News Release

Three Perspectives on Impeachment Uproar


“The president and his defenders cry ‘sexual McCarthyism’ as a defense against charges that he perjured himself in a sexual harassment case. These appeals to sexual privacy are both damaging to women and hypocritical,” says Mink, a professor of politics at the University of California at Santa Cruz and author of Welfare’s End. She adds: “‘Privacy’ is precisely the mantra that has been used against women to keep our issues — from harassment to incest to domestic violence — out of the purview of justice. We all cherish our privacy; but we also know that privacy does not give anyone carte blanche to thwart civil rights proceedings or to undermine the rule of law… While this president cloaks himself in privacy, he is not willing to share that cloak with women whose privacy is invaded every day. In the welfare reform he initiated and signed into law, the president rolled back the privacy rights of women who find themselves in need of economic assistance. The welfare law compels mothers to answer the government’s questions about their sex lives. Poor unmarried mothers must tell judges or welfare officials the names of the men they have slept with if the paternity of their child has not been established. In judicial proceedings they also have had to tell how often, where and when. If they refuse, they can be denied food stamps or Medicaid or welfare. But where are the defenders of their privacy? Don’t their rights count?”

A noted historian and author of A People’s History of the United States, Zinn points to acts by Clinton “far more serious than his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky or his lies to Kenneth Starr.” Zinn notes that “in 1993, Clinton bombed Iraq alleging a plan to assassinate former President Bush. The evidence was dubious and the bombs killed at least six people.” Similarly, “the day that Lewinsky testified before the grand jury, Clinton bombed Afghanistan and the Sudan, claiming without providing evidence that the Sudan target was making nerve gas.”
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The editor of I.F. magazine and a former Newsweek correspondent, Parry has been examining the Clinton scandals, the Starr investigation and the way the special prosecutor system has evolved. “Starr might be in as much of a perjury-obstruction pickle as Clinton,” Parry said. “Arguably, Starr’s testimony to the House contained the basis for felony indictments on at least two significant points: how his prosecutors handled Lewinsky on Jan. 16 and whether Starr’s office leaked secret grand jury material.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167