ARKANSAS CONNECTIONS: A Time Line of the Clinton Years
Oct. 1998 Sam Smith
For fair use only
The media tried to turn the Clinton story
into Camelot II.
Just the truth would have made life easier
for all of us.
And a much better tale as well.
By Sam Smith
COPYRIGHT 1998 THE PROGRESSIVE REVIEW
When Bill Clinton is 7, his family moves from Hope, Arkansas, to the long-time mob resort of Hot Springs, AR. Here Al Capone is said to have had permanent rights to suite 443 of the Arlington Hotel. Clinton's stepfather is a gun-brandishing, alcoholic who loses his Buick franchise through mismanagement and his own pilfering. He physically abuses his family, including the young Bill. His mother is a heavy gambler with mob ties. According to FBI and local police officials, his Uncle Raymond -- to whom young Bill turns for wisdom and support -- is a colorful car dealer, slot machine owner and gambling operator, who thrives on the fault line of criminality (except when his house is firebombed). Uncle Raymond's gambling operations are franchised by the Marcello organization of New Orleans.
A federal investigation concludes that Hot Springs has the largest illegal gambling operations in the United States.
Clinton goes to Georgetown University where he finds a mentor in Professor Carroll Quigley. Quigley writes: "That the two political parties should represent opposed ideals and policies. . . is a foolish idea. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical . . .The policies that are vital and necessary for America are no longer subjects of significant disagreement, but are disputable only in detail, procedure, priority, or method. "
Bill Clinton, according to several agency sources interviewed by biographer Roger Morris, works as a CIA informer while briefly and erratically a Rhodes Scholar in England. Although without visible means of support, he travels around Europe and the Soviet Union, staying at the ritziest hotel in Moscow. During this period the US government is using well educated assets such as Clinton as part of Operation Chaos, a major attempt to break student resistance to the war and the draft.
Bill Clinton and his friend Jim McDougal get a job in the office of Senator J. William Fulbright. The Washington Post will later write, "McDougal was interested in making money while Clinton was obsessed with political stature."
After becoming involved in politics, Wellesley graduate Hillary Rodham orders her senior thesis sealed from public view.
Uncle Raymond gets Bill Clinton a $10,000 loan and provides some free houses from which he can run his campaign for Congress. Raymond's drinking buddy, druggist and backroom gambling operator, Gabe Crawford, offers his private plane. Clinton loses.
Bill Clinton is elected attorney general of Arkansas.
Two Indonesian billionaires come to Arkansas. Mochtar Riady and Liem Sioe Liong are close to Suharto. Riady is looking for an American bank to buy.
Riady's agent is Jackson Stephens, who also brokers the arrival of BCCI to this country and steers BCCI's founder, Hassan Abedi, to Bert Lance.
Apparently because of pressure from Indonesia, Riady withdraws his bid to buy Lance's 30% share of the National Bank of Georgia. Instead, a BCCI front man buys the shares and Abedi moves to secretly take over First American Bankshares -- later the subject of the only BCCI-connected scandal to be prosecuted in the US.
Riady's teen-age son is taken on as an intern by Stephens Inc. He later says he was "sponsored" by Bill Clinton.
Clinton is elected governor.
The Clintons and McDougals buy land in the Ozarks for $203,000 with mostly borrowed funds. The Clintons get 50% interest with no cash down. The plot, known as Whitewater, is fifty miles from the nearest grocery store. The Washington Post will report later that some purchasers of lots, many of them retirees, "put up houses or cabins, others slept in vans or tents, hoping to be able to live off the land." More than half of the purchasers will lose their plots thanks to the sleazy form of financing used.
Two months after commencing the Whitewater scam, Hillary Clinton invests $1,000 in cattle futures. Within a few days she has a $5,000 profit. Before bailing out she earns nearly $100,000 on her investment. Many years later, several economists will calculate that the chances of earning such returns legally were one in 250 million.
Governor Clinton appoints Jim McDougal an economic development advisor.
Roger Clinton develops a four-gram a day cocaine habit, getting his stuff from New York and Medellin suppliers, based (as one middleman will later testify) on "who is brother was."
More than a few Little Rock insiders believe Hillary Clinton is having an affair with Vince Foster.
According to later sworn testimony by Arkansas trooper Larry Patterson, Governor Clinton has oral sex with a woman in a car parked outside Chelsea Clinton's elementary school.
Governor Clinton appoints Web Hubbell to head a new state ethics commission. First task: to weaken ethics legislation currently under consideration by exempting the governor from some of its most rigorous provisions.
Arkansas becomes a major center of gun-running, drugs and money laundering. The IRS warns other law enforcement agencies of the state's "enticing climate." According to Clinton biographer Roger Morris, operatives go into banks with duffel bags full of cash, which bank officers then distribute to tellers in sums under $10,000 so they don't have to report the transaction.
Sharlene Wilson, according to investigative reporter Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, flies cocaine from Mena to a pickup point in Texas. Other drugs, she and others say, are stuffed into chickens for shipping around the country. Wilson also serves as "the lady with the snow" at "toga parties" attended, she reports, by Bill Clinton.
Hillary Clinton makes a $44,000 profit on a $2,000 investment in a cellular phone franchise deal that involves taking advantage of the FCC's preference for locals, minorities and women. The franchise is almost immediately flipped to the cellular giant, McCaw.
A drug pilot brings a Cessna 210 full of cocaine into eastern Arkansas where he is met by his pick-up: a state trooper in a marked police car. "Arkansas," the pilot will recall years later, "was a very good place to load and unload."
According to his wife, security operative Jerry Parks delivers large sums of money from Mena airport to Vince Foster at a K-Mart parking lot. Mrs. Parks discovers this when she opens her car trunk one day and finds so much cash that she has to sit on the trunk to close it again. She asks her husband whether he is dealing drugs, and he allegedly explains that Foster paid him $1,000 for each trip he took to Mena. Parks said he didn't "know what they were doing, and he didn't care to know. He told me to forget what I'd seen.". . . .Later Evans-Pritchard will write, "Foster was using him as a kind of operative to collect sensitive information on things and do sensitive jobs. Some of this appears to have been done on behalf of Hillary Clinton. . . Foster told him that Hillary wanted it done. Now, my understanding . . . is that she wanted to know how vulnerable he would be in a presidential race on the question of -- how shall I put it? -- his appetites."
Hillary Clinton quietly lobbies on behalf of the Contras and against groups and individuals opposing them.
The sudden violent deaths of persons connected in some way to the Clinton machine now number over 30. Since most of these deaths -- like much else in this article -- have been at best shoddily investigated by public officials, it is impossible to determine which are the result of foul play and which are coincidental. Barbara Wise is a case in point. This woman, whose partially nude body was found in the Commerce Department, has been described by some as being a highly disturbed person whose death may be totally unrelated to the Clinton scandals. Similarly, a shadowy business figure, perhaps with intelligence ties, cancelled at the last minute his seat on the ill-fated Ron Brown plane. This same businessman died later in the crash of TWA 800. Coincidence or hidden meaning? We simply don't know.
Even in cases of foul play, readers are warned not to leap to conclusions as to motivation or potential perpetrators. For example, if Vincent Foster was killed rather than committing suicide, it may not have been because of the shady dealings at the White House but because public investigations of these shady dealings threatened to expose peripheral criminality such as past money launderirng, drug trafficking, or illegal intelligence activities.1980
The husband of a Little Rock attorney warns Clinton at the Democratic Convention that if he approaches his wife again, he'll kill him. Clinton apologizes and agrees to leave the woman alone.
Bill Clinton loses re-election as governor. He will win two years later.
Hillary Clinton writes Jim McDougal: "If Reagonomics works at all, Whitewater could become the Western Hemisphere's Mecca."
Major drug trafficker Barry Seal, under pressure from the Louisiana cops, relocates his operations to Mena, Arkansas.
A DEA report uncovered by Evans-Pritchard will cite an informant claiming that a key Arkansas figure and backer of Clinton "smuggles cocaine from Colombia, South America, inside race horses to Hot Springs."
Mochtar Riady forms Lippo Finance & Investment in Little Rock. A non-citizen, Riady hires Carter's former SBA director, Vernon Weaver, to chair the firm. The launch is accomplished with the aid of a $2 million loan guaranteed by the SBA. Weaver uses Governor Clinton as a character reference to help get the loan guarantee. First loan goes to Little Rock Chinese restaurant owner Charlie Trie.
State regulators warn McDougal's Madison Guarantee S&L to stop making imprudent loans. Gov. Clinton is also warned of the problem but takes no action.
According to a later account in the Tampa Tribune, planes flying drugs into Mena in coolers marked "medical supplies." are met by several people close to then-Governor Bill Clinton.
Riady buys a stake in the Worthen holding company whose assets include the Stephens-controlled Worthen Bank. Price: $16 million. Other Worthen co-owners will eventually include BCCI investor Abdullah Taha Bakhish.
Jim McDougal tries to prevent state agencies from shutting down his S&L, which has been providing cash for the Whitewater operation. Mrs. Clinton is put on a $2,000 a month retainer by the S&L. Ms. Clinton will later claim not to have received any retainer nor to have been deeply involved with Madison. Subsequent records show, however, that she represented Madison before the state securities department. After the revelation, she says, "For goodness sakes, you can't be a lawyer if you don't represent banks."
The Washington Times will later quote an unnamed Clinton business associate who claims the governor used to "jog over to McDougal's office about once a month to pick up the [retainer] check for his wife."
Foreshadowing future Wall Street interest in Clinton, Goldman Sachs, Payne Webber, Salomon Brothers and Merrill Lynch all show up as financial backer of the governor. Also on the list: future king-maker Pam Harriman. But Bill Clinton's funders include not only some of the biggest corporate names ever to show an interest in the tiny state of Arkansas but some of the most questionable. A former US Attorney will later tell Roger Morris, "That was the election when the mob really came into Arkansas politics. . . It wasn't just Bill Clinton and it went beyond our old Dixie Mafia. . . This was eastern and west coast crime money that noticed the possibilities just like the legitimate corporations did."
Dan Lasater buys a ski resort in New Mexico for $20 million and uses Clinton's name (with permission) to promote it. Later, a US Customs investigative report will note that the resort is being used for drug operations and money laundering. Lasater also flies to Belize with his aide Patsy Thomasson to buy a 24,000 acre ranch. Among those present at the negotiations is the US Ambassador. The deal falls through because of the opposition of the Belize government.
A private contractor for Arkansas' prison system stops selling prisoners' blood to a Canadian broker and elsewhere overseas after admitting the blood might be contaminated with the AIDS virus or hepatitis. Sales of prisoners' blood in US are already forbidden.
Tens of thousands of dollars in mysterious checks begin moving through Whitewater's account at Madison Guaranty. Investigators will later suspect that McDougal was operating a check-kiting scheme to drain money from the S&L
Hot Springs police record Roger Clinton during a cocaine transaction. Roger says, "Got to get some for my brother. He's got a nose like a vacuum cleaner."
Ronald Reagan wants to send the National Guard to Honduras to help in the war against the Contras. Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis goes to the Supreme Court in a futile effort to stop it but Clinton is happy to oblige, even sending his own security chief, Buddy Young, along to keep an eye on things. Winding up its tour, the Arkansas Guard declares large quantities of its weapons "excess" and leaves them behind for the Contras.
A relative of Bill Clinton is raped. Wayne Dumond is arrested and imprisoned in the case. While awaiting sentencing, Dumond himself is sexually assaulted and castrated by two masked men. A local sheriff, later sentenced to 160 years for extortion and drug dealing, displays Dumond's testicles in a jar on his desk under a sign that read, "That's what happens to people who fool around in my county." A parole board, upon receiving new evidence of Dumond's innocence, will vote to release him after 4 1/2 years in prison. Governor Clinton -- according to the managing editor of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette -- stages a "romping, stomping fit" and blocks the release.
Clinton establishes the Arkansas Development Finance Authority that will be used, in the words of one well-connected Arkansan as "his own political piggy bank." Though millions of dollars are funneled to Clinton allies, records of repayments will be hazy or non-existent. AFDA brags to prospective out-of-state corporations of Arkansas' anti-union climate.
Arkansas state pension funds --deposited in Worthen by Governor Bill Clinton -- suddenly lose 15% of their value because of the failure of high risk, short-term investments and the brokerage firm that bought them. The $52 million loss is covered by a Worthen check written by Jack Stephens in the middle of the night, an insurance policy, and the subsequent purchase over the next few months of 40% of the bank by Mochtar Riady. Clinton and Worthen escape a major scandal.
Mochtar's son James comes back to Arkansas to manage Worthen as president. He bonds with Clinton and Charlie Trie.
Lippo executive and Chinese native John Huang becomes active in Lippo's operations in Arkansas.
Mochtar and James Riady engineer the takeover of the First National Bank of Mena in a town of 5,000 with few major assets beyond a Contra supply base, drug running and money-laundering operations.
Terry Reed is asked to take part in Operation Donation, under which planes and boats needed by the Contras "disappear," allowing owners to claim insurance. Reed has been a Contra operative and CIA asset working with Felix Rodriguez, the Contra link to the CIA and then-Vice President Bush's office. Reed later claims he refused, but that his plane was removed while he was away.
Park on Meter, a parking meter manufacturer in Russellville, Arkansas, receives the first industrial development loan from the Arkansas Development Finance Authority in 1985. Some suspect that POM is doing a lot more than making parking meters -- specifically that it has secret federal contracts to make components of chemical and biological weapons and devices to carry them on C-130s for the Contras. The company later denies the Contra connection although it will admit having secret military contracts. Web Hubbell is the company's lawyer. Right next to POM, on land previously owned by it, is an Army reserve chemical warfare company.
A series of checks to Clinton and his campaign are endorsed and deposited in Madison S&L. One of the checks -- a cashiers check in the amount of $3,000 -- has the name of a 24-year-old college student on it. When informed of this in 1993, the then-student, Ken Peacock, will deny having made any such donation.
Whitewater fails to file corporate tax returns for this year.
Journalist Evans-Pritchard will describe the Arkansas of this period as a "major point for the transshipment of drugs" and "perilously close to becoming a 'narco-republic' -- a sort of mini-Columbia within the borders of the United States." There is "an epidemic of cocaine, contaminating the political establishment from top to bottom," with parties "at which cocaine would be served like hors d'oeuvres and sex was rampant." Clinton attends some of these events.
A Federal Home Loan Bank Board audit describes Madison as financially reckless, rife with conflicts and on the brink of collapse. It says that the S&L's records are so poor that examiners often could not discover the "real nature" of transactions.
Capital Management Services Inc., owned by David Hale, makes an SBA-approved loan of $300,000 to Susan McDougal, sole owner of an advertising firm called Master Marketing. The loan will never be repaid.
The attorney general of Louisiana tells US Attorney General Ed Meese that drug trafficker Barry Seal has smuggled drugs into the US worth $3-$5 billion.
CIA operative Eugene Hasenfus is shot down over Nicaragua in a plane based in Mena, Arkansas.
Whitewater fails to file corporate tax returns for this year.
According to the McDougals, the Whitewater files are transferred to the Clintons. In the 1992 campaign, the Clintons will say they can not find the records.
Clinton gives Arkansas Traveler awards to Contra operatives Adolpho and Mario Calero and John Singlaub.
Two boys are killed in Saline County and left on a railroad track to be run over by a train The initial finding of joint suicide will be punctured by dogged investigators whose efforts are repeatedly blocked by law enforcement officials. Although no one will ever be charged, the trail will lead into the penumbra of the Dixie Mafia and the Arkansas political machine. Some believe the boys died because they accidentally intercepted a drug drop, but other information suggests the drop may have dispensed not drugs but cash, gold and platinum -- part of a series of sorties through which those working with US intelligence were being reimbursed. According to one version, the boys were blamed in order to cover up the theft of the drop by persons within the Dixie Mafia and Arkansas political machine.
Terry Reed's plans is returned but, according to his account, he is asked not report it because it might have to be "borrowed" again. Reed later says that he had become aware that the Contra operation also involved drug running and had gotten cold feet. He also believed that large sums of drug money were being laundered by leading Arkansas financiers. He went to Felix Rodriguez and told him he was quitting. Reed was subsequently charged with mail fraud for having allegedly claimed insurance on a plane that was in fact hidden in a hanger in Little Rock. The head of Clinton's Swiss Guard, Capt. Buddy Young, will claim to have been walking around the North Little Rock Airport when "by an act of God" a gust of wind blew open the hangar door and revealed the Piper Turbo Arrow.
Whitewater fails to file corporate tax returns for this year.
Conservative Democrats begin a series of nearly 100 meetings held at the home of Pam Harriman to plot strategy for the takeover of the Democratic Party. Donors cough up $1,000 to attend and Harriman eventually raises $12 million for her kind of Democrat. The right-wing Dems will eventually settle on Bill Clinton as their presidential choice.
Madison S&L is closed by federal regulators at an eventual cost to taxpayers of $47 million.
FDIC hires Webster Hubbell of the Rose firm to press its case concerning Madison. Rose law firm, now representing FDIC, sues an accounting firm for $60 million, blaming its audits for causing millions of dollars in losses to the S&L. Although the job earns Rose $400,000 in fees and expenses the accounting firm will eventually settle by paying the government just $1 million.
A US Senate subcommittee calls the available evidence about Mena sufficient for an indictment on money laundering charges." But the feds scrap a five year probe of Mena and interfere in local investigations, and the state police are taken off the case. Clinton refuses a request from one of his own prosecutors to pursue the matter.
What will later be known as the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy begins on the left as a group of progressive students at the University of Arkansas form the Arkansas Committee to look into Mena, drugs, money laundering, and Arkansas politics.
James Riady takes over operations of a new branch of the Lippo Bank, working with Hong Kong Lippo executive, John Huang.
Sharlene Wilson tells a US grand jury investigating drugs in Arkansas that she provided cocaine to Clinton during his first term and that once the governor was so high he fell into a garbage can. The federal drug investigation is shut down within days of her testimony. Wilson flees, terrified of the state prosecuting attorney -- her former lover, and Clinton ally, Dan Harmon. She will be eventually arrested by Harmon himself and sent up for 31 years on a minor drug charge. She is still in jail.
The case against Terry Reed is thrown out of court by the federal judge who said, "It's my opinion no jury could find by reasonable doubt that the defendant was guilty. There are too many holes in the chain of proof for the government to prove mail fraud." Clinton's security chief, Captain Buddy Young, is described by the judge as having a "reckless disregard for the truth." Young, who will play a major role in keeping state troopers quiet about Clinton, will end up in a $92,000-a-year job with FEMA, a federal agency established to handle major disasters.
Drug distributor Dan Lasater is pardoned by Governor Clinton after serving just six months in jail and four in a halfway house on minor charges. One law enforcement official will describe the investigation into Lasater's operations as "either a high dive or extremely unprofessional. Take your pick." The alleged reason for the pardon: so Lasater can get a hunting license. Lasater returns to his 7,400 ranch in Saline County.
The Arkansas Industrial Development Commission furthers the Indonesian - Arkansas connection. Deals are worked on for Wal-Mart, Tyson's Foods, and JB Hunt. Later documents uncovered by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette will "make reference to Clinton's ideal position as president . . . in helping to secure Arkansas-Indonesian deals." The US ambassador in Jakarta at the time will later remark, "There were lots of people from Arkansas who came through Indonesia."
An IRS memorandum reveals that even at this late date "the CIA still has ongoing operations out of the Mena, AR airport. "
Arkansas State Police investigator Russell Welsh, who has been working with IRS investigator Bill Duncan on drug running and money laundering at Mena, develops pneumonia-like symptoms. Welch, central to the Mena investigation, is discovered to have been poisoned by anthrax.
State Attorney General Winston Bryant and Arkansas Rep. Bill Alexander send two boxes of Mena files to special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh. Says Alexander later, "The feds dropped the ball and covered it up. I have never seen a whitewash job like this case."
Jackson Stephens and BCCI figure Ghaith Pharaon buy BCCI's former Hong Kong subsidiary.
The Worthen Bank gives Clinton a $3.5 million line of credit allowing the cash-strapped candidate to finish the primaries.
Little Rock Worldwide Travel provides Clinton with $1 million in deferred billing for his campaign trips. Clinton aide David Watkins boasts to a travel magazine, "Were it not for World Wide Travel here, the Arkansas governor may never have been in contention for the highest office in the land." In fact, without the Worthen and Worldwide largess, it is unlikely that the cash-strapped candidate could have survived through the later primaries.
A massive "bimbo" patrol is established to threaten, buy, or otherwise disarm scores of women who have had sexual encounters with Clinton. The campaign uses private investigators in an extensive operation that will be joked about at the time but later will be seen as a form of blackmail as well as psychological and physical intimidation.
Clinton leaves the campaign trail to attend the execution of cop-killer Ricky Ray Rector, a mentally incompetent black man given to howling who is so dysfunctional that he asks his guards at his last meal to save his pie for later.
Money magazine reports that Clinton annually receives about $1.4 million in admissions tickets to the state-regulated Oaklawn racetrack which he hands out to campaign contributors and others.
According to Brooks Jackson of CNN, the commission that regulates Arkansas's only greyhound track meets several times a year at the track's exclusive Kennel Club, with the Southland Greyhound Park paying for the commissioners' food and booze.
Gennifer Flowers records her last conversation with Bill Clinton. On the tape Clinton says, "If they ever ask if you've talked to me about it, you can say no." Clinton describes Mario Cuomo as a "mean son of a bitch" and when Flowers says, "I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't have some Mafioso connections," the reply is: "Well, he acts like one," followed by a chuckle. Of the press, Clinton advises, "If they ever hit you with it, just say no and go on. There's nothing they can do. I expected them to look into it and come interview you. But if everybody is on record denying it, no problem" Many papers, including the Washington Post and the New York Times, fail to let their readers know what is on the tapes.
A survey of campaign reporters finds that by February, 90% favor Clinton for president.
Major media censor a second alleged sex scandal involving Bill Clinton that breaks in a supermarket tabloid just days before the New Hampshire primary. The story, in the Globe, charges that Clinton had a relationship with a woman who claimed that Clinton was the father of her child. The woman also claims she attended group sex sessions with Clinton. The woman is now reportedly in Australia.
Time Magazine runs an article called "Anatomy of a Smear" in which Clinton's involvement in the Mena drug/Contra operation is whitewashed and those trying to expose it are, well, smeared.
The Pine Bluff Commercial notes: "It's very difficult to catch Bill Clinton in a flat lie. His specialty is a lengthy disingenuousness."
Former Miss Arkansas Sally Perdue goes on the Sally Jesse Raphael Show and says she had an affair with Bill Clinton. She will later tell the London Sunday Telegraph that state troopers often dropped Clinton off at her place in his jogging gear: "He saw my Steinway grand piano and went straight over to it and asked me to play. . . When I see him now, president of the United States, meeting world leaders, I can't believe it. . . I still have this picture of him wearing my black nightgown, playing the sax badly. . . this guy tiptoeing across the park and getting caught on the fence. How do you expect me to take him seriously?"
After the TV show, Perdue says she was visited by a man who described himself as a Democratic Party operative and who warned her not to reveal specifics of the affair. "He said there were people in high places who were anxious about me and they wanted me to know that keeping my mouth shut would be worthwhile. . . If I was a good little girl, and didn't kill the messenger; I'd be set for life: a federal job, nothing fancy but a regular paycheck. . . I'd never have to worry again. But if I didn't take the offer, then they knew that I went jogging by myself and he couldn't guarantee what would happen to my 'pretty little legs.'"
Perdue says she later found a shotgun cartridge on the driver's seat of her Jeep and had her back window shattered.
James Riady, his family, and employees give $700,000 to Clinton and the Democratic campaign.
John Huang and James Riady give $100,000 to Clinton's inaugural fund.
Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker comes to Washington to see his old boss sworn in, leaving his state under the control of the president pro tem of the senate, Little Rock dentist Jerry Jewell. Jewell uses his power as acting governor to issue a number of pardons, one of them for a convicted drug dealer, Tommy McIntosh. According to the Washington Times, many in the state "say it was a political payoff, offered in exchange for dirty tricks Mr. McIntosh played on Clinton political opponents during the presidential campaign, or as a payoff for stopping his attacks on Mr. Clinton." It seems that the elder McIntosh had worked for Clinton in his last state campaign and, according to McIntosh in a 1991 lawsuit, had agreed not only to pay him $25,000 but to help him market his recipe for sweet potato pie and to pardon his son.
Webster Hubbell's name surfaces as a potential nominee for deputy attorney general but he tells friends he does not want that job or, reports Time, "to take any other position that involves Senate confirmation -- perhaps to avoid fishing expeditions into the law firm's confidential business."
John Huang arranges a private meeting between Mochtar Riady and Clinton at which Riady presses for renewal of China's 'most favored nation' status and a relaxation of economic sanctions.
China's 'most favored nation' status is renewed.
Two Arkansas state troopers describe arguments between the Clintons, including (in the words of Washington Times reporter Jerry Seper) "foul-mouthed shouting matches and furniture-breaking sessions."
Hillary Clinton and David Watkins move to oust the White House travel office in favor of World Wide Travel, Clinton's source of $1 million in fly-now-pay-later campaign trips. The White House fires seven long-term employees for alleged mismanagement and kickbacks. The director, Billy Dale, charged with embezzlement, will be acquitted in less than two hours by the jury.
According to a later report in Insight Magazine, the Clinton administration eavesdrops on over 300 locations during the Seattle Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference. FBI videotapes of diplomatic suites "show underage boys engaging in sexcapades with men in several rooms over a period of days." The operation involves the FBI, CIA, NSA and Office of Naval Intelligence. Bugged are hotel rooms, telephones, conference centers, cars, and even a charter boat. Some of the information obtained is apparently passed on to individuals with financial interests in Asia.
Washington attorney Paul Wilcher is found dead on a toilet in his apartment. He is said to be investigating various scandals including the October Surprise, the 1980 election campaign, drug and gun-running through Mena and the Waco assault. He was also planning a TV documentary on his findings. He delivered an extensive affidavit to Janet Reno three weeks before his death.
Vince Foster, the Clintons' attorney, finally files missing Whitewater tax returns.
The RTC and SBA investigate the $300,000 SBA-approved loan to Susan McDougal in 1986, provided by Capital-Management Services Inc. owned by David L. Hale.
Clinton asks White House physician, Dr. Burton Lee, to give him an allergy shot. Lee refuses to do so without knowing the president's medical history or what is in the serum that has been delivered without supporting data from Arkansas. Within hours of his refusal, Lee is fired and told to pack and leave immediately.
On July 19, FBI director William Sessions is fired. Clinton personally orders him by phone to turn in his FBI property and leave headquarters.
That evening, Jerry Parks' wife Jane overhears a heated telephone conversation with Vince Foster in which her husband says, "You can't give Hillary those files, they've got my name all over them."
On July 20, Clinton names Louis Freeh as Sessions' successor.
That same day, the FBI raids David Hale's Little Rock office and seizes documents including those relating to Capital-Management.
Just hours after the search warrant authorizing the raid is signed by a federal magistrate in Little Rock, Vince Foster apparently drives to Ft. Marcy Park without any car keys in a vehicle that changes color over the next few hours, walks across 700 feet of park without accruing any dirt or grass stains, and then shoots himself with a vanishing bullet that leaves only a small amount of blood. Or at least that is what would have to have occurred if official accounts are to be reconciled with the available evidence. There are numerous other anomalies in this quickly-declared suicide. Despite two badly misleading independent counsel reports, Foster's death will remain an unsolved mystery.
Less than three hours after Foster's body is found, his office is secretly searched by Clinton operatives, including Mrs. Clinton's chief of staff. Another search occurs two days later. Meanwhile, US Park Police and FBI agents are not allowed to search the office on grounds of "executive privilege."
Foster's suicide note is withheld from investigators for some 30 hours. The note is in 27 pieces with one other piece missing.
Patrick Knowlton, who stops in the park seventy minutes before Foster's body is found, reports seeing things that do not fit the official version. Declining under pressure to change his story, he is eventually subpoenaed by the Whitewater prosecutor. On that day, he becomes the target of extensive overt harassment and surveillance of a sort used by intelligence agencies to intimidate witnesses.
When ex-Clinton security operative Jerry Parks hears of Vince Foster's body being found at Ft Marcy Park, he tells his wife, "I'm a dead man." Two months later, Parks will be shot to death in a mob-type slaying in Little Rock. News of Parks' death sets off a flurry of activity and closed-door meetings at the White House. Parks' house is ransacked, and his files, 130 telephone tapes and computer data are removed.
John Huang quits the Lippo Group -- with a golden parachute of around $800,000 -- and goes to work for the Commerce Department. Some believe the move is instigated by Hillary Clinton. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown orders a top secret clearance for Huang. While at Commerce, Huang visits the White House about 70 times, is briefed 37 times by the CIA, views about 500 intelligence reports, and makes 281 calls to Lippo banks.
Ron Brown goes to China with an unprecedented $5.5 billion in deals ready to be signed. Included is a $1 billion contact for the Clinton-friendly Arkansas firm, Entergy Corporation, to manage and expand Lippo's power plant in northern China. Entergy will also get contracts to build power plants in Indonesia. James Riady tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: "I think the idea of having President Clinton from Arkansas in the White House shouldn't be underestimated."
A memo later found in Commerce Department files describes Brown's stance with the Chinese on civil liberties: "[Brown] deftly navigated the human-rights issue by obtaining an agreement on further talks and then moved directly into the economic issues at hand: helping Chrysler, Sprint and others with their joint ventures."
Gandy Baugh, an attorney who had represented Clinton buddy and drug distributor Dan Lasater, allegedly jumps to his death. Baugh's law partner commits suicide one month later.
Five days after her ex-husband, Danny Ferguson, is named a co-defendant in the Paula Jones law suit, Kathy Ferguson is found dead. She leaves a suicide note but the body is found in her living room next to packed bags as though she was planning to take a trip. Not long afterwards, Kathy Ferguson's fiancée, a state trooper, is found dead by gunshot at her gravesite. Leaves note saying "I can't stand it any more." The local police chief says, "It puts big questions in your mind. Why?" Both victims are shot in the back of the head, unusual in the case of suicide.
White House-assigned FBI agent Gary Aldrich agrees to help trim the Christmas tree in the Blue Room. Aldrich is surprised to find a small clay ornament of 12-lords-aleaping. Among the things that were aleaping on the 12 lords are their erections. Also provided by Hillary Clinton and her staff for the tree: ornaments made of drug paraphernalia such as syringes and roach clips, three French hens in a menage á trois, two turtle doves fornicating, five golden rings attached to a gingerbread man's ear, nipple, belly button, nose, and penis.
Hundreds of White House employees still do not have security clearances.
Independent prosecutor Dan Smaltz and FBI agents grill a former Tyson food pilot for three days. The pilot claims to have carried cash in envelopes from Tyson Food to the Arkansas governor's mansion. Says Smaltz later to Time magazine, "'I nearly fell off my chair when I heard Joe make the allegation. I took over the questions." Janet Reno, however, blocks Smaltz from pursuing the issue.
Bill Clinton speaks to a group of Southeast Washington high school students about sex: "This is not a sport, this is a solemn responsibility." He tells the young men at the gathering that they should stop having sex "when they're not prepared to marry the others, they're not prepared to take responsibility for the children and they're not even able to take responsibility for themselves."
According to US Customs records, Macao businessman Ng Lap Seng, arrives in America with $175,000 in cash. Two days later he meets with Charlie Trie and Mark Middleton at the White House. That evening Ng sits at Clinton's table at a DNC fundraiser.
John Huang requests several top secret files on China just before a meeting with the Chinese ambassador.
Webster Hubbell, although not known for skill in Asian trade matters, goes to work for a Lippo Group affiliate after being forced out of the Clinton administration prior to going to jail.
In late March, a score of witnesses are subpoenaed for a grand jury probe of Ron Brown, who hires a $750/hour criminal attorney. Among the issues: an Oklahoma gas company's alleged funneling of over a half million dollars to Brown in order to get him to fix a lawsuit pending against the firm.
Janet Reno names Daniel Pearson to head the Brown probe. She says he can investigate anything. Brown reportedly urges Clinton to get Reno off his back, but evidence of Brown's crookedness has reached Capitol Hill and the Attorney General apparently feels there is no turning back. It will be later alleged by some close to Brown that the Commerce Secretary has told the president that if he is going down, he is not going down alone.
Four days after the grand jury subpoenas are issued, Ron Brown is dead -- killed when the plane in which he was flying (along with nearly three dozen other Americans) crashes into a mountain in Croatia. From the start, there are a number of anomalies including inconsistencies over the state of the weather, where the plane is reported to have crashed, what happened to the plane's black boxes, and the subsequent suicide of an airport official in charge of navigational aids. Further, even though the crash site is a little over a mile from the runway, the first rescuers do not officially arrive on the scene for more than four hours.
The White House hosts a major drug dealer at its Christmas party. Jorge Cabrera -- who gave $20,000 to the DNC -- is also photographed with Al Gore at a Miami fund-raiser, a fact the Clinton administration initially attempts to conceal by arguing that a publicity shot with the Veep is covered by the Privacy Act. Cabrera was indicted in 1983 by a federal grand jury -- on racketing and drug charges -- and again in 1988, when he was accused of managing a continuing narcotics operation. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges and served 54 months on prison. After his visit to the White House he will be sentenced to 19 years on prison for transporting 6,000 pounds of cocaine into the US. The Secret Service says letting him come to the WH was okay because he posed no threat to the president.
The Washington Times reports that Clinton has pardoned without fanfare a gambling pal of his mother. Jack Pakis was convicted under the Organized Crime Control Act, sentenced to two years in prison, but the sentence was suspended. He was fined and put on probation. Pakis had been arrested as part of an FBI sting operation against illegal gambling in Hot Springs. According to the Washington Times, "his trial judge described Mr. Pakis as a professional gambler, part owner of an illegal casino and an illegal bookmaker for football and horse-racing bets." US District Judge Oren Harris, remarked that the FBI had "reached into Hot Springs to put a stop to gambling that has existed here since the 1920s." But he suspends the sentence, saying that since local acceptance of gambling was so widespread it would be unfair to send Pakis and his co-defendants to jail. Pakis, incidentally, once owned a piece of the Southern Club -- Al Capone's favorite -- in Hot Springs where, as Clinton's mom put it in her autobiography, "gangsters were cool and the rules were meant to be bent."
Roger Morris and Sally Denton write a well-documented account of drug and Contra operations in Arkansas during the '80s. The Washington Post's Outlook section wants to run it, offers their highest price ever for a story, but is overruled by higher-ups. Less than a year earlier the Post had published a lead Style section piece making fun of the Mena affair, saying "allegedly dark deeds at Mena have helped foster the cult of conspiracy that has taken root among some of Clinton's more virulent opponents." After weeks of stalling by Post brass, Morris and Denton pull the story which eventually appears in Penthouse.
Clinton gives a speech to a group of Little Rock supporters in which he calls those pressing the Whitewater and other investigations "a cancer" that he will "cut out of American politics."
Barbara Wise, a Commerce Department (International Trade Administration) secretary and associate of John Huang, is found bruised and partially nude in a locked office at Commerce. Cause of death remains unknown.
Hillary Clinton's attempts to conceal the fact that she had $120,000 of editorial help in preparing her book-like substance.
Hillary Clinton tells New Zealand television that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary. At the time of Mrs. Clinton's birth, Hillary was an unknown beekeeper.
Senator Bob Kerrey, chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, tells Esquire that Clinton is "an unusually good liar."
Convicted cocaine distributor Dan Lasater testifies before Congress. The New York Times, among others, does not cover the story even though Lasater is close to Clinton and paid off Roger Clinton's debt to the drug cartel. Lasater also raised race horses and was a track buddy of Virginia Kelly, through whom he met her son Bill. When Lasater started a bonding company, Bill Clinton recommended to him highway commissioner Patsy Thomasson, who would become vice president of the Lasater firm and have power of attorney while he was in jail. Thomasson would eventually become director of White House Management and Administration, responsible for drug testing among other things. While with Lasater, Thomasson hired Clinton's half-brother as a limo driver. Roger was also employed as a stable hand at Lasater's Florida farm. In his trial, and in testimony before the Senate Whitewater committee, Lasater admits to being free with coke, including ashtrays full of it on his corporate jet. He also admits to having given coke to employees and to minors. But he takes umbrage at being called a drug dealer since he didn't charge for the stuff.
According to some witnesses, Lasater also had a back door pass to the governor's mansion. One state trooper reported taking Clinton to Lasater's office regularly and waiting forty-five minutes or an hour for him to come out.
The death of ex-CIA director William Colby, allegedly while canoeing, raises a number of questions. For example, Colby left his home unlocked, his computer on, and a partly eaten dinner on the table. Colby had recently become an editor of Strategic Investment a newsletter which was doing investigative reporting on the Vince Foster death.
Jim McDougal tells a reporter that he doesn't expect to leave prison alive.
An independent investigator finds evidence of an electronic transfer of $50 million from the Arkansas Development Financial Authority to a bank in the Cayman Islands. Grand Cayman has a population of 18,000, 570 commercial banks, one bank regulator and a bank secrecy law. It is a favorite destination spot for laundered drug money..
Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor says he is "stunned" to learn that some of the companies joining him on trade missions were DNC campaign contributors. He apparently has missed material sent out by the DNC, complete with letter from Bill Clinton, that promised donors of at least $10,000 an invitation to "join Party leadership as they travel abroad to examine current and developing issues."
Hillary Clinton goes for her daily dose of photographic self-aggrand-izement at the pediatrics ward of the Georgetown University Medical Center. She is to be pictured reading to the kids. The problem: sick children don't look that cute, especially those who are bald from cancer treatments or fitted out with tubes and such. The solution: replace the sick children with well versions belonging to the hospital staff. It works beautifully.
Mary Caitrin Mahoney, a former White House intern, is shot five times in an execution-style slaying of three Starbucks employees in Georgetown. The other two victims are shot only once. No money is taken. No neighbors hear gunshots. An informant assisting police in the case is murdered when sent into a botched drug sting.
Foutanga Dit Babani Sissoko, a West African multi-millionaire, tries to get released from jail on bribery and smuggling charges by showing the judge a dinner invitation he received to dine with the president at a Washington hotel. The judge does not release Sissoko, however, and sets bail at $20 million. This is a South Florida record.
LD Brown, a former Arkansas state trooper who worked on Clinton's security details, claims he was approached on a bus in England and offered $100,000 and a job to change his Whitewater testimony. A second offer was allegedly made in Little Rock.
A $27,000 check is found in the trunk of a car in Arkansas, along with other records of McDougal's Madison Guaranty bank. Shortly after the discovery, an ill and imprisoned McDougal is thrown into solitary for failure to urinate for a drug test. McDougal is on 12 medications, four of which make it urination difficult.
Gennifer Flowers reports that after her revelations she had received death threats and that her house was ransacked.
Monica Lewinsky tells Linda Tripp over the phone, "See, my mom's big fear is that he's going to send somebody out to kill me."
Two Armed Forces medical examiners confirm that Ron Brown had a perfectly circular hole in his head that looked like a gun wound. Army Lt. Col. David Hause was working two tables away from the one at Dover Air Force Base where Brown was being examined when a "commotion" erupted and someone said, "Gee, this looks like a gunshot wound." Hause remembers saying, "Sure enough, it looks like a gunshot wound to me, too." No autopsy or investigation followed.
George Stephanopoulos tells ABC This Week that the White House has a "different, long-term strategy, which I think would be far more explosive. White House allies are already starting to whisper about what I'll call the Ellen Rometsch strategy . . . She was a girlfriend of John F. Kennedy, who also happened to be an East German spy. And Robert Kennedy was charged with getting her out of the country and also getting J. Edgar Hoover to go up to the Congress and say, 'Don't you investigate this, because if you do, we're going to open up everybody's closets." . . . . Asks Sam Donaldson, "Are you suggesting for a moment that what they're beginning to say is that if you investigate this too much, we'll put all your dirty linen right on the table? Every member of the Senate? Every member of the press corps?" "Absolutely," says Stephanopoulos. "The president said he would never resign, and I think some around him are willing to take everybody down with him."
Jim McDougal, who once said that the Clintons move through people's lives like a tornado, dies after being placed in solitary confinement again. An unusual Prozac level is found during autopsy. There are questions about other drugs given, including Lasix, which is contraindicated for heart patients.
Not long thereafter, another potential witness in the Clinton scandals investigation dies suddenly. Johnny Franklin Lawhon Jr, 29, was the owner of the auto transmission shop in Mabelville, Arkansas, who discovered the cashier's check made out to Bill Clinton in a trunk of a tornado-damaged car. Lawhon strikes a tree in the early hours of March 30 after, according to one witness, "taking off like a shot" from a filling station.
Linda Tripp is sequestered in an FBI safe house because of threats against her life.
Arkansas Highway Police seize $3.1 million in cash from four suitcases in a tractor-trailer rig's sleeper section. The driver is charged with money laundering among other things. The seizure is the fourth largest in American history and nearly fifty times more than all the illegal money seized by Arkansas highway police in a typical year.
Jorge Cabrera -- the drug dealer who gave enough to the Democrats to have his picture take with both Hillary Clinton and Al Gore -- is back in the news as a businessman pleads guilty to laundering $3.5 million for Cabrera between 1986 and 1996
Monica Lewinsky tells Linda Tripp that if she would lie under oath, "I would write you a check. " Also: "I mean, telling the truth could get you in trouble. I don't know why you'd want to do that." Also: "I would not cross these -- these people -- for fear of my life." Several reports have Lewinsky saying on another occasion that she didn't want to end up like former White House intern Mary Caitrin Mahoney, killed in the Starbucks execution-style murders.
The sale of Arkansas prisoners blood during the 1980s becomes a major scandal in Canada as news of it is published. The story is widely ignored in the US.
Prior to her testimony in the Clinton investigation, Kathleen Willey claims that the tires on her car were mysteriously punctured with dozens of nails and the cat she had for many years suddenly disappeared. Reports ABC's Jackie Judd, "Then just days before she testified in the Paula Jones lawsuit in early January, Willey was out jogging near her home when a stranger approached her. . .The man knew what had happened at her home and that he asked her if the tires had been fixed and if the cat had been found." The man then allegedly asked Willey, 'Don't you get the message?' and jogged off."
Bill Clinton gives a speech on September 9 in which he says," All of you know that I've been on a rather painful journey these last few weeks and I've had to ask for things that I was more in the habit of giving in my life than asking for in terms of understanding and forgiveness, but it's also given me the chance to try to ask, as all of us do: What do you really care about? What do you want to think about in your last hours on this earth? What really matters? . . . So I ask you for your understanding, for your forgiveness on this journey we're on. I hope this will be a time of reconciliation and healing, and I hope that millions of families all over America are in a way growing stronger because of this."
Among the public sources for this article were Partners in Power by Roger Morris; The Secret Life of Bill Clinton by Ambrose Evans Pritchard; Unlimited Access Unlimited Access by Gary Aldrich and Shadows of Hope by Sam Smith. Also various newspaper and magazine articles, particularly in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Washington Times, New York Times, Washington Post, London Telegraph, Times of London, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, American Spectator, Washington Weekly, Insight, as well as the Internet service Free Republic, the Clinton Administration Scandals bulletin board, and the columns of Alexander Cockburn and Christopher Ruddy.