Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 6 Num. 43 ====================================== ("Quid coniuratio est?")
Thanks to "DC Dave" for sending me the following item from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 29, 1995
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FOSTER CASE: PARK WITNESS TO APPEAR BEFORE STARR'S GRAND JURY By Christopher Ruddy
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A man who says he was at Fort Marcy Park on the evening Vincent W. Foster Jr. died was served a subpoena last week to appear before Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's Whitewater grand jury at noon Wednesday.
Since being served the subpoena, Patrick Knowlton appears to have been monitored around his Pennsylvania Avenue residence in Georgetown under a massive surveillance operation.
A week ago, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of London's Sunday Telegraph reported details of Knowlton's account of a tie-in to the Foster case. Knowlton was apparently the first person to see Foster's automobile in the parking lot at Fort Marcy.
The Telegraph reported that Knowlton was "stunned" when he was shown a report in his interview with FBI agents working for former Special Counsel Robert Fiske. His statements had been falsified, the Telegraph reported.
Knowlton agrees with part of the FBI statement; that he arrived at the Fort Marcy parking lot on July 20, 1993, at about 4:30 p.m. Foster's body was found more than an hour later.
-+- Details At The Park -+-
Knowlton said that the first car he saw in the lot, a Honda, was parked to his immediate left and had Arkansas plates. He said he parked his car a few spaces from the Honda, and observed another car, a blue sedan with a young man sitting in it, who gave Knowlton what he said was a menacing look. Knowlton described the man as in his 20's and possibly Mexican or Cuban.
As Knowlton quickly relieved himself by a nearby tree, the Hispanic man got out of his blue sedan and stood leaning over the roof of the car.
Frightened, Knowlton said he quickly left the park, but mentally noted some of the contents of the Arkansas Honda, including a suit jacket and a briefcase. He called the Park Police later the same night after he heard on the news of Foster's death.
The police took a brief statement from him over the phone, which they included in their report though they spelled his name wrong.
But Knowlton told the Telegraph that a key statement attributed to him by the FBI during the Fiske investigation was "an outright lie." The FBI agents who interviewed him wrote, "Knowlton could not further identify this individual (the Hispanic man) and stated that he would be unable to recognize him in the future."
-+- Sharp Memory For Details -+-
In point of fact, Knowlton said he has a haunting memory of the man. With the assistance of a police artist provided by the Telegraph, Knowlton even produced a sketch of the man. The composite sketch was published in the Telegraph.
Knowlton, who owns a trading business, says -- and his friends agree -- that he has a sharp memory for details. Knowlton told the Telegraph that interviewing FBI agents Larry Monroe and William Colombell went to extraordinary lengths to convince him he saw a blue Honda of recent vintage with Arkansas plates. Knowlton insisted that he saw an older model brown Honda with Arkansas plates.
According to experts familiar with the case, Knowlton's testimony could be critical on several points:
Last Thursday, Knowlton said an FBI agent with Starr's office showed up at his door to serve him with a subpoena, one of several the agent said he had to deliver that day.
-+- Witness Being Watched -+-
Since then, Knowlton has been aware that he is being watched.
"He called me and said that he and a female friend had been passed twice that evening by two men in a dark sedan who gave menacing looks at Patrick," reporter Pritchard said.
On Thursday night, this reporter visited Knowlton at his residence and noticed no unusual activity outside.
Knowlton appears to be a stable, credible professional. His friends in the building describe him as a rather normal person who seems beset in the middle of something larger.
He knows little of the larger issues of the Foster controversy and was unaware of the political overtones of the case. His foyer wall proudly sports a "Clinton-Gore" campaign bumper sticker.
Knowlton and a female friend recounted Thursday's events.
Knowlton said that while taking his daily walk for a newspaper, he encountered more than a dozen men, all wearing suits, who would be walking toward him or coming from behind, then would give him a sudden, purposed stare.
His female friend said he has no history of paranoia.
To verify Knowlton's account, he agreed the following day to take his daily walk with this reporter.
The surveillance was apparent, almost from the instant we exited his apartment.
He was approached again and again by the same men: dark suits, soft-soled shoes, each carrying a note pad or newspaper. And as they passed us, each gave a pointed, timed stare at Knowlton.
After crossing the first intersection, a man crossing the same street from the other side met us at the sidewalk. He looked at Knowlton and shook his head in an awkward gesture.
Another man, short and Middle Eastern looking, passed us and stared. After he passed, his walk slowed considerably and he made some comment to an African-American man casually dressed and carrying shopping bags -- an individual we already had passed who had also given us "the stare."
The short man appeared aimless after passing us -- a phenomenon repeated by the others.
Several cars appeared to trail us. In one white Honda with Virginia tags, two dark men with mustaches appeared to make no bones about their surveillance. They first caught our attention as we crossed the intersection, and both gave us a menacing stare.
The car entered a traffic circle, and instead of carrying on, circled back and came alongside, stopping in the middle of the road just yards in front of us. The occupants began to manipulate their mirrors to watch us along the sidewalk.
-+- Similar Circumstances -+-
In all, at least two dozen and possibly three dozen people were encountered under similar circumstances from the time Knowlton left his apartment until he returned.
He said he recognized two of them from the day before.
We then took a drive around the block; no one appeared to follow us. But when we first entered the car, a pedestrian came alongside and noticeably checked the car's front and rear license plates.
Knowlton took out a camera and photographed the man, who quickly moved his hand toward his face.
After midnight that evening, Knowlton called Pritchard to say his apartment doorbell had been rung but no one answered when he asked who was there. Then there were four immediate knocks on the door.
Pritchard said that the license plate Knowlton noted from Thursday had checked out with a law enforcement source of Pritchard's as being a federal government vehicle.
His source suggested Knowlton was "being warned, or there was an attempt being made to destabilize him before he appears before the grand jury," Pritchard recounted.
Knowlton's lawyer has contacted the FBI to complain. There has been no return call.
-+- Starr Catching Up -+-
The subpoena is one indication that Starr may be playing catch- up; the Telegraph reported that three critical crime scene witnesses had never been called before his Washington grand jury -- though Starr says he has been actively investigating the case for more than a year.
In addition to Knowlton, Starr had never brought in two witnesses who said that when they entered Fort Marcy's lot they saw two men -- not Foster -- in and around his Honda just before the body was found. One man, described as having long blond hair, was said to have stood in front of the car with the hood up, as was reported in the Tribune-Review months ago.
The failure to aggressively examine these major discrepancies seemingly corroborates earlier reports that Starr's lead Foster prosecutor, Miquel Rodriguez, resigned after being thwarted by his superiors in conducting a full grand jury probe into the death.
Starr's possible passivity with the Foster case seems to have taken some notice on Capitol Hill.
A leading Republican member of the Senate's "Whitewater" Banking Committee said Thursday night that he was "disappointed" with Starr's work, which he described as embarrassing. The senator, previously believed to have been a supporter of Starr's, said Starr is motivated by a desire to be on the Supreme Court. He added, as it stands now, that any notion of Starr getting on the court "is finished."
I encourage distribution of "Conspiracy Nation."