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Friday, May 12, 2006

Hey, Democrats, the Truth Matters!

My book, Secrecy & Privilege, opens with a scene in spring 1994 when a guest at a White House social event asks Bill Clinton why his administration didn’t pursue unresolved scandals from the Reagan-Bush era, such as the Iraqgate secret support for Saddam Hussein’s government and clandestine arms shipments to Iran.
 
Clinton responds to the questions from the guest, documentary filmmaker Stuart Sender, by saying, in effect, that those historical questions had to take a back seat to Clinton’s domestic agenda and his desire for greater bipartisanship with the Republicans.
 
Clinton “didn’t feel that it was a good idea to pursue these investigations because he was going to have to work with these people,” Sender told me in an interview. “He was going to try to work with these guys, compromise, build working relationships.”
 
Clinton’s relatively low regard for the value of truth and accountability is relevant again today because other centrist Democrats are urging their party to give George W. Bush’s administration a similar pass if the Democrats win one or both houses of Congress.
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