Michael Bray

Author of A Time To Kill

$5 Million for $5 Hundred?

19 March, 1996

Dear Op-Ed editor: A short piece on the ongoing mischief of Reno’s VAAPCON in Norfolk.

$5 Million for $5 Hundred?

The feds, having plundered the lives of decent citizens for 14 months (including the 2-month jailing of Cheryl Richardson), have moved on to Norfolk. The conclusion of that abuse of power in Alexandria ended with a devastating revelation in the Washington Post (26 Jan.). The Justice Department’s task force known as VAAPCON (Violence Against Abortion Providers Conspiracy) was so discredited as to be called “Crapcon” by disgruntled agents working on the case. Probers on Janet Waco Reno’s Task Force knew from the beginning that there was no national conspiracy. But if enough millions are spent, sooner or later one expects they might be able to crack a few ten-dollar vandalism cases.

And are they determined to do it! It seems they must come up with at least one scalp to save face after spending millions in the service of carping NOWists, harpies, and other manipulators of Mr. Clinton. So they high-tailed it out of Alexandria and threw a few more women into jail for “contempt” at the first hearing in Norfolk on 28 February. One Rae Powell, a 20-year navy veteran, married with two children, remains in jail.

Reno’s Raiders are hot on the case of a $500 act of vandalism against an abortuary which was under construction in Norfolk in May of 1995. And they have a suspect or two! The main one, at this time, is 20-something-year-old Clark Ryan Martin. He is a student at Old Dominion and expecting his first child (by that archaic, heterosexual, monogamous style) in April. Other abnormal and criminal indicators include a fervent opposition to the killing of small children.

We doubt that Reno’s chief inquisitor, Thomas Burrows, has any evidence on the protection provider. But he needs a scalp! And more than that, he needs that dog-gone conspiracy he was after in the first place. The Tank Lady sent him on a job and he has got to produce! How else to advance a career and live happily ever after?

So he wants to hang Mr. Martin with 18 years worth of crimes. Yep. Like the inverse of an artistic IRS accountant, this prosecutor wants to find the loop, not the holes. He is threatening with a “Hobbs Act” to pressure with more jail time. And with this leverage he still hopes to get that conspiracy. Gonna make the Tank Lady smile.

So why can’t the profligate Congress afford to investigate the crimes of Whitewater when it can spare so many millions to chase after $500 in petty- vandalism? The Clintonistas do have their priorities. Next grand jury hearing: 25 March.

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