Latest Foster Cover-Up Book Not Completely Worthless


To comment on this article go to B’Man’s Revolt.


Purported journalist Marinka Peschmann is not exactly an experienced researcher on the subject and it shows in her thin little 2012 volume, Following Orders: The Death of Vince Foster, Clinton White House Lawyer.  One would think that this 5x8 inch paperback with only 132 pages of actual text would at least be spare with any unnecessary verbiage, but in fact the opposite is the case.  It’s full of passages in which she and former Clinton White House legal office aide Linda Tripp just chew the fat, speculating about one thing or another.  Not until her 12th and last chapter does she come through with her really batty theory of what actually happened the day Foster died. 


“His job is clearly to play right-wing shepherd and to herd his assigned flock away from the corruption that envelops both the Democrats and the Republicans as well as our ruling media elite,” I wrote in my review of Richard Poe’s Hillary’s Secret War: The Clinton Conspiracy to Muzzle Internet Journalists.  It’s the same with Peschmann, except that she seems both to be on, and to aim for, an IQ level a few notches lower than Poe’s.  Poe was able to get a big blurb by Ann Coulter right on his dust jacket.   The best Peschmann can get is a plug from Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft, a favorite whipping boy of the Fake Left web site, Media Matters, where Ben Dimiero suggests that Hoft might be “the dumbest man on the Internet.”


The following passage, which, short as it is, takes up half of the book’s penultimate page, tells you who the Peschmann audience is supposed to be, and it is surely not those she pretends to address:


A note to my secular, atheist, agnostic, and humanist friends and readers


We are all free to believe or to not believe in God.  With or without the Bible verses, Following Orders is the same story.  If you have a problem with references to God and to Christianity skip over the scriptures that open each chapter.  When reporting on politicians who adhere to an ideology dedicated to Lucifer, I believe it is prudent to counter Lucifer with God.  That said, I think it is fair to say we are all flawed.  I also believe that a liar and a hypocrite, be it a person “of faith” or a “non-believer,” is still a liar and a hypocrite just like corruption, whether it appears on the right or the left of the political spectrum, is still corruption. (emphasis Peschmann’s)


Peschmann never explains how she developed such a cozy relationship with Tripp, the woman who brought Foster his last lunch, a cheeseburger, but one gets some idea of the degree of the coziness, as well as a feel for the reading experience that one is in for, with this early passage in the first chapter:


With Cleo, Linda’s golden retriever dog, gently asleep at her usual spot, in front of the living room couch, I faced the computer and clicked print.  Page after page rolled out documenting the events of July 20, 1993—that was the day White House deputy counsel to the president of the United States, Vincent Walker Foster Jr., was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in Fort Marcy Park in McLean, Virginia.  It was the highest-ranking suicide in government since 1949, when President Truman’s secretary of defense, James Forrestal, committed suicide by throwing himself from a sixteenth floor window to his death from the Bethesda Naval Hospital.


She’s still toeing the prevailing propaganda line on Forrestal (who was no longer defense secretary at the time of his death) some eight years after this writer had blown it out of the water, and it really should not surprise one to find that she really does pretty much the same with Foster.  In the Foster case it is the propaganda line of the Fake Right. 


We heard it early on, coming from the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Jerry Falwell.  Yes, it might have been a suicide, they agreed, but it didn’t happen like we have been told.  There had to have been something about it that was terribly embarrassing to the Clintons.  Hillary and Vince had a love nest, they suggested, somewhere in Northern Virginia.  Perhaps Foster killed himself there, and the body was transported to the park rolled up in a carpet and dumped.  It is consistent with the thrust of reporter Christopher Ruddy’s work before he defected to the Clinton camp, and that is the theory that she is marshaling support for with the following passage:


According to an independent Foster investigation conducted by Vincent Scalice, a veteran New York City Police homicide investigator, and an expert in crime scene reconstruction, identification, and forensic analysis, and Fred D. Santucci, a Forensic Photographer and Crime Scene Expert: “Carpet-type fibers of various colors which were found on almost all of Foster’s clothing was clearly indicative of the fact that his body probably was in contact with one or more carpets.  This evidence raises the possibility that his body may have been in a prone position, and/or his body may have been transported while in contact with some type of carpeting.”


She leaves out one name here.  Richard Saferstein, author of the popular textbook, Criminalisitics: An Introduction to Forensic Science, was also a member of the “independent investigation” team. 


Actually, there was nothing really independent about it.  It was all set up by Christopher Ruddy.  He roped me into the “reconstruction of the crime scene” to play the role of the Vince Foster corpse because, he said, I was the right height.  I protested that I was some 30 pounds heavier than Foster and therefore unsuited for the role, but Ruddy insisted.  I think his purpose was simply to get me emotionally invested in the snake oil that he was selling, which I never found all that persuasive, no matter how “expert” the people might have been, because the reconstruction took place much earlier in the year than when Foster died, and conditions would have been completely different.  Furthermore, all that evidence of carpet fibers on Foster’s clothing came from the FBI crime lab when, contrary to what one might learn from Ruddy or Peschmann, the FBI was, itself, deeply implicated in the Foster cover-up.


Peschmann has this lone endnote (#250) at the end of her paragraph: “Vincent J. Scalice, ‘What really happened,’ access online at:”


Whoa!  Wait a minute!  How in the world did that get there?  There’s nothing about Scalice et al. in the referenced article.  What’s there is the very illuminating work of Foster researcher Hugh Turley, which appears on this writer’s web site.  Here we reprint it in its entirety:


Documents Reveal Judges' Deliberations on a Death


By Hugh Turley


Vincent Foster, former president Bill Clinton's deputy White House counsel, died nearly 18 years ago, and his death was ruled a suicide. But recent research has revealed that the judges who had appointed the independent counsel investigating his death were worried about "be[ing] charged as conspirators in the cover-up," in the words of Judge John Butzner.


Butzner was part of a three-judge panel on the Special Division of the District of Columbia Circuit that had appointed Kenneth Starr to investigate several matters relating to the Clinton's Whitewater land deal, an inquiry that grew to include Foster's 1993 death.


Notes between the now-deceased Butzner and his colleagues Peter Fay and David Sentelle are part of the collection of Butzner's papers at the University of Virginia's law library. They show discussion about whether to include the testimony of Whitewater grand jury witness Patrick Knowlton, who had been at Fort Marcy Park the day Foster's body was found.  As a passerby, he testified that Foster's Honda was not at the park at the time of death.  Foster therefore could not have driven to the park in his car as claimed by Starr.


Knowlton asked the judges to include additional evidence based on official records contradicting Starr's report: Other witnesses did not see Foster's car, the gun found was not Foster's, there was a bullet hole in Foster's neck, crime scene photographs and X-rays had disappeared.   Knowlton provided evidence he was the victim of witness intimidation by Starr's staff.


On Sept. 24, 1997, Judge Sentelle sent his colleagues Knowlton's motion to include comments and factual information as an appendix to the report on Foster's death. Sentelle told them: "The question of what to do with his comments is not an easy one. ... If I were forced to decide the question alone, it would be my inclination to deny the motion."


Judge Fay disagreed with Sentelle. "[Knowlton] does comment on specific findings and conclusions in the report," he argued.  "He contradicts specific factual matters and takes issue with the very basics of the report filed by the [Independent Counsel]."


The following day Butzner concurred. "I suspect if we deny the motion we will be charged as conspirators in the cover-up," he wrote. "I suggest we let the motion and the attachments speak for themselves."


That afternoon, Sentelle faxed his colleagues a message that, after reviewing their memos, he had changed his mind and agreed to draft an order granting the motion. So on Sept. 26, the court ordered that Knowlton's comments and evidence be included in Starr's report.  On Sept. 29, Starr filed a motion appealing the order. It was denied the next day, marking the first time in history that an Independent Counsel was ordered to include in his report evidence of a cover-up by his own investigators.


After Starr's motion was denied and before the report was made public, Knowlton and his attorney visited the Associated Press office to show the reporter on the case the evidence contradicting Starr that had been ordered part of the final report. 


They were not prepared for his response. "[The reporter] told us the story was already written and [the cause of death] was suicide," Knowlton told the Hyattsville Life & Times. "We did not believe the press could ignore the court-ordered attachment."


Now, for 13 years, the American press has not reported on the Knowlton appendix, and the attachments did not "speak for themselves" as Butzner envisioned.  But the press has reported the latest news about Kenneth Starr -- he will become the president of Baylor University this June.


This article appeared originally in the April 2010 Hyattsville (MD) Life and Times.  All the documents described in the article, including the Knowlton appendix ordered included with Kenneth Starr’s report over his strenuous objection—and the objection, itself—can be found here.  The complete Starr report on Foster’s death, including the vital Knowlton appendix, is hereThe Washington Post, however, protecting Starr’s reputation in a manner that the three judges, to their credit, refused to do, have what it claims to be the full Starr report here.  In an act worthy of Pravda in the old Soviet Union, The Post has censored out the Knowlton appendix.


David Martin

April 14, 2010


Peschmann’s Scalice passage appears on page 106 of her book.  At this point the reader might as well just continue with his Internet reading and ditch the book.  The Knowlton appendix referred to—by dint of the judges’ decision as much a part of the official report as the work of Starr’s team—thoroughly destroys Peschmann’s thesis.  She guesses that Foster, after going out and eating some more somewhere, came back to the White House shortly after 5 o’clock and shot himself in his office with his own gun and was then transported to Fort Marcy Park and dumped there by panicked fellow White House lawyers working late. 


We learn from Knowlton’s document, though, that the widow, Lisa, was shown a silver gun and told that it was the one found at the park, when the gun found at the park was black and therefore not the one that the family brought up from Arkansas.  The gun, then, appears to have been planted.  We also learn that the one wound seen at the park by witnesses was to Foster’s neck—an apparent bullet entrance wound—and no one there saw any exit wound in the back of the head, much less the half-dollar-sized one that was shown in the autopsy sketch.  The missing fatal bullet that Peschmann makes a big fuss about was likely not missing at all but still in Foster’s head.  The “malfunctioning” X-ray machine that failed to detect the bullet was not malfunctioning at all; the corrupt autopsy doctor, James Beyer, simply falsified the autopsy report.


The best evidence strongly indicates that Foster was driven to Fort Marcy Park—which happens, by coincidence or not, to be quite near CIA headquarters—where he was surprised by someone who pressed a small caliber pistol to his neck and fired it upward into his brain.  That is the scenario strongly suggested by Starr’s lead investigator, Miguel Rodriguez, in his resignation letter and his memorandum for the record.


Peschmann makes no mention of Rodriguez.  Her one reference to Knowlton comes in the second sentence of her climactic Chapter 12, “At 4:30 p.m., on July 20, 1993, according to an eyewitness, Foster’s car was not at the parking lot at Fort Marcy Park.”


The accompanying endnote, no. 294, has this reference, “Kenneth W. Starr, Independent Counsel, Report of the Death of Vincent W. Foster, October 10, 1997, Appendix to Report; September 23, 1997 letter from Patrick Knowlton’s attorney, John H. Clarke.”


So there it is again, but the reader, unless he ferrets it out for himself, would never guess how significant that appendix, and its inclusion in the report over Starr’s objection, really is.  Thanks to that earlier endnote, though, not a great deal of ferreting is required.  It’s right there in the links, and the accompanying article explains its significance.


Having revealed what newspaper, magazine, and book writers across the political spectrum have worked hard to conceal, Marinka Peschmann, then, has managed to write a book that is not altogether worthless.  One can only wonder if she knows it. 


David Martin

January 2, 2015




The author has expressed her considerable displeasure with my review of her book, and as I read it over, I must admit that it does have one big shortcoming.  I talk about the author’s lengthy conversations with Linda Tripp and the author’s speculation that Vince Foster actually blew his brains out with that .38 caliber revolver in his own office in the White House, but I don’t say what one thing has to do with the other.  The fact is that it was not all that clear to me upon first reading, so I had to go back and read it over more carefully.  Apparently, it all has to do with Foster’s briefcase and Tripp’s eventual hedging on the story that she told the police investigators about it.  She had said that she was certain that Foster carried nothing with him when Foster left his office after lunch at his desk, in contradiction to the recollection of aide Tom Castleton, who recalled that Foster had his briefcase with him when he left the office.  Kenneth Starr had gone with Tripp’s memory, which worked well for him because it explained why the briefcase was found in his office.


Here, on pp. 98-99 is Marinka’s epiphany in her own fevered prose:


In an interview with the Park Police, two days after Foster’s death, the investigators wrote: “Ms. Tripp makes it a habit to notice what the staff members are taking with them when they leave the office in order to determine…how long she may expect them to be away from the office.  Ms. Tripp was absolutely certain that Mr. Foster did not carry anything in the way of a briefcase, bag, umbrella, etc. out of the office.”


Three years later, Linda confirmed to OIC investigators that her detailed statement “accurately reflected her recollection.” The investigators are trying to take down the president…Don’t speculate…Don’t offer information…  (Peschman’s italics)


“But then…” I squeaked.


“I told you, we were told what to say—“ Linda fired back, cutting me off, catching herself, followed by a non-apologetic backtrack.  “Look, Tom thought Vince had his briefcase with him, so I, I must be mistaken.” Mistaken?! (her italics again)


In an instant, the heavy burden of towing [sic] the Clinton White House line appeared to have soared off of her, when a blink later, it spiked back down to earth, attached with her cover story.


And then, according to Peschmann, Tripp proceeds to half take back what she has said, but Peschmann is off and running:  Foster did for certain have his briefcase with him when he left the office and the only way it could have gotten back in the office is that Foster came back to the White House later, undetected by anyone after having gorged himself with some more food (presumably in bleak solitude somewhere) and proceeded to end it all violently right there in his office.  The powerful blast of a .38 revolver would have been heard all over the White House (and likely beyond), of course, producing an instant sensation, but as Peschmann tells it, only a couple of Clinton loyalist lawyers react to it, while being remotely controlled by telephone by one “X,” who, by the description can only be Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Panic mode sets in over the potential embarrassment, so they trundle the body off to an unlikely far corner of a Civil War relic of a park across the Potomac to be discovered by an even more unlikely passer-by (but that’s another story).


Yes, I know, it does sound pretty preposterous, but to the legions of people who hate Hillary and don’t think all that critically, it has some ring of truth, especially as Peschmann tells it.  I can’t help thinking that the theory would have sounded particularly preposterous to Tripp, herself, who worked at the White House and knows full well that nothing so outlandish as Peschmann describes actually happened.  You can hardly imagine what a sensation the loud report of a powerful weapon like a .38 revolver going off in the White House would have created. That’s why, insofar as I can tell, Peschmann never runs her theory by Tripp to see what she thinks of it.  As much as she invokes her name, one could get the impression that this Foster-suicide-in-the-White House story is Linda Tripp’s.  It is most definitely not. 


David Martin

May 22, 2016






Home Page    Column    Column 5 Archive    Contact