Yet in reading Halper's book, "Clinton, Inc.," I have hit on another reason for the Clinton critics' ineffectiveness. Time and again an author writes as though he or she is the first to discover just how corrupt the Clintons really are. The Clintons have been caught red handed by a whole range of authors. When Bill left the White House having signed hundreds of dubious pardons and commutations even leading Democrats denounced him publicly, for instance, Joe Biden and Jimmy Carter. Even a dozen of so Episodic Apologists publicly washed their hands of him. It is all chronicled on the public record. Go ahead and Google it.
In writing as though he or she is the first author to reveal the Clinton's tawdriness or outright corruption each writer isolates himself or herself and renders his or her findings susceptible to the Clinton Machine's politics of personal destruction. Each author can be portrayed as an "extremist" or a "crank." I personally observed this phenomenon in Halper's book. On page 251 he reports, "There was another potential bombshell, never before reported." He is referring to foreign intelligence operatives eavesdropping on President Clinton's telephone calls, namely his "phone sex" calls with Monica late at night from the White House, sometimes early in the morning. Of course, as readers of this column might recall, I reported this as early as 2007 in my book "The Clinton Crack-Up" and have not been hesitant to repeat it.
In "The Clinton Crack-Up," I reported that the calls had been intercepted by such intelligence agencies as the Israelis and the Russians. The tapes existed and could be used against a Bill and Hillary whenever she ran for the White House. Halper delivers his "bombshell" without a hint that any other writer had done work in this area. He does the same with his revelation of Vince Foster's long affair with Hillary, though that story too first appeared in The American Spectator, and at the time we braved public opprobrium for publishing it. There are other examples of a lack of attribution for my work and doubtless for the work of others.
Yet Halper has unearthed information that advances our knowledge of the Clintons. For instance, in the case of the sex tapes he reveals that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ever so gingerly revealed his knowledge of them to Bill in the hope that the president would free Jonathan Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel. According to Halper, the "stricken Clinton appeared to buckle." It took the resistance of Clinton's national security team to restrain him from going further with Netanyahu's request.
Well, at any rate Halper's book is now in the bookstores and I hope it sells hugely. It breaks new ground with the Clintons. Still, as he finds the Clinton Machine slamming him as an "extremist" and a "crank" he has only himself to blame. He could have marshaled the work of many previous writers, at least in his footnotes, to support his new revelations, but he did not. He wanted to go it alone, much like Don Quixote.
It will take a long time to assemble the full case against the Clintons. By the time it is done, however, I doubt anyone will care about them.