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Just Who is Out of Control Here?

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

n a blatant attempt to shift the spotlight, White House defenders over the past few weeks have bombarded every news media outlet they possibly could with their incessant chant of "KEN STARR IS OUT OF CONTROL." All across the country, heads have been spinning and ears are still ringing.

However, with the emergence of Kathleen Willey, the glare of public scrutiny has shifted back to where it belongs(squarely on the President. A profile of Ms. Willey reveals that she is an individual whose political beliefs place her light years away from any right-wing influence, much less some kind of conspiracy.

For quite a number of years, Kathleen Willey worked diligently as a Democratic Party organizer. Ms. Willey was the daughter-in-law of a Democratic state senator. She developed a friendship with L. Douglas Wilder, the nation's first elected black governor, also a Democrat. She was active in Democrat Mary Sue Terry's run for state attorney general in 1985. She helped with Wilder's 1989 gubernatorial bid, and it was through Wilder that she became a volunteer for Bill Clinton. It was Ms. Willey who organized a reception in the fall of 1992 for then candidate Bill Clinton after his debate in Richmond with President Bush and Ross Perot.

In the latter part of 1993, she discovered that her family's finances were in jeopardy. Due to her continuous efforts as one of the party faithful, she had a direct line to the President of the United States, unlike most Americans. So she made an appointment with the White House to seek help from the world leader who would presumably understand her circumstances and perhaps provide assistance. Unfortunately, he attempted to feel something other than empathy for her suffering.

Ms. Willey said that President Clinton led her into his now infamous, private study next to the Oval Office and gave her some coffee. There she wept, detailed her family problems and asked him for a job. According to Kathleen Willey's testimony in her deposition, as well as her statements on "60 Minutes," the President kissed her on the lips and forced her hands upon his private parts without her consent.

In a most unfortunate and tragic turn of events, on the very same day that she had her disturbing encounter with the President, Kathleen Willey's husband parked his car along a secluded road in the Virginia countryside and shot himself.

President Clinton testified under oath in his own deposition that he may have hugged Ms. Willey and kissed her on the forehead. He specifically denied everything else that had been alleged.

Ms. Willey made it clear during her television appearance that if Clinton denies there was a sexual advance, he is lying. Moreover, Willey said that she herself was pressured, and others were intimidated, into keeping quiet about the incident. In legal terms, this could constitute perjury, obstruction of justice and witness tampering.

Willey's story and demeanor are believable and persuasive. The picture seems to have changed from a "he said-she said" situation to a "he said-they said" scenario. This adds to the evidence that the President may have used his authority to extract sexual favors from women within his professional purview, or that he may have arranged jobs for various individuals in exchange for silence regarding his activities.

Unlike the Monica Lewinsky matter, it cannot be argued that this is merely a private matter involving consensual sex. This is a physical assault of a woman, without justification and without approval. If Kathleen Willey is to be believed, women's rights advocates, feminist leaders and concerned citizens across our nation must share a sense of moral outrage.

Ms. Willey's allegations paint a troubling picture of a man who lacks a rudimentary sense of self-control. When she appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America," Susan Carpenter-McMillan surmised: "I think what we've got here is a president who is sexually out of control, and the smoking gun may very well be Kathleen Willey."

Although the President appears to have had the opportunity to acquire an extraordinary amount of experience in dealing with scandals, the words of his own spin-doctors may rebound back to him like a whirling boomerang. The very phrase that the White House tirelessly put forth for all to learn by heart could be coming back to haunt him in the end.

Copyright © 1999 -
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

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