Accuracy in Media

It’s been called one of the most amazing underreported facts found in the Ken Starr report on President Clinton. Clinton warned Monica Lewinsky that a foreign government may be monitoring their telephone conversations and that they should concoct a cover story to explain them. Here is exactly what the Starr report says about this matter: “According to Ms. Lewinsky, she and the President had a lengthy conversation that day. He told her that he suspected that a foreign embassy (he did not specify which one) was tapping his telephones, and he proposed cover stories. If ever questioned, she should say that the two of them were just friends. If anyone ever asked about their phone sex, she should say that they knew their calls were being monitored all along, and the phone sex was just a put-on.”

Starr apparently included this material to show that Clinton was attempting to conceal their relationship. But was Clinton’s reference to the foreign embassy true? If Clinton was being monitored, one might think that Starr would have pursued an investigation into whether Clinton was blackmailed and committed treason, another impeachable offense.

Whatever the truth, this is something that the media and Congress have to investigate because even if a foreign embassy wasn’t monitoring Clinton’s conversations, the information could have leaked out. Lewinsky, who herself got a security clearance at the Pentagon, could have talked about this relationship with a foreign government, or one of her many friends with whom she confided could have talked to a foreign government. Perhaps their telephone conversations were monitored. The point is that the information could easily have been provided to those in a position to use it for their own purposes.

This is a danger because the conduct itself, which is clearly perverted, made Clinton into a target for blackmail under federal guidelines. In September 1994, Clinton signed a Presidential Decision Directive number 29 that established a body known as the Security Policy Board. It assumed authority for the development of a broad range of security policies, including guidelines for determining eligibility for access to classified information. Part “D” of Section “2” states that, “Sexual behavior is a security concern if it involves a criminal offense, indicates a personality or emotional disorder, may subject the individual to undue influence or coercion, exploitation, or duress, or reflects lack of judgment or discretion.”

A former government official who specialized in security and intelligence matters told us that while a foreign embassy has the capability to tap into a telephone line, it is not likely. He said it is easier to monitor microwave transmissions of telephone calls. He said he doubted that Clinton was serious in talking about his phone lines being tapped, and he doubted that Clinton was blackmailed. However, he said that it is clear that the president is emotionally disturbed and that this dangerous behavior made him a security risk.

In our next broadcast we’ll discuss the explosive issue of whether Clinton could qualify for a security clearance from his own government. Those federal guidelines we mentioned are supposed to apply to all civilian and military employees. Do they apply to Clinton?

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