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YOUR UNCRITICAL ARTICLE on the self-congratulatory self-promoter Armstrong Williams (“Mr. Righteous,” 2/10) glossed over his role in the Republican character-assassination campaign againstAnita Hill. Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson’s recent book on the Clarence Thomas confirmation battle, Strange Justice, revealed that Williams was interviewed by Judiciary Committee staff members. He told them that his observations of Anita Hill during the seven months he had worked with her at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had convinced him that she had emotional problems and was lying about Thomas sexually harassing her. Williams said that Hill was motivated by her devastation and anger when Thomas had chosen another woman as the head of EEOC’s Office of Legal Counsel.
There was one small problem with Williams’ detailed story of Hill’s thwarted ambition, however: The chronology was impossible. Thomas did not replace the head of the Office of Legal Counsel until 1985, a year-and-a-half after Hill left the EEOC. Even by low Republican standards (see John Doggett’s testimony), Williams was not a credible witness for Thomas and so did not appear at the hearings.