Steamboat Springs As Colorado reaches Super Tuesday, I'd like to ask my friends on the left to resist the urge to nominate Hillary Clinton. My request is not entirely political. It is based on my former life in Washington, D.C.
For two decades, I was a D.C. private investigator. I worked the gamut from murder to corruption to terrorism. When it comes to corruption, I worked cases from one end of the political spectrum to the other - from D.C. Mayor Marion Barry to Interior Secretary James Watt. Two cases give me pause when contemplating another Clinton presidency.
In 1997, Hani Sayegh was nabbed by the U.S. Sayegh was wanted for the '96 bombing of Khobar Towers, a U.S. military facility in Saudi Arabia. The attack killed 19 Americans. The Washington Post described Sayegh as "a member of a terrorist group known as Saudi Hezbollah, [who] scouted an apartment building housing U.S. military personnel at Dharhan in advance of the bombing and drove one of three vehicles involved in the attack : (t)he explosion:was characterized by President Clinton as an act of war against the United States. U.S. authorities have said it was coordinated by Hezbollah, or Party of God, an Iranian-backed militant Islamic group :"
After appointment by a federal judge to work the Sayegh case, I spent the summer at a safehouse working with Sayegh's attorney to see if Sayegh would cooperate with the U.S. While I am prevented from disclosing what I learned directly from Sayegh, I can say I constantly had a larger question running through my mind. The question remains today. Why did the Clinton administration treat Sayegh as a criminal defendant instead of an enemy combatant?
Since that time, I've concluded Clinton's handling of the Khobar bombing - and other terrorist acts - emboldened our enemies including al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden, another Saudi. In a perverted quirk of history, Clinton dropped charges against Sayegh on Sep. 11, 1997. Sayegh was deported to Saudi Arabia, where he remains today.
In January 1998, the attorney I worked the Sayegh matter with was retained by an unknown White House intern named Monica Lewinsky. Within days, the story of the president's affair became public while the president lied to the American people and, more significantly, a grand jury. Hillary Clinton claimed there was a "vast right-wing conspiracy" out to get her husband. During the investigation, I had an inside view of the players and ugly tactics involved in the effort to save the Clintons.
That time, those tactics, and the participants, should never be revisited upon our country.
You may argue it is unfair to project the policies of Bill Clinton as president, and Hillary Clinton acting as spouse, upon how Hillary Clinton would perform as president. I believe it is fair. Indeed, it's the Clintons who've encouraged the notion of a two-for-one presidency. Following last Thursday night's debate, Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame correctly opined that it now is the Clintons running for the presidency - not just Hillary.
I believe there are other reasons we will return to the worst policies and tactics of the Clintons.
Hillary was in fact a close adviser to her husband and a student of his failed policy vis-Ã -vis terrorism. That fact, coupled with her stated intent to withdraw from Iraq without regard to conditions on the ground, leads me to believe she will return to treating acts of terrorism as crime - not war.
Further, the recent ploy by the Clintons to attack Barack Obama and pit the Hispanic wing of the party against African-Americans is deplorable. These are the same tactics used during the impeachment and have finally given many Democrats pause. Indeed, Sen. Ed Kennedy publicly rebuked the Clintons by anointing Obama as the JFK of his generation, signaling that many Democrats are done with the Clintons.
One final reason I ask all to say no to Hillary. When the November election arrives, I'll be just shy of the half-century mark. Yet, in every election I've been old enough to vote, there has been a Bush, a Clinton or both on the ballot. That's 28 years of the Bush and Clinton families dominating the electoral landscape.
Enough is enough.