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January 22, 2000
Column #960


     There's a new sex scandal at the White House. But this time the key perpetrator is First Lady Hillary Clinton!

     As she turned a blind eye toward her husband's sexual perversions, she now is turning a blind eye to international sexual trafficking of two million women and children sold into prostitution and hard core pornography across national borders each year. These numbers are on a par with the number of Africans who were sold into slavery in the 16th and 17th centuries according to Dr. Laura Lederer of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

     It is an issue that has forged an unlikely alliance of such conservatives as William Bennett and Chuck Colson and liberal feminists Gloria Steinem and NOW President Patricia Ireland.

     In a column published by ''The Wall Street Journal,'' Bennett and Colson charged: ''Over the past few months the Clinton Administration has lobbied for the United Nations to adopt a protocol that would lend legitimacy to prostitution and hard core pornography. This effort has been spearheaded by the President's Interagency Council on Women (ICW), a group whose honorary chairman is none other than Hillary Rodham Clinton.''

     For a year, the White House's ICW has been working to convince the U.N. Convention on Transnational Organized Crime in Vienna that ''voluntary'' prostitution is a legitimate career option, and should not be prosecuted. Rather, the target should be ''forced'' prostitution.

     ''This clearly serves the interests of the trafficking industry,'' charges Equality Now, a group that includes such feminists as Ireland and Steinem, founder of ''Ms. Magazine.''

     They note that sexual traffickers procure their victims in many ways. ''Some women and girls are abducted; some are deceived by offers of legitimate work in another country; some are sold by their own poverty-stricken parents or are themselves driven by poverty into the lure of traffickers who profit from their desperation'' hoping to give their families a better life.

     However, if they ''consent'' to their sexual exploitation, the White House believes the pimps, pornographers and brothel owners should not be prosecuted. This turns the legal focus from the sexual traffickers to the mind of the victims. It is a ''virtual bar to prosecution'' says J. Robert Flores, a former prosecutor in New York City and in the Justice Department.

     This shift would overturn the 1949 United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. It recognized that prostitution ''is incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person.'' And it urged prosecution of any person who ''procures, entices or leads away, for purposes of prostitution another person even with the consent of that person.''

     To change that definition ''effectively legalizes prostitution and effectively insulates organized crime from prosecution for its rapidly growing transnational prostitution and hardcore pornography `industries,' charges Michael Horowitz of the Hudson Institute.

     Southern Baptist ethics agency head Richard Land is so disgusted by the immoral position taken by the Administration, he says, ''I have seldom been more outraged at the behavior of the government that represents (Americans) overseas and at home than I am at this very moment. It is absolutely appalling that the United States of America, under the Clinton Administration's leadership, is being put in a position of arguing for legalized prostitution.''

     Of course, that is not how the Administration sees the issue. In fact, this is what Mrs. Clinton said in Reykjavik, Iceland in October: '' No government and no citizen should rest until we stop this modern form of slavery, protect its victims and prosecute those who are responsible.''

     Sadly, as is so often the case with the Clintons, their actions to not live up to their words.  If she believed what she said, the Administration would support, rather than oppose ''The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 1999,'' which was passed unanimously by all Democrats and Republicans on the House International Relations Committee.

     A State Department spokesman said the U.S. opposes a protocol ''that requires criminalization of all prostitution.'' Why? Prostitution is illegal everywhere in the U.S. except two Nevada counties. Only in Europe is prostitution being legalized. Nations from the third world whose girls and women are being sold into slavery, oppose tossing out the 1949 UN position.

     The decriminalization of prostitution is sadly consistent with the Administration's ''shutting down the prosecution of the major producers and distributors of illegal pornography,'' says Pat Trueman, director of obscenity prosecution under both Reagan and Bush Administrations.

     Now the Internet is making obscenity available to children, without any prosecution by Clinton's Justice Department.

     The sexual immorality of the Clintons knows no bounds.

Copyright 2000 Michael J. McManus.

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