Accuracy in Media

Remember the name of James R. McDonough. As we record this broadcast, he is currently a White House official, the director of strategy for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. But he could be on his way out – and quickly. He dared to put his name on an article in the Wall Street Journal that ran under the headline, “Clinton’s Contempt for US Soldiers.”

McDonough, a retired Army colonel and decorated Vietnam veteran, earned three Bronze stars and a Purple Heart. In 1995 he was involved in a rescue mission in Bosnia, when he was called upon to rescue some U.N. forces. This preceded the deployment of thousands of US troops to the region. Like many Americans, McDonough read the Ken Star report on the Lewinsky scandal. What got his attention was a section explaining that Clinton was being serviced by Lewinsky as he was on the phone trying to persuade a member of Congress to support the sending of US troops to Bosnia.

McDonough was outraged, commenting, “The act of casual sex at a moment of great importance smacks of callous indifference, sophomoric arrogance and reckless disregard of the sanctity of soldier’ lives. It…saddens the heart to learn that President Clinton, during this one moment at least, was arguing for sending America’s armed forces into potential danger even as he must have been significantly distracted.” McDonough called Clinton’s behavior “bizarre” and “contemptuous” of the armed forces.

We are tempted to respond: what else is new? One of Clinton’s first acts in office was to try to force open homosexuals into the military. He backed down only when Congress resisted the scheme. Bowing to the radical feminists, Clinton has opened more combat-related jobs to women in the military, with devastating results for good order and discipline. On the military front, he ordered our troops in Somalia to engage in “nation-building,” a scheme that resulted in 18 of them being killed and 84 being wounded in a bloody ambush. The Bosnia mission has already lasted several years, and Clinton is now threatening to send our troops into the middle of another civil war in Yugoslavia, in a place called Kosovo.

But Clinton skillfully uses the military for his own purposes. He likes to pose for photo opportunities with the troops. And his lawyer once suggested that Clinton, a military draft evader, would try to avoid a sexual harassment lawsuit by claiming that he was on active duty, as Commander-in-Chief, and was immune to such a legal proceeding. This gave everybody a big laugh.

For James McDonough, the break point was that item in the Starr report about Clinton’s handling of the Bosnia deployment. His article in the Journal originally took the form of a letter. He said the Journal converted it to a column and added his job title at the White House. He is now skating on thin ice. His boss, retired General Barry McCaffrey, who runs the drug office, refused comment. The chief of the press department said he wasn’t aware that the piece was going to appear. McDonough told the Washington Times, “I still have a job as far as I know.” Stay tuned.

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