How Clinton Is Using Kosovo
Bill Clinton is riding high since his "not guilty"
verdict and, unfortunately, the Republican Congress is
letting him get away with his foreign and domestic grabs
for power. Kosovo is much more important to Americans than just pictures on the evening television news
about a faraway conflict.
First, it's a "wag the dog" public relations ploy to
involve us in a war in order to divert attention from his
personal scandals (only a few of which were addressed in
the Senate trial). He is again following the scenario of
the "life is truer than fiction" movie Wag the Dog. The
very day after his acquittal, Clinton moved quickly to
"move on" from the subject of impeachment by announcing threats to bomb and to send U.S. ground troops into
the civil war in Kosovo between Serbian authorities and
ethnic Albanians fighting for independence. He scheduled Americans to be part of a NATO force under non-American command.
Clinton overrode major concerns of senior Pentagon
officials that the Administration has no clear-cut military
goals and that the fighting will get bloodier as the
weather improves. They believe this will seriously
overburden U.S. ground forces already committed to
other missions in the Persian Gulf, Bosnia, and Korea.
The claim that our expedition into Kosovo is to guard
a "peace settlement" is another Clinton lie because there
is no peace to keep, there is no hope that our involvement
can eliminate the causes of the conflict, and there are
even questions about who is at fault in the civil war.
Clinton's Kosovo war will, like Bosnia (where we still
have 6,900 U.S. troops), become a permanent, no-exit,
costly U.S. project, and it could even degenerate into a
Somalia-type fiasco. Clinton's statements about Kosovo
are no more to be trusted than anything else he says.
Second, by putting U.S. troops in Kosovo, Clinton is
provoking terrorist attacks by Islamic radicals connected
to Saudi renegade Osama bin Laden, who has declared a
worldwide war on Americans. Fanatics bent on jihad
against the "Great Satan" United States could hardly ask
for a more tempting target than Americans deployed
close to terrorist bases in northern Albania.
Even more dangerous, entering the Kosovo war
may provoke terrorist retaliation within the United
States. It's not only our U.S. troops who will be put in
mortal danger. Bin Laden has stated unequivocally that
all Americans, including "those who pay taxes," are
targets. At a recent Senate hearing, CIA Director George
Tenet warned against the danger of a stepped-up terrorist
campaign, saying, "There is not the slightest doubt that
Osama bin Laden, his worldwide allies, and his sympathizers are planning further attacks against us."
Clinton's reckless meddling in Kosovo, Bosnia,
Macedonia, Sudan, and Iraq exposes Americans to
retaliation from terrorists regardless of whether he
achieves any phony "peace" or actually sends in troops.
Clinton predicted on January 22 that it is "highly
likely" that a terrorist group will attack on American soil
within the next few years. He is using this risk as the
excuse to create a Domestic Terrorism Team headed by
a military "commander in chief," with a $2.8 billion
budget. We should not underestimate the deceit and
deviousness of Clinton's plans to use aggressive presidential actions to wipe out public memory of his impeachment trial.
Clinton has already issued a Presidential Decision
Directive to authorize military intervention against
terrorism on our own soil. Secretary of Defense William
Cohen said in an Army Times interview that "Terrorism
is escalating to the point that Americans soon may have
to choose between civil liberties and more intrusive
means of protection."
Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre has been
floating the idea of designating a unit of U.S. troops as a
Homelands Defense Command to take charge in case of
a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Hamre argues that the
military's role should be formalized under a four-star
general, and he has even speculated about creating a bi-national command with Canada called the "Atlantic
The far-reaching nature of the plans being discussed
within the Clinton Administration is indicated in the
Autumn 1997 Parameters, the scholarly publication of
the Army War College. The article predicts that "the
growing prospect of terrorism in our own country . . .
will almost inevitably trigger an intervention by the
military." The article casually adds, "legal niceties or
strict construction of prohibited conduct will be a minor
The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 is supposed to
protect us against a President using the Army to enforce
the law against civilians. The spectacle of the military
patrolling the streets of U.S. cities is something that
should happen only in totalitarian countries and in
movies like The Siege.
Later laws, however, have carved out a number of
exceptions. The 1984 Stafford Disaster Relief Act
authorizes the President, after proclaiming a state of
emergency, to send active-duty soldiers to respond to a
crisis and serve under the direction of the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). On June 3,
1994, Clinton issued Executive Order 12919 entitled
National Defense Industrial Resources Preparedness. It
invests FEMA with plenary and dictatorial authority over
communications, energy, food, transportation, health,
housing, and other resources.
Our recent experiences with law enforcement by the
U.S. military show the dangers. When U.S. Army tanks
stormed the Branch Davidian compound in Waco in
1993, scores of innocent people were killed, and when
the Marines patrolled the Texas border in 1997, an 18-year-old goat herder was shot and killed.
Third, Kosovo provides a wonderful excuse to
demand more spending for the military and to con the
Republican Congress into approving billions of new tax
dollars for what is called "defense" spending but, under
Clinton, is really war spending. The Kosovo expedition
will be expensive like Bosnia, which has already cost the
United States $8 billion, and current costs are running at
another $2 billion a year.
Instead of giving the American people the tax cuts we
deserve, Congress will piously claim they are increasing
"defense" spending --- but the money won't go for
defense or for the anti-missile system we need to protect
our people against the 13 Communist Chinese intercontinental ballistic missiles whose accuracy was enhanced by
Clinton's treacherous China policy. The "defense"
spending will go for wars in Kosovo and Bosnia and any
place else Clinton sends U.S. troops.
Fourth, Clinton's Kosovo foray will take America
another large step into what he called the "web of
institutions and arrangements" for the "new global
era." Clinton and his chief foreign policy gurus, Strobe
("global nation") Talbott and Madeleine ("why have a
military if we can't use it") Albright are determined to
use American troops as global policemen and global
social workers all over the world.
As far back as Clinton's issuance of Presidential
Decision Directive 25 (PDD 25) in 1994, Clinton has
been asserting his power to assign U.S. troops to serve
under foreign command. The Washington Post reported
on January 30 that "senior Pentagon officials [Clinton's
appointees, of course] for the first time said they would
be willing to place U.S. troops under foreign command"
Where is the outrage from Republican leaders? The
1996 Republican Platform promised that "Republicans
will not subordinate United States sovereignty to any
international authority. We oppose the commitment of
American troops to U.N. 'peacekeeping' operations
under foreign commanders."
Even the overpublicized 1994 "Contract With
America" promised that "We would prohibit the Defense
Department from taking part in military operations that
place U.S. troops under foreign command." So, where
are the words of protest we have a right to expect from
the many Members of Congress who signed that Contract? Except from a few patriots such as Senator Bob
Smith (R-NH) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), we hear a
Unfortunately, some establishment Republicans are
compromised because they are making money from
foreign governments through lobbying or speechmaking
or financial deals. They are giving Clinton a veneer of
"bipartisanship" for his expensive interventionist escapades.
Fifth, the Kosovo escapade is another Clinton test
of Congress and the American people to see if they
will let him get by with such a patently dictatorial,
unconstitutional action. Events in Kosovo are absolutely
no threat to U.S. national security. The Clinton Administration pretends to fear that the Kosovo conflict could
spread if we don't intervene. When asked on the Lehrer
NewsHour on February 23 where he was afraid it would
spread to, Clinton's National Security Adviser Sandy
Berger said Albania and Bosnia -- which, of course, are
just as remote as Kosovo. It is far more likely that U.S.
intervention will cause any spread in the conflict, not
Not only is there nothing in the U.S. Constitution to
justify U.S. intervention in Kosovo, there is also nothing
in the NATO Charter to justify it. NATO action in
Kosovo is a radical departure from anything NATO has
done in the past or has ever been authorized to do.
Kosovo is outside of NATO's own territorial domain,
and by its threats of air strikes and ground troops, NATO
is breaching the territory of a sovereign nation.
Clinton's intervention in Kosovo validates the
position of Senator John Ashcroft (R-MO) and others
who opposed the ratification of the NATO Expansion
Treaty last year. That treaty purported to be merely a
promise to go to war to defend the borders of Poland,
Hungary and the Czech Republic, but it was actually a
mechanism to entrap the United States into sending our
service personnel, under foreign commanders, to answer
911 calls to break up domestic brawls in any foreign
country. Clinton is threatening to bomb the Serbs, not
because they have invaded another country, but because
they refuse to accept a U.S.-crafted agreement enforced
by NATO troops.
Every now and then, some Americans voice the hope
that, if these conflicts are a bother to Europe, European
countries should take over the task of dealing with them.
But Europeans, who are busy trying to make the euro
replace the dollar as the world's premier currency,
continue to expect American mercenaries to do our duty
as their policemen.
Clinton's intervention in Kosovo cannot possibly
solve the problem there any more than our years in
Bosnia have solved that problem. Americans simply are
not capable of erasing ethnic enmities that have festered
for centuries. The Serbs consider Kosovo part of their
country because it is the cradle of their culture and
Orthodox Christian religion. The ethnic Albanians, who
are mostly Muslims, want independence from Serb
control, institutions and language.
If Republicans allow Clinton to go ahead with his
unconstitutional, costly, foolish and dangerous expedition to Kosovo, where we have no national security
interest, they are forfeiting any claim to lead America.
This issue should be a litmus test for all candidates for
President. The big issue that will divide them is, Do they
stand for American national security interests, or do they
stand with Clinton in his foolish interventionist policies?
Presidential candidates would do well to listen to the
advice of President John Quincy Adams, who as Secretary of State in 1821 rejected the request for U.S. intervention in support of Greek independence. America, said
Adams, "is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of
Clinton's Grab for our Bank Accounts
Meanwhile, Bill Clinton's plan to use the Federal
Government to encroach on our personal liberties and
monitor our private actions has been steadily advancing
on the home front. On December 7, 1998, the once-friendly Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
proposed a revolutionary regulation called "Know Your
Customer" (KYC). This is Clinton's stealth plan to
monitor every American's personal bank account.
Here is how Know Your Customer is projected to
function. All banks will be required to determine each
customer's sources of funds; determine each customer's
normal and expected bank transactions; computerize a
financial profile on every customer's deposits and
withdrawals; and report transactions "inconsistent" with
the expected pattern to the federal gestapo.
KYC will require every bank to maintain a computer
record of the amounts you normally deposit each month
and the sources of the money (e.g., your weekly paycheck, your Social Security, your stock dividends) and
the amounts you normally withdraw each month (e.g.,
rent or mortgage, automobile payment, food, utilities,
credit card payment, cash for pocket money).
If you deviate significantly from this pattern (such as
by earning some extra money or buying or selling a car),
the KYC snoops in your local bank will forward your
"suspicious" transactions to a huge database in Detroit
called the Suspicious Activity Reporting System, which
is administered by FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) and shared with a dozen other government agencies.
The Clinton Administration's stealth plan to monitor
everyone's personal bank account, fortunately, has hit a
bump in the road. As of this writing, the number of
public comments received by the FDIC stands at 110,000
against the controversial Know Your Customer regulation and only 18 in favor. The KYC regulation was
simultaneously announced by the Federal Reserve
System, the Office of Thrift Supervision, and the Comptroller of the Currency as well as the FDIC (which proves
that KYC was a well-orchestrated Clinton Administration plan), but those other agencies have not revealed
how many negative comments they have received.
About 93% of the critical comments received by the
FDIC came from individuals, not banks. The large
number from individuals proves the new power of the
Internet (including Eagle Forum's website and e-mail) to
alert the grassroots to Clinton's privacy-invading maneuvers. Some bankers have spoken out against KYC. John
Stafford, a spokesman for the California Bankers Association, charged that KYC is both intrusive and cumbersome and really means "Invade your customers' privacy." John Ehrensperger of Atlanta's Sun Trust Bank
commented, "It turns us into surveillance agents for the
The small number of complaints from bankers
reflects the fact that the American Bankers Association
originally endorsed KYC and may have helped to draft
it. The biggest banks are happy to use a federal regulation as "cover" for computerizing nosy details about their
customers because that information is so valuable for
marketing purposes. Under current federal law, a bank
may sell or transfer any information it acquires about its
customers to a third party, such as a direct marketer or
another financial institution, without notifying the
customer. Your bank can disclose your account balances, certificate of deposit maturity dates and balances,
and information about checks written or deposited into
Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) has introduced S.187,
the Financial Information Privacy Act, to require banks
to tell their customers what data it sells or shares, to
whom and for what purposes, and to give its customers
the right to "opt out." That's good as far as it goes, but
we also need legislation to stop the banks from giving
such information to the government.
Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA) has introduced the American
Financial Institutions Privacy Act to block implementation of the Know Your Customer regulations. Rep. Ron
Paul (R-TX) has introduced the Financial Privacy
Protection Package to do likewise, and to sunset the
Bank Secrecy Act that has encouraged such overreaching
regulations, and to allow Americans to see their own
FinCEN files (similar to laws that allow us to see our
own FBI and credit bureau files).
Where is this leading us? The stakes for Americans
are clearly defined in a timely new book called The End
of Money and the Struggle for Financial Privacy by
Richard W. Rahn, Ph.D., nationally known economist
and now a senior fellow with the Seattle-based Discovery
Institute. Describing how the new technologies are
making rapid and dramatic changes in our lifestyle, he
poses the question of whether this will bring us more
freedom or less. The answer depends on whether or not
we permit Big Government to conspire with Big Business to monitor not only all our financial transactions,
but also our ordinary daily activities. The Big Government advocates are trying to claim that individual control
over technological innovation is "suspect" and a threat to
The major excuse for Clinton's assault on our
financial privacy is "money laundering," most of which
comes from the illegal drug trade. But attempts to stop
drug use by chasing money launderers have been a costly
and spectacular failure; they catch only a few small
dealers rather than drug kingpins, and they are a gross
invasion of the privacy of law-abiding Americans. In
fact, the government averages less than 100 money
laundering convictions per year, few of which even
involve drug kingpins.
The threat of terrorism is another Clinton excuse for
anti-privacy regulations, but there is no evidence that any
significant terrorist was ever deterred by the money-laundering cops. The billions of dollars wasted in
pursuing money laundering has merely increased the
power of the politicians to monitor our lives and increased the number of busybody bureaucrats with a
vested interest in retaining useless jobs.
Hitler and Stalin gave us the model of how tyranny
takes over and maintains itself. Pass so many laws that
everyone is a potential criminal, and then law enforcement can be arbitrary, selective, and very political.
That's why the Clinton Administration has pushed the
creation of hundreds of new federal crimes by legislation
and thousands more by federal regulations. Any act of
dishonesty in which a mailed item, a telephone call, or a
bank deposit plays a role is now a federal crime.
We don't trust the Clinton Administration to have the
kind of information about our personal lives that the
KYC regulation would provide. Even if the FDIC says
that it is withdrawing KYC in the face of a mountain of
adverse public comment, that's not good enough because
the Clinton Regulators will connive to achieve the same
goal incrementally. Congress should pass a law specifically prohibiting Know Your Customer.
Power Grab through Executive Order
Bill Clinton has unleashed a blizzard of Executive
Orders to grab new powers for the executive branch,
make broad public policy changes, and even restructure
our governmental system. Executive Orders have a
proper place in federal rulemaking and in implementing
the routine business of the executive departments. But
Clinton has discovered that Presidential Executive
Orders function in a Never Never Land of almost unlimited power, and he is pressing the envelope to move his
agenda, both domestic and foreign.
Clinton advanced three of his favorite goals when he
issued Executive Order (EO) 13107 on December 10. He
increased executive branch authority, he moved America
closer into the "web" of treaties, which he promised in
his address to the United Nations on September 22, 1997,
and he rewarded the feminists who are stood by him in
his impeachment trial.
EO 13107, entitled Implementation of Human Rights
Treaties, sets up an Interagency Working Group, with
representatives from major federal departments, to
implement our alleged "obligations" under the many
United Nations treaties on human rights "to which the
United States is now or may become a party in the
Clinton's impudence in presuming to implement
treaties that the Senate has refused to ratify is characteristic. Congress had to pass legislation last year to forbid
him from using funds to implement the Global Warming
Treaty, which the Senate won't ratify.
Bill Clinton has almost two more years as President.
Congress and the American people must call a halt to his
unprecedented and unconstitutional grab for new
executive-branch powers through phony "peacekeeping"
expeditions, using the Army for domestic law enforcement, monitoring our bank accounts and cell phone
whereabouts, building databases of our medical records,
and issuing power-grabbing Executive Orders. Our
freedom and independence are at stake.
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