Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 11 Num. 30 ======================================= ("Quid coniuratio est?")
Abbreviated Transcript of C-Span Interview
Portions of remarks made by London Telegraph newspaper reporter Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (AEP) during an appearance on C-Span, October 26, 1997, appear below. By way of introduction, here is a partial review by Conspiracy Nation of Mr. Evans-Pritchard's new book, The Secret Life of Bill Clinton. (ISBN: 0-89526-408-0)
Let's get two things straight: (1) the London Telegraph newspaper is not a "tabloid"; it is a broadsheet. It does not feature pretty girls in bikinis on page 3; it is a respected British newspaper having a circulation of about 1 million readers per day. During the years immediately before World War II, the Telegraph sided with Winston Churchill and against "appeasement" of Nazi Germany on the march. (The London Times, however, sided with the Neville Chamberlain "appeasement" policy which, we know, was a big mistake.) The London Telegraph newspaper has been around since 1855, and anyone who regularly visits their web site knows they consistently do excellent reporting on a wide variety of issues. (2) Just because Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is British does not mean he is therefore with MI-6.
Reacting to Evans-Pritchard's book, The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories, one Internet commentator called the London journalist a modern Alexis DeTocqueville. This is an apt description: Evans-Pritchard, visiting our land, travelling through it, and jotting down his observations, gives a keen outsider's sketch of the United States, as it is, in the mid-to-late 1990s. Do not be misled by the title of the book. The Secret Life of Bill Clinton is not about "Clinton bashing," per se, but portrays the larger situation of an elite class -- Democrats and Republicans -- full of decadence, corruption, and snobbery, and stubbornly resisted by the common people of the United States. The heroes of AEP's book are the ordinary people who, against all odds, have successfully "monkey-wrenched" the plans of their "betters" to "manage" the country. Yes, there have been defeats. But AEP's larger point is that, even in defeat, there has been a wide-ranging RESISTANCE which has most definitely slowed the enemy's advance. And there have been many victories in some of the minor skirmishes, too, detailed in Mr. Evans-Pritchard's book.
The one critique I have of the book is in its coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing(s) case. It carefully demonstrates the ineptness and even cover-up occurring in the so-called FBI "investigation," but the author does not come to grips with one aspect of the case: the fact that explosives must have been placed directly on the support pillars of the doomed Murrah Building. (We know this from expert analysis done by Brigadier General (retired) Benton Partin.) Since charges were placed on the support pillars, the next question (not noticed by AEP) is, "How did the 'rogue terrorists' involved gain access to the building?" Unfortunately, Mr. Evans-Pritchard misses that in his otherwise good analysis.
The book, as is to be expected (since it is written by an author who has achieved cult status amongst researchers into the hidden ways of the U.S. government), breaks a lot of new ground. The book gets the "gears turning" in one's mind. Aspects of revelations Evans-Pritchard has surfaced may, circumstances permitting, be touched on in future issues of Conspiracy Nation. But this underground news outlet can not possibly cover the entire eruption of previously-suppressed information provided by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. People routinely ask, "Gee, Conspiracy Nation, but what can I do?" What can you do? Buy this book and keep it on the best-seller lists.
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard interviewed on C-Span, 10/26/97
C-SPAN: Why is Oklahoma City such a focal point of the book?
AEP: Well, I think something that hasn't been reported to the American people is, many of the families have filed a number of lawsuits against the federal government, alleging that [the OKC bombing(s)] was a sting operation or, at the very least, that the government was negligent -- had some responsibility for what happened, perhaps had a degree of prior knowledge. It was a broader conspiracy, and they haven't been told the full truth.
The families [of the victims], many of them, are very angry. One family in particular, Glenn and Kathy Wilburn, who lost 2 grandchildren in the daycare center, conducted their own private investigation for 2 years. And they feel that the government covered up the true story; that it was a broader conspiracy, and that it was probably a sting operation that went disastrously wrong, and they've not come clean about it.
C-SPAN: Mr. Evans-Pritchard is a reporter, based in London. He spent some time here in Washington.
AEP: I did four-and-a-half years as the Washington correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph. And I've now returned, and I'm writing about European affairs for the Daily Telegraph in London.
C-SPAN: Last Monday, syndicated columnist Robert Novak wrote this piece, "A Sting Operation Gone Awry." And he talks about Andreas Strassmeier, "a former West German army lieutenant illegally in the U.S." Who is he, and why is he important to the bombing?
AEP: Tim McVeigh telephoned him 2 days before the bombing, after he had called the Ryder Truck rental agency. And that's how he got drawn into the whole question of the bombing in the first place. [Strassmeier] spent 8 years in the German army. And he told me he'd had intelligence training and he'd done some intelligence work in the German army. And he came here with the intention of working undercover for the U.S. Justice Department. And he admitted that to me. So it's quite significant that he should figure as a character in the extended McVeigh circle. He's also been named by an undercover informant of the ATF, Carol Howe, as somebody who's stirring up race war and a terrorist campaign against the U.S. government. Now with his background, I find it very hard to believe that he's a genuine neo-Nazi terrorist (which is how he presented himself.) I suspect that he was here on some kind of undercover mission; whether it was for the German government, or the United States government, or both, I don't know. My own conjecture (I can't prove it) is that he was a joint asset, penetrating the neo-Nazi far right.
C-SPAN: You devote a fair amount of your time to a lot of the conspiracy theories we hear, on this network, and read about from time to time in different publications. Vincent Foster: Was it suicide, or was it murder?
AEP: Well, I don't answer that question. What I say is, Kenneth Starr's investigator, the prosecutor he appointed to re-open the case, came to a different conclusion. He told Kenneth Starr, after a 4-months investigation, there was serious evidence of foul play. His name is Miquel Rodriguez. He went to Starr. He told Starr what he'd uncovered during his investigation using the grand jury. And Ken Starr looked the other way! He didn't want to hear it! He didn't want to deal with it. So Rodriguez resigned and went back to California. And that is the only time that it's ever been seriously investigated. After that, it was all damage control.
So I don't feel that Ken Starr has the authority to deliver the report that he's delivered. I don't think he answers any of the questions; it's just a re-hash of the Fiske report, which was incredibly weak. And he selectively uses witness testimony to support his case. And the people who are familiar with the archive of documents in this case are amazed that he's just ignored a colossal amount of evidence. And he's ignored what the crime scene witnesses said.
C-SPAN: So what is your conclusion about the Clinton presidency so far?
AEP: In terms of the scandals, or in terms of its general performance?
C-SPAN: Well, in terms of this book.
AEP: My conclusion is that he's a very, very corrupt man. And it's partly a generational thing. I think that the current generation in power (not just in America, but in most industrial countries) has lost its honor code. It's lost its integrity. Bill Clinton is the emblem of that.
C-SPAN: You write that, "If President Clinton eludes justice, at least it can be said that his destructive influence has been checked." Checked by whom?
AEP: Well, the good side of this book (it's not all negative) is that the ordinary people of America have held the line: we've seen it with the families in Oklahoma; we've seen it, in other people, throughout the book, who are resisting the abuse of power, in their little corner. Not always successfully, but they're impeding what I consider to be a decadent and dishonest leadership class from dragging this country down in terms of, into a Banana Republic. The ordinary people are the ones who are going to save America and not allow it to go the way that other countries have gone when its democracy has been threatened by internal decadence.
C-SPAN: Briefly, why did you write this book, and who were your sources?
AEP: There are very few un-named sources in the book; almost all of it has got named sources. So people can make a judgement for themselves, on how they want to evaluate it.
I first got dragged into this morass when I started going to Arkansas and talking to ordinary people there. And it became quite clear to me that a lot of very bad things had been going on for the last 10 or 15 years. It had become a haven of narcotics trafficking. And the more I looked into it, it seemed to me the political machine in Arkansas was involved. And there'd been a lot of mis-use of the criminal justice system: people had been intimidated, people had died. And I started looking into these issues and I... Well, there was no going back after that. I got drawn right into the middle of it.
C-SPAN: Explain this picture [on book cover]: why was it taken, and why is it on the cover?
AEP: Well, I can't answer that, because I've only just seen it myself. I came over from London on Thursday night. I've never seen the book before.
C-SPAN: The picture, of course, of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton whispering into the ear of President Clinton. Was that taken at the White House?
AEP: I must find out. It's terribly negligent of me not to know.
C-SPAN: You, in a number of instances, use the term, "abuse of power." Who has the power? And who's abusing it?
AEP: It's about... It's more than just Clinton. It's about the whole power structure in the United States.
C-SPAN: But who, specifically?
AEP: The Justice Department. The FBI. The political class as a whole.
C-SPAN: So who's calling the shots?
AEP: Very good question. It appears that [these things are] orchestrated by the highest levels of the FBI, FBI Counter-Terrorism in Washington.
C-SPAN: Did anyone in the Clinton White House, either current or former, co-operate with you on this book?
AEP: [Slight chuckle] They stopped co-operating with me quite a long time ago.
AEP: I think they found that they couldn't really "spin" me.
C-SPAN: You're now back in London. Did that have any direct relation on this book?
AEP: If I was an American journalist (and I'm pretty critical of the American press)... But I can see all the constraints that they're working under. It's quite difficult to challenge the entire power structure. (Which is what I've done in this book. It's not just attacking Clinton; I'm pretty tough on the Republicans as well.) You kind of "burn your bridges" and you lose your friends. It's very difficult for a journalist to write that type of book about their own country; they can't continue to operate and function, as a journalist. If I did this in London, about the British power structure, I really couldn't continue to work there. So, leaving [America] sort of made it easier.
C-SPAN: How does all of this connect to the President?
AEP: Well, he's... All these things have happened under his watch. Waco happened under his watch; it's the worst... it's the Wounded Knee of the 20th century. It's the worst abuse of power, in terms of number of people killed as a result of an act by the government. And he never dealt with it! He, instead of heads rolling and people being brought to account, he went out and tried the victims.
And so that set in motion the militia movement. It set in motion, to some degree, the domestic terrorism that the United States now suffers from (including the Oklahoma bombing.) This happened under his watch! (Although there are deeper forces that have been at work for many, many years, that contributed to this.) I'm not sure it would have happened if Paul Tsongas had been elected president.
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