| Dozhier's Bait Shop in Hot Springs, Ark., would seem an unlikely headquarters for a sophisticated, well-financed operation aimed at discrediting the president of the United States.
But behind the bait shop's doors sat a computer, a fax machine and two telephones. From here a burly, gravelly voiced outdoorsman named Parker Dozhier was allegedly funneling money to a key Whitewater witness and running an intelligence-gathering and dirty tricks operation as part of the so-called "Arkansas Project."
Dozhier's name surfaced earlier this week when Salon identified him as the person who allegedly passed on cash payments to Whitewater witness David Hale between 1994 and 1996 from a conservative foundation funded by billionaire publisher and Clinton critic Richard Mellon Scaife.
Using a portion of the $2.4 million that Scaife's Arkansas Project funneled through the American Spectator magazine, Dozhier and a small network of friends kept tabs on Clinton; Judge Henry Woods, the federal judge who presided over a trial of then-Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker; and Arkansas prosecutors Mark Stodola and Larry Jegley, who are currently prosecuting Hale in a separate fraud and conspiracy case.
Dozhier's activities were related to Salon by former and present American Spectator executives familiar with the operation and by Caryn Mann, Dozhier's former live-in girlfriend. Salon has also obtained documents and memos initialed or written by Dozhier that confirm Dozhier's involvement in the Arkansas Project.
Mann, who kept Dozhier's books, estimated that over the two years he worked for the Arkansas Project Dozhier received approximately $200,000 from the project's two principle lieutenants, Stephen Boynton and David Henderson, both Washington attorneys and conservative political activists with long-standing ties to Scaife.
In interviews with Salon, Dozhier has acknowledged gathering intelligence for the American Spectator for which he said he was paid $35,000. He denied passing money to David Hale. Boynton did not return calls seeking comment. Contacted by telephone, Henderson refused to answer any questions dealing with the Arkansas Project.
In addition to the payments allegations, Mann told Salon that Dozhier took confidential Whitewater investigation information, gleaned from Hale through his cooperation with independent counsel Kenneth Starr, and passed it on in telephone calls and faxes to Boynton and Henderson.
"David Hale was passing information from the Independent Counsel's office to Steve [Boynton] and Dave [Henderson]," Mann told Salon. "Sometimes he would pass the information through Parker [Dozhier]; other times he would pass it directly to Steve and Dave."
Eventually, Mann said, Dozhier became impatient with the slow progress of Starr's investigation. He began leaking confidential information about the Whitewater investigation to newspapers -- apparently without Hale's knowledge.
In April 1995, Mann said, she watched as Dozhier, wearing surgical gloves to prevent his fingerprints from being discovered, typed up information from the Whitewater grand jury supplied by Hale. Then, Mann said, Dozhier signed the documents with code names like "Jane," "Sally" and "Anne," and sent them to several journalists working on the Whitewater story, advising them to signal their interest by placing ads in the classified section of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
On April 25, 1995, the following classified ad ran in the paper: "Anne: We got your message and we would like to hear from you. Bruce & Ellen." The ad included a telephone number in New York City. When Salon called the number, a voice recording answered for Ellen Pollock, a Wall Street Journal reporter who worked with fellow Journal reporter Bruce Ingersoll on Whitewater.
Salon was unable to reach Pollock and Ingersoll for comment.