Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 9 Num. 89

("Quid coniuratio est?")


David Watkins was fired from his high-level White House job by Bill Clinton who was shocked -- shocked -- that Watkins had used a helicopter assigned to the White House to go golfing. The January 1997 American Spectator gives the big picture of what seems to have really happened.

According to the article by Rebecca Borders ("Hell to Pay"), Watkins, a boyhood chum of Bill Clinton, helped work a special financial deal during the future-President's 1992 campaign. Watkins allegedly set up a scheme with World Wide Travel of Little Rock whereby the travel agency billed journalists traveling with the Clinton entourage in advance, the money was then funneled to the Clinton campaign, and World Wide agreed to not request payment until after the election.

Early in the Clinton presidency, Watkins says, he was stuck with the job of firing Billy Dale and other White House Travel Office personnel. Says Watkins: "Hillary [Clinton] wanted the Travel Office guys fired, so there was no question that I had to act upon her wishes."

The firing of the Travel Office employees resulted in scandal, and Watkins appeared set up to play the role of fall guy. Under pressure, he seems to have broken the code of omerta -- silence -- when he testified that Hillary had "urged the action be taken to get 'our people' into the Travel Office." (Hinted at is that "our people" may have been campaign-funders World Wide Travel and/or associates.)

In what looks like revenge for fingering Hillary, about a month after his testimony Watkins' White House office was relocated to the Old Executive Office Building. It is almost certain that the Clinton gang next leaked damaging information on Watkins to the Wall Street Journal, which information was then printed on page one.

The punishment for Watkins' breaking ranks had its coup de grace with the helicopter golfing episode. Watkins says he was only scouting territory for Clinton as a means to lure him to Camp David. Supposedly, there was a morale problem at Camp David because President Clinton rarely went there. Watkins' objective reportedly was to find a way to bait Clinton and reel him in to Camp David, with good golfing being the bait.

After the helicopter golfer story made big news, Clinton phoned Watkins to ask his side of things. Watkins says he asked to meet personally with the President to tell his side of the story. Clinton reportedly agreed to meet after an imminent press conference, but then during that press conference stuck it to Watkins when he surprisingly announced that Watkins had resigned.

At that point there was no turning back. But lucky for Watkins, worse than that didn't happen to him, as it has to others who get on the wrong side of the yuppie President.

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Aperi os tuum muto, et causis omnium filiorum qui pertranseunt. Aperi os tuum, decerne quod justum est, et judica inopem et pauperem. -- Liber Proverbiorum XXXI: 8-9