Propaganda is the bread and butter of covert action. - Gregory Treverton
In North Korea, we are told, the only radios
people are permitted to own can pick up only one station, and that station, of
course, broadcasts only the government line. In the United States we have
thousands of radio stations, television stations, newspapers, and magazines. But
when it comes to really important matters, they, too, only report the government
line. Think of what they have told us about the Kennedy and King assassinations,
the Oklahoma City bombing, Pan Am 103, TWA 800, EgyptAir 990, the Waco massacre,
the NAFTA, the GATT, the World Trade Organization, the death of Vincent Foster,
and U.S. policy toward Iraq, Kosovo, or Palestine for starters. Whether one
thinks of oneself as a conservative or a liberal and subscribes to the
publications and listens to the opinion leaders appropriate to his political
orientation, he will be hard-pressed to find even a single dissenting voice in
any of the regular news organs on any of these important matters. Rather, what
one will encounter is a chorus of name-calling for anyone with the audacity to
question the official government line.
The big difference between North Korea and
the United States, one is forced to conclude, is the degree of sophistication of
the propaganda. In the United States the illusion of choice of information
sources is maintained quite effectively, not altogether unlike the maintenance
of the illusion of choice in elections. But the illusion goes well beyond the
standard media. When we talk only of the government mouthpieces who make up the
"mainstream,"we have only begun to plumb the depths of the propaganda
sophistication in this former land of the free. This is merely the propaganda
crust. Beneath it is found the propaganda sub-strata. In "America's
Dreyfus Affair," we had a glimpse at a small part of the sub-strata,
some of the players among the fake right. Among those identified were
Christopher Ruddy, our propaganda masters' designated lead critic in the Vincent
Foster case, Floyd Brown, head of Citizens United, one of those myriad groups
with scant apparent means of support, and Brown's top assistant who later became
Rep. Dan Burton's lead Clinton investigator, David Bossie.
We call them "fake right" because
they are obviously not sincere in their opposition to the putatively left-wing
powers that be, most notably the Clinton administration and its media
supporters. They make a big fuss about going after the Clintons, but in the end
they pull their punches and refuse to use the best evidence against them. The
fake right on the propaganda crust like The Washington Times, the American
Spectator, National Review, and the Weekly Standard even rip into those
presenting the most powerful evidence of their criminal behavior while the fake
right sub-strata, at best, look the other way.
5 we saw one very good way of identifying members of the propaganda
sub-strata. That is the unjustified publicity they often receive from those on
the crust. The Washington Post told us how Citizens United had two full-time
researchers looking into the death of Deputy White House Counsel, Vincent
Foster, researchers who curiously they didn't seem to be scoring any hits in
what the military would call a target-rich environment. More recently, the
liberal Newsweek, in a cover story about practitioners of the new high-tech
journalism, featured nominal conservatives Matt Drudge and Christopher Ruddy,
among others, while The
Washington Times managed to find news in the fact that Dave Bossie had
launched a web site, whose URL they thoughtfully supplied.
We will find no better example of the
mainstream media steering people toward fake opposition than a rather long
article that recently graced the front page of America's most widely-read
newspaper, the Wall Street Journal. Here it is copied in its entirety as it
appeared in the Journal's online version. The only thing missing there from the
print edition was the following little box that appeared about three paragraphs
An occasional look at unfashionable
April 19, 2000
The Committee to
WASHINGTON -- The Committee to
Impeach the President Again has crossed Independence Avenue and is
advancing on the House of Representatives when it bumps into Lewis Uhler,
an antitax lobbyist. Eugene Delgaudio shows him a letter the committee
is hand-carrying to the Speaker of the House.
"Impeach Clinton again?"
says Mr. Uhler. He claps Mr. Delgaudio on the shoulder. "Only you
would be doing that," Mr. Uhler tells him. "It's not enough to
roll him out at the end of the year and be done with it." The
lobbyist lowers his voice for seriousness: "But at least there's a
chance to press him on tax cuts."
"Unless we get rid of him
first!" Mr. Delgaudio sings. At the Committee to Impeach the
President Again -- on this morning it marshals three people -- Mr.
Delgaudio's role might be described as impresario. He comes from New
York City, where his father ran campaigns for Vito Battista, a pol who
once expressed his view on the size of the budget by turning up at City
Hall with an elephant. A 45-year-old rightist-for-life with a saintly
smile, Mr. Delgaudio has spent 20 years crusading for assorted
commissions, councils and committees, but always with a thing for
theatrics. With him today is Scott Lauf, who heard Mr. Delgaudio speak
at George Washington University 11 years ago and became his acolyte.
"The college Republicans were country clubbers," says Mr. Lauf,
who grew up in Nevada. "They wouldn't make any noise." At 28,
he is a tasseled-loafer Capitol Hill regular and Mr. Delgaudio's
impeach-him-again point man; on this occasion, that means he gets to
tote a ream or two of letters in a cardboard box.
Also along is Jack Clayton, 60, who
wears a black raincoat and stares at his feet as he talks. He says,
"I come from the religious right, a term I despise. Until they
acknowledge the religious left, it's a disgrace." He grew up in
Alabama and sounds like a courtly preacher, with a whiff of brimstone.
"I have the highest respect for Gene Delgaudio," says Mr.
Clayton. "He interdicts the moralistic bloviating of contemporary
liberals and economic conservatives. We crossed paths and immediately
saw things in common."
Apart from a vigorous yet contained
contempt for William Jefferson Clinton, what every member of the
Committee to Impeach the President Again wants most is to see the guy
convicted by the Senate for something. Like Japanese soldiers on a
cutoff island in 1946, their war isn't over. Let independent counsels
and prosecutors wave white flags (at least until the president isn't
president anymore). Let a prurience-pummeled public turn to electing
somebody else. The impeach-him-againers are sticking to their guns. The
cause is their energizer. Defeat is no excuse for surrender.
"Maybe it's over with the
trial," says Mr. Lauf, "but it isn't over with us." Mr.
Clayton says, "The easy way out was to say it's all about sex;
anybody who says it's all about sex has a mind that's all about
emptiness." And Mr. Delgaudio: "OK, the first impeachment's
over. But you can impeach many times. You build up to it. Just because
it's impossible doesn't mean it's impossible. You follow? It doesn't
seem doable in the current climate, but climates change. I concede no
one's agitating to impeach again -- that's why we're working on it. It
can all come raging back because of the work we do today."
Thus, as their friend the tax
lobbyist calls, "Keep up the pressure!" the committee passes
through the metal detector and into the marbled halls of the House.
Their letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert objects to a federal
inquiry on the possibility of policing politics on the Internet. This
bears on impeachment because the committee has a Web site (Impeach
Clinton Again) and because, as Mr. Delgaudio says, "we believe
everything bears on impeachment."
Under a statue of the late Sen.
Ernest Gruening of Alaska, Mr. Lauf confers with a guard and reports:
"He says we have to deliver it here. Want to go up anyway?"
Unanimous, the committee makes a break for it, quickstepping past more
heroic statuary until Mr. Lauf asks another guard for directions.
"Where's your pass?" says the guard. The committee turns
around and meanders back.
A young woman in jeans and a
sweatshirt stands behind the appointments desk. "Can you call up to
the Speaker's office?" Mr. Lauf asks her. He explains about
delivering the letter. "Give it to me," she says. "I'll
get it to the Speaker." Mr. Lauf isn't sure. "Can you stamp it
with the office you represent?" he says. "Office I
represent?" says the young woman. She takes the letter, initials it
and -- bang -- the Committee to Impeach the President Again is out the
The Way It Was
How different it was the first time
around. The committee (it was just the Committee to Impeach the
President then) delivered a million petitions to Congress. The day the
Starr report came out, its Web site absorbed 240,000 hits. At pivotal
moments, its forces took to the sidewalks, handing out little paper cups
(for White House drug tests), wearing prison outfits ("Criminals
for Clinton") and overcoats in August (blizzard of lies), and
giving away peaches on impeachment day. They made the Washington Times
twice, the Comedy Channel once -- and evoked a rude gesture from
Democratic operative James Carville's chauffeur.
"It was exhilarating," says
Mr. Lauf. "It got us excited."
Impeachment, however, left a broader
sample of Americans totally zonked. "Oh, no!" is Debbie
Vaughn's comment on the idea of a do-over. A teacher from Missouri, she
is over at the National Museum of American History on another morning,
checking out the Star-Spangled Banner's tattered remains. Arthur Allen,
a biologist from Colorado, has three words for impeachment again:
"Silly. Tedious. Redundant." And Greg, a building worker down
from Boston, says, "That scandal? With the intern? What was that
The committee has not forgotten. On
Feb. 12, 1999, its Web site bewailed "the most shameful day in the
history of the U.S. Senate," but a week after the Clinton
acquittal, and every week since, it has posted an "impeachment
update" bulging with impudent questions: "Is Clinton's pardon
of terrorists grounds for removal?" "Is Clinton still snorting
coke?" Surfers wash up 3,000 times a day; some send money. Of
course, other Bill-bashing sites still abound. Yet the committee's site
maintains that only real steps will finally punish that man, Mr.
Real steps of the shoe-leather kind,
that is. So, with the Speaker off-limits, it's time for the men who
would impeach again to step across the street for a march down the long,
unpoliced halls of the Cannon House Office Building, where lesser
representatives and their staffers inhabit small offices behind big
"What do you say when you go
in?" Mr. Delgaudio directs.
"We want a response," says
"Remember to smile," Mr.
Delgaudio says. "You don't always."
And they're off, crisscrossing halls,
opening doors, presenting letters, requesting responses -- and pointing
out the name of their committee. Every receptionist who sees it
brightens and chirps "Sure!" or "Wonderful!" Mr.
Lauf chirps back, "We're hopeful," and he smiles.
Two hours and 60 offices later, they
repair to a place called Tortilla Coast, take a table, order lunch and
"We're calling for another
inquiry," Mr. Lauf says. He sips his second Dos Equis. "More
is coming out every day." Mr. Clayton writes up a list of
outstanding offenses and hands it across the guacamole: "Chickengate,
Cattlegate, Chinagate ..." They consider demonstrating at the
Maryland trial of Linda Tripp, "to make clear," Mr. Delgaudio
says, "that she is, essentially, Joan of Arc."
A new impeachment bombshell could
land any second.
"Look how quickly the hearings
and House vote took," says Mr. Lauf. "Six weeks." Mr.
Delgaudio picks up the check. "This is an in-between period,"
he says. "A valley." On their way out, they meet another
lobbyist friend and give him and a woman he's with their protest letter.
"Impeach again?" the woman says in a faint voice.
"Again?" The lobbyist introduces her as Paige Ralston, deputy
press secretary to none other than the Speaker of the House. Outside,
Mr. Delgaudio is exultant. "See! We got to Hastert!"
"That guy Gene," says Mr.
Clayton. "He can convert red lights to green lights better than
anybody in D.C."
As the Committee to Impeach the
President Again pushes back up Capitol Hill, Mr. Lauf has a spring in
his step. "This," he says, "is going to be a great
Write to Barry Newman at email@example.com
No doubt you noticed the mocking tone, the
contrast between these obvious buffoons and sober, sensible citizens who want to
pretend that everything is just fine with our leadership. You might have also
noticed that the article had absolutely nothing of substance in it. There was
nothing that one might call news.
It might not be news, but it's certainly good
propaganda. See how they managed to provide the whole country with the group's
web site. If you hadn't guessed by now, they are one of the more egregious fake
right outfits that I identified in Dreyfus
5. Here is some of what I had to say:
...another patently phony Clinton-opposition group accounts for no more
than a flickering zephyr in [Dan E.] Moldea's "political firestorm"
account, but he appears to take them seriously, nonetheless (The reference is to
Moldea's book, "Washington Tragedy, How the Death of Vincent Foster Ignited
a Political Firestorm."). That is the bizarre outfit that fashions itself
the Clinton Investigative Commission. In his penultimate endnote, Moldea credits
"investigative reporter" Byron York of The American Spectator with
having written a "hilarious expose" of the group (speaking of outfits
lacking evident economic viability, the neo-conservative Weekly Standard, Moldea
tells us in his text, had a review by York of Ruddy's book in which he concluded
"the conspiracy theorists simply have too much invested in their scenarios
to conclude that the evidence proves them wrong."). One can't help
wondering what awesome investigative and literary skills York had to bring to
bear to make this crew appear ridiculous. It could hardly be more obvious that
their entire reason for being is to make all suspicions of the Foster death
appear almost humorously absurd. That our clandestine community has gone to such
lengths as to manufacture such ruses is just about the best evidence we have
that we are dealing with something far more important here than a simple
suicide. Consider the fact that on Saturday, October 19, 1997, (It would be a
Saturday.) The Washington Times, on the heels of its ringing endorsement of the
Starr suicide conclusion, permitted under the heading "More questions than
answers on Vince Forster (sic)," its first and only skeptical letters to
date on the Foster case. The first and by far the longest of the letters almost
comically mixes up the facts in the case. It is signed "Scott Lauf,
Director of communications, Clinton Investigative Commission, Annandale
(VA)." Lauf maintains once again that Foster was left-handed, the
apparently erroneous assertion over which Ruddy had been crucified on national
TV by Mike Wallace, and tells us that park policeman Kevin Fornshill
"stated to the FBI that there was no gun in Mr. Foster's hand, that both
palms were face up and his arms were laid by his side as if in a coffin."
(Here he is putting the testimony of several other witnesses into the mouth of
Fornshill, who, in fact, claims not to have seen a gun, but he said that after
discovering the body he never bothered to look to see if there was a gun in the
We also noted that in the group's hokey
initial fund-raising letter about the Foster case, a fictitious address was
provided for the group's purported parent organization.
Although the name is not given in the Wall
Street Journal article, the web site tells us that this is, indeed, the same old
Clinton Investigative Commission peddling the same old easily-discredited
malarkey about Vincent Foster's death. With a little browsing around, we find
The Unsolved Mystery between Vince Foster & the White House
by Scott Lauf March 17, 1999
One of the greatest unsolved scandals of the Clinton presidency is the
death of Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster, whose corpse was discovered in
Ft. Marcy Park, VA on July 20, 1993. Barely six months into the first term of
President Clinton had passed and the Grim Reaper had visited the White House.
The intense controversy and immense pressure from the Oval Office forced two
independent counsels, congressional committees, and numerous media outlets to
fastidiously jump to the conclusion that this death was a suicide.
But the Clinton Investigative Commission brought national and
international attention to the many inconsistencies and descrepancies (sic) of
the Foster death, alone in the political arena for quite some time. We were
joined by many larger and now more famous groups, authors and writers later.
Three months before the Lewinsky scandal captured the news headlines for
all of 1998, Ken Starr's "official" report on the death of Vince
Foster in October 1997 was intended to be the final verdict on this case, and
thus forever silence those who believe he was murdered.
The report said Mr. Foster was clinically depressed and therefore took
his own life. Furthermore, gunshot residue was found on his mouth and a revolver
was found in his right hand substantiating the suicide theory.
While Starr may have done a fine job in presenting evidence to Congress
of perjury and obstruction in the Lewinsky matter, he has utterly failed in his
duties to look into the far more egregious and controversial crimes like
Filegate, Whitewater, Travelgate ---- and, of course, the death of Vince Foster.
But rather than question Starr himself for his reasons to ignore these other
crimes, it is more worthy to criticize his ridiculous report which is still
being cited by Clinton supporters as the end-all-be-all of the Foster tragedy.
For far too long his report has left too many unanswered questions which have
yet to be addressed.
To start with a blatant discrepancy of logic, Mr. Foster was left-handed.
So why was the gun found in his right hand, as the Starr report asserts?
Furthermore, the probability of the gun remaining in his hand from a
self-inflicted gunshot is practically impossible and defies the laws of physics.
While Mr. Starr cites various experts and witnesses to buttress his
theory, he clearly ignores those who paint a different picture. The testimony of
park policeman Kevin Fornshill, who was the first to arrive at the scene, stated
to the FBI that there was no gun in Mr. Foster's hand, that both palms were face
up and his arms were laid out as if he was ready for a coffin. And then there is
Patrick Knowlton, a passer-by in the park who told the FBI he saw two cars ---
one with Arkansas plates and a man in the driver's seat --- in the parking lot
shortly before Mr. Foster's body was discovered.
Other anomalies have surfaced over the years in this strange death. Where
was Mr. Foster in the missing three hours before his death? Why was the bullet
not found in the park after an extensive FBI search which even uncovered Civil
War-era musket balls? Why were semen, blond hair and carpet fibers found on Mr.
Foster's clothes, but not ground soil on his shoes? Why were items removed from
Mr. Foster's office by White House staffers before the FBI came? Why was the
"suicide note" forged and then torn into 27 pieces, only later to be
discovered in Mr. Foster's briefcase?
All of these questions remain unanswered because they can't be answered.
Vince Foster was murdered. The only real mystery is the actual motive --- or
motives. But the First Couple would rather you not know about Foster and his
seedy dealings with them which date back to their days in Little Rock in the
1980s. The truth about Foster would forever tarnish their so-called
The Clinton Investigative Commission brought these descrepancies (sic) to
light in the largest direct mail campaign against an incumbent president in
American history. The resulting outrage brought pressure on Congress to impeach
Clinton the first time and inspired dozens of other independent efforts,
additional studies and commentaries, books by authors and campaigns against Bill
Again, the Clinton Investigative Commisssion (sic) brings attention to
this crime. Until it is solved.
But the Clintons do know there is still lingering evidence out there
which points directly to the White House and they will do anything to prevent it
from coming to light. Let us all pray that the truth will be told before other
"mysterious" deaths become statistics in the infamous Clinton Body
To obtain a copy of the report of CIC's extensive investigation into the
murder of Vince Foster, please send request to CIC Foster Report, P.O. Box
97171, Washington, DC 20090-7171, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To the old erroneous information about the
witness Kevin Fornshill we now have added new erroneous information about the
witness Patrick Knowlton. Knowlton did see two cars in Fort Marcy Park and one
had Arkansas tags, but he didn't see anyone in it. The main significance of what
he saw is that the car did not fit the description of Foster's car and Foster
was already dead in the back of the park. Knowlton's insistence in sticking to
his account is what got him harassed on the streets of Washington, DC, and why
he has filed suit against several government officials, some of whom work for
the FBI. You can read all this genuine, accurate news for yourself at FBI
Mr. Lauf is also quite misleading when he
suggests that only Clinton supporters have hailed the Starr report on Foster.
All the fake right organs on the propaganda crust have, too, and that includes
the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times. Mr. Lauf would no more point
this fact out than the Journal or the Times would report on the existence of
fbicover-up.com or tell us that the Starr report had a 20-page letter from
Knowlton's lawyer attached to it by order of the three-judge panel that
appointed Starr, and that the letter provides an abundance of genuine evidence
that utterly destroys the suicide-from-depression thesis.
As a matter of fact, Lauf and the Clinton
Investigative Commission won't tell us that, either. By all means, go to the web
site. You will find there the links to the usual suspects, Christopher Ruddy,
Floyd Brown, Dave Bossie, etc., but as of April 26, 2000, you will not see any
mention of fbicover-up.com, with its
genuine news of government scandal. When the propagandists at the Wall Street
Journal give someone publicity, even if it is to make sport of them, they don't
take any chances.
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