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Ah, ah, ah! Let's play nice...

Reader comment on item: The Deceits of Bridges TV
in response to reader comment: Rabbi Hirschfield

Submitted by Merry Whitney (United States), Mar 1, 2009 at 01:46

Dear Ianus,

You're very welcome, and I apologize for misreading your name. I must plead ignorance about Rabbi Hirschfield's motives, prior comments or history, and bank account. I hope your suspicions are wrong, but I simply don't know enough about him or his involvements to agree, disagree, or even to have an opinion.

And, I can certainly identify with similar suspicions about motives, conflicts of interest, and possible financial incentives from domestic interests (such as "Friends of Angelo" receiving VIP mortgage loan favors on personal property) to some US politicians.

However, I must object to allegations that Saudi (or other foreign) interests have been "buying guys like B. Clinton, G.W. Bush, D. Cheney, etc." These "guys" are two former US Presidents and one VP. In terms of personal fortunes, both Bush and Cheney took cuts in income to enter the public service arena. Money is simply not their primary motivation, and both are to-the-bone patriots. Idealogical differences aside, in terms of compromising in any way, for any amount of "treasure," the national interest or national security of this country, Bush and Cheney are, like Caesar's wife, above suspicion.

Unlike Bush and Cheney, Bill Clinton was not among the moneyed class during his entry into national political prominence --- it was widely rumored that during his Arkansas-governance days he habitually walked around with little or no cash and simply let any tabs for "coffee and" or whatever, be paid by whoever was near. His lack of financial substance and relatively low income as Governor ($36,000 per annum) in fact, was the reason Jim McDougal brought Bill and Hillary into the Madison Guarantee/Whitewater venture, paying himself the initial investment for their buy-in. A loyal friend, McDougal sincerely believed it outrageous that a man of Clinton's capabilities and responsibilities should be so under-rewarded.

Hillary's income at the Rose Law Firm was better, certainly after Bill became Governor, and her singular success in futures trading does defy the laws of probability. And, I'd hate to have to be one of the Clintons, attached to a polygraph machine answering questions about (their) income tax return(s). That said, their legitimate opportunities for making their own fortunes expanded exponentially once they'd established national prominence. Between book deals, business and investment opportunities, they've done just fine.

There is a concern, to me, with foreign donations to the Clinton Library fund, primarily because Hillary is now Secretary of State and there could be an obvious conflict of interest there --- but that's just a concern, not an indictment. There is no evidence that I'm aware of suggesting any type of quid pro quo, during the Clinton Presidency of since.

My point is --- to make a short story long --- an allegation of foreign powers "buying guys like" two US Presidents and one US VP is an overt accusation of treason against three men whose contributions to the United States and, for that matter, to the entire world, absolutely dwarf the collective efforts of most of the rest of us. Such allegations cannot and must not be thrown around without, if not irrefutable proof, at least a bit of hard evidence.

Merry

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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