The media wizards are onto another Clinton scandal. Our new crop of "journalists", known as barkers in the circus trade, are astounded that Clinton might have sold a pardon to a fugitive who had renounced his American citizenship and taken refuge in Europe to avoid a hefty $48 million tax bill and to dodge charges of illegal arms dealing?
The pundits keep repeating the same moronic line "it doesn't pass the smell test". What exactly did they have up their nose for the last eight years? Their nasal nerves hardly got disturbed over the matter of the $8 million book deal for Hillary, the "brotherly" pardons for drug dealers and the "get out the vote" pardon for the four Hassidic embezzlers of public funds. There was also the last minute deal with the Justice Department to forget about the millions that were funneled to Clinton's 1992 and 1996 campaigns by James T Riady, the Indonesian businessman fronting for the China lobby. Now, all of a sudden our media lords sense a foul scent in the air.
Who let the dogs out? Whoever it was, I give you my humble thanks? The most recent revelations about all kinds of 'quid pro quo' mischief that routinely goes uncovered is coming from the National Inquirer. That alone is a worthy story. The media titans at the New York Times, the Washington Post, FOX and CNN have no incentive to follow up stories that might hurt their seasonal "campaign" revenues and weaken their "spin" control of domestic and foreign policy.
What exactly motivates our money elite and our political leaders to have such intimate courtships? So much money for such worthless law makers. Forget about civic duty. This business has nothing to do with Mr. Smith going to Washington. This is about how Mark Rich gets to purchase the best "inside" legal talent from both parties by having his ex-wife sprinkle wads of cash like they've never seen in Hope, Arkansas. This is about how the rich have their way with our governors. Let us hope that the hunt does not stop at Clinton who ran the White House like a private Inn. Forget about forgetting about it. This time, lets get the whole dirt. If we have to subscribe to the National Inquirer, so be it. We need immediate intense attention to be focused on Hillary and her ill-gotten Senate seat. From there, let the flood gates open and let us find out exactly how the wheels of government are greased before the voters go back to sleep.
Just how did it come to pass that a small clique of our richest citizens became willing sponsors of a $3 billion dollar campaign to influence both the Democrats and the Republicans? I didn't send a dime to either party and I don't know anyone who did. So I am sort of curious about the revelation that Denise Rich had a spare million to hand over to the DNC and Hillary's campaign and an extra $450,000 for Bill's library. That kind of money amounts to the expected lifetime income of the average worker, if he moonlights as a cabby. These figures do not even begin to account for the fabulous parties that Denise threw to raise even more funds for Bill and Hillary.
Clinton claimed he gave the pardon out of his undying love for the Mossad, an intelligence service that insists on its legal rights to use severe torture and has a record of assassinating Palestinians that goes back half a century. He has admitted bowing to the pressure of calls from the heavies at the Israeli Lobby and the head of the Mossad and Barak and Peres. Would he have caved in to pressure from France or Argentina? Did any other heads of state dial Bill for pardons? Just the whole Israeli establishment? Did it have anything to do with Clinton's weakness for delivering the goods to the Israelis? What the hell, who would possibly make a fuss about the Mark Rich pardon?
Give the Clintons credit. From the minute they set their sights on the White House, they wasted no effort in harnessing the power of the Israeli lobby. It did not take long for the Israel Firsters to become a core constituency, better known as the "friends of Bill and Hill". It wasn't just the campaign money, but the media operatives. For one thing, The New York Times and CNN would back up his every policy and defend every one of his misadventures. Until a few weeks ago, they were working hard on throwing together a 'Clinton legacy'. The amount of fawning they bestowed on Hillary got her a Senate seat. All she had to do was display her anti-Arab fangs and she was in like flint. Leave the campaign financing to the Lobby. Media problems can also be taken care of. Just make sure to sign that additional 300 million Foreign aid bill to help the Israelis beat the Palestinians back to their senses. Quid pro Quo, just make believe it isn't so.
Clinton must have watched in awe as the New York Times and CNN sanitized Sharon as just another war general with a "conservative" agenda. If they could do that for a serial arsonist implicated in numerous war crimes, what possible problems would they have with excusing his pardons.
Politics in Washington has become a game about money and media access and kissing up to any Mr. Rich willing to part with some of his coins. There is not a cab driver in our capital who is unaware of the power of the Israeli Lobby. Money and influence in the media have combined to allow this lobby to dictate foreign policy in the Middle East for 50 years. Their success has not escaped the notice of other countries like Turkey which have come to depend on "The Lobby" to take care of business with the State Department and Congress.
So, it should come as no surprise that the Israelis were involved in the Mark Rich capers or in the Iran/Contra arms deal or in a hundred other Federal policy decisions. Clinton is now out of office and pretty useless to the lobby and if they need to abandon him, they will. What can he possibly do, confess to even more quid pro quos? How many Senators really want to chase this snake? What if it leads to their campaign war chest? No wonder, President Bush wants to move on.
It is amazing that every Palestinian kid, enduring the indignity and daily humiliation of Israeli military occupation, knows that he is a direct victim of how America finances its campaigns. Every Arab-American understood why no mention was made of the Palestinian uprising by Gore or Bush during the election. Too much campaign money at stake. It is just the way the world works. If a campaign victory parade needs to march over dead Palestinian bodies, so be it. Just don't antagonize the Israel Firsters. They tend to be vindictive.
You have to wonder about Bill Clinton, though. When Barak asked him to pardon Mark Rich, do you think it occurred to Clinton to tell Barak to lighten up on killing Palestinians? Did he bother to advise him to try to use non-lethal force? Did he ask for a pardon for Vanunu, the Israeli peace activist who has been rotting in solitary confinement for revealing Israel's nuclear arsenal? Or was his compassion limited to a swindler and a tax-cheating arms smuggler like Mark Rich?
The world must think us stupid. Don't blame Americans. Most of us are just too busy earning a living and shaking our heads? You just wonder about American journalists. Certainly they need to make a living too and rocking the boat can cost you a career. You just hope that, some day, a few of them will have the courage of those Czech journalists who went on strike to protect the integrity of their craft. But then again, no other industry enjoys the windfall of an expensive campaign season like the media industry.
Until America finds a legal way to divorce campaign financing from entrenched interest groups that support foreign repressive regimes, Palestinians will be paying for that campaign TV message with their blood. In the meantime, we need to investigate all large donors like Denise Rich. It comes down to equal treatment of each and every ,American. Acc,ess to our lawmakers and our president cannot continue to be based on the size of a citizen's purse. This nonsense has already seriously undermined the democratic scaffolding that holds up our republic.
This is no longer just a dirty little scam. We need to know who tossed the three thousand million dollars in the GOP and DNC collection plates. And we need to know what they were expecting in return. So, let the dogs keep on hunting and thank The Inquirer for letting them loose.
Ahmed Amr is editor of nileMedia.com.