Article posted on August 13, 1998 What Does Starr Want?
He just wants to win...
That's what dueling is about, winning and losing. It has absolutely nothing to do with the law because duelists decide right and wrong on their own and the only thing that is certain is that dueling is outlawed and this witch-hunt should never have started in the first place.
When President Clinton stared the camera in the eye and convincingly claimed that he had not had a sexual relationship with that woman, Miss Lewinsky, he was probably telling the truth. [oops, sorry folks, looks like we blew it on this little score. Just goes to show you that you have to be a professional snoop to know what goes on in the bedroom. At any rate, the rest of the story still stands, which goes to show you how publicly insignificant private life can be. We reserve the right to make a mistake, and if we do it again, we'll let you know immediately. At the same time, according to the definition that most people embrace, the President did not in fact have sexual relations/intercourse with Monica Lewinsky. If Starr has a problem with that, it’s entirely his. The real question is, who is asking and why? In the final analysis, what went on between Lewinsky and Clinton is nobody’s business unless they chose to voluntarily disclose it. Our error is vastly qualified. Starr's is not.] The fact that most people do not believe him is exceedingly ironic because the credibility of Bill Clinton is greater than all of his accusers put together. Under normal circumstances, you can say that Clinton is not believed because he has been besieged by a healthy, skeptical media. Under the circumstancess as they exist however, if the media was indeed healthy and skeptical, Clinton's agenda-driven critics would be ducking for cover. Instead, they are skillfully using the media in effort to set a perjury trap to impeach the President of the United States. Aided and abeted by media prejudices and media manipulation, the plot to destroy Clinton proceeds. But if public judgment has been seriously impaired, it has not been destroyed and Clinton remains popular.
The battle rages on, the noose tightens but Clinton refuses to squirm. And what are we talking about here? Did Clinton lie about having had sex with Monica Lewinsky? Did Clinton commit perjury? These are the smokescreen questions that the media routinely promotes. These are the questions that are making everybody gag because people are sick and tired of all the talking heads in the media, talking heads who have nothing better to do than to talk about oral sex and speculate about the size of President Clinton's penis. These are the people who debate smokescreens because they have failed to demonstrate their capacity to distinguish truth from falsehood.
The Lewinsky affair is not about sex, it is about perjury and about obstruction of justice. How many times have you heard that? Does the media in fact believe that it has the power to will the truth? Despite the media, it is not about sex, it is not about obstruction and it is not about perjury. It is simply a titanic duel between Clinton and Starr, and it will go on until one of them is mortally wounded or until reason interferes. If the media thinks that it has discovered the significance of the timeless quest for truth and justice it is exhaustively deluded. In fact, the judicial duel dates to 501 AD when the Burgundian King legally established trial by combat. Frustrated over the fact that widespread perjury and manipulation had made it near impossible to distinguish truth from falsehood, the effort to assess credibility was abandoned. Consequently, if a man or a woman accused of a crime claimed that the accuser was a liar, the judge ordered them to meet in a duel. Trial by combat eventually spread all over Western Europe and became the accepted medieval method of obtaining justice.
Alexander Hamilton is America's most famous victim of a fatal duel. Hamilton was targeted because he was instrumental in squashing the political ambition of Aaron Burr, who had sought to become the governor of New York State. Burr responded by forcing a quarrel, and having felt obliged to accept Burr's challenge to a duel, Hamilton was mortally wounded in 1804. Just three years prior, his son had been killed by another duelist. Setting a perjury trap may be the equivalent of the historic duel, but Clinton is firing back and Starr is doing most of the ducking.
The purpose of the law is to solve problems, not through theoretical platitudes but through the practical necessity to protect everybody's rights. The law is not the luxury of overzealous crusaders. The resources of the law are strained to the limit and they should always be used with the greatest urgency and priority. Exploiting the law outside the scope of judicial discretion, objectivity and integrity is an abuse of power and an obstruction of justice.