Subscribe to EIR Online
This article appears in the March 2, 2001 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Marc Rich Scandal: Another Al Gore Operation Against Bill Clinton

by Edward Spannaus

[PDF version of this article]

Highly qualified Israeli and Washington sources report that if anyone wants to ask questions about the Marc Rich pardon, the person to ask is not Bill Clinton, but Al Gore. The chief advocate for the Rich pardon was attorney Jack Quinn, who was formerly Al Gore's chief of staff. Quinn is known as a Gore loyalist, who followed the instructions of the Vice President, even when nominally working for President Clinton.

There is no question but that Clinton has suffered enormous damage in the wake of the pardon issued to the fugitive financier Marc Rich on Jan. 20, just hours before Clinton left office. And, as soon as the Democrats were out of power, an open battle emerged between Gore and Clinton for control of the Democratic Party. The attacks on Clinton that came from both Democrats and Republicans over the Rich pardon have seriously weakened Clinton's position in the party, at precisely the point where the leadership combination of Clinton and of announced 2004 candidate Lyndon LaRouche, is required to salvage the party from the destructive influence of Gore and his Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) cronies, who openly advocate abandoning the traditional FDR constituencies on which the modern Democratic Party was built.

'It was Israel...'

While the battle for the Democratic Party provides the immediate context of the Rich pardon controversy, the longer-term issue involved, is the continuing series of attacks and set-ups against President Clinton, coming from certain circles in Israel, and their agents-of-influence in the United States—which again takes us back to Al Gore and his closest advisor, Leon Fuerth.

In comments made to television talk-show host Geraldo Rivera on Feb. 15, Clinton said that he had been "blindsided" by the furor over the Marc Rich pardon. Clinton said that campaign contributions played no role in his decision to grant the pardon, but he said: "I'll tell you what did influence me—Israel did influence me profoundly."

A few days later, in a commentary published in the New York Times on Feb. 18, Clinton provided a detailed, often very technical, explanation of his reasons for granting the pardons to Rich and Rich's partner Pincus Green. Much of Clinton's rationalization for the pardons, revolves around the arguments made by Rich's lawyers, that the case should have been treated as a civil tax matter, rather than a criminal case. But the last point made by the former President was that "finally, and importantly, many present and former high-ranking Israeli officials of both major political parties and leaders of Jewish communities in America and Europe urged the pardon of Mr. Rich, because of his contributions and services to Israeli charitable causes, to the Mossad's efforts to rescue and evacuate Jews from hostile countries, and to the peace process through sponsorship of education and health programs in Gaza and the West Bank."

Indeed, as has become fairly well known, dozens of Israeli leaders—including former Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Shimon Peres—and also numerous leaders of U.S. Jewish organizations, had urged Clinton to pardon Rich. Two former Mossad chiefs, Avner Azulay (who heads the Rich Foundation in Tel Aviv), and Shabtai Shavit, both asked Clinton to pardon Rich. In the United States, the Anti-Defamation League's Abe Foxman played a key role in the campaign to obtain the pardon, according to documents released by Congress.

Notably, the president of Reform Judaism's Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the largest Jewish denomination in the United States, roundly criticized those Jewish and Israeli leaders who lobbied for the Marc Rich pardon, calling it a "moral stain" for Jews. "I am in no position to judge Rich's legal claims, but neither are the many Jewish leaders and luminaries who contacted President Clinton in support of the pardon," said Rabbi Eric Yoffie. Asked why were they so interested in Rich, he stated: "The answer is simple: They were bought. Rich contributed generously to Jewish causes and charities around the world, and then, in a carefully orchestrated campaign, called in favors to put pressure on the President."

It is estimated by media sources, that Rich donated at least $200 million to causes in Israel over the past 15 years—not to mention his services to the Mossad.

'Mega' and Monica

This is not the first time Clinton was set up by this crowd. Throughout his Presidency, there were persistent reports of Israeli spying and blackmail against President Clinton, and also of Israeli penetration into the highest levels of the White House.

The latter involved reports that a high-level Israeli agent was operating within the Administration, who was often referred to by the code-name "Mega." A prime candidate for the designation as "Mega," is Leon Fuerth, who was Vice President Al Gore's long-time foreign-policy mentor and his National Security Adviser. This is not exactly a secret: the Washington Post reported in mid-1998 that "some officials in the State Department believe he [Fuerth] is the conduit by which inside information is passed to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu."

Of note also, is an April 20 New York Times report on Fuerth. Referring back to Gore's 1988 campaign, it reported that "Fuerth helped him formulate an uncritical pro-Israeli line," and that Gore even criticized the Reagan Administration for putting pressure on then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir to go along with a peace initiative, calling upon Israel to withdraw from the land it occupied in 1967, in exchange for peace with its Arab neighbors.

The second crucial element, was the placement of Monica Lewinsky in the White House as a probable entrapment operation against President Clinton.

Lewinsky was recommended for a White House intern position by New York insurance magnate Walter Kaye, a major Democratic Party contributor. Soon thereafter, in the summer of 1995, Lewinsky became an unpaid intern in the White House, and Clinton's first improper contact with her, according to his own account, was in mid-November 1995.

Walter Kaye also shows up in the Marc Rich saga. Rich's ex-wife Denise was introduced to the Clintons in 1992 by New York real estate agent Kathy Sloane (who sold the Clintons their house in Chappaqua, New York last year). Sloane also recruited Kaye into Democratic National Committee fundraising circles, and later, in 1993-94, introduced Kaye to the Clintons, according to his testimony to Starr's grand jury. This then led to Kaye's referral of Lewinsky to the White House in 1995.

The Lewinsky story exploded in the news media in January 1998, well after Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff and others had been tipped off to her existence almost a year earlier.

What else was going at on that time?

According to independent counsel Kenneth Starr's report on the Lewinsky affair, President Clinton told Lewinsky, in March 1997, that he suspected a foreign embassy was tapping his telephone conversations.

This coincided with a report published in the Washington Post in early May 1997, that U.S. intelligence agencies had opened an investigation months earlier, to determine if a senior Clinton Administration official was passing information to the Israeli government. That investigation, according to the Post and other sources, was launched in January 1997, after the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) had intercepted a phone conversation between a Mossad officer posted at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, and Danny Yatom, the Mossad chief, in Tel Aviv. The Mossad officer was seeking clarification as to whether he should attempt to obtain a copy of a private letter from then-Secretary of State Warren Christopher, to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. He told Yatom that "the Ambassador wants me to go to Mega to get a copy of this letter." Yatom told the officer that under no circumstances should "Mega" be approached, since he was the top Israeli penetration agent inside the Clinton inner circle. "This is not something we use Mega for," he stated.

The Real Lewinsky Tapes

An extensive FBI counterintelligence probe to determine the identity of the Israeli mole was triggered by the NSA intercept, and a number of mid-level U.S. foreign policy and defense specialists were suspended from their jobs during this investigation. But, according to both published accounts and information provided to EIR, the spy hunt was called off, as a result of Mossad blackmail of Clinton.

According to these reports, as soon as the NSA intercept was discovered, an emergency meeting of top Israeli intelligence officials took place, and a Mossad electronic-bugging team was dispatched to Washington. One of their targets was Monica Lewinsky's home telephone.

As a result, the Mossad obtained wiretap tapes of about 30 hours of "X-rated" conversations between the Clinton and Lewinsky. These tapes, according to the sources, were hand-carried back to Tel Aviv, and were then used to blackmail the Clinton Administration into calling off the search for "Mega." The threat was that, if the investigation were not shut down, the Israelis would begin leaking material from the tapes.

It is probably not coincidental that the reporter who first started investigating the Lewinsky story, Newsweek's Isikoff, says that he first learned about a story involving the President and "an intern" in March-April 1997.

Gordon Thomas, the author of a book which describes these events, told the New York Post in March 1999 that "Mega" was probably still active, deep within the White House. "So far as anyone knows," Thomas said, "the Israeli agent Mega—a much more important spy than the imprisoned CIA traitor Jonathan Pollard, and probably his controller—is still in place at the White House."

Was the Marc Rich pardon Mega's last operation in the Clinton White House? Ask Al Gore.

Back to top