Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Explanation Requested

As with her husband who apologized ad infinitum for a consensual affair with a young woman, Hillary Clinton has apologized repeatedly. In her case, it was her support for Gulf War II, which sowed the seeds of the Islamic terrorism and civil war, death and destruction, which have gripped the region.

In her 2014 memoir Hard Choices, Clinton had admitted "I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had. And I wasn't alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple." More recently, in May, she explained "I made it very clear that I made a mistake, plain and simple. And I have written about it in my book, I have talked about it in the past."

Senator Biden also made the mistake of voting for the Iraq war resolution.  That was, however, an honest mistake, a case of bad judgement, which should be forgiven. However, well before  his unfortunate vote, as chairman of the Senate Judicial Committee, Biden acted reprehensibly and in a manner which has had serious repercussions for the nation. In an article written last year for The Huffington Post, The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism addressed Senate approval of an unqualified Clarence Thomas for the US Supreme Court:

Another witness was waiting to testify against Thomas, with information that could have helped corroborate Hill's allegations. But Angela Wright, then a North Carolina journalist who had been subpoenaed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and left waiting in a Washington hotel for three days, was never called to testify.

Wright heard Anita Hill and thought, "I believe her because he did it to me." Her testimony might have changed history. She was subpoenaed. Why wasn't she called to testify -- and what would she have said if she had been?

In 1994, Florence George Graves cleared up those mysteries in the Washington Post, revealing the intricate -- and bipartisan -- behind-the-scenes maneuvering by several Senate Judiciary Committee members to discourage Wright's testimony. The article, entitled "The Other Woman," uncovered a surprising agreement among top Republicans and Democrats not to call Wright, apparently because they feared either that her testimony would create even greater political chaos or that it would doom Thomas' nomination.

The article also revealed evidence suggesting that Thomas lied to the Committee. Several senators -- including then-Republican Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, then-Senator Joe Biden (D-Del.), and several other key senators -- told Graves they believed that if Wright had testified, Thomas would not have been confirmed to the Supreme Court, where he has repeatedly voted to narrow the scope of sexual harassment law.

Further information, possibly leaked by Mrs. Clinton's campaign, has been brought to light. An e-mail sent October, 2010 by HRC confidante Sidney Blumenthal included a memorandum by David Brock which in turn, Politico reports, summarized interviews, appearing that week in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Washington's ABC television affiliate, with

Lillian McEwen, a former prosecutor, law professor and judge, who said she was romantically involved with Thomas during the time of the Anita Hill scandal.

McEwen was not subpoenaed to testify by Democrats or Republicans during the infamous October 1991 hearing, even after appealing to then-Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, for whom she had worked on the Judiciary Committee. According to Maureen Dowd's column cited from Oct. 23, 2010, Biden only allowed women who had professional relationships with Thomas to testify.

The memo, titled "Memo on Impeaching Clarence Thomas," cited the Times article in which McEwen called pornography for Thomas "just a part of his personality structure" and that he frequented a Washington store "that catered to his needs" and allegedly bled over into his personal relationships. The assertions stood in contrast with Thomas' sworn testimony in 1991 in which he denied having any sexual discussions with Hill.

The memo also detailed differences between McEwen's 2010 accounts and Thomas' testimony in terms of workplace behavior, including incidents in which Thomas remarked on the size of a woman's breasts or her bra size, as well as making the case for suppression of evidence and intimidating witnesses.

"A fourth woman with knowledge of Thomas's behavior, Kaye Savage, was first named in a 1994 book Strange Justice by Jill Abramson and Jane Mayer. Savage was a close colleague of Thomas's and Hill's in the Reagan Administration. Savage was interviewed by Judiciary Committee staff after she contacted the committee, and a staffer made notes, but she was never called to testify. Her story did not become public until Abramson and Mayer obtained the staff notes and interviewed Savage, who told the authors of visiting Thomas's apartment during the time Hill was working for Thomas and observing stacks of pornographic magazines and all of the walls of the apartment papered with centerfolds of large-breasted nude women," Brock wrote.

"You have the benefit of doubt, Judge," repeated chairperson Biden, a shocking statement from a lawyer, who presumably understands that benefit of the doubt applies specifically to criminal trial. If the Vice-President declares a presidential candidacy, he needs to be asked why he cleared a path for a lifetime job at the highest court in the land for a fellow who has voted against reproductive freedom, voting rights, campaign finance reform and the Affordable Care Act, and in favor of discrimination based on claimed religious belief.

Joe Biden must be asked repeatedly, until a clear and verifiable answer is given.  Senator Biden was not misled, unlike the occasion of the Iraq war vote.  He pampered and appeased Clarence Thomas, who reprehensibly accused the panel, engaged in its constitutional duty of advice and consent, of "a high-tech lynching"  (video, below). No objection was heard, and the race-mongering proved successful.  Although Biden ultimately voted against the nomination, the damage was done- Senators can count votes. Thomas now has stained the High Court for 24 years and without the help of the committee chairperson, he very likely would not have had that chance.

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