I began publishing my monthly newsletter The Bob Livingston Letter™ in 1969. The following is an excerpt from the May 1998 issue in which I chronicle the Republican Party’s fickle and hypocritical attitudes with regard to preserving Americans’ liberty. The more things change, it seems, the more they stay the same.
The Republican Party has well earned the appellation “the Stupid Party,” based on its abandonment of moral and genuine conservative principles as well as its inability to lead in Congress. Not that the Democrats are any better, mind you, because their claims to morality and principle are even more ludicrous!
The abysmal Republican failures in Congress, most notably their inability to see justice done in their hearings on Waco and Ruby Ridge and the IRS, are almost as numerous as Bill Clinton’s offenses and escapades. Consider also the recent Republican attraction to FBI Director Louis Freeh, who, says one journalist:
…might be well advised to wear a flak jacket for protection from all the hearty pats on the back he’s been getting from Republicans.
Why is Freeh suddenly the Republicans’ best friend? The answer is that Freeh has been assigned the role of playing “good cop” to his boss, Attorney General Janet “Johnny Waco” Reno’s “bad cop.” In the set-up for gullible Republicans, Freeh’s too highly publicized opinion is that an independent counsel should be appointed to investigate Bill and Al’s not-so-excellent fundraising adventures. It will not happen, of course, since Reno refuses.
In their whining against Reno, the Republicans appear to be trying to provoke Freeh into embarrassing his boss, by publicly rebuking her or resigning from the FBI or both. For their part, the Republicans could take strong action in Congress, including the introduction of impeachment proceedings against Reno, but they won’t. They don’t have either the backbone or the know-how. Besides, such proceedings would put a lie to the Washington game of cooperative politics as usual.
The Republicans have chosen the weasely route instead. Freeh is suddenly their best friend, championed by the stupid party as a bulwark against injustice. Not that long ago, the Republicans were demanding Freeh’s resignation, when he permitted some 1,000 FBI files, containing in-depth background interviews and research on private individuals, to be turned over to political operatives in the Clinton White House. Because no legal nor administrative corrective action was taken, the implication is that the FBI may gather and use such information against anyone.
Not that long ago, Freeh’s FBI attacked a quiet Weaver family living in the mountains of Ruby Ridge, Idaho, slaying mother and son, wounding father and a friend, and resulting in the death of a U.S. Marshal. Not that long ago, Freeh’s FBI was instrumental in the fiery murder of some 80 men, women and children at Waco. Not that long ago, Freeh appointed his personal friend and the man in charge of Ruby Ridge and Waco, Larry Potts, to deputy director at the FBI. It was Potts who gave his men “shoot to kill on sight” orders.
Not that long ago, Freeh permitted FBI attorney Howard Shapiro to brief the Clintons concerning ongoing investigations inside the FBI. Freeh also permitted Shapiro to use FBI agents to harass and intimidate a disabled agent who had provided harmful testimony concerning the Clintons.
Not that long ago, a lead technician blew the whistle on the FBI crime lab, citing ways and examples the lab manufactured fraudulent “evidence” to obtain criminal convictions. Freeh was specifically named as one who ordered it to be done when he served as U.S. Attorney. Not that long ago, Freeh permitted his FBI agents to hound Billy Dale and other employees of the White House travel office, until they either quit or were fired and replaced by Clintonistas. Dale was prosecuted based on FBI “evidence” and acquitted by a jury after just one hour of deliberations.
Not that long ago, Freeh’s FBI arrested U.S. Government informant Carol Howe, apparently because she swore out an affidavit implicating FBI involvement in a sting operation to bomb the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. In an attempt to shut her up, Howe was then unsuccessfully prosecuted by Reno’s Justice Department for a “destructive device” the government had previously instructed her to obtain!
Not that long ago, Freeh recommended that the United Nations create international “hate crimes” laws designed to gag U.S. citizens who rely on our own First Amendment to send controversial historical and political literature abroad. Afterward, Freeh’s FBI collaborated with Germany and Sweden to make sure that two Americans were arrested and jailed while travelling in Europe for allegedly sending their literature into Germany. The Department of Justice and the State Department both refused to intervene on behalf of our fellow citizens. After a year or so in jail, one of the Americans was permitted to post bond and he promptly fled and returned to Florida. The other American has remained in jail for almost two years.
In case some folks still think that Freeh believes in free speech, recall that not that long ago he recommended in congressional testimony that the U.S. Government be allowed to tap all computers and telephones in the U.S. without obtaining warrants. He also testified in support of hardwiring all communications technology with a special “clipper chip” that would not allow users to encrypt or encode messages, including private communications and corporate trade secrets.
The Republicans’ strange embrace of Freeh is not merely ironic, nor does it demonstrate ostensible Republican fickleness. The Republicans are not just stupid and fickle, they are hypocrites. They are not more effective, much less trustworthy, than the Democrats in preserving your liberty. The story of Louis Freeh is a view in microcosm of the cesspool of modern politics and government.