Someone smarter and more insightful than I once said, "Do not follow where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." I don't know who said that but I have personally and professionally embraced it since it suggests what WorldNetDaily has been, is, and will continue to do, and what I have attempted to do.
Another Mr. Anonymous said, "Wisdom is knowing what path to take; integrity is taking it." OK, so indulge me: I've taken a lot of grief over that Navy flag flap series and vindication feels good.
Now, despite considerable criticism, vilification and high-level efforts to denigrate our story about the president's planned trip to Vietnam and the attendant controversy about flying the U.S. flag in a subordinate position to the flag of Vietnam, the administration now confirms the Clinton Vietnam trip.
A couple of days after we broke the story, the Navy responded. "The Navy is not aware of any planned trips by the President to China or Vietnam aboard a Navy ship," said Alan P. Goldstein, assistant chief of information for technology integration in the Navy's Office of Information in the Pentagon. Please note he wrote "not aware."
The story reportedly spread through various military and veteran newsgroups with reaction ranging from outrage to total dismissal. One response from CINCPACFLT, the Commander in Chief U.S. Pacific Fleet, said, "This is 100 percent bull, and the reporter knows it." I await his amended statement and claim it was only 50 percent bull -- unless or until official verification of the flag controversy surfaces.
Another CINCPACFLT chat response: "Regarding the Vietnam issue as reported in this story that President Clinton is planning a visit was 'NEWS' to everyone I spoke with. No one seemed to have knowledge of any planned visit by Pres. Clinton to Vietnam, much less on a Navy ship. Could be that White House is thinking of such a visit and it leaked, or this story could be some fabrication." Well yeah, it leaked. It was not "some fabrication."
The Associated Press reported, "The plan to make the visit in November was first reported by USA Today in Thursday's editions." Excuse me? Since I first reported the President's 30-years too late visit to Vietnam I have been flooded with thousands of e-mails dripping with more venom than Eleanor Clift at a Pat Buchanan rally.
Self-important, arrogant bureaucratic sycophants often use bluster and righteous indignation when confronted with facts and questions they find offensive. One of the more amusing directives from on high was in an e-mail alert widely circulated on the Internet, from Phil Alperson, legislative director for Rep. Ronnie Shows, D-Miss., announced: "I have spoken with White House officials. They UNAMBIGUOUSLY state the following: 1. There are no plans at this time for the President to make such a trip. 2. If he were to make such a trip, there is no way he will alter Navy regulations requiring that the U.S. flag always fly above any other flag. THIS IS AN UNFOUNDED RUMOR THAT MUST STOP NOW!"
I don't know Alperson and never have had occasion to interview his boss, but his bold declaration of the "UNFOUNDED RUMOR" sounds strangely similar to all those poor Clinton Cabinet officers standing in front of cameras proclaiming their "UNAMBIGUOUS" confidence in the president's denials of any inappropriate relationship with Monica. Phil and/or Congressman Shows are welcome to call me live on the air during any of my daily talk programs. I'm available Monday through Friday 7pm-10pm East Coast time. They can call toll free 1-877-456-6789.
Meanwhile what "MUST STOP" is the reckless, routine, inevitable, defense of the indefensible by partisan hacks who care only about the form and the perception and have no interest or insight into the substance and reality of what they confront.
The White House has now acknowledged the president will indeed, and in fact, make the trip to Vietnam. The conventional wisdom of political analysts say the original intention of keeping the visit quiet so as not to damage Gore's chances prior to the November election has been lost.
But wait a minute, consider the contempt this administration must hold for the sheeple they presume to control. Clinton has planned this Vietnam trip for some time. It has been discussed at high levels at least since June, maybe earlier. The Clinton-Gore administration intended to plan, coordinate, sandbag, and secrete this trip intentionally until after the November election. Win or lose in November the Democratic administration intends to visit Vietnam and pay homage, kiss the ring of the Communist victors and do a little business. Wow, Machiavelli must be proud.
Frankly, even more than the trip to Vietnam, most of the e-mail response and nasty things I received had to do with the other half of the original Aug. 23 story. I wrote of a plan "to allow the American flag to fly below that of Vietnam when he sails into the communist nation's territorial waters on a U.S. Navy ship."
When I first broke this story I told Joseph Farah and others at WorldNetDaily we probably never will get confirmation to the validity of the second half of WND's story. I seriously doubt we ever will unless or until someone with first-hand knowledge retires, offers another interview with attribution, or writes a book. I don't really care. We exposed the dirty laundry; we pointed to the crazy aunt in the basement; we announced "The Emperor has no clothes." The last WorldNetDaily story noted, "Many military sources who contacted WND said that once the cat was out of the bag, the administration would just drop the idea due to massive adverse publicity."
In the long list of abusive e-mail accusing me of everything from creative writing to being an agent for the Bush campaign, one critic stands out. It seemed a tad odd that the same CINCPACFLT writer that questioned whether WND's report was a "fabrication" also partly corroborated my original story when he wrote, "Issue of Vietnam wanting their flag flown at the highest point on the ship (above US flag) has been an issue in discussions, not acceptable to U.S. and no visits to Vietnam are planned anytime soon." Hello! "has been an issue in discussions"? Well guess what, Sparky, one of those high-ranking naval officers who was in on those discussions, but too politic or prudent to tell a four-star he suffered from brain flatulence, told me, and I told our WorldNetDaily audiences.
Now that the Vietnam trip is out of the bag, officially, the administration is trying to put flowers, ribbons and bows on what is otherwise a moist cow pie sitting in the sun. Apparently Sandy Berger is seeking to form a Congressional Veterans Caucus for the express purpose of accompanying the draft dodger President to the Southeast Asian country that was anathema to him thirty years ago.
Bill Clinton visits Vietnam. When his country wanted him to go, he did everything he could to avoid having to place his feet in Vietnam. Now, as much of the country reviles his conduct and dishonor with which he has tainted the office of the Presidency he is orchestrating his much delayed visit to Vietnam.
those of you who have never read them, there are two documents you must
read. The first is Clinton's
December 1969 Letter to Col. Eugene Holmes. The second, and far more
compelling is Col. Holmes'
September 1992 affidavit concerning Bill Clinton and the draft.