Cavern Country E Mail
  by Margaret Shemo

OK, when you attribute a story to, I guess you're
tipping us off that you don't really believe it.  So, why bother with it?
After witnessing eight years of nonstop onslaught, are we supposed to be
horrified by yet another example of the bad faith and venomous intent of
people for whom the death of Vince Foster will always remain an unsolved
mystery?  Or are we supposed to think any or all of the speculation might be
true?  (I won't even consider the possibility that we're supposed to be cowed
into surrender because our opponents specialize in scurrilous accusations.)
In a universe where George W. Bush can be elected president of the United
States, I guess Gary Condit could put Chandra Levy's body into the Luray Caverns,
as the e-mail implies -- but I don't believe that Bush was elected.

May I add to the "strange facts" about the caverns of Luray, Virginia?
They're not located within the Bermuda Triangle, or the Twilight Zone, or
the impenetrable jungle.  People -- even I -- have visited the Luray Caverns
and yet have returned to tell the tale.

If Gary Condit wanted to dispose of a body -- the body of his girlfriend,
who had just lost the catfight of the century to his wife, according to another
story that might or might not be true -- I doubt it would occur to him to stuff it
in the trunk of his car -- not that he has a car in DC, but if he had -- and drive
out to the Luray Caverns.  (Or was he supposed to have ridden his motorcycle
out there, with his very cold and stiff girlfriend on the pillion?)

Dumping a corpse in the Luray Caverns would be roughly equivalent to throwing it
overboard into the Caribbean -- the "Pirates of the Caribbean" attraction at Disney World, that is.
One thing I'd never do is take a corpse to a tourist attraction on a Saturday
afternoon in spring, even if I had a bunch of my biker buddies on hand to
help me drag her around.  (And you thought I wouldn't make a good criminal!)

Let's see -- the writer of the e-mail claims that Condit hasn't accounted
for three and one-quarter hours of his time on May 1.  Let's pretend that
what he says is true.  Under the theory of the crime proposed by the writer,
between 1:15 PM and 3:30 PM, Condit would have had to have (1) traveled from
the White House to his apartment or Levy's, (2) met with and killed Levy, or
found her body after Carolyn got through with her, (3) hidden the corpse
well enough so that it wouldn't be discovered before he got around to
getting rid of it, (4) cleaned up the crime scene and/or himself, then (5)
arrived at his meeting.  (I don't think Condit could have done all that
between 6:30 and 7:30 PM, when he wasn't meeting with Rebecca "Lynch"
Cooper, but a guy who moves as quickly as Condit does might well have
finished all his Christmas shopping within that 60 minutes.)

Then, four days later, Condit is supposed to have (1) stolen a car, or rented one
under an assumed name, or borrowed one from a very good friend, or produced
the secret car he always uses to transport his victims, (2) loaded the body into
the car, (3) driven 80 miles to Luray, (4) dumped the body somewhere in the
caves while the rest of the people on the tour were distracted by the guide
explaining the difference between stalactites and stalagmites, (5) stopped
at McDonald's and called Ms. Smith for a chat (he didn't have time to send
her a postcard, I guess), and then (6) driven 80 miles to DC -- all without
having been seen by anyone or raising any suspicion.  (I'm sorry, I couldn't
make bikers fit into this scenario.)  He made her vanish without a trace.
Could he be that good or that lucky?

It's a game that anyone can play.  Here's a different line of questions, and
I'm not even trying very hard:  start with the claim in the e-mail "that Mr.
Condit met with Vice President Dick Cheney at 12:30pm, May 1, in a meeting
that has been put at roughly 45 minutes in duration by White House sources"
-- which means that the meeting ended about 15 minutes before the world
received Chandra Levy's last communication.  What did Cheney learn in that meeting?
Did Mary Cheney know Chandra Levy, and how well, and in what sense?
Does Cheney have at his disposal the services of anyone who has been trained to kill?
How do Cheney and his Secret Service detail account for their time after that meeting?
I'll bet the DC police haven't asked those questions, either.

By the way, last night I saw on one of the national evening news TV shows a story
about how hard it is to find a missing adult.  (Interesting -- not about how "incompetent"
the police are, but how nigh impossible their task is.)  A man whose adult daughter has
been missing for a while expressed his view that her disappearance had failed to attract
much attention -- in contrast with another recent missing persons case.  Of course, his
daughter only got into a truck with two strange men, not into bed with one strange
Congressman.  (He didn't say that last bit, of course.)  The story seemed like another sign
that the media is preparing to back up on that limb they've crawled out on.  Oh, of course
they'll never forgive Condit -- not if they can't hound him out of office and demonstrate the
power of a "free" press  -- and so they'll keep talking about "unanswered questions."

(Perhaps you heard the stories yesterday about Bill Clinton arriving at his
new office in Harlem -- did any of them fail to mention the pardons?  These
were the pardons that were proclaimed to have been so corrupt, so injurious
to the rule of law, so outrageous, so indefensible, just a few months ago,
that all Hell was going to break loose and the sky was going to fall in on
both Clintons.  Well, nothing's happened yet, but the pardons HAD to be
mentioned again, anyway -- otherwise, someone might suspect that the
original scandal was phony.)  But they're beginning to retreat.

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