- The Washington Times - Friday, January 12, 2001

Outgoing Attorney General Janet Reno recently told a reporter she has no plans other than to drive her new pickup truck back to her home in South Florida. The reporter nodded and grinned like the sapling he is. If I had cornered Miss Reno I would have said, "Wait a minute, Madame. What about all those ongoing investigations you couldn't comment upon?" Let's see, there was the foreign money coming into the Clinton campaign in 1996. There was Wen Ho Lee and the looting of U.S. nuclear secrets. There was the Waco stuff and the Elian Gonzalez matter, and on and on and on. Miss Reno could never really get specific about any of it because all of it was under investigation, you see.

Of course, this is bull feathers, but Miss Reno will likely get away with it. There is no clamor from our newly elected president and Congress to investigate the incredibly inept attorney general. In fact, most everybody in Washington would just rather see her go away. But not me. I'm really, really angry, and I hope you are, too.

Government corruption simply cannot be tolerated in the United States, yet it seems as if we accept it all the time. Investigators like David Shippers, Charles Labella and FBI chief Louis Freeh have all raised questions about Miss Reno, so why isn't it automatic that her conduct in office be investigated?

The reason is that such an investigation could turn out to be very messy. It is entirely possible that Janet Reno obstructed justice. But the powers that be in both parties really don't want to deal with that because it would open many doors that could embarrass the United States.

There is also another thing in play here. Most of the American people don't care about the issue. Less than 50 percent of eligible voters showed up in November, and I think it's safe to say that a pop quiz on the tenure of Janet Reno would bring very low grades nationwide. Most Americans simply can't be bothered to contemplate whether or not the federal government is corrupt, as long as there is plenty of bread on the table and circuses on the tube.

That's the reason Alan Greenspan and his Federal Reserve Board gang get to live in the shadows, as well. Here is the most powerful man in the world, who is appointed by the president and paid by tax dollars yet, he will not even hold a press conference to explain his economic decisions, decisions that can ruin people. This guy is allowed to do whatever he wants with no explanation. His four-year term as Fed chairman is a no-cut deal. He cannot be fired.

This is frightening. There is no question that Mr. Greenspan made a horrendous mistake by not cutting interest rates in the fall. That mistake cost Americans trillions of dollars in their portfolios. Why was the mistake made? We'll never know. Mr. Greenspan is accountable to no one.

This is not the kind of government I want. Call me a dreamer, but I would like a government that holds public servants accountable for their actions. Janet Reno has plenty of explaining to do. Once she's out of office, she should be called before Congress to specifically detail every one of her controversial decisions. All of us in this country should demand that.

But when I asked President-elect George W. Bush whether his administration was going to investigate Miss Reno, he waffled. Not good. We need answers, Mr. Bush. It is our right as citizens to have them.

As for Mr. Greenspan, forget it. Congress is scared to death of him. He has destroyed the stock market and can damage the economy with one sentence. This guy has too much power and does not care a fig for the working people of this country.

In a perfect world, both Janet Reno and Alan Greenspan would be put on television and interviewed by Mike Wallace, Sam Donaldson and myself for as long as it took to get some answers for the American people. Shadow governing is not what we are all about here. The American people have a right to know if their country is being run on the up and up and if their financial futures are being well looked after. It is time for Mr. Bush to let the sun shine in.

Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor."


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