for Salon Magazine!
b) the public (except
for the members of the religious right, of course) doesnt
give a pigs eye whether Monica won her presidential
kneepads or not. It seems that we really DID have a sexual
revolution in this country.
3. The office of independent
counsel has become a fourth branch of government never intended
by the authors of the Constitution. Its got to go. Or else
be radically reformed to prevent the flagrant and partisan abuse
of power so far demonstrated by Kenneth Starr.
4. We had an independent
counsel a few years ago who very fairly and conscientiously investigated
a truly serious governmental abuse of power--- of the kind that
the law was written to correct after Watergate. Im referring,
of course, to Lawrence E. Walsh whose investigation of the Iran-Contra
conspiracy and cover-up was sabotaged. The felony convictions of
Oliver North and John Poindexter were overturned on appeal beause
of the tainted testimony given to the competing congressional
committee. Lame-duck George Bush then pardoned indicted Caspar Weinberger
and the already-convicted four: Elliott Abrams, Alan Fiers, Clair
George, and Robert McFarlane. Read Walshs book, Firewall (1997),
for the sorry details, especially the part played by Bob Dole.
5. Im not an advocate
of cover-ups. Not at all. However, there are distinctions. I find
it hard to include a presidents covering up an order to the
CIA to get the FBI to call off the Watergate investigation, illegal
contributions, payoff of hush money to potentially damaging
witnesses, orders to the Plumbers for illegal break-ins,---
with that of a president attempting to cover up a (possible) extra-marital
affair. See Stanley I. Kutlers Abuse of Power (1997), which
contains the latest release of Nixon tapes and reveals him as even
more corrupt than we knew at the time.
Enough for now, but probably
more to come later!
March 7, 1998
1. Someone please give
Kenneth Starr a copy of the Constitution before he has trampled
the Bill of Rights beyond recognition! So far he has:
tried to turn the clock
back to 1798 by compelling Sidney Blumenthal to testify about his
contacts with the press. Criticism of a federal official's conduct,
by the press or by private citizen, is not a crime, Mr. Starr. There
is such a thing as the right to free speech. The Jeffersonian Democrats
threw out the Sedition Act in 1800. That attempt to overturn the
First Amendment did not prevail.
sent a wired Linda Tripp to interview her "friend" Monica
allowed his assistants to harass Monica for nine hours without counsel,
threatening her with a long jail term for "perjury" if
she did not accede to their request to perform a sting operation
sent another woman, Susan McDougal, to jail for nearly two years
for her refusal to give false testimony that would be damaging to
forced Marcia Lewis, Monica's mother, to testify before the grand
jury and reveal her daughter's confidences.
2. If Kenneth Starr is truly interested in indicting someone for
perjury, he need look no further than Paula Jones who has added
an interesting bit to her sworn deposition in the civil case. Where,
in her original statement, she had immediately fled from the hotel
room after Governor Clinton allegedly dropped his pants and underpants
and made his shocking request,--- now she has added that he rushed
up behind her and put his hand on the door to stop her from leaving---
"He confined me for a moment," saying, "You're a
smart girl, let's keep this between ourselves." Clinton must
be remarkably agile to have gotten his pants up in time to beat
her to the door, or else he's had a lot of practice in potato-sack
racing. His legal team must be salivating over the possibilities
in this testimony.
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