Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Richard Poe, a New York Times bestselling author and cyberjournalist. Formerly the editor of Frontpagemag.com, he is the author of the new book Hillary's Secret War: The Clinton Conspiracy to Muzzle Internet Journalists. Visit his blog at RichardPoe.com.
Frontpage Magazine: Mr. Poe, welcome to Frontpage Interview. It is a pleasure to have you with us.
Poe: Thank you.
FP: So let’s discuss your new book. First things first though: Hillary is out of the White House. Why should we even care about her anymore?
Poe: Well, as we all know, Hillary means to regain the White House, at any cost. I believe she will make her play this year, in 2004. John Kerry is imploding as we speak. He is unelectable. Kerry has too much baggage, too many skeletons in his closet.
Democrat strategists are already quietly discussing a “Torricelli option” – to pull Kerry from the race, just as they pulled Robert Torricelli from the New Jersey Senate race in 2002, replacing him at the last minute with Frank Lautenberg.
If the Democrats “pull a Torricelli” at their National Convention in July – that is, if they force Kerry to withdraw – Hillary will be the obvious frontrunner. I think there’s a strong chance that, when Election Day rolls around, President Bush will face Hillary, not Kerry.
FP: Hillary's Secret War tells us that Hillary personally led a secret police force from her office in the White House. Tell us about your proof and evidence.
Poe: The operations of Hillary’s secret police have been copiously documented, to the point where the topic can hardly be called controversial any longer.
During the Clinton years, journalists who probed too deeply into Clinton scandals ran terrible risks. Journalists were beaten, wiretapped, framed on criminal charges, fired and blacklisted. They experienced burglaries, IRS audits, smear campaigns and White-House-orchestrated lawsuits.
Some may have paid the ultimate price. In February, 1998, just as the Clinton impeachment was gathering steam, Sandy Hume, the 28-year-old son of Fox News anchorman Brit Hume, suddenly turned up dead of a gunshot to the head. He was covering the U.S. Congress for the magazine The Hill, and was known for his excellent sources among Republican insiders. Sandy Hume supposedly committed suicide, but friends and associates have questioned the official story.
Some of the White House “secret police” were private detectives, such as Terry Lenzner, Jack Palladino and Anthony Pellicano. Others were Clinton loyalists embedded in federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, the CIA, the IRS, the NTSB and so on. Many of these people are still in place, and still doing the Clintons’ dirty work. I call them the Shadow Team.
FP: How does Hillary fit into all this?
Poe: Hillary is the muscle end of the Clinton mafia. It was she who organized and led the Shadow Team. Her role as White House enforcer was first revealed by the late Barbara Olson.
Mrs. Olson was a former federal prosecutor who served from 1995 to 1996 as Chief Investigative Counsel for the Clinger Committee – Rep. William F. Clinger Jr.’s House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, which probed the Filegate and Travelgate affairs. The evidence Mrs. Olson uncovered convinced her that Hillary Clinton had, among other things, conspired to use the Federal Bureau of Investigation unlawfully to intimidate, punish, harass, frame and otherwise harm innocent people who stood in her way.
In her 1999 book Hell to Pay, Mrs. Olson wrote, “Hillary is not merely an aider and abettor to this secret police operation. She has been its prime instigator and organizer. … In one White House scandal after another, all roads led to Hillary. To investigate White House improprieties and scandals, the evidence necessarily led to her hidden hands guiding the Clinton operation.”
FP: This is actually quite incredible. How did Hillary get away with all of this? Surely Ken Starr would have jumped on any excuse to indict Hillary, no?
Poe: Well, as I explain in my book, there are two Ken Starrs. There’s the imaginary Ken Starr conjured up by Big Media – a ruthless, rightwing religious zealot, bent on toppling the Clintons. Then there’s the real Ken Starr – a timid bureaucrat, afraid of his own shadow, who shrank from investigating any of the truly serious Clinton scandals. On the contrary, Starr actively helped to suppress and whitewash evidence of Clinton wrongdoing.
Take the Vincent Foster case. In September 1994, Starr appointed Miquel Rodriguez to lead the grand jury investigation into Foster’s death. Rodriguez resigned in protest less than four months later, charging that the investigation was rigged. Rodriguez accused Starr’s people of pressuring him to announce that Foster committed suicide, despite evidence to the contrary.
After resigning, Rodriguez tried to go public. But Big Media shut him out. According to WorldNetDaily, Rodriguez claims that he told his story to reporters from Time, Newsweek, ABC’s Nightline, the Boston Globe, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times. Rodriguez says that he spent six hours with a reporter from the New York Times. In every case, his story was spiked by higher-ups. No one reported it.
Clinton defenders often argue that five different investigations ruled Foster’s death a suicide. But Rodriguez retorts, "In fact, all of the investigations were done by the same people, the FBI.” Rodriguez says that FBI agents threatened his “physical well-being,” if he did not shut up about the Foster case. Today, Rodriguez serves as an assistant U.S. Attorney in Sacramento.
FP: Why would Ken Starr cover for the Clintons?
It has been alleged that the Clintons had some sort of hold over Starr – that, in fact, Starr was “fixed,” either by threats, blackmail or perhaps mutual self-interest.
According to White House whistleblower Nolanda Hill, Starr’s team was thoroughly infiltrated by Clinton loyalists. Even Starr’s FBI investigators reported secretly to Janet Reno. This gave the Clintons enormous leverage to guide and manipulate the investigation their way.
Moreover, Starr had a conflict of interest. In his private legal practice, he represented a subsidiary of CITIC, a company owned by the People’s Liberation Army of China, and led by arms dealer Wang Jun, a Chinese military intelligence operative and a key player in the Chinagate scandal. The mere fact that Starr was on Wang Jun’s payroll should have disqualified him from serving as Independent Counsel. But, for some reason, Starr did not recuse himself.
FP: You also accuse Hillary’s secret police of blackmailing witnesses, journalists, Senators, Congressmen – even federal investigators and House impeachment managers. Can you prove these charges?
Poe: Well, in many cases, these threats were made quite openly. For example, on February 8, 1998, with pressure mounting to impeach Bill Clinton, George Stephanopoulos appeared on ABC’s This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts. Stephanopoulos had resigned as White House communications chief in 1996 and become an ABC news analyst. But he was still carrying the Clintons’ water, as his next words made clear.
Stephanopoulos announced that the Clinton White House was planning what he called an “Ellen Rometsch” strategy. He explained that Rometsch was an East German spy who had managed to become John F. Kennedy’s lover. According to Stephanopoulos, the Kennedy White House threatened to open up the FBI files and divulge embarrassing or incriminating information on anyone who attempted to blow the whistle on JFK’s affair with Rometsch. If pressed to the wall, the Clinton White House would do likewise, said Stephanopoulos.
Sam Donaldson asked, “Are you suggesting for a moment that what they’re beginning to say is that if you investigate this too much, we’ll put all your dirty linen right on the table? Every member of the Senate? Every member of the press corps?” To which Stephanopoulos replied, “Absolutely. The president said he would never resign, and I think some around him are willing to take everyone down with him.”
This was a clear threat, delivered openly, on national television. Through Stephanopoulos, the Clintons were warning Congress and the media to back off. The threat worked. David P. Schippers, who was Chief Investigative Counsel for the Clinton impeachment, reveals in his book Sell-Out that Republican leaders, from the get-go, had no intention of holding a proper impeachment trial or of convicting Bill Clinton. It was all a charade.
FP: What is the New Underground?
Poe: The New Underground is the name I have given to the network of dissident journalists who began speaking out against Clinton corruption during the 1990s, through New Media outlets such as talk radio, cable TV and the Internet.
FP: How did Hillary persecute the New Underground?
Poe: In July 1995, Hillary’s Shadow Team produced a secret report which identified the Internet as a special danger to the Clintons’ power. The report proved prophetic when journalists such as Matt Drudge, Christopher Ruddy, Joseph Farah and, of course, David Horowitz, began using the Internet to publish stories that Big Media would never touch.
In February 1998, Hillary announced that the Internet needed an “editing or gatekeeping function.” By the time she spoke those words, Hillary was already hard at work putting her gatekeeping machinery into place.
Her most damaging attacks against the Internet came disguised as private lawsuits, brought by third parties. For instance, Hillary operative Sid Blumenthal sued Matt Drudge for $30 million in 1997, charging defamation. The lawsuit was clearly orchestrated by the White House. David Horowitz came to Drudge’s rescue, providing him with free legal representation, and got slapped with an IRS audit for his troubles. The case dragged on for years, but, soon after the Clintons left office, Blumenthal dropped his suit.
In September 1998, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times sued Jim Robinson’s FreeRepublic.com for copyright violation. Like most message board operators, Robinson allowed users to post full-length newspaper articles on his discussion forum. However, unlike other message board operators, Robinson one day found himself deluged by cease-and-desist orders from Times Mirror, Dow Jones, Reuters and other leading news organizations. According to the Washington Weekly, the attack on FreeRepublic was coordinated by Debevoise & Plimpton – a law firm used by the Clintons and the Democratic National Committee.
FP: Have you experienced any persecution or harassment personally? Any threats or warnings? Do you have concerns for your and your family’s safety?
Poe: Well, I doubt that I’m important enough to merit Hillary’s personal attention. The Shadow Team has bigger fish to fry. For instance, I imagine they’ve got their hands pretty full, right now, trying to frame Rush Limbaugh on drug charges.
That said, I did have a devil of a time getting Hillary’s Secret War published. Random House originally signed the book. After I turned in the manuscript, they refused to publish it. Things looked bad for awhile. Then Joseph Farah and WND Books came riding to the rescue, God bless them, and agreed to publish Hillary’s Secret War.
FP: Tell us about Hillary’s secret conspiracy report.
Poe: Its official title was The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce. Hillary’s Shadow Team produced this report in July 1995, in an attempt to squelch further discussion of the Vincent Foster case. Hillary’s operatives quietly circulated the report to Clinton-friendly journalists, in order to give them ammunition for debunking and discrediting any journalist who dared to continue probing the Foster cover-up.
The report accused Pittsburgh newspaper mogul Richard Mellon Scaife of fabricating rumors about Foster’s death and paying rightwing journalists to spread them. Significantly, the report featured a special section identifying the Internet as the most dangerous weapon in Scaife’s arsenal, enabling him and his vast rightwing conspiracy to disseminate – and I quote – “an extraordinary amount of unregulated data and information…”
FP: We all know that Matt Drudge broke the Monica Lewinsky story. What other big stories did the New Underground break?
Poe: Virtually every Clinton scandal of any note was either broken on the Internet, or kept alive on the Internet long after Big Media had suppressed it. The list is endless: there’s the Clintons’ involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal; the Vincent Foster cover-up; the suspicious death of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown; the Clintons’ ties to drug lords and global crime syndicates; the TWA 800 coverup; the Oklahoma City bombing coverup; Chinagate; Russiagate; the Clinton body count. You name it.
FP: You claim that the New Underground helped turn the tide for George W. Bush during the 2000 election. Please explain.
Poe: During the election crisis, FreeRepublic mobilized activists who took the fight to the streets. They created the now-famous “Sore Loserman” emblem brandished by protesters across America. When Jesse Jackson came to Florida to incite racial unrest, the Freepers shouted him down at a major rally and sent him packing. Freepers also joined the protest outside the Stephen Clarke government building in Miami, which helped stop the all-Democrat Miami-Dade canvassing board from carrying out an illegal, selective vote count behind closed doors.
Meanwhile, J.J. Johnson’s SierraTimes.com acted as a central command post for Operation Truckstop 2000 – a nationwide, general trucking strike that would have gone into effect had Gore succeeded in stealing the election.
The real tie-breaker, however, was an exclusive series of stories published on Joseph Farah’s WorldNetDaily, exposing Gore’s ties to the criminal rackets of the “Hillbilly Mafia.” Local observers say that story, which got wide play in Tennessee media, cost Gore his home state, with its crucial eleven electoral votes. Had Gore won Tennessee, he never would have needed those disputed votes in Florida.
FP: In your epilogue, you recount an interesting experience you had on the day of the 9-11 attack. Tell us about that.
Poe: I was then editor of David Horowitz’s FrontPageMagazine.com -- as you are now. On the day of the attack, my wife Marie got a call from our friend Ann Coulter. She was stranded in a bar in Queens, and her cell phone was dying. Manhattan was locked down. The bridges were closed and Ann couldn’t get home. So we got in the car and picked her up.
Ann had a column due that night, so we set her up in our library with her laptop. We were all there together when we got the news of Barbara Olson’s death. Tragically, Mrs. Olson had gone down with American Airlines Flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon.
Barbara Olson was a personal friend of Ann’s. The loss hit her very hard. That night, Ann sat in my library, with F-16 jet fighters screaming overhead every few minutes, and wrote her eulogy to her lost friend. It concluded with what would soon become Ann’s most famous and controversial one-liner: “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.”
FP: You compare the New Underground to the pamphleteers of the American Revolution. Do you believe we are headed for revolution?
Poe: God forbid. Revolutions usually end in dictatorship, no matter which side wins. Still, if the enemies of our Republic pick a fight – and I’m talking here about our internal foes – I don’t believe that Americans are in any mood these days to back down from it.
FP: Mr. Poe, we are out of time. Thank you for joining us and everyone here at Frontpagemag.com would like to congratulate you on accomplishing this vital piece of work on the Clintons. We hope to see you again soon.
Poe: Thank you Jamie.
I welcome all of our readers to get in touch with me if they have a good idea/contact for a guest for Frontpage Interview. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Victor Davis Hanson
Ion Mihai Pacepa
Richard Perle and David Frum
Stephen F. Hayes
John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr