No Regrets

by digby

Gene Lyons, from his privileged perch inside the belly of the Arkansas beast, succinctly explains the Wayne Dumond-Huckabee atrocity in his column today.

He brings up the insane right wing delusions that drove this story, particularly those concocted by Steve Dunleavy, a pre-Drudge Clintonhate entrepreneur, who made a name for himself in the character assassination industry with the Dumond case:

New York Post columnist and “Current Affairs” correspondent Steve Dunleavy churned out articles of near-hallucinatory inaccuracy championing DuMond’s cause. He portrayed DuMond as a blameless Vietnam vet with no criminal history. In fact, DuMond avoided prison in Oklahoma by testifying against men tried and convicted of beating a man to death with a claw hammer. He’d been convicted of second degree assault in Oregon, and charged with but not tried for a previous rape in Arkansas.

Dunleavy claimed DNA evidence exonerated DuMond, but that a vengeful Clinton prevented his release. Both were categorically false. No DNA evidence existed; Clinton had recused.

DuMond became a right-wing cause célèbre. One Guy Reel wrote a book entitled “Unequal Justice,” parroting the same bogus claims. Most significantly, Jay Cole, a Fayetteville, Ar., Baptist pastor and pal of Huckabee’s, bought into the delusion.

I would recommend that you keep Lyons' piece bookmarked. If Huckabee gets the nomination, and he might, you may need it to send around to those of your friends and relatives who think Old Huck might make a good president.

While it's true that the Dumond story was a wingnut cause, there were plenty of liberals who had internalized the nonstop drumbeat of irrational Clinton hatred that came out of the right wing noise machine during that period.

This guy, for instance, who cleverly smeared Clinton by juxtaposing his refusal to pardon poor Wayne Dumond with his pardon of the white collar criminal Marc Rich. If you ever wanted to see a weaselly response to criticism, this is it:

Regarding the recent fuss about hillbilly presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's parole years ago of convicted rapist Wayne DuMond (who went on to rape again) and my March 2001 story about Bill Clinton's involvement, "The Castration of Wayne DuMond: A Pardon That Clinton Didn't Grant," Denis O'Brien writes:

It looks like you're sure to get some national coverage for your idiot 2001 VV article supporting release of rapist Wayne DuMond.

Man, if Huckabee takes shit over this, you really ought to get dumped on. Murray Waas over at HuffPost has been on this case since the beginning. He should have a field day with you. Hey, the First Amendment cuts both way, eh?

How you sleeping anyway? Was it hard on you after you helped get DuMond released only to have him rape and kill some more. And without testicles, too. Wasn't he something? I know you loved the guy. It was a shame the way Clinton wanted him to stay in prison.

Hope you're sleeping well.

Thanks for writing, Denis. No, I'm not sleeping well, but it has nothing to do with my story about DuMond, who was castrated by a crooked sheriff in Arkansas before he even went to trial. I didn't call for DuMond's release, and I didn't say he was innocent. I stand by my story, which I focused on the vigilante castration and wrote in the wake of revelations about Clinton's pardon of billionaire schnook Marc Rich.

Fellow tabloidist Steve Dunleavy was the one who trumpeted DuMond as innocent, way back in 1996. He even cast doubt on whether the rape occurred. See his piece, "A Travesty of Justice: How Gov. Clinton Denied an Innocent Man His Freedom."

DuMond was hardly innocent. After his parole by Huckabee, he moved to Missouri and raped and murdered.

That was after my March 2001 story, which I began this way:

As Wayne DuMond listened last week to billionaire fugitive Marc Rich's explanation that Bill Clinton pardoned him for "humanitarian" reasons, he couldn't help but darkly snicker.

DuMond had been accused of raping a Clinton cousin in 1984 and was hog-tied and castrated before he even went to trial.

He used to be enraged about it, especially when the cracker sheriff, who was a pal of the rape victim's father, scooped up DuMond's balls, put them in a jar, and showed them off.

"They were mine. Those were my testicles," DuMond told a sickened courtroom in 1988. "He didn't have no right to take them and he didn't have no right to show them around and he didn't have no right to flush them down the toilet."

This is yet another Clinton saga of genitalia that fell into the wrong hands.

The rape victim's daddy, mortician Walter E. "Stevie" Stevens, was part of a Democratic machine that ruled the Arkansas Delta and nurtured Clinton's career.

Wayne DuMond, guilty or innocent, didn't have a chance at justice.

As Clinton was abandoning Arkansas for national politics, he stymied DuMond's release from prison, ignoring the judgment of his own parole board in June 1990 that DuMond's continued incarceration was a "miscarriage of justice."

That's it. He not only pretends that he has nothing to be ashamed of, he repeats his earlier smear as if it somehow exonerates him. And then he says this:

The fact is that Clinton made the right decision for political reasons, and Huckabee later made the wrong move — releasing DuMond — for stupid reasons.

I honestly don't know what to say. Clinton didn't pardon Dumond because Dumond was a psychopath --- Huckabee arranged Dumond's release because he was listening to a bunch of hysterical wingnuts who'd deluded themselves into believing that the psycho was some sort of martyred patriot to the conservative cause. It was one of many sick, absurdist "Arkansas gothic" tales (as Lyons calls them) that were circulating at the time. I can't believe he thinks there's nothing wrong with these heinous accusations, which he eagerly passed on --- even now.

And Huckabee wasn't just stupid and didn't "make the wrong move" by insisting that Dumond be released (even sending him a Dear Wayne letter taking credit for it.) He showed himself to be a craven, political opportunist who would ignore the pleadings of several female victims who begged him not to release this sick bastard, in order to curry favor with the bizarro-world backwater of Arkansas wingnuttia.

Clinton=right. Huckabee=wrong. It's not complicated. You can hate Clinton all you want but this is one clear-cut obvious smear job and anyone who can't see that is simply too muddle headed to be writing in a respectable newspaper. If such a thing exists.