AS A LONG-TIME RESIDENT of America’s intoxicants capitol, Mendocino County, where cannabis, wine grapes, wine, beer, methamphetamine, heroin, and pure delusion reign, local journalists who mount their high horses to fulminate against the predictable consequences of our two primary businesses, booze and dope, seem, well, deluded.
SO HERE’S CHRIS COURSEY of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat piling on poor old Joan Rainville with a pecksniffian column Friday called “Delivering a message on repeat drunken driving.” Coursey rehashes Joan’s unhappy history of boozed locomotion then applauds the Mendo DA’s attempt to charge Joan with a felony rather than the misdemeanor the law says her offense is.
THE PD derives a large portion of its ad revenue from the wine business. But going by the images we get from the Rose City Daily, we know that wine drinkers aren’t drunks. They’re handsome people with big white teeth who take dainty sips from finely wrought glasses they hold to the sun.
BACK TO JOAN. We all know by now she has a history of driving drunk, but the Mendo DA has attracted even the dim attentions of the Press Democrat by attempting an end around existing law. The DA has charged Joan with felony assault with a deadly weapon, i.e., pickled Joan and her car. The law says that Joan’s latest offense is a misdemeanor, albeit a serious misdemeanor. It isn’t a felony. So the DA wants to re-write the rul book just to nail Joan.
SENDING A MESSAGE? As if a drunk driver will think to himself, “Hmmm. I’ve just downed three bottles of Pinot but my house is ten miles from here. Better not drive, though, because the Mendo DA has just charged a lady with a felony for drunk driving. He was sending me a message. And then Chris Coursey of the Press Democrat sent me another message in a column today. I’ll call Coursey for a lift home.”
DESPITE THE BARRAGE of Don’t Do It messages over the past decade the CHP says drunk driving stats have gone up and up. Americans aren’t getting the message; they’re getting drunker, as more and more alcohol is also sold every year.
YES, DRUNK DRIVING is no joke. It’s roadway roulette, and every year lots of people lose. But how about a no joke law, how about confiscation of the drunk’s vehicle for, say, a year? Second offense, permanent impound of vehicle and license? Sending messages no one hears isn’t getting it done.
SUBJECT: FIRST DISTRICT LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION
From: “Congressman Jared Huffman” <CA02JHima@mail.house.gov
Date: June 27, 2013 1:38:38 PM PDT
I’m pleased to announce my first district-wide landscape photography competition, starting today! This photography competition will showcase what is without a doubt the most beautiful Congressional District in the nation. I am modeling this program after a similar competition I held last year in my California Assembly District which was very successful.
Please email your original landscape photograph to Huffman.Staff@mail.house.gov, and include your name, hometown, and the location of the photo in the body of the email. Submissions will be accepted until July 5, 2013.
Submissions will be posted to my Facebook at Facebook.com/RepHuffman, where you will have the opportunity to vote on the photos by “liking” them. The two winning photographs, as determined by most likes, will be announced on Thursday, July 18. Each photograph will be published as my official Twitter header photo and my Facebook cover photo. I’m looking forward to seeing all the submissions, from the Golden Gate Bridge standing sentinel at the San Francisco Bay to the remote beauty of the Lost Coast, to the ancient Redwood forests.
I have included a few of last year’s Assembly District winners as an inspiration to the broader field of photographers and other citizens who aspire to such an artistic challenge in the First Congressional District.
This last one’s my absolute fave. So upbeat, so positive!
So, get snapping, and good luck!
Sincerely, Jared Huffman, Member of Congress
ON TUESDAY, June 18, Board Chair Dan Hamburg pulled Item 4a from the consent calendar. Item 4a is Hamburg’s demand for reimbursement for his legal expenses (“unlimited, over $10,000”) associated with the County’s denial of a burial permit for his late wife which Hamburg claims should have been issued even though state law explicitly prohibits burial in unlicensed cemeteries. “The reason I pulled it is because it deals with me so I cannot vote on it,” said Hamburg. “I must abstain. So it would take other board members to approve that item. So I need a motion to approve Item 4a under consent. County Counsel Tom Parker: “I would recommend Mr. Chair that you leave the podium and let the vice chair, Mr. Pinches, run things.” Hamburg then passed the gavel to Mr. Pinches. “Leave the podium?” asked Hamburg. “Yes, if you could, please,” replied Parker. “Ok, do we have any discussion on Item 4a?” Pinches asked. (Silence.) “I move to reject the claim,” said Supervisor Dan Gjerde. “Second,” said Supervisor McCowen. “All in favor?” said Pinches. All four supervisors said “Aye.” “One abstain,” said Pinches. “One abstain,” added Hamburg as he retook his seat. “Supervisor Hamburg was absent,” added Pinches. “Absent,” repeated Hamburg as he reclaimed the gavel.
BEYOND THE WILDWOOD MTB WEEKEND
Mendocino Bike Sprite (my fun job) had our first Mountain Bike Weekend on Jackson Demonstration State Forest last weekend. One of our guests made a video that I thought I’d share. A different way to enjoy our woods. Here’s what riding in Jackson is like. And, No, I don’t ride on logs; that’s our guide Brian Astell. He’s amazing! Cheers, Amy Wynn, Mendocino Bike Sprite. 703 North Main Street. Service Shop: 568 South Franklin Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437. p. 707-962-4602 f. 707-964-2622. www.MendoBikeSprite.com & FaceBook — “Sharing the joys of cycling on the Mendocino coast.”
DAVE HILLMER OF POINT ARENA writes:
Subject: Point Arena, Water Rights and Future Development
Hi, David Hillmer of Empire Contracting here. I’d like to get the word out regarding the City of Point Arena’s attempt to reduce the amount of water available to parcels in Point Arena. In 2007, the City conducted a build-out study, and supported the Point Arena Water Works (PAWW) in its rights to adequate water to support future development. In May of this year, the City has apparently reversed its position, and sent a letter to the PUC requesting water rights to be reduced by half. This action, if it moves forward, will severely compromise the ability of parcels in Priority 3 & 4 (as designated in the 07 study) to be developed. I own a parcel in Priority 3, and we are currently pursuing entitlements for an Affordable Senior Housing project there, so I am deeply concerned. I have attached pertinent data, including the letter I presented to the Council during Public Comment on Tuesday. Please let me know if you have any questions, thanks, David
ANOTHER MURDER on Murder Mountain?
Sheriff Investigating Homicide in Rancho Sequoia Area.
Humboldt Co. Sheriff’s Office Press Release:
Detectives from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office are currently investigating a death that has been determined to be suspicious and suspected to be a homicide. The location of occurrence is the 3700 block of Rancho Sequoia Drive, Alderpoint.
The reporting party called the Sheriff’s Office at 8:50 AM. The reporting party stated that she had not heard from her step-father for the last four (4) days and drove to his residence in the 3700 block of Rancho Sequoia Drive. When she arrived she discovered her 57 year old step-father was deceased. Deputies and Detectives were dispatched to the residence and have ruled the death to be suspicious and are investigating the death as a homicide.
Detectives are looking for a black 2000 Jeep Cherokee, CA 5HNG536 which may be driven by Anthony Ray Lane, WMA, 510, 185, red and brown (DOB 09-18-1975). Lane is a person of interest in this investigation and is being sought for questioning by the Sheriff’s Office. Persons should not approach Lane, if located, and are asked to call the Sheriff’s Office if he is spotted. The lead investigator is Detective Franco (707) 268-3644 or (707) 445-7251.
The motive for this suspected homicide is not known at this time. Detectives are just now arriving at the time of this release. The name of the victim is not being released until additional family members can be notified. Due to the infancy of this investigation, the suspected cause of death is not being released, and will be once the Coroner is able to arrange for an autopsy.
* * *
ALDERPOINT HOMICIDE SUSPECT TAKEN INTO CUSTODY at Willits Motel
From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:
On Thursday June 27, 2013 at about 11:30 PM, Officers from the Willits Police Department located the black Jeep Cherokee that was believed to be operated by suspect Anthony Lane. The Willits Police Officers had received a “be on the lookout” broadcast issued by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office for this homicide investigation. The vehicle was found in the parking lot of a motel in the Willits area.
On June 28, 2013 at about 12:30 AM, officers of the Willits Police Department, with the assistance of deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, located Lane in one of the rooms of the hotel. Lane was taken into custody without incident and was transported to the Humboldt County Line, where deputies from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office took custody of Lane. Lane was booked into the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office for suspicion of murder and possession of a stolen vehicle (the black Jeep Cherokee).
At this time the motive for the crime is being investigated. There does not appear at this time to be a connection with this homicide to the earlier marijuana cultivation investigation and arrests that took place in the same area. The homicide does not appear to be a home invasion, marijuana related or in association with the Garret Rodriguez missing person investigation.
The Humboldt County Coroner’s Office is still in the process of notification of family members of the victim of this suspected homicide. For that reason, the name of the victim is not being released. An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday June 29, 2013 and the cause of death is not being released until after the autopsy is concluded and it will not jeopardize the investigation. The lead investigator is Detective Franco (707) 268-3644 or (707) 445-7251, anyone with information about this investigation is encouraged to telephone Detective Franco at the listed numbers.
THE CLINTONS & THE RICH WOMEN
Fixers Indicated That Hillary Was a Key Player in the Marc Rich Pardon Deal
By Jeffrey St. Clair
President-in-waiting Hillary Clinton has never addressed her role in the midnight pardon of billionaire fugitive Marc Rich, who died this week. In fact, she’s rarely been asked her opinion on the free pass given to one of the world’s most wanted fugitives, a man who violated embargoes against Iran and South Africa and fled the country rather than face trial in what was billed as “the biggest tax evasion case in history.” The senator has variously said that she was “unaware” of the decision and “surprised” by it. When pressed, she merely cackles.
Even though 300 pages of core documents relating to the pardon decision remain under seal at the Clinton Library, a review of the available record tells a much different story. In fact, the Rich legal team viewed Hillary as a secret weapon, and as one door after another closed on their search for a pardon they focused more and more on invoking what Rich lawyer Robert Fink called the “HRC option.”
Who is Marc Rich? And why did he need a presidential pardon?
Born in Belgium to Jewish parents, Marc Rich moved with his family to the United States to escape Hitler. Young Marc soon went to work for a commodity firm in New York called Phillip Bros, later acquired by Salomon Brothers. He soon made his mark as an oil trader and, along with his friend Pincus “Pinky” Green, he is credited with inventing spot market trading in oil, ferrous metals and sugar. Billions flowed into the firm, and the European press took to calling Rich “the Aluminum Finger.”
But Rich and “Pinky” Green felt underappreciated and underpaid. They bolted the firm, and Rich angrily vowed to “grind Phillip Bros. into oblivion.” In 1974, the pair started their own holding company, eventually known as the Marc Rich Group, and began making oil deals with Iran, Iraq and wildcatters in Texas. He and Pinky were soon billionaires and big shots in the global petrochemical trade.
Around this time, Rich courted a buxom young Jewish singer/songwriter from Worchester, Massachusetts, named Denise. He whisked her off to his seaside villa in Marbella, Spain, where the couple were married and rapidly assumed the life of international jet-setters and art collectors. It is said that Rich owns one of the largest private collections of Picasso paintings and sculptures in the world. Rich began referring to himself as a “business machine.” The years passed. Denise bore Rich three daughters and honed her songwriting skills on transcontinental flights on the family’s private jet. Saccharine pop flowed off her microrecorder , including minor hit “Frankie.” The bank accounts swelled.
Then in 1983 crisis hit the Rich family. The US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York notified Rich and Pinky that they were under investigation for fraud, illegal oil deals with Iran and the apartheid regime in South Africa, and tax evasion. Documents were subpoenaed. Indictments were in the works. Rich hired DC heavy-hitter Edward Bennett Williams to fend off assaults of a vicious young prosecutor — none other than Rudy Giuliani.
When Giuliani requested that Pinky and Rich turn over their passports and post a large bond, Williams acted indignant and personally avowed to the federal judge overseeing the case that his client was not a flight risk. Two days later, Pinky and Rich were on a plane bound for Europe. As expected, the indictments came: a 65-count charge alleging fraud, trading with the enemy (Iran), and tax evasion.
Humiliated, Williams resigned in a huff, and Rich found a succession of new lawyers over the next decade, including former Nixon attorney Leonard Garment and Lewis Scooter Libby, who would later find refuge in the awesome power of presidential privilege.
Rich’s escape from Giuliani’s clutches is the stuff of spy novels, made even more thrilling due to the fact that he almost certainly had several moles inside Giuliani’s office, US law enforcement and intelligence agencies who kept him apprised of the schemes to nab him. He evaded the US marshals on his tail at Heathrow Airport in England, and then later his plane bound for Finland mysteriously turned at the last moment for Sweden, once again narrowly avoiding landing in custody. Years later, Rich would also escape his captors in Germany and Jamaica, courtesy of anonymous tips to the fugitive billionaire.
The tycoon’s eventual passage to safe harbor in Switzerland went from Sweden through East Germany, aided by the notorious Wolfgang Vogel, an East German lawyer who specialized in shuttling spies into and out of Eastern Europe.
Rich dropped millions at every stop, especially in Switzerland. He and “Pinky” Green choose the town of Zuq to establish their new headquarters in a blueberry-colored office tower. Entreaties were made to Swiss officials, and money liberally dispensed.
“He bought Swiss loyalty,” says Shawn Tulley, a financial crimes reporter for Fortune magazine, who covered the Rich case. “He really put out the charm and the money.” When the US Marshals finally tracked Rich down in Switzerland, they immediately petitioned the Swiss government for his extradition. Request denied. As far as the Swiss were concerned, financial crimes, especially involving taxation, were trifling concerns unworthy of governmental consideration.
When the Swiss refused to turn Rich over, the Marshals tried to kidnap the world’s most famous tax evader under the extraordinary rendition program, which has since become a staple of the Bush regime.
The Marshals set up a team outside of Rich’s mansion and his offices. But again, there was a fortuitous leak. The Swiss police approached the would-be kidnappers and told them to shut down their operation or they would be the ones sitting in jail. The Marshals retreated. Rich had found his sanctuary. He summoned Denise and the children to join him in a sprawling mansion near Lucerne and then renounced his US citizenship. This freed him from the nagging obligation of ever again having to worry about entanglements with the IRS over tax obligations. But it also threw the validity of his eventual pardon into question.
The exile of Marc Rich was not an idle one. Indeed, from 1983 to 1996 Rich’s fortune ballooned from a mere billion dollars to more than $7 billion. He and Pinky struck oil deals in Russia and Bulgaria (prompting accusations of fraud and thievery in both countries) and mining operations in central Asia, Africa and South America. Along the way, he sharpened the art of the political bribe. Rudy Giuliani alleges that during this period Rich tried to bribe the state of New York, offering millions to the State Department of Education in exchange for a withdrawal of the pending charges.
In order to buy alumina from the new leftist government of Jamaica for less than half the market price, Rich wired $50 million to Jamaican President Michael Manley in an hour of acute distress for the embattled ruler.
Even as he neared the top of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, Rich also didn’t see any reason to abandon his operations in the United States. In fact, his hand is seen orchestrating one of the most savage crackdowns on organized labor in recent decades. In 1989, Rich secretly acquired the controlling interest in a West Virginia-based company called Ravenswood Aluminum. Ravenswood was embroiled in a tumultuous battle between management and workers at the plant when in 1990, under Rich’s long-distance orders, the company tried to bust the union. On a bitterly cold night, a private security force arrived at the plant, set up armed guards at the gates and surveillance cameras around the perimeter of the facility, and locked out 1,700 workers, all members of the Steelworkers Union. Over the ensuing weeks, the armed guards repeatedly clashed with picketing union members, fogging the air with tear gas and beating skulls with their police clubs. Soon Rich made the call to hire permanent replacement workers, for less pay and reduced benefits. The lockout went on for two more years. “It was a brutal affair,” says Dan Stidham, president of the Ravenswood union local at the time of the lockout. “I’m still pretty upset with Clinton for pardoning that guy after all we went through.”
Meanwhile, back in Lucerne, Rich was beginning to cultivate the Israeli government. He established the Rich Foundation in Tel Aviv, which would distribute more than $100 million to Israeli causes over the next decade. To oversee the foundation, Rich selected a former high-ranking Mossad official named Avner Azulay, whose ties to the intelligence agency probably never totally evaporated. Azulay was a useful conduit to Israel’s political elite. He was close to Yitzak Rabin, Ehud Barak, Shimon Peres and Ehud Olmert. A decade later, Azulay would play a key role in securing Rich’s pardon from the Clintons.
Through Azulay, Rich offered his services to the Israeli government, especially the Mossad. Indeed, according to letters from Israeli officials, Rich played the role of a “Say-Ayon,” or unpaid asset of the Mossad. In fact, Rich was subsidizing Israeli intelligence operations. He financed numerous covert missions and allowed Mossad operatives to work covertly in his offices around the world.
With experience as an international spook now added to his C.V., Rich reached out through intermediaries to both the FBI and the CIA. He offered his services to both agencies in exchange for dropping the charges against him. The CIA’s response is unknown, but the FBI was intrigued and sent the request to the Justice Department, where it was quashed.
Around this time, Rich launched into a public liaison with a glamorous Italian widow by the name of Gisela Rossi.
He flaunted the affair in front of Denise, the tycoon’s wife who had followed him into his luxurious life on the lam. Denise filed for divorce and prepared to return to New York. But Rich, whose net worth now neared $10 billion, was offering her only a tiny settlement. So Denise took matters into her own hands. She removed a Van Gogh painting from the wall of their palace in Lucerne and warned her estranged husband that unless he ponied up more money, she would take the masterpiece with her. Ultimately, Rich offered her a settlement of $200 million. Although the amount is far less than she would have gotten in most US courts, Denise signed the papers and took her daughters with her back to Manhattan.
Rossi and Rich soon married and divided their time between St. Moritz and Marbella, Spain.
A year after the Rich’s divorce, their oldest daughter, Gabriella, was diagnosed with a rare and terminal form of leukemia. She died within the year. Marc Rich made no effort to visit Gabriella in her final months. Denise Rich seethed.
The machinations to secure a pardon from Bill Clinton for Marc Rich began in earnest in the fall of 1998, when Rich’s public relations flack in the US, Gershon Kekst, squirmed his way into a seat next to Eric Holder, the number two in the Clinton Justice Department, at a gauche DC party thrown by Daimler/Chrysler. Without mentioning Rich by name, Kekst asked Holder how a man of considerable resources might be relieved of the burden of being “unproperly indicted by an overzealous prosecutor.”
Holder took a sip of wine and told Kekst that such a man would need to hire a DC lawyer who knows the ropes and has deep connections inside the Clinton administration. “He comes to me and we work it out,” confided Holder.
“Can you recommend such a person?” Kekst inquired.
Holder pointed to a man sitting at a nearby table. “There’s Jack Quinn,” Holder whispered. “He’s a perfect example.”
Kekst dutifully wrote down Quinn’s name, did some research on the former lawyer for the Clintons, and transmitted the joyful news to the Rich camp.
There is every indication that Holder was trying to drum up business for Quinn, a partner at the powerhouse firm of Arnold and Porter, as well as a top advisor for Al Gore’s presidential campaign. Holder was desperate to have Quinn’s backing in his doomed bid to become attorney general.
Back in Switzerland, Rich ordered up a dossier on Quinn. His initial response was not favorable. Rich believed Quinn to be merely a “pretty boy” with little experience and “more connections than clout.” He decided to stick with Scooter Libby’s team. But Scooter, who had represented Rich since 1985, produced no results, and in the summer of 1999, with the clock ticking down on Clinton time, the desperate tycoon reached out to Jack Quinn.
Quinn formally became Rich’s lawyer on July 21, 1999. His fees were stiff: an initial retainer of $355,000, plus a minimum payment of $55,000 each month. Quinn’s firm, Arnold and Porter, reserved the right to represent clients suing Rich on other matters. Rich consented.
Initially, Quinn intimated to the Rich team that securing the pardon would be a relatively easy matter. A few calls to his good friend Eric Holder, and that would be that. Quinn was wrong. When Holder contacted the prosecutors in Manhattan about the Rich case, they vowed to oppose any deal until Rich returned to the US and entered a plea in the case. Rich refused.
From that point on, the Rich team, including his sympathizers inside the Clinton administration, hid their maneuvers from federal prosecutors. After discussions with White House aides Bruce Lindsey and Beth Nolan, Quinn sent out an email calling for a new approach: “It’s time to move on the GOI [Government of Israel] front but we have to get the calls initiated over there.”
Letters and calls soon flooded the White House from Israeli officials and high profile Jews, including Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert and Elie Weisel. In one way or another, each had received benefits from Rich or one of his foundations.
A problem soon developed. When presented the opportunity to discuss presidential pardons with Clinton, many of these leaders, anxious perhaps to legitimize Israeli penetration of the US government, choose to plead the case of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard instead of Rich.
Quinn scrambled comically for a solution. Quinn sends an urgent email to Robert Fink, Rich’s longtime New York lawyer.
From: Jack Quinn. To: Fink, Robert, NY.
“Hope you’re checking email; I don’t have access here to avner’s email address, or marc’s, and wonder if you can inquire whether there is a possibility of persuading Mrs Rabin to make a call to POTUS [President of the United States]. He had a deep affection for her husband.”
Fink leaps into action with an email to Avner Azulay, the former Mossad officer, now heading the Rich Foundation in Tel Aviv.
From: Fink, Robert, NY. Sent: Saturday. To: Avner Azulay
“… Jack asks if you could get Leah Rabin to call the President; Jack said he was a real big supporter of her husband…”
Azulay writes back with distressing news.
From: Avner. To: Fink, Robert, NY.
“Bob, having Leah Rabin call is not a bad idea. The problem is how do we contact her? She died last November …”
Eventually, Quinn secures a letter and congenial phone call to Clinton from Rabin’s daughter, who doesn’t really know Rich. Their best hopes seem to be evaporating. Perhaps Rich was right about Quinn, after all.
First Catch Your Foxman
The scene shifts to a crowded restaurant in Paris. It’s Valentine’s Day. Two men are having dinner and drinking wine. They know each other well. One man has just received a $100,000 contribution from the other man’s boss. The man on the receiving end of the money is Abe Foxman, and the financial gift was for his group the Anti-Defamation League. The man picking up the hefty dinner tab is Avner Azulay – though Marc Rich will soon reimburse him.
Rich has one last shot, Foxman advises. They need to get directly to Bill and Hillary. And the key to unlocking the inner doors of the White House, Foxman told Azulay, is Denise Rich. Foxman confided that he and Denise had flown together on Air Force II to the funeral of Yitzak Rabin.
There was just one problem. Denise Rich still loathed her husband.
Entreaties are made to Denise, now a New York socialite and successful songwriter, by Quinn and others on the Rich teams. Three times Denise Rich declines to come to the rescue of her former husband.
Then suddenly, in November 2000, she agrees to help. What made her change her mind?
That remains open to speculation, but given Marc Rich’s history and Denise’s view that she was shortchanged in the divorce, it may well have involved a financial offering. This much is known. On November 16, Avner Azulay flies to New York and takes Denise to dinner. He pleads for her to back Rich’s pardon to her friends Bill and Hillary. Two days later Denise consents.
Dozoretz with Wm. Clinton
Denise calls her close friend Beth Dozoretz for help in the best way to handle the matter. Another rich Manhattan socialite, Dozoretz had been the finance chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Dozoretz had contributed more than $1 million to Democratic coffers. Bill Clinton was the godfather of her daughter.
Dozoretz who, like Denise Rich, would later plead the Fifth at a Senate hearing in the matter, helped Rich craft her strategy. Almost immediately, a check for $25,000 was sent from Denise Rich’s account to the DNC. This was soon followed by Denise Rich’s first letter to the Clintons, imploring them to pardon her ex-husband. Dozoretz also helped Rich bundle a $450,000 contribution to the Clinton library fund. (A Democratic fundraiser told the New York Times in 2001 that Denise had also pledged another million in four installments over the next two years. This figure was disputed by Denise Rich. But the donor lists to the Clinton Foundation are kept secret.) In all, Denise Rich made at least $1.1 million in contributions to Democratic causes, including $70,000 to Hillary’s Senate campaign and PACs, and at least $450,000 to the Clinton foundation.
For her part, Dozoretz kicked in another million of her own money to the fund. This is the same library that now refuses to release more than 300 pages of Clinton’s records relating to the pardon. She later lavished gifts on the Clintons as they left the White House, including antique furniture for the new home and golf clubs for Bill.
As Dozoretz and Denise Rich plotted their strategy, Quinn and Azulay sought another opening. In a December 19, 2000, email to Quinn, Azulay emphasizes the importance of Hillary’s role in the affair. She has just been elected senator from New York, where Rich was indicted. If there was to be fallout, it might backfire on Hillary. She would need reassurance. Dozoretz and Denise would provide financial aid, but she might also need political cover. Azulay recommends Abraham Burg, former speaker of the Knesset. “Burg is on very friendly terms with Hilary (sic) and knows POTUS from previous contacts.”
The next night there’s a party at the White House honoring Barbra Streisand, Quincy Jones and Maya Angelou. Dozoretz and Denise are invited, and Denise lands a plum seat at the presidential table. Denise is wearing a burgundy ball gown trimmed in fox fur. She eats little and talks less. After dinner, Denise espies Bill having an intimate conversation with Streisand. She rushes across the room, cuts in on Babs and whisks Bill away. She makes an impassioned plea for her ex-husband, who had humiliated her, stuffs a letter into Bill’s hand and whispers, “I could not bear it were I to learn you did not see my letter.”
When Denise arrives home, she makes a call to Lucerne. It’s the first time she has talked to Marc Rich since the divorce. She describes her meeting with Clinton. Her friends say she ended the conversation by telling Rich: “You owe me.”
A week later the Rich team is getting antsy. There’s still been no word on how Hillary feels. Rich’s New York attorney Robert Fink sends an email to Quinn: “Of all the options we discussed, the only one that seems to have real potential for making a difference is the Hillary option.”
Quinn, Dozoretz, Burg and, perhaps, Denise call Hillary’s people. They are told that the senator needs cover. According to a December 26 email from Azulay titled “Chuck Schumer”: “Hillary shall feel more at ease if she is joined by her elder sen. of NY, who also represents the Jewish population.”
Gershon Kekst leaps at the opportunity, firing an email to Fink looking for Schumer’s pressure points:
“Can Quinn tell us who is close enough to lean on Schumer?? I am willing to call him but have no real clout. Jack might be able to tell us who the top contributors are … maybe Bernard Schwartz??”
Bernard Schwartz was a good guess. The former CEO of the Defense electronics firm Loral (a Friend of Bill and Marc Rich) was a top DNC contributor and had lavished money on both Schumer and Hillary. Schwartz also donated $1 million to the Clinton library fund.
But Quinn had been around Washington a long time. He knew enough not to trust Schumer, a famous media hog who was already showing signs of being jealous of the attention Hillary was getting. Quinn notes: “I have to believe that the contact with HRC can happen w/o him after all, we are not looking for a public show of support from her.”
Calls continue to flood the Clinton White House. The King of Spain. Sandy Berger. Ehud Barak.
Meanwhile, Denise and Beth are skiing in Aspen. Beth’s phone rings. It’s Bill Clinton. Clinton tells Dozoretz, “I want to do it and am trying to get around the White House counsel.” Keep praying, Bill told the women. He also let them know that Michael Milken wasn’t getting a pardon.
A few days later, the two women are back in Washington. It’s now January 19, 2001. Jack Quinn is sitting at a board meeting of Fanny Mae. He quietly types a message to Denise on his Blackberry. (It’s not known if he bills both clients for this hour of his time.) The text message urges Denise to make one last call to Bill. Quinn tells her not to “argue merits” but merely to explain to Clinton that “it is important to me personally.”
Though both women will later dispute it, the Secret Service logs show that the next afternoon at 5:30, Beth and Denise were admitted to the private quarters of the White House. This was Denise’s nineteenth visit to the White House. Beth had visited the White House 76 times in merely the last two years. The logs do not record when the women departed. This is the encounter that appears to have consummated the pardon.
At 2:30 in the morning on January 20, Clinton gets a call from his National Security Advisor. Marc Rich’s name has surfaced in an intelligence file in connection with an international arms smuggling network. Clinton calls Quinn. Quinn says the allegations are bogus. Bill turns to his staff, all of whom oppose the pardon that is now being signed. “Take Jack’s word,” Clinton snapped. Later Clinton will claim to have been “sleep deprived” when he signed the pardon, an excuse that his wife would resurrect to explain her fabulation of her landing under sniper fire in Bosnia.
Marc Rich bought his pardon and now flies freely in his private jet, while Leonard Peltier languishes in prison with no hope of release.
That pretty much sums up Clintonism.
(This article is adapted from a piece that ran in the March 2008 edition of CounterPunch magazine. Jeffrey St. Clair is the author of Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green to Me: the Politics of Nature, Grand Theft Pentagon and Born Under a Bad Sky. His latest book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
AMERICAN TROUBADOUR – WILLIAM JAMES NICHOLSON – will be appearing live on stage at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds – Not So Simple Living Fair.
Date: Saturday July 27, 2013 Time: 9:00 PM
Upstate New York’s William James Nicholson is a uniquely American artist. Yes, he writes some of the most powerful modern folk songs of today, but he performs them armed only with a custom made 11-string harp-guitar. Despite the virtuosity and musical depth, it is really the song, the emotion and the storyteller’s voice that always hold center stage. “It is refreshing to hear a great voice combined with a great song, played with passion, competence and honesty…” (Albany, NY) “When I saw the harp guitar I thought one thing, then when he opened his mouth to sing, something entirely surprising and beautiful happened…” (Marietta, OH)
Destroying Postmodernism before it Gets You!
Morning salutations, I have two more weeks to go at the central Berkeley men’s shelter, and then they say I’m on my own, because Alameda county social services does not have anything further to give to me. I am totally available right now! I have several hundred dollars which would get me transported anywhere in the USA lower 48, decades of experience of a radical nature, plus a fully cultivated spiritual life, and I’m willing!!! Instead of languishing in the cultural death of postmodernism, I’d like your cooperation in order to remain active frontline-wise. No need to hurry, because this is America and it’s summer; so slow down, take your time, and then encourage me to travel where you are and participate. I don’t have anything to do anymore in California. That’s just the way it is, and I am really not interested in attempting anything so ridiculous as “retiring.” That won’t work for me. I’m not the type. However, I am ready to help usher in a brand new civilization based on a spiritual foundation, Craig Louis Stehremail@example.com
Wherever and whenever / The mind is found / Attached to anything, / Make haste to detach / Yourself from it. / When you tarry for / Any length of time / It will turn again into / Your old home town. —Daito Kokushi (1282-1334)
FIGHT THE POWER!
Subject: Corporate Power & Building Democracy study group forming this Sunday in FB
How did the corporations gain so much power? How can we integrate this knowledge and think clearly about what to do about it. How can we be effective in our efforts to create the democracy we want for people and the planet? These are the kinds of issues that are considered in the Corporate Power & Building Democracy study group forming this Sunday in Fort Bragg. We use a curriculum that was created by and can be downloaded from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. http://wilpf.org/CPOWER_10sessions There will be a ten-session study group starting up again this Sunday, the 30th of June, at 6:00 PM. The first meeting will be in Fort Bragg at Meg Courtney’s home, 661North Harrison St. in Fort Bragg. The remaining sessions will be every other Sunday and will most likely be in Mendocino. About eight people completed the study group that started last January. Michael St. John and myself will be facilitating the group going forward. If you are interested you can contact me and I will provide more details. Carrie Durkee, 937-2554, CDurkee@mcn.org
MOVE TO AMEND contingents in Mendocino and Point Arena July 4th parades! Local “Move to Amend.org“ members and supporters are encouraged to join fellow ‘Amenders’ in a parade contingent in the 4th of July parade in Mendocino at noon, and also in the Point Arena Parade on Sunday July 7, 2013. Banners will be provided, but bring your own flags, posters and signs to invite others to join in the national effort locally. Participants meet in Mendocino at Crown Hall at 11:30 am on Thursday July 4, 2013; and in Point Arena at the high school parking lot by 11:30 am Sunday. Contact Jane Jarlsberg at 882.2339 for more information.
THE “WE THE PEOPLE” AMENDMENT affirms that 1) rights protected under the Constitution are the rights of natural persons and not of incorporated entities and 2) money spent to influence elections may be regulated by Congress and the states and is not protected free speech under the First Amendment.