Jack’s Naughty Bits: Kenneth Starr, The Starr Report

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Jack's Naughty Bits

is a curious moment in history when the steamiest literature you can get your hands on is a
Congressional investigation and the male protagonist is no Fabio, no stablehand on the Chatterley estate,
but the President of the United States. For despite what Ken Starr might have us believe, his Report was
written as, and is certainly meant to be read as, a love story. It has all the components of the pinkest
romance novel: the oblique promise of l’amour propre is continually proffered in the resiliency of
Monica’s naïve optimism. And bad Bill’s responses are marked by the diffidence and resignation of a man
who sees the writing on the wall. We see him committing the classic error of forgetting that there was a
mind behind the convenient lips, a heart within the heaving chest, of seeing Monica Lewinsky not as a
person, but as an appliance. Thus the abstraction of his responses, as if what was transpiring involved
historical chessmen or universal allegories, not flesh and blood humans. When she suggested she might tell
if he didn’t treat her better, he rejoined, “It is illegal to threaten the President of the United States.” Now
this is a phrase I could never imagine saying to a lover (and not only because I might have inhaled); it
confuses self and office, man and symbol. Lovers’ quarrels are not resolved by consulting the Constitution.
Bill, stick in hand, was clearly trying to scrape off the unfortunateness he had stepped into. And Monica,
meanwhile, persisted in her hopes, questioning if he really knew her, asking him if he wanted to, only to be
silenced by his kisses. Kisses that said, in effect, Dear girl, don’t you know that real emotions are not
permitted on the stage of a Trauerspiel? Identity is unimportant here; a hand is moving you. I am that hand
. . .


I myself have come to fear such encounters, where an atavistic urge or momentary impulse leads
me into temptation, or into tempting, a woman but a decimal of my years. And, like decimals, it is hard to
remember that they are also wholes, and harder still to remember that they might see you as larger than life,
or larger than you are. The easily won, never asked for heart is worn like a lodestone, a mantle of lead we
try to wriggle out from under. I feel for Clinton because it’s hard not to wield power, to not feel and lust for
the very act of wielding, and then to shrink beneath the burden of its consequences. Power scripts its own
abuse. And thus I feel for Lewinsky too. For it is all too easy to come under its spell. To say, as she did
again and again, “Even though he’s a big schmuck . . .”


And we, the American people, will we not in the end permit this to pass, murmuring to ourselves
the very same sentiment?

* * *

From The Starr Report

December 31 Sexual Encounter


According to Ms. Lewinsky, she and the President had their third sexual encounter on New Year’s
Eve. Sometime between noon and 1 p.m., in Ms. Lewinsky’s recollection, she was in the pantry area of the
President’s private dining room talking with a White House steward, Bayani Nelvis. She told Mr. Nelvis
that she had recently smoked her first cigar, and he offered to give her one of the President’s cigars. Just
then, the President came down the hallway from the Oval Office and saw Ms. Lewinsky. The President
dispatched Mr. Nelvis to deliver something to Mr. Panetta.


According to Ms. Lewinsky, she told the President that Mr. Nelvis had promised her a cigar, and
the President gave her one. She told him her name — she had the impression that he had forgotten it in the
six weeks since their furlough encounters because, when passing her in the hallway, he had called her
“Kiddo.” The President replied that he knew her name; in fact, he added, having lost the phone number she
had given him, he had tried to find her in the phonebook.


According to Ms. Lewinsky, they moved to the study. “And then . . . we were kissing and he
lifted my sweater and exposed my breasts and was fondling them with his hands and with his mouth.” She
performed oral sex. Once again, he stopped her before he ejaculated because, Ms. Lewinsky testified, “he
didn’t know me well enough or he didn’t trust me yet.”

January 7 Sexual Encounter


[W]e made an arrangement that . . . he would have the door to his office open, and I would pass
by the office with some papers and then . . . he would sort of stop me and invite me in. So, that was
exactly what happened. I passed by and that was actually when I saw [Secret Service Uniformed Officer]
Lew Fox who was on duty outside the Oval Office, and stopped and spoke with Lew for a few minutes, and
then the President came out and said, oh, hey, Monica . . . come on in . . . And so we spoke for about ten
minutes in the [Oval] office. We sat on the sofas. Then we went into the back study and we were intimate
in the bathroom.


Ms. Lewinsky testified that during this bathroom encounter, she and the President kissed, and he
touched her bare breasts with his hands and his mouth. The President “was talking about performing oral
sex on me,” according to Ms. Lewinsky. But she stopped him because she was menstruating and he did not.
Ms. Lewinsky did perform oral sex on him.


Afterward, she and the President moved to the Oval Office and talked. According to Ms.
Lewinsky: “[H]e was chewing on a cigar. And then he had the cigar in his hand and he was kind of looking
at the cigar in . . . sort of a naughty way. And so . . . I looked at the cigar and I looked at him and I said,
we can do that, too, some time.”

January 21 Sexual Encounter


“I was feeling a little bit insecure about whether he had liked it or didn’t like it . . . I didn’t know
if this was sort of developing into some kind of a longer-term relationship than what I thought it initially
might have been, that maybe he had some regular girlfriend . . . “


According to Ms. Lewinsky, she questioned the President about his interest in her. “I asked him
why he doesn’t ask me any questions about myself, and . . . is this just about sex . . . or do you have some
interest in trying to get to know me as a person?” The President laughed and said, according to Ms.
Lewinsky, that “he cherishes the time that he had with me.” She considered it “a little bit odd” for him to
speak of cherishing their time together “when I felt like he didn’t really even know me yet.”


They continued talking as they went to the hallway by the study. Then, with Ms. Lewinsky in
mid-sentence, “he just started kissing me.” He lifted her top and touched her breasts with his hands and
mouth. According to Ms. Lewinsky, the President “unzipped his pants and sort of exposed himself,” and
she performed oral sex.

February 4 Sexual Encounter and Subsequent Phone Calls


The President telephoned her at her desk and they planned their rendezvous. At her suggestion,
they bumped into each other in the hallway, “because when it happened accidentally, that seemed to work
really well,” then walked together to the area of the private study.


There, according to Ms. Lewinsky, they kissed. She was wearing a long dress that buttoned from
the neck to the ankles. “And he unbuttoned my dress and he unhooked my bra, and sort of took the dress off
my shoulders and . . . moved the bra . . . [H]e was looking at me and touching me and telling me how
beautiful I was.” He touched her breasts with his hands and his mouth, and touched her genitals, first
through underwear and then directly. She performed oral sex on him.


After their sexual encounter, the President and Ms. Lewinsky sat and talked in the Oval Office for
about forty-five minutes. Ms. Lewinsky thought the President might be responding to her suggestion
during their previous meeting about “trying to get to know me.” It was during that conversation on
February 4, according to Ms. Lewinsky, that their friendship started to blossom.


When she prepared to depart, according to Ms. Lewinsky, the President “kissed my arm and told
me he’d call me, and then I said, yeah, well, what’s my phone number? And so he recited both my home
number and my office number off the top of his head.” The President called her at her desk later that
afternoon and said he had enjoyed their time together.

March 31 Sexual Encounter


According to Ms. Lewinsky, the President telephoned her at her desk and suggested that she come
to the Oval Office on the pretext of delivering papers to him. She went to the Oval Office and was admitted
by a plainclothes Secret Service agent. In her folder was a gift for the President, a Hugo Boss necktie.


In the hallway by the study, the President and Ms. Lewinsky kissed. On this occasion, according
to Ms. Lewinsky, “he focused on me pretty exclusively,” kissing her bare breasts and fondling her genitals.
At one point, the President inserted a cigar into Ms. Lewinsky’s vagina, then put the cigar in his mouth and
said: “It tastes good.” After they were finished, Ms. Lewinsky left the Oval Office and walked through the
Rose Garden.

Ms. Lewinsky’s Frustrations


Continuing to believe that her relationship with the President was the key to regaining her White
House pass, Ms. Lewinsky hoped that the President would get her a job immediately after the election. “I
kept a calendar with a countdown until election day,” she later wrote in an unsent letter to him. The letter
states: “I was so sure that the weekend after the election you would call me to come visit and you would
kiss me passionately and tell me you couldn’t wait to have me back. You’d ask me where I wanted to work
and say something akin to ‘Consider it done’ and it would be. Instead I didn’t hear from you for weeks and
subsequently your phone calls became less frequent.”


Ms. Lewinsky grew increasingly frustrated over her relationship with President Clinton. One
friend understood that Ms. Lewinsky complained to the President about not having seen each other privately
for months, and he replied, “Every day can’t be sunshine.” In email to another friend in early 1997, Ms.
Lewinsky wrote: “I just don’t understand what went wrong, what happened? How could he do this to me?
Why did he keep up contact with me for so long and now nothing, now when we could be together?”

February 28 Sexual Encounter


According to Ms. Lewinsky, she and the President had a sexual encounter on Thursday, February
28 — their first in nearly eleven months. Wearing a navy blue dress from the Gap, Ms. Lewinsky attended
the radio address at the President’s invitation (relayed by Ms. Currie), then had her photo taken with the
President. Ms. Lewinsky had not been alone with the President since she had worked at the White House,
and, she testified, “I was really nervous.” President Clinton told her to see Ms. Currie after the photo was
taken because he wanted to give her something. “So I waited a little while for him and then Betty and the
President and I went into the back office,” Ms. Lewinsky testified.


In the study, according to Ms. Lewinsky, the President “started to say something to me and I was
pestering him to kiss me, because . . . it had been a long time since we had been alone.” The President told
her to wait a moment, as he had presents for her. As belated Christmas gifts, he gave her a hat pin and a
special edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.


Ms. Lewinsky described the Whitman book as “the most sentimental gift he had given me . . .
it’s beautiful and it meant a lot to me.” During this visit, according to Ms. Lewinsky, the President said he
had seen her Valentine’s Day message in the Washington Post, and he talked about his fondness for
Romeo and Juliet.


Ms. Lewinsky testified that after the President gave her the gifts, they had a sexual encounter: [W]e went
back over by the bathroom in the hallway, and we kissed. We were kissing and he
unbuttoned my dress and fondled my breasts with my bra on, and then took them out of my bra and was
kissing them and touching them with his hands and with his mouth.


And then I think I was touching him in his genital area through his pants, and I think I
unbuttoned his shirt and was kissing his chest. And then . . . I wanted to perform oral sex on him . . . and
so I did. And then . . . I think he heard something, or he heard someone in the office. So, we moved into
the bathroom.


And I continued to perform oral sex and then he pushed me away, kind of as he always did before
he came, and then I stood up and I said . . . I care about you so much . . . I don’t understand why you won’t
let me . . . make you come; it’s important to me; I mean, it just doesn’t feel complete, it doesn’t seem


Ms. Lewinsky testified that she and the President hugged, and “he said he didn’t want to get
addicted to me, and he didn’t want me to get addicted to him.” They looked at each other for a moment.
Then, saying that “I don’t want to disappoint you,” the President consented. For the first time, she
performed oral sex through completion.

As a final note, I want to mention in passing the similarity between the section of the Starr Report quoted
above and my excerpt from
Garcia Marquez’ Autumn of the Patriarch from some time back. I’m not
saying that Clinton gets his sex ideas from his confessed favorite author, nor am I suggesting that he even
read the book. It seems much more likely that a man in his position wouldn’t have time to read entire
novels and would have to resort to abbreviations, brief selections that would highlight his favorite bits . . .
Now I wonder where he’d find those?