Let the Whitewater butt covering begin

By Joe Conason

Topics:

Read the story

The only conclusion that can fairly be drawn about Whitewater is that the Clinton defense team accomplished what all defense teams try to do — it denied the prosecution the evidence necessary to achieve a conviction. The Clintons did this through both lawful means (assertion of attorney-client privilege) and less-lawful means (such as the payments arranged from Clinton allies to Webb Hubbell to keep his mouth shut, the assertion of frivolous privileges and the false testimony under oath by Bill and Hillary Clinton and Susan McDougal of their inability to recall the relevant facts).

Notwithstanding the Clintons’ success in orchestrating this strategy of denial, some damning documents were produced, such as the checks indicating payments to Bill Clinton.

A fair inference from this pattern, at least in the court of public opinion if not a court of law, is that the Clintons were guilty as sin. An honest man holding the office of president would have waived all privileges and cooperated with the investigators, as President Carter did when he was investigated.

– Douglas B. Levene

What Joe Conason fails to acknowledge is that the independent prosecutor law was flawed from inception in that it charged prosecutors to investigate fully without the budgetary or caseload limitations that check typical district attorney. This law was, in fact, put in place by the Democratic Party, and there were few complaints about it from them when the independent counsels were investigating Republican presidents. In those times, they typically spoke of being the target of independent prosecutor investigations as though it was tantamount to conviction.

– Richard Solomon

The important fact about the Clintons and Whitewater is that they should have been presumed innocent all along, unless and until proven guilty of some crime or other. Ray’s decision not to prosecute says this: “I have plenty of evidence to find the Clintons guilty, but not enough to persuade a jury biased in the Clintons’ favor to find them guilty as charged.” He still leaves a large cloud of suspicion floating above the heads of the Clintons because he’s too chicken to declare them innocent. If he can’t put up, he should shut up.

– Maurice Englander



Moral institutions (sometimes self-appointed), like prosecuting attorneys and newspapers, often cling to the issue because of the “rightness” of the cause. They believe that their cause is so righteous that they become blinded from seeing the truth. It is nice to be a seeker of justice, but better still to see the truth apart from the “justice” of the matter.

– Jim Merriman

No surprise here. Conservatives have been playing the “If we can’t run the country, no one will” game for years. Too bad for them the economy wasn’t driven into the ground as they so confidently predicted eight years ago, because their credibility is at an all-time low.

How they thought they could run an insubstantial candidate in this context is way beyond me, but I’m not complaining. Let them cover their butts, it will still be obvious to most that they are naked, scared and desperate. Until the conservatives can redefine what they stand for, something that has been largely successfully co-opted by the centrist Democrats, they will have little else to do besides try to dig up dirt on the other side.

– Jim Flynn

Those who award the Pulitzer Prize for journalism ought to appoint a commission to field complaints for bad journalism, and, where it is found to exist, strip the offending organization or writer of a past-won Pulitzer. The New York Times and Washington Post should be stripped — in my view, the Times should lose three Pulitzers, and the Post two — for their betrayal of the principles of journalism with respect to Whitewater coverage. The action of the commission would be accompanied by a written citation detailing the nature and extent of the bad journalism, and the effects of that bad journalism on the body politic.

– Fred Hoefle

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 17
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    John Stanmeyer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.

    Lu Guang

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China

    Carolyn Cole/LATimes

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

    Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    “Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA

    Google Earth/NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.

    Garth Lentz

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada

    Cotton Coulson/Keenpress

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway

    Yann Arthus-Bertrand

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.

    Stephanie Sinclair

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.

    Mike Hedge

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million

    Google Earth/ 2014 Digital Globe

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.

    Daniel Dancer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

    Peter Essick

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.

    Daniel Beltra

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico

    Ian Wylie

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Slide 13

    Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.

    R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>