Politics & Policy

Nolo Contendere; Dumb Struck; Holbrooke’s Priorities; Clinton’s War, Courtesy of The Us Senate; Steele Yourself; Freeper Jeepers


When the history of the Goldberg File is written by someone with way, way, too much time on their hands, May 5, 1999 may go down as Fat Wednesday. Not since I enrolled in a women’s studies class at my women’s college alma mater have I encountered such a target-rich environment of mostly unpleasant sights.

[Quick gyno-American humor:

Q: How many feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: That’s not funny!]

Let’s see:

This morning’s Washington Times reports that the United States has decided not to challenge a lawsuit by the owner of a pharmaceutical factory we blew up. If you will recall, Bill Clinton exhibited his now well documented rage at night-janitors by razing a Sudanese pill manufacturing facility on August 20, 1998, supposedly in retaliation for the terrorist attacks on US embassies in Africa. Sudan, a country whose per capita income is a chicken, doesn’t really have the luxury of writing off lost medical complexes to mistakes, or U.S. grand jury mishaps. The US assault came just three days after the President admitted that he had lied about his “wrong” relationship with his intern (and by extension his relationship with the American people). This was one of the few moments in the Lewinsky saga that the President was actually in trouble in the polls and with his party. The bombing changed the subject.

I refused to believe at the time that Clinton wagged the dog; not so much because I give him any credit, but because I gave the armed forces and intelligence community the benefit of the doubt. Now, the Clinton Justice Department says it won’t fight the suit by the Saudi owner, because to do so would jeopardize American intelligence assets.

This is totally unacceptable and outrageous. At the time the administration insisted that the proof would be forthcoming and conclusive. The White House insisted, on the record, that the evidence was so overwhelming that the plant produced VX nerve gas that critics would be humiliated. They have since revised downward these claims at every opportunity. Christopher Hitchens and Seymour Hersh, among others, have written that Clinton did indeed wag the dog.

Now, it seems reasonable to me that the President of the United States should be required to show some proof that his action was warranted. If the proof was overwhelming, a little slice couldn’t cause more harm than leaving the accusation unchallenged. The charge being bandied about is that the President of the United States committed an act of war on an innocent nation as a fig leaf for his personal sins. For the United States government to allow that (credible) assertion to stand unchallenged is a smear to the good name of the United States, or a cover-up of a High Crime. It is disgusting either way.


A vast number of people on television are “stoopid-with-two-ohs” as I like to say. And sometimes they are, dare I say it, too stupid for even television people. My understanding the union is trying to rectify this.

In the meantime does anyone remember Debbie Matenopoulos? She was the young woman who was booted off of Barbara Walters’ chick-chat show, The View. The reason she got canned was that she was too dim, even for that Manhattan Project-in-skirts. Well, yesterday Howard Stern asked Ms. Matenopoulos a few questions in the hope that she might redeem herself (actually, let’s be honest he wanted he to either prove how stupid she is or get involved in some midget lesbian love). He asked her: “Who were our enemies in World War II? Which planet has a ring around it? What is President Clinton’s middle name? How many senators are there?” She got ‘em all wrong.

Just in case you’re embarrassed for not knowing the answers yourself, they are: A) The bad guys B) the dirty one C) Can-I-put-peanut-butter-on-that? D) too many.


Then the Washington Times steps up to the plate again. It reports today that Clinton’s nominee for UN Ambassador, the ever-arrogant Richard Holbrooke, did something bad. When he was our special envoy to Yugoslavia, he ditched negotiations on two separate occasions to give big-buck speeches for $16,000 and $24,000 respectively. On both occasions, the negotiations were at a precarious stage with the possibility that American troops could be committed. Indeed Holbrooke himself described the talks as reaching a “dangerous moment” right before he grabbed his coat and flew off to Athens for some stuffed grape leaves and stuffed pockets.

What a class act.


Then there is the profile in courage of the U.S. Senate and White House yesterday. The Senate voted to table John McCain’s resolution to give the President “all necessary force” in the Kosovo conflict. The Republicans want to have it every which way. They want to oppose the war, but not hobble the President from pressing it. They want to over-fund the effort (which I support) but still call it Clinton’s War. They assign blame without offering any leadership. There are principled reasons to oppose the war and there are principled reasons to support it. Ducking the issue through procedural games is just plain cowardly.

But it pales next to the Administration’s efforts on this front. Cabinet managers begged the Senate not to adopt the McCain resolution because it would leave the President unconstrained. This may be the first President who has ever lobbied the legislative branch to keep it hobbled. Please, please don’t give us a free hand! That is precisely what they are saying. So enamored is Bill Clinton with the Vietnam mistake of bombing incrementally and political calculus, he is actually begging Congress to accept that failed doctrine too.


Then there’s the Julie Hyatt Steele trial, which got going yesterday. Kathleen Willey testified that the President frisked her like he was searching an inmate for a shiv.

This case promises to be veritable piñata of Clinton-bashing goodness.


And finally a brief note about something pleasant. Last night I went to a dinner in honor of the House Managers sponsored by the Free Congress Foundation. But if FCF sponsored it, the Free Republic was responsible for putting the butts in the seats. It was a great time. For those of you who don’t know who the Freepers are, go to Free Republic you’ll get the picture.

There are plenty of reasons why I like the freepers. They are to a soul, decent, kind and friendly people. Many of them are to my right which is a little strange for me. Even stranger is when they ask me for my autograph — which strikes me as bizarre as asking the Pope for the name of a good strip joint. But what I like about them most is that they are totally without remorse. They don’t apologize for sticking up for what they think about the President and the rightness of impeaching him. They don’t apologize for loving their country and doing something about it when they saw it hurt.

For some people this may seem like a strange thing to like about a diverse group of people. But for we unlucky few who were involved in the impeachment saga, their support was indispensable. They’re the real heroes of the impeachment saga.

Okay, tomorrow I’ll go back to pure cynicism. Also, I’ll answer that TV contest thing.


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