President Clinton’s address to the nation concerning Monica Lewinsky
– Line by Line Analysis
August 17, 1998
This afternoon, in this room, from this chair, I testified before the office of independent counsel and the grand jury.”
At least he told the truth about this!
“I answered their questions truthfully. I answered their questions truthfully, including questions about my private life, questions no American citizen would ever want to answer.”
Given Clinton’s history and propensity of lying to the American public, I have serious doubts about how truthful he was before the grand jury. Didn’t the president swear that he would testify truthfully on Jan. 17 in the Paula Jones deposition? If he lied then, why not lie now?
But, for the moment lets move beyond his truth telling capacity and ask, “How private is the life of the President when it comes to what he does in the Oval Office?” What he does in this office, owned by the American public, takes “private life” out of it!
What he didn’t say …
He doesn’t mention the questions he refused to answer. Apparently, the president was”surprised and hostile” when asked about “a matter that was not public.” The details of that matter were not disclosed. Could it be what Jack Christy of the USA Radio Network has been working on? Could it be about an investigation into drug use in the Oval Office and how Monica Lewinsky carried drugs into the White House for Clinton?
“Still, I must take complete responsibility for all my actions, both public and private and that is why I’m speaking to you tonight.”
Sounds good, but what does he really mean? Does taking complete responsibility include resigning from office? Does it mean he will stop obstructing Ken Starr’s investigation?
“As you know, in a deposition in January, I was asked questions about my relationship with Monica Lewinsky. While my answers were legally accurate, I did not volunteer information.”
Clinton was asked in that deposition, “Did you have an extramarital sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky?” His answer: No. Well, if he is now admitting to an extramarital sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky, how is that answer legally accurate?
He also said in the Jones deposition, he said he had no memory of being alone with Monica Lewinsky. Now he has a precise memory of doing something “not appropriate.” Legally accurate?
“Indeed, I did have a relationship with Ms. Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong.”
“It constituted a critical lapse of judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible.”
So, what exactly is a “relationship … that was not appropriate”? He does say it was wrong, but for Bill Clinton, one would even have to question what he means by “wrong.” Again he chimes that “focus group friendly” word “responsible, but makes no hint about how we will accept that responsibility.
“But I told the grand jury today and I say to you now that at no time did I ask anyone to lie, to hide or destroy evidence or to take any other unlawful action.”
He many not have “asked”, but could he have “ordered”? With Bill Clinton, his choice of words are important. It’s probably more important what he does not say than what he does say. In keeping with his not volunteering information, Clinton did not address the question of whether his subordinates or friends such as Vernon Jordan asked or induced Lewinsky to alter her testimony. Nor did Clinton answer the question of whether he ever had any discussion at all with Lewinsky about her testimony in the Jones lawsuit.
“I know my public comments and my silence about this matter gave a false impression. I misled people, including even my wife. I deeply regret that.”
He didn’t give a false impression, he out and out lied! Amazingly even after misleading (lying to) his cabinet members and other apologists, they still defend him. Who can forget the female cabinet members coming out and saying that Clinton said he didn’t do anything and that they believed him. The amazing thing is that they still trust him today!
“I can only tell you I was motivated by many factors. First by a desire to protect myself from the embarrassment of my own conduct.”
Isn’t this a normal motivation for lying? Why else would a person lie than to protect themselves? Since when did this become a defense for a criminal act? Imagine trying to defend yourself after being caught stealing from your employer … “I was just trying to protect myself.” Folks go to jail for less than this. And, what child molester wouldn’t be embarrassed by his conduct?
“I was also very concerned about protecting my family. The fact that these questions were being asked in a politically inspired lawsuit, which has since been dismissed, was a consideration too.”
Since when did sexual harassment become “politically inspired”? Keep in mind also that a part of the Paula Jones lawsuit was dismissed was because Clinton lied in his deposition. As any other citizen would be, the president had a duty to give truthful and not misleading testimony. Yes, it probably was a motivation to continue the lie to keep the Jones lawsuit from going forward.
“In addition, I had real and serious concerns about an independent counsel investigation that began with private business dealings twenty years ago. Dealings, I might add, about which an independent federal agency found no wrongdoing by me or my wife, over two years ago.
What “independent federal agency” is he talking about? The Justice Department has brought indictments and has sent many of his co-conspirators to jail for their part in Whitewater including his successor as governor of Arkansas, an associate U.S. attorney general and many of his lifelong political cronies.
As for Clinton wrongdoing, Ken Starr has not yet submitted his investigative report to Congress so we don’t know what wrongdoings the Clinton’s may be part of. A three-judge panel and Attorney General Janet Reno has given Starr the mandate to expand his inquiry to include witness tampering and other possible crimes. Even if Clinton is not guilty in Whitewater matters, that does not mean he’s not guilty in witness tampering, obstruction of justice, etc.
“The independent counsel investigation moved on to my staff and friends and then into my private life…”
Yes, and most of them are either in jail, dead, or have resigned in disgrace.
“… and now the investigation itself is under investigation.”
Another attack on Ken Starr by trying to divert attention away from his criminal acts and try to make the investigator out to be the villain. Ken Starr is simply doing his job and Clinton’s response is evidence that the job was not only necessary, but also is being successfully accomplished.
“This has gone on too long, cost too much and hurt too many innocent people.”
Yes, Mr. Clinton, this has gone on too long. I wonder if Mr. Clinton was thinking of what he said in the Arkansas Gazette, August 8, 1974 in connection with Richard Nixon and Watergate, “No question that an admission of making false statements to government officials and interfering with the FBI is an impeachable offense,” Mr. Clinton said. “I think it is plain that the president should resign and spare the country the agony of impeachment and removal proceedings. I think the country could be spared a lot of agony… if he´d go on and resign. There is nothing left to say. There´s no point putting this country through an impeachment since [Nixon] isn´t making any pretense of innocence now… This country has suffered so long.”
Yes, innocent people have been hurt. Try the American voter for one. They voted for you because they believed you and now you’ve betrayed them. Why have innocent people been hurt and how much of that hurt is due to Clinton’s own falsehoods and his unwillingness to tell what he knows? How much of the cost of this investigation is because of Clinton’s obstruction of the truth being found? A Washinton Times article reports Clinton’s seven-month delay in acknowledging an inappropriate relationship with Monica Lewinsky added at least $2.5 million to the costs of the investigation. In addition, the Nation magazine estimates that another $23 million has been spent on private legal fees by more than 100 current and former White House officials, at least 200 others in Arkansas and other places. A former independent counsel in an unrelated case, Joseph diGenova said, “It’s abundantly clear that there are many innocent victims here — witnesses, people who work for the president and others — who had to get legal counsel and spend large sums of money. If the president had been candid from Day One, all of that could have been avoided.”
“Now this matter is between me, the two people I love most — my wife and our daughter — and our God. I must put it right and I am prepared to do whatever it takes to do so.”
So, what are you prepared to do Mr. President? Resign maybe? He has no intention of making anything right, he just wants to be absolved of all responsibility so he can continue on his plan of a socialist America.
I’m sure Mr. Clinton would like for this matter to go away and only be between him and his family. The fact is, however, it is now even more between him and the American people than it was before. He lied to us and caused Ken Starr to spend inordinate amounts of time and money to get at the truth. Mr. Clinton is responsible for this delay, not Judge Starr.
Mr. Clinton also made reference to “our God,” not God, but “our” God as if his God is somehow a different God than Jehovah God, the God of the Universe, the God who created all things. Have you ever wondered who Clinton’s God is, or do we just assume he is referring to the same God that most Christians and Jews do? Is Mr. Clinton even a Christian?
The president’s theology is nothing more than situational ethics and a false religiosity that should fool no one. As theologian R.C. Sproul said, the president’s view of law “echoes the definition of pornography – the test is contemporary community standards, not a transcendent, objective standard.” Clinton says he accepts the Bible as his moral authority, but that “in a pluralistic society, when should our belief in morality translate into laws?” He cites the First Commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” yet amazingly he asks who would codify that in U.S. statutes? To say that one believes in God and even the Bible as “authoritative,” while at the same time refusing to acknowledge certain central truths is to fall under the indictment of St. Paul, who warned of those who have a “form of godliness, while denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”
“Nothing is more important to me personally.”
I can think of one … try your political future and legacy. Mr. Clinton has every reason to be concerned about his future. Most working Americans caught in the lies he’s been caught in would be sitting behind bars.
“But it is private and I intend to reclaim my family life for my family. It’s nobody’s business but ours.”
No Mr. President, what you do in the Oval Office IS the business of Americans! Clinton’s private life became a public matter when Paula Jones sued him for alleged harassment at the Excelsior Hotel in Little Rock in 1991. Americans have the RIGHT to know!
This whole matter is NOT about sex … it’s about the values this country was founded on and the values that have made this country what it is. It’s about honesty and integrity. It’s about the Rule of Law. When the President or anyone else sells out those values they can be nothing less than a traitor.
“Even presidents have private lives.”
“It is time to stop the pursuit of personal destruction and the prying into private lives and get on with our national life. Our country has been distracted by this matter for too long and I take my responsibility for my part in all of this. That is all I can do.”
What hypocrisy! Where was Clinton and other Democrats when Bob Packwood or Clarence Thomas had their private lives looked in to?
“Now it is time, in fact it is past time to move on. We have important work to do. Real opportunities to seize, real problems to solve, real security matters to face.”
He makes it sound like perjury, obstruction of justice, and the abuse of power are NOT REAL problems. How arrogant!
“And so, tonight, I ask you to turn away from the spectacle of the past seven months… to repair the fabric of our national discourse and to return our attention to all the challenges and all the promise of the next American century.
This has been more than a seven month spectacle. Clinton has a long history measured in years of tearing at the moral fiber of the nation with his actions, lies, cover-ups, legal wranglings and mockery of the American public. If Mr. Clinton succeeds in turning Americans away from the spectacle of his criminal political career and we accept an admitted liar in our highest office, it will indeed be his most impressive feat yet.
God save America!
“Thank you for watching and good night.