WASHINGTON -- Here we are again with Hillary Rodham Clinton confronted by charges of obstruction of justice, perjury and general improbity. Such behavior has been going on with her for a long time. Some journalists who today chronicle the charges facing the Clintons were not even born when it all began.
For those of us with unflagging memories and abundant experience, it goes back decades. I would date the first official charges of Hillary Clinton's crookedness and reckless disregard for the law to Watergate in 1974 when she improbably served on the Watergate impeachment staff. Her boss then was the general counsel and chief of staff for the House Judiciary Committee, Jerry Zeifman, a Democrat. In a personal evaluation of Clinton's performance he wrote, "I decided that I could not recommend her for any future position of public or private trust." Why? Zeifman had learned that in this historic undertaking "she had lied" to him and to others repeatedly. Had Americans been attentive then, or at least had Democrats been attentive, America might have been spared Clinton's decades-long cavalcade of mendacity and intrigue.
Looking back on her bouts with Republicans, the media, and what are generally referred to as the authorities, not much has changed. To some of us Clinton-watchers, her scrapes with the law have been endlessly amusing, but in truth we have seen it all before. I suppose her negligence about security at Benghazi is new, but before 2009 she had never been responsible for security anywhere. Had she been responsible for the lives of ambassadors and others earlier, we would doubtless have been witnesses to the cover-up, the stonewalling, and such melodrama as her Congressional lament: "What does it matter?" Aside from her career at State, there is nothing new on her record.
Back in Little Rock in the late 1970s and 1980s, she and Bill were always entoiled with shady fundraising schemes concluded just before Bill's elections, to say nothing of such scams as her cattle future transactions and Whitewater (for which Bill boasts today that no one was convicted. I count 15 convictions). In fact, back in 1993, The New York Times reported in exhaustive detail about the Clintons' many dubious loans, often from rural Arkansas banks. Then the Times seemed to suffer amnesia when the Clintons engaged in such fundraising in Washington with foreign donors, disreputable tycoons and sleepovers in the Lincoln Bedroom. Now, of course, we see that Secretary of State Clinton waived or ignored department restrictions on foreigners and foreign governments that contributed to the Clinton Foundation and to Bill's speaking engagements. Again there is nothing new here. It all began in Arkansas at some hayseed bank.
One can trace Clinton's missing email caper back at least to her White House days when she or her aides secreted Vince Foster's documents and the Rose Law Firm billing records for nearly two years from government subpoenas. They finally popped up in the White House family quarters, but by then investigators had moved on to more pressing business. Back in the 1990s, The American Spectator even had an employee of the Rose Law Firm on the record as destroying documents at the firm at night lest they fall into the hands of Ken Starr, but again the nation's attention span wavered.
Even using the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Library as a kind of halfway house for the Clintons' cronies has its precursor. Back in the White House, the Clintons fired the professional staff in the White House travel office in favor of a cousin of Bill's and various other Arkansas cronies. In fact, there was talk when the Clintons moved in of bringing their trusted Arkansas troopers with them to replace the Secret Service.
I could go on, but you get my drift. There is a long record of blatant corruption up to the very present, and though the American taxpayer might not remember other markedly unsavory figures have taken note. When Hillary Clinton arrived at State greedy fellows in, for instance, Moscow, Kazakhstan and Nigeria made their plans. They saw Bill traveling the world with is hand out and the Clinton Foundation open for business. Peter Schweizer in his latest book, "Clinton Cash," has recorded how they got the business. Now the question is after all these years, will the American electorate put an end to the Clintons' business? If Clinton ever makes it to the White House her corruption could be fatal to our Republic.