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Crisis of Character

Jul 12, 2016

I recently purchased a book written by Gary Byrne called Crisis of Character. The author is a former member of the Uniformed Division of the Secret Service, whose impeccable record allowed him to guard the president of the United States. He stood guard outside the Oval Office during the time that Bill Clinton was president.

Gary was one who often thwarted the efforts of Monica Lewinski to gain access to the Oval Office, when she wanted to meet Clinton for a “mentoring session.” Yet because Clinton had given her his personal emergency telephone number, which only a few with high security clearance were to know, Clinton would often tell Gary to let her into the White House so that they could spend intimate “mentoring” time together.

“The White House Communications Agency (WHCA) maintains a top-secret phone line connecting senior military brass directly to the president…. The only way Monica could have reached the Oval Office from the Roosevelt Room was to dial that same secret number.

“The president had provided Monica Lewinski with access to his direct line. He had given her a number so secret that it required not only a four-digit pass code but a rhythmically coded one, that is, one not just depending on the right numbers being entered but also for how long each digit key is depressed and even how long the pauses between digits last.” (pp. 106, 107)

This breach of security was apparently less important to the president than satisfying his immediate sexual urges. Anyone assigned to guard Mrs. Clinton considered it punishment. Byrne says,

“Appearances really came to a head on Mrs. Clinton’s detail. Eventually, personnel assigned to it regarded the ‘honor’ as a punishment. It was a transfer no one wanted because of its constant stress and negativity.” (p. 51)

“While I often saw the president fume, I rarely saw him become irate. Meanwhile I often saw, heard, or heard about the First Lady’s volcanic eruptions at UD [Uniformed Division] officers, SA’s (especially on her own detail), and all the people who worked at the White House… While the president must have vented his frustrations to their staff, Mrs. Clinton vented on everyone, and it got worse the more at home she felt in the White House. Most of us knew to brace for her inevitable eruptions. They didn’t happen every day, but behind closed doors we learned about them fast. In public she was everyone’s best friend. Privately, she was her normal self.” (p. 57)

“The Clinton people seemed to regard police and military personnel as if we had some grand conspiracy on them, as if we had a ‘most wanted’ deck of playing cards with their faces on it.” (p. 58, 59)

“It’s inappropriate to eavesdrop, but with the old building acoustics and how loudly she [Hillary] yelled, it was impossible not to hear. White House acoustics are very strange. Scream inside a room, and everyone in the hallway hears it. Maybe she knew that, but no one dared tell her.

“Hillary’s antics made my job interesting. She’d explode in my face without reservation or decorum, then confide in some visiting VIP, “This is one of my favorite officers, Gary Byrne.” She’d put her hand on my shoulder for good measure. I’d smile and nod. But we were like furniture to them.” (pp. 60, 61).

Byrne had an interesting comment on Barney Frank, the gay congressman:

“But people like Barney Frank and Bill Clinton discredited their own causes. Clinton was secretive, corrupt, and a womanizer. Congressman Frank hired a male prostitute and sexual partner as an aide and driver, albeit with personal funds, not taxpayers’. His attaché later ran a male escort service out of the congressman’s house in Washington. The House Ethics Committee slapped Congressman Frank on the wrist for fixing some parking tickets and lying about knowing his attaché had a criminal record. That didn’t prevent Frank’s reelection and he kept pushing for his cause…

“Each member of Frank’s delegation was listed as usual in my paperwork. The title of the delegation itself was boldly marked ‘HIV Positive.’ Our screeners took note of this, and their usual safety precautions immediately increased…. (p. 62)

“Let’s return to the memo describing the delegation as HIV positive. Somehow Frank’s delegation had secured a copy of that document—and it was the violation of revealing their personal medical records that outraged its members…

“Now, who prepared that memo? It wasn’t the Secret Service. It was the White House Social Office—an operation directly under the command of Hillary Rodham Clinton herself. The Secret Service would never have committed such private medical information to a written document. It knew better than to do that—and certainly better than to label the entire delegation as HIV positive.

“Mrs. Clinton’s own office created the crisis. But who received her obscenity-filled tirade?

“The Secret Service.” (p. 64)

“One day, UD officers met to review events at their respective posts. A bewildered new officer arrived. ‘Hey, you’ll never believe it, but I passed the First Lady, and she told me to go to hell!’

“A second young officer responded, ‘You think that’s bad? I passed her on the West Colonnade, and all I said was ‘Good morning, First Lady.’ She told me, ‘Go f— yourself.’

“We were stunned but not all of us were surprised. Our sergeant challenged him, but another officer soon corroborated his story. Our sergeant was speechless.” (p. 70)

“Bill Clinton was friendly and charming with just about everyone besides Hillary. He always seemed to want to give his company extra time. He was very generous in that way. Like him or not, share his political ideas or not, find yourself in the same room with him, and you are hooked. You can’t help but like him.

“But that was not Hillary. She was clearly all business, 24/7. Her private leadership style was based on pure fear and loathing—and I never saw her turn that off. Even in the president’s presence, Mrs. Clinton operated at far greater than arm’s length—a cheerless grafter always on her scheming way to someone or something else more important than the person in front of her.

“If you saw them privately, they never seemed to meld at all. But turn on a camera or bring in a fat-cat donor, and the ice suddenly melted. They’d smile at each other, laugh, trade little jokes. They’d move in closer to each other, turn warmer—yes, even romantic. They might even hold hands. They could flip that emotional light switch whenever they had to, then switch it back off again when the crowds and cameras departed.

“It was all a business for them: Clinton, Inc.” (pp. 73, 74)

“The First Lady had a different sort of liveliness. She once threw a Bible at an agent on her detail, hitting him in the back of the head. He bluntly let her know it wasn’t acceptable. He told me that story himself. Assignment to her detail was a form of punishment handed down by passive-aggressive middle management.” (p. 74, 75)

“When her detail passed, Mrs. Clinton expected everyone else to disappear. She didn’t want to see anyone in the White House halls, as if the whole place were her personal Executive Mansion. It was insulting. People scurried as if in a giant game of hide-and-seek. An agent traveling ahead of her would direct people to disappear, usually into a nearby closet or alcove.” (p. 75)

A few times Gary Byrne inadvertently walked into the Oval Office only to find the president having sexual relations with a staffer or the Vice President’s daughter, Eleanor Mondale (p. 112). He even tells of a time when Monica Lewinski insisted upon seeing the president, but the officer refused to allow it. She was very angry and demanded to know why. The officer told her that he was with another woman. “Wait till he’s finished,” the officer said—or something to the same effect. That was not the answer she wanted. She became irate when she heard whom the president was with. “What’s he want with her when he has this?” and she made some gesture to herself.” (p. 129)

Did Hillary Clinton know about these escapades? Yes, of course. One day the president came to the Oval Office with a black eye.

When the scandals were finally investigated by Ken Starr, the Secret Service agents were caught in the vice grip between being forced to testify what they knew, while most of their knowledge was “classified.” They could lose their jobs if they told Starr what he demanded of them.

I should add here that under biblical law there is no provision for classified information when someone has committed a crime. If the high priest adjured (demanded) a witness, he was required to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth (Leviticus 5:1). This happened to Jesus in Matthew 26:63, 64. In the Kingdom there will be no such scandals in governments ruled by the overcomers, but if there were, they would not be able to hide behind laws of secrecy.

Here, too, I must confess that until I read this book, I was unaware that classified issues on the grounds of “national security” included personal character issues of the president and first lady. It seems to me that these issues defining “protection” ought to be separated. I am confident that for the most part, Gary Byrne would agree.

At the present time we read of Mrs. Clinton’s email scandal regarding the use of classified information that she sent over the internet. Gary Byrne comments:

“Just last year, Mrs. Clinton claimed that as secretary of state she didn’t carry a work phone. It was too cumbersome and inconvenient for her to carry two phones. She didn’t have room for them.

Then we learned she carried an iPhone and Blackberry, neither government issued nor encrypted.

“Then we learned she carried an iPad and an iPad mini.

“But she claimed she didn’t do email.

Then we learned she had email—on a private server.

“But then she claimed her email was for personal correspondence, yoga, and wedding planning.

“Then we learned her email contained government business as well—lots of it.

“Listen, nobody transmits classified material on the internet! Nobody! You transmit classified material via a closed-circuit, in-house intranet or even physically via courier. You can’t even photocopy classified data except on a machine specially designed for hush-hush material, and even then you still require permission from whatever agency and issuer the document originated. So the only way for that material to be transmitted over an email is for her or someone in her office to dictate, Photoshop, or white-out the classified material in question, to remove any letterhead, or to duplicate the material by rewriting it in an email….

Yet Hillary Clinton transmitted classified material by the figurative ton. No one else can operate like that in government. But she takes her normal shortcuts and continues to lie about it. (p. 275)

“Two decades ago the late New York Times columnist William Safire wrote: ‘Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our first lady—a woman of undoubted talents who was a role model for many generations—is a congenital liar.

“The lies change.

“The liar doesn’t. (p. 282)

“The bottom line: My job in the 1990s was to lay down my life for the presidency. My obligation today is to raise my voice, to help safeguard the presidency from Bill and Hillary Clinton—to remind readers like you of what happened back then.

“We all remember—or should remember—what a Clinton White House was like.

“If we board that time machine for a return trip—it’s our fault.” (p. 283)

That is how the book ends.

I can only say that when Hillary Clinton claims that Donald Trump does not have the temperament to be president, what about character?


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Dr. Stephen Jones


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