Thomas Sowell

After Bill Clinton, Al Gore and various Congressional Democrats had pointed the finger of suspicion at Big Oil as the cause of astronomical gasoline prices in the midwest, the Washington Times obtained a copy of a memorandum from within the Clinton administration itself -- and this memo said no such thing.

The internal memo mentions such factors as the Clinton administration's own special environmental rules on gasoline for the midwest as being among the reasons for the higher gas prices there. In other words, Clinton, Gore and the others all knew better before they started lying to the public and sending federal agencies out to investigate the oil companies.

This is just another chapter in the corruption of the federal government in all its branches by this administration. Also corrupted have been the media allies of the Clinton administration, who have learned to spin the news almost as well as the White House liar's club.

For example, the New York Times reported this story on page 28 of its Saturday morning edition -- which is the next thing to not publishing it at all. Moreover, the Times story headlined the fact that the Republican Speaker of the House had criticized the administration, based on this memo.

But it is not news when Republicans and Democrats criticize each other. What is news is that the Clinton administration's own internal memo from early June provided facts completely contradicting the later statements of the president, the vice president, and others who have tried to mislead the public by pointing the finger of suspicion at oil companies.

What is dangerous is the cynical use of the massive powers of the federal government to go after people, not because they have broken any law, but to save the political hide of those in charge of this power. One of the earliest and ugliest example of this was the phony FBI "investigation" of members of the White House travel office, whose jobs the Clintons wanted to give to their cronies from Arkansas.

The president has the power to fire any White House staffers he wants to fire. But to avoid the political flack from firing what had traditionally been staffers who remained on from one administration to the next, the Clintons had to concoct some "crime" for which the travel office employees could be fired.

Once put on trial in a court of law, the travel office staffers were acquitted in no time. But they were left with legal bills several times their annual salaries.

This is the way things are done in corrupt Third World dictatorships. And it is the way the Clintons operated in Arkansas. But it was a new low for the federal government of the United States of America.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate