Hastert to appoint sure-fire, can't miss investigator for Foley scandal

Addendum: Word is out that Nancy Pelosi says freedom isn't Freeh, nixes former FBI head's involvement in Foley investigation. She must have seen the Pink Panther flicks...

Sources say that embattled House Speaker Dennis Hastert will name Inspector Clouseau to head an investigation of the House page program. Whoops, my mistake - that's Louis Freeh, former FBI director. You remember Freeh: the guy under whose tenure the FBI missed terror warnings that might have prevented 9/11. Republicans love the guy, though, despite his bumbling:

Freeh was expert in political survival, some say, forging an alliance with top Republicans after he'd turned against the president who appointed him. And though he still wins strong grades from some lawmakers and analysts, the critics say his eight years on the job may have left the agency -- and the nation -- vulnerable.

"If people are looking for a scapegoat, I'd nominate Louis Freeh," says Ronald Kessler, author of "The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI."

It's no secret the FBI suffered a series of embarrassments during Freeh's tenure, some of them deadly. They include the botched handling of the investigations into Waco and Ruby Ridge; the bombing at the Atlanta Olympic Village and the heavy-handed tactics used against Richard Jewell; the breakdown of the FBI crime labs; the inept pursuit of suspected atomic spy Wen Ho Lee; the belated discovery of turncoat agent Richard Hanssen; and the failure to deliver thousands of documents to defense attorneys during the trial of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

The FBI fiascoes seemed to come like clockwork under Freeh, and they continue to roll out to this day. A recently uncovered March 2000 memo reveals that agents mistakenly destroyed evidence gathered in an investigation involving Osama bin Laden.

Freeh sounds like the perfect guy to handle Hastert's investigation of, uh, Hastert and his party's leadership.


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