Sam Smith – Although the GOP has had plenty to say about Hillary Clinton’s emails and the Benghazi incident, it has been strangely silent about controversies from the deeper past with which she was involved. It has been my assumption that the Republicans were just waiting until she was nominated to launch its salvos, when it would be too late for her to drop out – or be pushed out – of the race.
And my guess as to a major subject: The death of Vincent Foster.
There has never been any substantial evidence that Hillary Clinton had anything to do with the death of her former law partner and close friend. But there is a large amount of evidence that his death was terribly mishandled by police, that critical evidence was suppressed or ignored by prosecutors, that important documents were removed and/or destroyed following his death, and that it was highly unlikely to have been a suicide in Ft. Marcy Park as most of establishment Washington still maintains.
Two recent events have reminded me that the Foster story is an unfortunate campaign issue in waiting. First, a key document and statement by assistant prosecutor Miguel Rodriquez has been found in government archives. Rodriquez did not agree with the official presumption that it was a suicide - in part because of ignored photos that strongly suggested a second gun shot. Rodriquez resigned over his disagreement. (More on this document below)
The second thing I’ve noted was a surge in visits to a Review web page more than a decade old that discussed 101 anomalies in the Foster case. We got nearly 30,000 visits last year and already have 12,000 in 2016. For an old story that’s a lot of interest.
Four years after Foster's death, the Progressive Review summarized some of the remaining questions: "Why did Miquel Rodriquez, the assistant US Attorney assigned by Starr to reopen the investigation into Foster's death, resign? Was it true, as some have alleged, that he was blocked from aggressively pursuing the case? Why was he denied the opportunity to bring in experts outside the FBI to deal with inconsistencies? Why did Starr, in reopening the Foster case, permit FBI agents to review their own work in the previous investigation? There have been conflicting statements as to whether any x-rays were taken of Foster after his death. Were there or weren't there? If there were, where have they gone? If there weren't, why not? It is standard police procedure to investigate suicides initially as though they were murders? Why wasn't this done in the case of Vince Foster? Why did Bernard Nussbaum ask for the combination of Foster's safe immediately after his death? Why were manila envelopes in the safe addressed "Eyes Only" to Attorney General Janet Reno and William Kennedy never delivered to them? Where are these envelopes and what was in them? Whose blood-stained car was towed to the FBI garage from Ft. Marcey Park the same night as Foster's death? How did Foster walk 750 feet through a park without gathering any physical evidence of the hike on his shoes? How did his glasses end up 19 feet from his body? What were the origins of numerous carpet fibers found all over Foster's clothing and underwear? How did it happen that all 35 mm film of the scene was either overexposed or missing? How did it happen that most of the Polaroid shots have vanished? How did Foster manage to shoot himself yet die laid out in the careful manner of someone placed in a coffin? Why were there no fingerprints on the gun? Why did no one hear the shot? Where is Foster's appointment book? How did car keys, not found during the investigation in the park, turn up with Foster at the morgue? How was Foster's car opened at the park since officials claimed it was locked? Where is the bullet that killed Foster? Why did witnesses have their testimony changed and why was one witness subsequently harassed in a manner used by intelligence agents for intimidation? What did Foster do in the hours between lunch time and when he supposedly killed? What did Marsha Scott of the White House staff and Vince Foster talk about during the two hour meeting they had the day before he died? Why can't Marsha Scott remember? What did Foster do on secret trips to Switzerland and other locations about which his wife knew nothing? Why have police and rescue workers been forbidden to discuss the case?
My initial guess had been that Foster committed suicide in a place uncomfortable to some in power and was moved to the park or that he was killed by someone involved perhaps in drug related activities in Arkansas with which Foster had been involved. The media has consistently ignored Arkansas’ major role in the drug trade. Ironically if either of these theories were true, but there had been no cover up, Clinton would be in a safer spot today than she finds herself.
We pass on some notes from this incident because, albeit ignored, the story is out there and will become more important with time. While the press and Democrats may ignore it, the Republicans won’t. And the Dems still have time to do something about it, which they won’t after the convention.
FROM ARKANSAS CONNECTIONS
Progressive Review - For four years, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Telegraph relentlessly pursued the countless discrepancies of the Foster case. During his investigations, his Washington apartment was broken into, and his four computers were taken. Was this primarily to steal his hard drives? His car was later broken into and his briefcase was taken.
1999 - The late Jerry Parks owned a detective agency in Little Rock. According to Jane Parks, his widow, he had often done mysterious jobs for Vince Foster. She says that shortly before he died, Foster telephoned Jerry. She overheard Jerry's half of the conversation. She says her husband became highly agitated. He begged Foster not to do something Foster was intent on doing. After Foster died, Jerry became extremely fearful and started carrying a gun. He was gunned down gangland style within a month of Foster's death. According to Jane, shortly thereafter, teams of FBI agents ransacked the Parks' house. They removed all office files, film negatives, tape recordings, and loppy disks. Jane says these searches happened repeatedly. Apparently, none of the searches or confiscations was legal.
According to his wife, security operative Jerry Parks delivered large sums of money from Mena airport to Vince Foster at a K-Mart parking lot. Mrs. Parks discovers this when she opens her car trunk one day and finds so much cash that she has to sit on the trunk to close it again. She asks her husband whether he is dealing drugs, and he allegedly explains that Foster paid him $1,000 for each trip he took to Mena. Parks said he didn't "know what they were doing, and he didn't care to know. He told me to forget what I'd seen.". . . .Later Evans-Pritchard will write, "Foster was using him as a kind of operative to collect sensitive information on things and do sensitive jobs. Some of this appears to have been done on behalf of Hillary Clinton. . . Foster told him that Hillary wanted it done. Now, my understanding . . . is that she wanted to know how vulnerable he would be in a presidential race on the question of -- how shall I put it? -- his appetites."
According to journalist Philip Weiss, "In 1988, Bill Clinton chose not to run for the presidency, in part out of fear of personal disclosure about his sex life. The story goes--and now we are into rumor/recollection, but it's persuasive--that Hillary Clinton was angry that he had bowed out and wanted a divorce. She compiled a divorce file with her friend, lawyer Vince Foster, involving a number of women in Arkansas. Ultimately she dropped the plan.
Writing of the purported Hillary Clinton divorce draft papers of 1988, journalist Philip Weiss will report: "That file still existed in '93, and the Clintons were scared it would get out. Remember--and this is fact--that on the night of Foster's death in July 93, his office was rifled of files. And the phone records unearthed by Michael Chertoff suggested strongly that Hillary was in on that activity, talking to Maggie Williams and Bernie Nussbaum and as I recall Susan Thomases too, in a series of frenetic calls that night. . . .Two months after Foster died, a former Clinton aide named Luther "Jerry" Parks was murdered gangland style as he drove through Little Rock. ... Parks's son told me that his father had worked with Foster to put together the divorce file, and that he kept a copy of that file, and the Clinton people wanted it. There have been suggestions that Parks was shaking people down with what he knew; and he came to a bad end."
On July 19, 1993 FBI director William Sessions is fired. Clinton personally orders him by phone to turn in his FBI property and leave headquarters. That evening, Clinton security aide Jerry Parks' wife Jane says she overhears a heated telephone conversation with Vince Foster in which her husband says, "You can't give Hillary those files, they've got my name all over them."
Just hours after the search warrant authorizing the raid is signed by a federal magistrate in Little Rock, Vince Foster apparently drives to Ft. Marcy Park without any car keys in a vehicle that changes color over the next few hours, walks across 700 feet of park without accruing any dirt or grass stains, and then shoots himself with a vanishing bullet that leaves only a small amount of blood. Or at least that is what would have to had occurred if official accounts are to be reconciled with the available evidence. There are numerous other anomalies in this quickly-declared suicide. Despite two badly misleading independent counsel reports, Foster's death will remain an unsolved mystery.
Less than three hours after Foster's body is found, his office is secretly searched by Clinton operatives, including Mrs. Clinton's chief of staff. Another search occurs two days later. Meanwhile, US Park Police and FBI agents are not allowed to search the office on grounds of "executive privilege."
Foster's suicide note is withheld from investigators for some 30 hours. The note is in 27 pieces with one other piece missing. Foster's personal diary will be withheld from the special prosecutor for a year despite being covered by a subpoena.
Patrick Knowlton, who stops in the park seventy minutes before Foster's body is found, reports seeing things that do not fit the official version. Declining under pressure to change his story, he is eventually subpoenaed by the Whitewater prosecutor. On that day, he becomes the target of extensive overt harassment and surveillance of a sort used by intelligence agencies to intimidate witnesses.
Jerry Parks, the Clinton security aide in Arkansas, known to have been keeping a dossier on Clinton, is gunned down two months after Foster's death in his car outside of Little Rock. Parks is shot through the rear window of his car and shot three more times, thru the side window, with a 9mm pistol. Parks ran American Contract Services, the business which supplied bodyguards for Clinton during his presidential campaign and the following transition. Bill Clinton still owed him $81,000. Parks had collected detailed data on Clinton's sexual escapades, including pictures and dates. Wife claims federal agents subsequently removed files and computer. She also says that upon learning of Vincent Foster's death, he told her, "I'm a dead man." In 2005, however, a woman claiming to be Parks' daughter will post on the Internet the claim that the murder was done at the behest of a member of the family.
John Clarke, the lawyer for Patrick Knowlton, raised some issues:
-- Can you tell us why no fingerprints were found on (1) the external surface of the gun found in Mr. Foster's hand; (2) the cartridge casing of the bullets found in the gun; (3) Mr. Foster's eyeglasses; (4) Mr. Foster's car; (5) any of the contents in his car; and (6) the torn "suicide" note?
-- Between the hours of 4:30 p.m. and 6:05 p.m., there is a record of six witnesses -- Jennifer Wacha, Judith Doody, Mark Fiest, Todd Hall, Patrick Knowlton and George Gonzalez -- having seen an older brown Honda within the Fort Marcy parking lot, parked in the same spot as Mr. Foster's car was later found. Inasmuch as Mr. Foster's Honda was silver and much newer than the brown Honda described by the witnesses, and inasmuch as Mr. Foster was dead by 4:30, how is it that Mr. Foster's car arrived in the park after he was already dead?
-- Mr. Foster's body was found at Fort Marcy Park with his car but without any car keys. Later that evening William Kennedy and Craig Livingstone showed up at the morgue and so did Mr. Foster's car keys. There are conflicting reports in the record about when Kennedy and Livingstone and the U.S. Park Police arrived at the morgue. Can you explain where William Kennedy and Craig Livingstone were during the five-hour period when Vincent Foster was last seen and his body was discovered?
1996 - The death of ex-CIA director William Colby, allegedly while canoeing, raised a number of questions. For example, Colby left his home unlocked, his computer on, and a partly eaten dinner on the table. Colby had recently become an editor of Strategic Investment a newsletter which was doing investigative reporting on the Vince Foster death.
1996 - The son of the man Vince Foster's widow married is killed in a single car crash against a brick wall. There are reports that he had been talking to reporters and that Neil Moody had discovered something unsettling among his stepmother's private papers and was threatening to go public with it just prior to the beginning of the Democratic National Convention. Witnesses say they saw Neil sitting in his car arguing with another person and suddenly speeding off out of control and hitting a brick wall.
WND, February 2016 - Two investigations, the first led by Robert Fiske and the second by Kenneth Starr, concluded Foster suffered a single, self-inflicted wound. A simple suicide. Case closed.
But newly discovered evidence unearthed from boxes stored deep in the National Archives lend credence to theories about foul play and cover-up that have been hinted at by at least three books and countless articles.
The newest piece to the puzzle was uncovered by two citizen researchers, one of whom was a witness involved in the case from the beginning.
The smoking-gun information comes from two documents: a two-page letter of resignation and a 31-page memo both written by Starr’s lead prosecutor, Miguel Rodriguez.
Rodriguez refers in his letter to photographs showing a wound on Foster’s neck – a wound that did not exist according to accounts in Starr’s official government report.
The obvious questions: How could a suicide victim be found with two wounds – a .38-caliber gunshot into the mouth that exited through his head and another wound on the right side of his neck that one of the paramedics described as a small-caliber bullet hole? And why would the government investigators go to great lengths to cover it up?
The newly discovered evidence has actually been sitting, unnoticed or ignored by the media, in the National Archives and Records Administration for years. In 2009, two documents created by Rodriguez were discovered in the archives by researchers Hugh Turley and Patrick Knowlton.
Rodriguez’s resignation letter to Starr dated Jan. 17, 1995, says he was quitting because evidence was being overlooked in a rush to judgment in favor of suicide and closing the grand-jury investigation..
The Rodriguez letter blows holes in the government’s conclusion that Foster’s body had a single self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“At meetings and via memoranda, I specifically indicated my disagreement that there existed ‘overwhelming evidence’ that Foster committed suicide where he was found at Ft. Marcy Park,” Rodriguez wrote to Starr in his resignation letter.
Rodriguez went on to cite 12 ways the investigation was compromised.
Witness statements had not been accurately reflected in official FBI reports, he told Starr.
Even more troubling was the treatment of death-scene photographs.
The FBI claimed some of the original photos taken by Park Police had been under-exposed and were basically useless. But when Rodriguez found the original images buried in a file, he took them to an independent photo lab used by the Smithsonian Institute and had them enhanced. He was astounded at what they showed. What had once been a blurred spot on the neck, possibly a blood stain as claimed by the FBI, was now clearly something much more.
One of the paramedics, Richard Arthur, described it as a bullet hole about the size of a .22-caliber round.
Rodriguez went on to explain in his resignation letter that immediately after he produced the new photographic evidence he came under personal attack by Starr’s staff.
“After uncovering this information, among other facts, my own conduct was questioned and I was internally investigated,” Rodriguez wrote. “I steadfastly maintained, and continue to maintain, that I, at all times, conducted myself as an experienced and trained prosecutor, with years of federal prosecutorial experience and federal grand jury experience.”
Rodriquez concluded that he believed there was sufficient evidence “to continue the grand jury inquiry into the many questions surrounding Foster’s death.”
Instead, he was told the grand-jury probe would be abruptly ended and his work would be placed under review.
“In effect, for raising the above questions, I was forced out of my job,” he wrote to Starr.
He ended his resignation letter to Starr with a stinging epithet:
“I no longer believe in the dynamics of the decision-making process presently employed in your Washington, D.C., office.”
The other key document found in the National Archives is a 31-page memo from Rodriguez that also refers to the second wound on Foster’s neck.
At pages 18-19 of the memorandum, Rodriguez stated that one of the photos “clearly depicts a dark, burnt appearing, blood area on VF’s neck.”