American Politics Journal

Robert Hanssen, Louis Freeh and the DOJ
Partisan Bush Appointee's Backstabbing Reno and Clinton --
Allowed Dangerous Soviet Mole to Flourish for Years
by Tamara Baker

April 18, 2002 -- SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA (APJP) -- The next time somebody tries to tell you that Republicans are more loyal and patriotic than Democratic, do me a favor, please:

Show them this article from a Florida newspaper...and then this article from Business Week.

Thank you.

For the link-impaired, let me paraphrase:

It has just been made crystal clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the GOP's obssession with nailing Bill Clinton by any means necessary has seriously damaged the country in ways even the most fervid Republican can no longer deny.

I speak of the Robert Hanssen spy scandal, and the actions -- and inactions -- of one Louis Freeh.

Louis Freeh

Robert Hanssen
Here's the deal: Freeh, who had been appointed to a judgeship by Poppy Bush in 1991, was picked by Clinton to head the FBI as a way of showing evenhandedness towards his political foes. Mr. Freeh, in typical GOP fashion, did not return Bill Clinton's graciousness.

Louis Freeh, in fact, hated Bill Clinton so much that he actively worked with Clinton's enemies to undermine his presidency -- and in the meantime, enabled Robert Hanssen to operate undetected for decades.

Here's a little background, courtesy of the Palm Beach Post link above:

Hanssen is the FBI agent who, between 1979 and 2001, sold
reams of secret and top-secret documents to the Soviet Union
and Russia. Among other favors to his clients, he unmasked
more than 50 Russians and foreigners living in Russia who
reported to the FBI. His document giveaway was more serious
than that of even Aldrich Ames of the CIA, who was caught in
1994. Ames might have been caught earlier had his superiors
noted that he was spending much more money than he earned.
So President Clinton issued Executive Order 12963 requiring
financial-record checks for government employees who work
with classified information.

Under Mr. Freeh, whom Mr. Clinton appointed in 1993, the FBI
disregarded the order. Hanssen paid cash for a major
addition to his Vienna, Va., home without being noticed and
went on providing computer discs to his Russian contacts.
That's one of many blown chances uncovered in a report by a
commission headed by former FBI Director William Webster.

Got that?

President Clinton put forth an Executive Order that was sensible and necessary -- and Louis Freeh flat-out ignored it. Why? Because he was too busy trying to use his GOP and media pals to pressure Janet Reno into hiring ever-more special prosecutors to investigative Clinton and Gore, even though Reno, truthfully, kept telling Freeh -- and everyone else in America -- that Freeh couldn't make his case.

Ironically, when Louis Freeh wasn't busy ignoring a Clinton Executive Order that would have caught the biggest Soviet spy America has ever faced, or when he wasn't busy leaking bogus Clinton-Gore stories to his press buddies like The New York Times' Jeff Gerth, he was busy trying to turn a mild-mannered New Mexican scientist into the Red Peril.

As Business Week reported last year, Freeh managed to bungle a variety of cases from Waco to Wen Ho Lee, yet because of his friends in high places, both in the press and in the political realm, he was never called on his foul-ups until John Danforth's investigation managed to embarrass even the GOP.

Louis Freeh was allowed to get away with so much for so long -- discrimination against non-white, non-male agents; botching virtually every major case he handled; slandering Wen Ho Lee -- because he was such a valuable cog in the right-wing's Get-Clinton machinery. Working in concert with his favorite congresscritters and tame press stenographers, he assiduously did all he could to assist the GOP's impeachment efforts, all the while letting the real business of the FBI slide -- and real criminals, spies and terrorists walk free.

If that doesn't make you sick, dear reader, your gut is stronger than mine.

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ISSN No. 1523-1690