- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 25, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton are unfit to lead and have betrayed the ideals of the Democratic Party. Such is the argument of Kathleen Willey’s book, “Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton.”

This is a vivid, detailed and mesmerizing account of how a self-described “Martha-Stewart type soccer mom” was assaulted in the White House in 1993 by Mr. Clinton while he was president of the United States; the book also relates the great efforts of the president, the first lady and their surrogates to prevent one woman from telling her shocking story.

In 1992, Kathleen Willey was a longtime Democrat activist who believed in the party and in its rising young star, Mr. Clinton. While he was governor of Arkansas, she and her husband, Ed Willey, met Mr. Clinton; they were especially helpful working as fund raisers when Mr. Clinton made his bid for the White House.

Following Mr. Clinton’s election, Mrs. Willey worked in the White House. She recognized that on a few occasions, Mr. Clinton was flirtatious — but she nonetheless hoped he could help her family in a moment of dire financial distress.

Hence, on Nov. 29, 1993, she turned to the most powerful man she knew: She went to visit the president in the Oval Office in order to ask for a job. Her husband, a lawyer and the son of a former Virginia senator, had stolen $274,000 from an escrow account. He would be disbarred and imprisoned if the money was not repaid.

Instead of the sympathy she expected to receive, the president sexually assaulted her. She managed to pry herself from his grip — and was spared perhaps a worse encounter had it not been for the fact that the president was being beckoned by loud banging on the door by members of his entourage in anticipation of a scheduled meeting. Mrs. Willey states flatly that she is convinced she would otherwise have been raped.

Following the assault, she soon discovered that her husband was missing. He was found in a wooded area, with a gunshot wound, in what appeared to be a suicide. Mrs. Willey recounts the details of her husband’s death with lingering suspicion. Over a decade later, she is still haunted by many unresolved questions surrounding her husband’s demise.

Mrs. Willey provides a gripping account of how she was caught in a media vortex once details of the assault in the Oval Office became public. She was repeatedly threatened as a warning to remain silent. She was subjected to harrowing incidents of intimidation: The disappearance of her cat, an animal’s skull on her porch, nails in her tires, the mysterious death of another cat, a jogger she met who issued a veiled threat, incessant suspicion of being followed and her phone being tapped, strange phone calls and the theft of one copy of the manuscript of her book.

Yet despite the efforts to keep her quiet, Mrs. Willey recognized that making her case known was — and still remains — her surest path to safety.

“Target” is an essential book to read in the current election campaign of Mrs. Clinton. Mrs. Willey’s simple, straightforward and penetrating words inject fresh life into a tale that is familiar — yet even more disturbing with the passage of time.

The details presented, emanating from the pen of an ordinary citizen, cut right through all the spin regarding the Clintons. They are not champions of the oppressed, of the working class or middle class, of women or of any Democratic ideals. The Clintons easily and effortlessly betray all of these in their lust for political power.

“Target” explains how one woman was subject to repeated abuse and pressure at the behest of the most powerful people in the land. Mrs. Willey’s account provides a window into the methods the Clintons use to cover up their corruption. Moreover, the book shines a spotlight on the leaders of the women’s movement who, in their failure to stand up for Mrs. Willey and all of the females victimized by the Clintons, have made a mockery of America’s contemporary feminist movement.

Mrs. Willey is your soccer mom next door. “Target” therefore stands as a simple warning to all Americans: Be careful whom you elect; you may be their next victim.

Grace Vuoto is executive director of the Edmund Burke Institute for American Renewal. The opinions expressed are her own.

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