The Crimes of Mena:


by the Staff of the OZARK GAZETTE

                      GRAY MONEY 

Activists seeking documentation that would support claims that the 
state of Arkansas was involved with money laundering on a massive 
scale may have found the missing link in their three year search.  
Documents obtained by the Arkansas Committee show that the Arkansas 
Development and Finance Authority, a Bill Clinton signature project, 
was involved in a highly questionable, and possibly illegal, sixty-million 
dollar deal in which ADFA borrowed 5 million dollars from a Japanese 
bank in order to buy stock in a Barbados insurance company.  The 
stock was not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The state of Arkansas was the lead investor in a deal which poured 
sixty million dollars through a Barbados company, Coral Reinsurance, 
which is currently under investigation by insurance regulators in New 
York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware as well as by Manhattan District 
Attorney Robert Morgenthau, lead prosecutor in the BCCI scandal.  
Additionally,the Ozark Gazette has recently been told that as a 
result of the release of the Coral documents the independent counsel, 
Kenneth Starr, is also investigating the deal. 

Persons involved in the deal, which began in 1987 and ended in 1991, 
include Bob Nash, then president of ADFA and now Personnel Director 
of the White House, Robert Rubin, then president of Goldman Sach's 
investment bank and now Secretary of the Treasury, and Maurice 
Greenburg, president of American International Group, and a candidate 
in 1995 to be Director of Central Intelligence.

The American International Group is a 100-billion dollar, 
multi-national insurance company which founded Coral Reinsurance 
Company in 1987.  The fact that AIG founded Coral was hidden from 
insurance regulators for at least 3 years and was only recently proven 
by the reluctant release by ADFA of the original stock placement 
memorandum.  Maurice Greenburg as president of AIG is a very well 
connected businessman and a player in international politics.  He 
serves as the chairman of the US-China Business Council and lobbied 
hard (and successfully) for the Clinton administration to sever the 
link between China's human rights record and renewal of China's 
most-favored-nation trade status. Members of the board of directors 
of AIG include Martin Feldstein, Harvard University economics professor 
and former chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors 
and Carla Hills, former U.S. trade representative.  AIG's  
international advisory board is headed by Henry A. Kissinger.

The original deal was pitched to ADFA by Goldman-Sachs, a New York 
based securities firm which played an important role in the transaction.  
Goldman-Sachs had pledged to sell the stock for Coral and in addition 
pledged to buy the stock if for any reason the other investors could not 
hold it and were forced to sell.  Goldman's president at the time was
Robert Rubin, later appointed by the Clinton administration to succeed 
Lloyd Bentsen as the Secretary of the Treasury.

                        THE SEARCH BEGINS

Founded in 1990 as a student organization at the University of Arkansas, 
the Arkansas Committee's major focus was on Arkansas' involvement with the 
mysterious activities at the Mena airport during the 1980's.  The Committee 
spent two years unsuccessfully trying to convince the state government to 
investigate links between major drug smuggler Barry Seal (also a government 
informant), who worked out of the Mena, Arkansas airport, and the U. S. 
Intelligence community. 

Recently, two very respected investigative journalists, Roger Morris and 
Sally Denton, have published the most authoritative and highly documented 
account to date of events at the Mena airport between 1982 and 1986.  
Based on over 2,000 documents including the previously unpublished personal 
papers of Barry Seal, their article "The Crimes of Mena" in the July issue 
of Penthouse Magazine reveals the government's protection, and cover up
of drug smuggling, gun running and money laundering.

Realizing that personal accounts were not sufficient to convince skeptics, 
in the summer of 1992 the Committee began what would become its most 
difficult journey - finding enough hard evidence to convince the media 
(the court of last resort, the government having rebuffed two years of 
pleas to do the job itself) to investigate and write about Mena.  And 
so they began trying to locate the long buried paper trail, armed only
with the Freedom of Information Act and determination.

But what sort of hard documentation could they reasonably hope to find?  
The Committee's sources had on more than one occasion indicated that up 
to ten million dollars a week in illegal cash was going through Arkansas 
at the height of the Mena operation. Therefore the most logical course 
seemed to be to the hoary old cliche,  follow the money. 

For two important reasons, the Committee decided to look into the Arkansas
Development Finance Authority (ADFA).  First, some admittedly 
circumstantial evidence linked ADFA to the Mena operations.  Secondly, as 
a state agency, ADFA was subject to Arkansas's Freedom of Information Act, 
and so documents could be extracted from what was hoped would be an 
important source of information.  Throughout 1992, the Arkansas Committee 
contacted numerous sources in their search for evidence that ADFA may have
been involved in money laundering operations. Several people assured them 
that ADFA was indeed involved, knowingly or otherwise, with laundering 
many millions of dollars. 

ADFA sells bonds as a state bonding agency, and it was alleged that many 
of the bonds were bought with drug money.   But this meant that even if 
the bonds were purchased with black money, ADFA would still be in the 
clear, since ADFA could claim that they had no knowledge of the sources 
of the money used to purchase their bonds.  Additionally, ADFA does not 
sell it's own bonds directly to the public, but instead uses a 
middleman - a bond underwriter - the perfect deniable link.  Committee 
member Mark Swaney suspected that it was possible that ADFA had become 
involved in money laundering directly, so he began searching for other 
ways in which black money may have been moved with ADFA's involvement.  
In August of 1992, Swaney received what he felt was his first real 
break, when a source told him to look for ADFA's involvement with an 
insurance company. 

                     COMMITTEE HITS PAY DIRT

Life not being like the movies, it took two years before the Committee 
was able to find any such link.  In 1994, Swaney and the Arkansas 
Committee (in thus far their last official act as a group) sued ADFA for 
their auditor's working papers, after the documents were not forthcoming.  
The lack of interest on the part of the main stream press had not changed 
and the only attendees at the press conference announcing the suit were 
one reporter, and a camera crew from a public access television station.  
In a recent Arkansas Supreme Court ruling that has extended the power of 
the state's freedom of information act, Swaney and the Arkansas Committee 
were handed a unanimous victory when the court overturned the original 
decision by Judge Kim Smith.  The new ruling places the burden of 
obtaining public documents held by private companies on the relevant 
state agency. The decision means that state agencies cannot circumvent 
the freedom of information act by insuring that they are not in possession 
of sensitive documents.  (Oh, we don't have "physical possession" of that 
document - because we gave it to our lawyer to keep...)

The Committee reasoned that the public audits of ADFA were unlikely to 
provide any useful information, however the working papers of the auditors 
should yield a much more complete and detailed picture of ADFA's dealings.  
Because the Committee members were not financial experts they decided to 
locate someone well versed in accounting and/or auditing to review the 
papers when and if they could obtain them.  To this end, Swaney teamed up 
with well-known independent financial analyst and ADFA critic, Roy Drew.   

In a conversation about their collaboration, Drew told Swaney that he had 
found evidence of ADFA's involvement in a very strange deal with a certain 
Coral Reinsurance Company.  Roy Drew had been reading the minutes of ADFA's 
board of directors meetings and found one paragraph (in thousands of pages) 
describing a deal where ADFA would borrow 5 million dollars from the Sanwa 
bank's Chicago branch to buy stock in Coral Reinsurance.  Additionally, the 
minutes revealed that according to the terms of the loan ADFA did not have 
to repay the loan if it did not make as much money in dividends on the
stock as it owed in interest on the loan.  To the Committee, this seemed 
to be the long sought after link between ADFA and an insurance company, 
especially since there was no known connection to any other insurance 

After finally obtaining an opportunity to examine the ADFA auditor's 
working papers, the Committee asked ADFA for copies of all documents 
relating to the Coral insurance deal. Derek Rose, PR man for ADFA, 
readily agreed to make the Coral documents available. On December 2, 
1994 ADFA's auditors (Deloitte & Touche) allowed Swaney and Drew limited 
access to the working papers.  On the same day Swaney visited ADFA and 
copied the entire Coral file that Rose had retrieved for him.  While 
Swaney was copying the documents, Rose was apparently seeing the material 
for the first time. It quickly become obvious to Swaney that several 
documents contained in the file where very sensitive  inter-office ADFA 
memos.  One of the memos, apparently written in a panic by Bob Nash,
indicated that he had been questioned about the Coral deal in 1992, and 
had been shaken by it.  In addition, a letter written to ADFA by the 
Delaware Department of Insurance requested information concerning ADFA's 
involvement with Coral Reinsurance, and strongly suggested that they were 
investigating Coral Reinsurance.

                     CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER

After returning to Fayetteville, Swaney and the Committee began to study 
the documents in detail.  Several facts were especially interesting given 
the background of the search.  First, Coral Reinsurance was incorporated 
in the tiny Caribbean island of Barbados - a notorious haven for money 
launderers due to it's very lax banking regulations, and tight corporate 
secrecy laws.  If someone wanted to launder cash, this was a good place 
to do it.  Second, the deal was structured in such a way as to prevent 
the reporting of the ownership of the stock to the IRS.  Third, the stock 
certificate plainly stated that "these securities have not been registered 
under the securities and exchange commission act of 1933".  The deal had
all the earmarks of a clandestine arrangement designed to conceal the true 
ownership of Coral Reinsurance.

Further information gleaned from the documents showed that ADFA's role in 
the deal was unique.  There were several other investors, none of whom had 
any visible government connection.  Also, ADFA's share of the stock was 
larger than any other investor, and ADFA had signed a "put agreement" with 
Goldman Sach's in which they obligated themselves to buy the stock of any 
other investor in the case that the investor found that they could no 
longer hold the stock, and Goldman could find no other qualified investor. 
Finally, in case ADFA couldn't hold the stock, Goldman Sach's would buy it.  
In no case was the Sanwa Bank ever to own the stock. 

The total amount of stock in the deal was 1,000 shares at $60,000 per 
share for a total of 60 million dollars.  ADFA's portion was 84 shares for 
a total of $5.04 million.  Another very interesting fact was that the money 
apparently never left the Sanwa Bank.  The whole transaction was conducted 
on paper.  Sanwa loaned the $60 million to the investors, who used it to 
buy the stock in Coral, which then redeposited the money back in the Sanwa 
bank in the form of a certificate of deposit.   Also mentioned in the 
documents was the American International Group, a huge insurance company 
with international business and political connections.  The documents 
indicated that Coral was going to re-insure AIG as part of its business.

Taken together, these facts indicated that this deal was indeed very  
strange.  ADFA took no risk, since the loan with Sanwa guaranteed it a 
profit, and was secured solely by the stock. 

ADFA did nothing more than sign papers, in exchange for a profit of 
$58,000.  At first glance, any intelligent person would question a deal 
that promised something for nothing (indeed, it was later revealed that 
one of ADFA's legal advisors - John Selig of the Mitchell firm - did ask 
the crucial questions, "what's in it for AIG? why pay us for nothing?").  
Swaney and Drew could not help wondering whether or not ADFA's role was
to provide the appearance of legitimacy and liquidity so that the other 
investors would not be fearful of getting involved. 

Roy Drew and Mark Swaney wanted to learn all that they could about the 
Coral deal before releasing the documents to the media, so that further 
information could be obtained before media involvement stirred up the 
situation.  Roy Drew contacted the Delaware Department of Insurance to 
find out what their original interest in Coral had been and to see if 
they were still interested in obtaining the ADFA documents.

The Delaware Department of Insurance was in fact very interested in the 
documents and a series of strange phone conversations took place between 
Drew and his contact at the DDI.  

Drew was told that ADFA had never responded to the DDI's request for 
information, so that they had no documentation on the Coral-ADFA deal.  
Initially the DDI was very suspicious of Roy Drew, not being sure with 
whom they were dealing.  They  requested assurance from him that he was 
not a member of any official US government agency and that he was not 
working for ADFA or Coral.   

Shortly after these initial exchanges Drew's original contact at the 
DDI was taken off the case and his superiors informed Drew that his 
contact had been instructed not to say anything more to anyone about 
case.  Seeing no point in trying to get further information from 
Delaware about the case, Swaney and Drew decided to release the story 
to the media. A reporter for the business section of the New York Post, 
John Crudele, had been following the progress of the Committee's efforts 
and in early January, 1995, Swaney mailed him the Coral documents.

                       FURTHER REVELATIONS

Things began to get even stranger on January 6, 1995.  That day John 
Crudele of the New York Post published a column which called attention 
to whole deal involving Coral, ADFA and AIG.  The story was only on 
streets in New York for a few hours when Swaney received a call from a 
man who told Swaney he had been conducting his own investigation of 
Coral Insurance and AIG but had not realized until then that the 
connections led to people now in the White House.  When Swaney asked him 
to identify himself, he declined to do so, for fear of retaliation. 

We will call him Mr. Anonymous.  It seems that Mr. Anonymous is an 
insurance man in New York City - a competitor of AIG - and at sometime 
in the last two years he became very suspicious of AIG because its 
affiliates were offering insurance at premiums way below market rates.  
Mr. Anonymous told Swaney that he could not believe that a legitimate
insurance company could stay in business offering such low rates.  Mr. 
Anonymous suspected that he was in competition with an illegal 
enterprise, and began poking around in the affairs of AIG.  At some 
point after that, Mr. Anonymous became frightened, and dropped his 
investigation, because he believed that the repercussions were damaging 
his own business.  Mr. Anonymous also told Swaney (and John Crudele of 
the New York Post) that AIG and it's relationship with Coral 
Reinsurance was under investigation by the insurance regulators of 
Pennsylvania and New York.

Mr.  Anonymous had discovered that AIG was doing a lot of business 
through the island nation Bermuda.  He then flew to Bermuda to examine 
the records of AIG's business dealings.  In conversation with Swaney, 
Mr. Anonymous said that one of the companies that he believed to be 
underwriting policies issued by AIG had given a Fort Smith, Arkansas 
address.  When Swaney asked for the name of the company, Mr. Anonymous 
told him it was Beverly Indemnity. 

Intrigued by the new connections to Arkansas, Swaney requested, and 
received, copies of the documents that Mr. Anonymous had obtained in 
Bermuda.  The documents for Beverly Indemnity of Bermuda contained the 
names of two of its officers, Robert Pommerville, and Ronald C. Kayne.  
Swaney suspected that Beverly Indemnity was controlled by the well-known 
Beverly Enterprises of Fort Smith, AR - a call to Beverly Enterprises 
revealed that Pommerville did indeed work for Beverly Enterprises.  
Pommerville was later identified as the General Counsel for Beverly 
Enterprises.  At the time of the Coral Insurance deal, Beverly 
Enterprises was owned and controlled by Stephens, Inc.

In a telephone interview Mr. Pommerville stated that Beverly 
Enterprises has an ongoing relationship with one of AIG's affiliates.  
The National Union Fire and Home Insurance company of Pittsburgh, 
Pennsylvania insures the Beverly Enterprises nursing homes.  In turn, 
Beverly Indemnity, Inc. reinsures National Union.  Mr. Pommerville 
stated that the arrangement was a step toward Beverly Enterprises 
becoming self-insured. Beverly Enterprises has a current connection 
with ADFA though Bobby Stephens (no relation to Stephens Inc.) who is 
a member of the board of directors of both ADFA and Beverly Enterprises.  
The minutes of the board of directors meeting at which the board members 
voted to buy the Coral Reinsurance stock show that Bobby Stephens was 

Beverly Enterprises has an intriguing past association with ADFA.  
Those with long memories will recall that in the year after the Coral 
deal, a controversy erupted involving Beverly Enterprises, ADFA and 
former Arkansas Attorney General Steve Clark.  At that time ADFA was 
considering a deal involving a bond issue which would have benefited
Beverly Enterprises.  Clark interrupted the public ADFA meeting 
involving the issuance of the bonds and claimed that the Stephens 
family, then the principal owners of Beverly Enterprises, had offered 
him a $100,000 campaign contribution (translated- bribe) if he would 
remain neutral on the deal involving ADFA and Beverly Enterprises.  
Other observers of state politics have claimed that Clark's later 
problems originated with his grandstand announcement "in front of God 
and everybody" at the ADFA meeting.

Soon after the columns by John Crudele appeared in the New York Post, 
other media began to be interested in the Coral Reinsurance deal. Business 
Insurance magazine reported on the Coral deal.  An AIG spokesperson denied 
that AIG had organized Coral Reinsurance. Other industry sources told John 
Crudele that $450 million dollars had suddenly appeared in Coral's account 
in just the last two weeks of 1987.  Investigators have been unable to
identify the source of the cash infusion. 

Further columns on the story by John Crudele indicated that AIG was 
attempting to distance itself from Coral and would only say that Coral 
wrote reinsurance policies for AIG - investigators for insurance regulators 
wanted to know if AIG actually in fact owned Coral.  This is the reason 
that the Delaware Department of Insurance originally contacted ADFA in 
1992.  The DDI wanted to see the stock placement memoranda because 
such memoranda usually include information on who is starting the company, 
what the nature of the business is, and with whom it intends to do business.

In mid December Swaney had written another FOIA request to ADFA, asking 
for copies of documents relating to the Coral deal which were not in the 
original file obtained on the second of December.  Two of documents 
requested were: 

1) the confidential stock placement memoranda. 
2) the written legal opinion promised by ADFA to Coral which was supposed 
   to state that ADFA had legal authority to buy the stock in first place.  

ADFA responded to the FOIA by stating that all of the Coral documents in 
ADFA's possession had already been copied by Swaney. 

By the middle of February 1995 it was determined that ADFA's response, 
while technically true, was simply a dodge since the requested documents 
were in fact in the possession of one of ADFA's attorneys, Ann 
Ritchie-Parker of the Mitchell Firm, a prestigious Little Rock law firm. 

When the long sought after memorandum was finally obtained' it revealed 
that indeed, AIG had founded Coral Reinsurance.

While all of these facts were in themselves very interesting, an event 
in the latter part of February, 1995 added yet another twist to 
this bizarre story.  In an article in February 20 issue US News & World 
Report it was revealed that Maurice Greenburg was being promoted by 
Senator Arlen Specter as the successor to Woolsey as Director of 
Central Intelligence.  Jack Wheeler, writing in the February 22 issue of 
Strategic Investment Newsletter, stated that the Clinton administration 
had sent up a "trial balloon" in January on the possibility of nominating 
Greenburg as the new Director of Central Intelligence.  There was very 
little support for a Greenburg nomination.  Did the newly published 
details of the Coral-ADFA deal deflate the balloon?

At about the same time Bob Nash, author of the "panic" memo, and former 
President of ADFA was made the director of White House personnel by Clinton.  
On February the fifth, Lloyd Bentsten, former Secretary of the Treasury was 
appointed to the board of directors of AIG.

Bentsten's successor at the treasury was Robert Rubin, the President of 
Goldman Sachs at the time of the Coral/ADFA deal.

By the middle of February the stories written by Crudele were attracting 
attention in the Arkansas press.  Andrea Harter of the Democrat Gazette 
began a month long investigation into the Coral deal.  The story appeared 
March 5, 1995 and revealed even more extensive connections between AIG/ADFA.  
In the year preceding the purchase of Coral stock by ADFA, an AIG affiliate 
had managed over one billion dollars worth of ADFA's bonds. Having been 
founded in 1985 and starting business in 1986, by early 1987 ADFA had only
been in business a little over a year.  AIG's involvement with that much of 
their bonds so early in ADFA's history indicates a very strong relationship.  
Once again, considering that the Arkansas Committee had been told that US 
Intelligence had indeed laundered money through ADFA, and that the sale of 
ADFA's bonds was one such vehicle for doing so, Maurice Greenburg's 
connections to international politics and intelligence was very interesting. 

As a result of Andrea Harter's investigation it was determined that the 
written legal opinion referred to in the Coral/ADFA documents did not 
exist.  Ms. Ann Parker-Ritchie claimed that "everyone agreed at the time 
that it was legal for ADFA to purchase the stock" so the opinion was never 
written down.   Although this point was not challenged by Harter in the 
Democrat Gazette article, John Haman noted in the following weeks edition of 
the Arkansas Times that Article 12, Section 7 of the Arkansas State 
Constitution flatly prohibits the state of Arkansas from owning any stock.  
Thus it would appear that ADFA's purchase of the Coral stock was illegal.  
Mark Swaney comments "no wonder they didn't write the opinion down on paper!" 

Aside from the cloak-and-dagger aspects of the Coral Reinsurance deal, the 
Arkansas Committee's investigation of ADFA reveals some interesting points 
concerning this center of financial power in Arkansas.  First is the fact 
that ADFA's dealings do not have to have anything to do with helping the 
economy of Arkansas directly.  Aside from a small profit of $58,000 on a 
5 million dollar loan, who in Arkansas benefited from the Coral deal? Who
in Arkansas benefits from the billions of dollars in bonds which ADFA sells?  
Certainly the bond daddies of Stephens and other underwriters.  Roy Drew has 
studied the dealings of ADFA and calls the agency "an unregulated savings 
and loan".  ADFA has claimed that they have oversight in the form of 
independent auditors.  In fact, the legislation that created ADFA in 1985 
specifically prohibited ADFA from using the Joint Legislative Auditing
Agency - the state's public auditors.  Was this an attempt to circumvent 
the Freedom of Information Act?   Documents obtained by the Arkansas 
Committee from Deloitte & Touche (ADFA's auditors) show at least one example 
of the auditors covering up for ADFA and was reported in the February 17, 
1995 issue of the Arkansas Times. 

Auditing firms are noted for being more than willing to please their 
customers, as in the infamous Silverado Savings and Loan case.  

The auditor's papers also showed that the board of directors of ADFA on 
four occasions approved loans in spite of their own staff's recommendations 
that the companies not receive the loans.  Two of the loans have since 
defaulted. In three of the four cases, the companies were owned by people 
who were friends of the members of the board of directors.  In one of the 
four cases, $400,000 was loaned to the husband of a long time ADFA employee, 
and former secretary to Bob Nash.

Considering that the board is entirely appointed by the governor, the 
possibilities for political corruption are obvious.  Consider that the 
flow of billions of dollars is controlled essentially by one man.  Consider 
the unaccountable power which flows to the person who can decide which 
underwriters get to slop at the trough.

Regardless of the outcome of the five separate investigations into 
AIG-Coral and ADFA, the results of the investigations of the Arkansas 
Committee have revealed a source of unaccountable power which is 
inconsistent with a democratic government.

For Committee members (such as Mark Swaney, Charlie Reed, Carol Conger, 
and John Benedict) it means that they may at last receive attention for 
what they have been trying to point out, and not how it might affect 
anyone's political fortunes.  

For those who may only get their information from daily newspapers, here 
is a brief background of what became known as the Mena Connection.  In 
1982, the near legendary drug smuggler, turned DEA informant, Barry Seal 
relocated his operations from Louisiana to the small town of Mena, Arkansas. 
Shortly thereafter, locals began to notice strange occurrences at the 

Over the next two years, local law enforcement officials heard stories of 
drug smuggling, gun running, illegal aircraft modifications, money 
laundering, and paramilitary training in the surrounding hills. Police 
began an investigation, only to have it taken over by the federal 
government.  After two more years, through 1986, local and federal 
investigators had what they believed to be solid evidence of these crimes, 
only to see the United States Attorney refuse to present their evidence 
to the eventual grand jury. 

Later, these investigators, and members of the grand jury themselves, 
complained loudly to the press that the case had been mishandled.  When 
in October of 1986, Barry Seal's airplane was shot down over Nicaragua 
(the opening chapter of the infamous Iran/Contra affair) it became obvious 
to some observers that there had in fact been a cover-up of the alleged 
activities at the Mena airport.

Reasoning that even if the federal government had covered up what had 
occurred at Mena, it was still possible for the state government to 
investigate the situation, the Arkansas Committee's early strategy was to 
press for state investigation of Mena.  From 1990 through early 1992, the 
Committee wrote letters, organized demonstrations, visited the offices of 
state officials, collected evidence and held press conferences, all in 
an attempt to pressure officials into reopening the case at the state level.

Failing to persuade officials to act, the Committee could not help but 
wonder why.  Soon, they were faced with a previously unthinkable conclusion 
- it was as much an inside job as anything else. 

Suspecting that Governor Bill Clinton had reason to hide such state 
involvement, the Committee decided to go public. Up to this point the 
Committee had been treated fairly and on occasion, even praised by the 
local media.  However, now that the Committee was pointing an accusing 
finger at the local hero, the media began to turn against the people who 
were asking for simple justice.  

At every step of the way, it has been an uphill battle. They have been 
accused of being dupes of the Republicans, of being cat's-paws of dark 
political forces.  Mark Swaney, the leader of the group, has vivid memories 
of being angrily accosted by the editor of a liberal newspaper, zealously 
defending Bill Clinton against these infidels. The veracity of the 
accusations, that Clinton may have had knowledge of CIA involvement with 
Mena was not the point, the editor insisted. If we don t have Clinton, who 
do we have?

They found themselves in the uncomfortable position of being praised by
right-wingers, who had their own agendas, and vilified by liberals, who 
feared that any serious criticism of the shining hope of the Democratic 
party might mean four more years of George Bush. In few instances was the 
truth ever the issue, but merely how the facts might affect the political 
fortunes of Arkansas' favorite son.  

Information the group supplied became the basis for articles in The Nation, 
The Washington Times and Village Voice, as well as providing groundwork for 
exposes on television programs such as "A Current Affair," and  'Now It 
Can Be Told."    

However, in May 1992, the efforts to tell the truth about Mena slid 
off-track when Time magazine, attempting discredit the allegations, printed 
a major story purporting to tell the truth  about the events in Arkansas, 
especially regarding connections to Bill Clinton, who was beginning his 
rapid ascent to the White House. The direction of the story was that it 
was much ado about nothing.

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