The Political Lowe-Down With Derek Lowe
July 4, 2007: Babble on, Hillary
Note: This article generally refers to Hillary Clinton by first rather than last name, not to promote sexism but to distinguish her from Bill Clinton, also referred to here by first name.
"I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him."
Yes, I come to expose Hillary Clinton as yet another loyal-to-the-System right-wing politician, willing to tell any lie to be anointed chief spokesrobot of the ultra-wealthy, the "leader of the free world." In all fairness, Hillary is consistent in at least one area, in that she supports the rights of women and gays. An alternate interpretation is that she temporarily exploits these groups with rote words and actions so they in turn will support her quest to become president.
Although my preference is former Senator Mike Gravel (Alaska), I'm glad both Hillary and Senator Barack Obama (Illinois) are in this race. Neither has a chance of winning the election, though, as discussed at the end of this article. Furthermore, the Democratic Party convention is unlikely to nominate Gravel. On the surface, an African-American and a woman as serious contenders in a presidential election bespeaks progress. Their mere presence bestows legitimacy on the notion of equality, especially gender and ethnic equality. Perhaps from now on we'll see a flood of female candidates and candidates of color running for – and winning – office all over the U.S. That will go a long way to bring this country into the 21st century.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (New York) was born in 1947 in Chicago, and obtained a Juris Doctor degree from Yale in 1973. She has said repeatedly that she supports the "excesses" (my word) of the Bill Clinton presidency, including the scandals, NAFTA, and the dismemberment of Yugoslavia.
The presidents of the "robber baron" era of the latter part of the 19th century were said to be ultra-corrupt. In the early 20th century, Warren Harding and Herbert Hoover especially enjoyed similar reputations. To this day, the Harding Administration Teapot Dome scandal is synonymous with government corruption. With all this as a backdrop, several sources regard Bill Clinton as the most corrupt president in history. He and Hillary were involved in quite a few scandals during his reign. Two of the scandals they share are Whitewater and the Vincent Foster death.
The Clintons were partners in several business ventures with Webster Hubbell (who became President Bill's Assistant Attorney General) and James and Susan MacDougal. Two of these ventures were the intertwined Whitewater Development Corporation and Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan. Courts later convicted the MacDougals and Hubbell of fraud and conspiracy in the Whitewater scandal. The Clintons were not indicted, though Hubbell's indictment referenced Hillary as his "1985-1986 billing partner" in the Rose Law Firm. Hillary was the Rose attorney in charge of Madison's legal matters.
When told that a questionable Madison loan violated Federal and Arkansas State regulations, Hillary said (according to testimony), "You [Madison bank officer] take care of the savings and loan matters and I'll take care of the legal matters." The U.S. Senate counsel investigating Whitewater stated at the time that "Mrs. Clinton...order[ed] the [Madison] records to be destroyed" while "there was a Federal investigation [into Madison's loan activities] underway...." At the very least, Hillary and Bill seem to have gotten away with breaking the law in the Whitewater scandal, while business partners less well-connected went to prison. The Clintons saved themselves by selling out their friends.
Vincent Foster was another old friend of the Clintons (like Hubbell he worked at the Rose Law Firm with Hillary) who became Deputy White House Counsel. Foster left his White House office on July 20, 1993; that evening his body was discovered in Virginia, ostensibly a suicide.
Foster wanted to resign his White House position, according to theory, because as Deputy Counsel to the President he had to sign Bill's financial disclosure statement. This document was false, Foster knew, because it didn't include Whitewater assets. His resignation would reveal the truth about Whitewater. An additional theory is that the statement also did not include Governor Bill's drug-smuggling remuneration: he allowed the CIA to fly cocaine into the airport at Mena, Arkansas, and/or rewrote state law to allow the CIA to launder cocaine money through Arkansas banks. So, old friend or no, the Clintons had Foster killed and his body dumped in Virginia.
It is fact rather than theory that members of Hillary's staff removed files from Foster's office within hours of his supposed suicide and after the office was sealed. A member of Bill's staff opened the safe in Foster's office and removed an envelope addressed to then-Attorney General Janet Reno. The envelope subsequently disappeared, never to be seen again. Webster Hubbell commented about the Foster death, "Don't believe a word you hear. It was not suicide. It couldn't have been."
As with the Kennedy assassinations thirty years earlier, there are too many discrepancies in the official version of this incident for it to be credible. The "suicide note" didn't have Foster's fingerprints on it. Officially, he shot himself in the mouth with a 38-caliber handgun. Inconveniently, he had a 22-caliber bullet wound in his neck. No blood on the gun or his clothing, and no fingerprints on the gun. The 38-caliber gun used was not Foster's, and was in his right hand; he was left-handed. The FBI intimidated and harassed witnesses at the scene, and altered their testimony. The original X-rays taken during the autopsy disappeared.
There is no smoking gun tying the Clintons to Foster's murder. Hillary didn't personally rewrite his resignation letter into a suicide note. However, this was not just any fake suicide. Someone in the very highest echelons of government ordered this killing. Foster knew the intimate details of the Rose Law Firm, Madison Guaranty, Whitewater, and perhaps other shady enterprises. Both Clintons were involved in these affairs. A living Vincent Foster might bring down Bill's presidency, or at least ruin Hillary's chances to, say, run for president herself some day. No, it was too dangerous for Foster to remain alive. With Foster dead, there would be no one left who knew the secrets. No one except Hillary and Bill.
Hillary's opportunism demonstrated below is more proof that she is not to be trusted. This incident isn't so much a scandal as an embarrassment, and it's Hillary's alone. In 2004, she was campaigning for a U.S. Senate candidate in Missouri. Eager to laud her newfound pacifism, she opened her remarks with a reference to Mahatma Gandhi, then said, "You know who Gandhi was, don't you? He ran a gas station down in St. Louis." I picture her doing this as Groucho Marx. It was a nod to the stereotype of South Asians (especially Indians) operating most of the gas stations in this country, and suggests racism. I agree with the Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence administrator who commented about this incident, "...I find it offensive when people use stereotypes in that way." Again, in fairness to Hillary, Senator Joe Biden (Delaware) made a similar comment last year, about the same ethnic group.