Many believe that a Dixie Mafia is the enforcer against anyonernwho knows too much about the Clintons or the drug dealsrngoing down at Mena Airport. Talk show callers make it theirrnbusiness to report anything unusual at the airport—any tidbitrnthe might have picked up on the Internet, like when a runwayrnis being lengthened. It is surprising how many people on thernInternet live within five miles of Mena. These people may bernswamp dwellers, but they are not dumb. They know that duringrnthe Clinton presidency, which New York Times columnistrnMaureen Dowd characterizes as “exploding cigar,” paranoiarncan employ ya’. Even a Dole ad man, she says, is teaching hisrnpet parrot, Ernie, to repeat: “Whitewater—guilty as sin!”rnQuinn, who is said to have the best grasp on the Mena storyrnof anyone in the country, introduces Mena Updates with snippetsrnof “Smuggler’s Blues” by Clenn Prey of the Eagles. It wasrnnot long ago that these strange stories of midnight plane landingsrnand drug drops were thought to be in the same category asrnEhis sightings at the K-Mart. But not anymore. Roger Morris,rnfor example, the award-winning liberal author of Partners inrnPower, contends that one of the government officials who knewrnand possibly colluded with the drug cartel is Bill Clinton. Morrisrnconcludes that there is a “numbing accumulation” of evidencernthat Governor Bill Clinton knew of the drug smugglingrnoperation at Mena Airport in the 1980’s, allegedly run by hisrnclose friend and major campaign contributor, Dan Lasater.rn”Several Arkansas state troopers and other gocrnment agentsrnhave said that Clinton not only knew about this traffic, as anyrngovernor would,” sas Wesley Pruden of the Washington Times,rn”but protected it, as a lot of governors wouldn’t.”rnArkansas state trooper, L.D. Brown, testified that in 1984 hernmoonlighted as a CIA contract employee. At Clinton’s urging,rnBrovn accompanied pilot Barry Seal on a flight from Mena tornparachute M-16 assault rifles into the jungles of Central America.rnA former narcotics investigator. Brown has testified that hernwas shocked and dismayed by the discovery that duffel bags ofrncocaine were smuggled back on the return flight. Upon returningrnto Little Rock, Brown, Clinton’s close friend and bodyguard,rnsavs he approached the governor and asked him, “Dornyou know what they’re bringing back on those planes? They’rernbringing back coke.” According to Brown’s testimony, Clintonrnresponded, “That’s Lasater’s deal.”rnAs go’ernor, Clinton steered millions of dollars in state bondrnmone to Lasater, an Arkansas “Bond Daddv,” despite the factrnthat Lasater was under investigation by the Drug EnforcementrnAdministration for narcotics trafficking. Though Lasater was arn”showy philanthropist for children’s causes, in private he was arnrelentless purveyor of cocaine,” reports Morris. At the Senate’srnWhitewater hearings, Lasater admitted that he providedrncocaine to underage girls. After serving only six months of arntwo-year sentence for drug trafficking, Lasater was pardoned byrnGovernor Clinton.rnLasater was a “fixture” at Governor Clinton’s home, reportsrnMorris, \’ho “came to the mansion whenever he pleased, enteringrnb’ the back gate and walking through the kitchen.” WhilernLasater was in prison, his business, including power of attorney,rnwas handed over to his trusted associate. Patsy Thomasson, whornto this day is working in the White House as Administrator ofrnWhite House Personnel. Her duties include drug testing ofrnWhite House employees.rnScott Wheeler, the producer of “Mena Cover-up,” began hisrninvestigation under the suspicion that drug smuggling at Menarnwas a covert government operation, an offshoot of gunrunningrnflights to Central America. In time, Wheeler came to believernthat it was something much more sinister. Although the cocainerncame into Mena on return trips of CIA-operated aircraft,rnWheeler now believes that the Dixie Mafia or Latin Americanrndrug cartels are running the operation, calling the shotsrnthrough bribery and blackmail, and that Bill Clinton was toorn”compromised” to resist them even if he wanted to. “Give mernsome for my brother,” says Roger Clinton on a narcotics surveillancerntape. “Lie has a nose like a vacuum cleaner.”rnOccasionally, major media outlets pick up a glimmer here,rna glint there, of the Mena and Whitewater stories. Theyrnappear like siKer fish under murky waters, such as when thernBetsy Wright character in charge of “bimbo eruptions” was portrayedrnin Primary Colors as a Clinton enforcer, threatening peoplernat gunpoint to “get their mind right.”rnThe Wall Street Journal recently devoted three-quarters of itsrneditorial page to the “Lonely Crusade of Linda Ives,” one of thernmany baffling Mena Airport stories. Ives, whose son was foundrnkilled on the train tracks at Mena because (it is suspected) hernwitnessed a drug deal, appeared as a guest on Quinn’s show.rnShe told of her quest to navigate the labyrinth of the Arkansasrnbureaucracy to find out who killed her son. As so often happensrnin Arkansas, many of those having information about hisrndeath have turned up dead or have been driven out of town.rnIt is, of course, the Mena stories, and the attacks by governmentrnagencies at Waco and Ruby Ridge, the coverups aboutrnpurloined FBI files and White House enemies lists, planesrnfalling mysteriously from the skies without explanation, FBIrnand Secret Service members in public feuds with the President,rnand yes, even the arrogance of surprise military invasions ofrnblack helicopters, that have given rise to the hypervigilance andrnmistrust of government that characterizes the Clinton presidency.rnIf the 60’s were The Age of Anxiety, and the 80’s ThernDecade of Greed, the 90’s arc shaping up as The Season of Suspicion.rnYou can hear it on talk radio, on short wave, and on the Internet.rnQuinn introduces these bizarre goings on with the 60’srnsong, “Something’s I lappening Here. What it is ain’t exactlyrnclear,” and ends up speculating that Clinton seems almost arnpawn of some shadowy organization bigger than himself, suchrnas the mob or Colombian drug cartel. “Is the United States sornawash in cocaine cash that it has become a narco Republic?” hernwonders aloud.rnCallers sometimes get impatient with Quinn’s mysteriousrnstories taking as long to evolve as Ashley Abbott’s love affairs onrnThe Young and the Restless. Will he be the next Woodward andrnBernstein, or just another in the tradition of great Irish storytellers?rnWhen one of the tales breaks into the dominant media,rnQuinn’s listeners consider it to be proof that they were right afterrnall—at which point Quinn reminds his listeners that theyrnheard all this two years ago on his show. “The ugly truth is arnbeautiful thing,” he says. “Too much truth for some people.”rnI was neer a person to believe in conspiracy theories. I neverrnbought a tabloid, except for the time The Star ran the irresistiblernheadline, “Family Flees Talking Doll,” but many ofrnQuinn’s stories are compelling. It is strange that Vince Foster’srndeath occurred on the same day that the FBI searched JudgernHale’s office in Little Rock. Hale, straight from a governmentrnwitness protection program, testified that Governor Clintonrnpressured him to hand over $300,000 fraudulently to hisrnWhitewater partners.rnFEBRUARY 1997/17rnrnrn