Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Colmes, Hillary, and the Panthers

Hello, Alan: "Saying nasty, hateful things" about Democrats? My goodness. Good thing no Democrat ever says "nasty, hateful things" about President Bush, or his daughters, or Michelle Malkin, or ....

Here are the notes for Chapter One's brief account (pp. 8-12) of Hillary Clinton's involvement in the defense of the Black Panthers (aka, the "New Haven Nine"), from pp. 232-233 of DONKEY CONS:

18. “Wellesley College, 1969 Student Commencement Speech, Hillary D. Rodham, May 31, 1969."
19. David Brock, The Seduction of Hillary Rodham (New York: The Free Press, 1996), pp. 22-23; Hillary Rodham Clinton, Living History (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003), p. 42.
20. Collier and Horowitz, Destructive Generation, pp. 29-43; David Horowitz, Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey (New York: Touchstone, 1997), pp. 240-46, 264-68;William Manchester, The Glory and the Dream (New York: Little, Brown and Co., 1974), pp. 1471-76.
21. Edward Jay Epstein, “The Black Panthers and the police: A pattern of genocide?”
New Yorker, February 13, 1971.
22. Ibid.; Alan Bisport, “The night of the Panthers,” Hartford Advocate, November 30, 2003. The extent of surveillance of the New Haven Panthers was discovered in May 1977 (Facts on File Yearbook 1977 [New York: Facts on File, 1978], pp. 422-33).

23. Facts on File Yearbook 1969 (New York: Facts on File, 1970), pp. 345, 544. The shifting number of defendants seems to have made them somewhat difficult to sloganize. The Rackley murder defendants have been variously called the “New Haven Nine” ( Joyce Milton, The First Partner: Hillary Rodham Clinton [New York: William Morrow and Company, 1999], p. 38), the “New Haven Seven” ( Julius Lester, quoted in Horowitz, Radical Son, p. 377), and the “Connecticut Eight” (Bisport, “The Night of the Panthers”).
24. Facts on File Yearbook 1969, pp. 544, 795; Facts on File Yearbook 1970 (New York: Facts on File, 1971), p. 39.
25. Ibid., p. 166; Gail Sheehy, Hillary’s Choice (New York: Random House, 1999), pp. 77-80; Donna Radcliffe, Hillary Rodham Clinton: A First Lady for Our Time (New York: Warner Books, 1993) p. 8; Brock, The Seduction of Hillary Rodham, pp. 31-32; Milton, The First Partner:Hillary Rodham Clinton, pp. 37- 40; Barbara Olson, Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, 1999), pp. 54-56.
26. Facts on File Yearbook 1970, pp. 266, 287.
27. Ibid., p. 308.
28. Ibid., pp. 630, 683; Facts on File Yearbook 1971 (New York: Facts on File, 1972), p. 388; Milton, The First Partner: Hillary Rodham Clinton, p. 37.
29. Facts on File Yearbook 1971, p. 388, 495, 616; Unbylined, “Former Black Panthers Who Have Turned to Higher Education,” Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, October 1998; Dan Hall, untitled article, Associated Press, October 13, 1977.
30. Richard Poe, “Hillary and the Panthers: The Real Story,”, August 19, 2003.
31. Mary Owen, “Sister of Texas dragging death victim attacks Bush,” Detroit Free Press, October 23, 2000;T. J. Milling, Kathy Walt, and Ronnie Crocker, “Jasper suspect wrote of links to racist group,” Houston Chronicle, June 11, 1998.

32. Biographers who describe Hillary’s role in defending the Panthers include Radcliffe (Hillary Rodham Clinton: A First Lady for Our Time); Brock (The Seduction of Hillary Rodham); Milton (The First Partner: Hillary Rodham Clinton); and Olson (Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton ). Sheehy’s Hillary’s Choice omits young Ms. Rodham’s role in the New Haven trial, but includes extensive material about Hillary’s involvement with the Panthers during her internship with Treuhaft (pp. 80-82). Hillary, of course, doesn’t mention her Panther involvement in Living History. A Google search on December 31, 2005, produced more than 800 hits for the combination of terms “urban legend,” “Hillary,” and “Panthers.” See for example,



By my count, Alan, that's NINE diffferent books for five pages of text, including every major biography of Hillary Rodham Clinton we could find. I suppose you could say whatever you'd like about the late Barbara Olson, since she's no longer here to defend herself. But Joyce Milton, Donna Radcliffe and Gail Sheehy? Are they all a bunch of right-wing hacks?

If you want to call David Brock a congenital liar, well ... we report, you decide.

What really carries the narrative in the Hillary/Panthers section, of course, is the "as it happened" chronological sequence of the crime, the arrests, the guilty pleas, the extraditions, the protests, and the trial. In most cases, these details come from Facts on File, an annual hardbound reference work. They are backstopped with an important 1971 magazine article (Epstein in The New Yorker, definitely not a disreputable right-wing rag) and a long feature from the Hartford Advocate (ditto), as well as relevant books, newspaper articles and exactly one (one!) article from, written by Richard Poe.

Now, Alan, you are welcome to check those sources. If you have any better sources that say something else, please send them along. (I plan to check the sources for your book's account of the Hillary/Panthers saga, Alan. We'll compare notes, and see if you've got anything in there that we missed.) According to our sources, however:

1. The Panthers tortured and murdered of one of their members, Alex Rackley, a 24-year-old black man whom they falsely accused of being an informant.
2. George Sams Jr. directed the torture and murder of Rackley; Warren Kimbro and Lonnie McLucas carried out the execution.
3. Sams said this crime was committed under the direct orders of Bobby Seale. Another top Panther, Ericka Huggins, was accused of being an active participant in Rackley's torture.
4. The police had New Haven headquarters under close surveillance.
5. Hillary Rodham was actively involved in the successful defense of Seale and Huggins.
6. Because of that successful defense, two things happened:
a. Seale and Huggins walked free.
b. Hillary got an internship in the law offices of Robert Truehaft, a lawyer closely allied with the Communist Party, USA. Her work with Truehaft also involved the Panthers, according to Sheehy.

Has anyone who ever interviewed Hillary on national television thought to ask her: "Do you regret that? Would you do it again? Did you sincerely believe that Seale and Huggins were innocent? Do you think that all of their accusers -- all of whom were also members of the Black Panther Party -- were lying under oath?"

Also: Mrs. Clinton got paid a huge sum to write Living History, and thus had a perfect opportunity to correct any errors her previous biographers had made in their writing about this episode. Instead, she ignored it altogether.

But I must say this: Any left-winger who thinks Alan is a weak pushover on TV is deceived. Radio is obviously his natural medium. It was obvious that Alan was really riled up by DONKEY CONS. I certainly must say, Sean Hannity's TV partner is one hard-nosed antagonist who is not afraid of a fight.

Alan, thank you very much for having us on. God bless you.


DONKEY CONS: Rave review
DONKEY CONS: Another rave review
DONKEY CONS: Yet ANOTHER rave review
DONKEY CONS: About the book