Flimsy Sanity: Whatever happened to Susan McDougal

Flimsy Sanity

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Friday, January 26, 2007

Whatever happened to Susan McDougal

Video and transcript of interview with Susan McDougal at Truthdig.

When Susan McDougal refused to implicate the Clintons in the Whitewater fiasco, she was thrown in prison, left alone with murderers and her own stubborn dignity. Savaged by Republicans and abandoned by Democrats, she refused to lie even to save herself.
One of the rules of a high profile woman prisoner was that she wear the red dress. It was something that let everyone know that this was a high profile case, and most of those cases were women who had killed children. And they were the most hated people inside the jail system. And so on murderer’s row, where I was being held for civil contempt, most of the women who were there were accused of killing a child or a helpless person—some kind of really bad, heinous crime. And they wore the red dress. And when you would go to court, the women who were in the red dress were put on the bus to court, but they were caged inside the bus in a cage that was locked. And the men and women who were on the bus would spit on those women, ejaculate on those women, call them names, try to get through the bars and hit them or tear at them, because they were the most despised people in the system, and they were locked in the bus for everyone not to be able to get to. And going to court was beyond description. I would spend a day getting ready to go to court, trying to get myself psyched up for going. Because you are woken at dawn, there is no breakfast, you are hustled downstairs into a locked cell, you’re strip- searched, you’re handcuffed, your legs are chained in irons. You’re in waist chains, and you wait for hours for the bus. Then you’re herded onto the bus, and you’re locked into the cage. And then all the prisoners come. They have no idea who you are, but you are abused the entire trip on the bus. And the women who are locked in there with you cry and sob all the way to justice, which is your day in court. It’s a lovely day, I can tell you, getting your day in court. You go to court, you’re locked in a holding cell, you go out into the court room, you are strip-searched, chained, locked inside the cage on the bus for the trip back to jail, then once again as you get inside you are strip-searched again. And by this time it has been a full, maybe, 12 hours of being chained and dragged around like an animal, and hooked to other people, and chained, and maybe they fall, and you fall. That happens many times, where you can’t walk in lockstep, and you all go tumbling down. And the degradation of it, of your day in court, is horrible that you don’t want to go. And so you get back in the locked room, and once again you’re strip-searched with all the other women there, and you are bent over, your cavities are searched.

What is happening? What is happening in America, that you can go to jail in leg irons and waist chains and handcuffs, and be taken away to jail because you refuse to cooperate with Kenneth Starr.


  • At 9:50 AM, Blogger Peacechick Mary said…

    Vicious people do vicious things.

  • At 8:26 AM, Anonymous RJ Adams said…

    I had no idea who Susan McDougal was, so needed some time to research. It's a strange story and one with many apparent loopholes. It seems she and Jim McDougal were in the banking business themselves and served time for fraud. Susan also went to prison for contempt by supposedly failing to answer questions regarding the involvement of the Clintons, in respect of the $300,000 ostensibly borrowed from another banker for the purchase of the Whitewater land. It seems strange that, while Starr wanted her to lie, she chose neither to lie nor tell the truth, but just refused to give any answer. Perhaps I didn't delve deep enough, but I found the whole business to be riddled with unanswered questions.


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