profit.
Over the last few weeks, Democratic Party leaders have let it be known that they are collecting potentially embarrassing information involving the business dealings of Bush’s family members.
Likewise, conservative commentator Kevin Phillips recently criticized the President for looking the other way while his relatives blazed “a trail of vaguely sleazy deals, apparent influence-peddling and
periodic legal wrist-slappings.”
As a director of the defunct Silverado Savings & Loan in Denver, Neil Bush was found by federal regulators to have engaged in a conflict of interest by participating in the approval of loans totaling $132
million from the S&L to his own business partners.
In 1990, when George W. Bush’s little-known firm, Harken Energy, was awarded a lucrative contract from the Persian Gulf nation of Bahrain, the deal was widely seen as an effort on the part of Bahrain’s royal family to win favor with the White House.
In 1985, Jeb Bush interceded with officials of the Health and Human Services Department on behalf of Miguel Recarey Jr., the owner of a health-maintenance
organization who later fled the country after being charged in what is believed to be the nation’s biggest Medicare scandal. Jeb Bush received $75,000 from Recarey for a business deal that never materialized.
Others have hit upon the same thing. See: Christopher Hitchens, “Minority Report;
Corruption in George Bush’s Family,” The Nation, November 12, 1990; Ann McDaniel, “A Crisis in The First Family,” Newsweek, July 23, 1990; Charles Lewis and the Center for Public Integrity, “The Buying of The
President 2001,” pp. 196-213 (Avon Books, 2000); Bill Minutaglio, “First Son: George W. Bush and the Bush Family Dynasty,” pp. 246-247, 282-283; 322-323 (Times Books, 2000); Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose, “Shrub,” pp. 29-33 (Vintage Books, 2000).
Influence peddling among the Bush brothers continued at least into the mid to late 1990s. Documents recently obtained by Judicial Watch pursuant to the Texas Open Records Law, from the Texas Governor’s Mansion, show Neil Bush, in 1996, apparently trading off his relationship with his brother, G.W., by urging Communist Chinese and Taiwanese investors to help a wealthy Texas corporate conglomerate.
Letters written by or on behalf of Paul Broadhead, whose real estate and movie theater chain business empire is reported to
have made hundreds of millions of dollars of
investments in Communist China, seek then-Governor Bush’s endorsement of Broadhead’s companies to lure Communist Chinese and Taiwanese venture capital, based upon a now defunct Immigration and Naturalization
Service regulation which allowed foreigners to invest large sums in the United States to obtain permanent U.S. residency.
The first version of the letter prepared by Broadhead for G.W.’s signature was sent to Joseph Allbaugh (who later became the governor’s presidential campaign manager).
The letter, which was to be directed to Communist Chinese and Taiwanese businessmen, was written to heavily promote Broadhead’s companies. It reads:
As Governor of Texas, I am pleased to join with Paul Broadhead Interests USA, Inc. (PBI) in welcoming potential investors to the United States and the State of Texas. PBI seeks to create business opportunities
and employment in Texas through construction,
development, real estate and other businesses.
PBI is a member of the Broadhead Organization, involved in property development and management focusing on real estate, construction, shopping centers, movie theatres and entertainment complexes.
The Broadhead organization comprises a group of family-owned entities engaged in real estate development, banking, insurance, fruit juice processing, theatres, entertainment complexes, shopping malls, resort development and timber business. They developed, owned and operated over 18
million square feet of shopping centers throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s. As co-founder and shareholder of Cinemark USA, Inc.; Cinemark is currently the fourth
largest independently owned theatre circuit in the world, owning and operating in excess of 1,300 screens in 30 U.S. States, Mexico and South America. Additional interests includes two large Florida beach-front resort hotels, ownership and management of
approximately 12,000 acres of timberland in
Mississippi and 3,500 acres of woodlands in North Carolina.
The State of Texas looks forward to your selection of Texas and the United States as your new residency under the employment creation provision of the Immigration Act of 1990. We welcome you to establish your new business and new home in our State.
As we learned during the Clinton-Gore Chinagate scandal, an endorsement by a public official is very important and persuasive in Chinese business circles.
Johnny Chung paid big money to the Clintons and the Democratic Party for similar letters of endorsement.
Following G.W.’s election to the presidency, Allbaugh was named the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Interestingly, as reported by Judy Sarosohn in the Oct. 19, 2000, Washington Post, M. Diane Allbaugh, Joe Allbaugh’s wife, registered with the U.S. Senate in September 2000 as a lobbyist on behalf of Entergy — the same firm linked to indicted Chinese
businessman James Riady and convicted felon John Huang. Entergy is not only also a big Clinton-Democrat supporter, but attempted to enter into a joint venture with the Lippo Group, Huang’s and Riady’s business
enterprise. Huang and Riady are believed to be Communist Chinese agents, as the Lippo Group has known ties to Communist Chinese intelligence, as discovered by the Thompson Committee in 1997.
While a facsimile by Neil Bush, which forwards a slightly revised Broadhead letter to Allbaugh, carefully disclaims: “If this is appropriate to do then thank you for handling. If not then no sweat off my back,” the effort made by the governor’s brother begs the question: Why bother? Surely the filial connection is powerful to trade upon. Was Neil acting purely out of the goodness of his heart or did he get
something in return? Was there no favor, interest or preference made or taken? The hard fact is that despite possible perceptions, Paul Broadhead apparently got his letter of endorsement for the Communist Chinese and Taiwanese investors who sought
permanent residency in the United States by investing in his Texas companies.
But unlike many Americans, the Bush brothers, like the Kennedy Klan, were never held liable for these indiscretions, and the new American nobility “soldiered on,” with G.W. and Jeb first becoming governors of Texas and Florida, and, thanks to the Bush name (and their father’s still formidable political network), G.W. ultimately being crowned the prince of the Republican Party, culminating in a Herculean effort to raise hundreds of millions of dollars from other friendly tycoons and others to get their man
into the White House. And, elect him they did — with a mountain of cash the likes of which this country has never seen.
Ironically, along the way — perhaps because he lived and prospered in a conservative state like Texas — G.W. was obviously led to believe by his and his
father’s advisers that he should sell himself to the American people as a “compassionate conservative.”
Indeed, this is the underlying modus operandi of nobility: to retain one’s special status, but also to appear to care for the “little guy.”
The Kennedy Klan practices the same real politic from the other side of the political spectrum. But while the left wing makes no
pretense about preaching the manifesto that “the ends justify the means,” G.W. had an institutional problem on his way to the presidency. Conservatives and people of faith, G.W.’s core constituency, put a
premium on Judeo-Christian ethics, and, thus, to earn the presidency, the president-to-be had to address with voters the rampant criminality and injustice of the Clinton-Gore years.
But in a country which, like a Hollywood movie, regrettably has come to worship appearance over reality, G.W.’s political consultants and financial benefactors taught him that his future administration would not need to actually practice justice in the
pursuit of reducing government corruption; instead, with the gullibility of most voters, he could just mouth it.
And so it came to pass that inserted into
his stock political stump speech was the retort: “When I become president, I will restore dignity and respect to the White House by putting my left hand on the Bible, and holding my right hand high, and swearing under oath to uphold the Constitution of the
After eight years of Clinton-Gore sleaze,
this part of G.W.’s mantra certainly sounded good, but its greater importance was that, once elected, it did not obligate him to actually do anything about the cesspool of moneychangers and political prostitutes
infesting Washington, D.C., and the rest of the country. The reason for this was simple; these same moneychangers and political prostitutes, just as they did on G.W.’s way to becoming governor of Texas, would
deliver up to him the presidency of the United States. On his son’s road to the White House, G.W.’s father, the elder Bush, had not only assisted his oldest son to remain free of the media taint of scandal and
controversy, ironically he also helped Bill Clinton.
When Bill Clinton was called on the carpet (no pun intended) over the Monica Lewinsky affair and Independent Counsel Ken Starr sought to question U.S. Secret Service agents about the “goings-on,” it was
Bush Sr. who wrote letters to the court urging that no such interrogation take place. In effect, Bush, Sr. lobbied for Bill Clinton — perhaps believing that opening the “Pandora’s Box” on the Secret Service
would ultimately lead to revelations about the Bush family as well.
During the Clinton years, there were
other occasions when the elder Bush also, oddly, came to Bill’s defense. It was almost as if Bush Sr. was trying to tell the American people that presidents and other political elite are a special class of people
who should not even be questioned about their conduct — perhaps remembering his own vulnerability in the Iran-Contra scandal.
G.W. learned from his father.
While G.W.’s sincerity about restoring real ethics to government was always suspect, as I observed his actions and statements throughout the presidential
campaign, this later became even more apparent.
For instance, Judicial Watch invited G.W., like all the presidential candidates, to appear on the weekly radio show, “The Judicial Watch Report,” to discuss how he intended to take concrete actions, if elected
president, to clean up eight years of rampant
Clinton-Gore corruption. While many of the
presidential candidates accepted (Alan Keyes, Gary Bauer, Steve Forbes, Harry Browne and Howard Phillips), the Bush campaign begrudgingly offered only to send a
“surrogate.” I sent back the message that since a surrogate could not serve as president, we would accept no less than G.W. himself to appear on our show to answer questions.
I got no response.
For most of the primaries, the Texas governor refused to address specifics of the government ethics issue when questioned by reporters. He would simply repeat the “Bible mantra” that was inserted into his stump
After G.W. and Al Gore won their parties’ respective nominations for the presidency, Judicial Watch decided to hold an “Ethics in Government Presidential Debate,” during our Sixth Annual Ethics in Government Conference. The event was called for Oct. 20,
2000, in Washington, D.C., about three weeks before the presidential election. All presidential candidates — from the Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Constitution and Reform parties — were
invited. Ironically, the Democrat, Vice President Al Gore, was the first to accept, followed by Howard Phillips of the Constitution Party, Pat Buchanan of the Reform Party, Harry Browne of the Libertarian Party and John Haeglin of the National Law Party.
Of the major candidates, it was only George W. Bush, a “compassionate conservative,” who refused to accept
conservative Judicial Watch’s invitation to debate the restoration of ethics to government.
When the time to debate eventually arrived, G.W. had pushed Gore to break his commitment as a quid pro quo for Bush agreeing to the vice president’s proposal to
appear in the three Presidential Debate Commission events.
During the campaign, Clinton administration Attorney General Janet Reno had, for the sixth time, refused to appoint a special counsel to investigate Vice
President Al Gore and the Chinagate scandal — which Judicial Watch had originally uncovered in its second lawsuit, filed in 1995, against the Commerce Department (and John Huang, the suspected spy).
One would have thought that G.W. would have seized on the political opportunity and, as a “true believer” in justice, criticized Reno for failing to do her duty.
Instead, as Jim Burns reported Aug. 23, 2000, for CNSNews.com, G.W. issued this statement:
While it’s clear that Al Gore engaged in a number of questionable fund raising activities and gave the FBI statements that continue to raise the issue of credibility, the American people are sick and tired of
all these scandals and investigations. The best way to put all these scandals and investigations behind us is to elect someone new. I’m running to uphold the honor and dignity of the White House.
Later, in G.W.’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in historic Philadelphia, he dismissed justice for the Clintons and Al Gore as a campaign issue, and showed his disdain for cleaning up
government corruption. Ironically, as reported in the Feb. 7 Washington Post, Al Gore would later blame Bill Clinton for his defeat; the American people rejected him based on the sad saga of Clinton-Gore corruption.
As noted by renowned columnist William Safire, in the Aug. 7, 2000, New York Times, shortly after the Republican National Convention:
The Yale graduate and child of privilege assumed, Jimmy Carter style, a hardscrabble pose to assert that his “background may lack the polish of Washington.” And then, following a focus-group distaste for controversy, he dissociated himself from all investigations into Clinton-Gore scandals, including illegal fund-raising: “I have no
stake in the bitter arguments of the last few years.” Republicans on the unpopular ramparts of the rule of law were coolly informed he preferred “civility and respect.”
In mid-December, when G.W. was catapulted to the presidency thanks to a favorable Supreme Court decision ending Al Gore’s Florida election contest, talk ensued about what the president-elect would do if
Independent Counsel Bob Ray indicted Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
During excessively cordial and effusive meetings at the White House with the Clintons — capped off by a tea, and then a
hand-holding “photo op” between Laura Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton — the liberal press speculated about whether G.W. would “be forced” to begin his presidency
as Gerald Ford had: by pardoning an outgoing
commander-in-chief to promote so-called “healing” and “bi-partisanship.”
Running interference for the new president-elect, always-accommodating Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch cleverly went public — on behalf of the Republican leadership — in urging G.W. to pardon
Clinton. Hatch, who not coincidentally had narrowly escaped prosecution by Clinton’s Justice Department over his involvement in the infamous BCCI banking scandal, was always magnanimous when dealing with the
Clintons, as when he suggested that Congress should have settled for an apology at the height of the impeachment proceedings. Now, he advocated that President-elect Bush should simply pardon Clinton now, removing the decision on whether to indict from Bob
With the path characteristically cleared for him, G.W. staked out “his” position. Pointing out that he would not have to face the “pardon question” unless the independent counsel actually obtained an indictment, he urged Ray, according to a Jan. 9 Associated Press report, to “move on,” imploring Bill Clinton to “enjoy life and become an active
participant in the American system.” G.W. was sending a clear signal to the independent counsel to get rid of the Lewinsky matter before he took the oath of office. Ray obliged, and let Bill Clinton off the hook with an apology and a
five-year agreement not to practice law — a career goal never engendered by Bill Clinton in any event.
Ironically, while Ray’s deal conveniently let G.W. off the hook on “having to pardon Clinton,” the outgoing president himself had a few pardon tricks up his sleeve. As he and Hillary were literally “loading up the truck” with illegal gifts in their move from
the White House to the equivalent of “Beverly Hills” — in this case Chappaqua, N.Y., and a swank quarter
of Washington, D.C. — Clinton was issuing pardons to billion-dollar fugitives, Marc Rich, drug dealers, users and influence peddlers like his brother, Roger, former Clinton-Gore scandal figures like Susan
McDougal, and a host of other degenerates.
In the case of Rich, the stench of bribery even alarmed the usually compliant liberal media elite. In the face of all of this, all G.W. could muster was the following
statement, quoted from a Jan. 30 Reuters report, “Bush Will Not Try to Reverse Clinton Pardons”:
I am troubled by the decision the president made. I would not have made the decision. … But nevertheless he was the president, he had the right to do so [issue the pardons], to make that decision, and
he did. And I’m going to protect that privilege not only for me but for future presidents as well.
Later, when it became apparent to all that Bill Clinton had been bribed by Marc Rich, rather than calling for a criminal investigation the new president called on the country to “move on.” Even former President Jimmy Carter spoke out and
called the pardon “disgraceful,” and, according to a Feb. 21 AP report, he also implied that bribery was involved. Bush’s response not only prompted The New York Times Feb. 14 editorial page to write, “Mr. Clinton does not have many friends … unless you count President Bush,” but the popular investigative journalist at Fox News, Bill O’Reilly, complained in his Feb. 14 “Talking Points” segment:
Enter President Bush who does not seem to care about all this. He told reporters he wants to move ahead. Apparently, he believes that Mr. Clinton, Janet Reno, and others should not be held accountable for their
This is not the leadership Mr. Bush promised at the Republican convention. It is a continuation of the D.C. clubhouse mentality where one winks at possible
O’Reilly went on to say,
What we have here is a massive ethical breakdown on the part of the federal government. Mr. Clinton is the chief engineer of that breakdown, but Mr. Bush now
bears some responsibility as well. We’ll see if he now publicly gets behind the DOJ’s new investigation.
As an American, I’m outraged by Mr. Clinton’s behavior, and I demand that President Bush uphold his oath of office to enforce the laws of the land. It is time all Americans demand that that be done.
Even the usually pro-Republican Wall Street Journal editorial page was prompted to concede on Feb 16:
The Bush administration keeps suggesting it wants the pardon scandal to go away. … But we doubt that it will be possible. … It certainly will be an inauspicious start if the Bush-Ashcroft Department of Justice allows suspicions of an on-going coverup to fester.
Then, in another comment about the illegal gifts, White House furniture and property Bill and Hillary Clinton improperly accepted and stole from the White House — which Dick Morris referred to as “It Takes a
Pillage” — G.W. could only say that he “was confident that the Clintons will make the right decision [to return them],” according to the Feb. 6 Washington Post. Nor would G.W. sanction any prosecutorial action by his Justice Department against the vandals who destroyed property — including e-mail
evidence — in The White House, as the Clinton-Gore administration came to a formal close.
With the sorry record of insensitivity to ethics in government, it is no wonder that the Wall Street Journal reported in its Feb. 9 edition that Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott — the Republican leader who took a dive during Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1998 — has become Bush, Jr.’s point man in Congress.
And if this was not enough to discourage those who believe in “Virtue,” like John Adams, there were G.W.’s nominations of Elaine Chao as labor secretary, who Judicial Watch revealed arranged for illegally
laundered political contributions from John Huang (the suspected Communist Chinese spy), and Norman Mineta, the transportation secretary, who, while serving as secretary of
commerce during the Clinton administration counseled Wen Ho Lee — another suspected Chinese agent who breached national security at Los Alamos nuclear labs.
These nominations were more than troubling, particularly since the Bush White House and Republicans in Congress refused
to even inquire into these matters during the
Then there is the appointment of Mary Matalin — the wife of Clinton “smearmeister” James Carville — as a
political counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney. Judicial Watch has evidence in its Filegate lawsuit that the Carville smear machine — which improperly destroyed not only Ken Starr, Republicans and others
who challenged the rampant criminality of the Clintons — was conducted right out of Matalin’s and Carville’s Capitol Hill residence, under her nose and with her
Also troubling was the failure of G.W. to reveal his drunk driving record during the presidential campaign — that is not until it was disclosed for him by Democrats just three days before the election.
There is also the refusal of G.W. to give Linda Tripp back her federal government job after she was vindictively fired by the Clinton administration during its last days in power. Incredibly, the Conservative News Service reported on Feb. 19:
Linda Tripp lost her Pentagon job last month, but the Clinton Administration appointee questioned by a grand jury about whether he played a role in prompting a
two-year criminal investigation of Tripp is still on the job.
Robert Weiner, the Clinton Administration [political] appointee who serves as chief of press relations for the White House National Drug Policy Office, is keeping his job at the request of the Bush Administration. … Weiner called the Bush Administration’s decision to let him remain at his job a ‘display of bi-partisanship.’
This tells more about Bush, Jr. than
perhaps any of his statements or actions.
It represents a “litmus test” of the character of the man — particularly since Linda Tripp is a patriot who stood up for the rule of law, and lost everything as a
result. G.W. has done nothing equivalent!
G.W.’s lack of concern for ethics, morality, and the rule of law — so evident early on with his refusal to address the Lewinsky and other Clinton-Gore scandals,
such as the Elian Gonzalez saga — may seem benign during the euphoric initial weeks of his prenatal presidency. But mark my words, and the concerns of all Americans who firmly believe in justice, if the Bush tradition of “political nobility” and its fear of
legal scrutiny for its own past actions continues in the next four years, the likes of Bill and Hillary Clinton will multiply many fold.
While Judicial Watch and its supporters will do all we can to try to prevent this — in both the legal courts and the courts of public opinion — a president who not only mouthed the need for ethics and morality,
but also had the courage to enforce the law and, in the words of Bill O’Reilly, fulfill his constitutional duty, would be a comforting partner to have.
While G.W. is and never will be a John Adams, without an emphasis on the “Virtue” of justice, our continued liberty is at stake. To preserve our Republic and to be successful after eight years of Clinton corruption, the new president’s philosophy
must change from “Move on” to a more appropriate mantra, “Never again!” The only way to ensure this is to hold the guilty legally accountable — because no one is above the law!