WASHINGTON, D.C. -- It is summer reading time, and I have a
perfect book for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to bring to Martha's Vineyard,
that posh New York resort where she and husband Bill always find a nice
captain of industry to loan them a cottage with servants and golf clubs.
The book is a modern French masterpiece, "L' Effroyable
Imposture," by France's next Jean-Paul Sartre, M. Thierry Meyssan, a
sleepy-eyed moderate leftist, whose title, translated into English, reads,
"The Horrifying Fraud."
It is not a book about the Clintons. Rather, it is a book about
a topic Hillary herself introduced to America, the topic of "right-wing
When first she mentioned that a conspiracy of conservatives was
behind her husband's numerous scrapes with the law and with scandal in
general, the press was dubious and the public bemused. Then gradual
repetition of the conspiracy theory began to take hold.
Columnists discovered that Linda Tripp had been a Republican,
that Lucianne Goldberg once worked somehow for Richard Nixon, that Kathleen
Willey and Paula Corbin Jones -- though Democrats -- spent a lot of time
with Republicans, and Willey's dead cat could have died by natural causes.
Soon, reliable sources such as James Carville and David Brock
were telling all. They knew that almost everyone who spoke ill of the
Clintons had one thing in common -- to wit, they were not party-line
Democrats. Nor had any contributed to any of the Clintons' political
campaigns. Some had military backgrounds.
M. Meyssan's book makes many useful contributions to the
Clintons' theory of a "vast right-wing conspiracy" here in America. "The
Horrifying Fraud" argues that the Sept. 11 attacks on America were carried
out not by Islamic fundamentalists or by any foreigners at all. The attacks
were the work of a right-wing conspiracy working within the American
government. Who doubts that when Hillary gets her copy she will turn
immediately to the index to see if Richard Scaife is mentioned or Lucianne?
By the way, this is no marginal book written by a writer on the
fringes of French society. It has sold over 200,000 copies in France. It
stands atop the French best-seller list, shouting, "Hillary was right." And
the argument is exquisite, offering intellectual complexity that no Yankee
Clintonite can match.
According to M. Meyssan, Lucianne's agents inside the government
were threatening to overthrow the Bush administration by a coup (America's
first ever) if he did not agree to expand the military budget and declare
war against Afghanistan and Iraq, both of which countries have gotten on the
right's nerves. Oil interests were also at issue, and in the case of
Afghanistan, perhaps, rugs.
To increase pressure on the Bush administration and possibly
avoid the necessity of a coup (America's first ever), the right-wingers (or
should we call them Republicans?) needed a provocation for the
administration to attack Afghanistan and Iraq, and so they hit the Pentagon
and the World Trade Center. Then they blamed the whole thing on the
otherwise irreproachable Osama bin Laden.
The attack went like this. The right-wing conspiracists laid
hands on a missile and fired it into the Pentagon. As for the planes that we
all saw hit the World Trade Center, they were programmed to hit the towers.
Apparently, there were no pilots. Thus, Osama bid Laden could not possibly
have been involved, and all decent Americans owe him an apology. We should
give him his caves back, and even the bats.
The argument does leave some unanswered questions. One is, where
is that plane that the right-wingers would have us believe hit the Pentagon?
It was an American Airlines plane. Could American Airlines be involved in
the plot? That is a publicly held company. And where are the passengers on
the flight that M. Meyssan tells us never hit the Pentagon?
Possibly these questions will be answered by the time the
American edition of this useful French contribution to the study of
right-wing conspiracies hits the country. It is being translated into
English and several other languages for distribution in 16 countries.
I hope the American edition will have an introduction by a
knowledgeable student of the "vast-right wing conspiracy," for instance
former Clinton White House aide Sidney Blumenthal. Democratic National
Chairman Terry McAuliffe will surely be asked to do a blurb. And it is
always possible that Hillary might, too. You can be sure that in a matter of
weeks she will have read it cover to cover. I am told she reads French and
12 other languages.