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Woodward's Wayward Book

by J. Orlin Grabbe


I used to think Bob Woodward was an investigative reporter. And perhaps he was (I still admire The Final Days.) But his new book The Choice seemingly puts the lie to that.

The title "The Choice" can be taken to refer to the political decision voters will make in November between Bill Clinton and Bob Dole (as well as to the primary process by which they were selected). Woodward also has choice opinions about Colin Powell, claiming on the Larry King show (June 26) that Powell would make a highly qualified Secretary of State.

Well, hopefully for Woodward's sake the book will become a best-seller before both Clinton and Dole drop out of the race. And the notion of putting a thief like Powell into the office of Secretary of State, where he can continue to plunder our military resources and perhaps also put diplomatic secrets up for sale, is as ludicrous as any political proposal gets. Woodward hasn't begun to do his homework, and the book deserves to be trashed.

Despite any public protestations to the contrary, behind the scenes the Democratic bigwigs have begun the process of finding a Clinton replacement. ("Democratic bigwigs" refers to people like the new head of the DNC and to politicians like John Glenn and Ted Kennedy.) Perhaps the mantle will fall on Al "Unabomber" Gore if anyone thinks he is bright enough (put together two Al Gores and you get one Dan Quayle). In Ten Predictions I forecast Gore would not be the nominee either, based on the belief that the bigwigs wouldn't think he could carry the load. But on this point we shall have to wait and see.

The resignation of Clinton is not far away. Air-head political commentators keep saying "Whitewater has not hurt Clinton in the polls", as though polls mean shit in a court of law. Clinton is going to get indicted if he stays around, although his indictment will come after that of Hillary. But the national security establishment has to be concerned about Clinton's recently-developed chronic use of cocaine.

No one really cares about Clinton's party lines while he was Gov. of Arkansas (at least I don't). But now the drug seems to have taken over, and no one needs a cokehead President. ("Mr. President, North Korea has just invaded South Korea." "Well, let me do a couple of more lines, then I'll come take care of those mothers!") The drug is incompatible with the job.

If all the scandals surrounding the Clinton administration, such as the FBI files, suddenly seem to be sticking, it is because Clinton's days are already numbered by the powers that be. Clinton will be asked to resign and that request will be an ultimatum, a prelude to an "accident" (like that of Colby) if it goes unheeded. Like it or not, that is the reality of the U.S. political process today.

Dole? Dole has received one Fifth Column information package already (hence his resignation from the Senate), and another will be delivered at the appropriate time - --though not nearly as soon as some other politicians would like.

But there is nothing to cry about in all this. The country deserves better than a Clinton or a Dole. That's something to think about this July 4.

Some Updates:

The New York Times front page (June 26, 1996) says: "The White House and the F.B.I. had earlier put the number of improperly requested files at about 407. But Mr. Marceca's personal files show that the White House also obtained as many as 500 additional reports . . ." Let's see, 407+500=907, similar to the 900+ number I reported in Some Observations on the Non-News. Well, I just reported the number of files I knew about at the time. But now I'm beginning to think my information was incomplete, and that my own number is thus also much too low.

George Bush returned home from Switzerland empty- handed and angry. Meanwhile, rumors are flying all over Washington D.C. that our Secretary of Defense William Perry is involved in a company that has significant dealings with the Chinese military, in particular the missile division. I have not been able to confirm anything about these rumors. But since the Bush-Powell deal that led to the loss of Bush's $75 million was missile-related, one wonders if there is any possible connection to Perry. (Keep in mind that none of this extracurricular arms dealing has anything to do with politics: it's just about ways to make money. You know, the stuff they left out in the school book chapter on patriotism.)

The trial of Earl Brian has started in California. You can read about Mr. Brian in part 27 of my Vince Foster series.