Reed Irvine - Editor
|March B, 2000|
When Mike Wallace did his infamous hatchet job on Chris Ruddy, the reporter whose investigative reporting on the Vince Foster death showed up Mike and all the other investigative reporters employed by the establishment media, I took Wallace to task. In a recorded phone conversation, I chided him for swallowing the official line on the Foster case and overlooking the evidence that proved that Foster's body had been moved. I asked him how he could explain Foster's eyeglasses, with gunpowder on them, being found 13 feet below his body. After struggling to come up with an answer, Wallace finally said that he would leave it to Ken Starr to answer that question.
Starr has been asked that question in writing several times, and he has not responded. On March 11, I put it to him in person. Like Wallace, he can't answer it, but he won't admit it as candidly as Mike did. Last December, Starr said on TV that his report on Foster's death had answered all the questions and that there was not a shadow of a doubt that Foster committed suicide where his body was found. But this claim was so inconsistent with the evidence that I sent him a letter with a list of major unanswered questions. Since then, I have sent him two more letters with more questions. AIM members have deluged him with cards and letters, urging him to give us his answers. He has not responded to my letters, nor to any of the 2,000 or so cards and letters he has received from all over the country.
On March 11, Starr spoke in San Francisco to an organization to which I belong. I had not planned to attend, but I decided that I owed it to all of you who have sent him those cards and letters to see if in a face-to-face meeting I could get Starr to explain how he could say that his report had resolved all the questions hanging over Foster's death and then refuse to answer or explain away our questions. I prepared three pages of questions for the occasion, raising the total to 30. Copies were distributed to those attending the meeting. Several other members of the organization agreed to join me in a private meeting with Starr if one could be arranged. I had three brief private conversations with him. The first was in the lobby of the hotel when he returned from sightseeing with his two daughters. Ray Heizer, a resident of the Bay area who has made important contributions to the investigation of Foster's death, was with me. He had brought along his copy of Starr's report to get Starr to sign it, pointing out neither Starr nor anyone else had put his name on the report. A participant in the conference, who had met Starr earlier in the day, introduced me. Starr responded as though he was as pleased to meet me as I was to meet him.
I introduced Ray Heizer and asked him if he would autograph Ray's copy of his report. He graciously did so. I said there were some things I would like to discuss with him and asked if we could talk. Saying maybe we could talk later , he headed for the elevator with his two daughters. I walked at his side, asking him to tell me when we could meet. His expression was grim, and his lips were sealed. When we reached the elevators, I said that I had gotten up at 4:30 that morning to fly to San Francisco to see him, and I was catching a midnight flight back. I asked again, "When can we talk?" He drew me aside, out of earshot of the girls, and said, "Reed, you have caused me a lot of ----." Stopping short of saying "grief, " He said, "I'm here with my daughters, please have the decency to---"I said, "Sure, but when can we talk?" He said, "We'll see," and got in the elevator.
An hour later, we met again in the banquet hall where he was to speak. He was checking the set-up, and I was making sure that our three pages of questions had been placed on the chairs. We had a brief chat in which he told me that he was getting 70 postcards a day from AIM members and that he didn't appreciate my having them sent to his home. He declined my offer to discuss what I wanted to ask him then and there. He said I would have an opportunity to question him in the Q &A that would follow his speech.
Starr's speech focused on the Constitution and the wisdom of our founding fathers. He said nothing about how he spent five years and $50 million investigating the Clintons and the scandals associated with them. My question was the first, but not the last, to bring up anything related to his performance as Independent Counsel. I said: "Last December you were on TV shows saying that you had answered all the questions or that all the doubts about the Foster case had been laid to rest, that there was not a shadow of a doubt that he had died where his body was found. I sent you a letter at that time asking you questions that we felt had not been answered—that members of Accuracy in Media felt had not been answered, that many people in this room feel have not been answered. Since then I have written you twice more. You have not acknowledged or answered any of the letters nor any of the questions. Tell me, will you give us an opportunity to sit down with you in private and go over these questions and discuss them—why you can't answer them or will you answer them.
I said, "I'm going to give you one example, the first question on the list that many people have seen.... Foster's glasses with gunpowder on them were found 13 feet downhill, below his feet. Your report says, ‘The location of the glasses was consistent with their having been on his face when he shot himself,' but it doesn't say how they got there. The Fiske report says they bounced down the hill. Tests have shown that's impossible. What's your explanation of how those glasses, with gun-powder on them, got that far away from Foster's body, if he sat down on that hill and fired a shot into his mouth?"
I would like to quote Starr's response, but he refused my request that he waive the off-the-record rule that the organ-ization offers its speakers. I asked him a follow-up question, to wit: "Jim (Miller, the president of the organization) said I could only have one question, but how could you not answer the question about the eyeglasses? (loud applause) Will you answer and will you say whether you will meet with us?"There was no change in his position.
Taking the advice that Starr had given me, I have sent the following letter to his successor, Robert W. Ray, who succeeded him as Independent Counsel.
Dear Mr. Ray:
Last December, Kenneth Starr appeared on television programs claiming that his report on the death of Vincent W. Foster, Jr. answered all the questions about that case and that there is not a shadow of a doubt that Foster killed himself on the spot where his body was found in Fort Marcy Park. Accuracy in Media has been trying to get him to give us the answers to the many questions that we and others have raised about the evidence in the Foster case that points to a conclusion very different from that reached by both Robert Fiske and Kenneth Starr. We have sent him lists of many, but not all, of these questions. There are 30 on the most recent list.
Mr. Starr tells me that he is getting 70 pieces of mail a day from AIM members asking him to respond to these questions. He has not answered any of them, and he has declined to meet with me to discuss them. He has suggested that I direct my questions to you, since the staff and the files necessary to answer them are now under your control, not his.
I am therefore sending you the list of thirty questions, and I ask you, on behalf of the thousands of supporters of Accuracy in Media, to read them and provide the best answers that you and your staff can agree upon. If there is information in your files that conflicts with the public information on which these questions are based, please release it, along with your answers.
A Zogby America poll taken in January found that 56 percent of those interviewed want the unanswered questions about Foster's death answered, and only 27 percent disagreed. I hope that you are one of the 56 percent. I look forward to hearing from you.
S/Reed Irvine, Chairman
Jim Clemente, an FBI agent who served as an investigator for Fiske and Starr and is now on Robert Ray's staff, gave us his answer to the eyeglass question a few months ago. He said the glasses fell off Foster's face when his head was jolted back by the gunshot and that they slid down the slope. I had tested that and found that glasses dropped or tossed down on that hill don't slide very far. If Clemente doesn't know that, Starr certainly doesn't, but his lack of knowledge of the evidence doesn't stop him from making unsupportable claims about how and where Foster died. We will see if Robert Ray is any better.
The contentious battle for the Republican presidential nomination largely obscured the march to the far left by both of the Democratic candidates. Former Senator Bill Bradley and Vice President Al Gore both said they would require that top military officers accept their policy of allowing open homosexuals to serve in the Armed Forces.
But pandering to the authoritarian mentality of the media-funded Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), which has been waging a national campaign to muzzle radio talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Bradley went even further. Appearing on a homosexual Internet talk show, he said he thought that her upcoming television show should not be allowed to air because she is opposed to such things as homosexual marriage and adoptions. Bradley endorsed the pressure campaign against Paramount Television, the syndicator of the show. He said, "I bet that there are enough gays and lesbians in Paramount, making it a good company today, that Paramount would not have its own interests served by continuing this sort of thing. So, I think it [her show] should go off."
GLAAD says Paramount has agreed that the show will air points of view other than Schelssinger's, but it wants Paramount executives to go further and develop "a statement of zero tolerance" for "any type of defamation on the show." GLAAD defines "defamation" as the view that the homosexual lifestyle is abnormal or deviant, that people can leave the homosexual lifestyle, that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that married couples make better parents.
Ironically, as independent writer Matt Maggio pointed out, it appears that Bradley hasn't listened much to Dr. Laura's radio show "because she spends far more time berating straights about their sex lives than saying anything about gays." But her occasional comments against the gay-rights-agenda are what have made her so controversial.
If a Republican presidential candidate had endorsed a campaign to force CNBC to take conservative-basher Geraldo Rivera off the air, the liberal media would have a field day, accusing the candidate of not showing any respect for the First Amendment, advocating censorship and pandering to its extreme right wing. But Bradley's endorsement of a campaign to muzzle Dr. Laura, who has an audience approaching 20 million, was accepted as a legitimate point of view for a presidential candidate. Bradley, of course, was anxious to drum up homosexual votes, and Al Gore was careful not to defend Dr. Laura's First Amendment rights.
Even though they comprise only about two percent of the population, homosexuals have great influence in the media and the entertainment industry. They are determined to silence their critics, and they have been successful. Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh toned down his criticism of the homosexual lifestyle after he tried his hand at television and was harassed by gays in a studio audience. Today, he rarely discusses the subject.
Could the same thing happen to Dr. Laura? GLAAD has significant financial resources behind it. Corporate sponsors of a GLAAD national conference included People magazine, the Showtime cable network, Entertainment Weekly, HBO, NBC, ABC News, MTV, the New York Times, Turner Broadcasting, Viacom, and Warner Bros. Television. At GLAAD's May 1999 conference, CNN talk-show host Larry King was honored for favorable coverage of "the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community."
Many of the same forces were mobilized to defeat the March 7 measure on the California ballot that stated, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Similar pro-traditional marriage measures had passed in Hawaii and Alaska with about 70 percent of the vote. The California Secretary of State had ruled against the original name, the Defense of Marriage Act, and put it on the ballot under the title "The Limitation on Marriages Act."
Robert Knight, director of cultural studies at the Family Research Council called this "a deliberate attempt to fool California voters into thinking that marriages were being attacked and limited. Of course, it is a limit on marriage, but it's not really a new limit. It's the same standard we've always had." Dr. Laura had endorsed the measure, saying, "It does not take away anyone's rights or attack any group of people or their family. It merely affirms the role of marriage between men and woman in our society." The California measure passed with 61 percent of the vote.
Hollywood is the source of much of the pro-homosexual entertainment on prime-time television. President Clinton urged the defeat of Proposition 22, and homosexual activists ran a $10 million ad campaign against it. One anti-Proposition 22 ad featured the cast of Will & Grace, an NBC show that has been praised by GLAAD for its positive portrayal of homosexuality.
The campaign against Proposition 22 hit television in other ways. On the Sunday night before the Tuesday, March 7, primary, Time Warner's HBO aired a special show on lesbianism, "If These Walls Could Talk II." It featured stories about three lesbian couples. One segment featured Vanessa Redgrave as an aging lesbian who can't inherit her deceased lover's belongings. The lesson was that society shows it doesn't value homosexual relationships when it refuses to recognize homosexual marriages. The second segment was designed to show that feminine and masculine lesbians have to learn tolerance for each other. The last segment featured Sharon Stone and openly gay actress Ellen DeGeneres playing a lesbian couple desperate to find a sperm donor so they can raise a child.
A "love scene," in the words of Washington Post television critic Tom Shales, consisted of "twisting limbs and patches of skin." Shales said the entire program was "worth seeing all the way through." A favorable story about the program even made the cover of the TV Times section of the Washington Times, a paper that prides itself on respect for family values and runs Dr. Laura's newspaper column. Times officials said they had no control over what ran in the section.
On the day before the primary, the Lifetime cable channel, which calls itself "television for women," also boosted lesbian relationships. Its new Lifetime Live program, hosted by Deborah Roberts and Dana Reeve, featured an interview with singer Melissa Etheridge, glorified as a "rock-and-roll mom" who was raising children with her lesbian partner Julie Cipher. Reeve called her a "superwoman" who was raising kids while pursuing a career. For her part, Etheridge talked abut the advantages of the children having "two moms." The blatant pro-homosexual bias in the media is also reflected in coverage or non-coverage of major stories, such as the national media suppression of the homosexual torture-murder death of 13-year-old Jesse Dirkhising in Arkansas. This coverage is undoubtedly a reflection of the large number of homosexuals in positions of power in the media. They are so powerful that they have been recognized as such in a listing of the "Power 25" on the Gay Financial Network Internet web site. In a story about these people, the Gay Financial Network said, "To be considered for the list, the executive must not only exercise their corporate influence to shape the direction in which their own organization is headed on issues affecting the gay and lesbian community, but are also in a position to serve as role models to the mainstream corporate community as well."
They included David Geffen, the CEO of DreamWorks, who is given credit for bringing openly homosexual artists such as Rufus Wainwright and George Michael into the mainstream. He is also one of four host-committee leaders for the 2000 Democratic National Convention. Others are Brian Graden, MTV Executive Vice President in charge of programming, and Stephen K. Friedman, MTV Vice President for Public Affairs. The Gay Financial Network says they are "MTV's leading force behind the positive gay imagery popping up on our youth's most powerful mouthpiece." This is an admission that homosexuals are using MTV to attract young people to this dangerous lifestyle.
Joan Garry, the executive director of GLAAD, also made the list. GLAAD is described as an organization that works with television and film producers on a regular basis to guarantee sympathetic portrayals of homosexuals in the media. In fact, it uses tactics of intimidation to try to keep all criticism of the homosexual agenda out of the media. The pressure campaign against Dr. Laura is a case in point. GLAAD wants Paramount Television, the syndicator of her television show, to make sure that Dr. Laura doesn't say anything critical of the homosexuals. If that fails, they will bring pressure on the television stations that carry her show or the corporations that advertise on it. They have tried the same thing in connection with her radio show. Speaking at a homosexual activist conference, Cathy Renna of GLAAD said, "We're going to go after the media outlets, the radio stations that run her, and get her off."
The militant homosexuals like to talk about how they're victims of threats and "hate." But Dr. Laura has been receiving hate mail and death threats for opposing the homosexual rights agenda. She shows no sign of backing down in the face of such pressure, but GLAAD appears to be correct in asserting that the syndicator of her new television show has decided to try and accommodate the homosexual lobby. Paramount Television has assured homosexual activists that Schlessinger's new TV show, set to air this fall, will offer "many points of view" on the issue of gay rights. This is one way of saying that Dr Laura's views will be muted.
While a spokesman for Dr. Laura says that she has "held her ground absolutely" and will have complete control over the show, she did agree to an interview with the Advocate, a militant homosexual-rights magazine. The interview was conducted in writing, not face to face, and she said that no matter what the gay lobby might say, she is not about to changer her tune. The magazine ran her photo on the cover, making her seem menacing in appearance. She was highlighted as the "dangerous new voice of homophobia." Later, Schlessinger did appear to change her tune, issuing a statement saying that she never intended to hurt anyone with her comments against homosexuality and did not want to "contribute in any way to an atmosphere of hate orintolerance." However, Schlessinger then denied this was an "apology," saying it was only a "clarification" of her position on the matter. This caused GLAAD to openly call for Paramount to drop the show.
Laura Schlessinger has not always been an opponent of the homosexual agenda. She changed her mind after examining the evidence of the unhealthy nature of the lifestyle and the growing number of homosexuals who had left it through such procedures as reparative therapy. Since coming around, she has occasionally joined forces with such groups as the Family Research Council to confront the power of the homosexual lobby. Last March, for example, she used a full hour on her radio show to blast a study published by the American Psychological Association (APA) that claimed sex between adults and children was not as harmful as commonly believed. Schlessinger was highlighting not only the growing acceptance of homosexuality but also pedophilia in professional and academic circles.
To counter the pressure on Dr. Laura, groups such as Peter LaBarbera's Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (www.Americansfortruth.org) want to meet with Paramount TV to discuss the media bias in favor of homosexuality. LaBarbera says that one national homosexual-rights spokesperson is on record as saying that to include a viewpoint opposing homosexuality is similar to denying the holocaust. The Family Research Council's Bob Knight suggests that people write letters to the editor supporting Dr. Laura's right of free speech.
I AM DISAPPOINTED BUT NOT ASTONISHED THAT KEN STARR REFUSED TO SIT DOWN WITH me and others to discuss his claim that the evidence in the Foster case proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Foster killed himself in Fort Marcy Park. The questions we have sent to him should satisfy anyone with an analytical mind that the evidence strongly indicates that Foster did not die in Fort Marcy Park and that he did not kill himself. Ken Starr is certainly bright enough to see that, and we have asked him to do the impossible—reconcile the evidence with his claim. His refusal to discuss it indicates to me that he knows that his claim is indefensible. He doesn't want to be put into the position of having to admit that he has made a monumental mistake. That is a serious character defect, and it is disappointing to see conservatives honoring Starr because he tried unsuccessfully to get Clinton impeached and removed from office for perjury about sex and gave him a pass on the most serious charge of all—obstructing justice in what should have been a homicide investigation.
STARR HAS NOT ENJOYED GETTING ALL THE CARDS AND LETTERS THAT YOU HAVE BEEN sending to his home, 70 a day, he told me. Each one is a painful reminder that he is a party to that obstruction of justice. I believe that he saw the job offer he got from Pepperdine as a way of escaping the choice of issuing a false report on the Foster case and having to live with that on his conscience for the rest of his life or exposing the cover-up of a homicide that somehow involved the President. His announcement that he would resign to take the job was not well received, and he chose to stay the course, dishonorable though it might be. Now he wants us to direct our questions to his successor, Robert W. Ray. I have done so, but his report on the investigation of the White House's acquisition of 900 FBI files shows that he is no more dedicated to exposing the crimes of the Clinton administration than Starr was.
RAY, WHO CHANGED HIS VOTER REGISTRATION FROM DEMOCRAT TO INDEPENDENT before taking the job, has submitted his Filegate report to the three judges who appointed him. It won't be made public until persons named in it have an opportunity to submit comments, but leaks by Ray or persons on his staff indicate that he found no criminal wrongdoing in the requisitioning of the files or the use made of them. It places the responsibility on no one higher than Craig Livingstone, the director of White House personnel security, and Tony Marceca, a friend of Livingstone's who was detailed to the White House by the Pentagon at Livingstone's request. Livingstone, a former bar bouncer and campaign advance man, had no qualifications for the job he was given, and there was information in his record that should have disqualified him.
DENNIS SCULIMBRENE, WHO HAD BEEN THE FBI'S LIAISON IN THE WHITE HOUSE FOR TEN years, questioned White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum about Livingstone's qualifications in 1993. He took notes and reported what Nussbaum told him as an "insert" in Livingstone's background investigation file. His notes and the insert reported that Nussbaum said that Hillary Clinton had known Livingstone's mother and that Craig had been highly recommended by the First Lady. The job went to Livingstone even though a female campaign worker with much better qualifications wanted it. Sculimbrene says that no one questioned the accuracy of his report until Livingstone's role in requesting the FBI reports raised questions about who was responsible for hiring him. Then-FBI General Counsel Howard Shapiro sent two FBI agents to Sculimbrene's home to question him about it. They told him that Hillary had denied knowing Livingstone's mother and that she had recommended hiring him. They asked how he dared question her word. He told them he had simply reported what Nussbaum had told him and that other officials in the Counsel's office had seen the background report and had not challenged its accuracy. Associate Counsel William Kennedy had asked Gary Aldrich what the FBI would think about hiring Livingstone, who had "character issues in his background." Aldrich told him that the person hired for the security job should be "squeaky clean." He says in his book, Unlimited Access, that Kennedy replied, "It's a done deal. Hillary wants him." The White House has tried to discredit both Sculimbrene and Aldrich. They said Sculimbrene was a disgruntled employee and that he had not signed or dated his report. That was false. They tried to block publication of Aldrich's book and to discredit it when that failed but it became a bestseller.
THE OFFICE OF THE INDEPENDENT COUNSEL (OIC) HAD BEEN TASKED BY THE ATTORNEY General to determine if Nussbaum committed perjury when he testified before a House committee, under oath, that he had not told Sculimbrene that Livingstone had been hired on the recommendation of Hillary Clinton. Ray says that he found no evidence that Hillary had been involved in the hiring. He in effect says that Nussbaum told the truth and that Sculimbrene and Aldrich had lied. Both of them are angry. OIC agents interviewed Aldrich, but they never questioned Sculimbrene. If the OIC wanted to get at the truth, they would have had everyone involved, including Hillary, Nussbaum, Kennedy, Secret Service officers and other White House employees, testify before a grand jury and let the jury decide who was telling the truth. Their failure to do that exposes their intent.
RAY SAID ON ABC'S "THIS WEEK" THAT HE DETERMINED THAT NO CRIMES HAD BEEN committed in the Filegate matter "based on all of the available evidence." Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch promptly filed a lawsuit to get OIC documents that he had previously requested under FOIA. He believes they will prove that statement to be false. Nussbaum's secretary, Linda Tripp, has testified in a deposition taken by Judicial Watch that she saw FBI files stacked up in Associate Counsel William Kennedy's office. She also said that she had overheard conversations between Kennedy and Clinton confidante Marsha Scott that confirmed that the content of these files had been shared with the DNC at Hillary Clinton's direction. The OIC has not questioned Linda Tripp about this. Nor have they questioned Sheryl Hall and Deborah Perroy, former White House employees who have told Judicial Watch that it was generally understood by the White House Staff that Craig Livingstone spoke for Mrs. Clinton. Dennis Sculimbrene has pointed out that the FBI files would never have been sent to the White House if Chief of Staff Mack McLarty had not written a memo in May 1993 discontinuing the long-standing practice of routing FBI requests through Sculimbrene. This implies that McLarty knew of the plan to request the files and knew that Sculimbrene would block it. The OIC did not question McLarty about this.
HALL REVEALED THAT OVER 100,000 E-MAIL MESSAGES SUBJECT TO SUBPOENAS ISSUED by a grand jury, Congressional committees and Judicial Watch had been "misplaced" by the White House. Many of these are said to contain information about scandals such as Filegate that the White House did not want divulged. Betty Lambuth, a sub-contractor who helped manage the White House computer system has told Judicial Watch under oath that a White House lawyer told her and others that if they told anyone about the misplaced e-mails they would be fired and sent to jail. This was made known before Ray sent his Filegate report to the judges, but he didn't delay sending it to see if his findings might be affected by the testimony of these employees and the contents of the e-mail messages, if they can be found.
REP. BOB BARR, R-GEORGIA, IS SUING THE CLINTON WHITE HOUSE FOR ITS USE OF FBI files to smear him during the impeachment process. David Schippers, the Democrat who was lead counsel for the House managers in the impeachment, has said, "I am convinced one of the reasons we were not able to get our trial in the Senate was because some of the material in Filegate was used...shall we say...to coerce some of the members." In a long and strong letter to Robert Ray, dated March 17, Rep. Barr detailed the failure of the OIC to question many important witnesses. He says, "Hillary Clinton—who evidence shows was the mastermind of Filegate—was questioned informally by Ken Starr for only nine minutes." He pointed out that Tony Marceca invoked the Fifth Amendment nearly 2,000 times when deposed by Judicial Watch, not the response one would expect from someone who had simply been caught up in a bureaucratic snafu. He noted that William Kennedy's ex-wife had revealed that Kennedy had taken FBI files home and loaded them onto a computer. He also suggested a possible link between Ray's finding of no wrongdoing by senior White House officials and a report last June that Janet Reno offered to drop her ethics investigation of the OIC if the OIC closed down its investigations. Barr found Ray's timing "quite troubling."
JUDICIAL WATCH HAS PICKED UP THE BALLS THAT KEN STARR AND ROBERT RAY HAVE dropped. They have been fortunate in having Judge Royce Lamberth assigned to many of their cases. They discovered the 100,000 missing e-mails and Judge Lamberth gave the White House two weeks to find or explain what had happened to them. Since Sheryl Hall had told Judicial Watch that a White House staffer had said they planned to destroy tapes and reformat computer hard drives that might contain damaging material, the judge warned the Clinton officials that if they destroyed or altered anything he would hang them. The White House is claiming that it will cost up to $3 million and up to two years to find the missing messages, an indication that they were not misplaced by accident, as the White House claims. Sheryl Hall testified that people who worked in the First Lady's office referred to the missing e-mails as "Project X." Accidents are not called "projects."