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A month before his death, the Wall Street Journal had run an editorial, part of its editorial ``series'' targetting Clinton administration officials from Little Rock, entited ``Who Is Vincent Foster?'' About a week before Foster's death, he had also been targetted in another editorial which accused ``the Rose clique from Little Rock'' of running wild in the Justice Department--referring to members of the Rose Law Firm, in which Hillary Clinton, Foster, and Webster Hubbell were all partners.
Without missing a beat, a few days after Foster's death, the Wall Street Journal ran yet another lead editorial on Foster, this one with the matter-of-fact title, ``A Washington Death.''
``We had our disagreements with Mr. Foster during his short term in Washington,'' said the editorial, in a model of understatement, ``but we do not think in death he deserves to disappear in a cloud of mystery that we are somehow ordained never to understand.'' Indeed, the Journal made sure that Foster, and his colleagues, did not disappear from the Journal's sight: It kept up its relentless attacks through to the present day.
We will return to the story of the Journal's crusade against President Clinton and his administration a bit later. But first, an earlier case study--and also one that continues to the present time: the Wall Street Journal's role in the campaign of defamation and the illegal prosecution of Lyndon LaRouche.
The ``Public Diplomacy'' propaganda effort against LaRouche was part of the conditioning of public opinion which was seen as a prerequisite for a successful judicial frame-up of LaRouche. The Journal played a central role in this illegal operation, not only providing an outlet for derogatory articles on LaRouche, but even assisting in recruiting false witnesses for the prosecution.
This is how it worked.
In the spring of 1983, the incipient ``Get LaRouche'' news media operation was organized at a meeting held at the New York apartment of Wall Street financier John Train. At that meeting were representatives of the news media, of government intelligence agencies and the Bush ``secret government'' apparatus, and, of course, Richard Mellon Scaife himself. This was the first of at least three such meetings.
A few weeks earlier, on Jan. 12, friends of Henry Kissinger had raised the ``problem'' of LaRouche at a meeting of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB). Under the fraudulent pretext of investigating whether LaRouche and his organization were the recipients of foreign funding, the FBI launched a ``national security'' investigation of LaRouche under the purported authority of Executive Order 12333; among other things, E.O. 12333 permitted the use of private parties and private contractors in official government-run intelligence operations. (The drafting of E.O. 12333 was all done in seminars and think-tanks financed by Scaife; these same institutions financed much of the personnel for the ``secret government'' apparatus.)
According to legal evidence on file in the LaRouche case in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, a participant in the ``Train Salon'' meeting described that meeting as involving about 25 journalists; among the news media agencies represented were NBC-TV, Readers' Digest, the New Republic, and the Wall Street Journal.
The opening guns of the campaign were two NBC-TV attacks on LaRouche run in January and March 1984; the second of these was produced by Pat Lynch, a participant in the Train Salon meetings who later co-authored a key attack on LaRouche in the Wall Street Journal. Another participant was Dennis King, who later wrote a book attacking LaRouche, financed by the Smith-Richardson Foundation.
Two major Wall Street Journal pieces on LaRouche came out of the Train meetings.
The first was published in the March 23, 1986 issue, and was written by Ellen Hume. When interviewed a few days later, Hume acknowledged that she had attended one of the Train meetings; she said that sources for her article included NBC's Patricia Lynch and law enforcement sources. Hume's article was headlined, ``LaRouche Group, Long on Political Fringe, Gets Mainstream Scrutiny.'' Hume's article also targetted LaRouche's contacts with officials of the the Reagan administration. It also included the by-then-standard ``cult'' characterization of LaRouche's organization and cited various investigations. It contained not one word about LaRouche's actual economic policies.
The second attack on LaRouche came in the form of a May 27, 1986 Wall Street Journal piece co-authored by NBC's Pat Lynch and Dennis King. An FBI document later obtained by LaRouche's attorneys, showed that Lynch had obtained information about prospective government witnesses who might be used against LaRouche. Lynch and King illeglly obtained confidential grand jury information; they also interviewed a number of former associates of LaRouche whose statements provided a ``roadmap'' for Federal prosecutors. In effect, under the cover of writing an article for the Wall Street Journal, Lynch and King became ``recruiters'' for the Justice Department's ``Get LaRouche'' task force.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Markham, the lead Federal prosecutor in the LaRouche cases, later confirmed in court testimony that he had learned of a number of potential witnesses from the Lynch-King Wall Street Journal article.
Later, after LaRouche had been railroaded to prison, the Journal ran an article by Sergio Sarmiento, Spanish-language editor of Encyclopedia Britannica Publishers, Inc., entitled ``Lyndon LaRouche's Latin American Connection.'' It reviewed the LaRouche movement's activities in Latin America, commenting that ``his kind of lunacy may not be as innocent as it seems,'' comparing LaRouche's movement to ``Hitler's fanatics.''
On April 9, 1992, an editorial in the Wall Street Journal endorsed the Federal Election Commission (FEC) denial of Presidential campaign matching funds to LaRouche, with the following comment: ``Fringe candidates with fanatical followings love public financing. Lyndon LaRouche milked taxpayers for several million dollars....''
First, on Sept. 19, 1997, the Asia and Europe editions (but not the U.S. edition) ran a front-page article entitled ``Malaysia's Mahathir Finds Strange Source for Soros Campaign: Asian Country's Media Tap U.S. Conspiracy Theorist Lyndon LaRouche, Jr.'' The authors claim that some of Mahathir's attacks against speculator George Soros ``apparently came from an unusual source: a publication run by Lyndon LaRouche, Jr., an eccentric 75-year-old American who spins elaborate conspiracy theories, has run unsuccessfully for President five times and was convicted in 1989 of conspiracy charges in the U.S.''
``LaRouche,'' the authors say, ``has alleged that Mr. Soros is a key figure in a global financial conspiracy against sovereign nation-states involving, among others, the Queen of England, international drug cartels and the Israeli secret service....
``Mr. LaRouche has long been at odds with the U.S. political mainstream, which regards him as an extremist in his views about reforming the global financial system. But his theories receive a warmer reception in Malaysia, where the 60-page EIR report on Mr. Soros has been passed among Malaysian editors, intellectuals and politicians.''
While the Wall Street Journal didn't dare run that article in the U.S. editions, it ran another piece aimed at LaRouche on the front page of its Dec. 23, 1997 edition. Aimed at making it appear that LaRouche is behind the attacks on deposed Teamster president Ron Carey, the article opened with a reference to ``far-right politician Lyndon LaRouche.'' The article was ostensibly on the nefarious career of Richard Leebove, a long-ago associate of LaRouche who is currently press spokesman for Teamster presidential candidate James Hoffa, Jr. Leebove is identified in the first sentence as having ``worked for far-right politician Lyndon LaRouche.'' The article included lies such as: ``Mr. LaRouche was obsessed with the Teamsters, believing that foreign interests, Jews and Kennedy left-wingers were conspiring to take over the right-leaning union as part of a plot to weaken the U.S. industrial base.''
In early June, the Journal called Foster's office to ask for his photo, which Foster's office initially declined to provide. So, on June 17, the Journal ran a ``Who Is Vincent Foster?'' editorial, with an outline of a man's head with a big question mark in it. A week later, another editorial, on the subject of the health care task force, began: ``Meet Vincent Foster.'' On July 14, shortly before Foster's death, another Journal editorial accused the ``Rose clique of Little Rock'' of running wild in the Justice Department, and preventing Attorney General Janet Reno from running the place.
Within days of Foster's death by suicide on July 20, 1993, the Journal was back at it again, an editorial entitled ``A Washington Death.'' The editorial commented that ``we have devoted considerable space to inquiring after the precise nature of the activities of the four Rose Law Firm partners working in the Clinton administration.... We think these issues are entirely appropriate, and presume there will be occasion to return to them in the future.''
Indeed there were. The ``Who Is Webster Hubbell?'' series continued. On Feb. 14, 1994, the fifth installment appeared. The Journal's original objection to Hubbell seems to have been that he was an ``outsider'' coming into the Justice Department, interfering with the career professionals and the permanent bureaucracy; now they called Hubbell the ``regent in the Justice Department.'' When Hubbell was forced to resign, the Journal started a new series with a March 15, 1994 editorial entitled, ``Who Was Webster Hubbell?--I.'' And all the while, the Journal continued its morbid fascination with Foster's death by accusing special counsel Robert Fiske of conducting a ``cover-up,'' and filing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for records concerning Foster's death.
Despite attempts by the Washington Post and other ``major'' media to ridicule the White House report, the Washington Post itself had run a feature in May 1994, headlined ``Brits Keep Tabs on Clinton Sex Life: London Papers Trumpet Tawdry Allegations About the President,'' featuring the role of the London Sunday Telegraph and its Washington correspondent, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. The Post commented: ``Some of what appears in London soon echoes back across the Atlantic. The Wall Street Journal editorial page and the Washington Times have repeated some of the Sunday Telegraph's allegations.''
In the White House report, the section of documentation was entitled, ``Sources without Credibility: Pushing Stories into the Mainstream Press.'' The first example given was: ``Whitewater: From Floyd Brown to Wall Street Journal.'' The report showed how Floyd Brown, the creator of the notorious ``Willie Horton'' ads for George Bush in the 1992 Presidential campaign, had met with members of the Wall Street Journal editorial board in February 1994, and then, within weeks, the Journal had devoted nearly half of its editorial page, on March 4, 1994, to reprinting documents it had obtained from Brown.
Then, on March 9, 1994, Brown put out a ``Whitewater fax bulletin,'' saying that then-Whitewater special counsel Robert Fiske had subpoenaed a number of Clinton administration officials but had missed one: Patsy Thomasson, who Brown said was a friend of convicted Arkansas drug dealer Dan Lasater, and who searched Vincent Foster's office after his death. So, the next day, on March 10, the Journal ran an editorial entitled ``Who Is Patsy Thomasson,'' citing her alleged ties to Lasater.
The White House report cited another example, a fraudulent story about an associate of Lasater named Dennis Patrick. This story began in the London Economist on May 7, was then picked up and published in the London Sunday Telegraph on May 8, and the Times of London on May 12, and from there, according to the White House report, made its way into the Washington Times on May 13, Pat Robertson's ``700 Club'' on June 6, and then the Wall Street Journal on June 21.
The Journal has not limited itself to attacks on Clinton cronies in the Justice Department. Its editorial page frequently features articles by Micah Morrison, identified as a ``Journal editorial page writer,'' who accuses Clinton of complicity in drug-running, money-laundering, and many murders in Arkansas; Morrison's articles, and the editorial comments which often accompany them, are right at home on the lowest, bottom-feeding levels of the media food chain. But what would you expect from a Wall Street Urinal?
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