While we're on the subject, has everybody already forgotten about "Jackie" of Rolling Stone and University of Virginia fame? Or Crystal Mangum, who falsely accused several Duke lacrosse players of rape (supported by a large contingent of the faculty) and who was subsequently convicted of stabbing her boyfriend to death?

So yes, women do lie about sex for any number of reasons, often unfathomable. Revenge, jealousy, money, psychosis, etc. I wrote a book called "Widow's Web" about a woman who tried to frame a man for murdering his wife -- renting a motel room, claiming he'd shacked up with her and brought cash to pay the hit men she'd hired. Problem was, he was halfway across the state at the time, visiting a client inside the state penitentiary -- an airtight alibi.

Otherwise, who knows?

Much of the state's news media was hankering to convict the poor man, based upon wildly erroneous leaks about the fortune he supposedly inherited by his wife's death. In fact, he'd lost everything.

OK, so that was an extreme case. But then so was Kenneth Starr's mad "Whitewater" sexual witch hunt, commencing years before he found Monica Lewinsky. So I'm sorry, but when I read a column like Michelle Goldberg's "I Believe Juanita," I'm tempted to ask if the New York Times' newly minted liberal columnist also believes in Tinker Bell, the Easter Bunny ...

It's not about Bill Clinton as much as it's an ideological gesture.

Maybe something happened between then-Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton and Juanita Broaddrick in a Little Rock hotel room in 1979. Also, maybe not. However, to accuse a man of a vile crime like rape requires serious evidence. And I'm sorry, but there simply never was any, apart from Broaddrick's unverifiable tale -- one she'd previously denied three times under oath and penalty of perjury.

Then after falling into the hands of Starr and his team of prosecutorial bedsheet sniffers, she sang a different tune. All these liberal thinkers -- Caitlin Flanagan, Matthew Yglesias, Chris Hayes -- currently seeking cheap grace by vouching for Broaddrick and other of Clinton's accusers can brush up on Starr's leak-o-matic sex probe by reading Joe Conason's and my book "The Hunting of the President." Or even better in this context, Susan McDougal's "The Woman Who Wouldn't Talk."

Remember her? Starr kept McDougal locked up for 18 months after she refused to give grand jury testimony in what she believed was a perjury trap. Unless she confirmed her ex-husband Jim's desperate post-conviction Whitewater lies incriminating both Clintons, Susan feared Starr would prosecute her. They had no other credible evidence.

Something else McDougal was expected to confirm was her (non-existent) sexual affair with Bill Clinton.

So she sat tight. Starr's prosecutors charged her with criminal obstruction of justice in May 1998. She testified in open court for three days, and a Little Rock jury acquitted her. Just as a jury in Alexandria, Virginia, failed to convict Julie Hiatt Steele of obstruction for refusing to affirm what she called her former friend Kathleen Willey's lies concerning Bill Clinton.

Remember, all this was going on contemporaneous with Broaddrick's falling into Starr's clutches. How that happened was she'd filed an affidavit and given a sworn deposition in the Paula Jones lawsuit.

"During the 1992 Presidential campaign," Broaddrick swore, "there were unfounded rumors and stories circulated that Mr. Clinton had made unwelcome sexual advances toward me in the late '70s. Newspaper and tabloid reporters hounded me and my family, seeking corroboration of these tales. I repeatedly denied the allegations and requested that my family's privacy be respected. These allegations are untrue and I had hoped that they would no longer haunt me, or cause further disruption to my family."

So no, I don't know, and neither do you.

This too: Juanita Broaddrick ran a nursing home facility reliant on Medicaid and Medicare funding -- a motherlode of potential federal crimes. Not because she was crooked. There's zero evidence of that. But that wouldn't have mattered once Starr's prosecutors put her on the rack.

You wouldn't have thought they'd question the legality of Steele's adopted child either. But they did.

So did Juanita choose the easier path? Which time?

The FBI couldn't decide.

In sum, the same "liberal" media that fed from Starr's hands back then is still doing so regarding Bill Clinton -- even after Starr ran around Waco in a cheerleader suit while the Baylor University football team racked up dozens of rape allegations.

Yes, Clinton had a spectacularly ill-advised Oval Office affair. But if adultery were a crime, a homicide cop once told me, "the prisons would be bigger than the graveyards." Nor does adultery make anybody a rapist.

As for the "power imbalance" people prate about, get real. From the moment the big dope gave in to temptation, Monica Lewinsky had his life and reputation in her hands.

Not that it's ever done her any good.

Arkansas Times columnist Gene Lyons is a National Magazine Award winner and co-author of "The Hunting of the President" (St. Martin's Press, 2000). You can email Lyons at eugenelyons2@yahoo.com

0
0
0
0
1

Load comments