Or, “The Complete Destruction of Ken Starr’s Pseudo Investigation and Report”
(File Under “LBJ’s Legacy” as noted in last section below)
A review of the book The Murder of Vince Foster: America’s Would-be Dreyfus Affair, by David Martin
David Martin’s new book, on what should be considered the unsolved case of murder of a Clinton White House official, is loaded with incisive analysis of irrefutable facts and laced with poetic wit. The narrative leads the reader easily through what would otherwise be bewildering detail. His skills as a poet appear in verse in the heading of every chapter and occasionally within the narrative, serving to put salient points into stark relief – a special treat readers will enjoy.
As in his previous works, Martin has woven another mysterious story of murder in high places, with a fresh approach that brings new insights to readers familiar with the case and quick initial perspective to those reading of it for the first time. His story of the cover-up of Vince Foster’s murder is largely anchored to the experiences of Patrick Knowlton – a witness who merely stopped in the park to urinate behind one of the trees – whose recollections of the scene were burned into his memory due to having been frightened by the menacing look of a stranger, who, Knowlton reported, appeared to be acting as a “lookout” for others.
The story that Martin has pieced together – of how the federal government, in concert with the main-stream news media, created the false meme that Foster committed suicide – is juxtaposed throughout to the pre-World War I myth that French Army Captain Alfred Dreyfus was guilty of treason. On page 2 of the book Mr. Martin explained the technique thusly:
“To demonstrate the strength of the “compare and contrast” method in elucidating history, I propose herewith to apply it to the Dreyfus Affair, which began with the arrest of Captain Alfred Dreyfus in France on suspicion of treason in October of 1894, and the Vincent Foster case, which began with the discovery of the deputy White House counsel’s body almost a hundred years later, on July 20, 1993. As the Dreyfus Affair disrupted France, the Foster death, and its handling by the authorities, had shown signs that it would haunt the U.S. government into the next century.
[ . . . ]
“It is indeed true that Dreyfus was a relatively low-level, anonymous officer in the French army, and mistakes and miscarriages in the imperfect world of jurisprudence, especially military jurisprudence, happen all the time. But the way in which the case unfolded—and unraveled—did in fact almost tear France apart, actively polarizing virtually the entire society in ways seldom experienced in any country except on occasion during the prosecution of an unpopular war. It may have started as a relatively small case, but it grew into a gigantic affair, “one of the great commotions of history,” for the same reason that the Foster case seemed to have the potential to do the same. The French government, and virtually the entire French ruling establishment, including the press, put its prestige on the line in defense of a blatant injustice, an eventually provable lie.”
Mr. Martin’s words contrast how a relatively minor 19th Century event – one that sparked a political scandal leading to a shake-up of the French government from 1894 until its resolution in 1906 – to one of the several late-20th Century American scandals and how that earlier cover-up merely bought time, eventually aggregating into massive reprisals and near-insurrection; readers are open to the inference of how the pattern of that 126 year old event may portend a repeat, perhaps in the near future.
Martin’s new book stands “head and shoulders” above all other previous books on the mysterious death of Vince Foster. It’s as though he set the stage for that by filling a metaphorical open field with strawmen “targets” representing the various failed themes written by official “investigators” and a number of other authors, within which his arrows have pierced each target directly into the center circle: Most of them, formed around the patently foolish “official narrative” of Foster’s suicide within Fort Marcy Park, as determined by those “findings”– or his White House office, weakly advanced by others – lead to paths that meander into conjecture about various hypothetical motives for why Foster decided life was no longer worth living.
In the process of shooting down those strawmen, he has meticulously gathered an enormous array of details of this “cold case” story, linking them together in an easy-to-read, spellbinding account. And in that process, he has boldly named the many specific cover-up actors whose deeds contributed to the production of the official myths, one of whom now has a seat on the Supreme Court, thanks to his sycophantic obeisance and lack of scruples. As Martin wrote in his “Conclusions” chapter, “[Brett] Kavanaugh was, in fact, the young Yalie careerist who stepped into the gap left by the resignation by the conscience-smitten Miguel Rodriguez. He put down the challenge raised by the witness Patrick Knowlton and pursued the cover-up with the vigor expected by those who signed his paycheck.”
An important insight into Kavanaugh’s role can be gleaned from the following excerpt (pp. 106-107) from Richard Poe’s 2004 book, Hillary’s Secret War: The Conspiracy to Muzzle Internet Journalists:
“Perhaps the most telling indication of Starr’s attitude toward Knowlton is the humiliating cross-examination to which this brave man was subjected before the grand jury. Knowlton says that he was “treated like a suspect.” Prosecutor Brett Kavanaugh appeared to be trying to imply that Knowlton was a homosexual who was cruising Fort Marcy Park for sex. Regarding the suspicious Hispanic-looking man he had seen guarding the park entrance, Kavanaugh asked, “Did he ‘pass you a note?’ Did he ‘touch your genitals?’”
“Knowlton flew into a rage at Kavanaugh’s insinuations. [Ambrose] Evans-Pritchard writes that several African American jurors burst into laughter at the spectacle, rocking ‘back and forth as if they were at a Baptist revival meeting. Kavanaugh was unable to reassert his authority. The grand jury was laughing at him. The proceedings were out of control.’ [The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories pp. 160-161].
“It was at that point, reports Evans-Pritchard, that Patrick Knowlton was finally compelled to confront the obvious: ‘the Office of the Independent Counsel was itself corrupt‘.” (Emphasis added by author).
Mr. Rodriguez, apparently the one person on Starr’s staff with scruples, felt outgunned by the edict from above to go along with multiple deceits relating to actual evidence – such as, how the FBI tricked Foster’s wife into believing that he had used the family gun, to changing the location of the fatal shot from the side of his neck, to one through his mouth, merely two among numerous others – thus decided that his conscience would not allow him to continue in the sham.
Rodriguez’s replacement as prosecutor, Brett Kavanaugh, evidently had developed a more flexible, adjustable moral compass, one that paid off handsomely when President G. W. Bush rewarded him with an appointment to a federal judgeship, and subsequently President Trump (barely) managed to put him on the Supreme Court.
Anyone who still clings to the notion that Kenneth Starr – the soft-spoken, smilingly pseudo-pious former Independent Counsel appointed by a three-judge panel to replace Robert Fiske, to the surprise of many observers – was, or is, guided by lofty principles and beyond reproach, thus incapable of overseeing a large-scale act of duplicity – needs to read this book, closely.
Anyone suffering from the naivety that high-level FBI officials consistently act with honesty and integrity – and never do such things as change someone’s testimony (knowing they’ll likely never discover it), assign entire teams of agents the task of harassing an earnest witness whose honest testimony does not conform to their false narrative – needs to examine what has been amply documented within this book.
Or, should anyone – still oblivious to the utter destruction of the last vestiges of what were once known as “journalistic tenets” – believe that Bill Kristol, the head of the (mercifully, now defunct) Weekly Standard, or The Washington Post generally, and reporters Michael Isikoff and George Stephanopoulos specifically, among the several others cited who continue working their deceits in the “mainstream media,” would not purposely lie, most certainly need to read this book, perhaps twice.
What Martin has presented within this ground-breaking new work can be reduced to this: Were it not for the urgent need for a highly-observant and honorable man named Patrick Knowlton to urinate – in the late afternoon of July 20, 1993 as he drove north on the George Washington Parkway with no realistic option other than behind a tree in Fort Marcy Park – the charade that was concocted to cover up the murder of Vince Foster probably never would have been deconstructed. But, thanks partly to Mr. Knowlton’s need to empty his bladder that afternoon – but as importantly, to his morality, tenacity and integrity, and his attorney John Clarke’s perseverance and probity, and Mr. Martin’s iconoclastic and relentless search for truth – that result has been achieved, with aplomb and finality.
Readers of this piece may find another, more detailed essay on this subject, from Hugh Turley at David Martin’s website titled “When Bill Kristol Heard the Vince Foster Witness Story”: https://heresycentral.is/dcdave/when-bill-kristol-heard-the-vince-foster-witness-story/
An Explanatory Blog Postscript: How does the murder of Vince Foster relate to Lyndon Johnson’s legacy? (The term “legacy” is defined by Merriam-Webster, in one context, as “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past”).
That “something” consists of things of either tangible or intangible value – and those of the latter category may be either real or illusory and be of positive or negative consequence).
As I’ve written in the introduction to the website:
“LBJ’s political progeny, which continue to multiply and repeat his manipulative methods and criminal conduct, in their efforts to reinforce the hiding of his deceits, criminal acts and cover-ups, have succeeded in extending the reign of terror he brought forth well into the new millennium.
Johnson’s legacy contains a lot of the positive but “illusory” things that should rightly be categorized as myths. But it contains more than is widely known of things related to the negative, but real, categories. My own works have examined some small fraction of them.
Johnson’s protégé, Bill Clinton, has acknowledged on multiple occasions that he was a “great admirer” of Lyndon Johnson, that he learned all about political power from him, even wrote a book review in the New York Times lauding Robert Caro’s fourth book (The Passage of Power) for his lifetime of work on chronicling LBJ’s career. Never mind that the book contained numerous omissions and prevarications, as I’ve detailed here, and here. Of course, Clinton will one day leave behind his own legacy and that will also eventually be subjected to scrutiny by someone who thinks separating myths from the truth is important for the sake of future generations. Some of them are already well known, but never adequately reprised.
Vince Foster’s murder occurred exactly six months into Bill Clinton’s presidency and it should therefore be one of the first things to be examined. David Martin’s book will therefore be one of the sources – among the many – that will help to frame the real legacy of Bill Clinton, just as my own are relevant to the destruction of the flim-flam that constitutes most of Lyndon B. Johnson’s “legacy.”