POLITICS
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Larry Klayman, Conservative Attack Dog, Slams Fox News And Bush

Both conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats can agree on one thing: When Larry Klayman calls, start sweating.

The fastest trigger finger in D.C. when it comes to filing legal briefs, the founder of Judicial Watch is best known for playing an instrumental role in fueling the Whitewater crisis that drowned President Clinton in multiple scandals.

But in the decade since the Lewinsky scandal, Klayman has outraged Republicans with his attacks on Bush administration and former Vice President Dick Cheney's secretive energy task force.

In his new subtly-titled book, "Whores: Why And How I Came To Fight The Establishment," Klayman details his career as a thorn in the side of the powerful.

Describing his decision to take on the case of Scott Tooley, a congressional aide convinced that he was on a terrorist watch list and that his phone was being wiretapped by the government, Klayman engages in the usual hyperbole:

"The Tooley case, which continues to this day, went directly to abuses of power -- this time, by an administration that colored itself conservative but too often behaved as if the Constitution is an inconvenience to be sidestepped or even ignored.... Bush and Cheney did more to pave the way for Obama's push toward socialism than Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Tse-tung could have ever dreamed or hoped for."

Klayman says that he met with Senator John McCain in 1997 to discuss allegations that the Clinton administration was illegally soliciting campaign contributions in exchange for seats on trade missions. Asked why the congressional hearings into the matter had ended in failure, McCain admitted that it was because both political parties had checkmated each other, telling Klayman: "Yes, my party is involved as well in the illegal fund raising. It's a disgrace."

Klayman reserves particular venom for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, whom he targeted by filing complaints with the House Ethics Committee. When he ran into former GOP Congressman Bob Barr (R-Ga.) at a hearing and asked the conservative lawmaker what he thought about DeLay, Barr laughed: "He's a crook but he's our crook!"

Klayman proudly recalls the night the "vast right-wing conspiracy... was born." He and fellow conservatives -- including Paul Weyrich, Phyllis Schafly and the NRA's Wayne LaPierre -- met in a room near the Council for National Policy conference in Charleston, South Carolina in 1998. "We voted to remove the 42nd president of the United States by whatever legal and ethical means were necessary," he said.

But Klayman disparages Republicans who attacked Clinton for demonstrating a double standard when it came to the Bush administration. Calling the leaking of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame's name "indefensible," Klayman says of the GOP: "Their hypocritical silence was deafening. For both Democrats and Republicans, politics too often trumps national security and the best interests of the American people."

In an odd bit of convenient amnesia regarding his own role in stirring up Whitewater, Klayman knocks Republicans for pursuing Clinton scandals and ignoring the looming threat of Islamic terrorism. "Years later, it would become clear how damaging to the country this strategy was," he writes. "By leaving Bill Clinton in office, preoccupying him with a sex scandal and diverting attention away from the growing threat of bin Laden, Al Qaeda and terrorism in general, the Republican leadership laid the foundation for a serious cancer to grow -- one that ultimately metastasized into September 11, 2001."

Of course, Klayman's main criticism is that the House impeachment managers refused to widen the proceedings into Chinagate and other scandals and focused solely on Lewinsky: "While the House managers were patting themselves on the back for what they had done, or rather, for what their gutless Senate colleagues had not done, Osama bin Laden was hard at work and the nation was too preoccupied with a sex scandal to know who was really being screwed."

And Klayman reserves some of his harshest words for Fox News, expressing his increasing disappointment with the network, which "should really change its motto 'We report, you decide' to 'We brainwash, you decide.'"

He accuses Fox News and host Sean Hannity of not being straight with him by tricking his clients to coming on the air: "I came to perceive Hannity as a shallow and insincere Rush Limbaugh wannabe. In contrast, his television co-host, Alan Colmes, a Jewish liberal, was actually a mensch, even though I rarely agreed with him politically."

Klayman takes particular aim at the "strange and petty tactics" of the network's chairman Roger Ailes. When he asked Ailes about his decision to hire Chris Cuomo, the current "Good Morning America" co-host, to do commentary, the Fox News executive replied: "If I'm going to put on some goddamned liberal, I might as well get the dumbest fuck I can find!"

Klayman claims that Fox owner Rupert Murdoch "tried to kill the publication of this book" because of his criticism of the network.

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