The Trooper, Drugs, and the Clintons


A review


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I knew about Arkansas state trooper L.D. Brown’s allegations of his eyewitness allegations of CIA drug smuggling from Central America before I knew his name.  The office where I worked subscribed to the expensive publication for Washington decision makers, the National Journal.  I encountered a little item in its “Inside Washington” section, made of copy of it, and wrote a poem about it.  Some three years later, when I got my own web site, I put up the short article with the accompanying poem.  The analysis in the poem has held up much better than the rhyme.  I have since learned that the editor of the American Spectator’s last name is pronounced “Teril” with an accent on the first syllable and not “Tie-rell.” Here is the full posting from October 4, 1998:


Spectator's Spectacle


From the National Journal, 7/29/95, “Inside Washington”


The American Spectator is accustomed to raising hackles on the Left with its ferocious attacks on such liberal icons as Anita Hill and its relentless pummeling of the Clinton Administration.  But insiders say a recent story by editor-in-chief R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. was too much even for the conservative monthly’s right-minded staff.  Two top editors threatened to quit when Tyrrell would brook no changes to his long retelling of a state trooper’s convoluted yarn linking then-Gov. Bill Clinton to alleged CIA drug running via a remote Arkansas airstrip.  Ultimately, the piece was heavily rewritten.  Still, senior editor Christopher Caldwell soon jumped to the hot new conservative Weekly Standard.


My comment: The Weekly Standard had not yet published its first issue when it was so described.  Do we detect a certain incestuousness here in the establishment media?


National Jungle


Smugly untroubled

By government drug smuggling,

The National Journal

Shows its true colors

And makes small of R. Emmett Tyrrell.


His yarn convoluted

Is for nice ears unsuited,

So they grind their axe,

Avoid the facts

And keep greasing the skids to hell.


The subject was on my mind because earlier in the month I had posted the article, “Spook Journalist Goulden,” on August 11, 1998, which begins:


The dirtiest little secret in American public affairs, I have come to believe, is the penetration, nay, even the virtual takeover of our news media by the intelligence community. It's hard to think of anything more subversive of our government and social system. What is even worse, the totally out-of-control intelligence community, as one would expect of any organization spoiled by huge sums of money and a complete lack of public scrutiny, is corrupt to the core.


Nowhere is that corruption more evident than in the heavily documented involvement of the CIA in the massive illegal drug trade. For starters, please refer to or (updated links).


There is a very high likelihood that the murder of Deputy White House Counsel Vincent Foster was linked to the illegal drug trade, principally through Mena Airport in Arkansas. The widow of Jerry Parks, murdered in Arkansas a couple of months after Foster, has told British reporter Ambrose Evans-Pritchard that her husband once returned from a trip to Mena with Foster with a trunk full of $100 bills.


Later that month we brought the Arkansas state trooper into focus with our article “Rotten Goulden/Corn” on August 27, 1998.   It contains this excerpt from David Corn’s review-before-publication of L. D. Brown’s book in The Nation:


Brown's sex-ridden tales were not entirely unbelievable. Then he hit X-Files territory. He claimed that in 1984, at Clinton's instigation, he had applied for a job at the C.I.A. and was inserted by the agency—without training or vetting—into an operation based in Mena, Arkansas, that smuggled arms to the contras in Central America and flew cocaine back to Arkansas. And Clinton was in on all of this, fully in cahoots with Barry Seal, an infamous drug runner, Felix Rodriguez, an ex-C.I.A. asset and Oliver North's man in El Salvador for contra resupply; and even Vice President George Bush. It's hard-to-swallow uncorroborated stuff, especially since Brown says he was injected into this most secretive of operations solely to observe. But Tyrrell swallowed it and promoted Brown's Mena yarn in his magazine (although other editors there worried about Brown's credibility on this front) and in Boy Clinton (1996).


We begin that essay with a quote from Joseph C. Goulden in his August 8, 1998, Washington Times CIA-defending review of White-Out: The CIA, Drugs, and the Press by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair:  “Mr. Cockburn and Mr. Sinclair note mournfully that [Gary] Webb’s critics included EVEN such ‘mainstream liberals’ as his colleague at the Nation, David Corn.”


My conclusion:  “So, has the CIA been smuggling drugs into the United States from Central America? Designated ‘conservative’ Goulden:  ‘That’s just left-wing conspiracy talk.’ Designated ‘liberal’ Corn:  ‘That’s just right-wing conspiracy talk.’”  


Notice that back in 1995 the National Journal was calling Brown’s recounting of his experience a “convoluted yarn” while Corn calls it “hard-to-swallow uncorroborated stuff” and “Brown’s Mena yarn” from “X-Files territory.” With their characterizations it is clear that the last thing they want is for you to read Brown’s story yourself and to make up your own mind on how credible he is. 


L.D. Brown’s Book


As it turned out, Regnery Publishing failed to publish the manuscript that Corn had reviewed and it looked like no one would have a chance to hear the story straight from the horse’s mouth.  Seeing no further mention of Brown or his book in the press I soon forgot about it.  Only recently did it come to my attention that Black Forest Press of San Diego, California had published the book in April of 1999.  In his text, though, Brown describes the book as “self-published,” so I assume that that was essentially the case.  In a number of instances Brown uses “whom” when “who” would have been grammatically correct, making it easy for me to believe that the book lacked a proper publishing company editor.  An astute publishing company would also have probably chosen a better title than Crossfire (with the subtitle Witness in the Clinton Investigation) because that title is so much overshadowed by the classic of the same name by Jim Marrs on the John F. Kennedy assassination.


The book, even with its grammatical and some stylistic shortcomings and its poorly chosen title, is still very much worth reading.  The story of his CIA experiences remains the most powerful and revealing part of the book by a considerable margin.  Tyrrell had told it before in the prologue of his 1996 Boy Clinton, but there is no substitute for hearing directly from the source.  The details as he recounts them have a very clear ring of truth, while anything coming from Tyrrell, better written though it may be, comes tainted with the “anti-Clinton conservative partisan” label that is sure to make a large part of the public discount it. 


As Brown recounts it, his joining of the CIA was simply intended as a career-expanding move that was encouraged by his friend, Governor Bill Clinton, on whose security detail he worked.  Slowly as he goes through the approval process and his experience with the agency, while still working for Clinton, he picks up clues that the governor seems to know a lot more than any mere governor of Arkansas ought to know about the inner workings of the CIA.  The situation comes to climax when Brown discovers that the airplane he has been riding on with Barry Seal is bringing cocaine into the country, and, in outrage, he reports his discovery to Clinton.  Clinton shows no surprise at all.  Rather, he responds defensively, “That’s Lasater’s deal,” referring to the high-living Clinton crony, bond dealer Dan Lasater. 


That sealed it for Brown.  The course was set for him that has been followed by many before and since, from Clinton intimate to Clinton nemesis.  “Fifteen years, two independent counsels, grand juries and congressional committees later my wife and I regret the first day we ever met Bill and Hillary Clinton,” he writes in the book’s second paragraph.  “Although we were young and impressionable during the years we were close to the Clintons,” he continues, “we knew full well something was deeply wrong in the way they lived their lives, both personally and politically.  Most shocking of all was how they used their friends as tools for their personal gain.  When they were through with them, they chewed them up and spit them out, discarded as useless and never to be considered again.  When the flavor of the relationship was gone, the Clintons would leave you in their wake.  I saw it happen many times—but I never thought it would happen to me.”


As you would expect from an Arkansas state trooper, Brown writes at some length of Clinton’s lechery, though he says he never saw any indication of the sort of sexual predation alleged by Paula Jones and Juanita Broaddrick.  He does attest to numerous instances of various forms of threats by the Clintons to enforce silence about their experience such as attested to by Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, Sally Miller Perdue, and others.  He even has a chapter entitled “The Clinton Intimidation Machine.”


Amusingly, he tells us that there was a big run among prominent men in Little Rock when Gennifer Flowers’ book came out, because Gennifer, he says, was “a seductress, plain and simple, with a voice like a nightingale and an alluring sex appeal that I have seen in few women.” He strongly hints that he had been one to partake of her charms.  He might not be a purely disinterested party when he writes, “A few people who had as much to lose as Bill drew a collective sigh of relief when they finished reading that book.”


Concerning Hillary’s proclivities he states flatly that he never saw any indication that the woman was anything but heterosexual.  This runs counter to what, in her book, Flowers says Bill told her, what Perdue has recently told the Daily Mail of London, and what we have written elsewhere.  One of the strengths of Brown’s book, to my mind, is that, with his law enforcement background, he tends to stick to what he knows best through his own direct experience and generally avoids hearsay evidence.  One of the things he describes directly is a public encounter between Hillary and Vince Foster that would suggest to him that they were romantically involved with one another.     


The suggestion of romantic ties between Hillary and Foster was, as is well known, alleged by a number of other state troopers in the American Spectator article, “His Cheating Heart,” by David Brock.  Also, a great number of people who have observed Hillary up close in Little Rock and in Washington have described her personality in less than complimentary terms.  The Clintons’ War on Women, which I reviewed last December, is full of such examples.  Brown adds to that literature, and since there is a chance she could be our next president, I feel an obligation to share some examples with you.


Hillary on Wheels


Here Brown describes his first encounter with Hillary Clinton.  He is a holdover in the security detail of outgoing Arkansas governor Frank White, and it is move-in day at the governor’s mansion:


As I entered what we called the back door—actually the kitchen entrance—I saw no one and proceeded to the breakfast room, a small dining area off the kitchen where the family took most of their meals.  I immediately saw two women, one rather small with dark hair, the other with “coke-bottle” thick glasses, no makeup, and an awful fright-wig of a mop matched by a stinky scowl that shot bullets right my way.  Matching her words with an acerbic tone she shouted, “And this door here was open too, and by God I want to know why!” Thinking my days were numbered and convinced this wasn’t going to be my second home any more, I was surely not going to be talked to in that way by any of the Clinton gang.  I answered with equal force and indignation, “Lady, they’re just now moving in today. All the doors and windows are open so the movers can get their stuff in.” With that I turned on my heel and walked directly back to the guard house determined not to go back in the Mansion until I received what I expected to be final orders to report back to narcotics duty.


When I reached [trooper] Barry [Spivey], he asked what they had wanted.  I responded with another question, “Barry, who the hell is that bitch with the thick glasses in the breakfast room?” I nearly called 911 as Barry rolled in the floor laughing at my ignorance until he finally told me, “L.D., you have just met Ms. Hillary Rodham!  


The following passage on pp. 84-85 is so revealing that it must be quoted in its entirety:


Given their pleasant demeanor, it’s a given that Hillary didn’t get her acerbic tongue from her parents. (Tyrrell would say she picked it up from the sixties campus radicals. ed.).  Hillary could cuss like a sailor and the levels of her attacks knew no bounds.  Characteristic of the way she would run roughshod over people was the abuse she meted out to the troopers in the Mansion—that is if you let her.


Hillary respected people who stood their ground and who would not take her verbal barbs lying down.  I am convinced our first encounter on moving in day laid the groundwork for our cordial relationship.  She justified including me in their memorable moments by concluding I wasn’t like the other troopers.  To her I was far more intelligent than “those idiot guards,” as she would call my buddies.  She would often tell me she didn’t want that “fucking idiot” or such to ever drive her again after a trooper had driven her somewhere by a route not at all to her approval.


She would tell troopers this to their face as well.  Typical of the Clintonites who take a slap in the face and then ask for another, Trooper Mark Allen was prone to crying spells after incurring Hillary’s wrath over the most minuscule miscue.  Many troopers would stay only one day on their new assignment at the Governor’s Mansion after a run-in with Hillary.  They preferred to return to highway patrol rather than to suffer the humiliation at the hands of Hillary.


Hillary possessed a deep-seated insecurity unlike any other I have ever seen.  She felt awkward and inadequate around the more poised and beautiful people she was forced to interact with as “First Lady.” She was especially jealous of attractive women.  Anne Jansen, a local television anchor with the CBS affiliate in Little Rock, was her target one day.  Anne is a beautiful statuesque blond with a perennial short haircut.  Hillary, in all seriousness, once asked me about Jansen.  “Who’s that Quaker looking woman over there?” I always thought of Anne as an attractive journalist and not someone on an oat box but I did tell Hillary who she was.


Hillary never missed a chance to strike back at those she considered to be inferior.  A perfect example came when she was on a compulsory campaign outing with Bill and me in north Arkansas.  It was the county fair and all the common folk were in town to have their jams and jellies judged and their hands pumped by all the politicians running for public office.


Hillary had just shaken the hands of one of the obviously poor families dressed in bib overalls and cotton dresses.  It was time to go, and we retreated to the travel car none too soon as Hillary broke into her familiar spiel.  “Goddam L. D., did you see that family right out of Deliverance?” alluding to the hillbilly representations of the Burt Reynolds classic movie.  “Get me the hell out of here!” she commanded.  It sickened me to see her perpetrate the fraud of asking for votes from people she obviously detested and to whom she felt superior.


A final vignette puts the icing on the cake:


In her private interactions with Bill, one may have observed she was cold toward him to the point of frigidity.  Humiliating him in front of me seemed to be a sort of sport.  My empathy with Bill stemmed from my miserable marriage and Bill knew it.  But I never experienced the humiliation that Bill did once, as he ruminated over a lawsuit involving Arkansas and another state.  With Hillary in her back seat command position in the Lincoln, Bill offhandedly asked Hillary, “In lawsuits against the states, who has original jurisdiction, Hillary?” Hillary exploded and lashed out with, “Goddam it Bill, the Supreme Court Bill!!!” Adding, “L.D. you knew the answer to that, didn’t you?” After I confirmed her suspicion, she admonished Bill never to ask a question as stupid as that in front of me again.  Yes, Hillary—Ms. Personality.


Or “Madam President” next year?


Slow Learner Brown


Perhaps it’s with the wisdom of hindsight or from my perspective in Washington, but, at times Brown’s naiveté strikies me as rather touching.  As a partisan Republican himself, throughout his experience with the investigations that fall under the general category of “Whitewater,” he exhibits entirely too much faith in the investigators working first for Robert Fiske and then for Kenneth Starr.  He is also favorably impressed with Michael Chertoff on the staff of the Senate Banking Committee and with Republican Congressman Dan Burton.  Little does he know.  His naiveté about the national press is on display with this passage:


During the presidential campaign of 1992 I found it amusing that Bill and Hillary would be running for the White House.  I knew that somehow Bill’s baggage, the women, Mena, the McDougals and all the rest of their scandal-ridden rise to power in Arkansas that I witnessed and was a part of would preclude them from ever reaching their goal.  I had miscalculated, in I assumed the national press would examine his record in Arkansas and all this would bring him down.


Why the national press did not do so is perhaps best explained by this passage from my article, “Clinton and Cronkite: Odd Couple?” of August 27, 1998:


And shouldn't we consider…all [major mainstream journalists] to be operatives? From the coverage we have seen of the Vincent Foster death, the Waco massacre, the Oklahoma City bombing, allegations of CIA drug smuggling and money laundering, and the explosion of TWA-800, to mention only major scandals in the Clinton administration, one can hardly escape the conclusion that MOCKINGBIRD is going stronger than ever. To see where Clinton fits in, recall that Roger Morris in his book, Partners in Power, the Clintons and their America, using more than one anonymous intelligence source, claims that young Bill was actually spying on the anti-war movement in England for the CIA while pretending to be an anti-war protestor, an affiliation that explains his meteoric political career and the charmed life he has led with the American press. Terry Reed in Compromised: Clinton, Bush, and the CIA and R. Emmett Tyrrell in Boy Clinton, like Morris connect Clinton to CIA-sponsored drug smuggling through Mena Airport in northwestern Arkansas.


An even better explanation for the failure of the press and for the Clintons’ mysterious political success is in this passage from the very recent The Clintons’ War on Women by Roger Stone and Robert Morrow:


The Bushes and Clintons share their deepest bonds in common with the CIA.  Cord Meyer, Roger Morris, and Christopher Hitchens said that in the summer of 1968, while at the University of Oxford, young Bill Clinton was recruited by the agency to infiltrate left-wing anti-war groups in Eastern Europe and snitch on their activities to the boys at Langley.


“I think he was a double,” Hitchens says.  “Somebody was giving information to [the CIA] about the anti-war draft resisters, and I think it was probably him.  We had a girlfriend in common—I didn’t know then—who’s since become a very famous radical lesbian.”


Washington insider Jack Wheeler related in his 1988 essay “How the Clintons Will Undo McCain” how his friend told him an important nugget about this history of Bill Clinton.  He wrote:


Back in the ‘90s, years after he retired, if Cord Meyer drank a little too much Scotch he would laugh derisively at those conspiracists who accused Bill Clinton of being connected with the KGB.  They all darkly point to Bill’s participation in anti-war peace conferences in Stockholm and Oslo, and his trip to Leningrad, Moscow and Prague while he was at Oxford.  “Who could have paid for this?” they ask.  “It had to be the KGB!” they claim.  Cord would shake his head.  “What rot—we paid for it.  We recruited Bill the first week he was at Oxford.  Bill’s been an asset of the Three Bad Words ever since.”


L.D. Brown apparently had that much figured out.  What he had not figured out at the time he wrote his book was how much of the Clintons’ amazingly charmed political life was explained by that fact.


David Martin

April 6, 2016




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