[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]
William Safire, who once worked for Richard Nixon and became a New York Times columnist, observed that it’s not the crime that does you in; it’s the cover-up. But that’s not really true. The vast majority of the time, cover-ups work. That’s why politicians commit cover-ups.
Hillary Clinton stole tens of thousands of e-mails during her time as secretary of state—diverting them to a server in her house—and destroyed the ones she didn’t want investigators to see. When investigators sought access to her server, to see if any trace might remain of the stolen-and-erased messages, she apparently had the server wiped clean. Gone are any e-mails that might have, say, explained why foreign power-brokers and governments, including major violators of human rights, funneled money to the Clinton machine. Gone are any e-mails that might have explained why and how Secretary Clinton and her cohorts framed a YouTube poster for the 9/11/12 attacks that, among other things, killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other brave Americans.
The establishment media couldn’t care less. When Secretary Clinton spoke last week at a journalistic event (a program honoring the late Robin Toner of the New York Times), she joked about her missing e-mails.
I am all about new beginnings. A new granddaughter, another new hairstyle, a new e-mail account. So why not a new relationship with the press? So here goes. No more secrecy. No more zone of privacy. After all, what good did that do me?
The journalists in attendance laughed at her jokes and gave her a standing ovation.
It’s a pattern we’ve seen before. As First Lady of Arkansas, Hillary Clinton “invested” $1,000 in a commodities account, and that money magically turned into almost $100,000 over a period of 10 months. Critics say it was a case of Hillary taking under-the-counter payoffs from polluters and laundering them through a commodities account in violation of federal law, and no credible alternative explanation has surfaced. Yet the scandal isn’t even a speedbump on her road to the Presidency.
In the wake of the first revelations in the Monica Lewinsky scandal, President Clinton’s pollster Dick Morris presented him with poll results showing that, if he told the truth, he could not survive as president. His response: “We’ll just have to win then.” The Clintons proceeded to run one of the great smear campaigns of all time, painting their adversaries as sex-obsessed “haters” in order to escape punishment for their crimes such as perjury and obstruction of justice.
A new group, MoveOn.org, promoted the idea that Bill had been utterly humiliated, and, in the years to come, no decent person would have anything to do with him. It was time to censure him and “move on.” Although it is true today that no decent person will associate with Bill Clinton and his enablers, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Clintons do not need the support of decent people to accomplish the Clintons’ goals; they have raked in billions of dollars for their non-foundation “foundation,” they have made more than $150 million in money paid to them directly (including an NBC contract for Chelsea, whose broadcast work was unusable), and, if you believe the pundits, they stand at the doorstep of the White House.
The official, Clinton-approved version of what happened back then, from sex-radical columnist Dan Savage (with some slight editing on my part) (http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/dan-savage-love-what-to-do-when-outed/Content?oid=15722712 ):
Here’s the takeaway from the Bill and Monica story: An out-of-control special prosecutor appointed to investigate the suicide of a White House aide wound up “exposing” a series of [oral sex acts] that then president Bill Clinton got from a White House intern. Problematic power differential, yes, but consenting adults just the same. Politicians and pundits and editorial boards called on Clinton to resign after the affair was made public, because the American people, they insisted, had lost all respect for Clinton. He couldn’t possibly govern after the [oral sex acts], the [other sex acts], the cigars, the . . . stains, and the denials (“I did not have sexual relations with that woman”). Clinton refused to resign and wound up getting impeached by an out-of-control GOP-controlled Congress. (Forgive the redundancy: a GOP-controlled Congress is an out-of-control Congress.) But guess what? The American people weren’t p**sed at Clinton. Clinton’s approval ratings shot up. People looked at what was being done to Clinton—a special prosecutor with subpoena powers and an unlimited budget asking Clinton under oath about his sex life—and thought, “Jesus f****** Christ, I would hate to have my privacy invaded like that.” People’s sympathies were with Clinton, not with the special prosecutor, not with the GOP-controlled/out-of-control Congress.
That’s the version that leaves out the criminality, the abuse of power, the destruction of the reputations of people whose only offense was to stand up for the truth. It leaves out the many credible reports of Bill abusing women and his enablers playing along, lest their lose their path to power. In that version, there’s no hint of why left-wingers like Chris Matthews and Tim Russert of NBC/MSNBC thought that Clinton was a goner and that he deserved to go.
And that Dan Savage version, I guarantee you, is the version that most young people hear today. Meanwhile, Monica has reinvented herself as the victim of “cyberbullying,” with ones news story after another painting her as courageous for crusading against cyberbullying, of which she was a victim, even though, in fact, cyberbullying played no role in the case. In pop fiction, that’s called a retcon—a retroactive change to continuity, like when the number of children on “The Cosby Show” suddenly increased because producers wanted to add a college-age child, never mind the previously established fact that she didn’t exist. (Regarding retcons in fiction, see the TVTropes article at http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Retcon .)
I was reminded of that today as I saw reports that the President and First Lady would travel to Boston for the formal dedication of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The media will be there, passing along tributes from the rich and powerful to the man they called the Lion of the Senate.
In case you don’t remember, Ted Kennedy’s the guy who, one day in July 1969, accidentally drove off a bridge with a passenger, a young woman named Mary Jo Kopechne, in his car. It was some time after 12:30 a.m. Kennedy escaped from the car, called two associates (a cousin and a former U.S. Attorney), and returned with them to the scene, where, according to Kennedy, they tried unsuccessfully to rescue the young woman. Kennedy returned to his hotel room. Apparently attempting to establish an alibi, he asked someone the time at 2:30 a.m., complained to the front desk about a noisy party at 2:55 a.m., and spoke casually to another person at the hotel at 7:30 a.m. No one ever called the police or mentioned the car and the woman in the car.
Two fishermen saw the submerged car and called police around 8:20 a.m. Kopechne had died, either by drowning or suffocation (she was reportedly found in an air pocket). Kennedy later admitted that he didn’t know whether she was alive or dead when he left the scene.
He pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident after causing injury. His sentence was suspended due to, as prosecutors put it, his age (37), character, and prior reputation.
It’s easy to have a great reputation when one’s idiotic, improper or downright evil behavior is ignored.
Among the activities for which Kennedy would eventually become known: being expelled from college for cheating in 1951; renting out an entire brothel in Chile one night in 1961; being with his brother, President Kennedy, in 1963 when the President ordered his teenage mistress to “take care” of Ted (she refused); and, in 1986, attempting with another senator to make what was called a “waitress sandwich” at a Washington restaurant. Whattaguy!
Then there’s the treason.
As Connie Hair noted in Human Events (http://humanevents.com/2009/08/27/remembering-teddys-kgb-connection ), Kennedy secretly reached out to the Soviets, offering to help them deal with those crazed red-baiting anti-Communist zealots whom Americans kept electing as President—not just Ronald Reagan but Jimmy Carter as well:
Kennedy’s private outreach to the KGB Soviet intelligence agency in attempts to undermine first President Jimmy Carter then President Ronald Reagan say as much as Chappaquiddick did about the man who appeared to have no moral restraints whatsoever on his personal pursuit of raw political power.
Documents found in Soviet archives after the fall of the Iron Curtain revealed a great deal about the character of Ted Kennedy.
As HUMAN EVENTS first reported on December 8, 2003: “One of the documents, a KGB report to bosses in the Soviet Communist Party Central Committee, revealed that “In 1978, American Sen. Edward Kennedy requested the assistance of the KGB to establish a relationship” between the Soviet apparatus and a firm owned by former Sen. John Tunney (D-Ca.). KGB recommended that they be permitted to do this because Tunney’s firm was already connected with a KGB agent in France named David Karr. This document was found by the knowledgeable Russian journalist Yevgenia Albats and published in Moscow’s Izvestia in June 1992.
“Another KGB report to their bosses revealed that on March 5, 1980, John Tunney met with the KGB in Moscow on behalf of Sen. Kennedy. Tunney expressed Kennedy’s opinion that “nonsense about ‘the Soviet military threat’ and Soviet ambitions for military expansion in the Persian Gulf… was being fueled by [President Jimmy] Carter, [National Security Advisor Zbigniew] Brzezinski, the Pentagon and the military industrial complex.”
“Kennedy offered to speak out against President Carter on Afghanistan. Shortly thereafter he made public speeches opposing President Carter on this issue. This document was found in KGB archives by Vasiliy Mitrokhin, a courageous KGB officer, who copied documents from the files and then defected to the West. He wrote about this document in a February 2002 paper on Afghanistan that he released through the Cold War International History Project of the Woodrow Wilson Center.”
Tim Sebastian, a reporter for the London Times, found contemporaneous KGB documentation and published a story in February of 1992 of an additional communiqué by Ted Kennedy to the Soviet intelligence agency through Tunney. Full text of the letter from the appendix of Paul Kengor’s book The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism can be found here.
This time it was President Reagan in Kennedy’s crosshairs as he attempted to arrange a meeting between Kennedy and General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Yuri Andropov.
In this May 14, 1983, letter written by underling Viktor Chebrikov to Andropov, he relayed Kennedy’s offer to meet, Chebrikov explaining that Kennedy blamed poor American-Soviet relations not on the Communist country, but on President Reagan. According to Chebrikov’s letter, Kennedy said he wanted to stop Reagan’s re-election effort in 1984.
Chebrikov’s letter also claimed that Kennedy was “very impressed” with Andropov and that Kennedy was reaching out to the Soviets to thwart Reagan’s forceful defense policies. Kennedy suggested the Soviets reach out specifically to Barbara Walters and Walter Cronkite to counter in the American media what he said Kennedy considered Reagan “propaganda.”
Chebrikov’s letter to Andropov also stated that Kennedy himself had offered to travel to Moscow to meet with Andropov if he would extend an invitation.
These revelations reported in 1992 suggest insight into a man so obsessed with the acquisition of personal political power that he would reach out to the communist Soviet Union for help in undermining not one but two American presidents, one from his own political party.
A group of 47 Republican Senators was recently branded “TRAITORS” by the Obamaite New York Daily News for writing an open letter to Iran’s leaders—an open letter, essentially an op-ed article, never actually “sent” to the Iranians, stating the Senators’ (correct) views regarding the requirement that treaties be made with the advice and consent of the Senate. That absurd characterization (Did they not know what an “open letter” is?) made its way into the national media, including comedy shows such as “Saturday Night Live.” Yet Ted Kennedy’s actual treason is something that, I’ll bet, will go unmentioned during the coverage of the dedication of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute.
Kennedy’s involvement with the KGB was made public in 1992. Most people have never heard about it. Until the day he died in 2009, he was never held to account.