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Resignation Rag

[whitespace] Henry Hyde's lost weekend. Hacking for Girlies. And other misadventures. Monicagate hot wires the Internet

By H.B. Koplowitz

They had sex, sort of. He lied about it, sort of. So what. When you raise your hand and swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, it's supposed to mean something. Impeach the bastard. Let him go. He committed adultry. So did you. Round and round and round it goes, and when it will ever stop, God knows. Ironically, there's only one person with the power to make Monicagate go away, and only one way for him to do it. It may be the only power he has left.

But until he does, the rest of us will have to resign ourselves to more Monica madness, even in cyberspace.

Ironies abound in this Greek-American tragedy. Ironically, the same Congress that gave us the Communications Decency Act to control smut on the Internet publishes Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's smut on the Internet. And Americans who said Congress should stop obsessing over Monica Lewinsky get their first exposure to "Thomas", the Congressional website that keeps track of legislation, because they wanted to see Starr's report on Monica Lewinsky.

"Thomas" was created by Congress in 1995 to make information about federal legislation freely available to the public. Named after Thomas Jefferson (who, ironically, had his own moral turpitudes), the website lets you look up legislation by bill number, keywords and other search options. "Thomas" also has an online version of the Congressional Record, bill summaries, House and Senate calendars, roll call votes, public laws, committee reports, a guide to how laws are made and historical documents including broadsides from the Constitutional Convention and Continental Congress, the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers and the Constitution.

An estimated 5.9 million people read Starr's report on the Internet the first two days, including 3.6 million who read it at news sites. But plebs seeking their morning Monica shot got a different kind of jolt if they logged onto the website of the New York Times on Sept. 13. For much of that day, the Times website was hijacked by hackers, who replaced its front page with a rant from self-described "Internet terrorists" calling themselves HFG, or Hacking For Girlies.

No damage was done, but like recent hacks of Motorola, Justice Department and CIA websites, the real danger is in what they COULD have done. Instead of posting juvenile jokes about cigars, theoretically, HFG could just as easily have changed the content of "Times" stories, and even of Starr's report.

Of course, juvenile Monica websites continue to proliferate. Links to many can be found at "The Best of Monica Lewinsky". Numerous sites have versions of "Clinton Body-Count", a list of persons associated with the Clintons in one way or another, from Vince Foster to Barry Seal, who have died under "questionable circumstances."

And if you're too lazy to wade through the "legalisms" of the Starr report and want to get straight to the sleazy stuff, the website of the "Kenneth Starr Report Analyzer Engine" lets you type in strategic words and phrases, such as "obstruction of justice" or "cigar," and each occurrence is displayed on your screen.

Is the Starr report about impeachment (12 occurrences) or sex (367)? Does the report focus more on perjury (32), or oral sex (72)? You make the call.

It's only fitting that Starr's report was first released to the public on the Internet. Cyberspace has been on top of this scuzzy story from the beginning, especially through Matt Drudge's Drudge Report, which first revealed details of an affair between the president and an intern. Now Drudge is reporting that a video has surfaced of the prez getting chummy with yet another young lady near the Oval office, and that other White House groupies are on the verge of revealing their own close encounters of the Clinton kind.

And the hits just keep on coming. The next big video release is expected to be Clinton's testimony to the Grand Jury, and coming soon, Monica II, testifying live on TV in front of the House Judiciary Committee. It's tragic that a Commander in Chief would be hounded from office for having an affair. Ironically, in this instance it also appears inevitable.

As does the possibility that if Clinton does not resign, there will be yet more stories of "youthful indiscretions," and the nation will be treated to what is being called the Doomsday Scenario, a bipartisan scorched earth policy in which all the skeletons in all the closets of Congress, courthouses, statehouses and news bureaus are outed.

They will have gotten themselves, and won't that be fun.

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From the September 24-30, 1998 issue of the Sonoma County Independent.

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