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The He-Man Clinton-Haters' Club

The proposed Counter Clinton Library's idea of the "real truth" looks less than truthful.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 12/13/2002

The Clinton-haters are looking more pathologically obsessed every day.

Because things have been too quiet on that front lately, apparently, and also as a way to justify everything they've done over past decade or so, plans have been announced for a monument to their hatred -- a "Counter Clinton Library" to be located in Little Rock, Ark., near the actual and under-construction Clinton presidential library.

A "word from the founders" on the web site of the "library" describes what the project is about -- a repository of nothing but negativity about the Clintons. They have a rationale, of course: "(T)he Clinton Presidential Center and Library – funded by you – the American taxpayer – and by multi-million dollar donations by rich foreigners including Red Chinese and Saudis – is a campaign vehicle to elect Hillary as the next Democratic President and to have Bill Clinton back living in the White House." (Italics theirs.)

A fun fact:

For about two days, between the announcement of the Counter Clinton Library project on NewsMax and talk radio and the indexing of the project's site on Google, the top listing for a Google search of "counter clinton library" was a ConWebWatch story.

The "counter library," the letter states, "will be devoted to setting the record straight about the Clintons’ White House years – and about Hillary’s certain campaign to become the next President of the United States. (Again, italics theirs. The letter is chock full of italics, boldface and capital letters.)

As things stand now, the "library" is somewhere between a joke and a rant, launching a week ago with an announcement on NewsMax and Sean Hannity's radio show. The main public face of the project is John LeBoutillier, a columnist at NewsMax, who has been making the rounds of conservative radio shows (and, of course, Fox News Channel's "Hannity and Colmes") plugging the thing.

There seems to be, however, some hints that there is an uphill road for this little project. One is that LeBoutillier seems to be having trouble convincing people he's serious about this, as a Dec. 10 NewsMax article indicates. Another is that a full week after plans went public, ConWeb compadres WorldNetDaily and -- which took great delight in putting a negative spin on the Clinton library last year -- has yet to say word one about the counter library.

The project's web site has scanty information about the people behind it, "regular" and "concerned Americans" are involved but listing only LeBoutillier. Fortunately, an article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette sheds more light on it than LeBoutillier was willing to divulge on the web site. The person named in the Democrat-Gazette as the person behind the library idea is Richard Erickson, describe as a businessman in Houston.

The library web site also claims that "donations above $250 are partially deductible." But it doesn't say under which IRS statute this will be permitted. (An e-mail from ConWebWatch to the library seeking answers to this and other questions was not answered.) One has to wonder, though, that since the library has an expressed political purpose -- LeBoutillier comes right out and states, boldface and italics and all, that "The Counter Clinton Library will be the headquarters of the Stop Hillary Now campaign" -- if the IRS will consider it a political organization and subject it to those rules -- which might also require a full list of donors be made available to the public. Donations are being directed to a post office box in Little Rock, which is being monitored by a man named Ron Crane, described by the Democrat-Gazette as "a local hospital employee." (What, they couldn't get Parker Dozhier to do it?)

What the library's web site lacks in hard revealing facts, though, it more than makes up for in Clinton-bashing rhetoric that provide a pretty good idea of what we can expect should this thing actually become reality:

  • Though the web site claims the proposed facility will be "within walking distance of the Clinton Library," no specific site has been determined, let alone secured, according to the Democrat-Gazette.
  • Declarations that "Most of the media want to see Hillary become President and they aren't going to do anything to derail her" and that "the left-wing news media are constantly pumping up Hillary’s candidacy for President." are unsupported by any evidence.
  • The facility will allegedly document "the thefts and outright stealing by the Clintons of White House furnishings and artwork." No word on whether the entire story regarding this allegation will be disclosed -- that the Clintons returned items whose ownership had been questioned.
  • A claim that "No President of the United States has used his library to change his legacy..." Huh? Don't all presidential libraries do exactly that -- tell a story that is most beneficial to his legacy? Wouldn't Richard Nixon be the prime example of that? And gee, this summary of Ronald Reagan's life and work at the Reagan library web site says not a thing about his administration's criminality in the Iran-contra affair. If LeBoutillier is so hot about presidential libraries telling the "real truth," perhaps he should start with one already in existence.

The biggest sign, though, that LeBoutillier and Co. have no interest in the "real truth" is the description of the proposed "exit room," which will purportedly depict an "exact recreation of the White House as the Clintons’ left it – trashed, damaged and defiled. ... We will recreate this to show – in the most vivid manner possible – just how much damage the Clintons did to 'the people’s house.'" (Italics theirs.) Will it also note the fact that a General Accounting Office investigation could not find any evidence that "the Clintons" left the White House in any worse condition than the first Bush administration left the White House for Clinton, and that a review by the General Services Administration determined that "the condition of the real property was consistent with what we would expect to encounter when tenants vacate office space after an extended occupancy"?

In support of this, the letter claims, "The COUNTER CLINTON LIBRARY has obtained the explosive 76-page White House staff report on what the Clintons really did to the White House as they left." (Boldface and italics theirs.) That's not the big scoop it's made out to be; the GAO report in which the White House staff report can be found is freely available on the Web. The GAO report also contains 49 pages of rebuttal to the White House's claims, which makes it clear that the Bushies were trying to paint the condition the Clintonites left the White House in the worst possible light. One entry reads:

    The (Bush) White House said that we (the GAO) should revise our "trash" section heading to "trashing of offices." Although some portion of the observations reported in this section could have been "trashing," i.e. vandalism, many of them were only observations of trash and personal items left behind. (p.169)

The GAO also interviewed members of the Clinton administration who moved into the White House in 1993. They reported many of the same things the Bushies said about the Clintonites -- broken furniture, unplugged phones, etc. One former employee reported words carved into desks, including an obscenity.

Will the counter library make any mention of any of this? Don't count on it, just as we cannot count on -- claims of interest in presenting "the truth" and "the facts" to the contrary -- the real truth about the Clintons' accusers to be presented. In the view of LeBoutillier and his fellow travelers, the concepts of exculpatory evidence and being able to question one's accusers do not apply to the Clintons:

  • No mention of the political and financial motivations or personal grudges of many of his accusers be documented, i.e., Linda Tripp's desire for a book contract, Juanita Broaddrick's ties to people with a deep grudge against the Clintons, Kathleen Willey's changing stories, the racism of "Justice" Jim Johnson, etc.
  • No mention of the many thousands of dollars in payments made to accusers by various anti-Clinton interests.
  • No mention of the many disproven allegations made against the Clintons -- for instance, those in the Jerry Falwell-promoted video "The Clinton Chronicles." (For the genuine "real truth" on all this, check out Lyons and Conason's "The Hunting of the President.")
  • And certainly no attempt to put it all in context, no mention of the similar alleged crimes of other presidents, Ronald Reagan's lying under oath and allegations of rape being one example.

A commitment to "the truth" means telling the whole story. This "counter library," though, is looking like yet more slanted anti-Clinton spin told and financed by the usual suspects. Wanna bet Christopher Ruddy is lobbying his NewsMax benefactor, Richard Mellon Scaife, to kick in a couple million as you read this?

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