- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 25, 2000

The Clinton White House has made a habit of assassinating the character of those it finds politically inconvenient, and no one, no matter how apolitical, is exempt from its attacks. Certainly not Billy Dale, the longtime director of the White House travel office who, with several office associates, was ignominiously fired in May 1993 after a Lady Macbeth-like first lady determined that "we need the slots." A vengeful Clinton Justice Department later indicted Mr. Dale, who loyally served several administrations, Republican and Democratic alike, on trumped-up embezzlement charges, but a federal jury quickly acquitted him.

Now come the details of the terrifying experience of Deborah Perroy, another longtime White House worker who served administrations of both parties. In an affidavit taken earlier this month, Mrs. Perroy has charged that White House officials threatened to "come after me with false charges and allegations in order to smear my good name."

Mrs. Perroy, a member of the National Security Council (NSC) support staff who had worked in the White House during the Reagan and Bush administrations, became a target of the Clinton White House after she witnessed Robert Manzanares, the director of NSC administration, and his assistant looking through the secret FBI files of Reagan and Bush officials. Mr. Manzanares and his assistant "were keeping some sort of list," Mrs. Perroy said in her affidavit, and "clearly reacted as if they did not expect me and had been caught doing something improper." Those files, which were kept in a safe in the CIA's White House liaison office, contained information on "virtually every top political and NSC aide to Presidents Reagan and Bush," Mrs. Perroy said.

Four days after Mrs. Perroy resigned in Sept. 1993, White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum wrote to the FBI requesting her confidential FBI file. (It's worth noting that Mr. Nussbaum also requested Mr. Dale's secret FBI file, after which FBI Director Louis Freeh, whom President Clinton appointed, accused the White House of "egregious violations of privacy.") As Jerry Seper of The Washington Times reported last week, Mr. Nussbaum's letter explained that he needed Mrs. Perroy's file because she was "being considered" for access to the White House. Not only had Mrs. Perroy resigned four days earlier; but for the previous five years, she had already been cleared for access to most areas of the White House, including the West Wing and the Old Executive Office Building. Despite Mr. Nussbaum's claim that he had "absolutely no knowledge" of any request under his name for Mr. Dale's file, his office received Mrs. Perroy's confidential file from the FBI a month after she resigned.

Mrs. Perroy's affidavit was taken in conjunction with a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm that has accused the White House of violating the Privacy Act in obtaining nearly 1,000 confidential FBI files. It would be helpful and illuminating if Congress exercised its oversight obligations by calling Mrs. Perroy to testify about her frightening experience, in general, and the unconscionable threats against her, in particular. Mr. Nussbaum should also be asked to explain yet another highly dubious request under his signature for yet another confidential FBI file.

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