David Bossie is a fascinating guy. He runs Citizens United which makes great conservative movies and was at the center of a crucial Supreme Court Case that dealt with free speech and campaign contributions. But don’t just peg Bossie as a career think tanker; he was also one of the people who investigated Whitewater and the transfer of technology to China during the Clinton years.
What follows is a slightly edited transcript of my interview with David Bossie.
All right, let’s get started. You were involved in an investigation into the transfer of dual use technology to China during the Clinton administration. Talk about that a bit. How damaging was the technology transferred?
There were definitely violations. When I served as chief investigator for Congress we had our hands full investigating the corruption that plagued the Clinton administration. The folks that came with the Clintons into the White House in 1993 from Arkansas and across the country seemed to attract people that were more interested in benefiting themselves and their businesses than they were in benefiting America. So we had the campaign finance investigation which was all about people trying to buy access and foreign money flowing from China — which we proved when over 25 people pled guilty or were found guilty in our investigation.
We had over 100 people take the Fifth Amendment or flee the country in relation to our foreign money investigation. That investigation led us to the dual use technology because it was the leaders of Loral and Hughes’ companies, those huge defense contractors, that used these microchips that then were put in civilian applications here in this country, but it was illegal for them to be sold to China because they could be used for military purposes.
So, there were definitely laws violated. The Clintons and the Justice Department cleaned that up by actually signing executive orders that allowed those companies to do what they did after the fact. So there was no way to prosecute them, but it was a long and interesting case. Back then, we thought that these were the worst of times. These were the worst types of people. And I’d trade Bill Clinton for Barack Obama any day of the week….
Do you think Bill Clinton’s administration was more honest than Barack Obama’s?
There are a couple of things that relate to honesty. One of them is Bill Clinton was not a radical Leftist. We thought at the time of his ’92 election, at least, that he was a radical. But he took the health care beating fairly quickly and we realized that because of people like Dick Morris who were inside of the White House at the time, that they would use triangulation: They would take the best of the Republican and the best of the Democratic policy ideas and move them to the center. And Clinton went that way because he wanted to be loved and wanted to be popular more than he wanted to make tough decisions.
Barack Obama is somebody with a radical agenda, much more so than Bill Clinton. Even in hindsight I look back and I really wish we had a guy who was as pragmatic as Bill Clinton. This is a radical president. We have a man who is attempting to nationalize and therefore socialize many segments of our economy, whether it’s the car industry, banking, a health care, you name it and they’re into it.
Now I need to ask you one more Clinton question because you were also involved in the Whitewater investigation. There’s one question that comes up a lot about that, still to this day, and you hear people ask about it, more in private than in public — but simple question, Vince Foster — do you think he killed himself?
I actually was on the crime scene the next day and evaluated the crime scene. I have been a firefighter in Montgomery County, Maryland now for 21 plus years. At the time I had only been there several years. But I’ve seen a lot of things and received a lot of training related to walking up on folks. It just doesn’t seem like there was any other way.
At the time, there were concerns and questions. My biggest question at the time was about the cover-up at his office. His office was sealed and you had law enforcement, including the Secret Service, kept at bay. The Justice Department lawyers were kept outside, while you had Bernard Nussbaum, Patsy Thomasson, and Maggie Williams…man, I haven’t thought of these names in years. All of them were seen by a Secret Service officer by the name of Henry O’Neill. Why I remember all these things I have no idea….
That’s why they pay you the big bucks, man.
Its brain power I should be using for other things. But the bottom line is that Henry O’Neill testified under oath as a United States Secret Service agent that he saw them clean out the office. It was only after his testimony and after weeks of prodding and prying and investigation that the supposed suicide note that had been torn up and placed in the bottom of his brief case which many, many people looked in, was miraculously recovered. It blamed the Wall Street Journal and it blamed the mean spirited Republicans and how it was a party of personal destruction and all of those things. It was a remarkable time to live through and to be in a key position to investigate these things.
But look, Vince Foster I think, ended up being a very troubled man and ended up taking his own life. What the unethical folks at the White House did to cover it up didn’t help matters any.
Now speaking of interesting times, there are claims that you’re involved with the Swift Boat Vets. Even today their name is a curse word on the Left. They hate them. I interviewed one of those guys, John O’Neill. I thought they were very credible. What did you think of the Swift Boat Vets? And do you think they got a fair hearing from the media?
First of all, John O’Neill is a friend of mine and was in a film I did in 2004. But to say that I was involved with them…
I was going by my Lefty research there. They’ve got you tied into the web of…
Trust me. I love them and I would love to be associated with them. I did support them and I did help them on the fringes. But, I don’t want to be seen as taking credit for things I didn’t do, because they do deserve a lot of credit.
They called out John Kerry. Those veterans who decided that honor came before self gratification, unlike John Kerry, really stood tall when their country needed them. And the Swift Boats that were demonized by the Leftist media — or mainstream media as some people call them — didn’t get a fair shake. You had dozens, hundreds of men who stood up to say that John Kerry was a fraud.
Instead of taking these war heroes at their word, they were attacked and vilified. That’s shameful. It’s shameful on behalf of the media. It’s shameful that the Democratic Party encouraged that activity and it’s really shameful that John Kerry allowed it to happen. He allowed good men and good men’s names to be attacked and their families to be attacked when all they were doing was telling the truth and he knew that they were telling the truth. He was the one person who could stop that from happening and he didn’t.
Now the Citizens United film, Hillary the Movie, made its way to the Supreme Court, helped knock out an unconstitutional section of McCain-Feingold, and the Obama administration has incessantly complained about that since the decision. Talk a little bit about that case and why it’s so important now.
Well, we wanted simply to be able to make movies, show them where we wanted, and advertise them. We felt that it was well within our First Amendment rights and that MSNBC and the New York Times and the Washington Post got to hide behind a veil of the Media Exemption. This means they could editorialize. They could endorse candidates. They could on their news pages and on their editorial pages continue to cover these candidates at a time when your average American couldn’t.
So we felt it was wrong that the government could tell us “no” and potentially file charges against us, which is what the Federal Elections Commission told us they would do if we went forward with Hillary the Movie. I was not willing to stand idly by and let them bully us — and that is what the government does to people — whether it’s the IRS or the FEC or the SEC, or any number of the environmental agencies, or what have you. They want you to buckle under and if you don’t do what we tell you, we’re going to use the power of the government to stifle you. That was the threat that we were under.
This time they just happened to pick on guys that weren’t afraid of them — and usually that’s not the case. We decided to take the fight to them. So we filed suit against them. It took us many years to get to the Supreme Court and then an entire year to get through the process at the Supreme Court. Then, of course, we won a landmark First Amendment decision — and it’s a great victory for free speech. It’s a great victory for everyone who wants to use it — on the Left and the Right, I might add.
It’s just that the Left doesn’t want people to be able to speak. The Left loved the corner on the market. The Left loved the monopoly of the unions getting to spend their membership’s money on elections when all of it was going to go for Left leaning politicians. They loved it when it was George Soros and Warren Buffett and Bill Gates and all of the Left wing rich guys supporting their causes. But the moment that the little guy, the moment that your average mom and pop grocery store, the dry cleaners, the liquor store, the restaurant got the opportunity to participate in the process, they went haywire. They go haywire because those are the men and women who create jobs. Those are the men and women who employ people. Those are the men and women who pay taxes. Those are the men and women that understand the deadly economic policies of this socialist agenda that is Barack Obama.
That is why you see people coming out of the woodwork to support conservatives and Tea Party candidates, and those that are starting to say, “Enough is enough. We can’t continue these unsustainable debts. We can’t continue this unsustainable spending. Taxes need to be cut.”
Last question: Your latest movie is Fire From The Heartland. Everybody I’ve talked to who’s seen that movie has had nothing but good things to say about it.
I’ve heard a lot of complaints from the Left about the movie. In fact, I asked for a question from the Left before we got started to see if they had anything. This was someone who had seen the movie and her question on it was, “What would he say to those who argue that by focusing on the attractiveness of conservative women that the film detracts from discussions of their effectiveness?”
I’ve actually heard this weird criticism a lot in the Left — that maybe you’re focusing too much on the looks and not giving conservative women enough credit. What do you think about that?
They’re saying that there’s a bunch of attractive conservatives running and therefore…
Therefore it’s bad. Too many attractive women in the movie and therefore conservative women only value these women because they’re attractive.
Well, you know it’s a shame that whoever said that is so sexist.
I’ve actually heard that argument in a number of places on the Left. That’s the new argument: That conservative women are too attractive.
To be candid, I’m not feigning it, I’m a little insulted that people would say that. I find it remarkable that a party that doesn’t do anything for the real rights of women, but claims the mantle of it would in an election year, instead of heralding women across the country for standing up and taking responsibility and…I mean, I haven’t done the numbers, but there are more women on the ballot across the country than I think at any other time in American history. That says it all.
I know that they’re running because of the policies that they want to bring to government and that they share the same ideals of smaller, more effective government, lower taxes, and a better environment to create jobs — so that their children and grandchildren can grow up without being burdened with a nation that is sick like it is right now. It’s sick because of Nancy Pelosi and it’s sick because of these Leftist ideologues who put power, their own power, ahead of what’s good for America.
David, I appreciate your time.
Thank you very much.
Thank you, David. Take care.