Time: Fri Dec 12 17:16:48 1997
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: VANGUARD: Alice in Reno-Land (fwd)
Bcc: sls

>                        ALICE IN RENO-LAND
>                           8 December 1997 
>                    Copyright 1997, Rod D. Martin 
>                    "Vanguard of the Revolution" 
>            http://members.aol.com/RodDMartin/vanguard.htm
>Last week, what everyone expected finally came to pass:  Janet Reno 
>refused to appoint an independent counsel to investigate the Clinton Gore 
>fundraising scandal.  This was shocking only in that it violated Reno's 
>trust with the American people and even her own stated principles 
>concerning the independent counsel law; hardly anyone believed she would 
>act properly.
>But what happened next rocked Washington like a terrorist bomb, and 
>induced more fear and trembling that a Hezbollah death squad.  FBI 
>Director Louis Freeh, a Clinton appointee widely considered "the butcher 
>of Ruby Ridge," publicly rebelled, calling on Reno to reverse her flawed, 
>politicized decision.  In the words of the New York Times, "Washington 
>has not seen an F.B.I. Director publicly tell an Attorney General that 
>she is wrong on the evidence and wrong on the law."  Until now.
>It took no time at all for Clinton to turn on his man.  A stream of 
>attacks began almost instantly to spew out of the White House, laying 
>blame at Freeh's feet for the FBI Crime Lab scandal, the botched Atlanta 
>bombing investigation, and a slew of other deeds and misdeeds.  Yet this 
>completely missed the point:  Louis Freeh is a Clinton creation, and 
>Clinton backed him against all comers through every one of these 
>travesties.  For Freeh to come forward now is not less but in fact more 
>dramatic for these very reasons.  That irony was completely lost on the 
>man from Hope.
>Freeh's point is fourfold.  He believes that the Attorney General is so 
>mired in conflict of interest that she must let others investigate her 
>boss if there is to be any credibility to the probe at all.  He points 
>out to Reno in his Thanksgiving memo that the evidence calls for a far 
>broader inquiry than simply whether Clinton and Gore violated a 
>century-old statute when they made fundraising phone calls from the White 
>House.  He lays out his complete lack of confidence in the specific 
>individuals at the Department of Justice with whom Reno has entrusted the 
>investigation.  Perhaps most important of all, he worries about mounting 
>evidence of a Communist Chinese conspiracy to influence US elections, 
>dating back all the way to the first Clinton presidential campaign.
>What Freeh does not do is point a finger at the President, and this 
>should tell us something about the White House's response.  Freeh simply 
>believes that if the air is to be cleared, an independent counsel must 
>take over from the impossibly politicized hacks at Justice.  In yet 
>another irony, this conforms precisely to Janet Reno's position prior to 
>this scandal.  In her confirmation hearings, Reno stated, "The reason 
>that I support the concept of an independent counsel with statutory 
>independence is that there is an inherent conflict whenever senior 
>Executive Branch officials are to be investigated by the Department and 
>its appointed head, the Attorney General.  The Attorney General serves at 
>the pleasure of the President."  This is Freeh's point exactly.
>The Administration now wants Louis Freeh's resignation on a platter, much 
>too late and for the wrong issue, but Freeh is hardly alone.  The only 
>living Democratic ex-President, Jimmy Carter, called for an independent 
>counsel in September, and Bob Woodward, the man who broke the Watergate 
>story, told NBC's Meet The Press in July that, "I mean, you never thought 
>that would happen, that I would give the Nixon White House credit for 
>having a comparatively clean operation."  Everyone but Janet Reno can see 
>the meaning of a relentless barrage of fundraising violations, revealed 
>almost every single day for more than a year.  
>What is certain is that Freeh's action changes everything.  No longer 
>able to hide behind the fig-leaf of Gore's "controlling legal authority," 
>the administration is now shown to be wearing the emperor's new clothes.  
>If Clinton has any sense, he'll call for an independent counsel himself, 
>before the scandal swirls out of control.  Anyone who thinks this is 
>going away is just kidding himself.
>Copyright: Rod D. Martin, 8 December 1997

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