A Tale of Two Prosecutors

The rock ‘n’ roll fan and the slightly nerdy bookworm: crimefighters


Kenneth StarrGarzon

Among the various trials of the century not involving Mike Tyson, Alan Dershowitz, or the Los Angeles police department are the prosecutions of American heads of state Bill Clinton and Augusto Pinochet (Hey! Don’t be so Norte — Chileans are Americans, too).

Although the Clinton case, in reality, has been all over but for the shouting since it was first introduced in the House, and the Senate failed to convict the cad; special persecutor Kenneth Starr is making rumblings that he might go after his white whale Willy in criminal court.

Meanwhile, Judge Baltasar Garzon is going after a slightly bigger fish whose crimes are of a completely different nature: former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. If Garzon can manage to get Pinochet out of England and into Spain, the former dictator will have to answer for considerably more than ass-kissing.

In the spirit of, well, meanness quite frankly, the MoJo Wire takes a look at the two prosecutors, their cases and their quarry.

  Baltasar Garzon Kenneth Starr
Arch-nemesis Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet Current U.S. President Bill Clinton
Nemesis’ alleged crime Genocide — the murder or disappearance of more than 3,000 people. Lying in order to conceal a sexual affair.
Percentage of Americans who admit committing the same acts 0, that we could find at least. 25% – men
10% – women
Length of investigation Two years Four-plus years
Cost of investigation Unavailable Roughly $50 million
Footloose factor “A keen rock ‘n’ roll fan” — The Telegraph “He’s a smart, hyper-religious, totally unathletic, slightly nerdy, [bespectacled] bookworm who sat out the sex, drugs and rock and roll revolution” — The Boston Herald
Previous experience Prosecuted drug smugglers, Basque separatist terrorists, gunmen who tried to murder those terrorists, former government ministers, and corrupt civil servants. Represented big tobacco, General Motors, and advised the Paula Jones’ legal team. In addition, Starr also served as chief of staff to Reagan Attorney General William French Smith.
Vaguely resembles George Hamilton A young Alan Greenspan
Talks to reporters when he’s… Coming in and out of the courthouse. Standing in his driveway.
Often compared to… Eliot Ness Joseph McCarthy, Captain Ahab
Named Man of the Year by… El Mundo Time
His critics Are reportedly trying to raise $1 million to have him assassinated. Work for Salon.
Nickname(s) Superjudge None*
His investigation began with The request by several Spanish legal associations to look into the torture, disappearance and killing of Spanish citizens in Argentina from 1976 to 1983. A probe into an Arkansas land deal from the same era.
He changed his focus… After concluding that the former dictator could be prosecuted under the Geneva Conventions — claiming serious crimes involving human rights can be prosecuted anywhere, anytime. In order to demonstrate that Clinton’s relationship with Lewinsky was relevant to Whitewater as it demonstrated a pattern of lies and deception.
Best anagram of his name… Grab Tarzan also Trash rent Ken
Rumor has it his quarry is currently… Shuffling about in his pajamas, munching marmalade sandwiches, getting used to the boredom of house arrest, and ordering Viagra by the fistfull over the Internet (Okay, that’s just speculation) Quietly celebrating his acquittal in the Senate, encouraging his wife to run for a seat in that same house, and ordering Viagra by the fistfull from over the Internet (Again, speculation, but in Bill’s case…)
Chance he’ll get his man (according to the MoJo Magic 8-Ball) All signs point to yes Don’t count on it

* Despite an exhaustive search, The MoJo Wire was unable to find any evidence that Kenneth Starr does now or has ever possessed a nickname — reminding this writer of something his grandfather once told him: “Don’t ever trust a man who’s never had a nickname.”

Photo by AP/Wide World Photos

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