I predicted it. As Rush Limbaugh would say: "See, I told you so." I warned you that if Bill Clinton was not held accountable for his many abuses of power that the corruption would only continue and intensify in his last days in office.
Heck, I didn't even need to tell you. Clinton told us long before I mentioned it.
Just one day after his re-election as president, Clinton told his political supporters in Arkansas that he would devote a lot of time in his second term to going after detractors who pursued him on Whitewater and other ethical questions. He also called political attackers "a cancer" and vowed to "cut (them) out of American politics."
That's just what Clinton continues to do today. The latest victim of his wrath is Juanita Broaddrick. Brutally raped once by Clinton when he was Arkansas attorney general, now she's being targeted by the most feared agency in the federal government -- the Internal Revenue Service -- for blowing the whistle on the creep.
That's right. Read it and weep. Broaddrick is the latest of dozens of high-profile "Clinton enemies" who has "coincidentally" been audited during his tenure in the White House. Others include Paula Jones, Elizabeth Ward Gracen, Gennifer Flowers and Billy Dale. Organizations targeted by the IRS include the National Rifle Association, Citizens Against Government Waste, the Heritage Foundation, the American Spectator, the National Review and, of course, my own group, the Western Journalism Center.
IRS-gate, as Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch has dubbed it, has been the most overlooked scandal of the Clinton administration. And that's precisely why the IRS remains an effective weapon in Clinton's arsenal even in his last days in office. Had most Americans been made aware of the pattern of political audits first exposed by me in the Wall Street Journal in 1996, Clinton could not get away with the continued abuse of the agency.
But most people don't know. And that's the problem. It is still easy for Clinton to use the IRS to target his most visible adversaries -- to use the federal government as his own tool of personal revenge -- because most people have not been exposed to the truth.
When Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation issued its whitewash report on the trail of political audits, members of Congress armed Clinton with a hunting license on his enemies. It was as if none of the suspicious audits of the previous seven years ever happened. The books were wiped clean.
And that's what not only made the audit of Juanita Broaddrick's nursing home possible, but made it inevitable.
When criminals are not held accountable for their crimes, they seldom say: "Gee, I was lucky. Now I'll clean up my act and take the straight-and-narrow path from now on." No, it doesn't work like that. When criminals get away with crimes, they feel invulnerable. And that's the way Clinton felt after the Senate found him not guilty of impeachable offenses after his Paula Jones legal victory and after Congress let him skate again for abusing the IRS.
For at least two years I've been hearing from some members of Congress who say: 'Relax, Clinton will be out of power soon. We can't touch him now but how much harm can he do by finishing his term of office?"
That's the kind of mentality that leads to continued abuses like this -- not only by the current president, mind you, but by his successors as well.
Clinton has not only dumbed down Americans' expectations of their president. By getting away with so much corruption in the White House, he has created precedent for the future.
Is the next president going to be permitted to use the IRS to pursue political enemies? Absolutely. This is a new perk of the office. Whether the next political huckster at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is Al Gore or George W. Bush, he will expect the same privileges?
In other words, the political rights of dissenting Americans are a thing of the past. We're now a banana republic in every sense of the word.
Is it too late to do anything? I don't think so. Call me an eternal optimist, but I believe that if Americans would awaken from their fat and sassy slumber and get angry about this kind of outrage, it would still be possible to hold Clinton accountable for his crimes.
Clinton has victimized every American with his abuse of power. But we don't have to let him get away with the murder of our cherished constitutional system and our civic values of personal freedom and free expression.
It's time to stand up and demand accountability --
from your congressman, from the establishment media and from your friends and neighbors.
Don't let this man leave office unpunished.
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