Q: Has the White House Politicized the Federal Bureau of Investigation?

By Aldrich, Gary; Powers, Richard Grid | Insight on the News, March 24, 1997 | Go to article overview

Q: Has the White House Politicized the Federal Bureau of Investigation?


Aldrich, Gary, Powers, Richard Grid, Insight on the News


Yes: Running face-saving errands for Clinton has meant downgrading the bureau's national-security mission.

The term "politicization" fails to capture the true nature and gravity of what really is going wrong down at the headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where I was employed as a special agent for more than 26 years.

The FBI's problems are a combination of micromanagement and abuse by politicians who believe the agency exists for the purpose of punishing political enemies or scoring political victories in the media. Most troubling is the fact that some in the FBI's senior management who were brought to the FBI by Director Louis Freeh cannot seem to bring themselves to say "no" to clearly improper and possibly illegal requests by the Clinton White House.

Keep in mind that the FBI is an agency housed within the Department of Justice, or DOJ, and therefore reports to the president's attorney general. Amazingly, many people think that somehow the FBI has "independence" when in fact it does not -- except to the extent to which each FBI director can demand it. (J. Edgar Hoover did and got it.) But should citizens be concerned about the way the White House is using the FBI? Consider some events of the recent past:

* After President Clinton's first inauguration, the FBI was asked to bend, twist and break the rules regarding the background-investigation process. In spite of warnings and pleas from two senior FBI agents (including me) who were assigned to the White House, and overwhelming evidence of serious character flaws of White House personnel, FBI headquarters did nothing to alert the White House or Congress that national security was being severely damaged. Soon it became clear to us in the trenches that the actions of Clinton staffers eventually would overwhelm the long-standing process by which national security and the president of the United States were protected.

* Former FBI Director William Sessions was left hanging for more than six months waiting for results of Attorney General Janet Reno's review of minor ethical problems. Sessions eventually was fired, but during that time he was a lame duck and a weakened FBI was less able to fend off White House pressure to manipulate and ignore the background-investigation process.

* When a standoff by a religious cult in Waco, Texas, became a serious public-relations problem for the Clinton administration, the FBI was pressured by the White House to bring the standoff to a hasty conclusion. This political pressure was applied to the FBI by DOJ through Webster Hubbell, who had met with frantic White House staff. As a result of political panic at the White House, many people died. The FBI presented to the U.S. attorney general the option to "wait out" David Koresh, the lunatic who eventually burned the Waco compound to the ground3 but this option was dismissed by the White House and DOJ in favor of meeting the president's political needs.

* The FBI was pressured to participate in the character assassination of Billy Dale, the former head of the White House Travel Office, and six of his coworkers, despite evidence that the White House was trying to cover up the real reason for the travel office staff's ouster -- namely, to free up "slots" for friends of Bill and Hillary and to throw the multimillion-dollar White House travel business to political cronies. As a result, Dale suffered through a 30-month criminal investigation by several FBI agents and two full-time prosecutors. This unfair and unnecessary investigation clearly was an attempt to save face for the White House and the FBI.

* The FBI stood silent in spring 1994 when the White House insisted to the media and Congress that national security indeed was being protected. At that time the bureau knew full well that the White House had dismantled any semblance of a serious security program. They knew that hundreds of individuals were wandering about the White House who had refused to undergo the FBI background investigation, which normally is required to work in the White House. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Q: Has the White House Politicized the Federal Bureau of Investigation?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.