Wednesday, April 17, 2013

On Boston Marathon, news media recalls '96 Olympic bombing but not Louis Freeh's smear of Richard Jewell.

Recently, the news media has started making comparisons between the Boston marathon bombing and the bombing in Centennial Park in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympics and how long the Olympic bombing investigation took until Eric Rudolph was arrested years later for bombing two abortion clinics and confessed to being the Olympic bomber.

Tom Fuentes who was an assistant FBI commander at the time in Atlanta when the bombing took place said on CNN,  it took weeks and months to simply identify the roofers nails that were used in the bomb  much less have  a suspect. 

Completely ignored by Wolf Blitzer and again by Anderson Cooper who also invoked memories of the Olympic bombing,  was how then FBI director Louis Freeh leaked Richard Jewell's name to the press and identified him as the Olympic bomber even though he didn't have a shred of proof or evidence of any kind to substantiate it or even to point to Jewell as the bomber.  And he couldn't have because Jewell was completely innocent.

But with the world's media in Atlanta for the summer Olympics in 1996 and the bombing becoming the biggest, most notorious criminal case in the United States and the world for that matter, and with people clamoring for answers and the news media applying pressure,  Freeh decided it was easier to frame a completely innocent man and get the heat off himself and the FBI. And the media willingly complied, without asking for proof or evidence,and  instead hounded Jewell everywhere he went, camping out in front of his home by the hundreds,and  making Jewell  the object of scorn, derison, ridicule and hate, all over the world. They wanted to be there when the FBI arrested him. And it was all for nothing.

There is a  reason why the news media, when discussing the investigation into the Boston marathon bombing and comparing it to the Olympic bombing and speculating about what might be expected in comparing the two  investigations ignores what Louis Freeh did as FBI director to Richard Jewell.

The reason is two fold. First, Freeh made them all look like idiots in the Olympic bombing case and the news media hates to have to own up to their own stupdity and lack of standards. In Jewell's case they not only had to own up, they had to pay up because Jewell sued them and settled out of court with CNN, NBC, Tom Brokaw and other news organizations for tens of millions of dollars.

The other reason the media doesn't want to mention Freeh  is because they and Freeh,  did the same thing again, this time with the Freeh Report regarding the Sandusky scandal, Penn State and Joe Paterno, a story that was a cash cow for the media for months. To bring up what Freeh did to Jewell at the Olympic bombing would be to open up the Pandora's Box of what Freeh in his report did to Joe Paterno with the same degree of proof which is to say none and the same results --  the news media swallowing what Freeh said as they did with Jewell even though Freeh did not have an iota of proof, something  that should have been obvious to anyone reading his report but finally put into the record by former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, former FBI agent Jim Clements and Dr. Fred Berlin who reviewed Freeh's report and concluded it was as false as Freeh's smear of Richard Jewell.

What made Freeh's framing of Richard Jewell all the more abhorrent was that Jewell was the genuine
 hero of the Olympic bombing. Hired as a part time security officer for the Olympics, it was Jewell who first spotted what the thought was a suspicious knapsack under a bench, went to investigate and looked inside and saw the wiring of a bomb. He alerted police and he and other officers helped clear the area but not before the bomb went off killing one woman. But clearly Jewell saved many lives by noticing the knapsack, investigating, and clearing the area as quickly as possible.

That the man who was the real hero of the Olympic bombing was the man Louis Freeh smeared and framed and let hang for 3 months without a shred of proof or conscience before declaring that Jewell was no longer a suspect, is evidence of just how low Louis Freeh is capable of going and just how venal he could be when it was to his advantage, something that was clear in the Freeh Report on Penn State but was also clear back in 2000 when Businessweek ran a cover story editorial called "the Case Against Louis Freeh", demanding his resignation and documenting Freeh's history at the FBI of, in their words, "tainting evidence","misleading federal investigators and judges" and " trampling on the civil liberties of American citzens" ( and this is the man the Penn State Board of Trustees chose to do their investigation).

The media now glosses  over what happened to Jewell in the Olympic bombing  investigation in their comparisons to the marathon bombing,  precisely because of what they have invested in  the Freeh Report and to avoid opening a Pandora's Box of embarrassing questions.  So in comparing the two investigations  the media pretends that what happened to Richard Jewell didnt happen   Because in today's news media,when in their minds offending anyone is bad for business,  telling the truth about everything just wouldn't be good for business.

NOTE: On Wedesday evening Anderson Cooper did an interview with former FBI agent Tom Fuentes who was an FBI commander in Atlanta at the time of the Olympic bombing  and Cooper specifically mentioned Richard Jewell and how he spotted the knapsack that contained the bomb and how he and two other officers cleared the area. Fuentes also acknowledged that and Jewell's help,  but neither said a word about how Jewell only days later  was named as the prime suspect under Freeh's direction, was hounded by the a media horde 24 hours a day to such a degree his mother pleaded with President Clinton to intervene, and how Freeh and the FBI left  Jewell to hang that way for three months because they had no suspects. This is Louis Freeh and whose word the news media has taken.








Linda Berkland said...

It's astounding that despite the overwhelming evidence of Freeh's incompetence, people are still choosing to hold him up as a pillar of truth while questioning the integrity of Dick Thornburgh, Jim Clemente and Fred Berlin. It goes to show how entrenched one can become in the narrative they like. The media is dead.

Anonymous said...

What a scab Freeh is. A leopard does not change his spots.