Skip to comments.Candidate Janet Reno: Dancing Fool?
Posted on 07/30/2002 2:46:46 PM PDT by Stand Watch Listen
A recent gala fund-raiser in South Beach might have dispelled the question, "Can she dance?" but Florida gubernatorial candidate and former U.S. attorney general Janet Reno still must face the music over concerns about whether she is fit to run the Sunshine State. Those with long memories will recall that, during the middle of the Clinton impeachment debacle, Democratic pollster Patrick Caddell wondered whether Reno, a fellow Democrat, was the most corrupt attorney general in U.S. history or merely the most incompetent.
My own experience with the boogie-down madam suggests that either description will do.
I worked as a senior adviser in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in the spring of 1997, a time when Reno appointed a senior DOJ troubleshooter, Robert K. Bratt, to "clean up" the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). In making the announcement, Reno lauded Bratt's "experience and talent."
Three years later, a scathing report by the department's Inspector General (IG) charged Bratt with "egregious misconduct" and "willful disregard for national security" in the months running up to Reno's endorsement. It seems that Bratt, a Reno favorite who earlier had been tapped to head the DOJ's overseas training programs, had secured two illegal visas for Russian women after meeting them through a "matchmaking service" overseas. In examining his travel records in the months before Reno presented the new INS troubleshooter to Congress, the IG found little professional justification for his repeated trips to the former Soviet republic, saying they were in fact driven by his social agenda.
After first denying all to federal investigators, Bratt admitted that he had an intimate relationship with one of the women, who previously had been denied a visa by the U.S. consulate in Moscow. The IG investigation paralleled the largest-ever probe by the State Department's Office of Diplomatic Security into the trafficking of Russian women. "An examination of Bratt's conduct in Russia shows how he made himself vulnerable to blackmail or extortion," noted the IG report, released in September 2000. According to the IG report, Reno's pick to reform the INS also paved the way for a waitress at a local bar, Lulu's on M Street in Washington, to get a well-paid professional job at the DOJ.
The criminal-division manager with overall responsibility for the training programs headed by Bratt was Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark M Richard. The powerful Richard was the DOJ's liaison with the intelligence community, a post that frequently put him in daily contact with Reno. He also was one of two people the other was Lee Radek, head of the department's public-integrity section who met with Reno as often as twice a week, but never seemed to find sufficient cause to name a special prosecutor to investigate various allegations of wrongdoing by Bill and Hillary Clinton and then-vice president Al Gore. The inaction came despite the fact that Charles LaBella, the former head of the DOJ campaign-finance task force, had concluded that the Clintons, Gore and former Clinton aide Harold Ickes all had received special treatment from the Justice Department under Reno.
Other division senior officials also were accused by the IG of wrongdoing or the appearance of impropriety at the end of the three-year criminal investigation into the criminal division's administration and overseas programs. Charges ranged from massive mishandling and leaking of highly classified law-enforcement and intelligence information, to sexual harassment, sexual favoritism in hiring, violations of travel rules and general mismanagement.
A former Reno associate, the IG found, received from DOJ a lucrative contract whose award gave "an appearance of impropriety." In fact the contract terms were kept under wraps until the investigation was begun, with one senior criminal-division manager telling staff that Reno herself wanted the contract given to the woman.
These corrupt goings-on, Acting IG Glenn Fine told a House Judiciary Committee hearing in September 2000, created deep cynicism among DOJ employees about impunity fostered at the highest levels of Reno's department. The wrongdoing by Bratt and other senior officials, Fine added, had been obvious to anyone willing to see it.
Certain political realities, however, ensured other subjects were not addressed in the IG report. Another Reno favorite, Frances Fragos Townsend, picked to head the Office of International Affairs despite her relative inexperience and doubts about her competence, spent hundreds of hours cloistered in Reno's office, away from her own. During part of that time, summer interns without security clearances routinely ate their lunches in the "secure room" used to store classified information. Townsend, whom Reno later promoted to be her top intelligence adviser, went unmentioned in the IG report. So too did credible allegations that DOJ contractors involved in police training in Port-au-Prince were sleeping with barely teen-age Haitian
In the immortal words of Deion Sanders in his Pizza Hut Commercial, "Both, boss..."
This woman is nature's cure for lust. She is a walking argument for celibacy for either men or women (I'm still not clear on which she favors but I shudder at either visual)and politically she is Donna Shalala without the charm.
It's more than I have a right to ask for but if you all could find it your hearts to accomodate me, please, no more pictures of Janet Reno