America the Pure
Henry Cisneros was the Mayor of San Antonio in 1988. He was married with children. Then he had an affair with his campaign manager, Linda Jones. It was not a very secret affair: almost everybody involved in civic politics in San Antonio knew about it. Cisneros decided to come clean about the affair: he called a press conference and admitted the truth. Then he left his wife, and moved in with Linda Jones.
Nobody admires an adulterer, of course, but it isn't against any law in the United States or Canada. Cisneros left politics and tried to make a new life for himself with his new partner. Big deal.
About a year after he left his wife, Cisneros changed his mind and moved back in with his wife. Good. He did the right thing. But Linda Jones, in the meantime, had left her own husband. She graciously asked for a divorce without alimony. Gracious indeed, since she was the one who broke her marriage vows. After Cisneros left her to go back to his wife, Jones was not as gracious. She demanded some kind of support payments. She wanted $4,000 a month. Cisneros agreed. Everything, at this point, looks a little tawdry, don't you think? Still, nothing illegal about it all.
In 1992, Bill Clinton made Cisneros head of the Housing and Urban Development Agency (HUD). Before he could take up his new position, he had to pass an FBI "background check". The FBI asked about financial issues and Cisneros did something a little strange. He informed the FBI that he had given money to Jones but he said that he gave a lot less than he really did. This is strange because there is nothing illegal-- quite the contrary-- about paying support to a former partner. Nevertheless, when Cisneros' financial obligations increased-- he has a child with a heart defect and two daughters in college-- he stopped making payments to Jones. Jones sold her stories to the tabloids and launched a lawsuit. The FBI found out that the amounts he had previously paid her were far in excess of what he had said he paid her-- more like $40,000 instead of $10,000 a year.
Janet Reno appointed an independent prosecutor to investigate the charges. Why? Who knows? It cost the FBI and the Independent Counsel $9 million to investigate Cisneros' consensual relationship.
Cisneros now faces 90 years in jail. I'm not kidding. For what? For "conspiracy", "lying to a law enforcement officer", "obstruction of justice" (which sometimes appears to be the major crime of not telling the police when you are committing a minor crime or something that could be construed as a crime). Whatever.
What kind of a lunatic asylum is this? What kind of an idiot is running the Justice Department and the FBI? What kind of a nation tolerates this kind of hysterical persecution?
A nation that executes children. A nation that subsidizes millionaire athletes. A nation that rewards graduating high school seniors with breast implants. A nation that enters a war with the expectation that it will withdraw with the first casualty.
Copyright © 1999 Bill Van Dyk All rights reserved.