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Jewish World Review / August 10, 1998 / 18 Menachem-Av, 5758

Don Feder

Don Feder The truth won't set Clinton free

REPUBLICAN SEN. ORRIN HATCH, who I've long suspected is a Democratic mole (given the way he rolls over on Clinton judicial nominees), says that -- after the president lied repeatedly about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky -- he need only tell the truth now and all will be forgiven.

"If he comes forth and tells it and does it in the right way and there aren't a lot of other factors to cause the Congress to say, 'This man is unfit for the presidency,' then I think the president would have a reasonable chance of getting through this," Hatch stated.

But, in so doing, Clinton would also confess to perjury in Paula Jones' sexual harassment suit. Is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee suggesting that lying under oath is a peccadillo?

So, all "Big He" has to do is come clean about his relationship with "that woman" and it will be tears of relief and group hugs all around, huh?

To achieve absolution, is Clinton being asked to tell the truth just this once (and when confronted with the smoking garment?) or should he be required to unburden himself about all the other presidential capers?

Will he admit Kathleen Willey's charge that he groped her in the White House on the day her husband committed suicide?

Will he set the record straight on Paula Jones, the low-level state employee who says she was lured to a hotel room where the then-governor of Arkansas exposed himself and requested that she perform a sex act? But then he would have to admit lying under oath a second time.

Should he issue a personal mea culpa on those 900 FBI files ordered up by ex-bouncer Craig Livingstone? He could begin by telling us who among White House higher-ups wanted access to intimate details of the lives of prominent Republicans and why.

Will your president tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the campaign-finance scandal (his version of Chinese takeout) -- the hundreds of thousands of dollars flowing into Democratic coffers from bag men like Johnny Chung, Charlie Trie and others with ties to Red China?

Is Clinton at last going to drop the absurd pretense that there was no connection between $421,000 contributed to the Democrats by Loral Corp. CEO Bernard Schwartz and the president's decision to help the People's Liberation Army upgrade its missiles guidence system?

Will Clinton explain his role in funneling half a million dollars in what appears to be hush money to his good friend, former Assistant Attorney General Webster Hubbell, between the latter's resignation and guilty plea?

How far back will our penitent president go to set the record straight?

Will the commander in chief reverse himself on one of his earliest lies to the American people, that no one helped him avoid the Vietnam draft? Will he adopt a posture of full disclosure on Hillary's spectacular plunge in the commodities market and his real-estate venture? Will Clinton confirm Whitewater partner Jim McDougal's allegation that he was in the room when a fraudulent $300,000 bank loan was discussed?

The truth is, Clinton cannot tell the truth, will not tell the truth, dare not tell the truth.

His life and career are constructed on lies and misrepresentations. To admit to one lie (yes, even one about sex) is to call all of his other denials, rationalizations and evasions into question.

Besides clinging to office, Clinton has a desperate need to maintain the illusion of integrity in gullible minds. No president has enjoyed posturing more than he.

How can a self-confessed liar, not to mention an adulterer, stand before the American people and deliver oleaginous homilies on race relations and teen smoking? Besides illicit sex, moralizing seems to be the president's chief pleasure in life.

The White House says Clinton will stick to his original (though increasingly improbable) story, even if physical evidence, telephone tapes, Secret Service agents and the testimony of his erstwhile paramour directly contradict him. Perhaps he'll claim the Los Angeles police crime lab botched the DNA test.

The president will simply continue to brazen it out, a tactic he's perfected over six years. He will count on the public's reluctance to see the nation thrown into a constitutional crisis and on congressional Republicans who are intimidated by his approval ratings.

The truth will not set him free, but would lead to the ultimate unraveling of a web of lies so extensive and interconnected (and stretching back so far) that to confess one is tantamount to admitting them all.


8/06/98: Truth about Hiroshima is incontrovertible
8/04/98: Clinton not the first hollow president
7/30/98: "Small Soldiers" -- a fractured Vietnam allegory
7/27/98: Crime wave hits hometown
7/22/98: Love in an Internet fishbowl
7/20/98: Ads bring ex-gay movement out of closet
7/15/98: Brian and Amy -- the children of Roe
7/13/98: Why are we scared of obnoxious 'activists?'
7/6/98: Fonda still resists reality
7/1/98: New York blesses domestic partnerships
6/29/98: Teddy and Calvin stood for virtue
6/24/98: Will Clinton betray Taiwan?
6/22/98: Big tobacco? What about big casinos?
6/15/98: Religion -- God for what ails you
6/10/98: Planning Clinton's China itinery
6/8/98: Republicans' Custer offers advice
6/4/98: Oh, Dems Christian-bashers!
6/2/98: Goldwater did conservatives more harm than good
5/27/98: A Clinton-hater confesses
5/15/98: Giuliani's assault on marriage
5/13/98: Hillary knows what's best for everyone
5/11/98: To honor her would not be honorable
5/6/98: Conservative chasm: pragmatism vs. worship of marketplace
5/4/98: Anglo-saxon me
4/29/98: Needle exchange programs are assisted-suicide
4/27/98: Chretien's mission of mercy to Fidel
4/22/98: School-choice is a religious freedom issue
4/20/98: Corporate execs deliver body parts to Beijing
4/14/98: National sales tax --- looks better all the time
4/13/98: The U.N. sinister? Hey, where did that idea come from?
4/8/98: Unions fight workers rights in 226 campaign
3/30/98: Africa's leaders should apologize
3/25/98: GOP shouldn't look to media for advice
3/22/98: You should care about Clinton's 'private life'
3/19/98: Color-coded reading, product of obsessive minds
3/16/98: Amendment will end exile of G-d from our public lives
3/9/98: Havana will break your heart
3/2/98: Vouchers Terrify Teachers' Union
2/25/98: Presidential politics starts at a resort hotel
2/23/98: Hillary's support comes at a price
2/18/98: How many times must we say "no" to gay rights?
2/16/98: Enoch Powell spoke the truth on immigration
2/11/98: Bubba behaving badly
2/9/98: A conservative dissent on the flag-burning amendment
2/5/98: We get the leaders we deserve
2/2/98: Send a signal that could penetrate boardroom doors
1/27/98: State of the president: hollow rhetoric
1/25/98: For Monica's playmate, we have no one to blame but ourselves
1/22/98: At Yale, bet on yarmulke over gown
1/19/98: Commission tackles America's fastest-growing addiction, gambling
1/15/98: Capital punishment and the hard case: no exceptions for Karla Faye Tucker
1/12/98: Partial-birth abortion and the GOP's future: the "big tent" meets truth in advertising
1/8/98: IOLTA: the Left's latest scam to crawl into our pockets
1/5/98: Connect the dots to create a terrorist state
1/1/98: The Unacceptables of 1997: Long may they rave
12/28/97: Hypocrisy is a liberal survival mechanism
12/23/97: Chanukah is no laughing matter
12/22/97: No merry Christmas for persecuted Christians around the world
12/18/97: Bosnia, Haiti, and how not to conduct a foreign policy

©1998, Boston Herald; distributed by Creators Syndicate, Inc.