In a court of law, eyewitness testimony is highly privileged, considered “first-hand” evidence most worthy of consideration. So too historians relentlessly seek out “primary” sources—eyewitness accounts showing “how it actually was.” Eyewitnesses may, of course, render skewed accounts—shaped by personal biases or faulty memories or delimited vision. They may very well be a bit inarticulate and disjointed in telling their stories. So juries and historians take such things into account and try to put everything in its proper context. But in the final analysis eyewitness testimony and primary sources provide us our surest route to historical truth.
One recent eye-witness account meriting attention is Gary J. Byrne’s Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate (New York: Center Street, c. 2016). After serving in the Air Force, Byrne realized his vocational aspirations and became “an elite White House Secret Service officer, a member of its Uniformed Division,” entrusted with guarding the President, his family and staff. He began his assignment when George H.W. Bush (affectionately referred to as “Papa Bush”) was still President. “I assumed every president would follow Papa Bush’s example,” Byrne says. “The work ethic, love of country, work environment, and respect for the people serving would be constant, and politics would never matter” (p. 36).
But his high regard for the Bush family turned to anguish as he watched the Clintons occupy the White House and witnessed first hand—among other things—the Monica Lewinsky affair. In addition: he “saw a lot more. I saw Hillary, too. I witnessed her obscenity-laced tirades, her shifting of blame” (p. ix) and other traits disqualifying her from most any high office, much less the presidency. He and his fellow officers “were measured by the highest of ethical requirements” while “[t]hose at the very pinnacles of power held themselves to the very lowest standards—or to none whatsoever” (p. x). “The Clintons are crass. Papa Bush is class” (p. 277). To Bryne, Hillary “simply lacks the integrity and temperament to serve in the office. From the bottom of my soul I know this to be true. So I must speak out” (p. xi).
Byrne’s critical comments are confirmed and underscored by other agents, who provided Ron Kessler the information recorded In The President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect—an historical narrative of the agency. In the chapter devoted to the Clintons, Kessler says that Bill was charming, if utterly undisciplined, but “Hillary Clinton could make Richard Nixon look benign. Everyone on the residence staff recalled what happened when Christopher B. Emery, a White House usher, committed the sin of returning Barbara Bush’s call after she had left the White house. Emery had helped Barbara learn to use her laptop. Now she was having computer trouble. Twice Emery helped her out. For that Hillary Clinton fired him” (p. 146). He would then be unemployed for a year, thanks to the vindictive First Lady! One agent said: “‘When she’s in front of the lights, she turns it on, and when the lights are off and she’s away from the lights, she’s a totally different person.’” Off stage she was “‘very angry and sarcastic and is very hard on her staff. She yells at them and complains.’” Though publically she pretended to adore the agents assigned to protect her, she “‘did not speak to us. We spent years with her. She never said thank you’” (p. 147). That other agents share Byrne’s disdain for Hillary lends his account considerable credibility!
Agent Byrne first encountered the Clintons in 1992 when he worked at some of the candidate’s campaign rallies. Chatting with a sheriff from Arkansas, he mentioned the many rumors then revolving around the Clintons. The sheriff “gave me a thousand-yard stare. ‘Let me tell you something, Gary. Everything—everything they say about them is true. The Clintons are ruthless. And [the media-led public] don’t even know the half of it’” (p. 39). The next six years amply proved to Byrne the truth of that sheriff’s assertion. The polite, orderly White House deteriorated into “helter-skelter” chaos as the Clinton crew failed to “focus, pace themselves, or even delegate. Staff wore jeans and T-shirts and faced each problem with grand ideological bull sessions” (p. 50). Hillary Clinton’s “doting, barely post-adolescent staffers resembled enabling, weak-willed parents. She threw massive tantrums” (p. 56) which only intensified as the years passed. Her friendly, empathetic public facade belayed the private fury evident in “antics [that] made my job interesting. She’d explode in my face without reservation or decorum, then confide in some visiting VIP, ‘This is one of my favorite officers, Gary Byrne’” (p. 60).
Byrne provides important details regarding various scandals and insights into personalities in the Clinton White House, but he is best known for his testimony regarding the Monica Lewinsky affair that figured largely in the impeachment of the president. She was what the secret service called a “straphanger” or “loiter”—a young volunteer intern with political connections, wondering about the White House seeking access to powerful persons. Lewinsky clearly stalked President Clinton, doing everything possible to frustrate the agents who tried to shield him from her advances. But rather quickly it became an open secret that she and Clinton were having an affair—one many such trysts the president engaged in while living in the White House, including sessions with Eleanor Mondale, the daughter of the former vice president. Still more, a fellow agent told Byrne: “‘You have no idea what it’s like on the road’” (p. 107), where women regularly traipsed in and out of Clinton’s quarters. He “had difficulty managing where he saw his many mistresses, whether it was at the White House or on the road. It baffled the Uniformed Division as to how he could manage all these women without any of them realizing there were so many others. We wondered how he got any work done and joked that he would have been better at running a brothel in a red-light district than the white House” (p. 127).
After encountering Lewinsky, President Clinton put her on the White House payroll and gave her his top-secret phone number so they could have intimate talks. To Byrne: “paying a mistress with taxpayer funds and giving her security clearance? These were new lows” (p. 111). Ultimately the semen-stained blue dress would prove the president guilty of perjury and lead to his impeachment. Then when special prosecutor Ken Starr, investigating Clinton’s affair with Paula Jones, learned of the Lewinsky affair, he brought the weight of the Justice Department to bear on Byrne, seeking information helpful to his investigation. So very much against his will he was subpoenaed and forced to tell what he had observed in the White House. Testifying via videotape before a grand jury, he would soon be seen by the nation on C-SPAN—though he had been promised his testimony would remain sealed. As a Secret Service agent he had vowed to protect the president—committed to never revealing “information that might jeopardize [his] safety and security”—so he refused to discuss certain things. But as a citizen he had to reveal certain details relevant to the Starr inquiry. Consequently, he became one of the most important under-oath witnesses regarding the Clintons’ behavior in the White House.
Now safely removed from that crisis-ridden epoch, Byrne can look back and assess it. While testifying, he remembered that Arkansas sheriff’s words regarding the Clintons’ ruthlessness, and he confesses to fearing them and what might happen to him and his family because of his testimony. Still more, he’s outraged: “I was compelled to tell the truth, but why the hell was neither the president nor Mrs. Clinton ever really compelled to tell the damn truth?” (p. 165). Bill Clinton misbehaved and lied and easily moved on virtually unscathed while many “little people” had their lives ruined by his behavior and his wife’s machinations. “This is the man I was protecting? That’s what I tolerated? I had tried and tried to prevent harm to this president, but he failed us all!” (p. 177).
Two decades later, Byrne says: “Our collective amnesia about the Clinton White House is dangerous because it could happen again—maybe with a different Clinton dealing the cards, but with the same stacked deck” (p. 273). So he has written this book to dissuade us from electing Hillary, particularly in light of her careless handling of classified materials and suspicious work with the Clinton Foundation. He “was there with the Clintons. I could not keep silent then, and I can’t keep silent now” (p. 274).
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
In the early ‘60s David Schippers led the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Unit, successfully prosecuting mobsters such as Sam Giancana. A lifelong Democrat who twice voted for Bill Clinton, he was renowned for his skills as a prosecutor and trial attorney. More importantly: he was known as a man of integrity. As The House of Representatives began the inquiries which led to the impeachment of President Clinton, Shippers was brought to Washington to lead an oversight investigation of the Justice Department and ultimately became Chief Counsel of the House Managers entrusted with pursuing evidence for the president’s impeachment. In Sellout: The Inside Story of President Clinton’s Impeachment,Shippers provided an “insider’s account” of what happened nearly 20 years ago.
In the light of evidence he probably knew better than anyone else, Shippers believed Clinton should have been removed from his office for his “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Though the president claimed to be “proud of what we did” during the impeachment process—declaring he “saved the Constitution”—Schippers thought him demonstrably guilty of “some of the most outrageous conduct ever engaged in by a president of the United States” (p. 3). He quickly learned to detect and deeply abhor the Clintons’ guiding modus operandi: do anything to avoid the truth. White House spin-masters manipulated the media (portraying the president as a victim) and glossed over his incessant lies which were obvious to skilled lawyers who saw through his legalistic obfuscations. To Shippers, Clinton’s real “high crimes and misdemeanors” were perjury and obstruction of justice. But he and his media accomplices successfully reduced the whole inquiry to nothing more than questions of lamentable sex with Monica Lewinsky. “The White House never ceased to astound and dismay me in the extent to which it demonstrated its utter contempt for the Judicial Branch, the Legislative Branch, and the American people” (p. 171).
As much as anyone, then, David Schippers understands the Clintons’ duplicitous behavior. So when he commends a recent book by Dolly Kyle we may assume he validates much of her account in Hillary: The Other Woman: A Political Memoir (Washington, D.C.: WND Books, c. 1916). Schippers says the book “is as timely as tomorrow’s newspaper” inasmuch as it contains “Ms. Kyle’s firsthand knowledge obtained over many years” (#56). Acutely aware of the investigations he conducted 20 years ago, he affirms the truth of Kyle’s memoir since she’s known the Clintons for half-a-century and occupies “a unique position to reveal the truth about Billy and Hillary that no one else can tell” (#178). She wrote this book because “Hillary Rodham Clinton is running for president. She is morally and ethically bankrupt” (#144). From Kyle’s perspective: “The average person cannot comprehend that two politicians could have managed to get where they are with so many crimes in their wake, and so little reporting about it” (#1028). The Clintons are, to be candid: “lying, cheating, manipulative, scratching, clawing, ruthlessly aggressive, insatiably ambitious politicians . . . and nothing about them has changed in the past forty-plus years, except that they have deluded more and more people” (#1034).
Dolly Kyle met Bill Clinton in 1959 in Hot Springs, Arkansas, when she was eleven years old. They both graduated from Hot Springs High School in 1964, and she provides many details and insights into the community and families that help us better understand “Billy” Clinton. She was immediately attracted to him and “a liaison . . . evolved from puppy love to dating to friendship to a passionate love affair” (#209) that lasted, off-and-on, for 40 years. Their affair was pretty much an “open secret” in Arkansas, though it attracted little media attention. “I’m not proud (and have repented) of having that decades-long affair with Billy Clinton, but it is a fact” (#448). They became lawyers, married other persons, had children, and repeatedly interacted with each other. Sadly enough, for too many years she simply thought of him as a lovable rascal, indulging his appetites with a series of willing women. “I didn’t realize until many years later, that Billy was a serial sexual predator and a rapist” (#1886). Nor did she then understand Hillary’s role in suppressing any evidence of his philandering.
When Hillary Rodham moved to Arkansas and married Bill Clinton, she necessarily had contact with her husband’s Arkansas friends, including Dolly Kyle. Though Dolly retains a lingering affection for “Billy” (despite his wayward ways he’s “a charming rogue who was sexually addicted”), she clearly dislikes Hillary. In her opinion, Bill moved in with Hillary while they were students at Yale in order to share her wealth and the two have simply used each other to advance their respective careers ever since. During their early years, it was “generally Hillary’s job to make the money and provide the financial base from which she and Billy could maneuver their way to the White House” (#2424). “Even their decision to have a child was a calculated political maneuver to make them appear to be a normal couple” (#1533).
Meeting Hillary for first time in Little Rock in 1974, Kyle was shocked at the “dowdy-looking woman who appeared [at a distance] to be middle-aged” (#590), wearing thick glasses, shapeless dress and sandals; she clearly cared little for style or personal appearance. When Bill introduced them, Dolly “smiled and extended my right hand in friendship,” but Hillary “responded only with a glare at me. Finally, seeing my hand still extended, she managed a grudging nod. She did not condescend to shake my hand” (#608). Obviously there would be little love lost between these two women in Bill Clinton’s world! But their encounters were minimized as Bill usually attended events (such as high school reunions) without Hillary and could easily engage in various liaisons to his liking. At the 30th reunion there occurred “the infamous scene between the two of us that was immortalized under oath in the impeachment investigation” (#935).
Ultimately, when he was president, Bill Clinton’s sexual affairs came under increased judicial scrutiny, and Kyle (under oath in a disposition in the Paula Jones v. Clinton lawsuit) disclosed the nature of their relationship. She had earlier discovered first-hand the malice and vindictiveness with which Hillary pursued any woman who might endanger her aspirations. In fact, when an English journalist was about to disclose her affair with Bill when he was running for president in 1992, her own brother had warned her, speaking for Billy: “If you cooperate with the media, we will destroy you’” (#3291) if she confirmed the truth about her relationship with him. So in time she concluded: “While proclaiming himself to be the champion of women’s rights, Billy Clinton has continually betrayed the woman he married, the girl he fathered, and the untold numbers of women he used for his sexual gratification. Meanwhile, proclaiming herself to be the champion of women’s rights, Hillary Clinton has been behind the threats and intimidation of the women her own husband abused and molested” (#1579).
In addition to providing details regarding Billy’s sexual misconduct, Kyle shares what she knows about the Clintons’ multifaceted adventures in Arkansas and the White House. She discusses important personalities such as Webb Hubbell and Vince Foster (one of Bill’s childhood friends and a partner with Hillary at the Rose Law Firm). She cynically notes that Hillary was first hired and later became a partner of the Rose Law Firm at precisely the same moments her husband became attorney-general and then governor of Arkansas! Vince Foster “knew the facts about Hillary’s double-billing practices that had enabled her to receive questionable foreign money with strings attached” as well as the “FBI files that had been taken illegally for illegal purposes and would later be found with Hillary’s fingerprints on them” (#3525). He knew all the details regarding the Clintons’ financial adventures. In time, Kyle thinks, he committed suicide simply because he could not handle all the stress he experienced as a result of his work with the Clintons, dying under the weight of being betrayed by his friends.
Dolly Kyle also conveys—as she documents the evils done by the Clintons—a deep sense of betrayal. She feels personally betrayed, but in a larger sense she’s persuaded they have betrayed an enormous number of others and this nation itself. While distressingly disorganized and subject to criticism because of her personal animosities, Hillary, the Other Woman, certainly gives us first-hand insights into the character (or lack of it) of two of the most prominent politicians of our era.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Perhaps the best-known victim of the terrorists’ attacks on September 11, 2001, was Barbara Olson, the wife of the nation’s Solicitor-General, Ted Olson. Like her husband, she was a lawyer, and had served as both a prosecutor for the Department of Justice and as counsel to a House congressional committee that investigated some of the Clintons’ scandals. She died aboard the hijacked airplane that smashed into the Pentagon two days before her long-awaited book—ironically titled Final Days—was to be published. She concluded that book with a solemn reminder and a warning regarding the deeply radical views of Bill and Hillary Clinton which she had earlier catalogued in Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton (Washington: Regnery Publishing, Inc., c. 1999).
Olson’s eyes opened while investigating allegations regarding missing FBI files and the firing of White House Travel Office employees in order to give the jobs to some of the Clintons’ Arkansas friends. . Immersing herself in the witnesses’ evidence, Olson came “to know Hillary as she is—a woman who can sway millions, yet deceive herself; a woman who has persuaded herself and many others that she is ‘spiritual,’ but who has gone to the brink of criminality to amass wealth and power” (p. 2). Olson had “never experienced a cooler or more hardened operator,” a more singularly calculating public figure, whose “ambition is to make the world accept the ideas she embraced in the sanctuaries of liberation theology, radical feminism, and the hard left” (p. 3). Machiavellian to the core, Hillary proved herself to be “a master manipulator of the press, the public, her staff, and-likely-even the president” (p. 3).
Intellectually gifted, Hillary attended Wellesley College in the late ‘60s. Awash in the currents of the counterculture, she gradually embraced its radical agenda, participating in antiwar marches, defending a Black Panther murderer, and enlisting fellow students to change the world. She was selected to speak at her commencement following an address by Massachusetts’ Republican Senator Edward Brooke. Rather than give her prepared speech, however, Hillary “‘gave an extemporaneous critique of Brooke’s remarks’” (p. 41), rudely reproving him. “We’re not interested in social reconstruction,” she shouted; “it’s human reconstruction” (p. 42). Nothing less than the Marxist “new man”—would satisfy her.
That youthful obsession, Olson argues, persisted. Hillary found Western Civilization bankrupt, needing more than reform. Only “remolding,” only radical new structures, can bring about the “social justice” she pursues. Such can come only “from the top—by planners, reformers, experts, and the intelligentsia. Reconstruction of society by those smart enough and altruistic enough to make our decisions for us. People like Bill and Hillary Clinton. Hillary, throughout her intellectual life, has been taken by this idea, which is the totalitarian temptation that throughout history has led to the guillotine, the gulag, and the terror and reeducation camps of the Red Guard” (p. 311). Overstated? Well, Olson knew Hillary well!