Re “Panetta Regrets White House’s FBI Files Role,” June 10:
It is understandable why the Republicans are so upset with President Clinton having the FBI files on many Republican leaders. President Lyndon Johnson also accessed FBI files on not only Republicans but also other people to obtain damaging information.
Despite White House denials that the files were “mistakenly” obtained, the question remains why the White House held onto the files for over three years and did not return them immediately. Smacks of the missing Whitewater billings that mysteriously turned up in the White House.
In 1992 one of the reasons given for the Clinton win of the White House was that the U.S. wanted a Washington outsider. We elected a true outsider, then got angry when he and his people didn’t know how to play the Washington game. The president has now learned how to do his job.
Now we have another election, and we learn that in 1993 the White House got over 300 FBI files of former White House pass holders, mostly Republicans. The files went from A to G. The White House has said an apology is necessary. The paper trail shows that no one outside of the security office saw the files. New standards have been set to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.
Bob Dole says this White House use of FBI files on private citizens is unprecedented. The Republicans are doing everything they can to keep this embarrassment alive. They forget J. Edgar Hoover and they forget President Nixon’s nasty use of the FBI. Dole says this is proof that this is going to be a very dirty campaign.
If this is the meat of the campaign, God help us.