Starr and the President – Easy Targets?

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WASHINGTON: Give Ken Starr an inch and, well, you know the rest by now. According to CNN, the prosecutor is no longer satisfied with the imminent testimony of two uniformed Secret Service agents on White House detail who are thought to have knowledge of their protectee’s alleged Oval Office trysts. Starr has subpoenaed the chief of President Clinton's elite plainclothes security detail –- the one in which men are expected to take a bullet for their boss –- and seems intent on giving the Secret Service all the moral high ground it needs to drive his own approval ratings right through the floor.

Special Report Not that Starr ever cared about his popularity -– to him, the legal battles are the ones that matter, and he will likely win this one as well. An immediate Justice Department appeal will probably delay Special Agent Larry Cockell’s trip to the stand -- which Starr has set for Thursday -- until sometime in the fall, when the battle over "Secret Service privilege" ends in the Supreme Court. In a nation that still remembers the Kennedy assassination, Starr would seem to need an unlimited supply of gall to subpoena a standing President’s last line of protection, especially before he’s heard the testimony of those on uniformed detail. But that’s what we’ve come to expect from the private-eye-in-chief.