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Whitewater update
Jim McDougal Deserved a Life

The lack of outrage over the death of Jim McDougal reflects the failure of the media to inform the public about the nature of the Whitewater scandal. Anybody who carefully assesses the evidence cannot avoid the conclusion that Whitewater was an Inquisition-driven scandal and that makes Jim McDougal a victim of the plot to destroy the Clinton Presidency. After all, the 'Whitewater scandal' was nothing more more than the attempt to use a land deal to trump up criminal charges in effort to force the resignation of President Clinton. What a waste!

The "talking points" were supposed to prove that the Clinton White House was guilty of perjury, suborning perjury and obstruction of justice, but since that conspiracy theory failed to pan, science is now getting a crack at it. Science is conclusive, and Starr is a master at proving preconceived conclusions. Consider Jim McDougal, who was successfully prosecuted in April of 1997. Starr was merely one of many authorities who had scrutinized McDougal's business dealings. In March of 1994, McDougal said; "I was tried on thirteen counts after I had been subjected to a four year investigation by the FBI, the Justice Department and five other agencies of government." Despite the intense scrutiny, McDougal was exonerated -a free man until a convicted felon named David Hale began to cooperate with Ken Starr. And that is when "conclusive" documents were produced and used to convict McDougal.

Resigned to his fate, the then feeble-minded, heavily medicated McDougal casually blamed his conviction on fraudulent documentation. One of the jurors, who had simply focused on the documented evidence and delivered what she called a "tunnel-vision" verdict, had certainly taken the bait. Credible allegations that Hale's perjured testimony was bought and paid for by right wing extremists should have cast serious doubt upon the propriety of Jim McDougal's conviction. Starr supporters dismiss what they call unproven allegations, but their objections are exceedingly frivolous because the testimony of a fraud artist like Hale is worthless -paying for it simply adds insult to injury.

Remarkably, Starr's entire investigation is plagued by the fact that he embraces the least credible witnesses and makes the truth exceedingly elusive. And it is only when reason is carefully applied to McDougal's overzealous prosecution that it is difficult to believe that Starr's crusaders do not have McDougal's blood on their hands. Isn't it glaringly obvious?

The most consistent contribution of the Starr investigation has been heavy-handed advocacy and the most consistent deficit has been the failure to acknowledge credible evidence -the formulae of every perversion of justice.

As soon as the campaign to falsely attribute the authorship of the "talking points" collapsed, discredited media reports about a stained dress were instantly resuscitated. The "talking points" were a central focus of the Starr investigation because they were billed as the document which proved that Clinton and Vernon Jordan had conspired to conceal a sexual relationship between Clinton and Lewinsky. In particular they corroborated Starr's star witness, Linda Tripp's version of the facts. But when the mounting evidence suggested that the "talking points" were nothing more than the fraudulent documentation of a calculated effort to bring down the Clinton presidency, desperation mounted.

Indeed, when Linda Tripp was publicly linked to the authorship of the "talking points" the Tripp camp panicked to the point where her lawyer, her friends, her publicist and Linda Tripp herself vigorously denounced what they called the illogical, patently false assertion that Linda Tripp had anything to do with the development of the talking points. Why the mass hysteria? It is difficult to imagine why Linda Tripp was so anxious to deny what appeared to be a trivial, unproven claim, unless she had engaged the plot to cripple the Clinton presidency and was obsessed by the need to cover up her involvement.

The point is, the semen-stained dress is not the real scandal here. The real scandal is an invasion of privacy that is so extreme that is is not even remotely plausible to call it legal, because the criminal allegations with respect to the Vernon Jordan connection, proved to be bogus.

It is only when Linda Tripp's "talking points" failed to criminalize the Clinton White House, that Lewinsky's semen-stained dress re-emerged and the conspiracy, which shifted from plan A to plan B and back to plan A, proved to be nothing more than an invasion of privacy that should be illegal in any functioning democracy.

Persistent media reports of a semen-stained dress were deemed to be false and we thought that they were indeed false, because we respect the need for individual privacy in the absence of credible, criminal allegations. Monica Lewinsky's dress proved to be the insurance policy of the plot to destroy Clinton, and under normal and reasonable circumstances, these garments are routinely taken to the cleaners. If treacherous spies like Linda Tripp, would like to invade the privacy of the President of the United States, or any other citizen, they need to be held accountable.

Michael Isikoff, who is a "fine investigative reporter" according to scandal producers like Lucianne Goldberg, may casually promote the claim that the stain on Lewinsky's dress is semen, and everybody knows what he is suggesting. But the credibility of journalists like Isikoff is seriously strained. Indeed, when credible evidence that Kenneth Starr was illegally leaking grand jury testimony emerged, Isikoff essentially urged Starr to cover up the truth. In his own words, Isikoff publicly said: "We the reporters aren't going to talk about where we get our information and I imagine Starr and his deputies are not going to acknowledge, voluntarily acknowledge that they have disclosed anything that went over the line." Are investigative reporters supposed to hide behind the assurance that silence is the mother that grants criminal conspirators blanket immunity? Moreover, when Isikoff embraces the realm of the unrevealed and the uncontested and uses selective leaks to implicate the President in high crimes, he is simply a scandal-monger and that is why the Goldbergs rave about him.

Starr probably thinks that he can use Lewinsky's dress to destroy Clinton the way he used a "tunnel-vision" verdict to destroy McDougal. But so-called hard evidence is reliable, when and only when credible people are behind it. The media likes to promote the claim that Lewinsky's dress represents conclusive, scientific proof, and that is certainly the surface reality. But there is no such thing as science unles it has a clear, intellectual foundation, and in the absence of any credible evidence that Lewinsky and Clinton had a sexual encounter, why is Lewinsky's dress a criminal exhibit in the first place? Is it because the "talking points" failed to script Lewinsky's testimony? The so-called semen-stained dress has been leaking far longer than it has been taken seriously and like the "talking points," everybody understands the objective behind that -to create a timely frenzy over charges of perjury, obstruction of justice and subornation of perjury. And if a single dress can prove all that, why is Clinton even bothering to testify? Why not let science do all the talking? It hasn't been that long since FBI chemist, Frederic Whitehurst demonstrated the fact that what is called scientific evidence can just as easily be rigged, slanted or entirely fabricated, to produce a desired result. Does Starr actually believe that he can use an FBI lab to reproduce the objective of the "talking points" or will he spare a final blow to his squandered credibility? [posted August 16, 1998]


POSTSCRIPT: Now that it's all over it is safe to make the following conclusion. The desperate, besieged Jim McDougal promised to lie about Clinton in effort to receive a "get out of jail free" card. Clearly, the feeble-minded McDougall could not help but react to Ken Starr's extreme tactics, and there is no room for raising doubt the course of events where predictable, ideological push and shove is concerned. In '98, Ken Starr had 60 FBI detailed full time to track down and interview Monica Lewinsky's girlfriends for what she told them about President Clinton. The friends were then put before a grand jury to tell their stories, all of which became thousands of pages of lewd stories of no possible worthy consequence. Was everything that Monica said real? Were parts imagined to impress her friends? Who cares?

When Jim McDougal was manic and depressive and faced 84 years in prison, he decided to cooperate with Ken Starr. Ken Starr claimed that Jim McDougall was the "epicenter" of his case against President Clinton, and when his embattled target faced the prospect of 84 years in prison, he decided to "cooperate" with Ken Starr.

Cooperation with Ken Starr produced the allegation that Susan McDougall and President Clinton were having an affair. Susan McDougall has repeaedly denied the allegation and she was repeatedly called uncooperative.

In exchange for his cooperation Ken Starr managed to bargain a reduced sentence for Jim McDougal -from 84 years to just three years in prison and a $10,000 fine. It looked good on paper but Jim McDougall died in prison.

The inmates at the Ft. Worth Federal Prison where Jim McDougal was serving time believe that Jim McDougal was murdered to silence the opportunity to retract a lie. Sounds about right.

This is what Susan McDougal said to Geraldo Rivera on National television:

"Jim first said, 'all you have to do is back up the the David Hale story, that's what I'm going to do.' Then, when I told him emphatically that I could not do that, he said, 'listen, it's right before the election and there's a man in the office named Hickman Ewing, and if you go in to him and tell him that you had a sexual relationship with Bill Clinton, that will be enough, and this is Jim's exact words, for you to write your own ticket. You will never spend a day in jail and all you will have to say is that you once had sex with him or that you had a sexual relationship with him.' And I said, (in a rather emphatic tone) 'Jim, I can't do that', and that is when, that was our last conversation that we ever had, when he said, 'I don't think I can ever speak to you again' and he hung up the phone."

It is not surprising that Jim McDougal died, naked, in jail, but it should be called, Murder One.

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