Who Killed Clinton's Dog?
What did Buddy know, and when did he know it?
By Mickey Kaus
Posted Wednesday, January 9, 2002, at 2:43 PM PT
Note: Kausfiles received the following from a gravelly-voiced outdoorsman in Arkansas who refused to give his name.
"It was strictly an accident. The dog just darted out." That is what the media wants us to believe about the death of Buddy, Bill Clinton's 4-year-old Labrador retriever. (See "Who Is Buddy?" Wall Street Journal, Dec. 1997.) But is the truth about this—the latest Clinton casualty—that conveniently simple?
What do we really know about Buddy's death? Who stood to benefit? Consider the following:
On Dec. 19, 2001 Clinton has a meeting in his Harlem office to discuss ways to repair his "battered" image. The meeting is described in the New York Times as having a "special urgency." An image-building speech on globalization at Yale has apparently not brought Clinton the expected public sympathy.
Democratic leaders, Clinton is reported to have said, had not spoken up sufficiently on his behalf. They could not be relied on.
Present at the meeting was Bruce Lindsey, Clinton's secretive consigliere and the man entrusted with the Clintons' most distasteful tasks.
Exactly two weeks later, Buddy was dead. As could have been predicted, Clinton benefited from a wave of public sympathy—sympathy he hadn't felt since at least Sept. 11. Clinton's office almost instantly issued a press statement saying the Clintons were "deeply saddened by Buddy's death."
It's almost as if it had been planned all along.
A look at the actual circumstances of Buddy's demise does little to allay suspicions. As many as nine strange facts remain uninvestigated. Consider:
THE NINE SUSPICIOUS FACTS ABOUT BUDDY'S DEATH
1. With all the high-tech security available to an ex-president on the Chappaqua property, the Clintons had apparently somehow failed to install what a dog expert called "the one essential safety feature, an invisible fence." This system would have given Buddy a small shock as he neared the property line, warning him not to cross it. Unless, of course, it had been turned off.
2. We are told that on Jan. 2, the day of Buddy's mysterious, violent end, "neither Clinton nor his wife was at home." Is this really a coincidence? Would the former first couple pay $1.7 million for a suburban headquarters and then just happen to not be at home when their dog is killed? On the other hand, if you wanted to do away with your dog, you'd want no fingerprints. Wouldn't you arrange to be out of town that day?
3. Would the trained ex-presidential personnel entrusted with Buddy's care really unintentionally allow him to "bolt" through the "front door" chasing a "contractor"? Who were these handlers? Why haven't such key eyewitnesses been subpoenaed?
4. Who was the shadowy "contractor" and why did he leave in such a hurry? What was he installing at the Clintons' residence, which had been fully remodeled several years ago? Isn't it strange that he would leave the gate open, when any "contractor" worth his salt knows that an open gate plus a dog equals a lawsuit?
5. Buddy is said to have "scampered" fully "600 feet down the road," and then another 100 feet on heavily traveled Route 117 before he was hit. Have you ever "scampered" 600 feet, the length of two football fields?
6. The 17-year-old "high school senior" who allegedly ran over Buddy has been described in the press as a "pretty brunette"—the same description, practically, that was once applied to White House intern Monica Lewinsky. What, if any, was her connection with the ex-president?
7. It is illegal in Chappaqua to allow a dog to run outside your property without a leash unless the dog is "under the owner's voice or visual control." Was Buddy actually being controlled? If not, who decided, at what level, to break the law? Why did an employee of the town clerk's office in heavily Democratic Chappaqua tell the New York Post (Jan. 4) that the penalty for violating this regulation only applies if a dog is picked up by a dog catcher?
8. Celebrity dog trainer Bash Dibra has now come forward, in the Post (Jan. 4), to say that he strictly advised Clinton to always use a leash with Buddy outside the home. Why was this celebrity advice ignored?
9. Writing in the New York Times, a former Clinton aide, now a shadowy "communications consultant," discloses that when Clinton was in office—perhaps at the very height of the impeachment scandal—Buddy would "pad on down to the basement of the West Wing, poking his nose into the wastebaskets outside Sidney Blumenthal's office." Yes, that Sidney Blumenthal, the partisan conspiratorialist who is so often at the center of Clintonian machinations—the same Sidney Blumenthal who had seemingly eerily anticipated last week's deadly event by writing a play about a scandal involving the president's dog. Why Blumenthal's trash, and no one else's? What did the doomed Labrador find there? Had Buddy smelled too much?
Connect the dots. It doesn't add up. No other conclusion seems even possible. Perhaps some subpoenas would help shake loose the real story. But who in Congress will step forward to do what is necessary?
Remember: When they say it's not about the leash, it's about the leash!
LATE-BREAKING EVIDENCE OF COVERUP
One who might know the answer to some of the questions surrounding Buddy is Trumper, Buddy's neighbor. (See "Who Is Trumper?" WSJ, Aug. 2001.) But, as if to silence this witness months before the event, Trumper, a Shih Tzu, was put down by its owner in October. Was Trumper ill—or simply another name on the growing list of Clinton victims?