Clinton scandals

Jul 222008

The lead story in the pulp (paper) edition of today’s WSJ is “Kazakhstan Corruption: Exile alleges new details.”

It’s an amazing story. No, the corruption itself isn’t amazing. What’s amazing is that two WSJ reporters wrote all those words without once mentioning Bill Clinton. They mention Frank Giustra the Canadian businessman who is buddy to both Bill Clinton and to President Nazarbayev. They mention Nazarbayev, of course. He is the one whom his former son-in-law ratted on for the WSJ. But nothing was said about Clinton’s controversial appearance with Nazarbayev in September 2005.

The New York Times reported on the 2005 meeting this January. Blogs such as the Roberts Report speculated on who was getting what out of the deal. One possibility is that Nazarbayev got the appearance of U.S. support for his re-election campaign. Clinton, of course, got a pile of cash for his chariitable foundation.

The WSJ article says the new allegations of corruption complicate the U.S.’s efforts to improve relations with Kazakhistan. But no mention of the complications caused by a former president lending our country’s prestige to a corrupt leader?

If we don’t care about that, what difference does the rest of it make?

And besides, Canada’s show trials have given that country a pretty poor human rights record, yet I don’t see newspaper articles saying it will complicate our relations with that country. And George W. Bush is busy selling out Taiwan to a country with a much worse human rights record than Taiwan’s.

It makes one wonder what the point of that article was, anyway.

Mar 192008

   Regarding the alleged release of Hillary Clinton’s papers, the AP says:

The archives said 4,746 pages of documents have parts blacked out, mostly to protect the privacy of third parties, including their social security numbers, telephone numbers, and home addresses.

“Mostly”, it says.   I’ll bet that word is even accurate, in a Clintonian sense.

Mar 072008

Ok, I give up. Which is which?

Samantha Power says Hillary Clinton is a monster. This, after one of Hillary Clinton’s people compared Barak Obama to Ken Starr.

So far, it’s all good and wholesome mudslinging. But then (according to this AP article), Clinton said the two cases are different, because “one is an ad hominem attack and one is a historical reference.”

So which one is which?

I’m afraid the distinction escapes me.

I do notice that one of Barak Obama’s unofficial advisors resigned, while Sandy Berger is still an unofficial advisor to Hillary. I don’t understand that distinction, either.

Feb 092008

Wired magazine tells about a $30 million project to piece together a billion pieces of paper records that were torn up by the East German Stasi, but which they hadn’t gotten around to destroying. And the destroyed records amount to only about five percent of its files:

the agency had generated perhaps more paper than any other bureaucracy in history — possibly a billion pages of surveillance records, informant accounting, reports on espionage, analyses of foreign press, personnel records, and useless minutiae. There’s a record for every time anyone drove across the border.

The main reason we need lower taxes is not for economic growth, though that is an important reason. The main reason is so the government cannot afford to do things remotely like this.

And it’s interesting that even in a government like that of East Germany, it almost seemed laughable at the time to think it would be harassing dissenters by letting the air out of their tires. But the records show that that is indeed what was happening to Ulrike Poppe. Is it really so far-fetched to think that Kathleen Willey was experiencing the same sort of treatment from the Clintons?

She even tracked down the Stasi officer who managed her case, and after she set up a sort of ambush for him at a bar — he thought he was there for a job interview — they continued to get together. Over the course of half a dozen meetings, they talked about what she found in her files, why the Stasi was watching her, what they thought she was doing. For months, it turned out, an agent was assigned to steal her baby stroller and covertly let the air out of her bicycle tires when she went grocery shopping with her two toddlers. “If I had told anyone at the time that the Stasi was giving me flat tires, they would have laughed at me,” she says. “It was a way to discredit people, make them seem crazy. I doubted my own sanity sometimes.” Eventually, the officer broke off contact, but continued to telephone Poppe — often drunk, often late at night, sometimes complaining about his failing marriage. He eventually committed suicide.

Feb 032008

The New York Times tells about a heist of historical documents from the New York State library. And somehow it managed to do it without even mentioning Sandy Berger, who is serving as an advisor to one of the candidates currently running for President.

Who knows, maybe the thief was auditioning for a job. There may be an opening if Hillary Clinton isn’t the one who gets elected.

Jan 182008

Maybe one of the reasons the Clintons always have the aura of B-movie gangsters is shown in this item from the New York Times: “Bill Clinton, Stumping and Simmering“.   They act as though their boorish behavior is justified because questions from the other side are somehow not legitimate questions.  It’s not a good attitude for the leader of the free world to have.  Note that sentence about what Bill’s campaign staff uses as a justification for his behavior.

Hillary Rodham Clinton may be the spouse running for office, but it is more Bill Clinton who appears to be feeling the heat.

After weeks of complaining publicly about Barak Obama’s record, the news media’s coverage of the Democratic presidential race, or both, Mr. Clinton on Wednesday ripped into a television reporter who had asked him about a Navada lawsuit concerning participation in the state’s caucuses this Saturday. Mr. Clinton believed the question had seemed sympathetic to Mr. Obama’s stakes in the suit, Clinton campaign officials said.

Nov 102007

The media are now talking about how Bernard Kerik’s indictment may affect Giuliani’s campaign.   Does this pose a danger to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, too, in that it will remind people that Giuliani is not the only one who associates with unsavory characters.  Will we now see a lot more coverage of the Sandy Berger national security scandal?

For whatever reason, the Fox news article quoted below had nary a word to say about Sandy Berger.

The indictment of former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik on a long list of federal charges Friday could turn into a huge weapon for Republican presidential contenders trying to topple frontrunning candidate Rudy Giuliani.  Kerik is much more than just a former associate of Giuliani.

Oct 312007

Tonight I heard an interesting talk by Dr. Pamela Rasmussen, author of the two volume set, “Birds of South Asia: the Ripley guide.”

The last part of her talk was about her work in uncovering the fraud perpetrated by Richard Meinertzhagen in the first part of the 20th century. A lot of observations about the distribution of birds in south Asia had been credited to him, with museum specimens existing to back them up. Except it turns out that a lot of his specimens were frauds. In many cases he stole bird specimens out of other collections, doctored them and relabeled them as his own, making false claims as to where and when they had been found. Rasmussen was not the first person to make accusations of fraud, but her detective work showed that the fraud was a lot more extensive than anyone had known.

Meinertzhagen’s techniques, as described by her, reminded me of the Sandy Berger story. He would ask the curators for collections of specimens to study, but wouldn’t return them all. He was once found to have a briefcase full of them as he was leaving the U.K. museum where he was working. He had Berger-like stories to cover himself — the previous curator had allowed him to do it and he always returned them — except he didn’t always return them. He was banned from the museum for a year until an influential aristocrat by the name of Rothschild got him reinstated — and in the meantime he was stealing specimens from Rothschild, too. It was only in the 1990s that his fraud became known, though there had been people way back who had suspected.

Well, Hillary has been in the process of rehabilitating Sandy Berger like Rothschild did Meinertzhagen. But will Berger complete the parallel by stealing from Hillary, too? Probably not, but it made me laugh out loud to think about it. (People turned around and gave me strange looks.)