Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 6  Num. 56
                    ("Quid coniuratio est?")


You may have noticed brief blurbs in the mass media recently about some fellow named Billy R. Dale who was found "not guilty" of embezzling funds in connection with his duties as director of the White House travel office. If you're like most people in this country, you probably don't know the whole story. Here is how I am able to piece it together from articles in the Washington Times National Weekly Edition, November 20-26, 1995.

Mr. Dale, after a stint in the Air Force, joined the White House travel office as a clerk in 1961. A frugal man, he put aside $50 a month into U.S. savings bonds while at first earning a salary of just $4,000 per year. Through hard work, Mr. Dale rose through the ranks until he became director. He worked in the travel office for 31 years and served as director for 11 of those years.

The Washington Times asserts that the embezzlment charges against Dale "grew out of the Clinton administration's effort to have the president's associates manage the lucrative operation." Mr. Dale's attorney, Steven C. Tabackman agrees: "The case began as an effort to justify a misguided effort by the White House to remove long-term and highly respected employees and replace them with campaign contributors," he is quoted as saying.

So it looks like the deal was to sic the Justice Department on this man with trumped up charges of embezzlement, fire him, and put in "Friends of Bill" in his place. Mr. Dale and his staff had been fired in May of 1993 and an "internal White House investigation later showed that Hollywood producer Harry Thomason, the president's distant cousin Catherine Cornelius and several other aides improperly schemed to take over the office for personal gain," notes the Times.

Of the six travel office personnel given the axe by the Clinton White House, Dale was the only one to face prosecution. Two years later and after suffering significant legal expense he and his family wept as the verdict was read by the jury foreman: "not guilty". Dale and his family are now trying to raise funds to pay their legal expenses. Presumably he is now, at an advanced age, trying to find work. "They ruined Billy," said a friend, Connie Gerrard.

President Bill Clinton, commenting on all this, said, "I'm very sorry about what Mr. Dale went through, and I wish him well. And I hope that now he'll be able to get on with his life and -- and just put this behind him."

In a related story in the Washington Times, the "luxurious lifestyle" of the current White House press corps is explored. According to the article, "Reporters are coddled and spoiled by White House press aides, spending their companies' money extravagantly on the road and whining when the food and beverages aren't up to first-class standards or served when they want them."

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