Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 4 Num. 95

("Quid coniuratio est?")


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[First, from an interview, March 6, 1995, with Sherman Skolnick]:


Now, the Europeans apparently have... Well it was European journalists, together with some retired CIA people, that uncovered Clinton's secret Swiss accounts, by way of the Fuji Bank and the Grand Caymans -- that $50 million that we described went to Little Rock, to the Caymans, to Switzerland, and is there in the name of Chelsea Jefferson.


And, and, and the thing is, one of Kenneth Starr's people told me -- not to flatter me! -- that the thing that we have been working on -- about the 50 million?


-- is one of the most crucial points. They've already got the date. They know the money arrived in Little Rock and went by way of Fuji Bank, to the Caymans and off to Switzerland. And it got mixed in with the Mena cocaine money, O.K.? Clinton's "cut" for the deal. All right?

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                Revealed: Clinton aide made mystery trips
                                to Geneva

                 By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Washington

THE mystery over the death of the White House aide Vincent Foster is getting deeper. Records shown to the Sunday Telegraph reveal that he had clandestine dealings in Switzerland, and even purchased an airline ticket to Geneva just three weeks before his death.

Foster's travels have never come under scrutiny before. Two investigations have concluded that he shot himself on July 20, 1993, because he was upset over harsh editorials in the Wall Street Journal and other mundane matters. But his trips abroad have come as a total surprise to his family.

They could prove to be of great importance. Foster was an intimate friend of both Bill and Hillary Clinton and was responsible for handling their private financial affairs at the White House.

The revelations of Foster's covert forays to Switzerland come after a week in which the Senate announced details of new televised hearings on the Whitewater scandal, due to begin later in the summer.

But it remains far from certain whether the Republicans in Congress are prepared to reopen the file on the Deputy White House counsel's death.

The records show that Foster bought a ticket to Switzerland on November 1, 1991 - during the early phase of the Clinton presidential bid - travelling on American Airlines from Little Rock to Paris with a connection to Geneva on Swiss Air. The return flight was booked for November 3, giving him less than one full day on the ground in Switzerland. The cost was $1,490.

A year later he did exactly the same thing, darting in and out of the country. On December 7, 1992 - during the presidential transition period - he bought a ticket from Little Rock to Geneva, via Paris, returning on November 9.

Finally, on July 1, 1993, he purchased a ticket through the White House Travel Office from Washington to Geneva on TWA and Swiss Air, reimbursing the White House from his personal American Express Card. But he never made the trip and was refunded by Swiss Air on July 8.

Twelve days later he was found dead in a Virginia park next to the residence of the Saudi ambassador. A Colt .38 revolver of Edwardian vintage was found jammed in his hand. Independent experts have described the crime scene as a textbook case of a murder made to look like a suicide.

These are only a sample of his flights, not the full picture. On December 20, 1988, for example, he flew to Batman in remote Turkish Kurdistan. At his death he had built up more than 500,000 `airmiles' on the frequent flier programmes of major US airlines.

On Delta he apparently had 197,853 miles. Much of it came from flying overseas. His foreign trips on Delta during the later 1980s and early 1990s were often purchased at `executive fares', a category of discount that is only available to senior government officials - or contract operatives doing work for the federal government. That raises the question: was Foster a US agent at a time when he was ostensibly in private practice as a Little Rock lawyer?

Sources close to the Foster family say that his widow, Lisa, was not aware of any trips he made to Switzerland, which suggests that he was not engaged in routine work for the Rose Law Firm. Apparently there are no Swiss stamps in his passport, but this would not necessarily be unusual.

Mrs Foster has accepted the official verdict that her husband committed suicide. In her statement to the FBI she said that he had been depressed and had "no sense of joy and elation at work". She believed that this may have been related to the Waco disaster.

"Lisa Foster believes that Foster was horrified when the Branch Davidian complex burned. Foster believed that everything was his fault," wrote the FBI. (OIC document 000278). But there may have been other concerns on his mind. A psychiatrist told the FBI that he was contacted on July 16 1993 by Foster's sister, Sheila Anthony, a top official at the Justice Department. She told him that Foster was working on "top secret" issues at the White House and "that his depression was directly related to highly sensitive and confidential matters".

It remains to be seen whether the investigation of Special Counsel Kenneth Starr will get to the bottom of the Foster mystery.

Many in Washington now consider that the investigation by Robert Fiske last year was a charade and a black mark on the American judicial system. It reached the conclusion that Foster committed suicide before much of the forensic evidence had been analysed by the FBI crime labs, before key witnesses had been interviewed, and before the autopsy review by independent experts. Several of the FBI documents appear to have been doctored. One official close to the investigation has described the scale of lying and fabrication by government officials as staggering.

There are signs that the same thing could be happening again. Very few witnesses have been called before the Grand Jury. The police have not even visited the houses within earshot of the spot where Foster was supposed to have shot himself. Yet a highly placed member of the investigation has already been leaking stories to journalists saying that there is nothing to the Foster death, and that there will soon be a fresh ruling of suicide.

The lead prosecutor handling the death of Foster, Miguel Rodriguez, resigned in March. Sources say he quit because he felt that certain members of the Starr team were more interested in covering up discrepancies than finding out what really happened, and were merely going through the motions of an investigation. The Starr team counters that his resignation was largely the result of a character clash.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Rodriguez was unable to call key witnesses before the Grand Jury. The paper said he had also lost confidence in the FBI, which appeared to be sweeping crucial evidence under the carpet. For example, the FBI had discarded a set of crucial crime scene photographs, deeming them unusable. Rodriguez turned to a private firm, which had no difficulty enhancing the photos.

Rodriguez cannot be dismissed as a Right-wing prosecutor with an axe to grind. He is a liberal by background and rose to his current position as Assistant US Attorney in Sacramento after working as a civil rights lawyer. It is astonishing that the American media has made so little of his resignation. If a lead prosecutor during the Watergate scandal had departed in such circumstances it would have been headline news.

What is it about the death of Vince Foster that has caused every investigation to recoil? First the US Park Police, then the Fiske investigation, then the Senate Banking Committee and now, perhaps, Kenneth Starr's team - all have dipped their toe in the water and pulled it straight back out again. One can only deduce that the temperature must be very hot indeed.

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Brian Francis Redman "The Big C"

Coming to you from Illinois -- "The Land of Skolnick"