August 31, 2002

JOHN ASHCROFT ISN’T MAKING KIM DU TOIT HAPPY:

The more I read about the FBI’s behavior in this matter, the more I want to kick AG John Ashcroft in the balls. Their bullying, truculent behavior towards both Hatfill and his fiancée make me absolutely sick– why are the Janet Reno goons still there, after they had their pee-pees whacked over the mishanding of the Richard Jewell matter? (You remember Richard Jewell– he was the suspect/non-suspect/”person of interest” in the Atlanta Olympics bombing case– later found to be completely innocent despite the FBI’s intimidation and hectoring tactics towards him and his family.)

This crap has got to stop. Right now. If the FBI has enough evidence to go to the grand jury, then that’s what they should do. If they don’t then they’d better quit this bullshit about leaking to the Press the list of their suspects, and letting the suspects/non-suspects/”persons of interest” be tried by the Press and public opinion. And applying pressure through the person’s family is a foul thing to do– hey, why not just put a gun to his mother’s head and tell him to “confess, or she dies”? That’s what the KGB or Chinese would have done.

It remains to be established whether Hatfill is guilty, but it’s clear that the FBI has botched the investigation in ways that won’t be redeemed even if Hatfill turns out to be guilty as sin. The leaks, as I’ve mentioned before, are either a deliberate effort to put pressure on him (illegally), or just evidence that the FBI is so inept and unprofessional that its employees can’t keep their mouths shut even on an important investigation relating to national security. (Or worse yet, it’s just a cynical move to take the press heat off the anthrax investigation by making it look like it’s doing something. Regardless, it’s a botch, and I don’t see another explanation that makes them look any better.