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"60 Minutes" Responds
Media Matters
October 7, 2005

This Sunday's "60 minutes' interview of former FBI director Louis Freeh about his new book is causing quite a stir in some political circles. In his discussion with Mike Wallace and in the book, Freeh describes his difficult relationship with the man who appointed him – President Clinton.

Reviewing various scandals, Freeh writes in his book: "The problem was with Bill Clinton — the scandals and the rumored scandals, the incubating ones and the dying ones never ended. Whatever moral compass the president was consulting was leading him in the wrong direction. His closets were full of skeletons just waiting to burst out.'

Freeh also alleges that Clinton refused to personally ask Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah to allow the FBI to question suspects in the '96 Khobar Tower attacks who were in Saudi custody. Freeh writes: "Bill Clinton raised the subject only to tell the crown prince that he understood the Saudis' reluctance to cooperate and then he hit Abdullah up for a contribution to the Clinton Presidential Library.'

In today's Washington Post, former Clinton counterterrorism official Daniel Benjamin said Freeh is "factually wrong' and that Clinton "pushed the crown prince quite hard' to "eventually' win "cooperation that led to indictments in the case.' Benjamin added: "Freeh has been clearly discredited by the 9/11 commission and the congressional join inquiry.'

The Post story also contained this line: "The Clinton camp says '60 Minutes' would not accept any surrogate to rebut Freeh on camera once the former president declined to be interviewed.'

While it is unusual for any media organization to comment on a story before it runs, "60 Minutes' Executive Producer Jeff Fager responded to PE about the "Clinton camp' complaint, saying: "The president would not sit down for an interview, but our job is to make sure the story is fair to him and we have been in touch with his people to make sure of his positions on some of the points made in the story.'

Perhaps we'll have an opportunity to revisit this one next week.

I don't care if a report is one-sided, but it MUST be true. Clearly the charges against President Clinton were false and "60 Minutes" was prepared to let those lies become part of their public record. It's shameless.

"60 Minutes" also pushed Bush's war and known lies. Some of their reporters have apologized. Yet, they still feel free to lie about President Clinton and the pseudo scandals the GOP manufactured with the help of the media.

I've been in a sparring match with pollsters who still insist on calling Whitewater a scandal. Liars.!