Sunday, October 4, 2009

Still 'Clinton Crazy' after all these years, Philip Weiss touts Vince Foster conspiracy theory

Journalist Philip Weiss is touting an anti-Clinton conspiracy theory concerning the death of Clinton attorney Vince Foster which was widely promoted by the right during the Clinton administration. On his blog Mondoweiss: The War of Ideas in the Middle East (read here), Weiss promotes the idea that Foster was assassinated by a Clinton administration hit man to cover up the existence of a list of Clinton's past sexual peccadilloes which Foster purportedly had in his possession.

Those who are getting long of tooth will remember that this charge was among the many promulgated by the right during their Clinton era feeding frenzy. The allegations were thoroughly investigated by Special Prosecutor Ken Starr and found to be baseless; Vince Foster committed suicide. In spite of this finding, conservative media outlets such as Fox News, the Washington Times and American Spectator continued to promote the Foster assassination conspiracy theory. Sean Hannity continues to promote it on his Fox News program. (Read here.)

Weiss was motivated to dredge up this right-wing conspiracy theory having seen on television an interview of historian Taylor Branch concerning The Clinton Tapes, Branch's new book of Clinton interviews. Branch and his interviewer apparently mocked the Vince Foster conspiracy theories, thus getting on Weiss' fighting side.

This is not the first time Weiss has written about this subject, his having written an article concerning these conspiracy theories which was published in the New York Times Magazine back in 1997 (read here). Both that article and this new one deal with accusations by one Gary Parks, whose father, Jerry Parks, did security for the Clinton campaign's Little Rock headquarters during the 1992 presidential campaign.

Back in 1997, Weiss wrote of the senior Parks:

"He was a big man who is sometimes described as a bully, and in 1991 he contracted to provide private security for the Clinton campaign headquarters in Little Rock."
(Somehow, in the intervening years, Weiss has promoted Parks from security contractor to "Clinton aide".)

In 1993, Jerry Parks was gunned down gangland style as he drove in Little Rock. According to Weiss' Times article, Gary Parks was so upset by his fathers murder that he

"walked off his job as the ''go-to guy'' at a car dealership. Later, he told me, he ran a female escort service."

I'm not sure what a "go-to guy" is as a job title, but is Weiss saying that Gary Parks went from working as a used-car salesman to working as a pimp? (The euphemisms are flying fast and furious in Weiss' article, so my apologies to Mr. Parks if I'm reading the sentence incorrectly.) To shore up Parks' bona fides, however, Weiss informs us that Parks turned down big money from the National Enquirer for his story.

What is this story? In a nutshell, Gary Parks told Weiss, and Weiss believed, that Vince Foster was hired by Hilary Clinton to prepare for the Clintons' divorce. That divorce was planned by Hilary Clinton, Weiss writes, in her fury over Bill Clinton's decision not to seek the presidency in 1988. Weiss credulously reports Gary Parks' allegation that Foster's prep for the Clinton divorce included preparation of a Bill Clinton peccadilloes list, a job Parks claims his father was hired to do.

However, Weiss' article in the Times reveals several facts that indicate that this theory is far from bullet-proof. It says that Jerry Parks was no angel and that others had both motive and opportunity to kill him. It quotes the Little Rock homicide detective who investigated the case to the effect that Gary Parks had not one shred of evidence for his accusations. It also says of Gary Parks that he

"cooperated with the makers of a Clinton-bashing mail-order video. ''I feel that Bill Clinton had my father killed,'' Parks says on the tape, offering no evidence. Parks now feels he got carried away: ''I'm the first to admit some of the things I said on the video were wrong. I'd just come out of my trance. I don't think my head was completely back on straight.'' "

Weiss does not indicate whether Parks was paid for his appearance in the anti-Clinton video, and that gap in his reporting may get to the heart of the matter. He may not want to know. (He also doesn't identify the inaccurate statements Parks admitted to having made in that video, preferring to imply that there was a Clinton connection to Jerry Parks' killing, without actually saying what that connection might be.) However, he does admit that Parks made a career of sorts promoting this conspiracy theory for far-right, "militia types", who got Parks radio interviews around the country, set him up in a job at a Colorado ski resort, and arranged for a place for him to stay. All of this goes to a potential motive for Gary Parks to promote the conspiracy theory. Weiss' 1997 article goes on at great length about the radical far-right anti-government motivation of some of those who promoted this theory. We already know of the cynical, partisan motivation of mainstream Republicans who promoted it.

Somehow, all this seems to have slipped Philip Weiss' mind over the past 12 years. Now, not only is Gary Parks' version of Vince Foster's death plausible, the need to qualify Parks' claims with any facts which call his reliability into question has evaporated. Weiss cites anonymous sources in the passive voice to accuse Clinton -- like ghosts speaking through a medium's Ouija board -- and alludes to a cumulus cloud of vague charges.

"There have been suggestions that (Jerry) Parks was shaking people down with what he knew; and he came to a bad end. We are talking about a situation in which two Clinton aides [i.e. Parks and Foster] die of mysterious violent causes inside of 2 months. And the pattern is consistent with what Kathleen Willey experienced, Gennifer Flowers experienced, and Linda Tripp too: If you knew something about Bill Clinton’s sex life, that was dangerous information. No wonder there are guns in Primary Colors."

Philip Weiss is right. No wonder the entertaining, shallow, stereotype-laden novel by Joe Klein and the movie starring John Travolta had guns in them. The conspiracy theory must be true.

Weiss should refresh his memory a bit. He could start by remembering the title of his article about those whose theories he now touts. It was called "Clinton Crazies". He's become one of them.

Philip Weiss

Afterthought: Weiss has a longer, more involved history with the Vince Foster story than I was previously aware of. He not only wrote about it at the time , in the years since has blogged about it repeatedly. He's expressed some strong, sometimes contradictory emotions about the matter, showing that his motive may be based less on the facts of the case than on anti-Clinton bias. Strangely, he's also attacked Foster, the purported victim of the conspiracy, as "a rube ... with a huge superego". Weiss may not know much about Freudian psychoanalysis, but he knows what he doesn't like.

Check out what he wrote here about his confused personal feelings about this matter and tell me what on earth this guy can be thinking. He writes there of his motivation for believing in this conspiracy.
"I liked Gary Parks. I felt he was honest and smart. His assessment of Bill Clinton’s personality was the best I heard. He said if Bill Clinton had gone to bed with your sister and then screwed her over, and you were enraged with him, he could walk in the room and ten minutes later you’d have forgotten about it completely, he was that seductive."

By the way, maybe the question posed by this Daily Kos post provides a good subject for a Weiss follow-up: "Did Obama's Birth Certificate Kill Vince Foster?"


Rebecca said...

I would say that Weiss is confused about a lot of things, including his own Jewish identity.

Jerri Denise said...

Gary Wayne Parks was arrested December 22, 2009 for the murder of his step-father, Dr. David Millstein.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Adam Holland said...

A reader named Robert Morrow has submitted several comments elaborating on the bizarre conspiracy theories concerning the Clinton administration. I've decided to delete them because they appear to be libelous in that they state as facts things that no person in good faith could actually believe. If you want to read this stuff, google his name.

Anonymous said...

It's not "libelous" if its true, Adam Holland. Maybe you are just IGNORANT about the ugly reality of the Clintons. I am the nation's #1 anti-Hillary activist and #1 opposition researcher on Clinton pond scum. And yes they may very well have murdered Jerry Parks 9-26-93 because he knew not just all about wild Bill's massive affairs but about the Clinton/Bush/CIA drug trade of the 1980's ... and yes Chelsea is the biological daughter of Webb Hubbell NOT Bill Clinton. Betcha you didn't know that did you. There is a LOT of stuff you don't know about this dysfunctional pair of jokers...


Dear American Friend,
I have attached my “Hillary file” which is culled from the 205+ books and other media that I have on Hillary and Bill. The Clintons are thugs. On the campaign trail in 2007 Hillary and Bill are play acting as the loving, respectful couple – singing each other’s praises on stage and engaging in public affection as they troll for votes.
In order to understand Hillary and Bill, one must first understand the wildly dysfunctional Jerry Springer lifestyle they have lived for 36 years. Hillary has covered for Bill who not only has had HUNDREDS of women, but also perpetrated several rapes and vicious sexual assaults, often involving biting the lips of the women victims. In order to cover up this Jerry Springer chaos, Hillary has often used Sopranos tactics: a secret police and criminal intimidation tactics to harass, intimidate and terrify Bill’s sex victims and girlfriends.


These tactics include the savage beating/almost murder of Gennifer Flower’s neighbor (Gary Johnson – 6/26/92), criminal harassment campaigns on Kathleen Willey (1997-98 car vandalism, stole or killed her cat Bullseye, witness tampering), Liz Ward Gracen (who Bill probably raped [1983] while she was Miss America – harassed/threats, 1997), Gennifer Flowers (break-ins, threats, 1992), Sally Perdue (car vandalism, threats, 1992), Bobbie Ann Williams (break-in), Christy Zercher (a flight attendant, groped 1992, break-in, 1994), Patrick Knowlton (extreme harassment campaign Oct. 1995; witness tampering), Suzi Parker (a journalist harassed off Arkansas tainted prison blood scandal 1999, fearing for her life), Connie Hamzy (lying campaign, 1991) and Juanita Broaddrick (raped by Bill 1978, break-in and IRS audit when she went public in 1998). It is not a stretch to say that Hillary, Bill and Buddy Young may have organized the murder of their former contract employee Jerry Parks on 9/26/93 because he knew too much about the Clintons.
Hillary and Bill were well on the way to crucifying Monica Lewinsky as an unstable stalker, liar and fantasist - – and would have done so if Bill’s semen had not been found on Monica’s blue dress. Hillary’s private eyes were already digging into Monica’s past, when the real story was the Clintons’ criminal track record.


adamhollandblog [AT] gmail [DOT] com