"The political process is moving onto the Internet. Both within the United States and internationally, individuals, interest groups, and even nations are using the Internet to find each other, discuss the issues, and further their political goals" (Charles Swett, "Strategic Assessment: the Internet," Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, Room 2B525, the Pentagon, 17 July 1995).
"I don't know where you get your information, but it's better than the Company's," Hayes said over the phone.
"Maybe you should tell the CIA they should learn to use the Internet," I replied.
"I did." Hayes' tone was matter-of-fact.
My report on Newt Gingrich (to aid Charles Hayes in his preparation for their meeting) had focused on motivational issues--what makes Newt Gingrich tick. Like the time when, as a graduate student in history at Tulane University in New Orleans, Gingrich served as the spokesman for a student activist group which was condemning censorship of the campus newspaper, the Hullaballoo. (The administration had judged as obscene nude photos which the group considered artwork.) But I had also reported on one of Gingrich's little-known financial relationships--one that had apparently been missed by the CIA or, perhaps, the Fifth Column.
Hayes spent two days getting ready for his meeting with Gingrich. Gingrich had done his homework equally well, apparently obtaining a good bit of information from Hayes' highly-classified file at the CIA. "He reminded me of things I had forgotten myself," Hayes said.
They came to an agreement, of sorts. "Can you trust Gingrich," I asked Hayes. I had a few doubts, myself, but it wasn't my problem. "We'll see," Hayes said. "I told him the agreement was over the first time he lied to me."
Among other things, it was agreed that the Fifth Column would become a resource to Kenneth Starr. Gingrich would act as intermediary. (This arrangement lasted until Hayes and Starr eventually established their own direct relationship. Shortly after the agreement with Gingrich, the Fifth Column came across a $286,000 wire transfer to the bank account of Lisa Foster, the wife of Vince Foster, that had been made four days prior to Vince Foster's death. The transfer--make out of a bank account at Mellon bank--had been effected by Sheila Foster Anthony, Vince Foster's sister and the wife of Beryl Anthony. Sheila Anthony was at the time Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs. The records of the payment were turned over to Gingrich, who then turned them over to Starr.) Starr was having his problems at the time. He wasn't able to find the financial and other records he needed for his investigation. And, as he soon enough discovered, some of the FBI agents assigned to him were running their own agenda, by intimidating certain witnesses or generating prejudicial reports about them to influence the Special Prosecutor's use of their testimony. (By a curious coincidence, the wire transfer to Lisa Foster was made on July 16, 1993, the same day Bill Clinton had a two-hour meeting with Louis Freeh, preparatory to naming him FBI Director the following week.)
Gingrich agreed to a number of things, for his part. He agreed to reopen the investigation into the death of Vince Foster. (Shortly thereafter, Gingrich ridiculed the Foster suicide conjecture, and ordered William Clinger, Chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, to reopen the investigation into the circumstances of Foster's death. The Committee, however, later deferred to the Starr investigation into the same topic. Gingrich's statements were followed by a reading of evidence against the Foster suicide conjecture on the House floor by Dan Burton of Indiana. Burton soon will be replacing William Clinger as Chairman of the House Government Committee.)
And Gingrich agreed to write a letter to Alan Greenspan on certain money-laundering matters-- including dealing with the fact that a highly-placed official in the Federal Reserve was part of the national money-laundering network. (Gingrich sent a six-page letter to Greenspan. Although I was somewhat familiar with the information in the letter, I attempted to get a copy directly from either Greenspan or Gingrich, but failed to do so. Gingrich explained his denial that the letter existed with the statement that "half of politics is lying, anyway." Someone later relayed an account of a meeting he had with Gingrich, in Gingrich's office. Gingrich said he had "never heard of Orlin Grabbe." After a while, this individual noticed a copy of my textbook on international finance on Gingrich's bookshelf. "I guess, with you being a politician, people send you a lot of books that you don't get time to read," the person said to Gingrich. "I bought every one of these books myself, with my own money," Gingrich supposedly declared, "and I've read them all." Well, perhaps Gingrich has a touch of Alzheimer's.)
Gingrich had flown into Somerset, KY, by helicopter, landing near the former Holiday Inn. Afterward, Hayes and I always referred to Gingrich as "Helicopter Boy" in conversation.
December 4, 1996
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