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The Other Starr Detractors

by J. Orlin Grabbe

What do Bill Clinton, Susan McDougal, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, and Chris Ruddy have in common? A ready, self-righteous proclivity to dump on the Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard and Chris Ruddy paraded out a pet witness to the disposal of Vince Foster's body and demanded Starr drop everything and devote maximum attention to their journalistic side show. But when Starr didn't jump to the bark of these mighty reporters, Ruddy slammed Starr with the comments of an un-named senator:

Starr's possible passivity with the Foster case seems to have taken some notice on Capitol Hill. A leading Republican member of the Senate's "Whitewater" Banking Committee said Thursday night that he was "disappointed" with Starr's work so far. The senator, previously believed to have been a supporter of Starr's, said Starr's work was "embarrassing" on the Foster case. The senator suggested that Starr is motivated by a desire to be on the Supreme Court. He added, however, that any notion of Starr getting on the court "is finished." ("Park witness to appear before Starr grand jury in Foster investigation", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Oct. 29, 1995.)

I've consistently defended Chris Ruddy from the likes of 60 Minutes' Mike Wallace, and will continue to reserve judgment. But British journalist Ambrose Evans- Pritchard (AEP) is another matter.

According to him, us colonials need to be lectured about our news standards, and it's up to the British press to tell us about the CIA and Mena and Bill Clinton's cocaine habits.

Really? I seem to recall that Roger Morris did a pretty fine treatment of the Mena coke-for-arms scene in Partners in Power. I also recall writing something about Bill Clinton's cocaine habits myself--based on current sources, not years-old Arkansas trooper statements. And the San Jose Mercury seems to be doing a pretty good job of taking on the CIA's involvement in the drug trade-- without any help from the British press.

In fact, there is a whole alternative news industry in America that has probed the CIA's drug dealing, not to mention the Internet, which is hardly the province of the British press.

And, yes, you'll find AEP quite willing to discuss money-laundering in Arkansas. But you won't find him discussing money-laundering at the London Metals Exchange. Or asking questions about how much gold the Bank of England has had to turn over to Korea in the Korean arms scandal. Or documenting the amount of drug money that branches of British banks have taken in, in the Caribbean.

Instead, you will find AEP, who has strong MI6 connections, off gathering information on U.S. militia members. Who is he turning this information over to?

You will find AEP blasting away about the changing colors of the supposed "suicide" gun of Vince Foster, but strangely mute about the NSA notebooks that Deborah Gorham put in Vince Foster's safe. You'll find him out dumping on the real Vince Foster story as told by Jim Norman and myself, and saying that the Angel of Death--one of Starr's chief sources for evidence--has no credibility.

You won't find AEP retracting that disinformation he got from Clarence Harp, or explaining why he insists a Swiss bank account number found in the trunk of Barry Seal's car is an aircraft number.

For the bottom line is that AEP is a propagandist with a foreign agenda who likes to bitch about what is wrong with America. But the last thing he wants to see is someone like Kenneth Starr who is actually dealing with the problems.

When Kenneth Starr indicts Hillary Clinton and goes after Bill, and leaves Susan sitting in the slammer, don't expect to hear any apologies from AEP and Chris Ruddy.

September 25, 1996
Web Page: http://www.aci.net/kalliste/