Topic: White Water

Senator Nunn: It's National Security, Stupid

January 25, 1999 Missy Kelly


Senator Nunn: It’s National Security, Stupid.

Missy Kelly

January 25, 1999

Nunn Worries over National Security Issues of Clinton-Lewinsky Affair

While the media and Congress remain focused on the titillating details of the infamous Clinton-Lewinsky affair, former Senator Sam Nunn views it in entirely different terms: national security.


In an interview aired on CNN last Thursday, the former Chairman of the Armed Forces Committee worried over the message Clinton’s behavior – and ultimate punishment – will have on military morale.

"The military has had a more difficult time adjusting to gender problems than they ever did with the racial problems. And so, what message does this send to the military? Those people dealing with gender issues in every stage of the chain of command are going to have a much harder time continuing to have any semblance of a coherent policy."

He cited the case of General Joe Ralston, who, 18 months ago, was nominated by the Clinton Administration to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"[T]here was a real outcry in the Senate against him being chairman, because of an adulterous affair 13 years ago, where there was nobody in the command that was involved, nobody in the military involved, and he'd never lied about. And yet, Joe Ralston, because of opposition -- strong opposition -- in the Senate, was denied that position, and the White House itself pulled his nomination after, of course, he submitted it -- his withdrawal." Ralston now serves as a deputy chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

"So, that leads me to the conclusion that after this is over, whatever the outcome, a good many people in the Senate, and probably some in high places in the White House, are going to owe General Ralston, and probably a number of other people in the military, an apology."


Then to the astonishment of the CNN interviewers, Nunn zoomed in:

"[I]t seems to me that the Intelligence Committee and the Armed Services Committee must ask the question about espionage. For people to say that the president of the United States having -- allegedly -- telephone sex, is strictly private, has nothing to do with official duties ... it means they've never been acquainted with the world of espionage and the world of blackmail. And, certainly, the White House itself is one of the most targeted places in the world in terms of foreign espionage.

"And so you have to ask the question: What if a foreign agent heard a young woman carrying on discussions, and then tapped her telephone?"

Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr’s report to the House of Representatives (September 11, 1998) stated that Monica Lewinsky testified that Clinton once told her "he suspected that a foreign embassy (he did not specify which one) was tapping his telephones."

This bombshell admission by the President -- that he suspected his phones were tapped by foreign powers -- was wildly under-reported in the mainstream media. But the significance was not lost on Senator Nunn who continued:

" ... We have to understand there are consequences and risks and dangers anytime the president has conversations on the phone, which could be intercepted and could be embarrassing to him personally.

"The consequences are there's exposure and risk. I have no idea whether there was any kind of intercept here. I'm not on the committees, but those questions have to be asked because you don't want any president, or any high-ranking official in a position, to be leveraged by any kind of, either foreign power, or even domestic source. So that's the danger here.

"And private conduct that can be used in that way becomes a matter of great public concern."

Nunn continued forcefully, "[T]he question is whether someone else was tapping the telephone, particularly, maybe, the phone of Monica, or wherever she was calling from. I don't even know whether the phones were on open lines. I assume they were not secure lines, and I assume there was no encryption here. But, it seems to me that these questions have to be raised, perhaps behind closed doors, and perhaps they don't have any direct bearing on the case itself. But they certainly have a bearing on our nation's security."

Nunn said the White House, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement, but particularly Capitol Hill’s Oversight Committees, must ask those questions.

"I keep hearing people say that strictly private behavior has nothing to do with official duties. And I just don't see how anybody can come to that conclusion that knows anything about how the world operates."

Posted by: Lex () *
01/25/99 03:51:04 PST

To: Lex
Beat me by 11 seconds! Regards.
From: Prince Charles (first_fugitives@yahoo.com) *
01/25/99 03:52:16 PST

To: Lex
From: UncleDaddy (emailname) *
01/25/99 03:52:30 PST

To: UncleDaddy
P.S. Are you listening, Max Cleland?
From: UncleDaddy (emailname) *
01/25/99 03:57:53 PST

To: UncleDaddy


Keep this one up top folks. It's Important.

From: zeugma (zeugma@pobox.com) *
01/25/99 06:03:06 PST

To: zeugma


From: republic (PowerMadClinton'sUseStateOfUnionAsPhotoOp@ZERO-INTEGRITY.ever) *
01/25/99 06:08:58 PST

To: republic
From: Ken in Eastman (kencarroll@bigfoot.com) *
01/25/99 06:18:03 PST

To: Lex
Too bad Nunn no longer sits in the Senate
From: pfesser (emailname) *
01/25/99 06:23:31 PST