A Bright Light In An Otherwise Bleak Landscape
by Gary Aldrich - Volume 1 - Issue 13
In September of 1997, Charles G. La Bella was hand-picked by Attorney General Janet Reno to head the Justice Departmentís campaign finance task force. It only took La Bella and FBI Director Louis Freeh nine months to reach the conclusion that the fundraising misconduct and scandals of President Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Vice President Al Gore warranted further investigation -- but only by an independent counsel.
In July of 1998, La Bella wrote his now famous secret memo to Janet Reno, a document that has altered his life forever. This important investigative summary has been described by the LA Times as "a confidential report by the Justice Departmentís former chief campaign finance investigator, kept sealed by Attorney General Janet Reno for nearly two years." The LA Times advised readers that, "La Bellaís findings accused senior Justice officials of engaging in ígamesmanshipí and legal ícontortionsí to avoid an independent inquiry into Clinton-Gore campaign fundraising abuses."
As a 17-year highly regarded career prosecutor, only three years away from retirement, Mr. La Bella both wrote and spoke the truth, and, as with anyone involved in criticizing the current Administration, he did so at a very dear price -- his future, and his financial well-being.
Mr. La Bella is this monthís poster child for what can happen to those who are willing to speak out and stand up for what is right. But Mr. La Bella is the very kind of prosecutor we used to demand and expect to find in our federal government -- before Clinton and Reno. Unlike many of todayís higher-ups in the Justice Department, La Bella ignored politics and took his oath seriously. He does not apologize for speaking the truth.
Discussing these issues on NBCís Meet the Press, La Bella proudly proclaimed: "I think it was worthwhile saying out loud what you werenít supposed to say out loud. I didnít know when I said it that you werenít supposed to say it out loud. I really didnít. I really thought that if I were attorney general, I would want to hear this. I would want to hear that there was something wrong ... I would. And I think [we] need to encourage people to still say out loud what many donít want them to say out loud."
Bravo, Mr. La Bella! You will sleep well tonight, knowing you did the right thing for your country. We know you will prosper. One day, ethics, honesty, decency and respect will be restored to the Department of Justice, as well as to the White House. Your courage leads the way! Sometimes itís difficult to do the right thing, and the cost is often high -- but hope is always restored by such sacrifice, and your example will outshine the quickly dimming light of this corrupted and sleazy political machine.
Thank you, Mr. Le Bella!