Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Freeh to Whine

Another book, another book tour, and of course what better way to sell a book than to include some shocking tidbits. And former FBI chief Louis Freeh doesn't disappoint with his latest, My FBI: Bringing Down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton, and Fighting the War on Terror. By all accounts Mr. Freeh was very effective in his earlier career, among other things as an FBI agent, a U.S. attorney and a federal judge. But he proved ineffective as the administrator of a large bureaucratic government agency like the FBI. Some would correctly argue he's not totally responsible for all this, but he presided over botched investigations of botched raids, lab scandals, false espionage charges against scientists, missed espionage charges against spies in the agency, botched technology upgrades, false accusations in the Atlanta bombings, translation department scandals, and 9/11 (he left 3 months prior). But there's one thing Freeh is just as good at today as he was then: he's a master whiner and finger pointer.

God knows, Clinton was a handful and a bundle of poor personal judgment. And being effective with Hill politics is not for the meek. But Freeh knew those things going into the job. He wore his contempt for and disagreement with Janet Reno and Bill Clinton on his sleeve throughout his term. Watching the current talk shows we see him acting as if we should be shocked that beneath what he assumes was a cool facade during those years was a man unjustly hampered by a negligent president and a self-centered congress. He already had the resume, given his hindsight about such a stacked deck, why the hell didn't he just quit? Oh, but then there'd be no book. And no chance to whine one last time.

Good Slate piece on Freeh

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