Hitchens explains

Peter Kilander peterk at enteract.com
Mon Feb 8 17:14:09 PST 1999

Odisio says:
>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.

It turns out he testified he didn't tell any friends. See the AP piece I posted.

>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
>hope Sidney was not an accomplice to it (spreading the story)".

I believe Hitchens testified that Blumenthal told other reporters.

>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
>lunch conversation with Blumenthal is WORTHLESS to them. No one at that
>lunch claims that that conversation had anything to do with spreading said

It's not worthless if Blumenthal is charged with perjury and Hitchens refuses to testify and is charged with contempt of court. By your tone I suspect you wouldn't mind if he got the Susan McDougal treatment. Let me speculate some more, I bet a liberal reporter would not want to come forward because -besides losing access and becoming an outcast- they would open themselves up to being forced to testify against Blumenthal. And if careerist, I doubt they'd be willing to face contempt charges. But if one did testify that could change things.

This from today's NYT: [snip] Hitchens said that he did not approach House lawyers but that they had heard his story from a third party and approached him. He added that he would not testify against Blumenthal. He also says that Blumenthal came to the lunch with a batch of documents and newspapers clippings -- not the usual offering for a friend at a social occasion. [snip]

>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.

Not that it really matters, but you feel there's no chance Hitchens was surprised when approached by the House managers and felt the need to tell the truth? Where's your evidence? As far as you can tell?

>Here is what I find so despicable in what Hitchens did. It has nothing to
>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
>happen next, what things would be like?

Here you seem to be at one with Nathan and Mad Max. Today in the paper it was reported that House Republicans are urging "three colleagues who promised to leave office [in 2000] to renege on their pledges and seek re-election anyway" because they're afraid they're going to lose control of the house. Why? Probably because of the impeachment spectacle. If Clinton was impeached - which seems to be a remote possibility, not least because Clinton would fight it like mad - wouldn't it follow the Republicans would be hurt even worse? And maybe, just maybe the Democrats would impeach the next Republican President 4 or 8 years down the road after Gore was impeached. And so on. And maybe the last shreds of the welfare state would last another decade. Or maybe Presidents would stop the imperial madness of raining down missiles on civilians for fear of impeachment.

>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,
>presses on with his empty vendetta. That's despicable.

such Sturm and Drang. If Clinton is impeached because of Hitchens and citizens begin to be thrown in jail for thought crimes, I'll write a note of apology and you can say I told you so


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