Patrick Knowlton, a lifelong Democrat who voted for Bill Clinton in 1992, stopped in Fort Marcy Park to relieve his bladder just hours before White House Deputy Counsel Vincent Foster’s body was found. Little did he know that his life would never be same.

Knowlton saw another car with Arkansas license plates in the parking lot, but not Foster’s. He also was alarmed by the menacing-looking occupant of that vehicle.

However, Knowlton’s statement was completely misrepresented by the FBI. When he went public with his protests, strange things started happening around Knowlton. He experienced systematic harassment on the street witnessed by two reporters. When he was called before Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr’s grand jury, he was pummeled by the prosecutor.

A few days ago, Knowlton went to the U.S. Park Police Headquarters on Ohio Drive S.W. in Washington, D.C., for information on a closed 1994 vandalism case involving his automobile one day before his second interview with FBI agents. It was during that round of interviews that FBI agents tried to get Knowlton to change his testimony.

A civilian employee of the U.S. Park Police dutifully pulled the thick file on the vandalism case for Knowlton and was about to hand it to him. Knowlton noticed that it was flagged with a yellow piece of paper. Just as he was about to receive it, a police officer snatched it away, saying, “You can’t see this.”

About 10 minutes later, the officer returned and handed Knowlton three pieces of paper and the folder. “This is all you can see,” he was told.

Knowlton argued that, since the case was closed, he should be permitted to see the whole file. When he suggested that he knew the FBI was involved, the police officer became visibly shaken. Knowlton was told he was trespassing and would have to leave.

When Knowlton left the U.S. Park Police Headquarters, his vehicle was followed by a squad car. After traveling about 25 blocks, just before he reached his home, the police car flashed its lights and pulled him over to the side of the road. Knowlton waited with his driver’s license and registration in hand. But the officer never approached the car. After a few minutes, the police car’s lights went off and the officer drive away.

What would you think if this bizarre chain of events happened to you? Knowlton is persuaded that what he once believed to be a case of random

vandalism was an incident perpetrated by government officials — presumably from the FBI. There is no doubt in his mind that the harassment he experienced later, when he was testifying to the grand jury in 1995, was orchestrated by FBI agents.

In fact, Knowlton currently has a lawsuit pending against the bureau for harassment and intimidation alleging agents conspired to obstruct justice.

Why would the government be so concerned about Knowlton and what he saw that day in Fort Marcy Park? The only explanation is that he saw something very much in conflict with the official story — the story that, despite all evidence to the contrary, is being pushed aggressively by Starr, the Clinton administration, the FBI, the U.S. Park Police and the establishment press.

You have to ask yourself: If Knowlton is wrong about what he saw, why all the fuss? Why are FBI agents so concerned about a loose-cannon witness who got his facts wrong? Why would they risk their jobs, their livelihoods and their reputations on discrediting one misguided eyewitness?

These are the very same questions that I raised in the context of the intimidation and harassment my organization, the Western Journalism Center, experienced in investigating the Foster case. Why was the White House keeping files on us as early as 1994? Why was there an all-out effort to discredit us among our colleagues with the infamous 331-page “Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce” report? Why did Internal Revenue Service agents later launch an audit of the group for this time period?

If we as an organization were simply on a wild-goose chase, why the preoccupation with us? Likewise, if Knowlton just got his facts wrong, why would he be treated like a criminal?

Logic would lead any reasonable person to conclude that the White House and FBI have something to hide. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to imagine that it must be something very important, something very big.

I talk to many people who are pessimistic about justice ever being served with respect to this administration. But maybe, just maybe, Patrick Knowlton’s visit to Fort Marcy Park back in July of 1993 may yet turn out to the urination that saved the nation.

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