Instead of the Chinese Water Torture of incessant leaks, the Republicans in Congress decided to turn on the fire hoses and dowse the President with the entire Starr Report, including all his video testimony before the Grand Jury. There are two problems with this strategy. If it doesn't work, they're out of water. And, in the process, Bill the Thrill Clinton gets four hours of free network TV time. The Gingrich Bunch hasn't done anything this astute since they shut down the government.
The only members of the Washington establishment in worse shape are newshounds who work for the information conglomerates. In a few days, they won't have anything to write about. Maybe they'll have to explain the impeachment process. Won't that be fun? But don't bet on it. These are the same hacks who covered a Grand Jury for 7 months without once telling us how that body functions or what it's supposed to do.
Years ago, I served on a Grand Jury in a small town in Tennessee. When I reported for the jury duty call, the judge explained that the Grand Jury would meet from 9 to noon every day for about three weeks, then visit the Sheriff's crime lab where deputies burn marijuana cigarettes so we'd know what they smell like, visit the jail to see how disgusting it was and agree to keep it that way, and be dismissed for the rest of the six-month term. That sounded easier than waiting for a trial to start, sitting through weeks of testimony and deliberations, only to have the two lawyers make a back room deal at the last minute before we could stick it to that guilty SOB. So each day I finished my morning radio show, walked across the street to the courthouse, listened to the DA present his documentation, and still got to the Milk and Honey Kitchen before they ran out of chicken and dumplin's.
In all we heard 48 cases and presented 47 true bills. An individual who had little evidence and less sense had the only one that we didn't send to trial. Every charge that the DA offered was convincing, and it should have been. It was his job to reveal probable cause and make sure the Grand Jury concurred. We only heard the witnesses, mostly arresting officers, who could best support the state's side of the story. The foreman, in cahoots with the DA, kept the process moving along by urging us to ask questions only to clarify facts and not to prove their veracity. It was a Kangaroo Court.
I recall three cases. The first was a despicable kidnapping where the culprit forced his victim to engage in inappropriate behavior. Then there was the guy who shot his buddy in the neck at a carwash in an argument over who was going to drive home. And there was this woman who took out after her common-law husband and punctured his thoracic cavity with a Bar B Q fork. That one happened at a church picnic. The kidnapper plead guilty and went to prison, but juries acquitted the other two. We only got half their stories. The DA never let us know that the other guy at the carwash pulled a knife first, or that the woman caught her man stealing money from her purse in preparation to slip across the state line with her 15-year old niece. My guess is that most of the cases that our Grand Jury sent forward ended like these, with no convictions.
My limited anecdotal experience with a Grand Jury doesn't condone the President's behavior. But it does make me wonder about the ethics and morals of the people using half truths in an attempt to overthrow an elected government and the media who gloat over the process without helping us understand it.