It’s been nearly twenty years since President Bill Clinton was impeached by Congress and then given a pass on a partisan vote in the U.S. Senate which declined to convict him. He was later disbarred from practicing law.
What was the character of Bill Clinton? Not the man portrayed as “cool,” playing a saxophone or being a featured guest on popular TV programs. Nor was it answering and dignifying inappropriate personal questions from college coeds like “boxers or briefs?” Clinton was adept at demeaning the high office he held.
Clinton’s true character was revealed as he campaigned for his first term in office by his actions and how far he would go to win the presidency. As Governor of Arkansas, he refused to grant clemency to a death-row inmate facing imminent execution. The man was so mentally deficient that when guards prepared him in his cell for execution, he carefully re-wrapped a piece of pie from his last meal, telling his guards that he would finish it after the execution was over. Clinton knew this yet he put his election prospects and portrayal as a “tough on crime governor” ahead of common decency. Power, after all, is everything to a Clinton.
After entering the White House in 1993, the Clinton administration was quickly enveloped by repeated scandals which included the First Lady, Hillary Clinton. Like her husband, Hillary Clinton had a reputation for grasping at political power, crushing anyone who stood in her way. “Shooting the messenger” was commonplace; being selected to bring Hillary bad news was dreaded, partly due to her reputation for having a volcanic temper. Her wrath was not limited to personal staff; multiple reports from Secret Service sources indicates verbal abuse and disrespect of the Presidential Secret Service detail was routine even though these men and women were sworn to protect her and her family with their lives. Verification of this manifested itself via their daughter Chelsea when she openly referred to Secret Service officers as “pigs.” When challenged on this verbal disrespect, she opined “that’s how her parents referred to them all the time, so what’s the big deal?”
One of the most egregious incidents involved Hillary firing the White House Travel Office staff to allow personal cronies to take over that office for profit, against established procedures. When the scandal surfaced the Clintons doubled-down and manufactured phony charges of embezzlement and other “financial improprieties.” The former staff members were subjected to public humiliation and criminal prosecution, incurring extreme financial hardship. The case fell apart and the jury acquitted the accused in about 15 minutes. However, the Clintons survived relatively unscathed. It was but one of a series of scandals involving both Bill and Hillary.
President Clinton’s abuse of power and authority exploded via his sexual infidelity in the White House, cavorting with 19-year old intern Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office. This scandal diverted attention from growing overseas terrorist threats, culminating in multiple attacks upon U.S. military and diplomatic facilities in the Middle East. At home Clinton denied any affair with Lewinsky before the American people on national TV and then lied under oath to a federal magistrate. For that crime he was impeached by Congress for perjury. The Democrats in the Senate and most partisans excused his conduct as “only lying about sex,” forever lowering the standard for presidential conduct and “made their deal with the devil.” By contrast, under President Bush, CEO Martha Stuart was given an 18 month prison sentence for making only one false statement to an FBI agent and then not under oath.
Fast forward to the present and we have presidential candidate Hillary Clinton who obfuscates and lies almost daily. To the FBI she developed “amnesia,” stating “she didn’t recall” at least 107 times. This week, her subordinates invoked the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination before Congress with her key information technology guru granted immunity but refusing to testify before Congress. This guy controlled Hillary’s secret server and personally destroyed 33,000 e-mails in violation of the Federal Records Preservation Act. He lacked ANY security clearance yet was granted daily access to the State Department’s most sensitive communications which almost certainly were breached by foreign intelligence services. Evidence of this breach was the recent execution in Iran of the physicist who revealed the details of the Iranian nuclear program to the CIA. Russian intelligence gave the Iranians information from Clinton’s hacked e-mail identifying the breach of security. The physicist was hanged in August.
As Secretary of State, in 2013 Hillary ignored the pleas of her ambassador to Libya about the catastrophic deterioration of security, leading to his and three others being killed in a coordinated terrorist attack. She covered up her malfeasance by blaming an obscure video and had the videographer imprisoned for 18 months on charges she knew were false. The saga won’t end there if she’s elected president. Hillary has stated “Americans will have to give up cherished traditions and religious beliefs…” including some First Amendment rights of free speech and Second Amendment rights to possess firearms. It’s about the raw exercise of power for which Hillary has an insatiable appetite and a total lack of conscience.
By Al Fonzi, RPSLO Chairman
First published in the Atascadero News on 16 September 2016