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Jewish World Review / Oct. 7, 1998 /17 Tishrei, 5759

Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas The corruption of the Secret Service

PRESIDENT CLINTON IS LIKE A MAN WITH A BAD COLD --- he tends to infect those with whom he comes in contact.

The release of the latest batch of "supporting'' documents transmitted to the House Judiciary Committee by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr reveals how the president's lack-of-integrity virus infected one of our premier and most respected institutions --- the U.S. Secret Service.

Traditionally, the Secret Service has enjoyed the public's respect. Its image has been one of highly trained, dedicated, selfless men and women who are willing to stand between an assassin and a president.

But testimony before a grand jury reveals that some agents either looked the other way or did and said things that helped the president avoid accountability for the way he behaved with Monica Lewinsky and possibly other women.

Officer Brent James Chinery testified that he and his colleagues believe the president had sexual trysts in the White House with at least six women, whose names have been elided from the printed testimony.

Another agent, Sgt. Keith Williams, said he embellished a supposed threat by the president to fire another agent who had told Monica Lewinsky she would have to wait at a White House gate because Clinton was meeting with Eleanor Mondale. This infuriated Lewinsky because she believed the president was two-timing her. She telephoned the president's secretary, Betty Currie. Currie then called Williams and demanded an explanation from officers at the gate. Williams testified he told the officers that the president "wants somebody fired.'' Williams admitted he had not seen or spoken to the president, but that he made up the story "to get these guys to start talking ....'' Williams said he concocted a story that Lewinsky had seen Mondale and that's what set Monica off. He hoped the story would placate Currie, which it apparently did. But before he told it to her, he testified that he and another officer, Capt. Geoffrey Purdie, checked computer records showing when Mondale entered the gate to make sure the story was plausible. That's the effect the liar-in-chief has on others.

In other Secret Service testimony, two officers said that White House steward Bayani Nelvis told them of his unhappiness at having to "clean up'' after the Clinton-Lewinsky trysts. He complained of having to pick up towels and tissues stained with lipstick and other substances. Agent Gary Byrne testified he suggested that Nelvis discard the towels instead of sending them to the laundry. "My fear was that ... if there was lipstick on there, regardless of whose it was, that when the people that did the laundry saw it, you know, I just didn't want to give anybody any more fuel for any more rumors about the president.'' Those rumors, according to testimony, had been rampant in the White House for years.

Agents took to betting on how long it would take for the president to arrive at his office from the family quarters once he heard Lewinsky was there. Steven P. Pape, a uniformed Secret Service officer, said he had wagered the president would arrive on one Saturday morning in only 10 minutes. "I almost lost the bet,'' he testified. "It was 9 minutes and 40 or 50 seconds before he came down for that appointment.''

Pape testified he was particularly upset by another Lewinsky visit in October of last year. It was the Clintons' 22nd wedding anniversary. Pape testified, "I just made a mental thought of that was not the way to celebrate a traditional family anniversary, in my opinion.''

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott has suggested that "bad conduct itself'' might be reason enough to impeach the president. So should the corrupting of an institution that has served honorably and well until the Clinton presidency. Everything and everyone with whom Bill Clinton comes in contact is at risk of infection. If we were dealing with a health plague, the proper response would be quarantine or medication of sufficient strength to eradicate the disease and to protect others from infection. With a political disease that has infected even the Secret Service and other institutions and agencies of government, the only proper remedy is removal from office of the one carrying the virus.

Let the impeachment hearings begin the process of purging us of this terrible disease.


10/02/98: Land erosion in Israel
10/01/98: The race panel: lies in black and white
9/18/98: The Clinton strategy and the Clinton legacy
9/18/98: Stopping him before he sins again
9/15/98: Repenting when the end is near
9/11/98: Faithfully executing: Congress vs. the President
9/10/98: The degrees of separation between Dan Burton and Bill Clinton
9/08/98: Joe Lieberman and the Democrats' conscience
9/04/98: Clinton vs. Reagan and the struggle for power
9/02/98: If only Bubba had been a Boy Scout
8/31/98: Liberal clergy and the Lewinsky affair
8/27/98: Combating the terrorists among us
8/25/98: The president as 'Chicken Little'
8/20/98: That was no apology
8/18/98: Big government's crab grab
8/14/98:Untruths, half-truths and anything but the truth
8/12/98: Lying under oath: past and present impeachable offenses
8/10/98: Endangered species
8/04/98: In search of an unstained president
7/31/98: The UK is ahead of US in one area...
7/28/98: Murder near and far
7/21/98: Telling the truth about
homosexual behavior
7/17/98: One Nation? Indivisible?
7/14/98: Who cares about killing when the 'good times' are rolling?
7/10/98: George W. Bush: a different 'boomer'
7/08/98: My lunch with Roy Rogers
7/06/98: News unfit to print (or broadcast)
6/30/98: Smoke gets in their eyes
6/25/98: Sugar and Spice Girls
6/19/98: William Perry opposed
technology transfers to China
6/19/98: The Clinton hare vs.the Starr tortoise
6/17/98: The President's rocky road to China
6/15/98: Let the children go
6/9/98: Oregon: the new killing fields
6/5/98: Speaking plainly: the cover-up continues
6/2/98: Barry Goldwater: in our hearts
5/28/98:The Speaker's insightful remarks
5/26/98: As bad as it gets
5/25/98:Union dues and don'ts
5/21/98: Connecting those Chinese campaign contribution dots
5/19/98: Clinton on the couch
5/13/98: John Ashcroft: another Jimmy Carter?
5/8/98: Terms of dismemberment
5/5/98: Clinton's tangled Webb
4/30/98: Return of the Jedi
4/28/98: Desparately seeking Susan
4/23/98: RICO's threat to free-speech and expression
4/21/98: Educating children v. preserving an institution
4/19/98: Analyzing the birth of a possible new nation
4/14/98: What's fair about our tax system?
4/10/98: CBS: 'Touched by a perv'
4/8/98: Judge Wright's wrong reasoning on sexual harassment
4/2/98: How about helping American cities before African?
3/31/98:Revenge of the children
3/29/98: The Clinton strategy: delay, deceive, deny, and destroy
3/26/98: Moralist Gary Hart
3/23/98: CNN's century of (liberal) women
3/17/98: Dandy Dan
3/15/98: An imposed 'settlement' settles nothing
3/13/98: David Brock's Turnabout

©1998, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Inc.