Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Shop the Truthdig Gift Guide 2014
December 22, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Get Truthdig's headlines in your inbox!


Loss of Rainforests Is Double Whammy Threat to Climate






Truthdig Bazaar

A Hologram for the King

By Dave Eggers
$25.00

more items

 
Report

Susan McDougal: The Woman Who Wouldn’t Talk

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Jan 16, 2007

When Susan McDougal refused to implicate the Clintons in the Whitewater fiasco, she was thrown in prison, left alone with murderers and her own stubborn dignity. Savaged by Republicans and abandoned by Democrats, she would emerge from that dark chapter of American history a hero.

Transcript at bottom.


Part One: The Whitewater Scandal

(Download Part One - QT)


Part Two: “Why Didn’t You Go Along With It?”

Advertisement

Square, Site wide
(Download Part Two - QT)


Part Three: Jail

(Download Part Three - QT)


Part Four: Real Faith

(Download Part Four - QT)

Part Five: Epilogue

(Download Part Five - QT)

Videography by Todd Wilkinson / Videography and Editing by George Edelman

Transcript

TRUTHDIG:  Well, I’m sitting here with Susan McDougal, and let me just confess: I’ve got her book here, “The Woman Who Wouldn’t Talk.” One of the major figures in American history, really, in the last 30, 40 years—central to the whole Whitewater Clinton impeachment scandal. At the end of the day, what was Whitewater all about?

MCDOUGAL:  I think it’s really interesting that the one thing that they could really go after Clinton on was this little real estate deal. My husband and I had gone up to northwestern Arkansas; we had found this piece of land with a beautiful stream running through it. We bought it, and we went to dinner one night at the Black Eyed Pea restaurant. It’s Southern fried food. The Clintons came in and sat with us. Jim said, “We found this great piece of land. We’re going to divide it into tracts. And we had a history—that’s what we were doing for a living—of making money.

TRUTHDIG:  And Clinton wasn’t governor yet, right?

MCDOUGAL:  No, he was Attorney General. They were a young couple. And Jim McDougal had known him—Jim McDougal had been an aide to Senator Fullbright. And Clinton had actually come over from Oxford to volunteer for the campaign. Clinton had driven Fullbright around, and Fullbright told Jim McDougal, “Don’t ever let that guy drive me again. He talks so much I can’t stand it.” And it was always a joke that Fullbright and Clinton had met and they didn’t get along. But Jim McDougal loved Clinton, and Clinton loved Jim McDougal.

So we sat down to dinner with them and Jim said to them, “Why don’t you come into this deal with us? It would be fun. We could go up there and look at the land together. It would get you out of politics, out of Little Rock. It would be a diversion. We could make some money together. It eventually—because interest rates went to 23 percent under Jimmy Carter—lost money. We were selling it on contract for 10 percent, and paying the bank 23 percent. It doesn’t take a genius to see that that deal isn’t going to work. We all lost money. It’s the first scandal in history, that I can think of, in which all four principals lost money. But the most amount of money at any one time that ever passed through this little land deal was $300,000. The whole story behind Whitewater was that the banker who loaned us the money was crooked.

The FBI raided his office and they found that he had been making all sorts of illegal loans—to his family, to his friends—putting names of companies on these loans that didn’t even exist. So he went to the prosecutor and said, “Look, I can give you this guy running for president, Bill Clinton. I made an illegal loan to his company. I loaned him $300,000. Clinton came to me in the dark and said that the money is actually for my campaign.” That was the whole story. David Hale, the banker that we loaned the money from, did less time in jail than I did for civil comtempt; [after he stole] millions of dollars from the federal government and making up all these loans. He was the crux of the entire story that they put in the New York Times that Jeff Gerth wrote about. And it was a lie from beginning to end.

TRUTHDIG:  So it only became a big story when Clinton was running for president, right?

MCDOUGAL:  Yes, this never would have been a story, except for the national press was investigating Clinton. He was running for president, and this guy saw his opportunity to save himself from prosecution. He had been charged with so many felony counts on each loan that was illegal; and it was hundreds of felony counts, and he was going to prison for the rest of his life, and he said, “Look, one of these loans is to Bill Clinton, who’s running for president, and I’ll testify against him.”

TRUTHDIG:  But what I’d like to know is: At the end of the day, what happens? There’s no connection to Bill or Hillary Clinton, right? To this day, they never nailed the Clintons.

MCDOUGAL: Oh, no! Even the Starr Report, at the end, had two references to Whitewater. In the entire Starr report! At the end. And it said [that there had been] no wrongdoing on the part of the Clintons having to do with Whitewater. The Clintons literally had no day-to-day operational part in this development—whatsoever! The only thing they ever knew about it was what we met over dinner and said, “It’s selling pretty well. We’ve sold six or seven lots.” And they said, “Oh, good. That’s great.” Or we’d say, “Interest rates have jumped up at the bank and we’re showing a loss now. We’ve got to put some more money into it. They had nothing to do with it. It wasn’t something I had to go home and say, “Gosh!” No when the independent counsel came to me with this story, and said, “Did the Clintons tell you to go borrow money, and you loaned it to them, and you lied on the application? Did that happen?” This isn’t really something I had to go home and think about.” Like when someone asks you if a friend broke the law, and you think: Could that have happened? It absolutely never happened. It couldn’t have happened. Clinton raised millions of dollars for his campaign. He’s one of the best fund-raisers in American history. That he was asking Susan McDougal to go to a bank and borrow $300,000 for a small business loan, in order to steal money for a campaign, is ludicrous.

But it was never about the truth of it. It was never about whether they were guilty or innocent. It was really about the smear. Could they put this tag on this guy running for president, and stop him in his tracks? It was really about the smear more than anything, because at the outset, they wanted me to say that I had had sex with him. There was a guy who worked for Starr who was—Jim McDougal called him the snake handler. He was the most right-wing religious zealot you could imagine. And from the beginning, he said, “We can get Clinton on morals. We can stop him from becoming president on moral character.” And they wanted me to say from the very beginning that I had had sex with Clinton. And I could have had nothing to do with the Whitewater charges, which I immediately said were not true, and you could never find a penny of that money that was spent illegally or wrongly. And I knew that they would never find any evidence on it. So it was really about the smear of him than any real, true evidence.

TRUTHDIG:  The reason I find your book so interested and you so interesting, is that it gets past this cartoon image of America. What they try to do is reduce Clinton to some kind of cartoon figure—Bubba, you know?—and all he wants to do is chase skirts. And someone like you—all you care about is that he’s handsome, and you’re a woman, so obviously you must be interested. And the fact iMCDOUGAL:  Whatever else you may think about Clinton, he’s an incredibly bright, complex guy with interesting views of the world. As interesting as any statesman we’ve known in hundreds of years. And in your case, you’re not some local, some cheerleader, you’re someone who turned out to be unbreakable. They couldn’t break you. If you had testified about—if you had testified against him, he would have been impeached. Not only impeached, but thrown out of office. He was impeached. They would have had him. So why didn’t you go along with it? You would have had money, you would have gotten—

MCDOUGAL:  A lot of it I do think had to do with growing up in a household that thought of America as a great place, growing up with a certain belief system. And seeing in the meetings I had with them, they could have cared less who was innocent and who was guilty. They simply wanted to get him. And the stories changed as they went along. And watching Jim McDougal after we were convicted, he tried to save himself. And I was at his house one night, and I said, “What are we going to do?” We were just a week away from sentencing. We had gone to trial. We had not made a deal. In fact, of all the people having to do with Whitewater, Jim McDougal and I were the only two people who did not make a deal, who did not cooperate from the very beginning and say that the Clintons were guilty of something. And Jim had been saying they were innocent all along. And he said, “You know? I don’t want to die in prison. And I am going to cooperate. I think we should cooperate. What have they ever done for us, anyway?” And I said, “I can’t do that, but I understand.”

He was much older than I; he had been in ill health. And I was really happy that he had come to something that might save him years in prison. And he called them on the phone while I was there. And he said, “This is Jim McDougal, and I’ve decided I will cooperate. But there are a few things you have to agree to before I will say that the Clintons were guilty of this.” And he said, “I need a year before I go to prison so I can get my affairs in order.” And he gave me this thumbs up, you know, that it was no problem. And he said with the phone up to his ear, “We’re totally broke. We don’t even have a car to drive.” He said he was going to need some walking around money. And he gave me a thumbs up—no problem. They could give him that. [He said,] “I’ll need a car and driver. I don’t have a car; I’m in ill health. When I have meetings with you, you’ll have to come and pick me up and drive me around.” No problem. Thumbs up. And he said, “I’ll need a hospital. I’m a sick man.” No problem.

God, I was so grateful. Because this was a man I had cared about, and whom I did not want to see hurt. And he talked with them a while longer, hung up the phone, and said, “You’re not going to believe what they said. They said that because I have consistently said that the Clintons were innocent, that now that I’m going to change my story, what they’re going to do is say that Starr will come down and talk to this Baptist minister, who’s the judge—the sentencing judge—and he’s going to say that like Saul on the road to Damascus, you had this blinding light, and you’ve now become this Christian man, and now you’re going to tell the truth. And that’s the story we’re going to use.” And it so turned my stomach to hear Jim McDougal talk like that, because he would have been the first person in another life to hate that—that use of Christianity in order to get something.

In the weeks that ensued after that, he would encourage me, too, to cooperate, that it was going to be the best way, that they were going to give me some money. They would send me to Europe and hide me out until it was time to testify. I’d be protected. And I would have money to spend. And it would be—we would be together again. We would testify against the Clintons. And I said, “Jim, they’re going to kill us. This is not true. This is the President of the United States. When we go to trial, they’re going to have lawyers. They’re going to have proof that this money never went anywhere near the Clintons. And it’s a lie. They’re going to make us look like liars, and we’re going to forever be these bad people who lied. And he said, “They’re giving me the documents, Susan.” Meaning the independent counsel was giving him the documents to spin these stories around.

And as Jim met with them time after time, he was becoming this terrible person. And he’d kind of laugh, and he’d say, “Remember that time we went to their house, or the governor’s mansion? Doesn’t that sound like a great story? We’ll say that that was when we hatched the scheme.” And watching him turn into, sort of, this—car dog is the think that comes to my mind—he was a lap dog to what they wanted him to say. And they were telling him what a great job he was doing. And they were giving him money and things we hadn’t had in a very long time. And we were so broken by the conviction and the fact that we had nothing left—everything we had in the world was gone—except the fact that we were telling the truth, which didn’t seem to matter very much, and to see him turn into this person who was willing to lie and laugh about it, and to tell jokes about it, was really what made me, more than any other thing, say to myself: I will never have anything to do with those people. Never will I become that person that I see Jim becoming.

And the fact that I loved him and saw him become this person, was really the catalyst for me. I remember the night before I went to jail, I sat down with my seven brothers and sisters, my Mom and Dad; my Mom was Belgian and had been though the war and my Dad was a soldier, and I remember people were saying, “She knows something. She’s hiding something. She’s probably getting payoffs. There were all sorts of things being said in the media on both sides. And I remember my Mom said to me—this tiny little lady, only five-feet tall; I had been taller than her since I was in the fourth grade—she said, “Isn’t there anything you know about them that you could say that would be the truth? That you could trade? That would be truthful and you could live with?” And I looked at her and I said, “I don’t know a thing those people have ever done that was illegal, immoral, wrong.” And I remember, she stood up, and said, “It’s what Hitler did: He would turn people against other people and make them testify against them. And send them to concentration camps and threaten them if they didn’t.” And she said, “If we beat that guy, we can beat this guy.”

And it was literally my little family and me making this decision that I would not talk to them, and that instead I would go to jail. And I said that they were going to put me in jail if I don’t testify and if I don’t cooperate with the grand jury that he’s got there. And it was literally just us sitting there that night, all of us crying. We never even knew anyone who had gone to jail, you know? It was that night that really was the crux of why I had the strength I had not to cooperate.

TRUTHDIG:  But it didn’t save your husband. They betrayed him.

MCDOUGAL:  It was a year before Jim McDougal was to report to prison. And in that year a lot of things changed. Whitewater really become boring. There was no sex in it, there was never any proof that the Clintons had ever had one penny of that money. There was never one bit of proof, and they thought that the slur alone, just the alleging of the crime, would be enough. People were smarter than [the Starr team] wanted to give them credit for, which is why this is a great country. But Jim reported a year later, and the story then was Monica Lewinsky. The McDougals were long forgotten. Whitewater was not even on the tongues of anyone anymore. It was all Monica, all the time.

And so Jim McDougal did not get the help of the independent counsel. He was the last person they were thinking about. And he went to a federal prison, not a federal hospital, as they had promised. And in just a routine urine test that they do in prison just to see if you’re taking drugs or alcohol, Jim could not urinate on demand, and he was put in a lockdown cell, naked, because you have a hole in the floor, and they collect all your bodily fluids, and they test them. It’s called a dry cell.

TRUTHDIG:  He couldn’t do it because he had a prostate problem?

MCDOUGAL:  He had a prostate problem. And he was calling the independent counsel’s office on the only phone on that cellblock, begging them to help him. Naked, he died, of a heart attack without his medicine, in that dry cell. And it was the hardest thing for me about all of this, because I always thought there would come a day, when Jim McDougal could say, this was to save myself. This was to save me, that I did this. The Clintons never did this wrong. And he did: He got a light sentence from the judge. Starr came down and said like Saul on the road to Damascus, Jim McDougal was a Christian now. And when he did, this deputy of Starr’s delivered this eulogy at the cemetery. What a great Christian Jim McDougal had become. And I was not let go for the funeral. I was kept in prison at the time. But what a travesty! To have these people who called themselves Christians—who were doing everything they could in the back rooms of the courthouse to lie about the Clintons—giving the eulogy. They didn’t have a tenth of the honor that the man that Jim McDougal was before they had broken him, had ever had.

TRUTHDIG:  I remember the first time I encountered your case in a person way—because I was following it—was when your attorney called me up, because I was writing columns for the L.A. Times, and Mark called me up and said, “You ought to really look into this. We have this filing—the filing about how you were being treated—”

MCDOUGAL:  The conditions.

TRUTHDIG:  Well, tell us something about that. What were you experiencing? It was horrendous.

MCDOUGAL:  One of the rules of a high profile woman prisoner was that she wear the red dress. It was something that let everyone know that this was a high profile case, and most of those cases were women who had killed children. And they were the most hated people inside the jail system. And so on murderer’s row, where I was being held for civil contempt, most of the women who were there were accused of killing a child or a helpless person—some kind of really bad, heinous crime. And they wore the red dress. And when you would go to court, the women who were in the red dress were put on the bus to court, but they were caged inside the bus in a cage that was locked. And the men and women who were on the bus would spit on those women, ejaculate on those women, call them names, try to get through the bars and hit them or tear at them, because they were the most despised people in the system, and they were locked in the bus for everyone not to be able to get to. And going to court was beyond description. I would spend a day getting ready to go to court, trying to get myself psyched up for going. Because you are woken at dawn, there is no breakfast, you are hustled downstairs into a locked cell, you’re strip- searched, you’re handcuffed, your legs are chained in irons. You’re in waist chains, and you wait for hours for the bus. Then you’re herded onto the bus, and you’re locked into the cage. And then all the prisoners come. They have no idea who you are, but you are abused the entire trip on the bus. And the women who are locked in there with you cry and sob all the way to justice, which is your day in court. It’s a lovely day, I can tell you, getting your day in court. You go to court, you’re locked in a holding cell, you go out into the court room, you are strip-searched, chained, locked inside the cage on the bus for the trip back to jail, then once again as you get inside you are strip-searched again. And by this time it has been a full, maybe, 12 hours of being chained and dragged around like an animal, and hooked to other people, and chained, and maybe they fall, and you fall. That happens many times, where you can’t walk in lockstep, and you all go tumbling down. And the degradation of it, of your day in court, is horrible that you don’t want to go. And so you get back in the locked room, and once again you’re strip-searched with all the other women there, and you are bent over, your cavities are searched.

In the motion, we put that about the day that they took the pad out—I was menstruating—and the blood ran out down my legs, and you’re just left until someone takes you to your cell, and then maybe you get a pad, or you don’t. The kind of degradation a woman goes through to get her day in court, was something I never could have dreamed of, in a million years, being a citizen of this country, and thinking that that could happen in America. From the time you wake up, to the time you get back in your cell, maybe 10 hours later, you are yelled at, you are screamed at by the guards, by the other inmates, in my case, because I was in the red dress. And you get maybe 15 minutes in court, and you don’t get to say a word while you’re in there. And all of that was in [the motion], and I remember the judge who got the motion that you were given that day, said—

TRUTHDIG:  This is a Southern woman—

MCDOUGAL:  Yes, She said, “I have no trouble believing that all these things happened, that these conditions exist, that the food is pushed underneath the metal door, and the rats will get to it if you don’t get to it quick enough, that the roaches fall on you all night long while you’re in your cell, I have no trouble believing any of these things, but I will tell you thiMCDOUGAL:  For telling you these things, Susan McDougal is no lady. And I was always very proud of the fact that I was not a lady, if it meant that, maybe some of those kids ... because in the seven jails that I was most often in, I was the oldest woman there; these are kids we’re talking about. And it’s not about color any more. It may have been a racial issue at one time, but it is all about poverty. It is the poorest people you could imagine: kids eating out of trash cans, and never having anyone look after them, or never have any care given them, ending up in jail, and it’s all about drugs and alcohol and poverty and hopelessness.

TRUTHDIG:  The amazing thing about your story is that you crossed over when you didn’t have to. You came from this basic white bread American family, and all that. And you were a friend of Bill’s. You were in the governor’s office when people came from Yale and other places to work in Arkansas. This was the New Democrat, showing the new way, and so forth. You were the sacrificial lamb. You were left there, and this all happened very close to Beverly Hills, very close to Santa Monica. And even after the story came out, so what? There was some stirring of support or concern, but basically, Ken Starr was able to put you in a situation in murderer’s row, in a red dress, as a dangerous criminal, on a civil contempt [charge].

MCDOUGAL:  After I got out of jail, the only nightmares I ever had, were about [the jail] Twin Towers. I remember the lieutenant at [the jail] Civil Brand came, and he said, “We have just the perfect place for you, McDougal: We’re putting you in the Hannibal Lecter cell at Twin Towers. And it was a cell in which the glass was so thick that if you came up and yelled at me, I couldn’t have heard you. It was a totally sound-proof, 24-hour-per day, lit, open toilet, me in this room. Twenty three hours a day. One hour a day I got to go out to a basketball court.

TRUTHDIG:  No privacy?

MCDOUGAL:  No privacy at all. And I couldn’t hear anything. I could look out and see the other women who were mostly charged with terrible, heinous crimes, who were going to church meetings, who were going to office visits. Not me—I was locked in. And that part was by far the part that I thought would break me. It was okay treat us in any way. It was what the sheriff told me when he called me down to his office and said—

TRUTHDIG:  Do you remember which sheriff, do you remember where it was?

MCDOUGAL:  It was in Arkansas. It was in Conway, Arkansas. He said, “I’ve been elected over and over and over again. I know politics.

TRUTHDIG:  He was probably a Democrat.

MCDOUGAL:  Yeah. He said, “I know politics, and you think you’re doing something; you think you’re standing up for principles. Nobody gives a damn about you. You’re locked in here and nobody even knows you’re here. And what you’re doing is so stupid. Nobody cares about people in jail. That’s something you’re going to find out. They don’t even know you’re in here any more. And it is a truism for most women in jail. Most women on visiting day never get a visit. On men’s visiting day, there are lines. You can’t even get in to see your male guy in jail, because the mothers come, the wives come, the children come. But with women, it’s not true. Most of those women are in there because they never had anyone help them in their whole lives, or a family to support them. But you know, after I had that meeting with the sheriff, they came days later with these huge bags of letters, 50,000 letters from all over the world, or people saying, “What is happening? What is happening in America, that you can go to jail in leg irons and waist chains and handcuffs, and be taken away to jail because you refuse to cooperate with Kenneth Starr. And most of those people cared not only about me, but about the women in jail, and [the letter writers] ask about them. And one of the things that I had the most trouble with deciding that I wouldn’t cooperate, was that I would be locked up with women who must be the worst people on earth. They must be these calloused, hard, terrible women; and that I would be locked up and they would be so different from me. And they begged me after these letters came, “Susan, can we read them?” And in the night in that place, I can remember lying there and I would hear a voice just in the darkness, say, “You’ve got to hear this letter. You guys have got to listen. And this little voice reading this letter out would say, “Dear Susan: I can’t believe this is happening to you, but because of your strength and your courage, I’m going to fight even harder against my cancer.” Or, “I’m going to fight even harder for what I believe in.” And how are the women there with you? Are they getting enough to eat? Are they warm? Are they getting what they need?” And [the other prisoners] would say, “Do you really think people out there care about us?” And it was astonishing to them that people were good in the world, that they had a care for people that they didn’t know. These were kids who never had a kind word given to them. These were girls who were in trouble because they rarely had anyone care. And to think that I almost gave up my integrity and everything I always believed in, because I was so frightened to go in that place, and then to hear their voices in the night, and I would lie there and think: I can’t believe it. I can’t believe—

TRUTHDIG:  But when you were there behind that plexiglass, in that isolation, you must have come close to going crazy.

MCDOUGAL:  I think that was the closest I came to thinking that I wouldn’t be able to do this. I’m just not going to be able to do this.

TRUTHDIG:  What did Starr want? Why did he go so far to break you—just to accept his narrative and bring the Clintons in?

MCDOUGAL:  There were [five] people who could testify as to what actually happened in the Whitewater company: Bill and Hillary Clinton, who were saying that they were innocent of any wrongdoing; Jim McDougal, who, up until the time we were convicted of wrongdoing, had said that the Clintons were innocent, but was now saying, “I lied and want to tell the truth;” the banker who had loaned the money was a cooperating witness because he was now charged with crimes; and so I was the last person. And so if I came and stuck with the Clintons and said, “Look, these guys are lying, it never happened this way—” And not only was I the last person, I was really, if you looked at it, the least involved, the least-motivated person to lie of any of them. I wasn’t friends with the Clintons, I hadn’t talked to them in years, I had no reason to cover for them—and so they had to rough me up a little; they had to make me look like a bad guy, so that I could never stand and say, “This never happened.”

TRUTHDIG:  And who were the “they”?

MCDOUGAL:  I think that—You know, there was an independent counsel before Kenneth Starr, and the one thing he did while he was independent counsel, was he held a press conference. And he said, “I can find no wrongdoing on the part of Bill and Hillary Clinton, having to do with Whitewater.” And he was summarily fired. And Kennth Starr was appointed by a group of—on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, one was a former aide to Jesse Helms in North Carolina

TRUTHDIG:  Not the Ninth Circuit, right? It was the one in Washington…

MCDOUGAL:  Yes, it was the Federal Court of Appeals. And they were all very staunch Republicans, and they appointed Starr, and I believe at that point, when Starr was appointed, [the previous independent counsel] had just said there had been no wrongdoing, at that point, that is when we all should have said, “What is really going on? Why is this man who everybody looks at as being a fair-minded independent counsel, who’s done a year’s worth of work, who’s come up with a press conference, why is he summarily discharged, and this guy [Starr], who none of us had any idea of, being appointed?” And I think that was really the beginning of trying to use this investigation.

TRUTHDIG:  This guy is now within a mile of us as a dean of a law school. Isn’t that—

MCDOUGAL:  Pepperdine Law School.

TRUTHDIG:  Yeah, he’s right up the road—respectable—most of the people who put you in that plexiglass place are—

MCDOUGAL:  They’re federal judges now, running the country. Yes, it’s true: Evil is not punished on earth. I think we can see that every day. I’m not [waiting for that to happen.] You know, there was a woman one night, on the weekend; she was rolled in—literally. She was rolled out of some kind of blanket into the room where we were all held, all of the women. And she was unconscious—she had been drinking to the point of unconsciousness—and she had urinated on herself, she had thrown up on herself, she smelled so badly, and we were locked in this concrete room with her, and we hated this woman. She had been rolled under the telephone, and so every time we had to use the telephone, we literally had to hold our breath to use the phone. She didn’t wake up for days. She was unconscious. And when she woke up, she was seeing these imaginary insects on her, and she was so hungry when she woke up, because there had been days when she hadn’t eaten a thing, just lying there, unconscious, that she would steal the food from our plates. And we couldn’t stand her. I mean, literally, if you turned your head, your food would be stolen. And in jail, if you eat every bite you are given, you are so hungry. It’s all you think about—food. You eat everything they give you. And Althea was hungrier than any of us. And we literally hated this woman. And this one night, after Althea was there for a while, I found a note under my pillow. And she had written a poem to me. And it’s in the book.

[Picks up her book] This is the poem I found under my pillow at night: 

We can’t see any wrong she’s
done
But we know just why she’s
here
God has sent this woman of
courage
To help calm our fears

We’re grateful every morning
when
We rise and see her shine
We feel it’s such a pleasure
To sit with her and dine.

She makes us feel worthwhile
As she helps us get through the
day
She speaks of a brighter
future
In a special sort of way.

Every day I thank god
For introducing her to me
It doesn’t matter that the
door is locked
She makes us all feel free.

TRUTHDIG:  The reference to god—the people who put you in jail claimed to be acting in strict accordance to scripture. You grew up with a strict Christian background; you went to a Baptist college; what did you think about god while you were in jail?

MCDOUGAL:  I was really bitter when I went to jail. I was as angry a person as I had ever known. There were times I used to think [that] this is the perfect place for me—as I am so angry, I had better be locked up. I used to dream while I was in jail. I’d lie on the bed and think what I’d do to Ken Starr if I could get my hands on him. And I would almost laugh maniacally thinking how I would hurt him if I could get my hands on him. I was so far form any spirituality because I felt robbed of it. It was as if Kenneth Starr talking about his Christianity, and about all of that, it was as if god himself were saying that we were guilty. You know, that god had given him this imprimatur to do this investigation. And I couldn’t believe that this was the same Christianity that I had always been a part of. And so I had nothing left. I was nothing but a bitter, angry person who was innocent and locked up in jail.

And a lot of that changed when I met the young women in there, and the hope that they had for the future after the terrible things they had been through. I sort of felt guilty at the bitterness I had, at the life I had been given. That I was so bitter, and these women, who had been through such more terrible things than I, had so much hope.

But I tell a story, I think, in the book, of the lady who came two days before Christmas. I was in the cell block at Civil Brand on murderer’s row. Two days before Christmas, my parents had no idea where I was, my brothers and sisters, I’m sure, were gathered all around the Christmas tree—all weeping, saying, “Where is Susan?” I had just been moved; it would take weeks to get a visitor’s list, to use the telephone. No one knew that I had been moved to Civil Brand on murderer’s row, and I was alone. And I heard a Christmas carol, and I thought, “This is it. You’ve really lost it.” And around the corner of that cellblock came this little lady, she was as wide as she was tall. I will never forget Sister Rose. On Christmas Eve night, Sister Rose had come to Civil Brand, to murderer’s row, to spend her Christmas Eve with women who had not a penny in the world, and many of them, not even a kind word to give, because they themselves were so bitter and destroyed and destructive. And no TV cameras, no one to tell about what a great Christian she was, or what a great person she was. There was no one there. And she walked down the hall spending her night singing Christmas carols to women accused of the worst crimes you could imagine. And she walked up to my cell, and she pointed her finger and she said, “I know who you are.” And she stood there that night and she talked to me. And it was through people like her, and through Rabbi Kreigel and people who came to work with people in prison, that I was given back a sense of what is to be a good, spiritually, compassionate person, and to believe that there are good people in the world again. And so I’m really grateful for the time that I had there, to be given back that spirituality. Living in Arkansas now, I see people who are connected in some way with Whitewater, and who made the deal with Starr. And you know what I tell them? “You should have gone to jail.” Because they are still so bitter and destroyed. And as you say: I don’t feel that way at all. I know I beat ‘em.

TRUTHDIG:  One last thing: You finally did get to meet Clinton. He came to a reading of yours?

MCDOUGAL:  No, he came to Harry Thomas’ film, “The Hunting of the President,” that I had a little, tiny role in.

TRUTHDIG:  But he came, and it was the first time you had seen him?

MCDOUGAL:  It was the first time I had seen him since 1986. I think it was 2005, or something like that.

TRUTHDIG:  And where was this?

MCDOUGAL:  It was in New York. And it was a huge auditorium. There were five levels; you couldn’t even see the top of the room. And after the film, Clinton ran up on stage, and he said—it was full of people; every star you could imagine from Hollywood, and people you know from all over the world, and generals—and he said, “Thank you, Harry, for this film. It really tells the story well.” And he said, “I’ve very grateful, but we have in this audience tonight a true American hero that we need to recognize.” And I was looking around for the general who would stand up, or the person he was talking about, and he said, “Susan McDougal, would you stand up?”


New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By K.W. Axelgard, October 5, 2010 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am not a politician.  I am not highly educated.  I am not publicly known for anything or as anyone important.  I am one of society’s sheepdogs who watches out for the wolf and does his best to protect the sheep.  I am a father who has raised a beautiful & intelligent daughter and now I am raising a 9-year old boy.  If I could ever have the privilege of meeting Susan McDougal, I would hug her and thank her for being someone who I can hold up to my daughter & son as an example of integrity.  Doing what she did, in the face of certain peril, is what I would want my son to do.  Speaking out about her suffering with such grace and dignity is what I would want my daughter to do.  Thank you Susan for being a beautiful, dignified role model that any father would be proud of!

Report this

By Unreadable, April 28, 2008 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All this incredible suffering, and for whom? For the couple who’ve now been exposed as race-baiting, party-destroying, power-hungry Republicans-in-disguise.

Indeed, Susan McDougall is a true American hero. Too bad the very people she protected are unworthy of her sacrifice.

Report this

By Sheila Lowe, March 31, 2008 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I just finished reading Susan McDougal’s book today (3/31/08) and wanted to know where she was now, 5 years later, so I did some Googling and found her on your site. I’m so glad for your interview and appreciate seeing and hearing her speak for herself.

There’s nothing I can add to what I’m sure thousands have said about the travesty that was her case, but it’s good to know she not only survived, but came through it with the ability and willingness to help as she can the women behind bars.

My experiences with the legal system in my own work as an expert witness, and my daughter having spent a week in Sybil Brand when her boyfriend beat her up, have left me somewhat jaded. I still remember her horror at watching a girl her age who was having a seizure being left to die on the floor, and the guards refusing to allow anyone to help her.

Thank you for making this interview available. I always enjoy you, Bob, and Peter on the Michael Jackson show.

Report this

By Jeff Myers, March 7, 2007 at 9:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

McDougall is and will always be Clinton’s own G. Gordon Liddy.

If Hilary gets the nomination, the time will be right for her tell-all book.

Minor Clinton foot soldier or Bestselling Author and Media Powerhouse?

Only time will tell in Sussan McDougall’s case.

Report this

By glen beck, March 3, 2007 at 2:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Susan, I’ve got some time and a camera, what say you stop bye? wink, wink

Report this

By Ernest T. Trigg, February 27, 2007 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Susan McDougal,

How few heros we have in America these days.  My respect and admiration for you is boundless.  I weep for your ordeal and for my country.  Unfortunately it is still going on.

If you had caved, we might be in even worse shape than we are.  Certain people stand at pivot points in history.  You were called and you survived with your integrity intact.  You may even have saved our country by helping to delay the right-wing takeover by a few years.  Now, if the Democrats would just show some of your kind of courage and finally bring all these criminals to the justice they so richly deserve.

Thank you so very much for being one of the real patriots.

Report this

By enemy of the people, February 26, 2007 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Susan,

The probablility of you reading these words is near zero but I am writing them anyway.

I have seen heros being made. When I was pinned down and too afraid to move, I watched other men become heros.

I saw your drama as it was played out. It was so unbelievable that real people were involved in this all I could think was no fiction writer could come up with what she is going through. Occasionally I thought about the Whitewater scandal and wondered if you would just say to hell with it all and roll over on Bill.

It seemed your loyalty knew no bounds. After reading and listening to your words, it is clear, abundantly clear, your position was not about loyalty or doing what was right or implicating Bill Clinton.

Your position was simply about no fear.

You, Susan, are a hero.

Report this

By Bobby Maxwell, February 17, 2007 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Susan, I have never read a more powerful profile in courage.  I hope to meet you someday and tell you thanks for standing strong against immense power.

Report this

By Terrence Sullivan, February 14, 2007 at 9:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have just watched “The Hunting of a President” and again am sickened as an american to the corruption of this country’s politics. I am sickened and ashamed of George W. Bush and “Dickhead” Dick Cheney. Looking back at what went on with the manipulation of the media and american public you see it all played out again.  How can people, us, we Americans continue to let the right wingnuts control America with their continued malicious lies and innuendo. If you voted for Bush/Cheney once you should be embarassed, if you voted for them twice you should be ashamed.  Have Americans not learned anything?  To continue to listen to the maggots like Falwell, Robertson, Coulter, Hannity, O’Reilly and the scum of scum Limbaugh who is a liar and sociopath of the likes of Hitler.  I am glad there is an occaisional person of character on the periphery we can look up to.  There are to few but I would put Susan McDougal on that list of people I would be proud to know.

Report this

By Harriet Glickman, February 13, 2007 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Where were Bill and Hillary Clinton through all of this?  There were news stories about her going to prison.  Everyone knew.  Did they make any attempts to find her, learn about her situation, anything?

For him to call her a hero after the fact leaves me cold!

Report this

By Dale Headley, February 11, 2007 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A hero, indeed!  And a paragon of courage and integrity.

Report this

By Search Engines WEB, February 11, 2007 at 6:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hopefully, she will commence a civil suit for the way she was treated at the so-called “Hannibal Lecter cell at Twin Towers” and for the lack of protection the “Red Dress” women received during their bus trips


Why was she suddenly put in there - to coerce her?

New legislation and new policies must be enacted to prevent these injustices from occurring to anyone

Despite all the publicity, it still boils down to legislation and policy changes to get effective changes

Also, there must be monitoring of prisoners from Social Services Organizations to keep track of injustices

Report this

By Tammy Whitener-Martin, February 10, 2007 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have just listen to your interview….The real story about who Susan Mcdougal is, you will not find it in the Whitewater deal involving the Clinton’s.  The real character of Susan can be found in the dealings of Madison Guranaty.  Her and Jim Mcdougal stole money from hard working people.  In the first part of this interview Susan you spoke of the banker (David Hale), steeling money etc. it sounds like you know alot about how that is done.  I know you will probably remember me.  I am the daughter of Freddy Whitener.  Remember he is the one you and Jim went into partnership with and bought Gold Mine Springs.  After Madison failed, he was left with a judgement against him for 1.6 million. You, Jim, Pat and God only knows who all used Whitenr and Associates account to steel money from our family.  It makes me ill to read all of the comments about what a WONDERFUL person you are….You will be reading and hearing more from me in the future.  I hope and pray others will be looking forward to finding out who you really are.  You have done a excellent job of making fools out of so many people like my dad.  Your day will come.  And, I can not believe you speak of yourself as a caring person!!!!!!
Tammy

Report this

By Tammy Whitener-Martin, February 10, 2007 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have just listen to your interview….The real story about who Susan Mcgougal is, you will not find it in the Whitewater deal involving the Clinton’s.  The real character of Susan can be found in the dealings of Madison Guranaty.  Her and Jim Mcdougal stole money from hard working people.  In the first part of this interview Susan you spoke of the banker (David Hale), steeling money etc. it sounds like you know alot about how that is done.  I know you will probably remember me.  I am the daughter of Freddy Whitener.  Remember he is the one you and Jim went into partnership with and bought Gold Mine Springs.  After Madison failed, he was left with a judgement against him for 1.6 million. You, Jim, Pat and God only knows who all used Whitenr and Associates account to steel money from our family.  It makes me ill to read all of the comments about what a WONDERFUL person you are….You will be reading and hearing more from me in the future.  I hope and pray others will be looking forward to finding out who you really are.  You have done a excellent job of making fools out of so many people like my dad.  Your day will come.  And, I can not believe you speak of yourself as a caring person!!!!!!
Tammy

Report this

By rose, February 10, 2007 at 12:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As I read her astonishing story, I was amazed at her lack of self-pity or victimization. What a courageous person.  I recommend this book to ALL Americans.

Report this

By GREYDOG, February 7, 2007 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Susan McDougal, you are an amazing and inspiring woman.
Thank you for your courage.

Report this

By Jgm, February 6, 2007 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hundreds of us gathered at the Federal Building here in Los Angeles many years ago, soon after Susan was released from jail. We chatted with her, and, of course, later bought her book. She is a heroine, a very courageous, remarkable woman. The Republican thugs gathered around to begin their campaign of vicious lies about her, Democrats and the Clintons. The NYTimes sicced a despicable guy by the name of Jeff Gerth to go to Arkansas and fish for liars. There, and for some big bucks, he got folks to lie. We detest Starr and refer to him as the Plague. That he teaches law, is a travesty of justice. The Republicans have not stopped their vindictive,and sadistic campaign against Democrats since then. Susan’s book is a must read for anyone who seeks truth and justice.

 

 

 

e

Report this

By Moe Hare, February 6, 2007 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“McDougal was a sap.  She could have avoided all of this by doing the proper thing.  Instead, we are subjected to a whine fest of poor, pitiful me dialouge”

MK you’re an ASS—We all want another creep like Bush to win in 2008—when you find your brains let us know!

Report this

By thebewilderness, February 6, 2007 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What is there to say. I cannot know if she was party to some real or imagined fraud.  I do know that the treatment she received puts the lie to the protections we think the constitution provides.  I know that our judicial system is so opressive of the poor that it turns the presumption of innocence on its head and assuumes guilt.  I know that the authoritarians in the judicial system relish the opportunity to “teach a lesson” to the non-compliant. I know this because I worked in a prison in a state where inmates were treated humanely, and still I saw injustice every day.

Report this

By MK, February 6, 2007 at 10:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What a bunch of pathetic whiners.

McDougal was a sap.  She could have avoided all of this by doing the proper thing.  Instead, we are subjected to a whine fest of poor, pitiful me dialouge.

The horrors that we are dealing with today, such as the War on Terror, the dumbing down of the US populace, the trashing of the Constitution, the normalization of perversion and so on; all rest squarely on the shoulders of Bill and Hillary Clinton, along with their cohorts in the Democrat Party.

God help us if that monstrous female named Hillary is elected.  Perhaps is McDougal had done the right thing, we could have been spared the horror of a Hillary presidency.

Report this

By Terry Sloth, February 4, 2007 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“It is truely amazing that anyone would want to make heroic the protection of criminal acts.”

Collin,

If you’re looking for criminals—look no further than Bush and Cheney.

Report this

By J.Sprinkle, February 3, 2007 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What a breathtakingly horrible story. What an incredibly courageous and strong woman. I used to cringe every time I saw her in the shackles being moved around…I couldn’t believe then that this was happening in America. However, I never even imagined what she was being put through. Why is Starr not in jail.  What has America become?

Thank you, Susan, I will buy your book and encourage everyone I know to do so. Particularly the young women—they need to see that heroines do still walk among us. 

I so admire your acceptance of this ordeal as an experience that had some value for you. And that you are not bitter. I admire you most of all for that. Good luck and God bless you.

Report this

By Collin Brendemuehl, January 31, 2007 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is truely amazing that anyone would want to make heroic the protection of criminal acts.
But, alas, we can be certain *your name* wasn’t in the 900 FBI files of Hillary!  (Now you just go ahead and vote for her.  It’s your right.)

Report this

By The Liberator, January 31, 2007 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It makes so much sense of course. It all comes together with Ms. McDougal’s horrible account of what happened to her. It was the dress rehearsal, wasn’t it? The same people who wanted to crucify her and the Clintons are the very same who have been (very ably) crucifying so-called terrorists since 9/11. Prisons are wonderfully effective at suppressing dissent. That’s why so many secret and not-so-secret ones exist. Nothing has changed. the fascists plow on, disguised as Soviets, Latin and South Americans, Arabs, Asians, Americans, whatever. Eliminate them in Germany, and they rise up, like awful weeds, in the Soviet Union and yes, in America. And why not rise up in America, stronger than ever, with ultimate power, using Jesus and morals and whatever grist comes to their mills, including Ms. McDougal, and prisoners from Iraq and Afghanistan and from all over the world. Instill the fear in everyone (...you might be next, so shut your mouth!). Oh yes, the fascists, stronger than ever, use the innocents more, and more effectively,  than they ever did in the past. They love to torture, maim and kill, as much as cows love to graze. They feed on it. With the blood of human sacrifice dripping from their lips, they are provided with what they see as the ultimate sensual pleasure in all its forms. Whether these fascists are completely and cynically aware of what they are doing, or even worse, unawares and blinded by the auto-da-fe, their effect is the same. They accomplish evil’s ultimate goal, the utter and total suffering of humankind. How proud are we all to be American! VP Cheney’s CNN interview chilled me more than Ms. McDougal’s harrowing account. For there, plain for all to see, was the true representation of what Ms. McDougal lived through. No matter what the cost, no matter what, the ultimate power must prevail. The ultimate power of seeing one vision, one solution, triumph over all. For money and power. In the name of God, oh yes. Especially in the name of God, if that works. Whatever works: God, Democracy, Family, Religion, Morals. Whatever. Use them all. Throw them all onto the bonfire that consumes justice, humanity, decency, and everything else that the idealistic American revolution and constitution declared. I would like to hope, against all hope, that once these criminals are unceremoniously tossed out onto the garbage heap where they belong, that America can rise to the challenge of making amends. Is it truly fantasy to believe that America can rise to do the right thing? Can America admit to itself that it was overtaken from within, and that in the name of all that America holds precious, innocence was raped, violated, and dragged, through the worse depravity that humans could conjure? Can we rise to the challenge? Can we rebuild Iraq, and Afghanistan, not to mention the other places we have plundered and destroyed, into the dream that has now practically disintegrated into the pile of toxic ash that America has made of it? I would like to think that we can do this. I would like to dream that for once, corrupt and wicked power will be powerless against doing what is right. It is in the hands of we the people to rise up, and cleanse ourselves of this cancer. Without death, without suffering, without pain. With love. Only with love. When will we ever learn…to dream, and truly make dreams come true. Therein lies the secret greatness of America, and indeed of all the world.

Report this

By Paul R. Cooper, January 31, 2007 at 11:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We should be most suspicious whenever we hear some twisted character talk about what a wonderful country we have, what loving and generous people we are.  While we have potential and resources to come nearer to what we claim for ourselves, I find the distance between Nazi crematoria operators and American jailers in Arkansas and Abu Graib perilously short.  The ideal of American justice is fine but practice stinks.  Susan MacDougle’s story should be heard by every super-patriot who imagines that in this great country only the guilty are punished.

Report this

By Vanessa, January 30, 2007 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am so proud and encoraged to see this interview.  I could only e-mail links to other women I know,so they too can see the courage and strength that Susan held up under all she indured.  I read every comment and feel truely inspired that many people truly get it, and so sad for all who don’t.  Truth does win in the end, you just have to hold on. I also feel fear at the direction our country is heading with this administration, and believe we are all going to have to make the stand for truth as Susan did.  When it is your turn to stand strong under the pressure,remember what Susan said about the people who did not hold on to the truth and sold out.  How bitter and miserable they became,and all the promises that was offered were just lies.  The lack of courage in or leadership in congress to stand up for what is right Democrate or Republican it is so clear who they are, we need to vote them out.  Susan gives me the courage to say if she can stand up for the truth, so can I.  Althea’s poem is so correct Susan’s corage calms our fears.  Thank you Susan.

Report this

By Thom, January 30, 2007 at 2:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A beautiful woman no doubt. I so want to believe her! A lot of her story doesn’t add up tho’. She dances around crucial points, and there are obvious lies as well. Not that it matters to the true believers. Who will now howl. Don’t bother, I won’t be passing by again. Keep your comments and your beliefs. Certainly a well informed, truth-seeking bunch.

Report this

By Gary Singleton, January 30, 2007 at 12:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Always-grinning Kenneth Starr is a cruel monster.
Susan McDougal is inspirational.

Read this book and remember how the media helped Starr and Scaife.
The same media is now opposed to impeachment when it is appropriate.
I believe Bush would have been impeached already if not for Starr’s abuse of the process.

I was responsible for a few hundred IMPEACH STARR bumperstickers in Southern California.

Report this

By Alejandro, January 29, 2007 at 9:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WOW!!! What a courages lady. From what I gather from this interview, it’s pretty obvious that Susan’s incarceration for contempt was meant to torcher her in to submission and not to get at the facts. The irony is that the people most responsible for this atrocity go to church every Sunday and sit on the pews closest to the lecturn, while they plot, God knows what devilish act against their neighbors. The entire right wing of the repunglican party have shown themselves willing to stop at nothing to promote their twisted ideology.

Thank you, Susan and perhaps God in his infinite wisdom gave you the strength to expose these reprobates.

Report this

By Tony S., January 29, 2007 at 9:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Concerning comment 50092 by News Nag;

I just wanted clarification.

The Whitewater case is approaching 10 years old.  At the time, I saw how it involved things Clinton did years before they were even in the White House. Therefore, the whole thing had the stench of Republican Witch Hunt.  So I paid less attention to the thing as a whole.  My foggy recollections of the case is based mostly on slanted newspaper headlines of stories I didn’t read.  It led me to erroneously believe that Susan was not complying with a grand jury ordered subpeona.

The article’s title, “The woman who wouldn’t talk” did not dispell me of that incorrect notion.
As I re-read the article, I realized she was convicted of something.  It does not specify exactly what she was convicted of, or how it was obtained.

A more accurate title might have been “The woman who wouldn’t LIE”. 

This case was mired in polictical slant from both sides, and it is NOT that simple, really, for those like me who try to ascertain an unbiased truth of what happened. It’s a good thing my troll skin is so thick, or I would be insulted by comments from a nag who would question my comfort levels concerning reality.  I am only trying to determine what it is.

Report this

By Jonas South, January 29, 2007 at 9:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Hundred Thousand Dollar Lady

Should Hillary Clinton become the Democratic Party nominee in 2008, questions are sure to arise as to her ethics. Public records show that she provided legal services to individuals who had business pending before her husband, who was then the governor of Arkansas.

In one well-documented instance, Hillary was made an offer she should have, but didn’t refuse: write me a check for $1000, and I will invest it for you, and I will make it worth your while. She did, and, in short order, the gentleman forked over a hundred thousand dollars ‘profit’. The only problem is, the gentleman had business pending before her husband that could benefit him many times $100,000.00, making the deal blatantly corrupt and immoral.

So, if you have ever made an investment that earned you a ten thousand percent return on your investment, then nominate Hillary, the first woman blah, blah. For us less financially astute Democrats, we deserve better, woman or man.

Report this

By News Nag, January 27, 2007 at 11:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To commenter Tony S:  It’s simple, really, Tony.
Susan did not testify because she was not allowed to testify because she would not lie for Ken Starr.  If she had agreed to lie about Clinton, then she would have been allowed to testify.  Are you really so naive that you didn’t grasp that basic fact, or are you just a troll who doesn’t feel comfortable living in reality?

Report this

By Kathy Stennes, January 27, 2007 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I recall being disappointed Bill Clinton didn’t pardon Susan in his last days as president (and I was really broken-hearted when Lenard Peltier was not granted a pardon).  I’m going to buy Susan’s book - I believe her story is an important one.

Report this

By Mark Williams, January 27, 2007 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Susan,

Your story is a true inspiration, horrifying and heroic at the same time. Please don’t stop telling it to anyone who will listen. The lessons are too important. Your experience with the brutality of those who deal in moral absolutes and profess divine inspiration exposes their dark underbelly.

Citizens need to know that men like Ken Starr are one of many who despise our Democracy and enrich themselves in the process of destroying anyone opposed to their beliefs. Your integrity and strength of character is something for which they have no defense. They are void of such traits.

You are one of those rare patriots who, through no fault of your own, they’ve tried to torture and bully into submission. The truth of your story and your will to tell it is something they didn’t anticipate. Why would they? It’s clear that what you represent is completely foreign to them.

You have a lot to be proud of. I hope that our country awakes when they hear about your journey.

Report this

By Linda Robertson, January 26, 2007 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Susan,
I followed your story and was horrified at your imprisonment. It was obvious that Ken Starr was using you as part of a witch hunt. I find the hypocrisy of these reactionary Republicans overwhelming and nauseating. You are a hero. Thank heavens for your courage.
My husband taught in corrections and also observed that the people in the system are poor. I find it amazing that people who are the loudest in espousing Christianity for political gain are least likely to follow its core New Testament beliefs.

Linda

Report this

By Michael, January 26, 2007 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have to say, I thought I loathed these people but hearing the truth makes me not lose any more breath hissing. Evil will always be evil. Susan, the greatest thing about all of this is the truth will never change and you will always prevail because they will at one point have to face true judgement and boy would I love to see it. I wish you well and keep your head up. When is the movie coming out? Hahaha! I will buy your book. I haven’t bought one in years but this is worth it. May the real God blass you.

Report this

By Tony S., January 25, 2007 at 10:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am confused.
People who don’t comply with subpeona’s are in violation of the law and get jailed.
What prevented Susan from testifying the truth that nothing illegal happened?

Possible charges of perjury by Starr could have been fought in a fair trial and would have helped expose the unjust methods he practiced.

I don’t think she did herself or Clinton any good by not standing up and giving counter testimony to the lies concocted and coerced by the zealots.

The general rule of thumb is that people who refuse to testify when required by law usually have something to hide, and those who are politicically inclined to want to disbelieve her can use that against her, and dismiss her out of hand without paying more attention to the matter than they want to.

The main reason I read this long interview is because I always wondered WHY she did not testify, and am disappointed that the question was never addressed in this article.

Report this

By d daxx, January 24, 2007 at 9:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When you have a complete society that has been so dumbed-down by the government schools and the totally, controlled media, what can you expect but a government of (un)public (dis)servants that will steal the crumbs from you that they have allowed you to have in the first place?
This once great Republic is now a socialist, humanist, collectivist, liberal demokracy and there is no hope for the amerikan society!

Report this

By Boggs, January 23, 2007 at 6:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Republicans have proven time after time that they have nothing but contempt for our justice system, our constitution and our bill of rights.
They never think twice about using illegal tactics like bribery or blackmail and when those don’t work they unlawfully detain and persecute with illegal prosecution.

Report this

By Spinoza, January 22, 2007 at 11:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Right wingers are inherently evil and need to be introduced to guillotines.  When are we going to have a revolution?

Report this

By Robert, January 22, 2007 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Read her book for the full story about why she couldn’t testify to the truth.  Briefly,  they bring in witnesses who falsely testify otherwise, and then they charge you with perjury.  She knew of others in similar cases where exactly this happened.
  Susan is a real hero.

Report this

By mubias, January 22, 2007 at 9:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Susan,
I met you in Little Rock and i have a copy of your book that you so graciously signed. By listening to the interviews and your comments has led me to believe that everyone does have a purpose in life.Tho its unfortunate that you had to go thru literally hell but how small a price to pay for standing up for the truth when the biggest reward was what you gave others that changed their life and or way of thinking that there are people that care.You’ve done more than you know. Your an angel. Good luck

Report this

By Mad As Hell, January 22, 2007 at 9:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Susan MacDougall is a perfect example of a justice system that ran wild.  Using immunity and contempt of court to force people to talk is dubious enough, but when you use to force them to LIE, that’s attrocious.

Ken Starr wanted her to LIE to testify against the Clintons.  Her ex- broke down and did, because prison is an awful place, but Susan didn’t. It’s a form of torture, but we all know that Rethugs behind Ken Starr believe that torture’s just fine (as long as it isn’t used on yourself or your buddies).

Of COURSE they squawked when she was pardoned…Had Bill Clinton pardoned her before the impeachment they would have added THAT to the articles they rammed through.

Thank you, Susan for your courage.  I doubt one in 10,000 would have your bravery.  Your courage prevented the success of a coup d’etat against President Clinton.

Report this

By Flimsy Sanity, January 22, 2007 at 9:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The only person to go to jail for the Tuskeegee Syphilis experiment was a low level nurse.  A scapegoat is best if they are small - all bullies know this.  I cannot believe that Susan did not lose her mind and also that no one came to her rescue.  I think I will be depressed the rest of the week.

Report this

By Antwoine Pennix, January 22, 2007 at 1:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Susan and her husband were but two people out of the many that turned to lying to save their own skin, and even her husband, Jim, turned in the end. People of this country have embraced lies over truth to allow and commit the most evil deeds in this history of this nation. Since the time of Manifest Destiny, the Salem Witch Hunts, to Slavery, Jim Crow, Institutionalized Racism, the Wars on drugs and poverty, our justice system. It is insane what the white majority has done to the colored minority, but it is even more insane what they do to each other when they turn against other whites that are equal to them in both power and stature. Look at the attacks on each other during presidental races or public office. They spend thousands, if not millions, to buy air time just to smear their opponent. If Obama or Hilliary win the bid for the right to run for president for the Dems…....prepare to see the worst from this society that has kept black men and white women oppressed through systemic pitfalls and chains invisible to the eye.
Susan, you are one of the lucky ones, and a bit unlucky as well. The warden that told you that he knew politics could have had you end up just like your husband. Lying on a cold cell floor dead. Now as you look out to the world since your release your eyes now see things differently. It is both a blessing and a curse, because if it took your experience behind bars to open your eyes, ask yourself what were you looking at before and what is so different about it. Those women still behind bars saw something in you that you did not see in yourself. At first you only saw them the way you were told they were, without knowing anything about them. Jail is not the library or a park. Hopefully, the light of hope is still there now that you are not. May your husband rest in peace, and may peace find you the rest of your days.
Antwoine

Report this

By Sam, January 21, 2007 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bless Susan McDougal!  I wonder if I would have her strength of character to endure such torture for a principle!

Is anyone in recent memory sleezier than Ken Starr?  That he could bring this kind of misery to Susan is unbelievable.  She was guilty of nothing.  His public humiliation of Clinton for a private situation is equally unbelievable.  I’m not a Clinton fan, he’s too right wing for me, but what he did was not public business.

If these things can be done to such high-profile people, ANYTHING can be done to the rest of us.

Report this

By Hovah Freeman, January 21, 2007 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think the actions of the Republican Congress that prompted and led to the egregious behavior of Kenneth Starr are perfectly mirrored and completely consistent with the actions of the Republican Congress that rubber-stamped George Bush’s idiotic Iraqi adventure. (It should be noted here that no Democrat supported Clinton’s impeachment in the Senate).

There is a definition of insanity that goes something like this: “It is insanity if you do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.” Assuming that’s clinically true, that makes every Republican Congress person who blindly supported George Bush’s during the first six years of his presidency and now supports the so-called “surge”, clincally insane. (It should also be noted here that while some Democrats originally supported the war, they seem to have learned the truth of that definition and no Democrat, to date, has supported the “surge”. By the way, Lieberman is not a Democrat, he’s a so-called Independent).

It also doesn’t say much for the judgment of those people who voted for those Congress persons a second, third, or fourth time. Beyond that, given the equally blind support of the Republican Congress for the impeachment of Bill Clinton, you wonder how one could be sane and still support those Congress persons who first tried to impeach Clinton and then rubber-stamped us into the Iraqi war.

I’ve always considered myself a political moderate, a centrist, if you will, but I no longer know how to reach across the chasm that Republicans have dug between themselves and sanity.

Report this

By Diana H T, January 21, 2007 at 10:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m speechless. While I had known about Susan’s ordeal through bits of info passed along through progressive news sites, I really had no true grasp of the horribleness of it all.  I’m shocked and sickened that anyone could be treated that way for a political vendetta.

I admire Susan for her courage, and that of her family.  It’s so hard to comprehend that this could have been happening in our country, in this century.  I don’t understand, truly, why Susan was abandoned by BOTH parties.  I’m just shocked…

Report this

By Alice Nuffer, January 21, 2007 at 8:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have always admired Susan McDougal. She was and still is a very strong woman with nerves of steel!  She outlasted the bunch of Republican
pansies that tried to break her!  Ken Starr be damned to hell with the rest of your ilk!
Under the present administration she would be in Gitmo!! Susan is a true HERO!

Report this

By Joseph Galatha, January 21, 2007 at 5:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I didn’t care about politics in 92; I actually voted for Perot because I just wanted something, anything, that was not painted with the colors of either party.

And when I found out who Clinton and Gore were after they took office, I was a little ashamed that I never gave them credit for who they were as men rather than just what banner they stood under.

And then came the investigations; and I remember saying to myself that the country must be doing pretty damn well to be screwing around with something this rediculous. Even when the entire argument shifted to morality, I kept asking myself if I was being honest with myself and my country when I insisted that whatever Bill Clinton had done outside the office of the president was not only none of my business, but it was utterly of no consequence to me.

Well, actually I was wrong. I find it sickening now that the right wing bloodhounds who are now defending Bush’s criminal acts have the gall to say that Bill Clinton should have done more to stop terrorism when he was in office. Did they forget that Bill Clinton was preoccupied with fending off their witch hunt while they re-write history about Bin Laden? I don’t remember any Republicans mentioning Bin Laden in ‘98.

And the whole time, there was Susan McDougal charged with contempt - - the very word ‘contempt’ is an insult in itself, because by definition it means lack of respect for the issues at hand - - demonstrating more respect for the ideals of integrity and honesty than anyone who ever admired Ken Starr.

Susan, as I read your story I sense something that gives me great comfort; despite the horror and misery you describe throughout your ideal, you have now reached a point where you can tell the tale of those events with such self-confidence it inspires those of us who read this. I sense that you grow stronger still as the liars keep selling out. 

It’s inspiring to read, but it shakes me to my core to really allow myself to spend a day in that space. I just spent an hour reading this while sipping coffee in my pajamas, and even that was uncomfortable. Months of this madness would be….maddening.

Thank you. I don’t know you, but I am grateful that you have found whatever solace you have discovered to share this with us.

I blog a lot on daily kos; and I focus my energies not on calling out the liars and theives in the Bush administration, but in telling the tale of the neighbors I have in my small community who blindly follow Bush and believe every word he says. They still think George Soros is evil, but Richard Mellon Scaife is unknown to them. The think Bill Clinton is ‘evil’ because he lied; yet they have no appreciation that George W. Bush has lied for six years and simply gotten away with it because of the balance of power in the congress; not because of the truth of his words.

The history of your experience will live in small circles of people who care to dig deep enough to know the truth; and yet I know you must realize that the consequences of your sacrifice were passed on to millions who benefitted from the collapse of Star’s witch hunt. It was sick to hear that Ford ‘spared’ our country by pardoning Nixon, yet somehow there was justice in impeaching Bill Clinton?

As I listen to my neighbors continue to bleat out that we dare not impeach George W. Bush because it would be bad for the country to find out our leaders lied to us, I can only hope you can forget your past as effectively as these fools have forgotten theirs.

I hope that telling your story has been as cathartic to you as it has been inspiring to us.

I salute your courage, and thank you sincerely for not letting those bastards wear you down.

Report this

By suresh, January 21, 2007 at 12:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Excellent interview!

Did Susan MacDougal ever go through a jury trial?

Report this

By gemma fastiggi, January 20, 2007 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Susan McDougal’s story moved me deeply—not only because of her harrowing experience, but what it revealed about our criminal “justice” system.  I’d like to think this is in the past, but no. There are still trhousands of men and women suffering in our prisons. Some have hope because of their locations. but what about the 500 plus souls in gitmo, still awaiting trial after years in a hell-hole? I’m glad that Susan has tole her story and I hope Americans will listen and take action!

Report this

By Al Stroberg, January 20, 2007 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I too had a hard time following this story as it slowly unfolded in the 1990’s. I still do not understand the charge for which Ms. McDougal was sent to jail. Why did she not just testify that nothing illegal happened?
This seems an astonishing tale of things gone terrifyingly out of control, worthy of widespread revulsion and a demand for inquiry and justice.

Report this

By Davr, January 20, 2007 at 5:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The torture methods used on Susan were developed by Hitlers Nazi Gestapo and Stalins KGB.

The Bush/Republicans embrace those methods, which are now commonplace in the United States.

The Bush/Republicans are the Fourth Riech…the new Nazi order.

God Bless Susan and those other few Americans who are able to stand up to the Nazis.

Report this

By Jim Grant, January 19, 2007 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just one little question. If this is ‘truthdig’ doing the interview/qustioning why not ask the obvious. How does going to the grand jury or testifying anywhere else, about the truth land you in jail. The most ridiculous thing would be not to go and tell the truth and have to spend all her horrfying time in jail. So how did Star have the power to make her lie if she showed up to testify? Perjury? Why not examine this truthfully. If she is all that is laid out here, truth needs to be told in full.

Report this

By Rod, January 19, 2007 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Extraordinary.  Thank you Mrs. McDougal..for your strength, your courage, your hope.  You stood alone against the Nazis and demonstrated for all to see what it is to be a true American.

Report this

By tdbach, January 19, 2007 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow. WHile it could be argued that Mr. Sheer doesn’t challenge her story in any way, it’s hard not to believe her - she is very credible, not just in her manner, but in her circumstances. She has nothng to gain by this, that I can see.

So, what’s left is a very powerful personal story with disturbing implications about some individuals, some partisan movements, and some facets of our criminal justice system. I’m not sure what to take from this, though. It’s profoundly moving, though.

Good luck to Ms. McDougal.

Report this

By Dedicated Hosting, January 19, 2007 at 11:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, i think every person that has become great in the history and is read in every chapter of life has gone through severe ill treatment before they got their name.

Report this

By Margaret Currey, January 19, 2007 at 10:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Now that the Dems are sortof back inpower I hope they will not go tit for tak because I think no party could do what this administration has done in the name of national security.  To see Mr. Gonzales sit there and give a no interview interview and give a no comment after no comment, why did they have a press conference or a conference before the senators, this is still a secret government at least half run by Chaney who is a hawk’s hawk.  I think before any more damage is done by these slash and burn administrators they should be thrown out of office.

I mean Social Security was doing good before Bush announced the the plan was going to fail, I think that is when they took the money out of the general fund and used the funds for an unwinable war, that is being pushed down the throats of Americans and the ones paying for it (with lives) are the deployed, deployed, deployed soldiers and the National Guard soldiers who are supposed to used mainly to protect states, not go to war, afterall when Bushie Boy was in the National Guard he did not go to Vietnam, because there was a draft, if this war is to continue there should be a draft, not sending boys/girls off to be redeployed once, twice, third, are they going to keep they inthe service for seven or more years, there was a soldier that was ordered to stay in the service for twenty years, I ask you what is his chances of leaving the service alive?

I just hope impeachment will not leave the minds of the people, maybe impeachment was wrong for Clinton because the reason for trying to getrid of him was he was a Democrat, I know that payback may happen, but for the sake of the country, remove these people before they bankrupt the country.

Margaret from Vancouver, Washington

Report this

By Vickie, January 19, 2007 at 12:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have watched all five videos and the thing I feel most is disgust. Disgusted that “they” can get away with such things. Wondering why “they” think they have a right to do this to people. Injustice is so rampant on this earth and it’s absolutely horrific. I have faith though. I have faith knowing that our time is short here on earth and I have faith that upon giving injustice you will receive injustice. That is my wish for “them.” As for you Susan McDougal- you can hold your head up high. You can be okay knowing they didn’t break you. I am so sorry for what you had to go through. I haven’t read your book yet but I plan on doing so. I hope that you are using the injustices you had to experience firsthand and use that to fight, in any way you can, to help those who have can’t help themselves. God Bless You Susan McDougal.

Report this

By NuncaMasSSoP, January 18, 2007 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Susan, you are one of my few heroes.  You may be one of the bravest patriots in our country, you and Ann Richards. I have your book, and I will go back now and read it again, more carefully.  I hope your voice can be heard again in this land, against all the incredibly stupid and patronizing and unworthy media and political stuff that washes over us daily.

Report this

By Eleanore Kjellberg, January 18, 2007 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Susan MacDougal’s interview was remarkable in that it gave us insights into her specific story, explained her political metamorphosis, and highlighted the “injustice” in the U.S. criminal industrial complex.

The majority of those being warehoused in the criminal “injustice system” are convicted of non-violent drug related crimes, and each person who is incarcerated costs taxpayers $40,000 a year, creating a penal institution that profits, and perpetuates itself by detaining the most poor and exploited in society; what a cruel waste of lives paid for by working-class tax dollars.

Highlights from a report on the status of Minorities, especially young black men, and the U. S. Criminal Justice system, showed the percent of men age 20 to 29 in state and federal prisons, jail, probation, parole on any given day were, Blacks 32% Hispanics 12%, and White 7%. The increase of men and women over a 5 year period, age 20 to 29 in state and federal prisons, jail, probation, parole on any given day were, Black men 31%, Black women 78%, Hispanic men 18%, Hispanic women 18%, and White men 8%, White women 40%. This report argues that the mandatory minimum sentences and stepped up enforcement have fallen disproportionately on Blacks and Women.

Only violent criminals should be imprisoned, not indigent populations that cannot defend themselves, and fall prey to a vicious legal system.  MacDougal was imprisoned for refusing to give false evidence, but how many innocent poor are arrested on trumped-up charges based on phony evidence—the entire system is riddled with corruption. 

http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/node/3261

Report this

By brel1, January 18, 2007 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Susan McDougal is one of the most heroic people in this country. The Democratic Congress should look into how and why a person was made a political prisoner. This is so revelant to what has happened to our country by the likes of Ken Starr and his fellow lowly Republicans. I have to believe that we will live to see them punished for their evil ways.

Report this

By Louise Vandament, January 18, 2007 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hope somebody makes the movie of her life.  I read her book some time ago.

Report this

By James, January 18, 2007 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What a beautiful woman.  So beautiful and so courageous.

Report this

By Geoff Hagopian, January 18, 2007 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

According to WaPo, old Kenny Boy will be further protecting the honor of Jesus in February when he will make war on the Constitution in the bong-hits-for-Jesus case: “this case presents the Court with a much-needed opportunity to resolve a sharp conflict among federal courts (and to eliminate confusion on the part of school boards, administrators, teachers, and students) over whether the First Amendment permits regulation of student speech when such speech is advocating or making light of illegal substances.”

Lordy, Ken, ffffssssstttt, (pause to hold breath) I sure am glad y’all ken support a righteous sense of indignition about the hubbly bubbly hoi paloi and their iniquititious misadventurisms.  Preys unto the Lord.  May the lyin horse lay down with de lambda chi.  May the Skull and Bones of Geronimo Foster mass suicide in the halls of Pepperdine.

Seriously, I would (do) fantasize about causing this dude some harm too.  Maybe we could tarnish his impeccable reputation?

Report this

By Francis Hagan, January 18, 2007 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ken Starr, as in “Star Chamber” - shades of
Joe McCarthy!!!!

Report this

By Mark, January 18, 2007 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anyone who hasn’t figured out yet that the Republican party is truly evil ought to watch all 5 parts of this interview.

Ask yourself, after you watch this, whether one has to be a paranoid “conspiracy theorist” to entertain the idea that these people would steal an election, or that they would lie us into war .

Report this

By CJ, January 18, 2007 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If all of us had Susan’s courage, this country would be home to a far more decent society. She defines what being citizen involves, and in so doing is one of the very few real heroes left.

Report this

By Quy Tran, January 18, 2007 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

She’s much and much better than those who are now in political world.

Report this

By Rodney Matthews, January 18, 2007 at 11:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From whitewater to a blowjob impeachment. What a waste of taxpayer money.

Report this

By Moe Hare, January 18, 2007 at 10:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Under the Bush adminstration Susan would be labeled an Enemy Combatant, and she would be denied due process, but maybe if you are a poor in the U.S. due process has always been questionable.

Report this

By Lee Dekker, January 18, 2007 at 9:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A horrible travesty to be sure, but far from unique in our prison system. The bigger issue here is not about Susan or Ken or Bill or Hillary, or the Democratic or Republican parties. The glaring injustice is in our courts and penal system. As horrible and almost unbelievable as Susan’s story is, the most hideous part of this story is that it’s commonplace. In fact it’s the normal way our courts and penal systems operate. We read now about Susan’s case because it stands out, but probably don’t care to hear about the millions of others who are manipulated by the courts and tortured by the penal system.

Susan’s ability to recognize abject poverty as the most common, real reason, behind the imprisonment of her inmates, adds greatly to her credit and credibility. Antichrist Christians such as Kenneth Starr won’t consider addressing this problem at its root, preferring instead to institutionalize torture and dehumanization. There are literally millions of people whose lives have been torn asunder by our courts and jails. Incredibly high numbers of these people are imprisoned for crimes such as marijuana and other drug possessions. A local individual, did substantial time in San Quentin prison for growing two small marijuana plants in his backyard. This person never hurt anyone or stole anything. This person was not treated anywhere near as horrendously as Susan, but was still psychologically broken down and spit out by the system.

Ken Starr and his goons could not have done what they did without being surrounded by a system that employs these practices routinely. Ken Starr did not invent this method of intimidation, coercion and torture. The Inquisition techniques Mr. Starr used in Susan’s case are commonplace, most often in the “war against drugs”. We have been led to believe that these evil drug users are different from us and so deserve such severe treatment. We see the separation of them and us as reasons not to be bothered by a court and penal system out of control. But as this case so eloquently illustrates, once those tools of Inquisition are in place and institutionalized, they can be employed in many areas other than victimless drug crimes. Most who are sucked into this shredder of justice have no advocates on the outside as Susan obviously did. Most are simply de-humanized, physically abused, stripped of any finances and forgotten about. And we are all paying for this, with our taxes.

Report this

By BUSHisLIAR, January 18, 2007 at 8:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Susan McDougal: The Woman Who Wouldn’t Lie” would be a more appropriate title.

Report this

By Muffy Bernier, January 18, 2007 at 7:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you Susan for giving this interview. When the Whitewater case hit the news media I found it difficult to follow. I think it was all the smoke and mirrors that was employed along with their lying.
I extend my condolences to you for your loss of your husband. I cried with you as you revealed the horrors you and the other women have lived through in prison. Also, I felt shame that any woman is put through such degrading treatments, especially here in our country. Thank you for writing your book. Thank you for telling the truth and not lying. Thank you for being a real Christian and true American Hero. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you Susan.

Report this

By Druthers, January 18, 2007 at 5:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A really amazing interview.
Susan McDougal’s fight for integrity drives home the knowledge that justice is not something that exists, but a battle to be fought day after day.
The perpetrators of the charges against her should be called to account. 
Is it not possible to being charges of intimidation, attempted bribery and coercion against them?
Does employment by a government office offer total imunity?

Report this

By Terry, January 18, 2007 at 4:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wish we could please have a transcript of this conversation.

Report this

By Lee Dekker, January 18, 2007 at 12:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All parts downloaded perfectly for me. Amazing stuff too. Beats the crap out of reality TV. Only wish I didn’t have such an easy time believing it.

Could’ve done a better job plugging the book.

But thanks very much for providing the interview in this format. Truth is both stranger and more horrible then fiction.

Report this

By mike didj, January 18, 2007 at 12:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanx for putting this interview back up. I am surprised I am the only one who has commented. This is very inspiring. I’d love for some (if not all) of the students at Pepperdine University to see this.

Thank you Susan for standing your ground. You went to the bardo realm and came back stronger.

On a side note, Robert Sheer’s voice is almost inaudible at times. Did you guys have a sound technician?

Report this

By lani, January 18, 2007 at 12:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When I saw the film the Hunting of the President,I never forgot the grace,courage, and dignity of Susan Mcdougle.It is just wonderful to see her interviewed again.Thanks Robert for focusing on a true American hero.

Report this

By Polly Ester, January 17, 2007 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That interview was astounding, what a tragedy for Susan MacDougal, and a shock to see an intelligent attractive middle-class woman treated as a political prisoner in the U.S.

What’s really interesting, is that MacDougal was psychologically tortured in the hopes that she would capitulate to federal prosecutors, who wanted her to confess to fabricated information that would “legally” be presented as evidence—very scary stuff, but hopefully her book and interviews will enlighten many.

Report this

By Mary Wallman, January 17, 2007 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was lucky to have the whole series play, I guess. This was truly remarkable.  It made me cry—the injustice to Ms. McDougal and her husband AND the Clintons…and what I did not expect to mourn was the injustice of the women in prison that McDougal encountered.  What an odyssey of anger and redemption.  Once again, the people who claim to be the Christians are really the Lions.

Report this

By Jeff Hughson, January 17, 2007 at 10:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Susan,
    I am so glad and relieved to see you are whole and at peace.  You are one of the greatest and most heroic people I have come across in my 57 years of life.  I followed your travesty as best I could as it unfolded.  I wanted to write you in prison but I was afraid I would end up on some government list.  Please forgive me.  The attack campaign on President Clinton destroyed my faith in this country.  What was done to you was a viciously cruel and despicable act.  The bad guys win out because they will do whatever they have to do to win.  The good guys are crushed into dust out of sheer convenience and to remove any opposition.  Look at the kind of people that are running this country today.  But, I understand that in the end what we can each control is inside each one of us.  And, you have emerged a triumphant hero.  You emerge radiant and intact.  I am so happy for you.  Thank you for your sacrifice in the name of the truth.  It is greatly appreciated.  I hope that each and every day of the rest of the life is filled with so much happiness that you can barely stand it.  You deserve it.  I will always look up to you as a great American hero.  I admire your strength and conviction.  You are something else.
God Bless You,
Jeff

Report this

By R. Palyu, January 17, 2007 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The truth is under attack. Evil prevails when good people do nothing. Susan did the right thing all along. I am glad, we now know what Ken Star realy did. Money talks, justice walks.
I too was mistreated by the justice system. I prevailed in spite of it. My personal cost was great to do so. I am glad Susan was recognised for her valor.

Report this

By mike didj, January 17, 2007 at 4:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This was amazing. I got to part three. Susan was relating her red dress experience and how when in the cage on the bus, the other inmates would spit- and this is where it suddenly cut off. when i tried to get it to reload, i was directed here so i guess that is one way to get a comment. wtf?

Report this
 
Monsters of Our Own Creation? Get tickets for this Truthdig discussion of America's role in the Middle East.
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Zuade Kaufman, Publisher   Robert Scheer, Editor-in-Chief
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook