Frenzy over Bill Clinton recalls Germany in 1936It amazes...


January 31, 1998

Frenzy over Bill Clinton recalls Germany in 1936

It amazes me that the actions of Whitewater independent council Kenneth W. Starr are tolerated.

I strongly object to his tactics and broad scope of power. I think he sometimes feels as if he knows better than us mere mortals, and defends his heavy-handed tactics with such thoughts.

Sometimes I feel like I am living in Germany, and the year is 1936.

Robert J. Lieb


It should come to no one's surprise that during an election year and in a county -- Howard -- that Republican Ellen R. Sauerbrey won during the 1994 gubernatorial election, Linda R. Tripp will not be prosecuted on charges of violating Section 10-402 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

The Maryland legislature apparently wasted its time amending this section last session, because the law apparently will continue to be rarely enforced.

Certainly, the Howard County state's attorney is legally entitled to execute its prosecutorial discretion in cases where the evidence is insufficient or the suspect has somehow either been rehabilitated or made retribution.

State's Attorney Marna McLendon should be bringing charges and seize the evidence rather than wait for Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern who apparently was taped without permission, to file a complaint with a district court commissioner.

Ms. Tripp reportedly stands to earn $2 million as a result of her recordings. Ms. McLendon needs to step in and demonstrate that the phrase "crime doesn't pay" is equally applicable in Howard County, thus upholding her oath to enforce the law rather than worrying about the fall election.

Karl H. Gordon


I'm getting a little sick of seeing and hearing President Clinton's possible sexual indiscretions compared to Watergate.

The allegations that he urged Monica Lewinsky to commit perjury are serious, but frankly, I don't care who he may have slept with.

His wife may have reason to be angry, but it is really none of our business.

All of the "scandals" that get dredged up to hound Clinton, each one given a clever name ending in "gate," of course, pale in comparison with Watergate and the Iran-Contra scandals.

How can the president's promiscuity be compared to the outright abuse of the power and trust of the American people involved in those two scandals?

Ordering and then covering up a criminal break-in and theft from political opponents, and illegally selling arms to terrorist nations and then diverting the taxpayers' money to causes whose funding was specifically cut off by Congress, are crimes worthy of investigation and prosecution.

Carl Aron


Your lead editorial Jan. 27 had the subtitle ''Clinton scandal: Investigation gives priority to lunatic prurience.''

It then cited a handful of important news events and, near the end, said, The press which has violated all of its previous standards ought to go after the real story, the leaks of information from official investigations by persons forbidden by law and regulation to leak it."

Yet, 40 percent of the front page that day, three full inside pages with no advertisements (out of a total of 14 pages in the A section) and the vast majority of the Opinions Commentary page were given over to the media-named ''Clinton crisis.`

Several sayings come to mind: "Physician, heal thyself" or "The lady doth protest too much, methinks" or "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark" or even "Put your money where your mouth is."

Stephen R. Judson


As the person who defended then-Staff Sgt. Delmar G. Simpson in the so-called Aberdeen sex scandal, I am following the president's current situation with a great deal of concern.

The president's secretary and assistant secretary of the Army wasted little time in declaring that any sexual activity between my client and female trainees was necessarily accomplished by "force," and was therefore rape, because, they insisted, there could be no consensual sex between two people of such disparate authority.

Sergeant Simpson was convicted of rape largely on the basis of this theory, and will spend the next 25 years in prison.

I believe the president should be afforded a presumption of innocence, but if the allegations of a sexual relationship are substantiated, I pose this question: Will Mr. Simpson's most senior commander, the commander in chief of the armed forces, be charged with rape and sexual assault?

If "equal treatment under the law" is truly the hallmark of our justice system, then he must be so charged.

For if, as the president's prosecutors and secretaries contended, the imbalance of power between a drill sergeant and a trainee are such that the trainee cannot refuse a sexual encounter, then the mind can hardly fathom of the imbalance of power between the president and his 21-year-old intern.

dward W. Brady


Sometimes popular culture comes up with the perfect metaphor, as film director James Cameron did for the present Clinton situation.

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