Hitchens explains

Roger Odisio rodisio at igc.org
Mon Feb 8 11:02:07 PST 1999

At 12:58 AM 2/8/1999 -0600, Peter Kilander wrote:
>I'm curious to know at what point you Hitchens-bashers would consider stop
>spending time and energy defending Clinton. How right-wing would he need to
>be or what sort of policies would he need to push through or let die?
>Privatize social security? I bet he would have had not Starr put a crimp in
>his schedule. Eliminate the minimum wage? But the Consitution needs
>defending. Suspend habeas corpus? Clinton's done some damage there. Lecture
>poor kids about morality and end welfare for the "morally unfit"?
>Why not call for the end of the grand jury system rather than defend
>Clinton? I also wonder if you all would be making such a stink if similar
>tactics had been used to impeach Reagan. It's OK for the mafia, but not the
>president? Screw the sanctity of the office of the president. It's not a bad
>thing that one of the most powerful men in the country can be put under such
>scrutiny. But it's wasting Clinton's time and the taxpayers' money?
>Clinton's the one using up millions in red herring missile launches on
>civilians and he would be spending his time privatizing social security

I assume you're not talking to me. I never defended Clinton. I have no use for him. I said what Hitchens did was despicable. You see the difference, don't you? In the future it might be helpful when responding to a post that you specify when you are responding to the poster and when you are addressing someone else.

>Roger Odisio says:
>Hitchens admits right away that when Blumenthal told him at lunch, both knew
>Hitchens, as a Clinton hater, would not spread the story. Hitchens knows
>that was NOT Blumenthal's purpose in telling him. This is consistent with
>what Blumenthal says: he told only family and friends and he used to think
>Hitchens was a friend. So Hitchens' affadavit provides NO evidence that
>Blumenthal spread, or even tried to spread, the story to others, which, of
>course, is what Starr and the House are after. If Blumenthal did spread the
>story, Hitchens is no help in proving it. His affadavit about the lunch
>conversation is irrelevant to nailing either Blumenthal or Clinton.
>What was his *purpose*? Blumenthal testified he didn't tell any *reporters*.
>Well, he told Hitchens. And Hitchens testified he told other reporters. I
>made some of the points you make in my post but it seems you, Nathan et al.
>didn't bother to read it. Nathan just goes on about lesser-evil masochism
>and not "providing positive alternatives."

Thanks for pointing out that Hitchens is a reporter. I didn't know that. : ) Blumenthal says he told Hitchens and his wife things at lunch as a friend, not a as a reporter. That is, both knew Hitchens would not spread the story. Hitchens agrees that Blumenthal did not tell him for he purpose of Hitchens reporting it. Why did Blumenthal tell him? Hitchens doesn't know, but speculates that Blumenthal may have trying out the story, or honing it, so to speak. Did Blumenthal tell other reporters? Despite your claim, Hitchens doesn't know that either. He "heard" that Blumenthal might have, but, when asked directly on TV if Blumenthal is lying about being a source, he said, "he could be telling the truth if he says he has no idea how things attributed (sic) to White House sources". Later he says "I still hope Sidney was not an accomplice to it (spreading the story)".

Starr, the Republicans, and the religious right want info tying Clinton, through Blumenthal, to spreading Monica rumors to shut her up. I repeat, when read carefully, rather than from news accounts, Hitchens info about his lunch conversation with Blumenthal is WORTHLESS to them. No one at that lunch claims that that conversation had anything to do with spreading said rumors.

But Hitchens parlayed the affadavit into a featured TV appearance to offer his real take on the story (he is after Clinto, not Blumenthal): his contention that Clinton was behind the rumors, that Clinton made sure they were circulated. He offered no new info to substantiate that, of course, only his opinion. And he did it with two purposes in mind, as far as I can tell; (1) to further his campaign to get Clinton, and (2) to promote himself. The latter seems to be working so far.

Here is what I find so despicable in what Hitchens did. It has nothing to do with protecting Clinton, or whether Clinton in fact was behind the rumors. It has everything to do with what would happen if the right were to force Clinton from office on the basis of their trumped up case, or, for that matter, if Clinton had resigned under pressure, as Hitchens so ludicrously wanted him to. Do you really need an explanation from me, or anyone else, about what that kind of empowerment of the right wing would mean, what would happen next, what things would be like?

Hitchens knows what hell would unleashed as well. But he doesn't care. Blinded by Clinton-hate or personal ambition, take your pick or use both, he presses on with his empty vendetta. That's despicable.

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