Louis Freeh

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Louis J. Freeh was nominated by President Clinton to be the Director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He served from September 1, 1993 until June 25, 2001, resigning from a 10-year term that would have expired on September 1, 2003. During his time as Director the agency was involved in a number of cases including:

  • Investigation of FBI performance at the fire and destruction of the Branch Davidians at Waco, Texas in 1993 and the Ruby Ridge killings
  • Investigation into the death of Vince Foster
  • Montana Freemen
  • Allegations of incompetence at the FBI crime laboratory
  • Atlanta Olympic bombing and the accusation of Richard Jewell
  • Investigation of Los Alamos scientist, Wen Ho Lee
  • Oklahoma City bombing and the prosecution of Timothy McVeigh
  • TWA Flight 800 airplane crash investigation
  • Apprehension of Theodore Kaczynski as the Unabomber
  • Recommendation to Attorney General Janet Reno that a special prosecutor be appointed to investigate fundraising practices of the Clinton administration
  • Robert Hanssen, a senior FBI agent pleaded guilty to spying for the Russians

He took over and agency suffering form public criticism and was a strong proponent of the view that the FBI must itself obey the law and respect constitutional rights. He was criticized by civil libertarians for his staunch support of the Clipper Chip and restrictions on public access to encryption. He received praise for his principled call for independent investigation of Clinton administration fundraisng practices. He resigned amid criticism that the FBI needed stronger leadership - particularly after allegations of spying by Robert Hanssen. It was also reported that with 6 kids he was dissatisfied with the salary (US$141,300/yr) he received while working for the government.

Born January 6, 1950, in Jersey City, NJ

Quotes

" We are potentially the most dangerous agency in the country. " FBI Director Louis Freeh, to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, 1997

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