With less than two weeks to go until the kickoff of the Presidential nominating contests in Iowa, now seems to be a good time to raise an issue that has for the most part, been permitted to slip under the radar of our mainstream media. I would not even dare venturing a guess as to why this is so, but it's a nagging issue for me as an American citizen, and I would definitely appreciate an answer to this quite relevant, perhaps even crucial, question for Mrs. Clinton.
Exactly, precisely, specifically, down-to-a-t, what would define your husband's access and duties in your Presidency?
Bill Clinton is not just any former President.
To this day he has the ignominious distinction of being the only sitting President cited for civil contempt by a federal judge, for lying in a deposition. Judge Susan Weber Wright, a former student of Bill Clinton's at the University of Arkansas School of Law, authored the citation, even though it must have pained her considerably to call her former professor and fellow Arkansan upon the legal carpet.
Citing a sitting President for perjury gave Judge Wright no "pleasure whatsoever," she wrote on April 13, 1999, but she found that there was in the case, "simply no escaping the fact that the president deliberately violated this court's discovery orders and thereby undermined the integrity of the judicial system."
Judge Wright also requested the Arkansas Supreme Court's Committee on Professional Conduct to conduct an inquiry to determine whether Bill Clinton should be required to forfeit his license to practice law in the state. Bill Clinton left the Presidency of the United States having just lost his law license for five years.
Yet Bill Clinton now seeks a return to the ultimate insider's access to every FBI file and every classified secret this nation has. Despite our Nation's current wartime state, Mr. Clinton's corroded record for honesty seems not to even bother the paragons of virtue and staunch defenders of public safety within the Democrat Party. This is quite puzzling.
Then, there is the matter of the 177 pardons and commutations Bill Clinton issued as his final act of office, which were not fully investigated at the time, nor given very much light of day from the press, due some have said, to the exhaustion of government resources in all of the other Clinton scandals over 8 years. According to then FBI Director, Louis Freeh, no one in the FBI, nor the Attorney General's office, nor the Justice Department was ever even consulted for input before these last-hour pardons were issued.*
Several of the pardons were particularly troubling, especially since the man who granted them now plans a return to the White House to assume what would seem to constitute a 3rd co-presidency term in office.
The pardon of Marc Rich, an infamous fugitive who had made a fortune dealing illegally with the Iranians, brought a bit of scrutiny and accusations of quid pro quo use of the Presidential pardon. When it came to light that Denise Rich, Marc Rich's ex-wife, had given more than $1 million to Democrat causes, and another $450,000 to fund the Clinton Presidential library, a few eyebrows were raised in the press, but not much more.
The more pressing issue now might be whether the pardoned Marc Rich has resumed dealings with the Iranians, at a time when Iran poses perhaps the gravest danger faced by America. And of even greater significance would be the matter of the degree of closeness that currently exists between Marc Rich and his Presidential benefactor, Bill Clinton. Would Mrs. Clinton be willing to proffer evidence that no such relationship exists? I should hope so, since it has some bearing on our national security.
Then there was the largely ignored pardon of Bill Clinton's own brother, Roger, convicted of possession and dealing cocaine. The act of pardoning a relative would, in itself, seem to substantially weaken the integrity of the Office of the Presidency. But there's quite a bit more to this story.
In 1980, when Bill Clinton was reeling from defeat in his re-election bid for the governorship of Arkansas, he befriended a prominent Arkansas businessman by the name of Dan Lasater. Dan Lasater was widely known as a dealer not only in bonds, but also in cocaine. Bill's little brother, Roger, was in the grips of a heavy cocaine addiction, and he ran up high debts to loan sharks, who were eventually threatening him and his family.
Bill Clinton arranged for his friend Dan Lasater to take his brother in, pay off Roger's debts, and give him a job. For his part in this grand political bargain, Dan Lasater arranged to give his friend and newly re-elected governor, Bill Clinton, a list of appointees to the Arkansas Housing Development Authority, which chose underwriters for the state bond business.
According to Barbara Olson's research (Hell to Pay; p. 171), Lasater's company was involved in $637 million worth of state bond offerings between 1983-1986, while Bill Clinton was governor. Bill Clinton seems not to understand the meaning of the words "conflict of interest" any better than he understands the meaning of "is," or "sex" for that matter.
But there is even graver impropriety here.
As governor, Bill Clinton personally lobbied the Arkansas legislature to award a $30 million contract to Lasater to upgrade the Arkansas state police radio network, even though the governor knew that his crony, Lasater, was under intense investigation for distribution of cocaine (Hell to Pay; p. 171).
All the Clinton/Lasater wheeling and double-dealing came to an abrupt end in 1984, when both brother Roger and pal Lasater were convicted for possessing and selling cocaine. Bill Clinton, however, remained happily ensconced in the Arkansas Governor's Mansion, with nary a thorny investigation to deal with, even though brother Roger had been caught on tape after snorting cocaine for a buy, saying, "I've got to get some for my brother, he's got a nose like a Hoover vacuum cleaner" (Hell to Pay; p. 171). One is led to wonder whether Arkansans understand the meaning of the term, "taking the fall."
To top off this mountainous Clinton cocaine connection, one of Bill's last acts as Governor of Arkansas was to pardon his old pal and co-fleecer of Arkansas taxpayers, Dan Lasater. This would seem, in my mind anyway, to relegate Obama's use of coke as a teenager to a minor molehill in comparison.
But the genuine cake-taker here is that Dan Lasater's chief assistant, Patsy Thomasson, the person who even handled all of Lasater's affairs while he was in prison, actually made her way into the Clinton White House. Clinton appointed her to the position of the White House's Director of the Office of Administration, and ironically, put her in charge of its drug testing program.
The narrative-shapers who backed Bill Clinton against the Republican impeachment and trial did their work well. Raising ethical questions about his acknowledged behavior is tarred as extremist conservative propaganda and derided as "old news."
The troubling ethical history of the Clinton (Bill) presidency has a direct bearing on the candidacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton to become the 44th President of the United States. He is her top advisor as well as husband, tormentor, ally, and God knows what else. It is a more than fair question to ask her to define the access and responsibility of this top advisor, a man with a troubling background. Substitute any other candidate and imagine a top advisor who admitted to lying under oath. That candidate would have to answer plenty of questions.
The public as yet has not even considered the answer to these questions, probably because they have not been raised. Yet they indeed seem reasonable in light of the foregoing connected dots among these unsavory people.
*These details come from the book, My FBI, by Louis Freeh; St. Martin's Griffin; New York; 2005; pp. 269-273.