The Aldrich Alert
Gary Aldrich

A Publication of the Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty

Former Director, FBI Officials Used to Broadside Bush Administration

December 2, 2001

by Gary Aldrich - Volume 1, Issue 49

This article appeared at on Thursday, November 29, 2001.

In what can only be described as an all-out assault on the homeland defense policies of the Bush Administration, yesterday The Washington Post published highly critical comments of six former top-level FBI officials. The criticism, which was also directed against the current leadership of the FBI, was lead by no less than former FBI director, William H. Webster.

The policies under attack included the Justice Departmentís lengthy detention of known or suspected members of the Osama Bin Ladenís terrorist network. The Postís front-page article was written by Jim McGee, a journalist described by former FBI agents as "an extremely liberal, left-leaning" fellow, formerly of the Miami Herald - the newspaper that has endorsed "terrorist experts" such as Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Janet Reno.

Some former FBI agents have expressed their belief to me that McGee sand-bagged the ex-officials into making embarrassing comments that he could then weave into a screed about the failure of the Department of Justice to properly care for the rights of illegal alien terrorists. This newest "cause" which revolves around so-called rights of non-citizens - even ones engaged in horrific acts of terrorism - seems to be gaining momentum among the usual civil rights groups, other left-leaning groups, as well as the mainstream media.

However, McGee adds a remarkable new spin by using his interviewees to suggest that the terrorists may be more valuable to the investigation, if set free! Of course, no former FBI agents were interviewed who were willing to explain the absence of new terrorists acts since the round up of hundreds of suspects. The fact that these hundreds are now unable to follow through on any plans they may have had to further terrorize this nation seems to escape the notice of our enterprising reporter!

If tasked to see a connection between higher prison populations and lower crime rates, would our vigilant Post reporter be able to do it? Itís highly unlikely, given the direction of his most recent effort. Nevertheless, our champion of "world citizenís rights" trudges on. One former official, scoffing at FBI plans to methodically interview thousands of witnesses, made no effort to hide his disdain for a related homeland defense policy. Former Assistant Director Kenneth P. Walton was quoted by McGee as stating, "Itís the Perry Mason School of Law Enforcement, where you get them in there and they confess." Walton ridiculed the plan to interview 5,000 Middle Eastern men, "Well, it just doesnít work that way. It is ridiculous. You say, íTell me everything you know,í and they give you the recipe to Momís Chicken soup."

When I think of all the time I wasted, trying to interview suspects…

Why didnít these FBI officials tell the other street agents, including me, how to solve crimes? Seriously, to suggest that all terrorists will refuse to talk is to deny the existence of Sammy "the Bull" Gravano. He was high up in the Mafia, and they kill their stool pigeons, too. Nevertheless, he talked.

The six former officials had all been involved in prevention of terrorism. However, William H. Webster, who had also served as CIA Director under both Presidents Reagan and Bush, may or may not be the best one to consult when attempting to toughen laws and policies against terrorists. Recent news reports have identified Mr. Webster as a paid lobbyist for airline industry interests, and central to the defeat of proposed congressional legislation that would have forced airlines to tighten up airport security. Appearing before committees in 1998, Mr. Webster was asked if he would still favor lightened airport security if he was the current FBI, or CIA chief. According to sources, Mr. Webster dodged the question by stating that the accuser was trying to compare apples and oranges.

With the FBI now stretched to its limits because of an unprecedented focus on two fronts - bombings and Anthrax - is it a wise idea to spring hundreds free, to scatter to the four winds, to do whatever it is they want to do to us? Would you, as a citizen interested in protecting your family, be more or less confidant of your safety with these threats inside, or outside of jail?

If the FBI promises to follow them closely, so that they cannot escape to wreak their planned havoc on all of us, is that promise good enough for you? I think the FBI is darn good - but is the FBI that good? Can they keep track of so many, running as fast as they can in hundreds of different directions? Maybe we should wait until the FBIís new computers arrive, so agents have at least a sporting chance to keep track of these monsters?

Better yet, can we vote on this?

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