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The Disintegration of the FBI

Thursday, 30 May 2002 12:00 AM

The destruction of the once great institution of the FBI began with the election of Bill Clinton in 1992.

During the Clinton years, the FBI became a political tool and servant of the Clinton White House.

Case in point: the Clinton pardongate scandal. In August 2000, the Atlanta field office of the FBI sent a memo to bureau headquarters in Washington. In that memo was information supplied by an informant regarded as reliable by local FBI agents.

According to the source, arrangements were being made to have then-President Clinton pardon two international fugitives, Marc Rich and Pinky Green. The pardon, the source told agents, would be granted in the final hours of the Clinton administration. Along with that tip were "detailed allegations of financial payoffs to ensure the presidential actions," wrote investigative reporter and editor Paul Rodriguez, who broke the story in Insight magazine.

"At the time the FBI received this information in mid-August 2000, Rich and Green were well known to the bureau as indicted tax cheats and lavishly rich fugitives on the lam. Rich's ex-wife was a close friend of Clinton and a big-time contributor and fund-raiser for Democrats. But even to casual observers the two fugitives were not plausible candidates for presidential pardons," Rodriguez wrote.

"In Washington, the bureau simply sat on this explosive tip, which included the allegation that millions of dollars were alleged to be deposited in secret bank accounts for Clinton and others identified as involved in securing the pardons."

To this day, the bureau continues to stonewall on the matter, frustrating the efforts of congressional investigators to probe the buried scandal, Rodriguez told NewsMax.com.

As shocking as it is, this was simply another instance of the bureau covering up information and activities apparently deemed damaging to President Clinton and his administration.

In case after case, the bureau's prestige as the world's most efficient crime-fighting agency was trotted out to bestow official credence to stories cooked up to justify the Clinton administration's version of controversial incidents – versions that strain the credulity of even the most naïve observers.

In the end, the bureau's prestige as a reliable investigative agency whose word could be taken as Gospel truth has vanished into the same black hole into which any information inconvenient to the Clinton administration also vanished.

Here is part of the sorry record of a once valued crime-fighting agency.

One NTSB investigator complained that "overbearing" FBI agents "immediately took control, and hampered a lot of things we did." NTSB officials portrayed the FBI as "aggressive beyond propriety" and described an atmosphere of suspicion and distrust, believing that the FBI routinely withheld crucial information.

Then there is the matter of the death of Vincent Foster on July 20, 1993. His death was quickly ruled a suicide by U.S. Park Police and, later, the FBI and two Special Counsel reports.

But few people remember that the controversy over Foster's death began on July 19, the day before, when President Clinton abruptly fired then-FBI Director William Sessions. Sessions would later say he was fired because he tried to stop the politicization of the FBI.

Though the high-ranking death should have meant FBI involvement, the White House ordered the FBI out of the death investigation and the inquiry into what happened in Foster's White House office. Later, the FBI was used by the Independent Counsel investigations to rubber-stamp the Park Police inquiry.

After years of investigation and the altering of key forensic evidence, the FBI was able to claim that Vince Foster had driven to Fort Marcy Park and shot himself there.

Veteran homicide detective Mark Fuhrman told Details magazine: "If he killed himself, he didn't do it there. If he committed suicide, then someone moved him to Fort Marcy Park.

"Someone tried to stage a crime scene that is not believable in the least, and to make it work they gave it to an investigative body like the Park Police who can be ordered around and bullied," Fuhrman told Details.

But the facts didn't add up. As Christopher Ruddy noted in "The Strange Death of Vincent Foster," it was difficult to believe that Foster, a man who showed no signs of depression, did not leave a suicide note; killed himself in the back of an old park (original microscopic inspection found no evidence of grass stains or dust on his shoes); shot himself with a 1913 handgun that he didn't own and that left little evidence of blood loss and no spent bullet; and managed to neatly arrange his body, with gun in hand, after he shot himself.

Also, a key eyewitness, who came on the Fort Marcy Park scene before the discovery of Foster's body reported that Foster's car was not in the parking lot at the time. The witness would later claim that FBI agents doctored his testimony to make it less suspicious. He sued the FBI after suffering harassment before testifying at a grand jury.

Another witness, Arkansas State Trooper Larry Patterson, testified that FBI agents badgered him to change his story – that he had learned of Foster's death

On Aug. 22, 1992, on a remote ridge in northern Idaho, a weeklong standoff between white separatist Randy Weaver and federal agents ended in a shootout in which an FBI sniper shot and killed Weaver's wife, Vicky. The Ruby Ridge confrontation began a week earlier, when federal marshals tried to arrest Weaver for failing to appear in court on minor weapons charges.

It was later shown that Weaver's failure to appear was the result of a goof-up by the court. When heavily armed authorities arrived, a gun battle broke out between marshals and Weaver's 14-year-old son, resulting in the deaths of the boy and a U.S. marshal.

The outright politicization of the FBI began with the firing of then-FBI director William Sessions. In a written statement to Chris Ruddy soon after the death of Vincent Foster, Sessions explained the reason he was fired: "… at the time I left the Bureau [I stated] that I would not be part of politicizing the FBI from within or without."

Sessions was replaced by Louis Freeh, who for the next eight years danced to the tune played by Bill Clinton, using the FBI as a tool to cover up the scandals of the Clinton administration.

Responding to national concern over the lack of FBI accountability, Sens. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa., charged that the FBI had mishandled and misbehaved in a series of public scandals, including Ruby Ridge, Waco, spies, crime-lab evidence fabrication, withholding documents and imprisoning innocent men on false charges in order to protect "sources."

Wrote columnist Paul Craig Roberts: "These scandals have cost the FBI credibility with the public. The two senators are trying to refurbish the FBI's image with an inspector general."

They persuaded a friend of his to have dinner with him while wearing a wire to record all of Jewell's private conversation. They tried to trick him into waiving his rights. And they apparently leaked their suspicions to the press, stigmatizing him brutally through public accusations and innuendoes, without ever arresting or indicting him. In the end, the bureau had to write him a letter fully exonerating him of having any connection with the bombing.

The real truth about TWA 800, the death of Vince Foster, the vanishing memo about the Marc Rich pardon and the facts about Waco and Ruby Ridge must be told, no matter who gets hurt. Let the chips fall where they may.

When Director Mueller was first appointed to his job,

At the time, NewsMax charged that "the FBI has become an agency that views its principal function as being the guardian of the federal government. And its principal weapon in protecting the interests of the government and its top executives has been the cover-up. These are the earmarks of a police state. A police agency that allows itself to become the servant of government becomes an enemy of the public it is sworn to serve and protect.

"Whatever else is wrong with the bureau – investigative sloppiness, corruption among its top executives and agents, even betrayal of country – all of this and more is a side effect of the agency's willingness to prostitute itself to protect corrupt officials of the federal government. That's where the rot began. If you really want to reform the FBI, that's where you have to start," NewsMax editorialized.

Ditto on that request today.

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The destruction of the once great institution of the FBI began with the election of Bill Clinton in 1992. During the Clinton years, the FBI became a political tool and servant of the Clinton White House. Case in point: the Clinton pardongate scandal. In August 2000, the...
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Thursday, 30 May 2002 12:00 AM
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