The Last Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
Barbara Olson
The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
Mon Apr 5, 2004 01:32

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal
What would conservative writer Olson have opined about the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States? We will never know, because she was on board the airliner that dove into the Pentagon that day. But one can guess: she might have decried President Clinton's failure to confront Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network or cited it as just another of the policy failures of the most corrupt President in American history. For in this, her last book, she drags fact after fact into the light of day and bitterly, even sneeringly, rails against the Clintons, their characters and lifestyles, their liberal friends and radical causes, their moral failures and shady activities. She is clearly preaching to the choir, but what an indictment she brings-especially regarding the Clinton pardons of Marc Rich and a pro-Communist terrorist and many, many others. Olson had particular distaste for former First Lady Hillary Clinton, finding elements of her Senate campaign unutterably corrupt; she didn't much like her personally either. This over-the-top approach will, for many listeners, dilute her message but, still, the book is hard to ignore. Reader Kimberly Schraf proceeds with a measured cadence somewhat distant from the words, and that is probably the best approach to listening to an angry tract such as this. Libraries with a modern political history collection will find this work flying off the shelf, at least until the Clintons pass from the American scene.
Don Wismer, Cary Memorial Lib., Wayne, ME
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

About the Author
Former federal prosecutor Barbara Olson served as the Chief Investigative Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, where she spearheaded the investigation of the Clinton administration's travel office firings and eventually uncovered the explosive "filegate" scandal. She also served as the Principal Assistant General Counsel and Solicitor to the House.

Barbara Olson was killed on September 11, 2001, when the airplane she had just boarded for...
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Book Description
New York Times best-selling author Barbara Olson, whose Hell to Pay laid bare the sordid political deals of Hillary Rodham Clinton, focused her razor sharp vision on the Clintons' shocking excesses in their final days of office: the outrageous pardons to political cronies and friends, the looting of the White House, the executive orders that were sheer abuses of presidential power, the presidential library that is becoming a massive boondoggle of vanity more appropriate to a Third World dictator, and much more. This was how the Clintons chose to end their occupation of the White House, in a story whose reverberations are still shaking the political landscape.

Barbara Olson knew Washington politics from the inside -- with a depth of insight and fire-honed principled -- like few others. She was an attorney with the Justice Department, a Congressional investigator, and a general counsel in the United States Senate. She knew the law. She knew the Constitution. She knew how power is meant to be responsibly exercised. In The Final Days she shows how the Clintons climaxed eight years of sleaze with a spree of payoffs and self-indulgence unprecedented in its vulgarity and possible illegality.

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68 of 105 people found the following review helpful:

A 10-Star Book, December 8, 2001
Reviewer: Leslie (see more about me) from New York, NY United States
I would have bought this book under any circumstances, but the murder of Barbara Olson makes me treasure this as her last "gift" and lasting legacy to all patriots who care about good, honest government.

As a former congressional investigator who likely knew more about the Clintons and their corruption machine than most decent people can stomach, she not only knew where to look but how to place it all into proper context.

How tragically ironic that the most compelling critic of the Clintons -- the most corrupt and base politicians in the history of the nation -- was murdered because of Bill Clinton's incompetence and indifference toward fighting terrorism.

What I found both sad and chilling is that she pretty much predicted an increase in terrorism, thanks to Clinton's negligence regarding foreign policy and terrorism.

After reading this book, it's obvious why the friends and minions of the Scariest Woman in the World tried to suppress this book and even threatened to post-humously smear Mrs. Olson.

We'll never forget Barbara Olson and will keep her legacy for truth and decency in government alive forever.

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120 of 153 people found the following review helpful:

'He just can't stand law enforcement.', November 8, 2001
Reviewer: Andrew S. Rogers (see more about me) from Seattle, Washington
Jefferson has Dumas Malone, Lincoln has Carl Sandburg, and Bill Clinton has Barbara Olson -- the biographer who, if there's any justice in the world (for him, if not for her), will be associated with his name for the rest of time.

Olson's final book is a chronicling of the last weeks of Bill and Hillary Clinton's co-presidency. She gives us a quick, but important, survey of a number of Clintonian outrages, including massive land and power-grabs, Senator-to-be Hillary's shameless and desperate panhandling of expensive gifts before she fell under the Senate's ethics rules, and Slick's international 'farewell tour' of foreign countries -- a field trip that cost taxpayers billions and gained us, diplomatically, less than nothing.

But where Olson's analysis really shines is in her efforts to get to the bottom of 'Pardongate,' the wave of commutations, clemencies, and pardons that Clinton dished out, some literally in his last minutes in office. About a quarter of the book is spent detailing Clinton's most outrageous pardon, that of multi-billion dollar tax cheat Marc Rich. The last quarter or so discusses his other pardons, handed out to a rogue's gallery consisting largely of relatives, business partners, ex-girlfriends, Cabinet members, and cocaine dealers.

Even as skilled a reporter as Barbara Olson is at a loss to explain why Clinton chose to pardon who he did, or why he consulted so few people before issuing the pardons. One of Olson's theses -- both provocative and believable -- is that Clinton was so outraged at being compelled, on his last full day in office, to sign a deal with the independent counsel admitting his wrongdoing in the Lewinsky case and disbarring himself from the practice of law, that Clinton chose to lash out at his own 'persecutors' by granting clemency to criminals whom police and prosecutors had spent years pursuing. As one of Clinton's own Justice Department lawyers noted, 'He [Clinton] just can't stand law enforcement' (p. 141).

Ultimately, Olson helps us put Clinton in context, marshalling observers from Left and Right before drawing her own conclusions. Forrest McDonald, acclaimed historian of the American presidency, asks simply, 'What did [Clinton] get done? Was there any major legislation he was responsible for? ... Everyone approves of what he's doing, but no one can say anything he did' (p. 212). More directly, Andrew Sullivan of The New Republic notes, 'In Bill Clinton, we had for eight years a truly irrational person in the White House, someone who, I think, lived on the edge of serious mental illness. He was and is a psychologically sick man' (p. 199).

It's clear to see why -- if reports are correct -- Hillary Clinton was so anxious to get this book silenced following Barbara Olson's death. If, as it's said, people in democracies get the leaders they deserve, we can at least repay the favor by making sure our 'leaders' get the biographers they deserve. There's no question that Barbara Olson is the biographer Bill and Hillary Clinton deserve, and it's just one of many reasons to mourn her untimely death that she will no longer be able to chronicle this venal and dangerous politician ... and her husband, America's most corrupt president.

Let this book be (part of) her memorial.

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Barbara would be proud of her accomplishment, February 2, 2004
Reviewer: A reader from Carlsbad, CA United States
Some readers would accuse her of hate. Barbara simply exposed truth that we as a people are often too busy or careless to look into. Is it hate to expose that so many were released from prison on the last days of a Presidency?

To keep our people free we need to care about what happens in our government. This book has a lot of sources, and quotes are usually without right wing invective. I think Barbara's book hit the mark on information we needed to know about for our future. But alas, America tends to forget.

May we remember Barbara and her life, she died on 9-11, she was on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon.

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7 of 24 people found the following review helpful:

Can people collect royalties from hell?, January 22, 2004
Reviewer: A reader from Brooklyn, New York
Amazon: Why can't you give a book NO stars? Because that's what this one deserves. Barbara Olson is gone, but her hate and smear-mongering live on. This book could have used a good fact-checker, as most of it has been proven false. The things that do have a kernel of truth are exaggerated wildly, while of course Olson never troubled her bleached-blonde head with the terrible abuses of power of Presidents Reagan and Bush Sr., the latter of whom used his pardon powers to pardon his fellow co-conspirators in Iran-Contragate, to cover his own hide.

This is yet another one-sided, ill-researched, vicious smear campaign against a President that the rich and privileged types in Washington, including Babs and her husband Ted, couldn't bear to see occupying the White House and actually fighting for working Americans.

Clinton created 22 million jobs and brought two terms of peace and prosperity; what, exactly, have the Olsons ever done for this country? As for the Clintons "values," I believe Babs was Ted's third wife. So much for family values. The only thing the Olson family valued was a quick buck, through muckraking stuff like this.

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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

Good Pleading, Bad Reading, January 15, 2004
Reviewer: Avid Reader (see more about me) from Franklin, TN
I'll say right off the bat that I liked Barbara Olson. Whether she was making a point, confronting a "neutral" interviewer or debating with the Left she was always passionate and polite. But this book is not well written. It is more in the style and tone of a polemic.

Nobody needs to be told that the Clintons are political animals first, last and always. There is an element of smarminess, scheming and politics surrounding every public utterance. Who can forget the tales of those closest to them - his obscenity-laced tirades every morning, her railing at unknown enemies, the politicizing of every event in the nation? One can safely state that no two people have had more (former) friends write bad things about them than this pair.

The mythology is still there - he was good for the Democratic Party (under his "leadership" they lost the House, Senate, most the governors, the Presidency), she was co-President (they did not talk over long periods of time) and that Clinton was some kind of ideologue on the Left (he was an opportunist who ruled
according to polls). The author is torn between reporting the outrages of the final days and the chance to hit at Hillary who she has consigned to a lower rung of Hell than Bill. This could have been an important book if handled differently but now it will be judged solely on one's ideological viewpoint - the Right will like it, the Left will despise it. --This text refers to the Paperback edition

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10 of 50 people found the following review helpful:

No Time for Hate, September 30, 2003
Reviewer: A reader from Honolulu, HI USA
If you are considering buying this book, you might want to first fill your heart with hate (if you haven't already done so) and stop by for that brainpickling appointment that you have put off for so long. Otherwise you might find it difficult to understand how someone writing such an obviously biased attack could actually get published. Nobody's saying Bill and Hillary are sqeaky clean here, but if Ronald Reagan receiving a multimillion dollar house in Bel Air and million dollar speaking engagements just post presidency doesn't set off alarm bells, why should we worry about amateurs like the Clintons? --This text refers to the Paperback edition

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