Illicit relationship is not the worst thing a president...

Letters to the Editor

August 27, 1998

Illicit relationship is not the worst thing a president could do

I have been trying to think of things that Bill Clinton could have done that would be worse than his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky. This is the scenario I came up with:

He could contradict American foreign policy but deny he was doing it. For example, he could declare that we, as a nation, will not negotiate with terrorists, but his administration could secretly try to swap arms for hostages being held by terrorists.

To make it worse, he could have money that we take in from that violation of foreign policy and funnel it to Central American anti-government forces, in direct violation of an act of Congress. He could deny that publicly, too -- you know, lie about it.

Then he could arm a pack of his stooges -- people with names like North, Poindexter and Hall -- with paper-shredders and excuses, send them up to Congress and have them lie, too.

The problem with this scenario is that it was done already, and the only thing that happened to that president was that he got an airport named after him.

alen J. White


Ridiculous to suggest 'Wag the Dog' motive

Thanks, Laura Lippman, for bringing perspective to a very muddled picture ("Art isn't fast enough to imitate life," Aug. 21).

Yes, President Clinton was immoral. Yes, he was incredibly stupid. But to concoct a "Wag the Dog" scenario to distract the country and the world is equally incredible.

A few hours of television without the bereted Monica Lewinsky does come as a welcome relief and probably a fortuitous, albeit short, diversion.

But can anyone presume to imagine a conspiracy that includes Newt Gingrich, Trent Lott and Orrin Hatch to help Clinton's cause?

As the kids say, "Get real."

Charlotte A. Waxman

Owings Mills

Prurient media to blame for latter-day Javert probe

I have been a Sun reader for 22 years, since coming here with my wife from New York City, and have generally admired the editorial positions the newspaper has taken. I was particularly impressed with your editorial, "Telling a scandal from a crime" (Aug. 8).

I believe you correctly analyzed the true nature of the Starr investigation and its terrible consequences for President Clinton's reputation.

However, in all candor, I must say that Monica Lewinsky's future reputation is of no concern to me.

The end of your editorial properly emphasizes that the good name of the republic has been ruined. I disagree, however, that the president is one of those who "perpetrated" this scandal, as stated. The perpetrators are Ms. Lewinsky, Linda Tripp, Kenneth Starr, those who appointed him, those who have supported him with legal decisions and last -- by no means least -- the prurient media.

Your newspaper is an integral component of the prurient media.

Is it possible that, after months and months of continual accusations (many unsubstantiated), in various articles and front-page headlines and stories, you have finally begun to feel some conscience and remorse? Is it possible that, unlike Mr. Starr, you have finally yielded to sensibility, compassion and pragmatic judgment?

Surely you must have realized early on that Mr. Starr was nothing more than a latter-day Inspector Javert in "Les Miserables," nothing more than a latter-day medieval inquisitor.

From the very beginning of this travesty, it must have been clear to you that the president's reputation and authority would be besmirched. Now, they have been irretrievably lost.

The Sun and all the other newspapers and television and radio stations in the nation could have done a great deal to responsibly bring a halt to this nauseating display.

Your editorial of Aug. 8 was too little, too late.

Herman I. Milovitz


One more line was needed in president's speech

There was only one thing missing from President Clinton's speech -- his resignation.

ary E. Becker


Support Clinton, try Tripp, make Lewinsky apologize

I strongly support President Clinton's bombing of the targets in Sudan and Afghanistan.

I have been following his actions closely for the past seven months, although I do not believe he should have engaged in any contact, of any kind, with Monica Lewinsky.

I think people forget that Linda Tripp, who had been unable to lTC get a book deal, turned her tapes and diary over to independent counsel Kenneth Starr. She was much older than Ms. Lewinsky and should be tried in Maryland for taping their conversations when Ms. Lewinsky thought she was her friend.

As for all the comments that the president should have apologized to Ms. Lewinsky, why shouldn't she have to apologize to us for the infatuation she had for the president?

After all, she had to be transferred to the Pentagon so she would stop hanging around the Oval Office.

Phyllis Shimonkevitz


Elections are bought in politics today

The recent withdrawal of Eileen Rehrmann from the Democratic primary race because of lack of money underlines a cold, hard fact of political life in late 20th century America.

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