Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Hillary Clinton's Unspoken Vulnerability
Baltimore Chronicle ^ | November 6, 2007 | Robert Parry

Posted on 11/06/2007 1:17:49 PM PST by Graybeard58

An unspoken political vulnerability of Sen. Hillary Clinton is that she is the first presidential candidate to have both her and her spouse subject to regular, long-term surveillance by an Executive Branch under the control of an opposing political party.

Since they left the White House in 2001, Bill and Hillary Clinton – as the former President and First Lady – have been under the protection of the Secret Service, a branch of the Treasury Department. Records are maintained showing where they go and, to an extent, whom they meet.

Ordinarily, those records are kept as closely held secrets, but theoretically at least, President George W. Bush – with his expansive view of his powers as “unitary executive” – could gain access to them, either formally or informally.

His father did much the same when his subordinates scoured the passport files of then-Arkansas Gov. Clinton in 1992, looking for a “silver bullet” that would kill off the Democratic nominee’s presidential hopes.

President George H.W. Bush later acknowledged to FBI investigators that he was “nagging” his aides to push for more information about Bill Clinton’s student travels to the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia and about right-wing rumors that Clinton had sought to renounce his U.S. citizenship.

“Hypothetically speaking, President Bush advised that he would not have directed anyone to investigate the possibility that Clinton had renounced his citizenship because he would have relied on others to make this decision,” according to an FBI report on its interview with the elder Bush. “He [Bush] would have said something like, ‘Let’s get it out’ or ‘Hope the truth gets out.’” [For details, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege.]

With such high-level urging, White House chief of staff James Baker instructed his aide, Janet Mullins, to ask Steven Berry, assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, about progress on right-wing press requests for information about Clinton’s student travel.

Eventually, the White House interest was communicated to State Department official Elizabeth Tamposi, a Bush political appointee who saw it as a green light to move ahead with the legally questionable search.

On the night of Sept. 30, 1992, Tamposi dispatched three aides to the federal records center in Suitland, Maryland, where they searched Clinton’s passport file as well as his mother’s, presumably because they thought it might contain some references to Clinton.

In a later press interview, Tamposi asserted that she ordered the search after Berry had pressured her to “dig up dirt on Clinton” for the Bush White House.

Press Leak

Though finding no letter renouncing citizenship, the State Department officials still made use of Clinton’s passport application, which had staple holes and a slight tear in the corner.

The tear was easily explained by the routine practice of stapling a photo or money order to the application, but Tamposi seized on the ripped page to justify a new suspicion, that a Clinton ally at the State Department had removed the renunciation letter.

Tamposi shaped that speculation into a criminal referral which was forwarded to the Justice Department. Thin as the case was, George H.W. Bush’s reelection campaign had its official action so the renunciation rumor could be turned into a public issue.

Within hours of the criminal referral, someone from the Bush camp leaked word about the confidential FBI investigation to reporters at Newsweek magazine.

The Newsweek story about the tampering investigation hit the newsstands on Oct. 4, 1992. The article suggested that a Clinton backer might have removed incriminating material from Clinton’s passport file, precisely the spin that the Bush people wanted.

Immediately, President George H.W. Bush took the offensive, using the press frenzy over the tampering story to attack Clinton’s patriotism on a variety of fronts, including his student trip to Moscow in 1970. With his patriotism challenged, Clinton saw his once-formidable lead shrink.

Clinton’s campaign ultimately was saved by quick-thinking Democrats on Capitol Hill who exposed the passport leak as a political dirty trick. That forced the elder Bush into a quasi-apology for the scandal, which became known as “Passport-gate.”

After Clinton’s election victory, however, the criminality of the dirty trick was swept under the rug by Republican special prosecutor Joseph DiGenova, who was appointed to investigate by a federal judicial panel run by right-wing appellate judge David Sentelle.

(Showing what a small world political Washington can be, DiGenova is married to Republican lawyer Victoria Toensing, a key figure in the public attacks on former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, CIA officer Valerie Plame, over Wilson’s criticism of the WMD intelligence that George W. Bush used to justify invading Iraq.)

Unearthing Dirt

While “Passport-gate” is now a little-remembered chapter of Campaign 1992, it shows how a sitting President can get subordinates to stretch – or even break – the law to unearth information that can serve a political purpose.

In George W. Bush’s case, the temptation will be strong to use whatever means he has at his disposal to ensure that his successor continues his “war on terror” policies and doesn’t authorize serious investigations into controversies such as torture and wiretapping.

The Republicans also have the advantage of a powerful and ideologically committed news media, from popular talk-radio hosts and Internet bloggers to Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Washington Times and Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News.

If Sen. Clinton wins the Democratic nomination and is seen as a threat to Republican control of the Executive Branch, any information, especially some tidbit that suggests sexual improprieties, could spread like wildfire through the media landscape.

Already, new rumors about the Clintons’ marriage have begun to circulate on the Internet. But a scandal would prove especially devastating if backed by real information, like what might be available in Secret Service records.

One of the reasons that civil libertarians have been especially alarmed about George W. Bush’s assertion of virtually unlimited executive authority over such tactics as wiretapping, data-mining and domestic spy satellites is that it has coincided with a Republican goal for near-permanent political control of the U.S. government.

Those dreams were dealt a blow in Election 2006 and appear even more precarious amid Bush’s slumping popularity. However, now Republicans are worried about their political eclipse if the Democrats win the White House and manage to expand their majorities in the House and Senate.

Republicans – and presumably Bush – see that nightmare scenario as both a threat to their vision of “national security” and a dreaded opening for liberal domestic policies, from universal health care to appointment of judges who won’t outlaw abortion.

So, Republicans may find that exploiting their endangered control of the Executive Branch bureaucracy to find a “silver bullet” that can take down another Clinton candidacy in 2008 is more than a temptation. They might view it as a moral imperative.

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat


TOPICS: Extended News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: billary; hillarysecrets; hillslesbianrelation; x42

1 posted on 11/06/2007 1:17:51 PM PST by Graybeard58
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58
The real problem with Hillary Matters is she has neither the brains nor the talent to tell the endless lie with the impunity of BJ. We have taken her measure on that, and she fell miserably short.
2 posted on 11/06/2007 1:22:34 PM PST by Tarpon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58
herring
3 posted on 11/06/2007 1:24:19 PM PST by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58

Sooner ot later it all comes to the surface. And in the case of the Clintons...two of the most crooked, superficial, and morally bankrupt people in politics...it can’t happen soon enough. Hillary, who stands for nothing this country was predicated on, must never be president.


4 posted on 11/06/2007 1:25:12 PM PST by xuberalles ("Hillary/Sappho '09 Imagine An Island For Liberal Lesbos" http://www.cafepress.com/titillatingtees)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: xuberalles
Hillary, who stands for nothing this country was predicated on, must never be president.

It is my belief that any Republican we run can beat her. I used to exclude Rudy from that statement but now believe that even he would beat her. More and more rats are coming to that conclusion too and she may not even be the nominee.

I predicted a land slide for GWB in 2000. I was a little off on that one.

5 posted on 11/06/2007 1:28:28 PM PST by Graybeard58 ( Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: xuberalles

Hillary’s sexual improprieties? Just the thought is frightening...


6 posted on 11/06/2007 1:30:15 PM PST by PGR88
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58
????..asking the MSM to dig dirt up on the clintons is like asking Iran’s Imashitbird if he saw Schindler’s List
7 posted on 11/06/2007 1:31:08 PM PST by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58

“Bill and Hillary Clinton – as the former President and First Lady – have been under the protection of the Secret Service, a branch of the Treasury Department. Records are maintained showing where they go and, to an extent, whom they meet.”.....We all know where Bill is;...Where the music stinks, and they water the drinks, the nudie bar.


8 posted on 11/06/2007 1:33:34 PM PST by AngelesCrestHighway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58

“It is my belief that any Republican we run can beat her. “

If I ran, I’d beat her with a stick, so your statement is very likely true.


9 posted on 11/06/2007 1:37:15 PM PST by FastCoyote
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: PGR88

LOL...I too shiver at that thought.


10 posted on 11/06/2007 1:47:17 PM PST by xuberalles ("Hillary/Sappho '09 Imagine An Island For Liberal Lesbos" http://www.cafepress.com/titillatingtees)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58

She doesn’t patch her Windows servers. D:


11 posted on 11/06/2007 1:48:13 PM PST by Constantine XIII (THE CAKE IS A LIE)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58
She's vulnerable only to one thing.


12 posted on 11/06/2007 2:02:14 PM PST by Bon mots
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58

...as opposed to just grabbing the FBI files and doing it onesself...

Somehow, I don’t think that GHWB’s method is any worse than Hillary’s.


13 posted on 11/06/2007 2:05:03 PM PST by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gondring

I shudder to think of Hillary having the power that the president has.

For that reason I am hoping GWB takes this as a big hint to go into her records of who she has been meeting with for the last years. Should be interesting.


14 posted on 11/06/2007 2:52:50 PM PST by cajungirl (no)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58

FBI files, over 500 hundred of ‘em.


15 posted on 11/06/2007 2:58:02 PM PST by prognostigaator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58
Question for next debate..........

Senator Clinton, did you ever discover who hired Craig Livingstone? I'd think someone would have found the answer to that one by now????

16 posted on 11/06/2007 3:17:57 PM PST by blackdog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cajungirl; jan in Colorado
I shudder to think of Hillary having the power that the president has.

But FReepers have been crowing for YEARS about how wonderful it is that the Presidency has been made Imperial...and how great it is that the powers have been expanded so broadly...

I hope that when Empress Hillary starts wielding these strong powers, people take a moment from their complaining to thank a Bush-bot!

17 posted on 11/06/2007 3:26:38 PM PST by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: prognostigaator

Over 700... that they know about... at least that’s what they “got caught” with.


18 posted on 11/06/2007 3:29:56 PM PST by Bob Eimiller (appeasement "it's the idea that if you feed the alligator he will eat you last." Winston Churchill)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: xuberalles
Hillary, who stands for nothing this country was predicated on, must never be president.

That will make a great tagline.

19 posted on 11/06/2007 3:32:07 PM PST by Jacquerie (Convince me that murderous Islam deserves 1st Amendment protection.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Bob Eimiller
And Craig Livingstone was the one who requested the files, took custody of them, and distributed them to others in the WH during the Clinton Administration up to that point in his tenure. Doesn't’t anyone want to get him onto Hillary’s election staff? I mean since every other past Toonville lackey is appearing to surface on her staff, what’s wrong with Livingstone? He can share an office with Sid Viscious and Burglar.
20 posted on 11/06/2007 3:38:17 PM PST by blackdog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58
The problem with this theory is that it assumes GWB would actully do anything to stop Clinton. 4-8 years of the witch is the best way to get the Bush Dynasty back into the Whitehouse.

Consider all the passes GWB took on opportunities to prosecute Clinton cronies. The skating of Sandy Pants Berger for stealing documents from the national archives was typical, not exceptional.

Then there's all the public kissing of the Clintons ranging from GWB's appearance at the opening of the presidential library in Little Rock to Bill Clinton and Papa Bush's fundraising for disaster victims.

I've come to the sad conclusion that the Bush and Clinton Dynasties may differ on methodology, but they are on the same side.

21 posted on 11/06/2007 4:37:27 PM PST by Vigilanteman (Are there any men left in Washington? Or are there only cowards? Ahmad Shah Massoud)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Vigilanteman
The problem with this theory is that it assumes GWB would actully do anything to stop Clinton. 4-8 years of the witch is the best way to get the Bush Dynasty back into the Whitehouse.

I don't quite follow your reasoning unless you are talking about Jeb 4-8 years from now, if so I really believe that it would flop, due to the public becoming absolutely sick of the Bush/Clinton dynasty.

I didn't agree with the author of this piece at all that GWB might actually do something with any info that he may be privy to because as you pointed out, he has had countless chances to do so and has to date not only done nothing but seems to have quashed anybody elses efforts to do anything.

The way that both Bushes have buddied up to the likes of Clinton and Ted Kennedy absolutely turns my stomach. Both Kennedy and the Clintons are contemptable.

22 posted on 11/06/2007 6:31:51 PM PST by Graybeard58 ( Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: blackdog

Is he still alive.....and... well?? hmmm


23 posted on 11/06/2007 7:54:11 PM PST by Bob Eimiller (appeasement "it's the idea that if you feed the alligator he will eat you last." Winston Churchill)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58
I really believe that it would flop, due to the public becoming absolutely sick of the Bush/Clinton dynasty.

You may recall what the public thought about the Clintons following the theft of white house silverware, pardongate, etc. Now look who is the front runner for the white house. Jeb is going to look awfully good after 4-8 years of her.

24 posted on 11/07/2007 5:23:24 AM PST by Vigilanteman (Are there any men left in Washington? Or are there only cowards? Ahmad Shah Massoud)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson