American Thinker; Some lies have consequences; others do not. No real political consequence resulted from the declaration of a well known politician on TV on January 26, 1998, that “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time, never.” It took six months before the manifest admission that indeed “I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. I misled people. It is time, past time to move on.” The problem in American politics is that the time for dealing with sexual hypocrisy and moving on is taking more time than warranted.
The latest case came to a head on December 7, 2017. After a number of allegations of sexual harassment and mistreatment of women, without admission of responsibility, and under pressure from most of his Senate colleagues, Senator Al Franken announced his somewhat equivocal decision to resign “in the coming weeks.” The 66-year-old Franken, acknowledging he was shocked and upset by the allegations against him, explained that “nothing I have done as a senator has brought dishonor on this institution.”
By coincidence, the question of honor and dishonor in politics 50 years ago has been evoked by the death on December 4, 2017 of the once notorious model Christine Keeler, who has earned a place in British history as a high-class “call girl.” The sordid case in which she was key figure had everything: unrestrained sex, scandals, class privilege, the role of Soviet spies, fear of possible espionage, echoes of the Cold War, sexual hypocrisy, and lying to political colleagues.
The events involved Keeler, the hapless, uneducated young former topless dancer, a figure in the sleazy sector of London society at the time, indiscriminately sexually promiscuous. On July 8, 1961 at the Cliveden estate of Lord Astor, the rich aristocrat, she was spotted swimming naked in the pool by John Profumo, who had the misfortune and bad timing to see her as she got out of the pool. Within a few days, the 46-year-old Profumo, the husband of famous actress Valerie Hobson, began an affair with the 19-year-old Keeler that lasted a few months.
It was Profumo’s misfortune that the sexually promiscuous Keeler was simultaneously having an affair both with Profumo, then secretary of state for war, and with the senior Soviet naval attaché and GRU official in London, Yevgeni Ivanov. No one genuinely believed that secrets or military information were divulged by Profumo in pillow talk in Keeler’s encounters with the two men. But though not directly connected with Keeler’s relationships, the years of these events also embraced the Cuban missile crisis. In London, Soviet officials were attempting to persuade U.K. politicians to avert developments in Cuba during the crisis.
It took a series of events, some violent and criminal, concerning other lovers of Keeler before the Profumo relationship came to public light in a court case. When it did, Profumo, like Bill Clinton in 1998, denied that the relationship with his mistress was anything more than an innocent social friendship.
This was Profumo’s downfall. read more