- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Clinton White House was a mess, according to a new memoir from former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh, who calls former President Bill Clinton “big and sprawling and, basically, unedited,” and categorizes his administration as “farcical” and “a bad movie.”

“I spent most of the almost eight years as director investigating the man who had appointed me,” Mr. Freeh writes in the book, “My FBI: Bringing Down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton and Waging War on Terror,” which arrived on store shelves yesterday. The memoir revisits Monica Lewinsky, Richard Jewell and other denizens of pre-9/11 America.

He said his own investigations of Mr. Clinton became “theater of the absurd.”

Another FBI veteran from the Clinton years understands such talk.

“I doubt seriously that Louis Freeh would involve himself in a book of ‘fiction,’ as Clinton operatives have already claimed,” said Gary Aldrich, the former FBI agent who wrote the book “Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House.”

“I can’t agree with everything in it, but I know Freeh had a unique perspective on the Clinton administration. It was corrupt and chaotic time in the White House.”

Mr. Freeh, now an executive with Delaware-based credit card company MBNA, is embarking on a nationwide book tour, said his publicist Gregg Sullivan of St. Martin’s Press.

And while a popular bumper sticker may claim that “Clinton lied but nobody died,” Mr. Freeh contends the Clinton administration had dangerous moments.

The book says that in 1998, Mr. Clinton asked Saudi Arabian officials for donations to his presidential library rather than investigate the terrorist bombing of the Khobar Towers housing complex two years earlier. The bombing killed 19 U.S. servicemen and wounded 370.

Mr. Clinton did not retaliate for that attack and the subsequent terrorist bombing of the USS Cole, Mr. Freeh wrote, recalling his own disappointment when Mr. Clinton did “nothing to assist and facilitate” the investigation during an appearance on CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday night.

Mr. Clinton has remained silent about the accusations, but his defenders were at the ready. The claims are “absolutely false,” Mr. Clinton’s spokesman Jay Carson told CBS.

Samuel “Sandy” Berger, one-time national security adviser to Mr. Clinton, issued a statement to the network insisting the former president never spoke of his library during his meeting with the Saudis.

The presence of Mr. Berger struck some as comedic.

“Berger the ‘sock stuffer’ called as character witness for Clinton,” said Dustin Hawkins, of the Media Research Center’s “Newsbusters” Web site, observing that Mr. Berger recently received a $50,000 fine and 100 hours of community service “for stealing classified government documents and stuffing them in his pants.”

Former Clinton spokesman Joe Lockhart countered on CNN Monday:

“All [Freeh] is doing is trying to follow the right-wing playbook, which is to make up a bunch of charges about President Clinton and do it in a way that you can line your pockets.”



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