Thanks to the work of London Telegraph investigative
reporter Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, the Communication
Stream of Conspiracy Commerce is back in the news.
For those of you who never heard of it or have forgotten
what it is, the 331-page White House report remains the
most comprehensive “enemies list” produced by the
Clinton administration — and, for that matter, perhaps any
administration in history.
Evans-Pritchard connects, for the first time, the 1996
Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce report
and a $100,000 no-bid 1994 contract from the White House
to mud-slinging private investigator Terry Lenzner’s firm
Investigative Group International.
Were taxpayer dollars used to prepare and distribute the
report? I have long asserted just that. In fact, whether or
not Lenzner prepared the report, there can be no question
that the White House counsel’s office was involved in the
distribution of it to select members of the media.
Think about it. This was an overtly political document. It
had one purpose and one purpose only — to slime those
exposing the scandals of the Clinton administration. It
alleged there was a “vast right-wing conspiracy” in the
press. Three news organizations were found to be at the
source of a “media food chain” — the American Spectator,
the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and my group, the Western
Journalism Center, the parent company of
Philip Weiss, the excellent feature writer for the
left-leaning, New York Observer, was one of those offered a
copy by the White House.
“It was shown to me after I did a pro-administration story
on the death of Vincent Foster,” he recalls. “The White
House was pleased by that piece, so they sent me a copy of
the report. I told them, ‘No thanks, I’m not interested.'”
My first experience with the report came when I was
interviewed by a reporter for The New York Times. The
reporter asked a series of questions formulated with an
obvious pro-Clinton spin. A week later, another reporter
for the Philadelphia Inquirer called and asked virtually the
same questions. I asked him: “What playbook are you guys
Sheepishly, he admitted it was from the Communication
Stream of Conspiracy Commerce.
I am particularly sensitive to this report for several reasons.
While there are a half-dozen or so personal dossiers
included in the report, I am the only actual journalist
profiled. There are a total of five pages on me, including
references to which church I attend and discussions of my
opinions on a variety of issues unrelated to the Clinton
I keep wondering when my colleagues in the press and
members of Congress are going to question the propriety
and legality of the White House keeping files on private
citizens for the purpose of demonizing them. It hasn’t
happened yet. Furthermore, let’s look at what happened to
those targeted in this report.
Both the American Spectator and the Western Journalism
Center were later victims of audits by the Internal Revenue
Service. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has halted its once
prolific coverage of cover-ups and scandals in the Clinton
administration. The American Spectator has gone soft. Of
the three news organizations originally targeted, only one
— this one — is still hammering away, day in and day out,
exposing the corruption, fraud, waste and abuse of this
White House and, indeed, the entire federal government.
It’s time Newt Gingrich, Henry Hyde, Trent Lott, Orrin
Hatch and the rest of the House and Senate leadership
began focusing on some of the real crimes of the Clinton
administration — the way it uses its power to harass,
intimidate and terrorize its adversaries and critics. This is
not the American way. The crimes of the Clinton
administration are bigger than Monica Lewinsky.
The White House steadfastly refused my organization a
copy of the report — even though it handed out hundreds
to other reporters. The White House even refused to
comply with a Freedom of Information Act request for the
document and other files it maintained on me and my
Fortunately, we were able to secure copies of it through
other means — including, ironically, the Democratic
National Committee, which helped the White House
That, of course, raises other questions. If this was designed
as a political report, why was the White House involved at
all? If it was not, then why was the DNC involved in
Would you believe no one from the White House has ever
been asked these questions under oath? I’d say it’s about