Skip to comments.Vince Foster and Dick Cheney
Posted on 02/17/2006 5:50:57 PM PST by Lando Lincoln
Some observers have compared the White House’s handling of Dick Cheney’s accident to Vince Foster’s suspicious death in the summer of 1993. This comparison has been drawn mostly on the basis of delays in disclosure in both cases.
We know now the Clinton White House actively withheld information on this regrettable incident from the press, starting with the initial delay while they apparently worked on a major cover up. Numerous problems with the investigation ensued and serious misconduct was later exposed. White House Chief Counsel Bernard Nussbaum was eventually rebuked for mishandling this matter.
To test this comparison I researched reporting done on the Foster death by the Washington Post. I sampled stories from the date of the first report July 21, to August 8, 1993. This sampling method loosely approximates the current five day chronology of the Cheney story. My research reveals a collection of stories written with a very perceptible bias.
Ruth Marcus broke the story from the original White House press release. The next day, July 22, 1993, Lloyd Grove wrote the lamentation “Striking at the Heart of the White House” Grove introduced the piece with what can only be called appropriate sentiments such as:
“The atmosphere at the White House was one of great sadness, disbelief, anger and tragedy the morning after Deputy White House Counsel Vincent Foster Jr, one of the Clinton’s closest friends…”
This is wholly unremarkable viewed through the prism of 1993. Looked at through the lens of the Cheney story it exemplifies Post’s abandonment of basic fairness and compassion.
Ruth Marcus followed the same day with a fawning eulogy headlined” “One of the Golden Boys… Clinton’s Rock of Gibraltar.” Again Marcus wrote a perfectly sensible story reflecting the natural human emotions arising from a tragedy like this:
“White House colleagues were unanimous in their view that Foster was the last person they would have expected to commit suicide”
Ann Devroy than adds the uncritical and sympathetic piece “Clintons Mystified…”
There’s nothing inherently wrong with this reporting and that’s the point. When reporting on their Democratic Party brothers in arms they are respectful and professional.
Now this Cheney incident comes along and they threw out any modicum of respect and restraint. Case in point, we have a national political reporter clownishly donning an orange hunting vest and sock cap on a cable news show, yucking it up with the ring master over the Vice President’s regrettable misfortune.
The above stories about the Foster death, in contrast, marked the beginning of a string of uncritical reporting for the ensuing several weeks.
David Von Drehle followed with more reporting on Foster’s death with Saturday and Sunday puff pieces like “friends left behind”, “Vince Foster faithful adviser”, “Arkansan’s reflect on the tremendous toll of life in the seat of power.” Von Drehle attended the funeral and filed a perfectly serviceable story. He captured what no doubt was a day full of sorrow and remembrance. Naturally, he couldn’t resist repeating the well-worn “boy from Hope” nonsense.
Consummate Washington insider Meg Greenfield weighed in with her own lamentation simply titled: “A death in Washington” This report consisted of nostalgic impressions and quotes from her encounters with politicians and journalist at an exclusive dinner party. It all feels too cozy for comfort. Readers are cast on the outside, looking in on the rarefied world of Washington.
Fully seven days passed before there was a story on the nuts and bolts of the investigation.
Michael Isikoff uncritically reported the crack homicide detectives from the Park Police were leading. One day later Isikoff joined Devroy in revealing selected details apparently disclosed as part of the investigation.
Two weeks after Foster’s death Walter Pincus churned out a story that sticks right to the “company line” with: “Vincent Foster: Out of his Element.” Finally, on August 8, the estimable late Mary McGrory penned a note perfect apologist’s essay snappily titled “The fog after Foster.”
The early reporting record of the Foster death shows very little skepticism, lots of sympathy and a pronounced inclination to accept whatever whoppers the White House laid out for the press corps.
Contrast this with coverage on the Cheney matter: question everything, believe nothing, always infer the most nefarious and evil explanations. Conjecture and speculation are the rule of the day. All this being done with the irrefutable knowledge that no one got killed, and no one doubts it is anything other than a regrettable garden-variety accident.
The February 13 story by Nedra Pickler “Cheney cited for Breaking Hunting Law” typifies the tone and substance of the coverage printed by thePost. It was a $7.00 fine for not having the stamp endorsement on his valid hunting license. This violation is one step removed below a jaywalking citation. February 15, the Post picked up an AP byline from Erin McClam “Vice Presidents Share Curious Lineage.” This fairly interesting story provides historical context – which is fine. The subtext is somewhat more sinister. Peppered with quotes like the one from John Nance Garner, FDR’s two term veep who once characterized the VP’s job as “not worth a bucket of warm spit” its easy to see where this is headed. Let’s cut the Post a little slack now.
I must thank Howie Kurtz, the Post’s usually even handed media critic for his unwitting assistance in proving my point. Save and except for the inapt comparison to the WMD story, the piece Kurtz wrote headlined “Gunning for Cheney” lays out clear and convincing evidence in excruciating detail of the withering attacks being leveled at Cheney by the media. As to be expected, Kurtz refrains from ascribing any motives for this conduct. I must say his zeal for objectivity takes a lot of zip out his arguments. Perhaps they can hire Meg Greenfield back for a cameo appearance. They can send her to some dinner party this weekend. Undoubtedly, the party will be teeming with journalists with nothing but sweet things to say about Dick Cheney.
Eventually the questions about Foster’s death were too numerous to ignore. The seemingly interminable investigations into Foster’s death never concluded anything. Thirteen years later, lingering doubts and nagging questions remain. This is in no small part a result of the press abdicating their responsibility. Unbelievably, more than a decade after Foster’s death Charles Lane wrote:
“Court Bars Release Of Foster Photos; Family’s Right To Privacy Prevails (2004)”
Strangely, the incurious Washington Post never lifted a finger to advocate for the public’s right to know in this case. Lane in fact disparages the overly insistent “right wingers” that peskily persisted in pursuit of the truth. The Post shows an unhealthy contempt for the truth especially if it is at odds with establishment orthodoxy-that is the Democrat Establishment.
While the Cheney story has not run its course, in all probability this will turn out to be much ado about nothing adding yet another chapter to the Post’s journalistic legacy-such as it is. The comparison with the handling of Foster’s death shows in stark relief what is meant by “media bias.”
There would be parallels between Cheney and the Vince Foster affair, had Cheney gone through the guy's pockets and personal files for three days before reporting it, and then left his shotgun propped next to the guy and called it a suicide.
Oh, and left the guy "dead".
Yeah, what you said.
Oh Great, now all the DhUmmies will think that Cheney killed Vince Foster while he was drinking and womanizing with Elvis and JFK in Texas.
The most significant clue in the death of Vince Foster's death is this - He was a close friend to Hillary Clinton.
LOL. Well said, except you forgot to add in Cheney planting rumours that Whittington was only where he was because he was gay.
From my sources, Hillary is a carpet muncher....
That may take a little doing. Meg Greenfield has been dead since 1999.
No. He was a "VERY" close friend to Hillary Clinton.
But then again, if you happened to be married to Bill Clinton wouldn't you get yourself a "VERY" close friend?
But I'm not saying you that would shoot your close friend.
Naaah, not for a minute would I believe that. The Clintons are amoral, they made their deals with the devil to get what they wanted - both of them. Things that would be mortifying to the rest of us are just what they have to go through to get where they're going. What sense would it make for Foster to take his life if he did have a closer than appropriate relationship with Hillary? When you put that up against the tainted blood, which one is more powerful?
I despise the Clintons and the Dems but comments like yours are as nutty as Alec Baldwin saying that the VP is a terrorist and Michael Moore saying that the Bush family is cozy with Osama. Please enough already with the conspiracy theories.
Where ya been, Lando?
Good to see you back here!
Vince Foster is the only human in the history of the world to commit an immaculate "eat a gun" suicide that left no brain or bone fragments at the purported scene.
The Washington Post could do it if they really wanted to. A phony cover story about secret tapes and shazammm. They've gotten away with it before, sort of ....;~)
Greenfield began writing this book in secrecy in the early 1990's. Shortly before her death, she asked Presidential historian and NewsHour regular Michael Beschloss to be her literary executor, and to make sure that the book would be published.
You forgot to put the blond hair in his pants.
Why not just explain the Clintons' typical day?:
1) Wake up
2) Order press secretary to withhold information on the scandal of the day
3) Brief staff about the usual major cover-up mode
4) Have Stephanopoulos threaten MSM to hush EVERTHING and ANYTHING
5) Hold Presidential press conference, bite lip, and wave finger at audience and deny, deny, deny
6) Go on Larry King and GMA and pronounce a "vast right wing conspiracy."
7) Laugh at the American people for buying the BS for 8 years
7) Laugh at the American people for buying the BS for
813 years and counting. :o)
Yeah, we're still taking a bath in it :-D
Right! Not only that, but Foster was neatly laid out with the gun right next to his right hand, and there were no grass stains on his shoes as there should have been. Basic Forensic crime scene investigation 101 could only conclude that Foster was killed somewhere else then placed in the grassy area of Fort Marcy park by the perpetrator(s).
This is one of the most important clues of many indicating that it was a homicide. The photos whose release were banned were investigatory photos taken of the victim's body in the park. According to books by Chris Ruddy and Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, these photos, if released, would have revealed to the world a small caliber gunshot wound on the right side of the victim's neck. That would have destroyed the "suicide" theory as surely as Columbus' vogages scuttled the theory that the Earth is flat.
.1.Clintoon's health records
2.Kerry's military records
3.Hitlery's Billing Records
4. Vince's suicide note (lol)
Yes, to make it a real parallel, the shotgun would have been found in Harry's left hand and Cheney would have discovered a suicide note a day later, written by someone else and ripped into pieces.
Then why did Vinced Foster achieve history's first immaculate "eat a gun" "suicide" with a .38??
Vince's Adventures in Physics included his pristine shoe soles hundreds of yards into a muddy forested park, as well as the cool trick of his blood running uphill. Also, when I want to shoot myself, I will throw people off my trail just like Vince by using my wrong hand to do the job (Vince and I were/are lefthanded but the wrong gun he clutched was in his right).
Wow 13 years.
We still don't know who murdered Vince.
.......Please enough already with the conspiracy theories.....
You are in need of punishment for suggesting that.
Real all of alamo Girls work and the old threads and then rejoin the group chastised and refreshed..
New York Times Index July 93 References to Vince Foster excluding photo captions and insignificant correction [Annotations by ML/NJ]
Vincent W Foster Jr, 48-year-old deputy White House counsel, is found dead of apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound at [very obscure] park in northern Virginia [where Keystone Cops are the ones with jurisdiction and they are so experienced with deaths of White House personnel that the FBI needn't be involved]; Foster, native of Hope, Ark. like Pres Clinton [who left Hope when he was six years old, and didn't grow up with Foster, didn't go to high school with Foster, didn't go to college with Foster, didn't go to law school with Foster, but was supposedly a close Friend of the deceased] was recruited for job by Hillary Rodham [Ulasewicz] Clinton [by Hillary Rodham Ulasewicz Clinton! Whose friend was Foster anyway?]. Jl 21,A,1:5
Friends, family members and associates are saddened by and stunned [but Fiske will eventually tell us they were not surprised at all, and Fiske is an honourable man] by suicide of deputy White House counsel Vincent W Foster Jr, friend of Pres Clinton since childhood [Why do we keep hearing about this great friendship?]; many [lie according to the honourable counsel Fiske and] say Foster gave no indication anything was wrong; Justice Department [under the capable direction of Janet "The Torch" Reno], at the request of [the ever vigilant] White House, will coordinate inquest into death. [How did this inquest turn out? I must have missed it. Maybe the NYT reporters misunderstood or just made this stuff up.] Jl 22,A,1:4
Deputy White House counsel Vincent W Foster Jr. is mourned by family and friends who cannot fathom why he committed suicide [but give them time - they will figure it out in a week or so]; his [very] successful career as lawyer and partner of Hillary Rodham [Ulasewicz] Clinton recalled; Foster was close friend [more about the great friendship] of Bill Clinton since the two were neighbors and kindergarten classmates [Kindergarten classmates, huh? I guess Vince must have been left back a couple of years. Not only did Bill leave Hope for Hot Springs 150 miles away when he was six years old but he also left when Vince was eight years old. Foster was born 19 months before Bill Clinton.] in Hope, Arkansas. Jl 23,A,10:3
[Ever vigilant] Justice Department will continue to investigate death of Deputy White House counsel Vincent W. Foster looking for reason for his apparent suicide; Pres Clinton says he has no explanation and does not think [hope?] there is anything more to know about the death of his childhood friend [Well, maybe they did play together a couple of times.]; Thomas F McClarty Jr, lifelong friend, offers same assessment; Foster's papers are closely examined for some clue. [This must have been a hell of a "close" examination! Or maybe no one thought to look in Foster's briefcase. Yup. It seems like no stone is being left unturned to get to the bottom of this. Did the inquest start yet?] Jl 23,A,10:4
Pres Clinton returns to Little Rock and Hope, Arkansas, to bury boyhood friend [Maybe boyhood and friend should be capitalized?]Vincent W Foster Jr, White House legal counsel; eulogy speaks of Foster as lifelong protector whose failure to protect himself is beyond understanding ["FAILURE TO PROTECT HIMSELF is beyond understanding" Protect himself from what? I guess the President just misspoke here. I.e. he forgot to lie. Some suggest that Clinton meant protect himself from the vicissitudes of Washington DC. This is nonsense. In this same speech Clinton is denying any knowledge that Foster was under any pressure.] recalls many years of friendship between two families; there is no known motive for Foster's apparent suicide in [obscure] park [that Vince had probably never visited while he was alive] outside Washington. Jl 24,1,6:1
[Mirabile dictu!] Federal officials [White House spin doctors] and friends [but not family members] say deputy White House counsel Vincent W Foster Jr displayed signs of depression in final month of life up to suicide on July 20; say he was depressed about job, had spent several weekends working reclusively at home in bed, and was on medication [Of course. How could everyone have missed this earlier in the week? On medication? Was any of this medication in his system when he died? Did the doctor who prescribed the medicine THE DAY BEFORE talk to Foster, or perhaps to his "secretary"?] ; White House reports discovery of pieces of paper in Foster's briefcase containing what appears to be notes to himself indicating troubled state of mind; Pres Clinton acknowledges for the first time that some of Foster's associates were aware that he was `quite distressed,' but says he was unaware of situation--even after holding 20-minute conversation with Foster night before his death. [What does this mean? He was aware but he was unaware. Am I the only one who wonders what the reported conversation was about, or that Clinton feels a need to distance himself from the revisionist history of Foster's mental state. Clinton and Foster had a meeting scheduled for the next day. Lots of discussion between the President and his deputy counsel!] Jl 29,A,1:5
Clinton Administration officials say White House aides delayed release to investigators [concealed evidence?] of torn-up note found in briefcase [I guess they, Clinton Administration officials - not investigators, decided to look in that briefcase just one more time, fully one week after the extensive investigation began.] of deputy White House counsel Vincent W Foster Jr, who killed self on July 20, for day, while deciding to first inform Foster's family and Clinton. Jl 30,A,10:4
You left out the part about being driven up the overgrown drive way of an abandoned house, being carried about a hundred yards through the woods and deposited on the back side of a Ft Marcy Park gun mount at the extreme opposite end of the park from where his car was parked.
Great post. Thanks. The MSM continues to dig their own grave. It is a wonder to behold.
But the problem for the "suicide" theorists was that it was not written in Vince Foster's hand. It was a third rate forgery, as determined by three well-respected handwriting experts! So rather than helping to prove suicide, the note - and the way it was supposedly "found" - is evidence for homicide and cover-up of it!
"cover-up of it!"..............And the Clintonistas won another one......I have ticket number 21,898,754 to pi$$ on his grave.
The references in the brief to "ER" means the Excerpts of Record, which is the name of the hundreds of pages of largely United States Government documents that were exhibits before the courts.
All the facts and documents are at my website. The government never proved that anything I said regarding the facts of the case was wrong. The references in the brief to Fiske, are to the Independent Counsel who preceeded Starr in the Foster investigation, Robert Fiske.
No matter how many stories Alleva could find in Lexis/Nexis about the Foster case, he will not find the undisputed facts that were submitted to the courts by me, largely with the help of Hugh Sprunt and some others. Everybody in the antique media ignored the critical facts and still does, even when those facts are put before the United States Supreme Court.
On July 12, 2000 there was a published 2-1 decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordering the OIC to produce nine Polaroid photos of Vincent Foster's body in Fort Marcy Park to the district court judge for his inspection. The decision also said that "Favish, in fact, tenders evidence and argument which, if believed, would justify his doubts" about the official conclusion. Just for fun, try and find any media report of that quote from a U.S. Court of Appeals.
Allan J. Favish
Bumping for the 13th anniversary of Vincent Foster's death