"Don't believe a word you hear. It was not suicide. It couldn't have been."
-Assistant Attorney General Webster Hubbell, 7/20/93, cited in Esquire, 11/93.
Here is Starr's outrageous Foster investigation whitewash.
Patrick Knowlton was a witness in the Vince Foster death, and his dissenting report was appended to Starr's whitewash.
Here is Patrick Knowlton's 1998 tort filing in which his lawyer enumerates a case for Knowlton's civil compensation for the injuries he suffered as a consequence of harassment by Foster conspirators.
Here is the latest Knowlton report, filed 1999-Jun-23 and unsealed 1999-Sep-14. It is discussed at length in the following article.
from WorldNetDaily 1999-Sep-15, by Sarah Foster:
Foster death report sees professional 'hit'
Court unseals 511-page document charging obstruction of justice
A three-judge federal panel yesterday unsealed a 511-page report, submitted by Kenneth Starr grand jury witness Patrick Knowlton in June, which -- in the view of its authors -- presents incontrovertible evidence of conspiracy and cover-up by the Justice Department and the Office of the Independent Counsel in connection with their investigations into Vincent Foster's death and counters the official conclusion that the top White House official "committed suicide by gunshot in Fort Marcy Park on July 20, 1993."
At the same time, the panel -- headed by David B. Sentelle, with Richard D. Cudahy and Peter T. Fay -- denied Knowlton's request that this report be attached as an amendment to the Interim Report (the "Starr Report") on the investigation of Foster's death, which was released Oct. 10, 1997. There has been no final report.
The just-released document is certain to fuel the ongoing controversy surrounding the administration's scenario of Foster's death. It is a point-by-point analysis and refutation of the 114-page, double-spaced, Starr Report, overpowering it in both size and substance.
Knowlton's report is, in fact, an expansion of an earlier 20-page filing, also by Knowlton -- comprised of a nine-page letter and 11 pages of exhibits -- which had been accepted by the same panel as an attachment to the Starr Report.
Knowlton filed that report in September 1997, a month before Starr's Report was released. The statute authorizing creation of the Office of Independent Counsel allows persons "named in the report" to request permission to attach comments to reports. Over strenuous objections by the independent counsel, the Special Division of the U.S. Court of Appeals -- the same panel of judges which authored yesterday's ruling -- granted that permission and ordered the Office of the Independent Counsel (OIC) to include Knowlton's 20 pages in the appendix to the Starr Report.
John Clarke, Knowlton's attorney -- who has worked tirelessly on the case -- discussed the significance of today's ruling and the report with WorldNetDaily, portions of which were provided by fax.
"The report has been under seal," he said. "That means it had to be kept secret until a decision was made by the court. Even the fact that we filed it was kept secret.
"We asked them (the court) for a couple of things," Clarke continued. "We asked them to lift the seal as soon as they made their decision, which they did. And we also asked them to substitute it (the report) for our 20-page filing. They didn't do that; they did not order it attached to Ken Starr's report."
But not because they rejected the evidence, Clarke is quick to note.
"What they said was they didn't have jurisdiction to grant relief," he explained. "They didn't rule against us on the merits of what we were asking; they just said that they didn't have jurisdiction under the law to give this relief."
Knowlton charges Starr's investigation simply added "another layer to the 6-year-old ongoing Justice Department cover-up" -- a cover-up that began the night of the death and continued through subsequent investigations including an initial 16-day examination by the FBI and two probes by the two independent counsels -- a reference not only to Starr's work, but to that of Special Counsel Robert Fiske, whose report was issued June 30, 1994.
Knowlton's two reports are built on charges developed in a civil suit he filed Oct. 25, 1996, charging FBI agents, U.S. Park Police employees and others with obstruction of justice, witness intimidation, and personal harassment. An amended complaint was filed last October adding defendants and additional information.
The civil rights suit was dismissed Sept. 9. Today Knowlton was expected to file a motion to reconsider that ruling while he prepares to appeal the ruling of John Garrett Penn to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
"We're attempting -- in both these actions -- to prove that there was a cover-up surrounding events in the death of Vince Foster, and, I think, we've pretty clearly done that," Knowlton's attorney John Clarke told WorldNetDaily. "It's a cover-up from one end to another."
"The current report is more complete than the earlier one," said Clarke.
"The other had five points demonstrating a cover-up, but this really nails it down. The Starr Report makes about 80 points, and not a single one stands up to scrutiny. Not one.
"In this report we've proved there was a crime -- though we're nowhere near the point where we can say who did it or why," he said.
In Clarke's opinion: "I think the evidence is consistent with a professional hit."
Foster's body was found July 20, 1993, at 5:50 p.m. near the northwest corner of Fort Marcy Park, Va., 700 feet from the parking lot. He was lying on his back on one of the three earthwork berms that comprise the fort. There was no evidence of a struggle. The official cause of death -- touted from the outset as a suicide -- was declared due to a gunshot fired into the mouth, the weapon, said to be a black 1913 Army Colt .38 Special six-shot revolver, was said to have been found in Foster's hand. This, despite insistence by the civilian witness who discovered the body that Foster's arms were at his side, palms up -- and not a gun in sight. The bullet allegedly went through the soft palate and exited near the top of the back of his head. Depression was the reason cited for the supposed suicide, though most of his friends said Foster gave no indication of being depressed and were shocked when they heard the news.
The White House account from the outset was met with a barrage of criticism from some very vocal, outspoken critics -- among them Western Journalism Center, the parent organization of WorldNetDaily.
Another is witness Patrick Knowlton, 44, who had stopped briefly at Fort Marcy an hour and a half before the body was discovered. He insists Foster's silver-gray 1989 Honda was not in the parking lot at 4:30 p.m. when he arrived, though Foster had presumably driven it there, parked, then walked 700 feet to the earthworks of the fort where he took his own life. Knowlton did, however, see a mid-1980s model, rust-brown Honda with Arkansas plates and a blue late-model sedan.
Knowlton later reported that no one was in the Honda, but the driver of the sedan stood by that car watching him "menacingly" as he walked into the woods seeking a secluded place where he could relieve himself, and he was still there when Knowlton returned a few minutes later.
Knowlton notified the U.S. Park Service as to what he had seen in the parking lot as soon as word of Foster's death was made public on July 21, but was not contacted for a statement until the following spring. FBI agents interviewed him in April and May 1994 prior to the release of the Fiske Report, but falsified his account of what he saw. Despite Knowlton's insistence that the car he saw was a 1983-84 rust-brown Honda, the agents in their report wrote that he had seen Foster's 1989 Honda.
It was clearly important to establish that Foster's car was in the parking lot at 4:30 p.m. since the medical examiner and others later set the approximate time of death between 2:00 and 4:20 p.m. The question is -- if Foster's car was not at the park at 4:30 p.m., as Knowlton insists, where was it? And if Foster did not drive to the park, how did he or his body get there?
Those are just two of the glaring inconsistencies in the official account, which are examined by the authors of the report: Knowlton himself, a master-carpenter who has since become a certified private investigator; attorney John Clarke, who wrote the report; and Washington entertainer Hugh Turley. Turley -- a magician, skilled in the art of sleight-of-hand -- was intrigued by the behind-the-scenes machinations of those engaged in the cover-up, the "smoke-and-mirrors, now you see it, now you don't" aspects of the case.
"He could recognize diversionary tactics and would point out where they (the OIC investigators and FBI) were playing hide-the-ball in their operations and reports," Clarke said.
In addition to the 511 pages of the analysis itself, the Knowlton Report has an additional 600 pages of 184 exhibits, all but five of which were generated by the government itself.
"We have worked strictly from what is in the public record," said Clarke, referring to the materials the Knowlton team had at its disposal. These include testimony, depositions, reports of various kinds, FBI interview reports, photos, laboratory reports, investigators' memos and handwritten notes. The team also drew on accounts by witnesses contacted in 1994 in preparation of the Fiske Report but who were never subpoenaed to appear before the Starr grand jury.
"We set this out as a trial, showing people the evidence, asking them to look at it," said Clarke. "We know people have theories about what happened, but we aren't trying to prove any of that -- only that there was a cover-up. We show where the FBI and others falsified reports, we show how and where there were omissions, but we've stayed away from exploring any of our own theories as to who the killer was or who might have ordered the hit."
"Unless we had hard evidence -- either a deposition, testimony or a report -- we didn't use it," said Clarke.
Acquiring that evidence wasn't easy, in part because much of it is off limits. The OIC built its case to an astonishing degree on documents not yet released to the public, thereby hamstringing verification of its findings by independent investigators.
"In its footnotes the Starr Report refers readers to documents that purport to prove the conclusions it makes," Knowlton's Report declares. "Of these 353 footnotes, 265, or 75 percent of them, refer the reader to documents that are unavailable."
In their evaluation of the Starr Report, the three researchers focused on its inconsistencies and contradictions.
"People say, 'Well, even if this-or-that point (in the Report) is wrong the greater weight of evidence shows he (Vince Foster) committed suicide at Fort Marcy Park,'" said Clarke. "They're looking at the evidence the right way, but they're not looking at all of the evidence. They're taking on faith what Starr has to say, and they figure you have to expect one or two anomalies. They're right. You could expect a few -- but not every point should be an anomaly.
"Yet every point the Starr Report makes is, in fact, an anomaly, with inadequate explanations and downright lies. From one end to another there's nothing in there that's true," he said.
"We don't know where Foster was killed or when," he continued. "It could have been at the White House compound and his body was brought to the park along the back road; or he could have been driven to the park while he was still alive. We simply don't know. However, we do know that there is no record of his driving his car from the White House -- only that his body shows up five hours after he was seen alive by a Secret Service man at 1 o'clock."
To Clarke it's "obvious" what happened -- even though he doesn't know where or when. Foster died from a gunshot wound to the right side of the neck, near the jawline, between the ear and the chin -- with the trajectory of the bullet going upwards through the tongue and into the brain. It struck the skull about three inches below the top of the skull, fracturing it, but not exiting. Blood drained from the entrance wound onto his neck and right shoulder and also accumulated in his mouth. The gun used was a .22 or other low-caliber "which would account for the small amount of blood reported by the paramedics and Park Police officers who were among the first at the scene," Clarke explained.
Since Fort Marcy is a national park, law enforcement within its boundaries is the responsibility of the U.S. Park Police, a federal agency.
"Over 20 people (Park Police and paramedics) saw the body at the park and nobody reported a large exit wound at the back of the head," Clarke said emphatically. "Plus, the bullet was never found."
Continuing on this theme, Clarke observed there is some testimony indicating the bullet may have exited the back of Foster's neck and did not remain in the skull, even though it was not found at the park. "But that's not the point," he said. "The point is there was a bullet entry neck wound and everyone from the Park Police to Kenneth Starr has tried to cover that up."
Asked what he considered the most significant findings in the report, Clarke drew attention to the section about the gunshot residue on Foster's hands, which the OIC maintains is proof that he fired the gun. The Knowlton Report offers an interpretation its authors believe is more in keeping with the facts.
"Foster couldn't have fired the weapon with the gunshot residue the way it was left on his hands," Clarke said. "The residue was caused by Foster holding his hands consistent with a defensive posture." That is, "His hands were spread open; he wasn't touching the gun, though he seems to have been pushing the barrel away when the gunman pulled the trigger."
Clarke also characterized as "significant" the fact that the manufacturer (Remington) of the bullets that were found in the official death weapon has never used what is called ball smokeless powder.
"Ball smokeless powder is what was found on Vince Foster's body and clothing,' said Clarke. "We think that's significant because it's used for reloads. But professional hit men also use it to get particular firing characteristics out of a gun. That would be consistent with there being no exit wound. They'd put a light powder charge in the gun so that it wouldn't blow the back of his head off as it would, had it been stock ammunition. That's why I think it was a professional hit."
A third major finding, in Clarke's opinion, was the role played at the Fort Marcy Park crime scene by Sgt. Robert Edwards -- a role the FBI and later the OIC tried to conceal. By carefully going over the statements of the "firefighters" (emergency medical technicians), paramedics and Park Police officers, the Knowlton team was able to compile a minute-by-minute timetable of who arrived when, where they went, what they did, who and what they saw, and so on.
Comparing the timetable with the witness accounts of the state of the body, "We found out that the body had been tampered with at Fort Marcy Park and by whom," said Clarke. "It was Sgt. Edwards. We have flat-out proved that."
Edwards has long been recognized by Foster-death skeptics as a mystery man. He was with the Glen Echo Station of the U.S. Park Police, but was not the shift commander that evening nor was he one of the detectives on the case.
"I still don't know who he is," said Clarke. "(Investigator John) Rolla testified he had never seen him before and nobody knew who he was -- but I don't know if he (Rolla) was right on this because there was never any follow-up on the depositions.
"But he (Edwards) was definitely assigned to the Glen Echo station, because I called there and learned he had been transferred to Georgia."
Specifically, Edwards was transferred to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center at Glynco, Ga., to serve as an instructor, according to a statement obtained by WorldNetDaily though a Freedom of Information Act request in 1997.
Despite his somewhat ambiguous position at the Glen Echo station, at 6:28 p.m. Edwards arrived and took charge of the investigation -- only to disappear 20 minutes later as quietly as he had arrived. For over 15 minutes he was alone with Foster's body.
It was not his earliest involvement in the case. According to Clarke, it was Edwards who granted Park Police Officer Kevin Fornshill permission to respond to the scene, even though Fornshill was on duty guarding the CIA headquarters which is not far away. Fornshill reportedly had heard the report on the police radio at 6:05 p.m. of a dead body at the park and asked leave to attend.
With permission from Edwards, Fornshill left his assigned post and arrived at Fort Marcy either by unmarked car or scooter (accounts vary), possibly before the Fairfax County emergency response team four minutes later. Fornshill told firefighter Todd Hall and paramedic George Gonzalez, who were among the first arrivals, to go in one direction to look for the body, while he went in another and discovered it before anyone else.
Here is a synopsis of the following 45 minutes:
Upon finding the body, Fornshill called Hall and Gonzalez over to its location and radioed word that it was an apparent suicide. Hall noticed a gun in Foster's hand -- something the civilian who discovered the body, in later interviews by the FBI, adamantly denied was there.
Clarke recreated the scene for WorldNetDaily: "Fornshill all of a sudden appears with these two firefighters, he just appears out of somewhere in the park proper -- not in the parking lot as some people reported -- he appears in the park, directs the two paramedics to go one way, he goes the other way and finds the body.
"Then he calls the two paramedics over; they come over; through the trees Hall sees people running away from the body site; and Fornshill who was at the body for over 10 minutes, sometimes alone, claims never to have seen the weapon -- and he radioed it (the death) an apparent suicide."
At 6:17 Officer Franz Ferstl -- the patrol officer on the beat -- arrived and at 6:24 began taping off the scene. Fornshill's supervisor, Sgt. Edwards, radioed he had arrived, and Fornshill began walking to the parking lot.
Between 6:24 and 6:29 Ferstl taped off the scene and took seven Polaroid pictures. Several paramedics and firefighters arrived; they saw dry blood on the right side of Foster's shirt. Paramedic Richard Arthur saw a small caliber bullet wound in the right side of the neck, just under the jaw line. He also noticed a large caliber semi-automatic pistol in Foster's hand and concluded it didn't match the smaller caliber bullet hole in the neck.
At 6:25 Richard Arthur and his team returned to the parking lot. Fornshill, too, had left the body site and met Sgt. Edwards as he was approaching it. Edwards told Fornshill to return to his post at the CIA.
At 6:26 Edwards arrived at the site while Ferstl was taking pictures. He asked Ferstl to hand over the seven Polaroids and ordered him to return to the parking lot. The photos were not inventoried and Edwards never turned them in as evidence.
From 6:27 until 6:43, Edwards was alone with the body. How did he spend that time?
According to the Report, "Sometime during the over 15 minutes Sergeant Edwards was alone with the body, an untraceable .38 caliber black revolver replaced the automatic pistol in Mr. Foster's hand. Edwards also moved Mr. Foster's head to the right side, causing blood to flow out of the mouth onto his right side (and leaving a stain on the right cheek from its contact with the bloody right shoulder). This made it appear that the blood already on the right side, which had in fact drained from the right side neck wound, had come from the mouth. He thus concealed the existence of the neck wound (inconsistent with suicide), and made it appear as if Mr. Foster may have been shot in the mouth (consistent with suicide). The official explanation for the contact blood stain on the right cheek is that it had appeared when an unknown fire-and-rescue worker checked the pulse."
Of those witnesses who saw Foster's body before 6:27 p.m., investigator Christine Hodakievic was the only one who saw it after Edwards had been alone with it. Her report addressed the activities in the parking lot, however, not the appearance of the body at the site. When she saw photographs of the body later, she said the appearance of the body had changed from when she saw it.
Park Police officers who were now arriving later reported that Foster's shirt had fresh wet blood on it as well as the older, dark dried blood the earlier witnesses had seen. No one recalled seeing bone fragments, brain matter or an exit wound. Investigator Rolla examined Foster's head and found only a "mushy spot" near the top of the skull at the back, which would be consistent with there being a fracture.
Sgt. Edwards disappeared as mysteriously as he arrived. He was observed taking Polaroids -- which he later reportedly denied. No one knows when he left, but it was some time around 6:50.
For all his involvement at the scene, there is no public record of his being interviewed by the FBI or Fiske investigators.
"There's something very strange there," Clarke observed.
Here are some other "very strange" happenings and OIC contradictions detailed in Knowlton's report:
The cars at the park: Foster's silver-gray 1989 Honda was allegedly found in the parking lot, though even that isn't certain.
Commented Clarke: "The Park Police describe the car that was found as silver. Almost everyone else -- including Patrick -- describes it as red, rust-brown, or brown. We make the point that it really doesn't matter when Vince Foster's car arrived, if it ever arrived. One theory is it never arrived -- that they brought it in at night and photographed it there at night. But I don't know that for sure.
"The point is it wasn't there at 4:30 when Patrick was there and Foster was presumably dead."
Foster's missing keys: Investigator John Rolla checked Foster's pockets at the site and found no car keys, though Foster carried two rings of keys. Later that evening -- following a visit to the morgue by William Kennedy and Craig Livingstone -- Rolla checked Foster's pockets again and discovered both key rings.
"We don't know that Livingstone or Kennedy put the keys in his pocket," said Clarke. "We know -- and documented -- that those two men were there at the morgue before Rolla arrived, something the OIC tried to conceal."
The guns at the park: Only two of the witnesses who saw the gun before Edwards was there remembered what type of gun it was. Said Clarke, "One of them, (paramedic George) Gonzalez called it a revolver, and (paramedic Richard) Arthur is 100 percent sure it was a semi-automatic and even drew a picture of it while under oath. He was adamant about it.
"So it looks like what Arthur saw was a semi-automatic, which is what the Park Police carry," Clarke observed.
Lack of fingerprints: Foster's fingerprints were on neither the official gun nor its ammunition. The FBI lab explained that problem away, saying latent prints could be "destroyed" by the summer heat; however, one print was found on the pistol grip. Tests showed it did not match Foster's or the prints of any of the investigators handling the gun. "To this day, that print still has not been compared to those on file in the FBI database," the Report charges.
The Autopsy: "The Starr Report hides the fact that the autopsy began before the police arrived, in violation of the requirements of the Medical Examiner's Office," observes the Knowlton Report; moreover, the autopsy was begun a day ahead of schedule and without the two investigating officers being in attendance.
Originally scheduled for Thursday, July 22, Fairfax County Medical Examiner Dr. James Beyer, with only an assistant whose name he refused to divulge, began the autopsy some time before 10 a.m., Wednesday. By the time investigators did arrive, Beyer had destroyed considerable evidence about the alleged gunshot in the mouth.
"Prior to our arrival the victim's tongue had been removed as well as parts of the soft tissue from the pallet," Officer James Morrissette reported. The OIC carefully omitted Morrisette's sentence from its report, saying six people attended the autopsy, but neglecting to mention they weren't all present when Beyer began his work.
Missing X-rays: There are "conflicting reports" explaining the lack of x-ray evidence: x-rays were taken and readable (but lost); x-rays were taken but unreadable; the x-ray machine was broken; and that it worked "sometimes, but not for Mr. Foster's autopsy." Testifying before a Senate committee in 1994, Dr. Beyer said, "the machine wasn't working -- and I saw no need to take an x-ray."
It's now "up to the American people," said Clarke.
"We've shown a crime was committed. Congress has failed in its responsibilities and is not going to look at this until enough people know what happened and start demanding answers. The news media have failed -- they won't look at it because they have so much to lose. And the Office of Independent Counsel has failed. If word doesn't get out, it means that the Office of Independent Counsel is infected with the kind of corruption it is designed to expose and prosecute.
"Now that it's been unsealed the Report will be on the Internet and in bookstores. But until we get our website finished Accuracy In Media will be taking orders for it.
"So we're asking the American people to look at this (report), link to it, print it out -- even sell it -- we don't care," said Clarke. "But it's up to them to spread the word and get the truth out."
Clarke said he's challenging Americans not to believe him and his friends -- not personally, that is.
"One of the reasons why this document is so long is we didn't want to leave it for anybody to read it to believe us," he said. "We're saying don't believe us. We don't want you to believe us -- just read the evidence."
Clarke is confident that "No really open-minded reader can walk away having read this document and think there is no cover-up."
Knowlton's 511-page filing, unsealed yesterday, will soon be available on the Internet at FBIcover-up.com and can be ordered now from Accuracy In Media by calling 800-787-4567, ext. 100, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., EDT.
from TPDL 2000-May-15, from the Associated Press, by Laurie Asseo:
Court declines to allow release of Vince Foster photos
WASHINGTON (May 15, 2000 10:56 a.m. EDT http://www.nandotimes.com) - A group trying to force the government to release photographs taken of White House lawyer Vince Foster's body after his 1993 suicide lost a U.S. Supreme Court appeal on Monday.
Without comment, the court turned away Accuracy in Media's argument that Foster's family has no privacy interest in avoiding public release of the photos.
Accuracy in Media, a media watchdog group, contends the public has a "substantial interest" in the photos because they might show whether the government properly investigated Foster's death.
Foster, the deputy White House counsel, was found in a suburban Virginia park on July 20, 1993, with a gunshot wound to the head.
Four investigations - including one by Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr - have concluded that Foster committed suicide, but some conservatives have speculated that Foster may have been murdered.
Accuracy in Media invoked the federal Freedom of Information Act in asking the National Park Service to release photos taken of Foster's body at the scene of his death and during his autopsy.
The Park Service refused, citing an exemption for cases in which releasing information would create an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
Accuracy in Media sued, and a federal judge ruled for the government. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld that ruling last October, saying, "AIM cannot deny the powerful sense of invasion bound to be aroused in close survivors by wanton publication of gruesome details of death by violence."
In the appeal acted on Monday, Accuracy in Media's lawyers said Foster's relatives have no privacy interest in the photos because they are not depicted in them.
Even if the family did have a privacy interest, it would be outweighed by the public interest in finding out whether the government properly investigated Foster's death, the appeal said.
Accuracy in Media was represented by attorney Larry Klayman, whose Judicial Watch group has filed numerous lawsuits against the Clinton administration.
The case is Accuracy in Media vs. National Park Service, 99-1578.
from TPDL 2000-Mar-27, from WorldNetDaily, by Charles Smith:
New angle on Foster death
Did someone tamper with White House counsel's medical report?
The ghost of Vincent Foster still haunts President Clinton.
Documented contradictions in a newly released medical report -- which does not match a previous, publicly available copy -- are raising renewed questions about Foster's death.
Los Angeles attorney Allan Favish obtained the report from the Office of Independent Counsel through the Freedom of Information Act. Favish has additional information about the Foster death at his website.
Foster was found dead in Virginia's Fort Marcy Park on July 20, 1993, his death officially labeled a suicide. However, major inconsistencies and contradictions cast doubt on the government's "suicide" ruling, and a cloud of controversy has hung over the matter ever since.
Favish's interest, and the purpose of his FOIA request, was to inspect the original version of the report for alterations, to see if it had been improperly changed to conceal evidence of a neck wound, the existence of which the government denies.
His interest was piqued by the fact that the official record of the Foster death investigation contains unresolved contradictory information about the nature of a reported exit wound. Dr. Donald Haut, the only medical doctor to examine Foster's body where it was found, wrote a two-page "Report of Investigation by Medical Examiner," apparently signed on the day of death.
Page one of Haut's report states the death shot was "mouth-head," but page two of the report states that the death shot was "mouth to neck."
Although Haut's report is not reproduced in any publicly available government publication, it is available from the National Archives, and it is quoted in the Senate Banking Committee's January 1995 report on the Foster death. The Senate Committee's report quotes from both pages of Haut's report and fails to note that the quoted language is contradictory, i.e., "mouth-head" and "mouth to neck."
The Committee report states, "In his report, Dr. Haut wrote that the cause of death was a 'perforating gunshot wound mouth-head.'"
In the narrative of his report, Haut wrote, "July 20, 1993 After anonymous call was received at 18:04 hours U.S. Park Police officers found 48 yrs Caucasian male with self-inflicted gunshot wound mouth to neck on a foot path in Marcey Park [sic]. His car was parked in the parking lot but no note was found."
"MEDICAL HISTORY Unknown," wrote Haut.
The Senate never explained why it failed to further address this important contradiction in Haut's report.
A "mouth to neck" description is significant because it contradicts the official autopsy conclusion of "mouth to head" and the conclusions of Independent Counsels Robert Fiske and Kenneth Starr. Starr's report on the Foster death says the autopsy report "indicates 'backward' and 'upward' as the direction of the bullet through the head".
The doctor who performed the autopsy said the exit wound was "three inches from the top of the head."
The Starr report also states the "autopsy report and the reports of the pathologists retained by the OIC and Mr. Fiske's office demonstrate that the cause of death was a gunshot wound through the back of Foster's mouth and out the back of his head."
A drawing from the autopsy report, as published by the U.S. Senate, shows an exit wound on the back of Foster's head, just above an imaginary line connecting his ears. Thus, officially, there was no "mouth to neck" shot.
The difference between a mouth-to-head shot and a mouth-to-neck shot is significant. A typical gun-in-the-mouth suicide will result in a mouth to head shot-entrance wound in the roof of the mouth and exit wound in the back or top of the head -- because this ensures sufficient blood loss and brain destruction to induce death.
A potential gun-in-the-mouth suicide victim does not want to cause an exit wound in the back of the neck because that increases the chances of survival, most likely as a quadriplegic.
Haut's report of a neck wound takes on even more significance in light of additional evidence: One such wound was reported to be an entrance wound on the side of the neck. Starr said that paramedic Richard Arthur, "initially said he saw what 'appeared to be a bullet wound, an entrance wound' on the neck."
Not mentioned by Starr is that Arthur testified he was only two to three feet away from Foster when he observed the apparent bullet wound on the right side of Foster's neck, around the jaw line and underneath the right ear.
But even Starr's expert, Dr. Brian Blackbourne, said an autopsy photo showed there was "dried blood" at the neck location, although he said the photo did not show any injury to the neck.
Starr did not explain why Blackbourne's interpretation of an autopsy photo (as opposed to a photo taken at the park) is more reliable than Arthur's personal viewing of the body. Nor did Starr ever say whether Blackbourne was shown all the photos of Foster's neck that were taken at the park at about the same time Arthur saw the body.
A flaw or alteration in the Haut report found at the National Archives in 1997 uncovered the controversy about a possible neck wound. Non-government researcher Hugh Sprunt, along with Patrick Knowlton, a Fort Marcy Park witness who has filed a federal lawsuit alleging illegal intimidation by federal agents, made the Foster neck wound public from the report.
According to Sprunt, the "mouth-head" language on page one appears to have been altered with correction fluid or tape in order to conceal what appears to be a four-letter word. The area is replaced with the word "HEAD" typed to the right of and slightly higher on the page than the remnants of the possible partially-obscured word.
This observation fueled speculation that the possibly-obscured word is "NECK," as appears on page two of Haut's report. However, the word "neck" on page two was left unaltered.
The report is on a two-sided, single-sheet form. Did someone alter page one, unaware that the form continued on the backside? Given that the front page of Haut's report appears to be complete with a signature and a date, it is possible that somebody unfamiliar with such a form could have missed a back page.
The issue of possible alteration raises serious questions, because it is improper to alter a medical record that completely obscures words. According to a leading textbook on medical record-keeping, "Mastering Documentation," proper alteration of a medical record is done by lining out any words that need to be corrected so that all the original words can be recognized, and then initialing and dating the change.
In a declaration submitted in response to the Haut report FOIA lawsuit, Associate Independent Counsel Julie A. Corcoran states that the office of the independent counsel does not have the original version of the Haut report. She states, "at the time of the FOIA request" the independent counsel had "a certified copy of the report sought, not the original report."
The copy released by Corcoran is a two-sided, single-sheet document bearing the independent counsel's document control numbers on the lower right corner of each page. Corcoran also states that the newly released copy is a "true and correct copy of the certified copy of the document in the OIC's files."
Close inspection of the "mouth-head" language on the copy provided by the independent counsel's office shows a perfectly clean white area. However, the same area on the National Archives copy shows the possible remains of a four-letter word.
The copy in the National Archives and the copy from the independent counsel were both certified by the autopsy doctor, James Beyer, who was assistant chief medical examiner at the time. Beyer's certification on the National Archives copy is dated November 2, 1994. However, his certification on the independent counsel copy is dated January 30, 1995. In addition, Beyer certified both pages of the National Archives copy, but only the first page of the Independent counsel copy.
Neither Fiske nor Starr addressed the inconsistency with Haut's report, except by hiding them from the public. Fiske's report failed to mention Haut's medical report. And Starr's report, released publicly in October 1997, quotes from the possibly altered language on page one of Haut's report that states "mouth-head," but does not quote the "mouth to neck" language on page two.
According to Favish, the independent counsel was made aware in February 1998 that the copy of the Haut report found at the National Archives might have been improperly altered.
"I explained the matter to a federal district court during my FOIA lawsuit against the OIC (Office of Independent Counsel) seeking photographs of the body. The OIC has never publicly stated that it inspected the original version or told the public why the National Archives copy is different from the OIC's copy," said Favish.
Favish made an oral request for inspection of the original Haut report to Virginia's office of the chief medical examiner. Carol Nance of Virginia's office of the attorney general later denied the request. Although a written request under Virginia's FOIA has been made, no response has yet been received.
from TPDL 1999-Sep-22, from NewsMax:
Hillary and Vince Foster: Too Close for Comfort
Did Hillary Clinton have an affair with Little Rock lawyer Vincent Foster, the same Foster who went on to become deputy White House Counsel?
"There is no doubt in my mind that there was a long, ongoing sexual relationship between Hillary Clinton and Vince Foster," retired Arkansas State Trooper Larry Patterson said.
Patterson, who guarded the Clintons for more than six years, made the new disclosures on the audiotape set More than Sex: The Secrets of Bill and Hillary Clinton Revealed!
Patterson said that on one occasion, at a birthday party for Hillary Clinton, he saw Foster touch Hillary in private areas of the body twice.
Foster "put his hands on her breast, and then walked back by, grabbed her by the butt, looked over at me and gave me the ol=92 high sign and thumbs up."
Patterson said his belief about Hillary and Vince was formed after years of observation during the frequent meetings between the two, when Bill was out of town, and the stories of other troopers.
The trooper doubts Hillary is ready for public office. He said she will not run for the Senate seat in New York because "I don=92t think she can stand the pressure of the media and the scrutiny that they=92re going to put her under."
One issue Patterson feels deserves more examination is the death of Vince Foster.
During his time with the Clintons, Patterson said he had many encounters with Foster. Foster died of what authorities said was a self-inflicted gunshot wound on July 20, 1993. His body was found in Fort Marcy Park, a roadside suburban park just outside Washington.
Patterson said he believes Foster was murdered.
Note on the following: The Australian is a Rupert Murdoch publication. Fox "We Report, You Decide" News is also a Murdoch operation.
from The New Australian, 1997-Mar-3, by Gerard Jackson, from http://www.newaus.com.au/news25wilson.html:
The Australian whitewashes Clinton and the Foster suicide
Scarcely able to conceal his glee, Peter Wilson (Clinton's man on The Australian) 'reported' that special prosecutor Kenneth Starr was to conclude that Vince Foster, deputy White House counsel, had committed suicide. According to Wilson, this finding would shoot down "right-wing claims that he was murdered" and that Clinton and his wife were involved in the cover-up. Warming to the opportunity to once again put the journalistic knife into the detestable Right, Wilson falsely claimed that every so-called right-wing group, individual and think tank asserted that Foster had been murdered because he knew too much.
As Wilson 'reported', Foster called his doctor on the 19 July, 1993, to complain about depression. The following day he left the White House alone at 1 pm. At five that evening he was found dead in the park with a bullet in his head and a .38 in his hand. The body was only a 20 minute walk from the White House. Circumstances were such that the FBI, the US park police, a number of congressional inquiries, etc., concluded that Foster had killed himself. Obviously, only the Clinton-hating lunatic right could come up with a conspiracy theory suggesting murder and deceit.
This is the old trick of trying to discredit your opponent by ascribing to him ideas that he does not hold. This is not to say that some people on the Right do not believe that Foster was murdered and that the Clinton's were involved, only that the intelligent and influential Right does not question the fact that Foster killed himself despite Wilson's deceitful attempt to show otherwise. What the Right is really questioning are the curious circumstances governing Foster's suicide.
If readers are naive enough to take Wilson's dishonest account at face value they will have to conclude that the Foster incident is now closed. However, there are a great many unanswered questions, as Wilson well knows, that challenge the official view that Foster died in Fort Marcy Park. The evidence, in fact, clearly indicates that Foster died elsewhere: no shot was heard, there was nothing on his shoes to suggest he had been walking in the park (perhaps he levitated, Mr Wilson), the expected bone fragments were missing and there was virtually no blood at the scene. The suggestion that there was little blood because Foster's heart stopped pumping the instant he shot himself was destroyed by the autopsy report that showed without a doubt that Foster's heart and lungs still functioned for a time after the shooting. So where is the blood? Also the gun that Foster used was not one of the two guns that he owned, ie., he seems to have used someone else's gun to kill himself. Even stranger is the absence of Foster's fingerprints from the pistol. There is also the puzzle of why the recoil from the shot did not cause the pistol to leave the dying Foster's hand.
Moreover, FBI forensics claim that blood stains on his shoulder and face prove that his head had been moved; yet those who saw the body said the head was face-up. Fosterís spectacles were also found 13 feet from his body with a spec of powder from the bullet on a lens, proving that he must have been wearing them when he was killed ó disproving the claim that he threw them away before he shot himself. So how did they end up so far from the body.
The evidence raises a number of questions: Where did Foster really kill himself? Why did he kill himself? From whom did he get the gun? Who really found the body? Why was the body moved? Who ordered the body to be moved? And why does Wilson use disinformation to deceive The Australian's readers?
There is much more about the Foster mystery suicide that Wilson has chosen to keep from The Australian's readers. We have the embarrassment of Foster's alleged 'suicide' note. Five independent handwriting experts declared the note a forgery. Furthermore the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee chaired by Congressman William Clinger pointed out that the 'suicide' note "clearly detailed most of the issues outlined in Foster's notebook." The Committee concluded that the note was "in many ways a summary of the notebook." (Foster's notebook detailed the Clinton's nasty little scheme to dismiss all of the White House Travel Office staff and replace them withe their mates).
The implication is clear: the notebook was used by a forger to construct a note that would suggest which matters were weighing most heavily on Foster's conscience thus strengthening the findings for suicide. The question is why did anyone bother? Consistent with the forgery findings is the fact that the note was not 'discovered' until six days after the suicide!
The Committee revealed that First Lady Hillary Clinton had been one of the first persons to see the alleged suicide note that was supposedly discovered in Vincent Foster's briefcase six days after his body was found. On her instructions Bill Clinton was not to be informed of its existence and it was not to be turned over to any police agency. However, the President was informed some 24 hours later and the note was then turned over not to the FBI but to the US Park Police! And even that was four hours after being informed of the note existence. Curiouser and curiouser, as Alice said. Equally curious is the testimony of Linda Tripp, White House Counsel Bernie Nussbaum's secretary, to the Committee. But I'll leave Mr Wilson to write that one up and pigs will fly.
The Clinton administration is one of the sleaziest in American history; it reeks of corruption and moral decay; it is haunted by outrageous scandals on every level and gross financial misconduct. Yet Wilson chooses to ignore all of this. Why? I cannot help compare his shabby and spiteful treatment of Gingrich with his whitewashing job on the Clinton's without coming to the conclusion that Wilson is a dishonest and bigoted journalist. Thanks to Wilson some of the Clinton's sleaze has now penetrated The Australian. If the paper's editor-in-chief has any respect left for his readers, which he obviously has not, he would dismiss Wilson.
On his return to Australia Wilson was made assistant editor (news) of The Australian thus, in this this writer's opinion, accelerating that paper's intellectual decline.
from TPDL 1999-Feb-1, from The Laissez Faire City Times, by Gary David Martin:
Vince Foster: The Counsel, the Cop, and the Keys"Objection, your honor. Counsel is leading the witness." "Objection sustained."
And so it goes daily, as any TV drama fan knows, in courtrooms all over the country. Not so when the charge in the case is self- murder and the victim/accused-perpetrator is without legal representation. Unchallenged leading of the witness, in fact, is the order of the day at your typical U.S. Senatorial sham hearing/investigation. But just as some horses coaxed to the proximity of liquid refreshment can be more easily persuaded to imbibe than can others, some witnesses are more easily led in desired directions than others.
Consider the super-smooth chief minority counsel of the Senate Whitewater Committee, Richard Ben-Veniste, as he interrogates the lead U.S. Park Police investigator, John Rolla, about Rolla's work on his very first homicide case, that of Deputy White House Counsel, Vincent Foster.
The exchange took place on Thursday, July 20, 1995, two years to the day after Foster's body was found on the back side of an earthen berm in the far corner of Fort Marcy Park--a lightly- visited, preserved leftover from the Civil War located off Virginia's George Washington Parkway. The body, we were to learn later, had been found lying straight as a stick with both arms neatly down by the side. No blood or brain tissue was seen blown out the back of the head, although the autopsy doctor would report finding an exit wound there the size of a half dollar from a high- powered .38 caliber bullet supposedly fired into the mouth.
The gaping exit wound noted by the septuagenarian doctor with previous highly-dubious autopsies leading to suicide conclusions to his credit was not seen by any of the twenty-five people--by known count--who saw the body that night. The autopsy had been moved up so that, contrary to standard procedure, the investigators at the park were not able to attend. Though the revolver found in the hand, lying almost under the right leg, was said to have been pressed deep into the back of the mouth, there was no disfigurement of the mouth from the blast or the recoil. No teeth were chipped. No blow-back was on the weapon or the hand or the sleeve nor were there any fingerprints of the deceased. Neither did he leave fingerprints on either the spent shell casing or the remaining bullet in the cylinder, and no matching bullets were ever found, to mention just a few of the anomalies.
The exchange begins this way:
BEN-VENISTE. Detective Rolla, what does your training tell you to do in a circumstance or situation where you have come upon a violent death by apparent gunshot in terms of control of the area?
ROLLA. On any crime scene you're going to seal off a certain section of the area large enough to search and keep individuals out of that area.
BEN-VENISTE. So you want to secure the area and you want to take control of the situation?
ROLLA. That's correct.
BEN-VENISTE. That's what your training teaches you?
ROLLA. That's correct.
BEN-VENISTE. Now, you made every effort, as we have heard today, to take control of the situation at Fort Marcy Park to ensure that the scene of Mr. Foster's death was not disturbed. Is that so, sir?
ROLLA. That's correct.
BEN-VENISTE. On the basis of your review of the evidence at Fort Marcy Park, everything that you saw was consistent with an apparent suicide; is that correct?
ROLLA. That's correct, keeping an open mind to other options based on the physical evidence that was in front of us, it was all leading right to a suicide.
BEN-VENISTE. In fact, later that evening you and Sergeant Braun had advised the Foster family that this was an apparent suicide?
ROLLA. Yes I did.
So far so good for the Columbia-educated New Yorker, Ben- Veniste, a man who very early in his career rose to national prominence as an assistant to the special counsel in the Watergate case and later achieved a quieter notoriety as a defense counsel for government-protected, Arkansas and likely-CIA-connected mega- drug smuggler, Barry Seal.  The curious choice of the woefully- inexperienced, diction-challenged, but talkative, Rolla had already caused problems for the government case in the hearing and deposition stage of the Foster "investigation." His very presence in such a key position certainly lends credibility to the fall-back position that the original investigation was simply botched, but his tendency to talk too much and his failure at times to see what he is expected to say have increased the need for an alternative to the simple suicide-from-depression scenario that the public has been sold from the beginning.
But at this point, Ben-Veniste must have been breathing easy. Notice that, with respect to police training and procedures, he has not elicited from Rolla that in the investigation of any violent death, the original assumption of murder is fundamental, an assumption that is to be maintained until enough evidence has been collected to rule it out. Ben-Veniste is not alone in ignoring this point. One may search the record with a fine-toothed comb and nowhere will he find the direct question put to the investigating officers, "What steps did you take to rule out murder?" Notice, too, that when Rolla, speaking of the early evidence, says that it was "all leading right to a suicide," he is not asked to elaborate. Having obtained his invited answer, Ben-Veniste then exhibits less curiosity than one would expect from a casual bystander. He has, no doubt, been warned about Rolla, and knows that it is not safe to let him talk too much about the sensitive details of the case.
We may pass over the fact that conversation with the Foster family that Ben-Veniste alludes to would not have been possible if the authorities had stuck to the story that The Washington Post had put out on July 30, 1993, and was left unchallenged for almost a year; namely, that the police were turned away from the Foster house that night. Immediately after the above quoted transcript, an exchange ensued--which we shall omit--about how essential it is for the police to make the death notification to the family, and then we have this:
BEN-VENISTE. Did you tell Mrs. Foster that no suicide note had been found in Fort Marcy Park?
ROLLA. No, she never asked that question, and I didn't advise it.
BEN-VENISTE. Did you advise anyone there that evening that no note had been found?
ROLLA. I tell you, I don't know if anyone asked me that question. I don't remember. I may have told them.
BEN-VENISTE. If they asked you, you would have told them?
ROLLA. No, it was not a secret.
BEN-VENISTE. These people were grieving; they were looking to you for help as well as comfort from their friends and relatives, correct?
ROLLA. Yes; correct.
BEN-VENISTE. There wasn't any reason you wouldn't tell them?
ROLLA. No, there would be no secret about it.
BEN-VENISTE. In fact, you've indicated that you did search for a suicide note at the scene of Mr. Foster's death?
ROLLA. We searched the scene, searched his person. His vehicle was on the scene. 
Woops! Sound the alarm bells! We've gone a bit too far here.
If Rolla had searched Foster's body at the scene, it certainly stands to reason that he could have hardly failed to miss the keys to Foster's car that Rolla says was there--that is, if the keys were actually there--but the record shows that no keys were found at the park, nor on Foster, nor in the car, nor on the ground, nowhere. At the point where it dawned on the investigators that they had no car keys, they surely could not have continued to think that "it was all leading right to a suicide." At the very least, a frantic search of the grounds would have ensued, that is, if anyone really seriously thought that the evidence otherwise pointed to suicide. Not many people would believe that Foster hot-wired his car to take his last drive. But no, what we have been asked to believe is that the very first, not the last thought the police had was, "Oh, we must have missed the keys when we were going through Foster's pockets looking for any evidence we could collect and put into our documented evidence collection. Let's hustle right off to the morgue and look in his pockets again."
Ben-Veniste knows how the keys turned up, with a set of house and office keys thrown in to boot, and he tries to dig himself out of this little hole, pulling on the reins of the uncomprehending witness as hard as he can:
BEN-VENISTE. You didn't search his person at the scene, did you?
ROLLA. After it was pronounced, we emptied his pockets. Yes, I did remove his personal property and search them.
Wake up, Rolla! Think of what you are saying.
BEN-VENISTE. At the scene or at the hospital?
ROLLA. At the scene. We went to the hospital because I happened to miss his car keys in his right front pants pocket.
Whew! That's a relief. But what a gift Rolla or his sidekick/trainer Sgt. Cheryl Braun must have! It must be nice to know confidently where you must look when something is missing. I guess it helps when you have been told that two White House operatives are going to the morgue to "identify the body," a body that the police have already identified perfectly well with the help of a White House photo ID. It's a good thing that, by the time Kenneth Starr looked into the matter, Rolla had got on the same page with Braun and agreed that they went to the morgue before going to the Foster home and before the White House people got to the morgue instead of after, as Rolla had clearly implied in previous testimony. 
BEN-VENISTE. So you made a cursory search of Mr. Foster's pants pockets, but you did not at that time locate the set of keys to the car?
ROLLA. That's correct. I neglected to turn the pocket inside out.
BEN-VENISTE. You did not find a note, clearly?
ROLLA. No, there's no note.
Not yet, anyway. That would take a bit more doing. But for now, let's heave a sigh that the counsel and the cop are off a subject the counsel dearly wanted to avoid, the matter of those pesky keys.
 In addition to Ben-Veniste, a surprising number of veterans of the "Silent Coup," to use the title term of Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin's 1991 book about Watergate, resurface in the Foster case. Foster's boss, White House counsel and White House obstructor of the police search of Foster's office, Bernard Nussbaum, was on the House Watergate Committee, where he supervised the freshly-
minted young attorney, Hillary Rodham. On the Senate committee looking into Watergate as assistant chief counsel was close Clinton confidante in recent years, James Hamilton, the "Foster family attorney" chosen for them by the White House. Hamilton ranks up close to autopsy doctor, James C. Beyer, for the role he has played in building the case for suicide. And we must not forget convicted Watergate felon, G. Gordon Liddy, the man who brought forward the "confidential witness" with his belated and unlikely tale of how he discovered the body and anonymously notified authorities. These are the ones we know about. Who knows how many more there might be behind the scenes?
We also find in the Foster case, perhaps by coincidence and perhaps not, a number of Yale products. Both Clintons, Hamilton, and Williams and Connolly lawyer to the president, David Kendall, have Yale law degrees, and Whitewater special prosecutor, Robert Fiske and one of his consulting pathologists, James L. Luke, have Yale bachelor's degrees.
 The evidence is quite strong that Foster's car was not "on the scene" at Fort Marcy Park until well after his dead body was. The failure of early witness, Patrick Knowlton, to make his description of the car he saw in the Fort Marcy parking lot accord with what his FBI interrogators wanted him to say is, according to Knowlton's thesis in his suit against them, what led to his harassment and attempted intimidation on the streets of Washington, DC. See See http://zolatimes.com/V1.2/StarrText.html and http://www.ultrahost.net/VinceFoster/
 This is from John Rolla's Senate deposition of July 21, 1994:
Q. Now, did you ever talk to, let's see, Bill Kennedy at the White House, who was seeking permission to identify the body?
A. Oh, I'm sorry. Maybe through a question you asked before -- yes. After we left the scene, myself and Investigator Braun were heading to Mr. Foster's residence in Georgetown to make a death notification. Lieutenant Gavin called us and we talked to him, and he started to call these guys from the White House. Bill Kennedy and Craig Livingston, or Livingstone, whatever it is, I called them. I don't know if it was on a mobile phone or whatever. They wanted to know where he was at, Mr. Foster, and could they see him. I told them he was taken to the Fairfax County Hospital, he was in the morgue. They wanted to see him. They knew him, they were personal friends, they worked with him at the White House. They could positively identify the body even though we, through photo identification. knew who he was. If they wanted to see the body, we didn't have a problem with that. We called the security guards at the hospital, told them they would be coming and it would be all right to see the body. (Curious thing, that, wanting to see a colleague's dead body. --ed.)
from TPDL 1998-Nov-23, from NewsMax, by Carl Limbacher:
Reports Tie Clinton Sexcapades to Foster's Death
Could the work of murdered Little Rock security agent Jerry "Luther" Parks have played a role in Vince Foster's death?
Last week, Insight magazine recounted the claim of Parks' wife Jane, who says that just days before the deputy White House counsel turned up dead in Fort Marcy Park, he called her husband and told him that he was going to turn a dossier prepared by Parks over to Hillary Clinton.
Jane and her son Gary have told reporters that Jerry Parks had been hired by Foster at the direction of Mrs. Clinton to probe the extent of then-Gov. Clinton's womanizing -- with an eye toward damage control when Clinton ran for president.
When Parks learned of Foster's death he exclaimed, "I'm a dead man," according to Mrs. Parks.
The same Insight report covered Linda Tripp's recent testimony before Ken Starr's Monicagate grand jury, where she compared the reactions of top White House aides when they first learned of Foster's July '93 death and then of Parks' murder just two months later.
As NewsMax.com has previously reported, Tripp's testimony included these observations:
"None of the behavior following Vince Foster's suicide computed to people just mourning Mr. Foster. It was far more ominous than that, and it was extremely questionable behavior on the parts of those who were immediately involved in the aftermath of his death. ... I had reason to believe that the Vince Foster tragedy was not depicted accurately under oath by members of the administration."
Of Jerry Parks' murder, Tripp said the White House reaction, "replicated in my mind some of the behavior following the death of Vince Foster. [There were] back-and-forth meetings behind closed doors. It resulted in a flurry of activity and phone calls, all cloaked in secrecy, [and] that was somewhat alarming. One of our staff assistants asked, 'What's going on?' and it was never addressed. It was behavior that was considered questionable, cause for concern."
Asks Accuracy in Media's Reed Irvine, who wrote the Insight piece: "Did compiling the dossier on Clinton cost Parks his life? Did the contents of that file have anything to do with the death of Vince Foster?"
L.D. Brown, the still very much alive ex-Clinton security man, may have some insight to offer on that question. In last week's Star magazine, Brown says that he was an eyewitness to both Bill's and Hillary's philandering. His account was first previewed by NewsMax.com's Inside Cover, the day before Brown addressed a crowd of 5,000 pro-impeachment protesters gathered for a "March for Justice" rally in Washington on Oct. 31.
He offered the rally his up-close and personal account of the long- rumored affair between Mrs. Clinton and the late Mr. Foster. But to the Star's Richard Gooding, Brown was even more explicit. The former Clinton bodyguard recounted an evening he spent guarding Arkansas' first couple in which he watched as both Clintons kissed and fondled other people's spouses -- in each other's presence!
Brown says that at a local restaurant, during a social outing involving three couples, he saw Hillary passionately embrace Vince Foster as Bill sat across the table putting the moves on a female judge. The judge's husband and Lisa Foster sat in stunned silence, pretending not to notice. Then, during an after-dinner walk, the unfaithful pairs continued their antics -- "locked up, necking, and walking down the street literally grabbing at one another."
L.D. Brown complained to Star magazine that all prior probes into Foster's death were inadequate because, he said, no investigator can "come to a valid conclusion about his death until they recognize, realize, and interview Hillary Clinton about the affair that she and Vince had. It is a fact, not a supposition. I was there. I saw it."
The accounts offered by Jane Parks, Linda Tripp, and L.D. Brown beg the questions: Did Hillary's apparent affair with Vince Foster play a role in both his death and perhaps even that of Jerry "Luther" Parks? And did Foster make a fatal mistake by turning Parks' file on Bill Clinton over to Hillary in the days before he died?
Wayne Mann <firstname.lastname@example.org> of TPDL fame assembled a list of inconsistencies in the Foster case some time back. Here it is as of 1997-Sep-27.
from TPD 1998-Oct-26, from the Washington Weekly, by Marvin Lee:
What Happened to Vince Foster?
Court Filing Provides the Answer - Editorial
What happened to Vince Foster? The answer can be found in an amended complaint filed in Washington DC district court last week. Plaintiff Patrick Knowlton, his attorney John Clarke, as well as a cadre of citizens, have through thorough investigation put together a compelling chronology of what happened to Vince Foster the day he was found dead in Fort Marcy Park. He was killed with a shot to the head, the complaint avers. But more significant than that, the complaint names the names of the individuals actively engaged in a cover-up of that fact: Robert Bryant, Larry Monroe and Russell Bransford of the FBI; their associates Scott Jeffrey Bickett, Ayman Alouri and Abdel Salem Alouri; Robert Edwards of the U.S. Park Police; and Deputy Medical Examiner James Beyer.
Patrick Knowlton charges all these defendants with engaging in a conspiracy to cover-up the crime that was committed against Vince Foster and to deprive Knowlton of his civil rights as a witness with knowledge of that crime. Knowlton also charges some of the defendants with assault and battery.
Patrick Knowlton was in Fort Marcy Park approximately 70 minutes before the official discovery of Vince Foster's body. The cars he saw in the parking lot did not include Vince Foster's car and he thus contradicts the official version of events that holds that Foster drove his own car to the Park to commit suicide. Thus Knowlton's statement was falsified by the FBI and when he refused to relent, Knowlton was subjected to harassment and intimidation by the FBI and by hired goons associated with the FBI. The numerous witnesses to this harassment excludes the possibility that it is a figment of Knowlton's imagination.
Now Patrick Knowlton is using the court to stand up for his rights as a citizen to be free of harassment and intimidation by a government inconvenienced by the knowledge he possesses. And Knowlton is using the court to shine the light on a cover-up that includes the FBI, the Park Police, the White House, and the Independent Counsel's office.
If Foster was killed, as Knowlton avers, then who killed him? Knowlton does not know the answer. But if his suit provides an answer as to why the murder was covered up, then perhaps an answer to the other question will present itself.
Marvin Lee can be reached at email@example.com
Published in the Oct. 26, 1998 issue of The Washington Weekly
Copyright 1998 The Washington Weekly (http://www.federal.com)
Reposting permitted with this message intact
from http://www.federal.com/oct26-98/Story01.html, from the Washington Weekly 1998-Oct-26:
New Evidence Exposes Vince Foster Murder
Victim Not Shot With .38 Caliber Revolver
By WESLEY PHELAN
Vince Foster, Deputy White House Counsel early in Bill Clinton's first term, was found dead in Fort Marcy Park on July 20, 1993. Three investigations into Foster's death, including one by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, have ruled the death a suicide. Patrick Knowlton, referred to as "C2" in Starr's Report, entered Fort Marcy Park approximately 70 minutes before Foster's body was discovered. Evidence shows that Foster was already dead at that time. Knowlton saw two vehicles in the parking lot, neither of which matched the description of Vince Foster's 1989 silver- gray Honda.
In the spring of 1994, FBI agent Lawrence Monroe interviewed Knowlton for the Office of regulatory Independent Counsel Robert Fiske. Knowlton learned in October of 1995 that his statements to Monroe were falsified in the FBI interview report. Shortly thereafter Knowlton received a secret grand jury subpoena from Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, who was conducting the third investigation into Foster's death. That same day several men began to harass Knowlton in the streets of Washington, D.C.
John Clarke, attorney for Knowlton, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Washington D.C., claiming the harassment was a violation of Knowlton's civil rights . The suit alleges the harassment was part of a larger conspiracy to cover up the facts surrounding Vince Foster's death.
On Wednesday of last week Clarke filed an amended complaint in the suit, adding several new defendants . The most striking paragraph in the complaint states:
26. On July 20th, 1993, between the time of 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., Vincent Foster died of a small-caliber gunshot wound to his head, at the hand of another. The bullet entered his head from the upper portion of the right side of his neck, under the jaw line, passed upward through the body of the tongue, pierced his brain and struck the skull approximately three inches below the top of the head, fracturing it. The bullet remained in his head. Blood drained from the entrance wound in the neck onto his right collar and shoulder and was absorbed down onto his right shirtsleeve. Blood also accumulated in his mouth.
This statement of facts, which runs counter to the results of three official government investigations, is a very bold gambit by Clarke. Under Rule 11 of Federal Civil Procedure, for an attorney to make irresponsible assertions of fact before a court opens him to severe sanctions by the judge. In the following interview, conducted on October 21, John Clarke discusses with The Washington Weekly the compelling new evidence supporting his statement of facts.
QUESTION: You filed an amended complaint today on behalf of Patrick Knowlton, correct?
CLARKE: Yes, we have named some additional defendants in the case. We also have more of the facts in the case.
QUESTION: Why was there a need to file an amended complaint?
CLARKE: Amending the complaint is the usual course of events in lawsuits. As a party learns more things the lawsuit gets changed. That is particularly true in a conspiracy case. Conspiracies by their very nature are secret. Our job is to try to unravel the conspiracy and that means bringing new facts to light. We have done that, so it became necessary for us to amend our complaint.
QUESTION: Who were the original defendants in the case?
CLARKE: The original defendants were the people who harassed Patrick, including two individuals whom we named. There were two FBI agents named, one of whom falsified reports, and the other whom we believe was involved and knew in advance of the intimidation that Patrick suffered.
QUESTION: Who falsified documents?
CLARKE: Larry Monroe, one of the FBI agents who was assigned to Robert Fiske's office. He interviewed Patrick in the Foster death investigation, and falsified Patrick's statements in his report. Later on the truth surfaced in the London Sunday Telegraph. Foster died on July 20, 1993. Nine months later Monroe interviewed Patrick twice. Eighteen months after that the 302's were public. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard was following the case, but Patrick had never heard of Ambrose. Ambrose contacted Patrick and showed him the 302's, that Patrick said lied about what he had told the FBI. So Ambrose wrote an article that appeared in the October 22 edition of the London Sunday Telegraph. That appeared on U.S. newsstands on October 24th, a Tuesday. That same day the Office of Independent Counsel prepared a subpoena for Patrick to testify before the Whitewater grand jury the following Wednesday. They typed it up on a Tuesday for testimony a week from the following day. But they didn't serve it right away. They waited until Thursday, October 27th to serve it. And that was the beginning of the intimidation Patrick suffered.
We believe this intimidation was a civil rights violation, to intimidate a federal witness in order to dissuade him from testifying fully, fairly, and truthfully. We filed suit based on that. We also believe this civil rights violation was part of a conspiracy. Under the law of civil conspiracy all members of the conspiracy are liable and answerable for anything done in furtherance of the conspiracy. If the civil rights violation was in furtherance of a conspiracy, even if the defendants did not know who Patrick Knowlton was, they are all liable for what happened to Patrick. That is what we call the theory of the case and it's what we are proceeding on. What we did today was file an amended complaint to name additional defendants who were members of the conspiracy. Even though these people did not know who Patrick Knowlton was, and even though they did not personally harass him, they were a part of this joint venture and that's why they are liable.
Two things very relevant in the prosecution of Patrick's case are: (1) if there was a cover-up surrounding the death of Vincent Foster; and (2) who covered it up. About 10,000 pages of documents have been released regarding the Foster death. We just recently completed our review of these documents and got our summary down on paper. It's not in its final form. But we are now in a position to find out who did what, and what happened in the Vince Foster case. We have unraveled a lot of it and that's why we added defendants in our amended complaint.
The first defendant we added is U.S. Park Police sergeant now retired, Robert Edwards. He was the third Park Police officer to respond to the body site. As he was walking up to the body site the first Park Police officer was leaving. Edwards ordered him to leave the park and return to his duties. Edwards proceeded to the body site where Park Police officer Franz Ferstl was photographing the body. Ferstl was the 'beat officer'; it was his beat. He took about 7 photographs before Edwards got there. Edwards then took Ferstl's photographs and sent Ferstl to the parking lot. Then two other Park Police officers walked up to the body site, Lt. Patrick Gavin and Christine Hodakievic. They stayed for a few minutes and left.
That left Edwards alone at the body site for about 10- 15 minutes, with the only photographs that had been taken. Edwards then tampered with the crime scene by moving the head to the right. This allowed blood that had accumulated in the mouth to drain down onto the right shoulder. He then repositioned the head straight up, leaving a contact stain on the right side of the chin. The contact stain occurred when the chin hit the wet shoulder.
Edwards did that because he wanted to make it appear that the blood -- which was already on the right shoulder, right side of the shirt, and right side of the neck and collar -- had come from the mouth. He wanted to provide an excuse for that blood being there. You don't commit suicide by shooting yourself in the neck, so they wanted to cover up the neck wound. So the excuse for the blood on the right side, the OIC tells us, is blood had accumulated in the mouth and an early observer turned the head to the right, whereupon the blood drained out. Then this early observer turned the head back up, leaving the contact stain on the chin. That's right. He wanted to leave a sign of having moved the head, because that's the excuse for the blood. His excuse for having moved the head to the right was to open up an airway, although no one tried to resuscitate Mr. Foster.
We know Edwards moved the head because all of the observers before Edwards said the blood was dry, and the witnesses after Edwards said the blood was wet. The OIC never said who the early observer was, but it was pretty obvious that they couldn't find anybody who said they did it or saw it being done. So to the OIC this is an unknown person; they didn't know who this person was, although it had to have been Edwards.
This is important because officially there was no wound on the side of the neck. Foster supposedly shot himself in the mouth. But he did not have an entrance wound in his mouth. The entrance wound was on his neck. The blood had drained from the neck. In order to conceal the entrance wound in the neck, you have to conceal where the blood came from. So Edwards turned the head to right to let the blood drain out, to provide an explanation for the blood that was already there. This is also what caused the two lateral drain tracks that came from his nose and mouth going toward his ear. People say those tracks show he was moved to the park. That's not really true. We believe that occurred from Edwards' actions after the body was already at the park.
QUESTION: Do you think Edwards was in the know about a need for cover-up when he moved the head?
CLARKE: You would think so, wouldn't you?
QUESTION: His job was to do something to help cover this up? Is that what you think?
CLARKE: Yes, that's what I think. I don't think he all of a sudden, sua sponte, did that on his own, with nobody telling him to.
Anyway, the official version is that there was a mouth entrance wound and an exit wound in the back of the head. But actually, there was no entrance wound in the mouth, and there was no exit wound at the top of the back of the head. There was only one visible wound from the outside, and that was to the neck.
QUESTION: How do you know that there was no entrance wound in the mouth?
CLARKE: Let's do the entrance and exit wounds at the same time. Twenty-five witnesses saw the body before the autopsy. There is a record of not one of them having seen an entrance wound.
QUESTION: Well, they would not have opened the mouth, would they?
CLARKE: That's true, although two of those persons were MD's whose job it was to inspect the body. But there is no record of any of those 25 witnesses having seen either the mouth entrance wound or the exit wound at the top of the head. The only reference is to officer Ferstl, who allegedly saw an exit wound. Five Park Police officers all prepared reports and in none of those reports was there a reference to an entrance wound, an exit wound, or blood.
QUESTION: I thought Dr. Haut stated he saw matted blood at the back of the head.
CLARKE: He did say matted blood at the top of the head.
QUESTION: I thought he said the back of the head.
CLARKE: Right, the top of the back of the head, where you would expect this alleged exit wound to be. He did see blood there. But the best evidence we have is the Park Police officer who gloved up and felt there. That was Officer John Rolla. He said a big hole would be one he could put his finger through. He said, "His head was not blown out. I probed his head and there was no big hole there, there was no big blowout. There weren't brains running all over the place. There was blood in there, there was a mushy spot. I initially thought that the bullet might still be in his head." He uses the word hole, but that's not what he described as what he felt. He said if you could put your finger in it, that's a big hole. He says he couldn't put his finger through any hole.
QUESTION: But he did mention a hole being present, didn't he?
CLARKE: No, although he used the word hole in general terms, he what he says found at the back of the head was a mushy spot. A mushy spot is not a hole. There was blood back there. What we think happened is the bullet, after it entered under the right jaw line, went straight up and fractured the top of the back of the head. It remained in the head. John Rolla does not describe an exit wound, and Richard Arthur said there was no exit wound.
QUESTION: Who is Richard Arthur?
CLARKE: He was in the group of the 4th to 7th people at the scene. First on the scene was the U.S. Park Police officer, then one EMT and a paramedic, then minutes later came Richard Arthur accompanied by 3 others. Richard Arthur was the only paramedic in that group of four. He was the second paramedic at the body site.
Arthur said that there was no exit wound. He was asked if he could describe the exit wound. He said, "Was there one? I didn't know there was one." That's the other record we have pertaining to an exit wound. The only person we have not covered for whom there is a record of being there is Dr. Haut. Haut said that there was a neck wound. He wrote in his report "gunshot wound mouth-neck."
QUESTION: That's on the second page of his report, isn't it?
QUESTION: The first page of the report has a spot where a word, presumably 'neck,' is evidently whited out, and another word inserted -- 'head' is inserted instead. Is that correct?
CLARKE: That report has Dr. Haut's signature on it. It is dated July 20, 1993. It is verified. It has an "I hereby certify and affirm under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia," and it goes on and on. He says in effect "I swear that I undertook an investigation of the circumstances surrounding the death and this is what I found." Under "circumstances surrounding death," it says, "U.S. Park Police found a gunshot victim, mouth to neck." That's not an error. If you are the medical examiner you're not going to say there's a neck wound unless there is. Haut's statement is the only record of an exterior wound that anyone of 25 witnesses saw.
Richard Arthur was interviewed five times and the best record we have of what it was he saw was in his deposition, with no opportunity by the FBI to spin or edit his account. He is asked the following question in the deposition, and I'm quoting: "Let me ask you this: if I told you there was no gunshot wound in the neck, would that change your view as to whether it was a suicide or not?" And he responded, "No . . . what I saw is what I saw . . . I saw a small - what appeared to be a small gunshot wound here near the jawline. Fine, whether the coroner's report says that or not, fine. I know what I saw."
QUESTION: Let me make sure I understand. The only reference to a head wound, other than a "mushy spot," would be on the first page of Haut's report. Is that correct?
CLARKE: Yes, on the first page. The first page says "Cause of death" in a small area. In there it says "gunshot wound" on one line. Then "gunshot wound" with a dash and then right under it some little black marks with no word there, and then to the right of that it says "head." So it looks like it originally said "gunshot wound mouth" then under it, centered properly, was the word "neck." In order to falsify it they whited-out the word "neck" and moved the paper a bit to the side, and then typed "head." The reason they moved it over was because otherwise they would have to type over the whited-out word, which would have been apparent on the photocopies. If you type over white-out you can tell.
QUESTION: What did the autopsy report say about the head wound?
CLARKE: We have just covered all the witnesses up till you get to the autopsy. The body was found on Tuesday around 6:00 p.m. The autopsy was originally scheduled to occur Thursday at 7:00 a.m. Dr. Beyer claimed that he rescheduled the autopsy as soon as he heard about the case, from 7:00 a.m. on Thursday to 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday. He rescheduled it for just 16 hours after the discovery of the body. He said it was his idea, he didn't talk to anyone about it, no one suggested it, he just decided to do it.
QUESTION: Where are the records of what he said?
CLARKE: That comes from his Senate testimony. Both of the Park Police investigators on the case, Rolla and Cheryl Braun, had called the Office of the Medical Examiner for Northern Virginia, Dr. Beyer's office, Wednesday morning as they were getting off work. Rolla testified that he waited instead of leaving work at 6:00 a.m. He said he waited until about 6:30 before calling the Medical Examiner's Office. The reason he waited was he wanted to call to make sure they weren't going to do the autopsy that day. They told him over the phone, "Don't worry, it won't be done till the following day." So he went home . . .
QUESTION: Why did he not want it done on Wednesday?
CLARKE: There is a requirement that law enforcement officers attend an autopsy. So he was calling to make sure he would be available to be there, because he had just worked all night. So he went home. Braun's story is pretty much the same. Then they both got a call about 8:30 or 9:00 saying, "We're going to have the autopsy at 10:00. Do you want to go?" And they said "No." Four other Park Police officers attended the autopsy instead. Normally Dr. Beyer would perform the autopsy or Dr. Fields would. But in this case, an unknown person assisted Dr. Beyer in the autopsy.
QUESTION: Have you found out who that person was?
CLARKE: No, he's named as a "John Doe pathologist" in our suit.
QUESTION: Isn't that strange?
CLARKE: It gets more strange. Four Park Police officers, Robert Rule and three other personnel, go to the autopsy to witness it. There is Dr. Beyer with his unknown, unusual assistant, whose identity is never revealed in 10,000 pages of records. According to his deposition Robert Rule asked Dr. Beyer who the assistant was, and Beyer refused to tell him. He would not identify the guy who was helping him with the autopsy to the police who were there!
The autopsy was scheduled for 10:00, but Dr. Beyer began much earlier than that, before the police arrived. He stripped the body, x-rayed it, and then of all things to do he took out the tongue and portions of the soft palate. The reason he did that, we allege, is to hide the fact that the bullet pierced the tongue from below, and the absence of an entrance wound in the soft palate.
QUESTION: Is he then named as one of the new defendants in the case?
CLARKE: Yes, Dr. James Beyer.
QUESTION: How about the mystery person?
CLARKE: Yes, we call him "John Doe Pathologist."
QUESTION: When you name somebody like that in a suit who is not previously identified in the records, will that person's identity have to be disclosed? Will they be required by the court now to come forward with this person's identity?
CLARKE: Not until discovery. We have to do discovery.
QUESTION: You will get it through discovery?
CLARKE: Oh, yes.
QUESTION: You think you will?
QUESTION: What if they say 'National Security'?
CLARKE: (Laughs). They won't be saying that. This is the Medical Examiner for Northern Virginia, who covered up . . . 'national security'? They might say that but I don't think they will get away with it. We'll find out a lot. But the astounding stuff is what we already know. Let me continue on with the autopsy.
There is also testimony that Dr. Beyer did not photograph the entrance wound -- that portion of the soft palate that allegedly had the entrance wound. Why would he not photograph that? In addition, he reported that on the soft palate there were very large amounts of what he called "gunpowder debris." He said it was "grossly present," meaning it could be seen with the naked eye. He described it as "large quantities of powder debris." He sent his 5 slides containing 13 sections of the soft palate to the Virginia Department of Forensic Sciences. They issued a report saying there was no ball-shaped gunpowder identified on any of those tissue samples.
QUESTION: When did you learn of the existence of this report?
CLARKE: Somebody told me about it nearly a year ago. This is a very interesting thing. The finding of powder debris on the soft palate by Dr. Beyer is the absolute cornerstone of the entire official conclusion of suicide in the park.
QUESTION: That Vince Foster stuck a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger?
CLARKE: Right. That is the cornerstone of the official conclusion. Now, this Virginia Department of Forensic Science report said that no ball-shaped gunpowder -- and ball-shaped gunpowder is the type of powder allegedly found by Beyer -- was found. The FBI laboratory issued a report on May 9 or 10 of 1994, which said no ball-shaped gunpowder was identified on the tissue samples when the Office of the Northern Virginia Medical Examiner examined them. And they didn't really have an explanation. In June, about a month later, they issued another lab report saying the tissue samples had been prepared in such a way as not to be conducive to retaining unconsumed gunpowder particles. In other words, it had been put in something -- formaldehyde or something - - which made it disappear.
That's a lie. That didn't happen. Depending on the type of ball smokeless powder, the solvents, in order to destroy it, would have to be either ether or nitroglycerin. People just don't use that to preserve tissue samples. So Beyer was lying. And remember, that's the cornerstone of the entire conclusion.
When we look at everything we've just talked about, the only word we have about this entrance and exit wound is from Dr. Beyer. You would think out of 25 witnesses before the autopsy -- an autopsy which is screwy from the start -- there would be some record of the entrance or exit wound other than the neck wound, if it existed. It did not exist until you get to the autopsy, and Dr. Beyer falsified his autopsy.
QUESTION: Ambrose Evans-Pritchard claimed he was shown a photograph of the neck wound, correct?
CLARKE: Correct. Ambrose told me that; I've asked him.
QUESTION: Have you been able to track down this photo?
QUESTION: Where do you think the photo might be?
CLARKE: I don't know.
QUESTION: Do you know who the last person would have been to have it?
CLARKE: I have a couple of suspects. He was shown the photograph, so you have to ask yourself who showed it to him.
CLARKE: No, no. I think it was XXXXX [redacted by request].
QUESTION: Who else have you added to your list of defendants?
CLARKE: After "John Doe Pathologist," next is Robert F. Bryant. At the time of Mr. Foster's death, Bryant was Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Washington Metropolitan Field Office. He has since been promoted to Deputy Director, FBI. On Friday, July 23, 1993, three days after the death, he sent a Teletype to then Acting Director of the FBI, Floyd Clark. Clark was the Acting Director because Sessions had been fired a week before. Accuracy in Media got this Teletype, which is heavily redacted, through a Freedom of Information lawsuit. What it shows is that Bryant was sending it to confirm telephone conversations that took place on the 21st, the day after the death. He says something like, "This is to confirm our conversation wherein the preliminary results of the autopsy are that there was a .38 caliber gunshot wound with no exit wound."
QUESTION: He said no exit wound?
CLARKE: He confirmed the conversation with Floyd Clark in which he said there was no exit wound. On August 10th, about 17 days after he sent the Teletype, he appeared at a joint Park Police/FBI press conference to announce the FBI's finding of suicide in the park. He told everyone there a very thorough investigation showed it was a suicide in the park. His having done that constitutes his participation in the conspiracy. He is telling the American people, the press, that it was suicide in the park. Seventeen days earlier he confirmed his guilty knowledge of no exit wound. And this is the Special Agent in charge of the Washington D. C. Metropolitan Field Office.
QUESTION: What did Dr. Beyer's report say about an exit wound?
CLARKE: He said it was 1 x 1.5 inch, which is about the size of a half-dollar. Remember, it wasn't there earlier; John Rolla could have put his finger through something the size of a half-dollar. But that's what Beyer said. He said he put a probe through the head, and there is a record of one of the Park Police officers having seen the probe going in through the mouth and coming out through the back of the head.
QUESTION: Did the Park Police officer sign a statement that he saw that?
CLARKE: No, but I believe that he did see that. But that Park Police officer didn't get there until after Beyer had done God knows what to the body. He's reported as having removed the tongue and portions of the soft palate before the officers got there. I think he inserted the probe before the officers got there. They walked in and saw the probe, then he took it out.
QUESTION: So you think he may have drilled a hole in the back of the head to be able to put the probe through?
CLARKE: I think the bullet went up through Mr. Foster's tongue into the top of his head, and fractured his head. So Rolla said "I felt a mushy spot, I thought the head was fractured, and I thought the bullet was still in the head." He's right on all three counts is what I think.
QUESTION: OK, Bryant is also named because in his memo to . . .
CLARKE: There is a record of his active participation in the cover-up.
QUESTION: Who else besides Bryant are you naming?
CLARKE: There's Scott Jeffrey Bickett. Scott bashed Patrick's car in with a tire iron the night before his second FBI interview. One of the appendices at the back of Evans-Pritchard's "The Secret Life of Bill Clinton" is a computer printout of Scott Jeffrey Bickett, showing that he was employed by the Department of Defense.  He holds what is called an "active SCI" security clearance. SCI stands for "Sensitive Compartmented Information." That's a top U.S. government security clearance. So this malicious attack on Patrick's car, which Bickett later confessed to . . .
QUESTION: He did? To whom did he confess?
CLARKE: Coincidentally, to the U.S. Park Police who were handling the case. They said they couldn't trace the license plate number. Luckily, there was a limousine driver not too far away who witnessed the whole thing, who wrote it down.
QUESTION: Did he tell them why he bashed the car?
CLARKE: No. So, the Park Police showed up and the limo driver gave the license number to both the Park Police and to Patrick. A week went by and they said they couldn't find the guy. So a private investigator was hired on October 18, 1995, and he found Bickett in one day. The Park Police then interviewed Bickett and he confessed. This incident was pretty damned coincidental. It was the night before Patrick's second interview. Patrick had two interviews. The first one was April 15, 1994, when FBI agent Larry Monroe was leaning on him trying to get him to admit the car he saw in the Fort Marcy Park parking lot was Vince Foster's car. Patrick had another interview about 3 weeks later. The incident where his car was bashed in was the night before the second interview. He actually had a confrontation with this guy, Scott Bickett.
Either they were trying to give Patrick a hint, or they were trying to shake him up. His car was a 1974 refurbished Peugeot. It was just beautiful. It was Patrick's only possession. They bashed the shit out of it right in front of the Vietnam Memorial. Patrick and his girlfriend were showing another couple the memorial.
QUESTION: When did you learn of Bickett?
CLARKE: When Evans-Pritchard's book came out.
QUESTION: Why did you not name Bickett as a defendant to begin with?
CLARKE: Because we filed suit a year before that book came out. The next new defendant I call "John Doe FBI Laboratory Technician." I'll tell you briefly some of the things they hid. Remember, Beyer supposedly found ball shaped smokeless powder on the body. Well, Remington manufactured the cartridges found in the official death gun. They were .38 HVL, which stands for high velocity ammunition. Remington has never used ball smokeless powder in the manufacture of that ammunition.
QUESTION: So the supposed finding of the ball shaped powder on the soft palate by Beyer is impossible in any event?
CLARKE: I think Foster had ball powder on him, but none of it was in the mouth.
QUESTION: Does the presence of this particular type of powder give you any indication what the murder weapon actually was?
CLARKE: Yes. It's used by Winchester .22's, a small caliber gun.
CLARKE: Yes, it's consistent with reloads also.
QUESTION: Professional hit men are known to reload their ammunition.
CLARKE: That category is included.
QUESTION: Although it seems unlikely to me that anyone would want to reload .22 cartridges, unless they wanted very special properties. But a professional might.
CLARKE: Right, for up close work. The FBI lab also hid the length of the powder burns on Mr. Foster's hands. They did not describe the length of those powder burns.
QUESTION: Is the official story that he had one hand over the cylinder of the gun as he pulled the trigger?
CLARKE: Right. And you would get a blast from the front cylinder gap.
QUESTION: Well, on a revolver there are gaps between the cylinder and the frame at both the front and the back of the cylinder, where some blast might escape.
CLARKE: You could get a little bit from the back, but these powder burns on his hands were definitely from the front cylinder gap, and they are huge. As the blast escapes from the cylinder gap, it is blocked at the top and the bottom by the frame of the gun. So it comes out in a triangular shape on both sides from the front cylinder gap, which is at the back of the barrel. As the blast flees from the gun, it expands, so the triangle gets larger the farther it is from the point of the blast.
If your hand is over the cylinder when you pull the trigger, you won't get gunshot residue on the part of your hand that is above the gun, or the part that is below the gun. The top and bottom of the gun frame will protect those parts of your hand. Now, if you wrap your hand around the gun at the front of the cylinder, according to our measurements, you will have two 2-inch burns on your hand, one on each side of the cylinder.
QUESTION: Exactly right.
CLARKE: Let's suppose you got somebody else to pull the trigger. You take both hands and wrap them around the gun, but not touching the gun. With your hands out like that, instead of 2 inches long the burns are going to be 6 to 7 inches long. The gunshot residue deposit is shortened by closeness of your hand to the gun and lengthened by its distance. Now, we calculate that Mr. Foster had a 3-inch burn on the left-hand side, so he was not touching the gun there.
CLARKE: On the right hand side he had over a 5-inch burn.
QUESTION: So his hands were not touching the gun?
CLARKE: On neither side. He was not holding that gun.
QUESTION: What's he doing with his hands around but not touching a gun that goes off?
CLARKE: Think about it. He's in a defensive posture. The gun went off when his hand was two inches from it on the right hand side and on the left side maybe a half an inch. He was grabbing for the gun when it went off!
QUESTION: How do you know how long the burns were on each hand?
CLARKE: We can approximate the size of his hand. He was 6 feet 4, and he could palm a basketball palm down in each hand. Anybody who can do that has a 6-inch index finger.
QUESTION: How do you know the length of the burns?
CLARKE: We have sources in the record that tell us the burn began at the last phalange, which is about an inch long. It extended down into the web area of his hand. From the beginning of the last phalange to the web area would have been 5 inches. If the burn extended into the web area, that means it was more than 5 inches. One of the reports -- Simonello's -- says it is also to the thumb. Simonello removed the weapon from Mr. Foster's right hand. He said there was gunpowder on the thumb. That means the hand could not have been in contact with the weapon when it went off.
QUESTION: Was his stain also the ball shaped powder?
CLARKE: We don't know because it is residue.
QUESTION: Is it possible that someone put the .38 in his hand and shot the gun to make it look like he shot it?
QUESTION: But the .38 had been fired, had it not? It had a spent casing in it didn't it?
CLARKE: One spent casing and one unspent casing.
QUESTION: Did they do a test of the gun to see if it had been fired recently?
CLARKE: I don't know. I do know that they didn't test it until after they closed the investigation. Did you know that?
QUESTION: No. Good grief.
CLARKE: In fact the letter requesting testing was not written until the 11th, but the case was officially closed on the 5th. A week later they decided to send it out for testing. That was the official FBI/Park Police investigation, which was 16 days long.
QUESTION: Why have you added "John Doe FBI lab Technician" to your suit?
CLARKE: Because of the FBI report. He says the gunpowder residues are consistent with Foster having fired the weapon. We made a model of the weapon. You cannot pull the trigger with your hands in the position relative the gun that Foster's must have been. His right hand was 2 inches away from it, and the left hand about one half inch". The only way he could have been holding it would be with his hands around it and away from it. You can't pull the trigger like that. Even if he could reach the trigger, he couldn't have pulled it -- it was too far away.
QUESTION: Was he supposed to have pulled the trigger with his thumb?
QUESTION: So you name the FBI lab technician because he falsified the documents, in your opinion?
QUESTION: What you are talking about here -- you've said it yourself more than once -- is a conspiracy that involves many, many people.
CLARKE: Many people, but less than some might imagine.
QUESTION: It's hard for the average person to contemplate that all of these disparate people would be involved to falsify the record. Why would they do that?
CLARKE: They were evidently covering up an apparent homicide. I don't know why they did it, why he was killed, or who killed him.
QUESTION: What's the next step in your suit?
CLARKE: The judge still has not ruled on the defendants' motion to dismiss. The two FBI agents and one other named defendant who was served in the case earlier filed a motion to dismiss. We argued that in January. The judge has not ruled on it. It's a good thing, too, because we have been going through thousands of pages of records pulling all of this stuff out.
QUESTION: I won't ask you if you trust the judge.
CLARKE: You can say that I trust him because I do.
QUESTION: What is his name?
CLARKE: John Garrett Penn.
QUESTION: Which court is the case in?
CLARKE: U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
QUESTION: Has he been there for a while?
CLARKE: He's been there for a long time. I tried a case before him in 1989.
QUESTION: I suppose the next step is he will make a ruling about whether to dismiss. And if he does not dismiss, he will then look at your amended complaint. Is that right?
CLARKE: He really has to look at the amended complaint before ruling. Part of the argument of the motion to dismiss is our supposed failure to particularize the allegation of conspiracy. Our amended complaint is a lot more particular. So he would not want to dismiss the suit without looking at this.
QUESTION: You think at this point with the evidence you have presented you have overcome that objection?
CLARKE: Yes, I thought I overcame it back then, but even more so now.
QUESTION: How is Patrick Knowlton doing?
CLARKE: He's doing very well.
QUESTION: Is he getting on with his life?
CLARKE: We are both involved in this up to our armpits, so this is his life for the time being.
QUESTION: I know you are getting along partly on donations, so give us the address to contribute to this cause.
CLARKE: The Knowlton Legal Fund, 1730 K Street NW, Suite 304, Washington, D.C. 20006. Donations are not tax deductible.
Notes1. For more information on the Knowlton lawsuit, see an earlier Washington Weekly interview with John Clarke at: http://www.federal.com/feb16-98/Foster.
2. The amended complaint in the lawsuit is available at: http://www.aim.org/special/knowlton.htm
3. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, "The Secret Life of Bill Clinton," p. 416.
Wesley Phelan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in the Oct. 26, 1998 issue of The Washington Weekly. Copyright © 1998 The Washington Weekly (http://www.federal.com). Reposting permitted with this message intact.
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from TPDL 1998-Jul-24, By Richard Lessner:
Few Are Still Seeking the Truth in Mysterious 'Suicide' of Vince Foster
THE FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF VINCE Foster's mysterious death passed this week with little notice.
When I was last in Washington, I drove out one afternoon to Fort Marcy Park on the Virginia side of the Potomac and parked in the space where Foster's locked car was found on the evening of July 20, 1993. Deeper in the park, near an old cannon, Foster's body was found, an antique pistol gripped awkwardly in his hand, his thumb on the trigger.
I do not intend here to rehash the many inconsistencies surrounding Foster's alleged suicide -- the mysterious "suicide note" found sans fingerprints during a second search of an empty briefcase, the inability of anyone to establish where the antique gun came from or where Foster got the bullets, the botched crime scene investigation, the mishandled autopsy, the conflicting chronologies.
No one in any official capacity is still investigating Vince Foster's death. The Park Service Police, the FBI and two independent counsels -- Robert Fiske and Ken Starr -- all have signed off on the official suicide finding. Only a handful of dogged researchers and conservative activists keep the Foster case alive, though on life support, mostly via the Internet and talk radio.
Yet Vince Foster is the one thread that runs through the scandals involving Bill and Hillary Clinton -- Whitewater, Travelgate, FBI Filegate and, yes, even the Monica Lewinsky affair. The truth about Foster's death doubtless could blow the lid off this cauldron of corruption.
Clinterngate appears to be unrelated to the previous Clinton scandals. This looks like a straightforward sex scandal involving a libidinous President, already known to be a notorious Lothario, and a star-struck and possibly conniving young woman. Yet even Monicagate reaches back to involve Foster.
It now is known that Linda Tripp's confidential file was among the more than 900 FBI files that the White House illegally obtained in 1994. Today, Linda Tripp is famous as Monica Lewinsky's friend who taped their conversations about steamy sex in the Oval Office and Bill Clinton's possible perjury, witness tampering and subornation of perjury.
But why was Linda Tripp's FBI file invaded way back in 1994 when she was an anonymous mid-level White House staffer? Because she was the last person in the White House to see Vince Foster alive the day he allegedly drove to Fort Marcy Park and shot himself.
At the time the White House grabbed the Tripp FBI file, the Clintonoids were scrambling desperately to get their ducks in a row -- that is, coordinate their stories -- on the events surrounding Foster's death in response to the first independent counsel investigation.
The man who pulled Linda Tripp's FBI file was the shady Craig Livingstone, the former White House security director.
The reasonable conclusion is that Livingstone was looking for something to use against her, some leverage to make certain she would back the White House version of the Foster suicide. It was shortly after this that Ms. Tripp was transferred against her will to the Pentagon.
It also was Craig Livingstone who, the night Foster died, showed up at the hospital demanding to see the body. It was only after Livingstone and fellow White House aide Bruce Lindsey were allowed to view the body that Foster's car keys turned up in his trouser pocket.
The Park Police had searched Foster's pockets at the scene in Fort Marcy Park, but failed to find his car keys. This puzzled the police and caused some to question the suicide scenario. How did Foster get to the park -- his Honda was parked in the lot -- without his car keys, unless someone was with him and took the keys, or he died elsewhere and his body was planted to make it appear a suicide?
Craig Livingstone also was observed removing boxes of files from Foster's White House office in the hours after Foster's death. Foster was the Clintons' lawyer on the Whitewater scandal and he was Hillary's hit man on the bogus Travel Office purge. It was Foster's copy of Hillary's subpoenaed Whitewater billing records that disappeared, only to turn up mysteriously two years later in the First Lady's office.
Charles Colson, the hapless Nixon aide in the Watergate affair, was sent to prison for searching one FBI file. Yet Craig Livingstone never has been indicted, let alone convicted, for illegally obtaining more than 900 FBI files. Today, Livingstone lives in sunny California and works for one of Bill Clinton's big campaign contributors.
What gives? Why has Ken Starr's investigation of Filegate fizzled?
Because Craig Livingstone cannot be squeezed. He holds the trump card: The truth about Vince Foster's death.
If Ken Starr were to indict, then Livingstone could threaten to reveal what he knows about Foster's death, and no one wants that.
Not Mr. Starr, who already has signed off on the suicide theory and who would look the fool were Livingstone to tell all.
Not Congress, which recoils from investigating the Foster affair. (Rep. Dan Burton was willing to probe Foster's death, and for his trouble he was roundly jeered in the Washington press.)
And certainly not the Justice Department, which has been thoroughly corrupted by the hideous Clintons.
No one, it seems, is anxious to think the unthinkable about the death of Vince Foster. So Craig Livingstone remains a free man, despite his egregious violation of federal laws and Linda Tripp's privacy.
Five years after Vince Foster's body was discovered in Fort Marcy Park we are no closer to the truth about his mysterious death, though his ghost continues to haunt the Clinton scandals large and small.
from TPDL 1998-Oct-5, from The Ottawa Citizen of Sunday 4 October 1998, by Mark Kennedy:
Vince Foster suicide linked to Arkansas tainted plasma sales
The controversy over how a U.S. firm collected tainted blood from Arkansas prison inmates and shipped it to Canada has spread to Vince Foster -- U.S. President Bill Clinton's personal confidant who committed suicide in 1993.
Mr. Foster, a boyhood friend of Mr. Clinton's, was one of the president's most trusted advisers. As a corporate lawyer in Arkansas, he worked in the same law office as Hillary Rodham Clinton and became a close colleague of hers.
When Mr. Clinton left Arkansas for the White House in early 1993, he called on Mr. Foster -- known as an earnest individual with high ethical standards -- to join him as deputy White House counsel. Mr. Foster obliged, also remaining the Clintons' personal lawyer. Now, five years after his mysterious death, two developments have prompted questions about Mr. Foster's knowledge of the U.S. company's prison-blood collection scheme:
- There are signs that Mr. Foster tried to protect the company called Health Management Associates (HMA) more than a decade ago in a lawsuit.
- And a major U.S. daily newspaper recently reported that Mr. Foster may have been worried about the tainted-blood scandal, which was just emerging as a contentious issue in Canada, when he killed himself in July 1993.
Mr. Clinton was governor of Arkansas when the Canadian blood supply was contaminated in the early and mid-1980s. He was familiar with the operations of the now-defunct HMA, the Arkansas firm given a contract by Mr. Clinton's state administration to provide medical care to prisoners. In the process, HMA was also permitted by the state to collect prisoners' blood and sell it elsewhere.
HMA's president in the mid-1980s, Leonard Dunn, was a friend of Mr. Clinton's and a political ally. Later, Mr. Dunn was a Clinton appointee to the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission and he was among the senior members of Mr. Clinton's 1990 gubernatorial re-election team.
The contaminated prisoners' plasma -- used to create special blood products for hemophiliacs -- is believed to have been infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. As well, it's likely the plasma was contaminated with hepatitis C.
Any information linking Mr. Foster to HMA and its blood program is bound to raise more questions about how much Mr. Clinton knew.
Michael Galster, a medical practitioner who did contract work for the prison system, has revealed to the Citizen that Mr. Foster once approached him in the mid 1980s to ask for a favour.
At the time, Mr. Clinton's administration and HMA were facing a $12-million lawsuit from a prisoner whose infected leg had been amputated at the hip in 1982.
The inmate was claiming that poor medical care by an HMA doctor -- who had been working in the prison despite being denied a permanent licence to practice by the state medical board -- had resulted in the needless amputation.
Mr. Galster, an expert in prosthetics, says HMA's medical director had asked him to build a special artificial leg for the prisoner in the hope that it would lead to an out-of-court settlement. Mr. Galster refused to get involved, and was visited several weeks later at his office by Mr. Foster, who appealed again for his assistance.
"The purpose of his being there was to convince me to take this, smooth it over and everybody would be happy," says Mr. Galster, who has written a fictionalized account of the prison-blood collection saga, called Blood Trail.
"I refused him. He said, 'I understand your predicament, but this could make it difficult for you to get a future state contract.'
"If it's like the past state contracts I've had, I don't need any," Mr. Galster says he replied. "He (Foster) kind of laughed and said 'OK, I appreciate your time.' "
It was the only time the two met, but Mr. Galster now says he believes Mr. Foster was trying to protect both Mr. Clinton and HMA from public embarrassment.
The questions surrounding Mr. Foster became even more intriguing when, several days ago, the New York Post published an article entitled "The tainted blood mystery" by one of its columnists, Maggie Gallagher. She reported on how the Citizen had broken a lengthy story in mid-September about the Arkansas prison-blood scheme.
Most significantly, Ms. Gallagher wrote that the story suddenly cast new meaning upon "a strange little memory fragment" that had been "meaningless in itself."
Citing a source who asked not to be identified, Ms. Gallagher reported that a day or two after Mr. Foster died on July 20, 1993, someone called a little-known phone number at the White House counsel's office where Mr. Foster had worked.
"The man said he had some information that might be important," wrote Ms. Gallagher. "Something had upset Vince Foster greatly just days before he died. Something about 'tainted blood' that both Vince Foster and President Clinton knew about, this man said."
Mr. Foster's mysterious death spawned a political controversy from the moment that police, responding to an anonymous 911 caller, found his body in a national park in Washington, D.C.
Police concluded that Mr. Foster had stood there coatless in the late- afternoon heat, inserted the muzzle of an antique Colt 38. revolver into his mouth and pulled the trigger. Immediately, conspiracy theorists began spreading rumours that Mr. Foster had been murdered. But independent counsel Robert Fiske (a special prosecutor who examined the Whitewater scandal before being replaced by Kenneth Starr) conducted his own review and agreed with police that it was suicide.
It was believed that Mr. Foster had been suffering from depression and was especially perturbed by a brewing scandal in which he was embroiled. In the so-called Travelgate fiasco, Clinton aides had fired several veteran White House travel-office employees as part of an alleged attempt to give the lucrative travel business to Arkansas cronies.
However, Ms. Gallagher's column has raised questions over whether Mr. Foster was distressed about something he knew regarding tainted blood, and whether this anxiety contributed to his suicide.
In Canada, the summer of 1993 was a critical period. A Commons committee, which had conducted a brief review of the tainted blood scandal, had just released its report in May. Its first recommendation called for a major "public inquiry" to conduct a "full examination of the events of the 1980s" when the Canadian blood supply became contaminated with AIDS.
Indeed, on Sept. 16 -- eight weeks after Foster's death -- the federal government announced the public inquiry, to be headed by Justice Horace Krever. During the course of his work, Justice Krever unearthed the Arkansas prison-blood collection scheme and wrote about it in his final report last year.
However, no mention was made of Mr. Clinton until last month's story in the Citizen, which drew on documents obtained from Arkansas State Police files.
from TPDL 1999-Feb-23, from Reuters via EtherZone:
Canadians To Expand Tainted Blood Lawsuit To U.S.
TORONTO (Reuters) - A group of Canadians infected with hepatitis C from blood they say was collected from Arkansas prisons will extend their case to the United States this week and possibly target U.S. President Bill Clinton in their lawsuit.
The group of 400 Canadians filed a C$1 billion class-action claim against the Canadian government and two companies in late January and vowed at that time to expand their case south of the border.
A spokesman for Hemophilia Ontario confirmed Monday that the group will now target the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the state of Arkansas and possibly Clinton, a former Arkansas governor.
The spokesman said the lawsuit will be made public on Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
from The New Australian, 1999-Feb-21, by Gerard Jackson, from http://www.newaus.com.au/news108forbes.html:
A tale of two bloodgates: another media cover-up
Rupert Murdoch's Australian is certainly hot on justice and political corruption. On 9 February it published a news report on the French bloodgate, following it up on the 12 February with another lengthy report. Several former French government ministers are on trial for allowing AIDS-contaminated blood to be distributed. About one thousand people died because of their actions and there is no doubt that many more will follow them. What is really mysterious, or so it at first seems, is that America's bloodgate scandal, one that may have infected about 2,000 Americans, not to mention the number of Canadians it killed, has not been reported by the Australian media, and in particular Cameron Forbes, The Australian's Washington-based correspondent, even though the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) are investigating the case. Of course, the mystery evaporates once one knows that America's contaminated blood scandal originated in Arkansas when that lovable rogue ol' Bill Clinton was governor. Once again, it is who you are that seems to count, not what you have done.
The squalid story goes back, as do so many, to Arkansas in the early 1980s when Clinton was governor. HMA (Health Management Associates) won a $US3 million contract to provide medical services to Arkansas state prisons. The contract also allowed the company to collect blood from prisoners and sell it, but US health regulations didn't permit the sale of prisoners' blood within the country. However, HMA was able to evade the rules by selling the blood in Canada, with fatal consequences. When HMA had its license withdrawn by the authorities because of its poor medical practices, Bill Clinton publicly defended the company and used his authority as governor in 1985 to have its licence renewed, even though the company was accused of using inmates to draw blood and had employed bogus doctors.
Now why should this "potentially great" and "flawed man" (the Australian media calls him "flawed" rather than corrupt) go out of his way to support the practices of a fraudulent medical company. After all, Clinton is man who knows how to share pain or should I say inflict it? This is a man who does nothing for nothing. And so it was here. The company was headed by none other than Leonard K. Dunn, a key Clinton supporter and important donor to the Bill and Hillary charity foundation. Not only did a grateful Bill reward the generous Mr Dunn with the prison contract but he also got him appointed to the state business council. And would you believe it, the same Mr Dunn ended up with Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan's assets, well what was left of them after the Clintons had got through with it. Ain't that just cosy
Can't you imagine the howls of outrage from our left-wing crusading journalists if a Republican had done this. I know I can. Fortunately, even the best laid plans of rats and men go awry. Dr Michael Galster was working in the prison system when HMA was operating. Using the pseudonym Michael Sullivan he wrote a fictionalised account of the scandal and called it Blood Trail. Ceasing to fear Clinton's attack machine and his media stormtroopers, Galster went public by revealing his identity. He not only accuses Clinton of organising bribes to various state official officials to make sure that HMA could continue its blood-selling operations, he suggests that Clinton benefitted financially from the operation.
Though the scandal has been extensively covered by the Canadian papers, the mainstream American media has done its best to ignore it censor it would be a more appropriate description. As expected, the Australian media has also joined the 'conspiracy of silence,' even ignoring a group of former Arkansas prisoners who are launching a class action suit against the state, claiming that HMA infected them during blood donations. The revelation that the RCMP is now working with the FBI regarding criminal charges in the US is another uncomfortable fact that our fearless journalists ignored. Moreover, Vince Foster's ghost, so to speak, has also been brought into the scandal.*
A Press Conference will be held on February 24 at the National Press Club in Washington to demand a federal investigation into Clinton's 'bloodgate' scandal. Will Cameron Forbes and Cameron Stewart (The Australian's New York correspondent) be there? I doubt it. Caped Crusaders they ain't. In fact, I don't even consider them to be real journalists. Forbes couldn't hotfoot it fast enough to Jasper, Texas, to report on a race-inspired murder. And Stewart couldn't get to Wyoming fast enough either when it was claimed a young man had been murdered for being a homosexual. But neither of them ever bothered to scurry down Arkansas way to investigate a single Clinton scandal.
I don't know whether Clinton is genuinely guilty of any wrongdoing concerning HMA's blood-selling operation. But I do know that journalists should have reported it and tried to uncover the truth. They didn't. Smart-aleck journalists can smear Jefferson,** Bob Barr, Ken Starr and Linda Tripp but they cannot report the Arkansas blood scandal. I'll let readers figure out for themselves what the hell is going on here.
from TPDL 1999-Feb-15, from the Ottawa Citizen, by Mark Kennedy:
RCMP probes tainted blood with the FBI
Variety of matters discussed about prison-plasma imports
The RCMP and FBI have held discussions about how contaminated plasma from American prisons was shipped to Canada in the 1980s, says a spokesman for Canadian tainted-blood victims.
Erma Chapman, president of the Canadian Hemophilia Society, said she was given this information last month by a member of a special task force of Mounties conducting a criminal investigation into the tainted-blood scandal.
Ms. Chapman said she was informed by the task force's "victim liaison officer" that Mounties had travelled to the United States and met with representatives of the FBI.
She says she was told they discussed a variety of matters, including how plasma was collected from inmates in Arkansas and Louisiana prisons in the early '80s and sold to a blood broker in Montreal.
"My understanding is they went to discuss this with the FBI,"said Ms. Chapman. "I think it was more to provide the FBI with information than the other way around."
There's no evidence to indicate the FBI has begun its own criminal probe, but Ms. Chapman said it's encouraging to learn that at least the U.S. police force has been made aware of the prison-plasma fiasco.
Next week, Canadian tainted-blood victims will travel to Washington to hold a news conference. They will demand a special investigation by the U.S. Justice Department into how they got bad blood from American prisons.
RCMP Cpl. Gilles Moreau confirmed that the Mounties have, as part of their year-old probe, met with the FBI. But he could not elaborate because to do so might "jeopardize"the investigation.
"We don't get into specifics. What we can say is, yes, we have gone to the States, and when we go there, we do talk to the authorities there because we have to notify them that we are talking to people in their jurisdictions."
Mr. Moreau said the Mounties, as a matter of policy, can't even specify which aspects of the tainted-blood tragedy they are examining, beyond saying "we are looking at all aspects of the blood distribution system."
The prison-plasma story is one of the many "aspects" in the contamination of the Canadian blood supply with HIV and hepatitis C. It has attracted new interest among victims and the U.S. media since the Citizen began a series of investigative reports last September.
The Citizen revealed that the firm that collected the plasma from inmates in the Arkansas prison had links to U.S. President Bill Clinton, who was governor of the state in the 1980s.
The RCMP criminal probe, established in the wake of the Krever report on the tainted-blood tragedy, has been comprehensive. The task force has mushroomed to 24 full-time staff.
So far, investigators have interviewed about 600 people and travelled to countries such as the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands. Of those interviews, 100 have been tape-recorded so the evidence can be compared with other interviews and documents.
The team has amassed more than 30,000 documents and is using a special computer system to zero in on key information. The Mounties are still calling on people who have not yet come forward to call a toll-free tips line: 1-888-530-1111.
Mr. Moreau said the RCMP will conduct a timely but thorough investigation. "Of course, we can't charge people for crimes that occurred in the States because our jurisdiction is in Canada."
That is exactly why victims want the FBI involved.
Ms. Chapman said she hopes the Feb. 24 news conference in Washington will spark a "groundswell demand for information. It's going to hinge on the extent to which the American public perceives this as a problem.
"There are so many questions to be asked. People have tried very much to not look at that seamier side of the blood business."
from TPDL 1999-Feb-10, from the Ottawa Citizen 1999-Jan-31, by Mark Kennedy:
Linda Tripp connected to Canada's blood scandal
Clinton accuser sought answers but was denied access to files, she says
The web of intrigue in the Arkansas prison blood scandal has grown to include a more famous name: Linda Tripp.
Tantalizing new evidence that has surfaced on the story --now dubbed "Bloodgate" by Americans who regularly discuss it through Internet chat groups -- has sparked even more questions about what U.S. President Bill Clinton knew about tainted blood shipped to Canada in the early 1980s.
Mrs. Tripp, a key figure in the Monica Lewinsky affair, said in a sworn deposition this month that in the course of her duties in the White House several years ago, she once took a phone call from someone about a "tainted blood issue."
When Mrs. Tripp tried to obtain more information on the subject from a White House computer data base, she was denied access to the files.
The latest information stems from a sworn deposition Mrs. Tripp gave Jan. 13 in a civil lawsuit.
She was called as a witness in a class-action suit filed by White House employees of the Bush and Reagan administrations who allege their FBI files were wrongly accessed by the Clinton White House.
Ms. Tripp is best known as the woman who befriended Ms. Lewinsky and secretly tape-recorded their phone conversations in which Ms. Lewinsky revealed her sexual affair with Mr. Clinton.
What's not as widely known is that before then, she was one of only two holdovers from the Bush presidency and worked in a key position -- as executive assistant to Bernard Nussbaum, the chief White House counsel.
Working in the same office at the time was deputy counsel Vince Foster who committed suicide in 1993.
Mr. Foster, a boyhood friend of Mr. Clinton's, was one of the president's most trusted advisers. As a corporate lawyer in Arkansas, he worked in the same firm as Hillary Rodham Clinton and they became close colleagues.
Ms. Tripp was among the last persons to see Mr. Foster alive. She brought him a hamburger, along with some candy, from the White House cafeteria at lunch time on July 20, 1993. Mr. Foster ate at his desk, got up, told Ms. Tripp "I'll be back," and drove to a Northern Virginia park overlooking the Potomac River, where he shot himself.
Last fall, as part of a series of investigative stories, the Citizen revealed two developments that prompted new questions about Mr. Foster's knowledge of how a private firm, with the consent of the Arkansas government, collected inmates' plasma and shipped it to Canada.
The Citizen reported details that suggest Mr. Foster tried to protect the firm more than a decade before in a lawsuit. As well, the New York Post had recently reported that Mr. Foster may have been worried about the tainted-blood scandal (which was then just emerging as a contentious issue in Canada) when he killed himself.
Mr. Clinton was governor of Arkansas when the Canadian blood supply was contaminated in the mid-'80s. He was generally familiar with the operations of now-defunct Health Management Associates (HMA), the Arkansas firm that was given a contract by Mr. Clinton's own state administration to provide medical care to prisoners. In the process, HMA was also permitted by the state to collect prisoners' blood and sell it elsewhere.
HMA's president in the mid-1980s, Leonard Dunn, was a personal friend of Mr. Clinton's and a political ally. Later, Mr. Dunn was a Clinton appointee to the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission and he was among the senior members of Mr. Clinton's 1990 gubernatorial re-election team.
The contaminated prisoners' plasma is believed to have been infected with HIV and hepatitis C. Any information linking Mr. Foster to HMA and its blood program is bound to raise more questions about how much Mr. Clinton knew.
The New York Post reported that a day or two after Mr. Foster died, someone called a little-known phone number at the White House counsel's office where Mr. Foster worked.
"The man said he had some information that might be important," wrote columnist Maggie Gallagher, who did not name her source or identify the official who took the call.
"Something had upset Vince Foster greatly just days before he died. Something about "tainted blood' that both Vince Foster and President Clinton knew about, this man said."
In her sworn deposition earlier this month, Ms. Tripp unexpectedly made a statement unrelated to the lawsuit which suggests she was the official who took the call.
Ms. Tripp said she once unsuccessfully tried to gain access to the computer of Deb Gorham, Mr. Foster's secretary.
"It had been alarming to me that when I tried to enter data from a caller that I was working with on a tainted blood issue, that every time I entered a word that had to do with this particular issue, it would flash up either the word "encrypted' or "password required' or something to indicate the file was locked," said Ms. Tripp.
Her statement still leaves several questions unanswered. Among them: Did Ms. Tripp take the call shortly after Mr. Foster's death? Did the caller say Mr. Foster was concerned about tainted blood? And did the caller's reference to tainted blood involve the products collected from Arkansas prison inmates?
The Citizen wrote to Ms. Tripp's lawyer to request an interview with her and obtain answers to those questions. The lawyer did not respond.
from TPDL 1999-Jan-28, from the Ottawa Citizen, by Mark Kennedy:
Hep C victims sue jail-blood sellers
Government also named in lawsuit over Arkansas prison plasma
Tainted-blood victims will launch a multimillion-dollar lawsuit today against two companies and the federal government over the shipment to Canada of contaminated plasma from U.S. prisons.
The lawsuit follows a series of investigative stories published last fall in the Citizen that revealed how a U.S. firm with links to President Bill Clinton collected bad blood from Arkansas prison inmates and sold it abroad.
The class-action lawsuit will involve about 200 hemophiliacs infused with the prison plasma in the early 1980s who later developed hepatitis C.
In their statement of claim, to be filed in a Toronto court, the victims will allege the companies that distributed the plasma -- believed to be infected with HIV and hepatitis C -- were negligent and federal regulators were also at fault.
The victims' lawyer, David Harvey, said yesterday that they are seeking about $300 million in damages.
"Everybody turned a blind eye because they were making money, and they sacrificed our lives," said lead plaintiff Mike McCarthy, a Waterloo, Ont., resident with hepatitis C. "There has to be justice here."
By early 1983, U.S. companies that fractionate blood products had stopped buying prison plasma -- at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration -- because it was widely understood that, since many inmates practised unsafe gay sex or intravenous drug use, their blood posed a high risk of carrying HIV.
But this didn't stop prison blood centres from selling their products to foreign companies.
The companies being sued are Connaught Laboratories, a Toronto-based firm that manufactured blood products for Canadian patients, many of them hemophiliacs; and Continental Pharma Cryosan, a Montreal blood broker that imported plasma from prisons in Arkansas and Louisiana and resold it to Connaught.
At the Krever inquiry, Connaught said it didn't realize it was buying inmates' plasma and that the shipping papers accompanying the plasma had not revealed the donation centre was located in a prison. They simply referred to the source as the "ADC Plasma Centre, Grady, Arkansas," without any indication that "ADC"' stood for Arkansas Department of Corrections.
As well, although Connaught had received an inspection report by the FDA that revealed the centre was in a prison, the report was not reviewed by the company.
Mr. Harvey said that constitutes negligence.
"They're manufacturing the product. It's their obligation to ensure that the raw materials that they're purchasing are of good quality. That requires them to know everything about how and where the materials are being collected."
As for Continental Pharma, company president Thomas Hecht told the Citizen last November that his firm did know it was importing prison plasma. But he insisted scientific knowledge at the time didn't indicate inmates' plasma was any riskier than the general population. As well, he said, his firm supplied "U.S. government-licenced product and never denied its origins" to customers such as Connaught.
The victims will contend in their lawsuit that Continental did know, or should have known, about the higher risks associated with prison plasma.
The federal government is being sued for allegedly failing in its responsibilities as the blood system's safety regulator by neglecting to properly police the two firms. Regulators in Health Canada apparently didn't know that Connaught and Continental were dealing in prison plasma, which the Red Cross had stopped collecting here in Canada as far back as 1971.
"They should have known," said Mr. Harvey. "It's their obligation to regulate the industry, to make sure that appropriate safety standards are being met. They should have been inspecting the plant at Connaught, going over the logs that show where this stuff was coming from."
Unlike other class-action lawsuits filed by tainted blood victims -- which have tended to claim negligence on a broad front -- this one is specifically aimed at the prison-plasma issue. And that explains, in part, why there are so few victims able to join the lawsuit.
Mr. Harvey estimates about 1,000 hemophiliacs were exposed to the prison plasma in 1980s. Of those, many contracted HIV and were later given a compensation package which prevents them from suing. As well, many severe hemophiliacs who frequently relied on Connaught's blood-clotting products throughout the decade developed hepatitis C. If they got any products between 1986 and 1990, they too are being offered compensation as long as they sign a legal waiver.
That leaves a smaller group still able to sue -- an estimated 200 victims, mostly Ontarians, who took Connaught products exclusively in the early 80s and contracted hepatitis C.
The story of how that plasma was collected and found its way into the bloodstreams of unsuspecting Canadians stands as one of the most shocking aspects of the tainted-blood tragedy.
Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas when the Canadian blood supply was contaminated in the mid-'80s. He was generally familiar with the operations of now-defunct Health Management Associates (HMA), the Arkansas firm that was given a contract by Mr. Clinton's own state administration to provide medical care to prisoners.
In the process, HMA was also permitted to collect prisoners' blood and sell it elsewhere. The prisoners were paid $7 a unit. Each unit of plasma was sold by HMA for about $50, and half of that was handed over to the Arkansas Department of Corrections. With hundreds of prisoners donating every week, it became a profitable enterprise.
HMA's president in the mid-1980s was Leonard Dunn, a personal friend and political ally of Mr. Clinton. Later, Mr. Dunn was a Clinton appointee to the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission, and he headed Mr. Clinton's 1990 gubernatorial re- election finance committee.
from TPDL 1998-Oct-5, from WorldNetDaily by Joseph Farah:
Bloodgate thicker than Watergate
[Editors Note: If you would like to get a copy of this book call 1-800-426-1357 (9-4, CDT). I have no involvement, just passing on info. and as to the last paragraph, the answer is TPD, by more than a month!]
"We always get our man."
That's the slogan of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Let's hope it's so. Because this is the one law enforcement agency in the world conducting a criminal investigation into a scandal that could lead them right to the president of the United States.
Let's call it "Bloodgate." It's a scandal that threatens to connect the dots between some other "gates" -- including Whitewater and Vincent Foster.
To recap what we've already covered, in the early 1980s, HMA, a company headed by Leonard K. Dunn, won a contract to provide medical services to Arkansas state prison inmates. As part of the $3 million deal, HMA was also allowed to collect blood from the prisoners and sell it. That tainted blood, Canadian officials believe, was later responsible for a nationwide outbreak of AIDS and other diseases. HMA admitted to selling some contaminated blood -- unknowingly.
But there seems to be more to this story -- much more. Michael Galster, who worked in the prison system during the time the blood was collected, has written a novel called "Blood Trail" that suggests then-Gov. Bill Clinton knew about the shady blood deal. Now, emboldened by the imminent House impeachment inquiry, the author has cast aside his pseudonym and is promising to provide the evidence linking Clinton to a health scandal that has killed hundreds, if not thousands.
It only takes a little probing to see the political connections at play. Dunn was one of Clinton's key political supporters who was awarded not only with a contract for his company, but an appointment to a state business council as well. He also turns out to be the guy who wound up with the assets of Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan following the Whitewater scandal. Small world, huh? Don't be surprised, it gets even smaller.
Syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher last week reported that the late White House deputy counsel Vincent Foster may have been connected with the blood scandal.
"Once upon a time -- in fact a day or two after Vince Foster died -- a man called the White House counsel's office," she wrote. "'This was not a line that kooks typically rang us up on,' my source told me. Lunatics call the main office number. This guy called one of Vince's assistants directly.
"The man said he had some information that might be important. Something had upset Vince Foster greatly just days before he died. Something about 'tainted blood' that both Vince Foster and President Clinton knew about, this man said.
"'I'm telling you this now because Vince Foster was very distressed about this only days before his death,' the mysterious caller said. 'I'm not saying this caused his suicide. I'm only saying it might have contributed to his distress and I thought someone should know.'
"The White House counsel's office didn't pay much attention. 'Probably a kook,' they agreed around the office.
"Except that when his name was typed into the computer log of phone calls for Vince, something strange happened. The computer flashed 'password required' or some such phrase, indicating a special code was needed to open that file. 'Aw, probably just a computer glitch,' Bernie Nussbaum, then chief White House counsel, said at the time. And so the matter, as far as I know, was dropped."
That account coincides perfectly with Galster's "Blood Trail." His book describes a fictional confrontation between the president and his chief counsel over the blood scandal. The counsel expresses regrets about their involvement in a scandal that killed "over a thousand people."
"This could be the biggest scandal ever associated with the American presidency," he says.
"Shut up," the president says. "Our discussion is over and you are out of here."
Did Clinton have knowledge of this contaminated blood sale? Was he involved, as Galster suggests, in making the deal? Was it gross negligence? Or was it worse? Did he try to cover it up? Did he actually benefit financially from the spreading of AIDS?
This could, indeed, turn out to be the biggest scandal ever to hit the U.S. presidency -- if indeed Galster's got the goods. This one, if proven true, will make Clinton wish he had resigned over the Monica Lewinsky affair.
Remember where you read it first, folks.
from TPDL 1998-Oct-19, from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, by Joe Stumpe:
Prison donors ineligible:
Did blood spread ills?
When the American market for prison plasma dried up two decades ago, the doctor who ran Arkansas' program scrambled to find a buyer. As Dr. Francis "Bud" Henderson recalled in a 1986 interview, "I called all over the world and found one buyer in Canada who would take the contract." It was a move that many hemophiliacs in Canada wish had never been made.
They believe the Arkansas prison plasma program is one reason why hundreds of hemophiliacs in the province of Ontario have lived with -- or died from -- AIDS and hepatitis C in the years since.
"I find it difficult to believe that blood would be collected from a high-risk population like that to be given to anyone," said James Kreppner, a Toronto lawyer and hemophiliac who contracted HIV and hepatitis C from tainted blood-clotting products. "This was almost a guarantee that you're going to get hundreds of people infected."
Kreppner can't directly link his infection to Arkansas, and neither can any of his fellow sufferers: There were too many potentially tainted blood product sources to single one out. But they can point to a report issued last year by a Canadian commission that spent four years studying what's known in that country as the "tainted blood tragedy."
Across Canada contaminated blood products are believed responsible for infecting more than 1,000 Canadians with HIV and 12,000 with hepatitis C. The commission, headed by former Justice Horace Krever, devoted seven of its final report's 1,138 pages to tracing how -- despite experts' concerns over the safety of plasma taken from prisoners -- the Arkansas plasma made its way into Canada. It concluded that inmates who had previously tested positive for hepatitis were allowed to sell their plasma at a collection center at the Arkansas Department of Correction Cummins Unit in Grady. And it told how the discovery of those ineligible donors led to an unsuccessful recall of products made from the plasma in 1983.
Henderson, who headed the private company that ran the prison plasma program, disputed many of the commission's findings during several interviews. He said it has never been proven that the prison-
generated plasma was contaminated. But he acknowledged that hindsight makes the program look like a mistake. "Looking back on things, they should have shut down prison plasma (operations)," Henderson said. "They just couldn't control it."
The Cummins Unit housed the only prison plasma program in Arkansas from the mid-
1960s until it was halted voluntarily in 1989. For most of that time, the program was operated by prison personnel and the plasma was sold to Cutter Laboratories, one of four large American blood products companies. In late 1978 or early 1979, Cutter Laboratories canceled its prison contract. Henderson's company, Health Management Associates, took over operation of the prison plasma collection center.
After what Henderson says was considerable effort, he found a buyer for the plasma in Continental Pharma, a Montreal-based broker. Continental Pharma, in turn, sold the plasma to a Toronto company, Connaught Laboratories, which used it to make a blood-clotting product for hemophiliacs that was distributed by the Red Cross in Ontario, Canada's most-populous province.
Henderson concedes there was a "general perception" that prison blood wasn't safe. In 1971, for instance, the Canadian Red Cross stopped accepting blood and plasma from prisoners in a ban that Continental Pharma's arrangement with Health Management Associates circumvented. At the time, the chief fear was that prison plasma would transmit hepatitis A and hepatitis B. But as the 1980s dawned a new fear arose. A mysterious disease -- acquired immune deficiency syndrome -- had been diagnosed in homosexual men by June 1981. When it was found in American hemophiliacs the next year, researchers began to suspect it was transmitted by a blood-
The virus itself wasn't isolated until April 1984. Until a test for it became widely available in 1985, plasma centers screened donors through questionnaires and tests for hepatitis B, since carriers often had both. As for hepatitis C, an even more debilitating strain of the disease, a test for it wasn't developed until 1989.
The method of manufacturing blood-clotting products for hemophiliacs made them exceptionally susceptible to both types of infection: to make the products, plasma from as many as 20,000 donors was pooled. One tainted unit could contaminate the whole batch. In December 1982, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration asked American blood companies to stop accepting blood and plasma from high-risk areas, including prisons.
News reports show that, by May 1983, doubts had been raised about prison plasma programs in Louisiana, Florida and Tennessee because of AIDS. Those states were among a handful that had prison plasma programs.
Why did Arkansas officials allow the prison plasma program to continue? Henderson said the program provided a much-needed income source for hundreds of inmates who sold plasma each week. Prisoners received between $5 and $7 per donation. "We did not give a conscious, professional consideration to not doing it," Henderson said. "We were trying to maintain a program that was needed."
The Correction Department also received a cut from the arrangement, ranging from $1.50 to $2 per unit, that it used to buy medical equipment. Figures available from the state Department of Finance and Administration are not detailed, but from 1982 to 1986 the program appears to have brought the Correction Department from $31,721 to $167,259 after payments to inmates were subtracted. The department posted a net loss for two of those years after deducting for salaries -- the state provided security at the center -- capital outlays and other expenses.
Health Management Associations sold the plasma for about $50 per unit, Henderson said. Although Henderson said he recalls no debate among prison officials over the plasma program, Woodson Walker, a Little Rock lawyer and former chairman of the Board of Corrections, said he was aware of contamination concerns at the time.
"There were discussions about the wisdom of having the plasma program -- whether an inmate population is a high-risk population for AIDS," Walker said. "My recollection is we continued it because we were assured by the [department's] director, Art Lockhart, that the safety procedures were adequate and it would have been unfair to the inmates to deprive them of this source of revenue."
Lockhart, who is no longer director, could not be reached for comment. But the prison plasma program's safety procedures weren't always adequate, some say. According to the Krever Commission, Health Management Associates told the FDA and Continental Pharma in June 1983 that 38 units of blood taken from four inmates should not have been collected. When the blood was taken, the inmates had tested negative for a current infection of hepatitis B. Health Management Associates later discovered that they had previously tested positive for it, the commission reported. A positive test for hepatitis disqualifies potential donors from ever giving blood again, partly because it signifies the potential for other problems.
Neither the FDA nor Continental Pharma told Connaught about the problem until August 1983, when Health Management Associates decided to voluntarily withdraw the 38 units, the Krever Commission reported. By that time, however, 2,409 vials of blood-clotting product made with the plasma had been distributed throughout Ontario. Connaught was able to retrieve 417 of them. That same month, according to the Krever Commission, Health Management Associates discovered that another 34 units of plasma had been collected from a fifth inmate who had previously tested positive for hepatitis. Connaught tried to withdraw the 1,968 vials of blood-
clotting product that had been made with the plasma, but only 27 were retrieved.
The Canadian Red Cross canceled its contract with Connaught on Sept. 8, the day after being informed that the plasma had come from prison inmates.
Henderson gives a different account of the recall. He said the FDA notified Health Management Associates of possible hepatitis contamination -- not the other way around -- and that he resisted recalling the plasma shipped to Canada because the contamination was never proven to his satisfaction.
Henderson said he also met with companies in Italy and Spain that received plasma from the Arkansas operation. While plasma pools there were found to be contaminated, he said, "they never showed us any evidence that we were the ones that contaminated them."
Continental Pharma was sued over the recall, and Health Management Associates paid $250,000 to settle its share of the liability, Henderson said. The FDA also found problems with the prison plasma collection center, suspending its license in 1983. The problems included overbleeding inmate donors, using donors previously disqualified because of a history of symptoms of hepatitis, use of inaccurate and incomplete records, and alterations of records and files to conceal violations. Henderson blamed the unqualified donors on an inmate who was employed as a clerk in the plasma center. He said the inmate was "selling the right to give blood" to other inmates. The State Board of Correction, which held the license for the center, decided to forego an attempt to get back the license and instead helped Health Management Associates obtain its own license for the center.
"One might ask why the FDA -- at the same time it's telling the American manufacturers not to use prison blood -- why did they continue to license a prison facility?" said Bonnie Tough, an attorney for the Canadian Hemophilia Society. "Why would the prison have continued the operation? Maybe our government should have investigated more where it was getting its product. And maybe Connaught should have investigated more where it was getting its product."
Connaught Laboratories maintains that it did not know the source of the prison plasma. Henderson says Connaught worked so closely with Continental Pharma that it had to know. But apportioning blame is complicated by the fact that prisons weren't the only source of contamination. During the same period as the Arkansas prison plasma was making its way to Canada, the Krever commission reported, Connaught was also receiving plasma from another high-risk area, including a San Francisco blood bank whose donors included several people with confirmed cases of AIDS.
"There were a huge number of sources of infections in that day," Dr. Irwin Walker, a professor of medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and past chairman of the medical advisory committee to the Canadian Hemophilia Society. "I think it would be difficult to know the impact" of the Arkansas prison plasma.
Walker believes that practically all hemophiliacs were exposed to the HIV virus and hepatitis C, but not all of them were infected. In 1995, Walker reported that between 653 and 658 Canadian hemophiliacs, or about 35 percent of the total, were infected with HIV, 228 of whom died by December 1993. The percentage infected with hepatitis C was nearly twice that figure.
Ontario is home to about one-third of the nation's hemophiliacs. Walker said the percentage of hemophiliacs infected with AIDS and hepatitis C is not any worse in Ontario, where Connaught's blood-clotting product was distributed, than elsewhere in Canada. The Krever Commission report attracted little attention here, but that could change. Shortly after its issuance, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced it was beginning an investigation into whether any laws were violated in the delivery of blood supplies.
Last month, an Ottawa newspaper reported that the Mounties' investigation had been extended into the United States and would include the prison plasma case. A spokesman, Cpl. Gilles Moreau, declined to elaborate in an interview, citing agency restrictions. "I can't tell you which agency or which company or which link we may or may not have investigated in the United States," Moreau said.
Henderson and others involved in the Arkansas prison plasma operation said they have not been contacted as part of the investigation. Health Management Associates ended its involvement in the plasma program in late 1984. The next year, a method of heat-treating blood products to eliminate contamination became available.
The prison no longer has a plasma program. Meantime, Canadian hemophiliacs like Kreppner can only wonder if it was plasma from prisoners a country away that sealed their fate. "Collecting blood from a high-risk population was stupid, and we were stupid to allow that here," he said.
from TPDL 1998-Dec-1, from the Ottawa Citizen, by Mark Kennedy:
Dollars drove blood program
Tainted plasma collected from U.S. prisoners ended up in Canada
The two men who ran a program that collected tainted blood from an Arkansas prison in the early 1980s have come forward with a stunning defence: Inmates needed the "pocket money" they got for their donation.
That excuse has sparked outrage from Canadian victims who received the prison plasma which is believed to have been infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and with hepatitis C.
The inmates, who donated as often as twice a week, were paid $7 per donation.
The two Arkansas men, who did not testify at the Krever inquiry, maintain they did nothing improper. In interviews with the Citizen, they insisted they were only doing what was right for the prisoners.
"I don't really feel that we did anything wrong," said John Byus, medical director for the Arkansas Department of Corrections. "Does our conscience bother us? I'm sorry, I think our conscience was led by the reality of what we were trying to do. The reality was trying to maintain a (plasma) program."
Dr. Francis "Bud" Henderson, medical director of Health Management Associates (HMA), the private firm that ran the blood program for the state, said there were concerns prisoners' morale would be harmed if they couldn't donate.
"The inmates had no way to earn hard dollars except by selling plasma," said Dr. Henderson. "The prison population was fairly restless anyway."
But another Arkansas resident, Mike Galster, doesn't believe the state was looking out for prisoner welfare.
Mr. Galster, an expert in building and fitting prosthetic limbs, worked on contract for the Arkansas prisons in the early ' 80s. Although he wasn't involved in the plasma program, he treated inmates who gave blood and noticed many appeared jaundiced -- a sign of hepatitis. He has now written a fictionalized account of how the tainted blood was collected and sent to Canada.
He's also begun to track down former inmates and guards to interview them. The bottom line, he says, was that HMA and the state were "out to make a buck" by selling the prisoners' plasma.
"The whole point was how to get money out of a captive audience. And nowhere in there can you explain to me the benefit to the inmate. What did they do with the money? I've asked them. They bought cigarettes and drugs."
In his report, Justice Horace Krever was critical of how the prison plasma was shipped to Canada. The RCMP has said the prison- blood scheme is one of the many aspects now being explored in its criminal investigation.
But Mr. Byus and Dr. Henderson said they're still not convinced the plasma was tainted -- even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared as early as 1982 prison plasma carried a high risk of being contaminated. In the early '80s, it was widely understood that since many inmates practised unsafe gay sex or were intravenous drug addicts, their blood posed a high risk of carrying the AIDS virus.
At the request of the FDA, U.S. companies that fractionate blood products stopped buying prison blood in late 1982. But HMA found a willing buyer in a Montreal blood broker which resold it to Toronto-based Connaught Laboratories. From there, the plasma was pooled and turned into a special blood product and then sent to the Canadian Red Cross, which distributed it to hundreds of hemophiliacs.
The prison-plasma pipeline was suddenly capped in the summer of 1983 when it was discovered that plasma from several Arkansas prisoners should not have been collected. Although their plasma had tested negative for hepatitis B (which can be an indicator of AIDS) immediately after being drawn, the prisoners had tested positive five years earlier.
The products were recalled, but not quickly enough, leaving 3,933 vials to be injected into the arms of unsuspecting hemophiliacs. The Red Cross immediately cancelled the Connaught contract.
Mr. Byus said there were sufficient questionnaires and blood tests to screen out "high-risk" prisoners. He believes his state is being made a "fall guy" for the blood scandal in which he sees the Red Cross and Connaught as bigger players.
At the time, President Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas. Recent stories by the Citizen have drawn attention to this fact and revealed that HMA's president in the mid-'80s, Leonard Dunn, had political links to Mr. Clinton.
"Should we have been operating a (plasma) centre in a penitentiary?" asked Mr. Byus. "Well, that's a philosophical question. In hindsight, I would say, boy I wish we had nothing to do with it because I've wasted a tremendous amount of time and effort. I've been accused of not having any conscience because of the poor folks that were contaminated.
"But did I feel bad about having this centre in the penitentiary? No, not at all," Mr. Byus says.
"This program provided a source of income to individuals who have no source of income. The majority of inmates who participated in this program routinely have families. They used that money to support them, as nominal as it was. But to them, it was a means of maintaining their personal dignity, maintaining their families by giving them something."
Dr. Henderson acknowledges there was a second reason why the state was reluctant to cancel the program -- it, along with HMA, was getting a share of the profits once the plasma was sold. He said each unit of plasma was sold by HMA for about $50, and half of that was handed over to the Department of Corrections. With hundreds of prisoners donating every week, it became a profitable enterprise.
"They were looking at it as a business, not a risk issue, just to be perfectly candid about it," said Dr. Henderson.
Here in Canada, victims are furious.
"Those excuses don't wash when lives are at stake," says Mike McCarthy, who got hepatitis C from contaminated Connaught plasma.
"They should have considered the welfare of innocent Canadians first, instead of the prisoners."
There is a large index of Bloodgate coverage at http://www.seark.net/~budge/page29.htm, The articles indexed there probably don't contain much that isn't already covered above, but for those who are seriously interested it's probably a good resource.
from TPDL 1998-Oct-9, from NewsMax, by Christopher Ruddy:
Tripp Testifies of Foster Death Cover-up; Murder of Jerry Parks
Washington--Linda Tripp told Starr's grand jury this summer that she had significant reasons to question official claims about former White House Vincent Foster's July, 1993 "suicide."
Tripp, one of the White House Counsel's Office secretaries, and among the last people known to have seen Foster alive, told the grand jury she knows that top White House officials committed perjury in their accounts of Foster's death.
Tripp indicated to the grand jury Foster's death was only one reason she feared for her life as she gained knowledge of Monica Lewinsky's affair with President Clinton.
Tripp also detailed, cryptically, to the grand jury her heightened concern after the murder of Jerry Luther Parks, the former head of security at the Clinton-Gore 1992 Little Rock headquarters. Parks was murdered just two months after Foster's death, in September of 1996 while driving through a Little Rock intersection. His car was intercepted and stopped and a lone assassin fired seven shots at Parks. At least three bullets were believed to be fatal.
Parks was found reaching for his gun. His wife and son have both stated that Parks feared for his life in the aftermath of Foster's death. They claimed Parks said Foster had been murdered. Other sources have confirmed that Foster and Parks knew each other on a personal and business level. Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr investigated Foster's death and ruled it a suicide. Starr rebuffed attempts by the Parks family to investigate Parks' death and a possible connection with Foster's. The Little Rock Police have never solved the case.
The following is the verbatim grand jury testimony of Linda Tripp from her July 28 appearance before the grand jury:
Juror: To save your job, you went public and that in turn would probably cause you not to continue in the career that you had?
Tripp: It was far more than that... It was for me really far more than that. It was a question of I am afraid of this administration. I have what I consider to be well-founded fears of what they are capable of. I believe that I have had a far more informed perspective than most people in observing what they are capable of and I made a decision based on what I felt I knew to be the possibilities that could befall me.
Juror: Could you give some examples of what's happened in the past to make you feel as if your life might be threatened?
Tripp: There was always a sense in this White House from the beginning that you were either with them or you were against them. The notion that you could just be a civil servant supporting the institution just was not an option. I had reasons to believe the Vince Foster tragedy was not depicted accurately under oath by members of the administration. I had reason to believe that - and these are, remember, instances of national significance that included testimony by[???] - to my knowledge also others [???], Clinton also in Travelgate. It became very important for them for their version of events to be the accepted version of events. I knew based on personal knowledge, personal observations, that that they were lying under oath. So it became very fearful to me that I had information even back then that was dangerous.
Juror: But do you have any examples of violence being done by the administration to people who were a threat [???] to them that allowed you to come to the conclusion that that [sic] would happen to you as well?
Tripp: I can go - if you want a specific, a personal specific, the behavior in the West Wing with senior staff to the President during the time the Jerry Parks came over the fax frightened me.
Juror: Excuse me, Jerry Parks?
Tripp: He was one of the - if not the head of his [Clinton's] campaign security detail in Arkansas, then somewhere in the hierarchy of the security arrangements in Arkansas during the '92 campaign. And based on the flurry of activity and the flurry of phone calls and the secrecy, I felt this was somewhat alarming.
Juror: I don't understand.
Tripp: I don't know what else to say.
Juror: Meaning that you were alarmed at his death or at what people [in the White House] said? Or did you have knowledge that he had been killed or -
Tripp: He had been killed. I didn't even at this point remember how but it was the reaction at the White House that caused me concern, as did Vince Foster's suicide. None [sic] of the behavior following Vince Foster's suicide computed to just people mourning Mr. Foster. It was far more ominous than that and it was extremely questionable behavior on the parts of those who were immediately involved in the aftermath of his death. So - I mean I don't know how much more I can be specific except to say I am telling you under oath today that I felt endangered and I was angry and I resented it and I still do.
Juror: [Questions about her current job.]
Tripp: I am still being paid at the GS-15 level. I was demoted from my position and assigned administrative tasks which are now under discussion with the Pentagon. Quite beyond that, Mike Isikoff made a very good point early on [to Tripp] which was you will protect yourself and your job far better if your name does surface because once you're out there as a known source of information they will be less inclined to have something happen to you. . . .
Juror: I'm sorry. We were talking the incident that happened and how the people were acting at the White House and you said they were acting strange. Can you give us some examples of what you saw to draw that conclusion? What are some of the examples? You said they were not acting as if someone had just passed or whatever, something was strange. What were the strange things?
Tripp: It replicated [referring to the Parks murder, apparently] in my mind some of the behavior following the death [sic] of Vince Foster. A fax came across the fax machine in the counsel's office from someone within the White House, and I think it was from Skip Rutherford, who was working in the Chief of Staff's office at the time [September 1994]. At the same time the fax was coming, phone calls were coming up to Bernie Nussbaum which precipitated back and forth meetings behind closed doors, all with - you know, we have to have copies of this fax and it was - an article, it came over the wire, I think, I can't remember now, but I think we actually have that somewhere, of this death, this murder or whatever it was [referring to the Parks death]. And it created a stir, shall we say, in the counsel's office which brought up some senior staff from the Chief of Staff's office up to the counsel's office where they, from all appearances, went into a meeting to discuss this. It was something that they chose not to speak about. One of our staff assistant's asked what is going on and it was never addressed. Which was primarily the same way that the Vince Foster death - in the aftermath of the Vince Foster death - in the aftermath of the Vince Foster death things proceeded as well. So, for people not in law enforcement, for people just government workers it was - it was behavior that was considered questionable, cause for concern.
Juror: Just because they were having meetings behind closed doors?
Tripp: Because of the flurry of activity, because it was hush-hush, and that a fax could cause that level of activity. The White House is a very busy place, it's generally short-staffed, but there is pretty much a constant flow. It starts in the morning, it never really ends, you go home, you sleep, you come back. There are times as I am sure you can imagine during the Vince Foster thing that the pace changed somewhat and this was another such time. Maybe you had to be there. I know. I left and I will say under oath with the same sense that this was something they wanted to get out in front of. There was talk that this would be another body to add to the list of 40 bodies or something that were associated with the Clinton administration. At that time, I didn't know what that meant. I have since come to see such a list. So -
from the 1998-Jul-20 TPDL, from the Washington Weekly, by Carl Limbacher:
Vince Foster Five Years After Unsolved Mystery Hampers All Starr's Probes
OYSTER BAY -- Five summers ago this week the body of Vincent Walker Foster, Jr. was discovered near an antique cannon in an out of the way Virginia park. Two independent counsels, two congressional probes and one federal police investigation have determined he died by his own hand. Still, in national polls taken in 1995 and 1997, the American people by overwhelming margins say they do not believe Foster died as officials say. Yet even with this popular mandate, no investigator was willing to act on serious evidence of a White House cover-up of Foster's death.
Meanwhile Ken Starr, the last official to sign off on the suicide verdict, nears the fourth anniversary of his own appointment as chief investigator of the Clinton crime wave in hot pursuit of presidential perjury and obstruction in the Monica Lewinsky case. In fact, if Paula Jones' civil suit hadn't criminalized Monica-gate, Ken Starr would presumably be left with nothing on his plate.
How is it that Starr's four year investigation has been reduced to probing allegations made on tape by a ditzy 24-year-old White House intern, while his probes of Whitewater, Travelgate and Filegate have come up empty? It's really no mystery. For once Ken Starr decided to go south on Fostergate, he closed the door on each of these other investigations.
The Clinton connection in Travelgate was largely Hillary's. It was she, as multiple memos by junior and senior White House aides make clear, who was the driving force behind the firing of Billy Dale and his colleagues in the White House Travel Office. One of those memos, by White House personnel director (and longtime F.O.B.) David Watkins, clearly describes the pressure brought to bear by Mrs. Clinton to "get our people in those slots." It was Watkins and Foster who struggled to implement Hillary's orders, knowing that if they did not there would be, in Watkins' words, "hell to pay." They also no doubt knew that the charge that Billy Dale had embezzled Travel Office money for his personal use was ridiculous. But Mrs. Clinton, persuaded by Harry Thomason that Dale & co. needed to go, was unrelenting.
It was Foster who felt the pressure most. Mainstream media accounts of Travelgate avoided well-sourced allegations that Foster and the first lady had been romantically involved. But as Peter Boyer noted in The New Yorker two years ago, Hillary, once installed in the White House, adopted an imperial attitude towards her new deputy White House counsel. Even the jailed Webb Hubbell, who was prepared to "roll over one more time" to protect Mrs. Clinton, noted the change in tone. "Fix it, Vince," Hillary would bark at Foster, according to Hubbell's own memoir.
And so any truthful accounting of Travelgate, including Mrs. Clinton perjured denial of her role in the firings, would be impossible without revealing her treatment of Foster. Indeed, most of Foster's so-called suicide note reads like an apologia for Travelgate, including the prescient line: "The public will never believe the innocence of the Clintons and their loyal staff." Foster anticipated that a thorough Travelgate investigation would expose Hillary's treachery. And Starr knows that any Travelgate prosecution of Hillary Clinton would reveal that pressure from the first lady deepened the depression that Starr says caused Foster to take his own life. It was, as Foster himself once said of Whitewater, "a can of worms we should not open."
Starr's Whitewater probe has suffered the same fate. Few remember now that it was Foster's death in July 1993, rather than Jeff Gerth's trailblazing March 1992 Whitewater expose in the New York Times, that lit the independent counsel fuse. Indeed, throughout the '92 presidential campaign Whitewater never became an issue. But less than a month after the Washington Times Dec. '93 revelation that Whitewater documents had been removed from Foster's office the night he died, Janet Reno was compelled to make the appointment. And even before that bombshell (8/12/93, less than a month after Foster's death) The New York Times had editorialized about issues raised by Foster's suicide note, saying: "Ideally, an independent counsel wholly free from executive branch control needs to be appointed." The Times also called for the removal of Bernard Nussbaum, the Clinton counsel who mysteriously discovered that note after a second search of Foster's briefcase.
By the time the Foster case had reached Ken Starr in August of '94, his death had been ruled a straightforward suicide by the Park Police, Robert Fiske and the Senate Whitewater Committee. Yet just days after he replaced Fiske, Starr promised to make his own "independent evaluation" as to how Foster died. The following January, Starr began calling Foster death witnesses to his Washington grand jury. But two months later, Starr's lead Foster prosecutor, Miquel Rodriquez, resigned. Reportedly Rodriquez felt Democrat higher-ups in Starr's Washington office were impeding his efforts to get at the truth.
Ken Starr was faced with a crucial decision. Rodriquez' departure should have caused a major shake-up inside the investigation. But the press pretended not to notice what had happened. And instead of putting his Washington investigation right, Starr turned his attention to ancient and remote crimes in Little Rock. Starr dawdled another two-plus years before officially acknowledging that his Foster death investigation had come up empty.
Absent Vince Foster, Whitewater withered on the vine. Yes, there were convictions of the Clintons' Whitewater business partners, the McDougals. Clinton's successor, Gov. Tucker, was found guilty as well. But there was abundant evidence that the president had perjured himself about the same fraudulent loan that had put Susan McDougal behind bars. And Mrs. Clinton had confessed to the RTC that she had shredded Castle Grande documents one jump ahead of the sheriff. Nevertheless, Starr finally closed his Little Rock grand jury in May of this year without even presenting an indictment of either Clinton for the grand jurors to rule on. Undoubtedly the independent counsel believed 10 year old crimes in Arkansas were too long ago and too far away to warrant toppling a sitting president.
Meanwhile in Washington, stunning new evidence had emerged in the Foster case that could have been politically lethal - had the scent been followed. Three independent handwriting experts determined that Foster's suicide note, which was discovered sans fingerprints, was a forgery. A last gasp exhaustive search of the park where Foster's body was found failed to turn up the missing bullet -- the only forensic evidence that would have linked his death to the scene. A previously unknown White House meeting featuring several major Foster case witnesses was revealed to have taken place at a key point during Robert Fiske's Foster probe. But the gathering of Bill Clinton, Webb Hubbell, Michael Cardozo, Marsha Scott, Shelia Foster-Anthony and Foster's widow Lisa apparently prompted little investigative interest, even though the meeting took place on May 7, 1994. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Washington Post - 5/3/97) Just two days later the widow Foster was scheduled to be questioned for the first time by Fiske. In fact, all the participants had spent time with Foster during his final days. And all were key to floating the depression alibi, except Lisa - who hadn't yet remembered how sick her husband had been. The press brushed off this "getting our stories straight" session as an innocent reunion of old Arkansas friends, even though Cardozo wasn't from Arkansas.
Starr is said to be investigating the removal of documents from Foster's office still. But his Whitewater grand jury in Washington disbanded last year without results. Even Al D'Amato's Foster-phobic Senate Whitewater Committee issued criminal referrals for Susan Thomases, Webster Hubbell and Harold Ickes in 1996. Thomases and Hubbell had feigned extensive memory lapses when questioned on Foster. Ickes is said to have managed White House Foster damage control. None was charged by Starr's Washington grand jury.
Without Vince Foster, Whitewater just didn't have a plotline. And by failing to act on potential crimes related to the conduct of those who helped cover up the circumstances of his death, Starr's Whitewater case is nothing more than weak tea. Moreover, Starr's own Foster-phobia may be exactly why Filegater Craig Livingstone remains a free man today.
Who can forget the initial devastating impact of news that the White House security chief had collected over 900 confidential FBI files on Bill Clinton's political opponents? The story even had former CBS newsman Daniel Schorr, pride of the Nixon enemies list, opining against Livingstone's transgression from the op-ed pages of the New York Times. Bill Clinger's Travelgate Committee immediately turned their sights on the breathtaking new scandal. Even notorious committee stonewaller Tom "Waldheim" Lantos couldn't help suggesting that Livingstone should walk the plank, telling the witness in his most ominous Transylvanian accent that: "At least Admiral Boorda had the decency to commit suicide." Livingstone's goose, it seemed, was cooked for sure.
But that was then, this is now. Turns out, it's a good thing Livingstone didn't take Lantos' advice, since the last two years don't seem to have been particularly unkind to Filegate's fall guy. At last word Livingstone was doing just fine, thank you -- working for a Clinton contributor out in the Golden State. His super-expensive lawyer, Randall Turk, informed the Boston Globe months ago that Starr's office is no longer interested in his client. It looks like Livingstone has beat the rap.
How can this be? If ever there was someone ripe for indictment for a whole host of crimes, including violation of the Privacy Act of 1974, it would seem to be Craig Livingstone. Could it be that Livingstone's deep involvement in the Foster case is exactly what's keeping him out of the jug?
It was Livingstone, recall, who was dispatched to the morgue along with Associate White House Counsel Bill Kennedy to I.D. Foster's body. Unresolved questions about the discovery of Foster's car keys, which couldn't be found at the death scene, still linger. Circumstantial evidence suggests that Livingstone may have planted them in one of Foster's pants pockets during the morgue visit. The keys were retrieved later by Park Police who had already searched Foster's pockets at the scene.
Livingstone had also been spotted at the White House the next morning by Secret Service agent Bruce Abbott, who claims he saw the security chief and an unidentified partner removing a box of files and a briefcase from an area near Foster's office. Livingstone denied this, but later made inquiries as to the identity of the agent who spilled the beans.
If the truth about Foster's death differs from the conclusion reached by Starr in any substantial way, Craig Livingstone is in a position to expose it. Already under vicious assault from the left, Starr needs his supporters on the right just to survive. Would they still rally 'round if a key Clinton witness came forward claiming that Starr went into the tank on the Foster case? It's perhaps because Livingstone has this kind of leverage over the man who once appeared certain to indict him, that no such indictment is anywhere in sight.
Strange as it seems, the strange death of Vincent Foster entangles each area of Starr's probe -- and has apparently hamstrung his investigation in ways that reduce it to irrelevance. Five years later, Ken Starr can thank his lucky stars that Monica Lewinsky likely knows nothing about the way Vince Foster died.
from TPDL 1998-Jul-20, by Michael Reagan:
Foster and Parks: Case closed?Around 1 p.m. on Tuesday, July 20, 1993, White House counsel Vincent Foster told Linda Tripp, "There are some M&Ms in the candy tray if you want them. I'll be back." Then he left the office. Five hours later, he was found dead in Fort Marcy Park, a gunshot wound in the back of his mouth. That was five years ago today.
Five years later, plenty of open questions
Despite a mountain of evidence that shows Foster didn't die in that park, Kenneth Starr closed the books on the case in August 1997. Even though the bullet was never found. Even though no motive was established. Even though the 27-piece "suicide note" that turned up days later was not a suicide note at all. Even though Foster's body was covered with fibers (as if it had been rolled up in a carpet). Even though there was no soil from the dusty footpath on his shoes.
Investigators gave conflicting versions of almost every aspect of the evidence, including whether or not the bullet produced an exit wound, whether the wound was located in the head or neck, and even whether Foster was found on the ground or in his car. If Vince Foster pressed a .38 against the back of his mouth and pulled the trigger, there should have been burns and gunpowder deposits around the wound, as well as broken teeth and blood on the gun-barrel -- but there was none.
The most intriguing evidence is this: Four different people searched Foster's pockets while the body was in the park, but couldn't find his car keys. There were no keys in Foster's Honda in the parking lot. Obvious question: How could Foster drive to the park and shoot himself without car keys? Obvious answer: He couldn't. Obvious conclusion: Someone drove Foster's body to the park and left it there -- and forgot to leave the keys.
Did the keys eventually turn up? Yes, they did. Where? At the morgue where Foster's body was taken. There, a check of his pockets -- which had already been found empty at the park -- revealed two sets of keys. Could four investigators have missed two sets of keys in Foster's pockets? Impossible.
So how did the keys get there? Perhaps Kenneth Starr should have posed that question to two White House officials who were alone with Foster's body in the morgue shortly before the keys were found: (1) former Rose Law partner and Travelgate figure William Kennedy III, and (2) Craig Livingstone of Filegate fame. Incredibly, neither Kennedy nor Livingstone has ever been questioned about the matter.
And here's another fascinating angle to this story: The night Foster died, a man named Jerry Luther Parks was watching TV in his Little Rock home when a news bulletin announced Foster's death. Parks turned pale. "I'm a dead man," he whispered. For weeks after Foster's death, he lived in fear, constantly watching his back, and even taking a gun with him when he went to the mailbox.
On Sunday, September 25, 1993 -- two months after the Foster death -- Jerry Luther Parks was returning home from a restaurant when a white Chevy Caprice with two men pulled up alongside his car. The passenger sprayed Parks' car with semiautomatic gunfire, then jumped out and finished Parks off with a 9 mm handgun. The killers were never apprehended.
Parks had been a player in Bill Clinton's Arkansas political machine for years, and first became acquainted with Foster by doing investigative work for the Rose Law Firm in the 1980s. The London Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports that in the late '80s, Foster -- apparently on behalf of Hillary Clinton -- hired Parks to do surveillance on Bill Clinton "to gauge exactly how vulnerable her husband would be to charges of philandering" if he ran for president. Parks accumulated thick files (with photographs) detailing the future president's pattern of womanizing.
According to Parks' widow, Foster called Parks from Washington about a week before his death, saying Hillary was frantic about those files and the potential damage they could cause both Bill and Hillary. Just a day or two before his death, Foster called Parks again, heatedly demanding the files. Parks refused. A week or so after Foster's death, the Parks home was broken into -- a sophisticated burglary in which phone lines and the alarm system were disabled. The files were stolen. Two months later, Parks was murdered.
I asked Ambrose Evans-Pritchard on my radio show what was the most under-investigated aspect of the Clinton scandals. He replied without hesitation, "The death of Jerry Luther Parks."
from TPDL 1999-Jan-23, from CIA (Rockefeller) tentacle Accuracy in Media:
Foster: Find the X-Rays or Exhume the Body
This month marks the fifth anniversary of the serious investigation of the death of former White House deputy counsel Vincent Foster by unofficial investigators, beginning with the work done by Christopher Ruddy, whose first article raising doubts about the suicide finding was published in the New York Post on January 27, 1994. Except for Miquel Rodriguez, who was for a brief period in charge of Ken Starr's grand jury probe of Foster's death, none of the official investigators have shown any interest in looking at this case as a possible homicide.
Their attitude is exemplified by Starr spending over seven weeks scouring Fort Marcy Park for the bullet that killed Vincent Foster because he had been advised that without the bullet he had no forensic evidence to support the claim that Foster died where his body was found. The search, the third one that had been made, was a failure. By contrast, Starr had rejected suggestions that he spend a fraction of the money being wasted on the search for the bullet to check the validity of claims that there were wounds on Foster's body that would prove that he was murdered. This would require that the body be exhumed and a second autopsy performed. This shows that Starr's main objective was to find some basis for confirming the official findings that Foster had committed suicide. He had zero interest in proving that was not the case. That is why he let his Democratic deputy in Washington, Mark Touhey III, rein in Miquel Rodriguez. Soon after, Rodriguez resigned because he didn't want to be part of another cover-up.
The unofficial investigators continued to plug away. Recently significant evidence that supports the case for homicide was discovered in Foster's autopsy report by Robert Bracci (pronounced Bracey) who only recently developed an interest in the Foster case. The evidence he discovered was in the report of the Foster autopsy written by Dr. James C. Beyer, the assistant medical examiner for Northern Virginia. Here is how Dr. Beyer described the bullet wound that is supposed to have killed Foster:
Perforating gunshot wound mouth-head; entrance wound is in the posterior oropharynx at a point approximately 7" from the top of the head; there is also a defect in the tissues of the soft palate and some of these fragments contain probable powder debris. The wound track in the head continues backward and upward with an entrance wound just left of the foramen magnum with tissue damage to the brain stem and left cerebral hemisphere with an irregular exit scalp and skull defect near the midline in the occipital region. No metallic fragments recovered ... sections of soft palate positive for powder debris. (Senate Banking Committee Hearings, Vol. 1, p. 365)
What's The Posterior Oropharynx?
Very few people who read that report knew what was meant by the posterior oropharynx, the foramen magnum and the occipital region. Robert Bracci, a high school graduate, may be the only student of this case who took the trouble to find out. The posterior oropharynx is the back wall of the throat below the soft palate. The soft palate is the tissue that forms the aft portion of the roof of the mouth. The foramen magnum is a large opening in the floor of the skull through which the brain stem passes. The occipital region is the lower back of the skull.
So Dr. Beyer was saying that the bullet that killed Foster was fired into the back of the throat, but instead of exiting from the back of the neck, it made a 90 degree turn upward parallel to the spinal column. It broke through the floor of the skull near the left front side of the brain stem and then made another 90 degree turn and exited from the back of the skull near the base.
Those who didn't know the meaning of these anatomical terms accepted the description of the entrance wound and the trajectory of the bullet that was provided to special prosecutor Robert B. Fiske, Jr. by the four pathologists he hired as consultants. They submitted a report to Fiske in which they moved the entrance wound from the back of the throat to the soft palate. That change made it easy to make a plausible case that the bullet was fired on a trajectory that took it directly through the floor of the skull and out the back of the head. Here is what they said.
The large quantity of gunpowder residue present on microscopic sections of the soft palate indicates that Mr. Foster placed the barrel of the weapon in his mouth with the muzzle essentially in contact with the soft palate when he pulled the trigger .... The bullet perforated the soft palate, entered the cranial cavity directly to the left of the foramen magnum, contused the left side of the brainstem, grazed the medial aspect of the left cerebral hemisphere and exited through the occipital skull and scalp.
This is a very radical revision of what Dr. Beyer had reported, but they did not reveal that. Nor does it appear that they discussed the change with Dr. Beyer, who repeated his description of the location of the entrance wound in a deposition he gave after the Fiske report was made public. We were able to contact three of these four pathologists, Dr. Charles S. Hirsch, the chief medical examiner of New York, Dr. James S. Luke of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and Dr. Donald Reay, the chief medical examiner for King County, Washington.
Dr. Hirsch was asked if it would be legitimate to describe a wound in the posterior oropharynx as a wound in the soft palate. He replied, "Well, I suppose if somebody had an injury of the palate, somebody might call that the pharynx, sure." Did that mean you might call the soft palate the pharynx?, we asked. Hirsch replied, "that's part of it, I suppose. It's not what I would ordinarily think of as the posterior pharynx." He asked why we were raising this question, and we explained that we were interested in Dr. Beyer's autopsy report in the Foster case in which he described the entrance wound as being in the posterior oropharynx and said the bullet went upwards into the skull. We asked if that was possible. This dialogue followed.
A: Oh sure, absolutely.
Q: How could that happen?
A: In the first place, my recollection of the evidence in Foster's autopsy is that the entry really was on the soft palate. I believe I recall looking at microscopic slides of the palate that showed the track of the gunshot, and it contained an abundance of gunpowder residue. There was no question in my mind that that's where the wound started and that the muzzle of the gun was inside his mouth. From there through the floor of the skull is just basic anatomy. And there wasn't anything at all suspicious, unusual or inconsistent about the path of the bullet.
Q: Why would Beyer say in his autopsy that it was in the posterior oropharynx if it was in the soft palate? Because he mentions the soft palate separately in that very report.
A: I really don't have it in front of me, of course, and don't recall the specific language, and you know, it sounds like a careless use of language if that's indeed what he said, but that has nothing to do with the substance of the issue.
Q: I've got the report before me. He says, "Perforating gunshot wound mouth-head, entrance wound in the posterior oropharynx at a point approximately 7" from the top of the head. That would put it down rather low in the throat, right?
A: Right. I don't recall it specifically, whether you would call it low in the throat or high in the throat, this is a matter without any consequence whatsoever. The evidence is that the gun was in Foster's mouth. There's no question that the bullet perforated his skull and exited from the back of his head. I think you're mincing words over anatomical fine points that have no consequence of any imaginable sort whatsoever.
Q: Well let me go on-
A: Mr. Irvine, I'm tired of this conversation.
Q: Already? (He hangs up.)
It Won't Wash
Dr. Hirsch said it was absolutely certain that a bullet fired into the back of the throat could exit from the back of the head, but instead of explaining how that could happen, he explained why he decided that the entrance wound was really in the soft palate. But his recollection of how he made that decision differed significantly from what he and his colleagues reported to Fiske. In the taped phone interview he said, "I believe I recall looking at microscopic slides of the palate that showed the track of the gunshot, and it contained an abundance of gunpowder residue." The report submitted to Fiske made no mention of the microscopic slides showing the track of the gunshot. It says, "The large quantity of gunpowder residue present on microscopic sections of the soft palate" is what led them to conclude that the track of the gunshot went through the soft palate.
Dr. Beyer apparently saw both gunshot residue and a gunshot wound in the rear of the throat. He saw a "defect" in the soft palate and "probable powder debris" on some of the "fragments," and sections of the soft palate testing positive for powder debris. He says nothing about seeing a .38 caliber bullet hole in the soft palate.
Nevertheless, Dr. Hirsch said, "There was no question in my mind that that's where the wound started and that the muzzle of the gun was inside his mouth." The purpose of testing the soft palate for gunshot residue is to determine if the shot was fired inside the mouth. Finding gunshot residue on the palate but no bullet hole does not justify overruling the medical examiner who performed the autopsy and relocating the entrance wound from the back of the throat to the soft palate. Dr. Hirsch said, "There wasn't anything at all suspicious, unusual or inconsistent about the path of the bullet"-provided, of course, one assumes as he did that the bullet went through the soft palate. He did not explain how a .38 bullet fired into the back of the throat could have followed that same path. He hung up before we could press him to explain how that could have happened.
Two medical examiners we talked to did not believe this would be possible. A third said it would be possible if the head were tilted backward far enough. It would take a very long tilt to line up a shot through the back of the mouth entering the skull in front of the brain stem. Hirsch said the question of whether the entrance wound was low in the throat or high in the throat was of no consequence whatsoever because "there is no question that the bullet perforated his skull and exited from the back of his head." By changing the location of the entrance wound to the soft palate, Dr. Hirsch could then say, "There wasn't anything at all suspicious, unusual or inconsistent about the path of the bullet." Having made that point he avoided any further embarrassing questions, saying he was tired of the conversation and hanging up.
Dr. Donald Reay denied that they had relocated the wound. He responded to a statement that he and his colleagues had relocated the entrance wound saying, "Oh bullshit. I don't believe that." It appears that Dr. Hirsch came up with the idea of saying the entrance wound was on the soft palate instead of the back of the throat and that Dr. Reay didn't realize that this involved altering what Dr. Beyer had reported. Dr. James Luke, another of the four distinguished pathologists, refused to comment on the first question he was asked: What are the chances of a bullet being fired into the back of the throat ending up inside the skull? Saying, "I'm not going to comment on something like that," he hung up. They clearly do not welcome opportunities to defend their handling of the Foster case.
It seems not to have occurred to these experts that the bullet fired in Foster's mouth was not necessarily the same bullet that penetrated his skull and killed him. Robert Bracci's discovery of Dr. Beyer's placement of the entrance wound at the back of the throat lends greater strength to other evidence that there was a an exit wound in the back of Foster's neck, the most logical place for the bullet to exit.
The Rear-Neck Exit Wound
Dr. Donald Haut, the Fairfax County, Virginia medical examiner who was called to examine Foster's body at Fort Marcy, wrote in his report dated that day that the wound was "mouth-neck." On the first page of the typed report, a word following "mouth-" had been lifted off, leaving the bottoms of four letters in place. The word "head" had been typed in, not over the erasure but after it. On the second page the description of the wound was "mouth to neck." No change had been made. Alteration of official medical records in Virginia is supposed to be made by crossing out the word to be corrected, writing in the correct word and initialing the change. In this case the change was not initialed.
When AIM questioned Dr. Haut about this on July 22, 1997, he said that he stood by his report as originally written. However, he did not reply to a memo we sent him the next day, reminding him that he had told us in August 1994 that the exit wound was in the back of the skull and requesting more information about the location and size of the wound in the neck. He has never responded.
He was interviewed about this again on Oct. 30, 1998 by Wesley Phelan for the Internet publication, Washington Weekly. Phelan had heard from a source that insisted on anonymity that before the cover-up began that Dr. Haut had told one or more persons that Foster's death could not have been a suicide. In the Phelan interview, Haut denied having told anyone that. He said he had seen a hole in the back of Foster's skull a little above the base and that it went all the way through. He did not recall officer John Rolla probing the back of the skull for a hole and not succeeding in finding anything but a mushy spot. [Dr. Haut's mouth-neck report was not included in the Foster documents released by the Senate Banking Committee in 1995. It was discovered by Hugh Sprunt and Patrick Knowlton among the documents held by the National Archives in July 1997.]
Joe Purvis, a long-time friend of both Vince Foster and Bill Clinton, was interviewed by Joe Goulden of AIM about the Foster death several years ago. Purvis said that when Foster's body was in the Reubel Funeral Home in Little Rock, the proprietor allowed him to view the body and called his attention to a hole in the back of Foster's neck at the hairline. He said the hole was about the size of a dime. Purvis had told this to others, as well, but he subsequently denied having done so. The proprietor of the funeral home refused to discuss the matter.
Are the Haut and Purvis denials credible? It is hard to believe that Dr. Haut would have written "neck" twice when he really meant to write "head." His confirmation to AIM that he stood by his report and his later repudiation of what he had written in his interview with Phelan makes his revised story very difficult to believe. The Bracci discovery that Beyer located the entrance wound at the back of the throat suggests that it is quite possible that both men have changed their stories under pressure.
The Right-Neck Entrance Wound
If the bullet fired in Foster's mouth exited from the back of his neck, a different bullet must have been fired into his brain. The official investigators all agree that a bullet shot into Foster's skull caused his death. If two bullets were fired, that spells murder.
Richard Arthur, an experienced paramedic who saw Foster's body in the park, told the FBI that he saw a small caliber gunshot wound on the right side of Foster's neck just below the jaw. He believed that this wound explained the blood found on the right shoulder of Foster's shirt. Arthur reported the death as a homicide. One thing that made him suspicious was the contrast between the small caliber wound he saw on Foster's neck and the large caliber gun that was found in his hand.
Arthur's observation of this wound is supported by a photograph of Foster's head and neck which is said to show a dark spot, possible evidence of trauma, in the area where Arthur saw the wound. Reporters Chris Ruddy and Ambrose Evans-Pritchard both say that they have seen this photo. Its existence was acknowledged in the Starr report by Starr's hired pathologist, Dr. Brian Blackbourne, who dismissed the claim that the dark spot was caused by trauma. He claimed it was dried blood, a claim that other experts said could not be determined from a photograph.
Why The X-rays Vanished
The existence or non-existence of these wounds would not be in question today if the X-rays taken of Foster's head could be found. The disappearance of the X-rays that must be taken in Virginia in case of gunshot wounds and that were taken according to the autopsy report is highly suspicious. It suggests that they showed evidence that more than one shot was fired into Foster's head. They may have shown a .22 caliber bullet still inside his skull. Park Police Sergeant John Rolla failed to find an exit wound in Foster's head and concluded that the bullet was still inside the skull. A report to that effect was sent to FBI headquarters by the bureau's Washington field office. It said that a preliminary autopsy showed no exit wound.
This should have raised more than eyebrows at the FBI, where all those familiar with guns would find it hard to believe that a high velocity .38 caliber bullet fired into the head through the mouth would remain inside the skull. When they obtained a copy of Dr. Beyer's autopsy report to check the accuracy of this claim, they must have been even more surprised when they saw that the entrance wound was reported to be in the back of the throat. How could that bullet have ended up in the head instead of exiting through the neck? They must have realized that a different bullet was fired into the cranium. They must have realized that this spelled homicide, not suicide.
If two bullets were involved, this would have been proven by the X-rays of Foster's head. The disappearance of the X-rays, Dr. Beyer's denial that he had taken them and the lie he told to explain why he hadn't taken them are all indications that the X-rays showed evidence that Foster was murdered. The chief medical examiner in Virginia has a rule that X-rays must be taken in deaths involving bullet wounds, with rare exceptions. Dr. Beyer, in addition to checking the box on the autopsy report form to show that X-rays were taken, told the attending Park Police officers that the X-rays showed no bullet fragments in the skull. But when FBI agents working for Robert Fiske wanted to see the X-rays, Beyer said he had not taken any, and he repeated that in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee.
Dr. Beyer said he had checked the form in advance because he planned to take X-rays. He claimed that he had not done so because the machine was not working properly. He could not recall telling the officers that the X-rays showed no bullet fragments. Dr. Beyer claimed that they had been having a lot of trouble with the X-ray machine, which had been installed new several weeks prior to Foster's death. The company that installed and serviced it checked its records and found that the first request for service they had from Dr. Beyer's office was at the end of October for a minor adjustment.
That was over three months after Foster's death. Beyer's explanation of why there were no X-rays was false. Why would he hide or destroy the X-rays, telling lies to explain their absence? There is only one plausible reason. The X-rays had captured evidence that disproved the official line that Foster had killed himself by firing a .38-caliber, high-velocity bullet into his brain via his mouth. The disappearance of these X-rays reveals the truth about how he died almost as surely as would the X-rays themselves if they could be found.
By slipping in the truth that the mouth entrance wound was at the back of the throat and constructing a cockamamie path that purports to explain the route that the bullet took to pass through the brain and exit from the skull, Dr. Beyer has verified what might be called the Richard Arthur theory of how Foster was killed-a small-caliber bullet fired into the brain from beneath the jaw. This is a technique favored by some professional hit men when they want to minimize the mess. The shot in the mouth probably followed after Foster was dead. It may have been symbolic. The mafia use it to send a message to stool pigeons. One of the rumored explanations of Foster's death is that if he was subpoenaed he was determined to testify truthfully about matters that might be damaging to the Clintons. Another possible explanation is that the killers realized that even the Park Police would not believe that Foster had killed himself with the .38 revolver found in his hand if the only visible wound was so small that only one paramedic noticed it.
Dr. Beyer's autopsy report is evidence that Foster was murdered. If the missing X-rays cannot be found, Foster's body must be exhumed to see if the neck wounds exist or not.
What You Can Do
Send letters to Rep. Henry Hyde, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., chairman and publisher of The New York Times and to an editor of your choice. If you would like to commend Robert Bracci for his important discovery in the Foster case, his address is 4114 Calhoun, Apt. 404, Dearborn, MI 48126.