There is  ongoing  debate  regarding  the  so-called "Fostergate"
story, a complex and widespread series of  allegations  regarding
the  late  Vince  Foster,  the National Security Agency, and bank
transactions  spying.   Is  the  story  true,  or  is  it  a  CIA
disinformation piece?  Attempting as  much  as possible to remain
neutral in the matter, I now offer some of what  has  been  said,
pro and con, to date.
                           -+- PRO -+-
1)  Those  reporting this story, persons such as James Norman and
Orlin Grabbe,  have  impressive  professional backgrounds.  Would
they casually risk their good reputations on a hoax?
2) Predictions have been made,  subsequently  proven  true,  that
unprecedented  numbers  of  "congress critters" would be suddenly
and unexpectedly  retiring  from  high  office,  in  the midst of
powerful careers.
3) This story is  corroborated  by  Gary  Null:  see CN 7.98, for
example, where Null (a veteran journalist whose work is regularly
featured in Penthouse magazine and  who recently was the guest on
the PBS program, Tony Brown's Journal) states:
  So, I contacted  James  Norman,  went over his information.
  But because it's not a single story -- it is a  story  with
  so  many  tentacles,  it's like an octopus.  And I thought,
  "Well, some of these stories are plausible.  Some are not."
  And I said, "James, you're going  to have to supply me with
  documentation."   And  I  said,  "Even  with  the  best  of
  intents, you may have been conned by some people."   (Where
  you  take  a good part of the story, that you can hold your
  own on, and next thing you know is, they've discredited you
  on another; they've planted some misinformation.)
  So anyhow, back and forth, over a long period of time, I've
  met  with James Norman; he supplied me with documents.  And
  finally, he supplied me with one of his primary sources.  I
  spent some time interviewing this primary source.
  And so I just want our audience to know that I am satisfied
  that many of the statements that you're about to hear *can*
  be corroborated.
4) Much of this story is corroborated by  Sherman  Skolnick,  the
independent  investigator  from  Chicago.   In  fact, much of the
Fostergate story  was  *first*  reported  by  Skolnick.  See, for
example CN 5.09 and CN 5.10, first published  in  early  June  of
1995, where Skolnick writes,
  BCCI wanted to penetrate the American banking  scene  in  a
  big way.  They did a thing natural to cynical big business:
  they  bought  Congress.   The details were too shocking for
  the major news group.   So  a  brave journalist turned over
  the details to this writer and his associates  who  further
  verified  the  details and wrote exclusive stories in 1991.
  The strange death of Vincent  Foster,  Jr.,  Clinton  White
  House  aide,  is  bound  up  with  activities of Foster and
  Hillary to assist BCCI to penetrate American business.
  The press and Congress have omitted some key details  about
  Iraq   and   BNL   Atlanta.   The  deal  was  arranged  and
  strategized by Hillary  Rodham  Clinton in conjunction with
  her law partner at  the  Rose  Law  Firm  in  Little  Rock,
  namely,  [Vince]  Foster.   Part of the Iraqi weapons money
  reportedly  was  washed  through  the  banks  of  Clinton's
  cronies, Jackson Stephens and the Worthen Banking Group.
  Almost all in the press  ignored the story that the Federal
  Reserve was investigating Hillary and Foster in respect  to
  money  laundering  [of]  illicit funds through foreign bank
  Other senior federal sources contend part of the 50 million
  dollars  was funneled to the Grand Cayman Islands, with the
  reported help of Fuji Bank, and then, on to Switzerland.  A
  Swiss bank reportedly has part  of the money, mixed in with
  other illicit  funds  gathered  for  Clinton,  part  of  it
  reportedly   dope   loot,  under  the  code  name  "Chelsea
  Jefferson"  --  "Chelsea"  being   the  name  of  Clinton's
  daughter, and "Jefferson" being Bill's middle name.
(And note especially that Skolnick's  story of BCCI having bribed
members  of  Congress,  progenitor  of  later  elements  of   the
Norman/Grabbe  Fostergate  story,  was  published  so far back as
Autumn of 1991.)
                         -+- CON -+-
1) The Fostergate story  relies  on  Chuck  Hayes for much of its
material.  Chuck Hayes has been a CIA "contract agent."  He  says
he  is  now retired from CIA activities, but does one ever really
retire from CIA?
    Given the unsavoury history of CIA,  how much can one trust a
story linked to that Agency?
2) According to the Fostergate story, rogue CIA hackers, known as
the "Fifth Column," cleaned out the secret Swiss bank accounts of
bribed U.S. government officials and transferred the money  to  a
U.S.  Treasury  holding  account.  Supposedly, that money will be
released to CIA pending  that  Agency  having  cleaned up its own
alleged internal corruption.
    Yet  ex-NYPD  detective  James   Rothstein  and  others  have
questioned an aspect of this story:   Are  Hayes  and  associates
really that noble a crew?  Wouldn't they have channeled the money
raided from Swiss accounts to their own personal benefit,  rather
than  to have transferred all those millions of dollars to a U.S.
Treasury holding account?
3) Some say, due to changes in the congressional pension  set-up,
that  it  just  so  happens that right now works out to be a good
time to  retire.   In  other  words,  the  wave  of congressional
retirements are said to be only coincident with  changes  in  how
the  congressional  pensions  are  implemented; that these sudden
mass retirements  are  not  motivated  by  any mysterious, hidden
skullduggery but by mundane causes.
4) In an interview with  Chuck  Hayes,  apparently  conducted  by
Lawrence  W.  Myers  and  said to be soon published in the August
1996 issue of Media  Bypass magazine (1-800-4BYPASS), Hayes makes
the startling claim that Sherman Skolnick and  others  have  been
running  "disinformation campaigns" against the Fostergate story.
Yet see number 4, above,  in  the "Pro" section:  Skolnick's work
tends to corroborate the Fostergate story.  Clearly Hayes  is  in
error  when he claims Mr. Skolnick is working against his claims.
What is more, Skolnick's work  actually pre-dates portions of the
Norman/Grabbe thesis.
    Contacted by Conspiracy  Nation,  Mr.  Skolnick  offered  the
following, impromptu response to Mr. Hayes:
  My  opinion  is  that  the  "Angel  of  Death" [Fostergate]
  stories by Jim Norman  and  Chuck  Hayes  are  watered-down
  versions   of   my   October   1991   story   in  Spotlight
  [1-800-522-6292], which told about  the  Bank of Credit and
  Commerce  International  [BCCI]  and  how  they  bribed  25
  percent of both Houses of Congress:  108 congressmen and 28
  U.S. senators.
  Spotlight decided not to run the actual names,  although  I
  sent  them  a  list of the names.  But once I sent them the
  names, obviously it  could  be  circulated through channels
  and sent to people like Jim Norman (who is not an espionage
  expert, as far as I know.)
  As far as Chuck Hayes:  he alleges that he retired from the
  CIA.  But since he has condemned me as a  "nut"  [CN:   see
  Hayes  interview,  presumed  to be appearing in August 1996
  Media Bypass], when my  stories about Foster and Whitewater
  were broader and more comprehensive, I have to assume  that
  Hayes is still with CIA.  And since I believe that Lawrence
  W.    Myers    reportedly    still    is    a    government
  counter-intelligence  agent, and now has joined forces with
  Hayes, I have to assume  that the story instigated by Hayes
  -- the  "Angel  of  Death"  thing  --  is  a  melodramatic,
  watered-down version of my original story.
                      -+- YOU DECIDE -+-
I may  do  an  update  on  the  "Pro  &  Con"  story,  as further
information and arguments may warrant.  For now, I do not wish to
be drawn into any possible feuds that may be sizzling.  Remember:
"Divide and Conquer."  There are  some  persons  who  would  like
nothing  better  than  for  us  to  be arguing amongst ourselves,
especially now, with the political situation heating up.
You  may  have  noticed  I  did  not  include mention of J. Orlin
Grabbe's essay, "An Apology and Good-Bye" (CN 8.28), in the "Con"
section of this article.  Although  some would say that, "Ah hah!
Grabbe has admitted to a  hoax!",  it  seems  pretty  clear  that
Grabbe  was  writing satirically.  However I do wish to apologize
for my impatience with persons who took "An Apology and Good-Bye"
quite literally.  It may be that, just as some can  wiggle  their
ears  and  some can't, some are "satire endowed" and some aren't.
This is not to  dismiss  the  overall intelligence of the "satire
challenged":  people differ; they vary  as  to  their  skills  in
different areas.
So  is  the Fostergate story true?  You decide.  Surely there are
enough intelligent readers of CN,  be they "satire savvy" or not,
that we, by putting our brains together, can get to the truth.