For the week of March 24, 1999  thru March 30, 1999  

Send Starr packing

The independent counsel law that brought us the soap opera starring Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky is set to expire June 30. Congress should resist the temptation to hook it up to life support.

This law deserves to die. Everyone in the country knows only too well its flaws and the abuses it inspired.

The country needs time to heal and to figure out how to avoid further injury from the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that for the first time in history allowed a lawsuit to be brought against a sitting president.

This is not to say that a truly independent investigation of potential wrongdoing in government will never again be needed. Future Americans, like their predecessors, will surely question whether a U.S. attorney general, appointed by the president, can investigate the president.

However, any future independent counsel law could surely be crafted to prevent multi-million dollar debacles like the one directed by special prosecutor Ken Starr.

If Americans do not insist that Congress let the law expire, the joke will be on them. Starr is already laughing. Starr has continued to investigate Clinton despite the Senate vote not to convict him of perjury or obstruction of justice.

In the meantime, spurred by Lewinsky’s allegations of strong-arm intimidation by Starr’s minions, the Justice Department has launched an investigation of Starr’s investigation.

Where will it end?

Americans are sick and tired, frazzled and disillusioned by a government in which matters that should occupy daytime TV get more attention than genocides underway in Serbia and Africa, or the missiles being built in Korea and China.

Congress should send Starr packing along with the law that let him run wild.


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