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What Next? Primetime Investigations

Posted on Wednesday, November 9, 2022
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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20 Comments
investigations

In 1995, Republicans surprised the Democrats – capturing the US House and Senate, first time since 1952. Adding eight Senate seats and 54 House seats, Republicans – under aggressive House Speaker Newt Gingrich – began the most intensive congressional investigations of a Democrat administration in history. We are there again – primetime for investigations.

As Staff Director and Chief Counsel for the US House Oversight’s largest subcommittee – the one investigating Clinton’s Justice, Defense, State, NASA and other agencies – my job was to set strategy, get buy-in, assure investigations were well-targeted, substantive, and produced results for taxpayers.

The main objective was not “gotcha game” or impeachment, although Clinton’s Attorney General, Janet Reno, was eventually held in contempt, criminal referrals to her was made for other administration conduct, and another committee – and in time the entire House – did pursue an issue that resulted in Bill Clinton’s House impeachment. Our job was simpler – find the glaring failures and fix them.

The focus of oversight at Justice was – not surprisingly – DOJ, FBI, and ATF failures, internal conflicts, half-truths, political acts, and cover-ups. We found them, by the dozens, and excuses for them. 

We conducted months-long investigations into the avoidable tragedy at Waco, acts taken for political reasons, laws left unenforced, and behaviors aimed at covering up these missteps.

We investigated the Clinton Administration’s missteps that allowed what we thought, at the time, was rampant drug abuse, overdoses, crime, border penetration, and failed international cooperation. Mid-1990s, we lost more than 8,000 young people to drug overdoses, trafficking grew. We thought this was a national tragedy. Last year, 2021, more than 100,000 young people overdosed and died, avoiadable.

To the credit of many mid-level and non-political leaders, such as DEA Administrators Constantine and Marshall, Coast Guard Commandants Kramek and Loy (plus former Commandant Yost), FBI Director Freeh, and others – the policies were corrected, drug-related metrics improved, and we made progress.

Notably, progress against drug abuse, drug crime (still the largest source nationally), drug trafficking, and greater international cooperation – including Plan Colombia, which stabilized the region and was later described by one Colombian Ambassador as “the greatest US foreign policy success since WWII” – was a product of intensive, unremitting, truth-seeking, and oversight by Congress.

At Defense, we dug into everything from strategic defense (i.e., why no ballistic missile defenses?) to defense inventory management (i.e.. why the waste), from political decisions undermining readiness (i.e., why social experimentation, where does that lead?) to program management (i.e., why cost overruns?), from threats to responses, investment to deterrence.  

Ironically, many of these questions need asking now – and in a much bigger way, as China lays in 1000 ICBMs, Russia and North Korea threaten to use nuclear weapons, Iran looks to build them, and half the world is on fire. Same on waste, putting politics above readiness, social experimentation over winning wars, poor program management, horrific recruiting and retention, and wobbly leadership.

At State, the same can be said. Poor decisions, waste, blunders, bad priorities, indefensible actions in Afghanistan, appeasement of China, money given to the Taliban, fake peace with Iran, the list goes on and on. All this is an invitation for oversight, and for course correction.

At NASA, the world turns, and now we have no Shuttle program, no follow-on that is ready to pick up where Apollo, Gemini, and Mercury left off, are getting eclipsed by China, soon others. The private sector has picked up where leadership has stumbled elsewhere, and it seems everyone takes credit. Progress is being made, but not at a rate that any Apollo astronaut – and most Americans – wanted.

Meantime, we have a White House, President and Vice President, today – who strain the use of vocabulary. President Biden is in a state of visible, dangerous, mental decline, more prone to mistake where he is, what he is saying, and to whom than any president in history. His Vice President makes the notions of self-promotion, shallow understanding, and giggling over death and security seem acceptable.  They are not.

So, the oversight Olympics are before us – a need for heavy lifting, fast-paced investigative and legal running, deep dives, and a serious focus on what counts, on issues like the economy, overspending, waste, public corruption, misuse and abuse of power, accelerating crime, border penetration, drug trafficking and overdoses, failed leadership across the board.

The time has come, once again, for accountability – and may we all pray, with a sense of seriousness of purpose, focus on reality, and commitment to the future – that we can get this right. This Congress has more than a chance to get it right. They have the moral, political, and geopolitical obligation to do so.

Unlike 1995, the world today is filled with palpable, inward-leaning, immediate threats, many abroad and originating abroad, but many at home, too. The world that this congressional oversight team surveys is perilous. Their work is critical if we are to get this Nation back on track. So, let us begin. That’s what this election was – in large measure – about, getting back on track. Let us do it.

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Cat
Cat
1 year ago

I wholeheartedly agree with everything stayed in the article with a request for [human trafficking] to be added in paragraph 14.

A A
A A
1 year ago

DBM is right…they keep voting for them. Anyway. I took a little time looking for Janet Reno’s conviction/jail time & all I found was that she was convicted but I could find out nothing about jail time/community service, etc. Anyone know?

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

If J6 Can we can
But ours would have more “meat” to probes big time

Michael Quinn
Michael Quinn
1 year ago

No one would love to see the Democrap misuse of the DOJ, FBI, CIA, IRS, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, exposed and cleaned up, but the Republicans are the “Lucy” of politics, always pulling the football at the crucial moment of contact. In the end it will be “full of sound and fury; signifying nothing.”

Denise
Denise
1 year ago

The one aspect I’ve yet to see in any on air or printed form concerning the democrats is the FACT that they will do anything, say anything, and “eliminate” anything (or maybe anyone) that stands in the way of their one party rule! Do folks not understand what the real intention of the 4 years of phony “prosecution” of Trump really meant? Apparently all to few ever bothered to read “Unlimited Access” by then head FBI agent Gary Aldridge in charge of security at the Clinton White House in the early 90’s and the nightmare they created by allowing anyone, anytime to waltz into the Whitehouse and if security didn’t like it…tough! Or the FACT that Clinton tacitly okay’d the burning to death and slaughters of almost 86 men, women and children using the military (strictly forbidden per our Constitution!) law enforcement, ATF and other agencies at Waco, Texas! What was he “impeached” for?? Messing with an intern in the Oval Office!! That the “media” literally cheered on the deaths of citizens? “Visitors” were wandering through the People’s House any time, accessing files any time, had access LITERALLY to ALL deeply intense documents, national security, backgrounds, deepest “secrets” on file! Yet Hillary Clinton a woman who’s college thesis was on Marxism and who basically ran the White House while Slick Willy would sneak out about midnight for one of his trists…was running the country!
What do folks think the whole anti-gun rhetoric is about? Do folks have a clue that the intent of Clinton’s by firing all then sitting 93 U.S. attorneys and replacing them with liberals was not part of the weakening of our justice system? This so-called “justice system” is a sick joke. Criminals are repeatedly turned loose after laughable sentences for violent crimes! The whole sick BLM destruction was to weaken our police and ultimately eliminate them. And what would replace them? Look at Russia, China, North Korea, North Vietnam, Cuba…these nations were all once free nations…Some may remember George Bush’s presidential speech where he opined; “We must usher in the New World Order.” I was just waking up to what was happening to our America…and that statement still gives me chills.But the most egregious wound to this nation is that it’s corporately forgotten it’s God.
Patrick Henry once warned “When a nation forgets it’s God, tyrants soon forge it’s chains.” Oh how right he was. We’re losing this nation, perhaps it’s already lost.

Russ
Russ
1 year ago

Use the democrat model and have endless investigations into everything suspicious the democrats do. Put them on the defensive and expose what they have been doing.

DBM
DBM
1 year ago

Except that no matter how badly the Dems screw up, people keep voting for them. The big Red wave was a ripple at best.

Sharon Ormsby
Sharon Ormsby
1 year ago

Yes, investigations, for sure!

Letts Brandon
Letts Brandon
1 year ago

Destruction is the answer. Nuclear weapons tests welcomed. Start with Michigan Please!

PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

The first objective of the Republican controlled House, should we actually achieve that, should be to use the power of the purse to cripple the Biden agenda completely. That means forcing the Executive Branch, through whatever budget cuts are necessary, to actually enforce existing immigration laws and stop the wholesale flooding of the United States with illegals aliens on our southern border. Don’t think for a second that illegals don’t vote in our elections and have been for years. That means an end to the Biden administration’s simply ramping up processing of illegals faster as a means of saying “our border is secure”.

It also means forcing the Executive Branch, again through whatever budget cuts necessary, to get both the FBI and the DOJ to back away from the STAZI-like tactics being employed by the Biden administration. Having either Wray or Garland testify before Congress will change nothing. Both will either stonewall on every question asked or give the usual canned answers that say nothing.

Thirdly, cut whatever other federal agency and department budgets are necessary to force the Executive Branch to reverse the devestatingly bad energy policies they have been enacted under Joe Biden in order to 1) restore America’s energy independence, 2) get the Biden administration to commit publicly to completely abandon their “War on Fossil Fuels” and provide certainty to markets in order to end the inflationary pressure that bad energy policy has had on the overall economy stoking inflationary pressures all across the supply chain and 3) end the moratorium the Executive Branch has sanctioned on preventing banks from providing credit to oil and natural gas producing companies.

Holding endless hearings may be what the politicians want to do over the next 2 years, but Congressional hearings don’t result in substantial policy shifts. They may make for great photo ops for future re-election campaigns, but that is about it. No one really is ever held accountable for obvious corrupt or criminal actions when they are a high-level Democrat in Washington. Crippling the Biden agenda by cutting off its money supply to fund its various initiatives is what will really force a positive change for the people in this country. Given all the existing and potential threats we face both on the domestic and foreign fronts, we don’t have the luxury is wasting years on endless hearings that usually result in nothing of substance being accomplished.

Criminal referrals from Congress to the DOJ or the FBI from Republicans are frequently ignored. Letters from Congressional Republicans to various Executive Branch agencies and departmentds are also similarly ignored or slow-walked through the bureaucracy until the matter is forgotten or replaced by something else down the road. What this country needs ASAP is effective change that alters the trajectory this country is on under Democrat rule. That should be the NUMBER ONE FOCUS of either chamber of Congress the Republicans may end up controlling. Smart use of power is essential. Endless Congressional hearings are NOT a smart use of any power Congressional Republicans might have over the next 2 years. If all Republicans focus on is endless hearings for the next 2 years, then in 2024 the Democrats will run on the fact that a Republican led Congress accomplished nothing.

Dan W.
Dan W.
1 year ago

As much as these investigations devolve into opportunities for political (and self-serving) posturing, this next Congress won’t be generating much, if any, legislation that will be signed into law so at least investigating will give them something to do.

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