THE BARBARIANS AT THE GATE
(Some Observations Made During the Clinton Years)
The Barbarians At The Gate
I fear that the relentless, ongoing, and increasing shrill defense of the Clinton administration is revealing of a widespread corruption in the ranks of the public. Previously, evidence of rampant corruption was confined to the political class, for the most part. Now though, I find inescapable the conclusion that the defenders of the Clintons lawlessness are trying to cling to a leader who pandered to, and by virtue of his position, lent a gloss of legitimacy to, the lawlessness and license which they would like to enshrine in our culture and our public policies.
For instance, these people wish to ignore and violate the U.S. Constitution in a hundred different ways. They want to violate the First amendment with campaign finance restrictions, the Second with gun control, the Fourth with clipper chip technology and asset forfeiture, the Fifth with asset forfeiture and takings violations, the Ninth and Tenth with a constant assertion of new Federal initiatives in areas in which they are nowhere granted authority. This is a woefully inadequate list, but I think it makes the point.
The grotesque moral bottom-feeding of this crew was foreshadowed by Clintons 1992 campaign during which every new revelation of turpitude in the candidate was met with an almost palpable sense of hopeful relief by supporters recognizing that this was a candidate who would hold them to no standards of behavior whatsoever.
The simple reality is that policies such as those sponsored by this administration can only be embraced by the morally destitute, the ill-educated, the slothful, and the dissoluteall of which comprise an accurate, (if incomplete), description of Bill Clinton personally, his wife, the flacks with which they surround themselves, their business associates and friends, and a disturbingly large portion of pundits, press people, and members of the public.
I am hopeful of an awakening of these people to their civic responsibilities now that the light of day is finally finding its way under the rocks beneath which this White House has scuttled. If they cant do it for the sake of their own dignity and pride, then perhaps theyll think of the example that theyre setting for the children.
Al Gore's Controlling Legal Authority
It's very tiring to listen to the defenders and apologists for the Democratic National Committee and its beneficiaries, (Clinton, Gore, et al.), ceaselessly whining about such irrelevancies as that telephones hadn't been invented when the controlling law was passed, (they had), or that the people from whom they "solicited" donations weren't on federal property at the time the shakedown was made, or the bribe accepted. These are deliberate and calculated efforts at misconstruing the law to their benefit.
The law governing such felonies was intended to forestall the extortion of funds from beneficiaries of government largesse, or from potential victims of government capriciousness in the application of regulations, law enforcement, etc.. It was to prevent the scenario of a supplicant standing, hat in hand, before the desk of a public servant and being told, "Sure, Mr. Jones. You can have that abatement. Just drop a little something in the pot beside the door on your way out, if you know what I mean." Or, "Listen, Eddie, we'll do the deal like this. I'll see to it that the area's rezoned for your shopping center, and you kick in a hundred large for the senator's reelection effort." Or, "Mr. Smith, this audit could go hard, or it could go easy....."
The law was passed to ensure that the dignity and power of the office, most dauntingly brought to bear on, (or from), the premises of State property, is not used to the enrichment of the officeholder or any particular ideology.
In short, the law was written for exactly the circumstances to which it now threatens to be applied. How refreshing!
CHINESE ESPIONAGE AND BILL CLINTON
Spring, 1996 was an eventful season. Bill Clinton was informed that the Chinese government had a spy in place at Los Alamos and instructed the FBI to back off, and keep their mouths shut. Ron Brown, secretary of Commerce, (the department to which Bill Clinton moved control over decisions on technology transfers to China from the State Department, where it had resided for decades), and subject of an investigation that was just starting to snowball, was killed under remarkably bizarre circumstances. And Al Gore went to Los Angeles to pick up a huge sum in campaign contributions from a convent of destitute Buddhist nuns with a connection to the Chinese military as part of a series of infusions of cash to the Clinton-Gore campaign from the People’s Republic of China.
Why would the Clinton administration leave a Chinese spy in place? The scrabbling about for a credible explanation by the Clinton team reveals how much scrutiny the affair demands; and the explanations being offered don’t withstand even a momentary examination.
It’s ludicrous to suggest, as the administration has, that they concealed the spy’s existence for fear of engendering criticism of its China policy. Those criticisms have always been based in large part on the appearance of appeasement, or at least being overly solicitous of Chinese interests, which would have been powerfully rebutted by the triumphal clapping into irons of a spy. The opportunity to have repaired what they have would characterized as a Reagan-Bush era failing would have been of inestimable value to this administration.
Clinton tries to suggest relations with the Chinese would have been harmed by exposing the spy. On the contrary, the U.S. would have gained a much stronger hand in its relations with China. When you have caught an adversary with their hand in the cookie jar, even an adversary with whom you are trying to engage constructively, you’ve acquired an edge. One waits for the administration to suggest that bracing the Chinese about the offense would have embarrassed them, and therefore we let them steal nuclear secrets without hindrance in order to allow them to save face. If they are so delicate, we should embargo them until they grow up. If the Clinton administration is so insecure, it should resign en masse and go into therapy.
The administration is even going so far as to suggest that he acquisitions were of little benefit to the Chinese, and so the whole thing is no big deal! This is a surreal perspective, perhaps a psychotic perspective, so ridiculous as to need no comment. No doubt the concept will be seized upon by the defense team for the next burglar who is caught without having scored very big. All of these proposed rationalizations are pure balderdash. Exposing the spy and trumpeting the accomplishment has nothing but upside for Clinton and the United States.
So why did Clinton do it? Well, bearing in mind that only one policy’s objectives are furthered by leaving the spy in place— that of ensuring an unimpeded flow of military information and technology to China-- here’s a scenario for your consideration: The Chinese, wanting to leave in place an operative capable of filling in possible gaps in their previously acquired information, made a deal with Bill Clinton to look the other way in exchange for a massive campaign contribution. (I won’t speculate here and now about the other possibility… that the Chinese government simply ordered the President to take this course, and the cash was to ensure that their man stayed in office).
The Clinton administration is now pushing forward with a series of military ‘exchange’ programs between the U.S. and China, involving visits by some American military officers to Chinese sites, and reciprocal visits by Chinese officers. Pentagon officials and senior military field officers strongly oppose this program, as it will serve as a training session for further improvements in the Chinese military machine, but the White House, through the Defense Department, is "shoving it down their throats", according to Pentagon officials.
The concept of an "exchange" program is absurd, and simply more grist for the mill of suspicion about this administration’s motives. The U.S. military will learn nothing from the Chinese at all— after all, according to the defenders of Clinton’s policy toward this largest and most aggressive remaining communist power, they are backward and toothless militarily.
Well, at least they used to be.
Among other parts of the program, Chinese logistics officers will receive training in U.S. methods of military supply-line maintenance; they will be afforded an opportunity to observe sophisticated training exercises of the 82nd Airborne Division; and elements of their chemical weapons corps will be given a tour of the nuclear and chemical weapons facilities at the Sandia National Laboratory. What possible benefit will the United States derive from providing these opportunities to both assess and learn from U.S. military technique to the Chinese? None. What benefit will the Chinese get? More than what their contributions to the Clinton campaign cost them. No one but a fool or a traitor structures ‘engagement’ with a competitor, (or an adversary), to neutralize one’s own advantage.
Let’s remember that we are not dealing with cultural exchange here about which someone with no respect for liberty, rational thought and constitutional government might argue that we are equal, if different. This is war-making capability that is being given to a natural adversary of the United States. And they ARE our adversary. They are our natural adversaries by virtue of history, (the Chinese communists were the chief suppliers of the North Vietnamese war machine), by virtue of stated Chinese policies vis-à-vis American regional goals, (the Chinese communists have made no secret of their intentions to enslave the residents of Taiwan at the earliest opportunity and have, in fact recently warned the United States not to attempt to shield Taiwan with a missile defense system with words to the effect of "It would be a shame if anything should happen to Los Angeles"), by virtue of their ruthless savagery and institutional hostility toward liberty, (as revealed countless times, but notably in Tibet and Tiannamen square), by virtue of being poor, populous, heavily armed, and increasingly run by a military oligarchy, and for many other reasons.
There is no credible defense of the Clinton administration’s "policy" toward China when it extends to permitting China to leave spies in place at our most sensitive sites, concealing from Congress the existence of those spies, letting the Chinese assess our military tactics and training, opening wide the door to sales of sophisticated equipment with military application potential, etc., etc. If we really want to use ‘engagement’ as a tool for dismantling Chinese tyranny, as has been offered as the justification of the policy, then we should be ‘engaged’ in selling them personal communications equipment, cheap personal radios, televisions, blue jeans, small arms, books, cheap printing equipment, cars, and other products that lend themselves to the establishment of individual liberty for Chinese people, rather than anything having utility for the State.
Couple this administration’s sweaty determination to arm China with its apparent commitment to bleeding the U.S. military by destroying its morale, gutting its supply infrastructure, exhausting its men and women, driving out its veteran cadre, undermining its sense of mission, and compromising its tactical and technological advantages, and a recipe for a real crisis is simmering in the pot.
It is unlikely that China has any immediate significant designs against American interests aside from seizing Taiwan. Even that relatively modest goal, however, is fraught with a danger more significant than the simple loss of an ally and trading partner. The seizure would take the form of holding us at gunpoint, either openly or by implication. Once that dynamic has been unleashed, it is hard to predict just what could follow. Where would a China that had successfully extorted from us our forbearance in the face of a takeover of Taiwan stop, and where would we decide we must subsequently draw the line, and at what cost? The safest course in such matters is preemption, and the Clinton administration has, it seems, sold that option out.
The Clinton’s and their defenders have maintained as their standard fall-back position the lame excuse that their many scandals result not from ill purpose, but merely from incompetence. Incompetence on this scale is intolerable, even if completely innocent. I don’t know who Bill Clinton means to be working for, but I know who benefits from his work. It isn’t me.
P.S. (Late News) If it wouldn’t make me sound like a conspiracy nut, I would suggest that the Clinton-Gore law enforcement community’s support (request) for legislation easing the standards under which federal wiretap warrants are approved is a cunning end game in a plot to further subvert a process already improperly weighted in favor of the State and against individual citizens.
Using the case of the DOJ’s refusal to agree to the FBI wiretapping of scientist Wen Ho Lee, under suspicion for espionage at Los Alamos, as its poster child for the crisis of cooperation, the Senate Task Force on Justice Department Oversight is proposing the ‘Counterintelligence Reform Act’ to, among other things, ‘force’ the department to honor all future requests if made by a sister agency director even if no ongoing or even past criminal conduct is alleged or sworn to.
My hackles are raised on this one when I remember that out of some 1400 + wiretap requests presented to the DOJ during the year in which Louis Freeh sought to tap Lee, that request was the only one denied! It is disingenuous to suggest that the denial of wiretapping cooperation is a systemic problem, to say the least. Rather, the rubber-stamp willingness of administrative agency’s to peer into citizens affairs, with the thoughtless blessing of supposedly independent judges is the true crisis here. Leaving that issue for another day, it is important to remember that Wen Ho Lee was being investigated as a possible conduit to the Chinese government of American nuclear secrets. This alleged espionage, and the foot-dragging and obstructionism by the DOJ hindering the FBI investigation, both took place while the Clinton-Gore administration were enthusiastically collecting enormous campaign contributions (read payoffs) from the Chinese. How convenient.
This “stop me before I sin again” stuff is of a piece with the administration’s hand-wringing over it’s long list of campaign–finance irregularities, and other similarly quirky practices of refusing to enforce existing laws and then citing the resulting lawlessness as justification for more laws. Somehow, this dynamic always results in more laws to trouble the average citizen and empower the State, and a driving of the parent scandal off the front pages, after which the perps are left free to issue a few insincere mea culpa’s and go on about their business. Go figure.
The package is being produced by Senators Arlen Specter and Robert Torricelli, two paragons of virtue who made clear their respect for the rule of law and adamant disdain for corruption with their voting during the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton in 1999. If such sterling reputations were not associated with this legislative effort, I would accept the attendant appellation and run with my conspiracy theory, but I guess I will have to cool my jets. I wonder who has Specter’s FBI file? Oops, there I go again.
SOME DATED (but still appropriate) THOUGHTS ON CLINTON
The defenders of Bill Clinton have taken on the characteristics of
cultists, in whose minds Clinton has been elevated to the status of the
Indispensable Man. No consideration is apparently given to the presence
of Al Gore waiting in the wings to take over; implicitly it is
acknowledged that the policies that Clinton defends are incapable of
being wholeheartedly or competently furthered by anyone else.
Recently, a group of citizens calling for Clinton's removal from office
outside a Democratic fundraiser in Philadelphia were attacked by
Teamsters supporting the administration. While only an isolated
incident, this event is reflective of the instability that will
inevitably grow as our political traditions are assaulted by interests
which disrespect them. Such interests are the barbarians at the gate,
who hold as valuable only the satisfaction of their appetites; whose
knowledge of history is as lacking as their respect for its lessons;
whose standard-bearer lurks in our White House.
Well, Bill Clinton is doing it again, and the press is doing it with him, as usual. He piously and fervently intones his solemn commitment to each of a series of goals, deadlines, and thresholds, using them to seduce, (or provide cover for), the media, which lets him proceed unchallenged as each of them fall by the wayside and the U.S. is dragged into a situation which never would have been tolerated had the easily predictable end result of this domino game been articulated in the first place.
For the nth time, the Clinton administration has subordinated policy to public relations and been permitted to get away with it, which is perhaps inevitable in an atmosphere of moral relativism, enthusiastically embraced by the mainstream media. The ambiguity fostered by that philosophy corrodes the very concept of policy, which requires the ability to discriminate between good and bad.
However, when public relations, which can exercise comfortably without the support of a comprehensive plan, is applied in the realm of foreign relations, innocent young Americans can die. The rest of the world is unresponsive to Bill Clintons political acrobatics. Of course, the rest of the world can be made to serve Bill Clintons political interests… one notices that the Chinese espionage issue and its connection to this administration has vanished from the front page, supplanted by the Kosovo quagmire-in-the-making.
It is a disturbing but inevitable thought that the prolongation of this fatal involvement actually protects Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and others, from a resumption of scrutiny of issues much more personally dangerous to them. I am not prepared to suggest that our immersion in this conflict was precipitated solely to accomplish that diversion, but I will point out that the Clinton teams objectivity must be presumed to be compromised, lacking proof to the contrary. Such proof, which would take the form of convincing justification for the nature and timing of our diving into Kosovo, has yet to be offered; the administration has for the past week been offering up a series of proposed justifications, dropping each as they fail to convince and groping for the next. Soon we will doubtless learn that Kosovo is home to suspicious aspirin factories.
Now three brave soldiers are suffering the consequences of this presidents failings, just the latest in an endless series of people subject to Clintons influence who will pay the price in his stead. When will this end? Congress briefly found its voice a week ago, demanding explanations for this new adventure and refusing its support, but was quickly brought to heel by the trotting out of mindless ancient demagoguery about supporting the troops. To them I say, you can support the troops best by funding a ticket home and not a penny more, and if the president fails to spend the money accordingly, impeach him instantly and replace him with someone who will. Supporting the troops does not require supporting the president. That logic makes war a good thing for an administration in trouble, a dynamic that is long overdue for retirement.
Regardless of what justifications are eventually floated for public consumption, none are adequate to give meaning to the sacrifice of American lives and treasure. Little need be said about the humanitarian argument. By comparison to many other parts of the world, Kosovo deserves not a moments pause by crusaders for peace and justice. Infinitely worse is being done elsewhere. The other rationalizations hinge on the suggestion that allowing the Balkans to work out its differences would threaten to flare out into a wider conflict in Europe. Well, Europe is a grown-up continent, capable of looking after its own affairs, or at least paying the freight for its failure to do so. If the need for intervention in Kosovo is so clear, the administration should be able to prove that case to our European friends, and then let them deal with the problem on their own. The problem, after all, is in their backyard. If they cannot be convinced of the need, then there isn’t one. They, unlike the Clinton team, have amongst the members of their various administrations, people who have actually known war, up close and personal.
It is profoundly disturbing to me that everything the U.S. does lately as a matter of new policy is suspect, both from the standpoint of the care with which the policy is formulated, and the interests it is intended to serve. Even supporters of the president are constantly called upon to swallow their objections to one policy initiative in payment for another that favors their personal causes. Though I must, out of respect for the Constitution, say this only from cynicism and without true advocacy, a Congress that can find in the Commerce clause a mandate for legislating on everything from soup to nuts should have no trouble stretching the Impeachment language into accommodating the removal from office of a president as incompetent, venal, and dangerous as this one.
The Current Iraq Situation
Bill Clinton is masterful at cloaking incompetence at in-depth, hard-choices leadership with empty gestures and sloganeering, as in the "Dialogue on Race Relations", the ongoing and ever fluid "Save the Children from Everything" campaign, the "Save Social Security First" ploy, and countless other rhetorical policy sellouts to blindly single issue special-interest zealots. His usual procedure when faced with an issue is to lead off with his mouth to tweak his latest poll numbers or pander to a focus group analysis, relying on future cleverness to deconstruct reality until he can claim that his policy worked; his heart was in the right place, and he’s made a good start, but more remains to be done; or it’s all someone else’s fault. Deep, sober, and disciplined thinking prior to the commitment of national resources and dignity is as alien to this administration as sobriety, discipline and dignity in general.
Now he is about to apply the same kind of one dimensional, politically driven image-polishing policy making to a problem with Iraq, which will result in lives lost. Typical to this administration’s past performance, it has articulated no goal or standard by which success can be judged, nor chosen a course of action which will fundamentally alter our previous, unsuccessful policy.
Rather, it is simply going to engage in a grand gesture for appearance sake, drop some bombs, and hope for the best. Despite the disasters in Haiti and Somalia, and the one year…, I mean two year…,uh, make that three year operation in Bosnia, this group and its supporters are apparently incapable of learning from past mistakes.
A (1998) SCREED ON GLOBAL WARMING NUTCASES
Some 50 people died in Texas this summer from complications related to the extreme heat from which that state suffered. I lay the greatest responsibility for these tragedies directly at the feet of Al Gore and his fellow environmental hysterics, whose influence on policy has led to such enormous increases in the costs of air-conditioning maintenance that persons of modest means who once could afford to keep up their equipment must now forego this luxury.
It is horrifying to think of these people, many of whom were elderly, or in poor health, broiling to death in a sick tribute to the triumph of crisis-mongering for the sake of political gain over both the solid science which, with ever-increasing certitude, thoroughly debunks the ‘global warming’ fiction, and the once respected freedom of these victims to choose whether to subscribe to such crackpot theories or not.
Just as in the case of the little children whose necks are broken, or heads burst open, by air-bags forced upon their parents by Jill Claybrook and her evil associates, these victims, who are among our most vulnerable members of society, fall prey to the relentless ambitions of those who would force us all to abide by their dazzling vision of what is right and proper. This grotesque compulsion to make everyone else’s decisions, (and then to pay for the consequences with other’s blood and wealth), reveal these slavering zealots as squarely in the camp of such former paragons of public policy-making as Stalin, Hitler, Torquemada, and Mao.
No doubt Gore and his ilk will piously express their deep sympathy for these tragic victims and will propose air-conditioning maintenance subsidies for the poor. To which I will point out in advance that subsidies must be paid for, and the consequent burden on the overall economy will simply push some of these same poor people, supposedly benefiting from the handout, into a few more meals of catfood incorporated into their weekly food budget; putting off for another year replacing that threadbare winter coat; or maybe cutting back on the phonecalls to the grandkids.
You can’t win, Al, the laws of economics are immutable, and your quest for power over the rest of us will always leave victims in its wake. Thank God the tattered shreds of the Constitution still offer enough of a stumbling block to people like you to slow you down. There may still be time for those fooled by people like you to wake up.