April 15, 2014

Dick Morris says Bill Clinton "hated" Janet Reno but wouldn't oust her because he feared "she would tell the truth about what happened in Waco."

"Reno threatened the president with telling the truth about Waco, and that caused the president to back down."
"Then he went into a meeting with her, and he told me that she begged and pleaded, saying that . . . she didn't want to be fired because if she were fired it would look like he was firing her over Waco... And I knew that what that meant was that she would tell the truth about what happened in Waco.

"Now, to be fair, that's my supposition. I don't know what went on in Waco, but that was the cause. But I do know that she told him that if you fire me, I'm going to talk about Waco."
Morris was on TV to discuss the Cliven Bundy incident. What bad luck for Hillary: It has people needing to talk about Waco again.

Which we were already getting back to because of that Malcolm Gladwell article in The New Yorker, "Sacred and Profane: How not to negotiate with believers." But that Gladwell article doesn't mention Bill Clinton or even Janet Reno, and certainly not Hillary.

By the way, Janet Reno still walks the face of the earth. It's not too late to tell whatever truth she may have suppressed to keep her job. What is Morris saying? First, the point seems to be that Reno convinced Clinton that to oust her would give rise to inferences that he believed his administration had done something wrong in Waco. Then Morris adds his inference of what he "knew" it "mean": that there was some "truth" that had been suppressed that would come out.

But Reno's argument didn't require that there be anything more to tell, and Morris knows that, because he goes right to his "to be fair" remark. He doesn't know. And if there was some suppressed truth Reno could tell, why hasn't she told it yet? One answer is that she doesn't want to tell on herself, but that would have been true at the point when she was begging and pleading to keep her job.

56 comments:

David said...

Duh. Why else would he have kept her on?

So if you think Eric Holder is a problematic AG, consider Janet Reno. Nation's top law enforcer covering up a Presidential involvement is a slaughter of civilians.

Or the president's spouse? No. Not possible.

Big Mike said...

Along with not believing Glenn Beck or Josh Marshall, I don't believe Dick Morris, either. Least of all when it comes to anything he has to say about Bill Clinton.

David said...

The article also says:

"Morris said Clinton wanted to drop Reno after his first term in office but Reno threatened to tell the media that it was Clinton, not she, who ordered the raid on the compound in Waco that ended with 76 men, women, and children killed when the building was burned to the ground."

Morris was very specific that it was Clinton's call to attack the compound, according to Reno.

That's consistent with the contact. The Waco standoff had been on the news for some time, getting big time coverage. Clinton was involved in the discussions of what to do. In fact, as I recall, he met privately with Reno to discuss the matter.

Do you really believe that Bill Clinton would have given Janet Reno the discretion on whether to attack the Branch Davidian compound? Not a chance, in my estimation of Clinton and how he operated.

Nonapod said...

I'm confused.

"she didn't want to be fired because if she were fired it would look like he was firing her over Waco... And I knew that what that meant was that she would tell the truth about what happened in Waco."

seems to contradict:

"But I do know that she told him that if you fire me, I'm going to talk about Waco."

In one he's saying he "knows" Reno said something specific, in the other he seems to be inferring a meaning.

James Pawlak said...

Well, it did provide a clear demonstration of the willingness of Democrats to murder Americans to demonstrate their power.

We might note the many, many thousands of rounds of hollow-point ammo being stock-piled by Mr. Obama's civilian agencies as are: Most effective in killing humans; And, much more expensive that such as needed for target practice.

Michael K said...

It's pretty clear the feds did "something wrong" in the Waco affair. The ATF was in the midst of budget hearings. David Koresh went into town frequently to get his mail and his hair cut. He could have been arrested at any time. The ATF staged the confrontation for publicity in connection with the hearings on funding. Then the ATF agents killed were shot by other agents, not the Davidians. There was very little evidence of gunfire from the complex. None of the structures the ATF agents were using for shelter had bullet holes.

"For whatever reason, the ATF did not want the FBI’s help, involvement, or anything in this case. I offered to send a couple of my agents out during the raid and they turned that down. In hindsight, thank God [the FBI] weren’t there."

Whether any of this was by order of Reno is still unknown.

Strelnikov said...

After the election this year, Obama will have more flexibility to kill these people ala Reno/Clinton.

Jay said...

Clinton that to oust her would give rise to inferences that he believed his administration had done something wrong in Waco.

Notice that a few dead children isn't enough to believe you actually did anything wrong.

"Inferences" are only made.

surfed said...

What difference at this point does it make?

RecChief said...

What, Bill didn't like Reno?

War on Women

MadisonMan said...

Does he have a book coming out? Or was this just made after being paid to appear somewhere?

persiflage mahal said...

The good old days. When Democrat presidents believed that the media might actually be critical of them for slaughtering American civilians. Makes me think of soda fountains and front porch swings...

tim maguire said...

Morris did some great strategizing for Bill Clinton, but since then he's been a pretty consistent contra-indicator. Probably there's no there there, but you're right that it gets us talking more about Waco, which isn't good for Democrats.

machine said...

Dick Morris? too funny...

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The great mystery of Janet Reno is not what happened at Waco, that's pretty clear. It's why she gave Ken Starr the expanded powers to investigate the Lewinsky affair.

Consider this: Might there have been a vast left-wing conspiracy within the Clinton administration to force him from office so that the leftist-masquerading-as-a-centrist Al Gore could become President?

The Crack Emcee said...

"What bad luck for Hillary"

You are seriously underestimating the Clinton machine,...

Strelnikov said...

"Dead Bundies" not as good a name for a band as "Burning Davidians". Clinton will always be #1 in that area.

YoungHegelian said...

I'll never forget Janet Reno's press conference after the Waco fiasco. When she was getting pressed on a point by a reporter, she said "Look, I'm doing the best that I can here..."

I understand how, even for high government officials, it all comes down to doing "the best that I can". But, when that phrase becomes a public excuse for a failure that led to the deaths of Americans, including small children, at the hand of their government, it's time to find another job. Or better yet than another job, retirement to a monastery for a life of repentance.

paul a'barge said...

Here is a question: Althouse voted for Barack Obama I. Did she vote for Bill Clinton, the boss of Janet Reno, the Butcher of Waco?

How about it, Althouse. Did you vote for Bill Clinton? And if so, are you not culpable in some way for the butchery of Waco?

Strelnikov said...

"Or was this just made after being paid to appear somewhere?"

Because being paid for what you do = everything you say that I don't agree with is a lie.

Lance said...

First, the point seems to be that Reno convinced Clinton that to oust her would give rise to inferences that he believed his administration had done something wrong in Waco.

It's the other way around. Presidents fire secretaries when the secretary makes poor decisions. See for example Michael Brown, Paul O'Neill, Warren Christopher, etc.

It's when a President keeps a secretary after massive screw-ups that you know the President is covering something. Thus Obama kept Sebelius and Geithner, Bush kept Rumsfeld, and Clinton kept Reno.

Ralph Hyatt said...

I'm with Michael K, you don't need any deep dark conspiracy to explain Waco. Government incompetence and unaccountability is sufficient.

"Many journalists have fallen for the conspiracy theory of government. I do assure you that they would produce more accurate work if they adhered to the cock-up theory."
—Bernard Ingham

lgv said...

"Now, to be fair, that's my supposition."

Anyone else notice how often Dick Morris is flat out wrong?

I don't want him to be wrong so much, but he is. Whoever he picks for the superbowl, the other team has a 75% of winning.

Bob Boyd said...

David said...
So if you think Eric Holder is a problematic AG, consider Janet Reno.

If I'm not mistaken, Eric Holder was Janet Reno's number 2 at Justice.

cubanbob said...

Big Mike said...
Along with not believing Glenn Beck or Josh Marshall, I don't believe Dick Morris, either. Least of all when it comes to anything he has to say about Bill Clinton.

4/15/14, 10:31 AM"

Aside from being gay there is nothing Beck, Marshall or Morris could say about Clinton that couldn't be believable.

I presume Morris is claiming that Clinton gave the go-ahead at Waco and that Reno had she been dumped would have stated that. Why that was so important to be hushed up I don't know since it hardly seems credible to believe that Reno ordered the assault all on her own. She was and is a fig leaf for Clinton. Give Obama some credit for learning. He saw another would be Waco occurring with the Bundy's and ordered the BLM to back down for now.

Doug said...

Dick Morris? Why does anyone pay attention to what that pathetic hack says?

Archie said...

Clinton hated Reno? Homophobe.

Bruce Hayden said...

She was and is a fig leaf for Clinton.

Here is woman who had dedicated her life, until she came to D.C., to the "children", and the order to assault compound killed a bunch of children. Does anyone really believe that she would have given that order?

At the time though, the story was that she was duped by the FBI, or some such, about the dangers of the assault, and that they didn't take into account the flammability of the tear gas that they used, esp. in relation to the open flames in the lanterns being used. Which, of course, gives everyone an out. They were just operating for the benefit of the children, and just screwed up a bit. Of course, if this sort of screw up happened in the private sector, with a bunch of people dying due to gross negligence, there would be wrongful death suits up the ying yang, and likely manslaughter charges against those responsible. But these are federal agents, and they mostly have sovereign immunity. So, they can screw up, a bunch of people die as a result, keep their jobs, and may even be promoted (as the main perps with the BATFE in the Fast and Furious operation were).

Keep this in mind. The feds screwed up, a lot of people died, and there were few, if any, consequences for those from Clinton on down who were involved for the deaths. This is how governments work, and why they are dangerous. That was for the good of the country, because Clinton was apparently good for the country. Or, alternatively holding the Clinton Administration responsible for the deaths would have been worse for the country, in the minds of many, than the many deaths were. And, that justifies the deaths. This is just one reason that communitarian theory is so dangerous - almost anything can be justified as being good for the community, and, thus, justified by the government.

Big Mike said...

@cubanbob, Morris says that Clinton said ...

And I stop right there. Why would Clinton have shared with Dick Morris a private discussion he had with Janet Reno?

Freeman Hunt said...

What more is there to know about Waco? It was an incompetent fiasco wherein the government ended up killing a bunch of people. What revelation would make that worse?

On that basis, I think this is nonsense.

Illuninati said...

The article in the New Yorker is excellent. Thank-you for the link.

This passage, close to the end of the article says it all. While the babies and children were burning to death...."the F.B.I. agents manning the loudspeaker system were chanting: “David, you have had your fifteen minutes of fame. [Koresh] is finished. He is no longer the Messiah.”"
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/03/31/140331fa_fact_gladwell?currentPage=all



Wilbur said...

Or, it all could've been avoided if Koresh had just let himself be arrested.

I spoke with Janet Reno about 3-4 years ago; her Parkinson's was very evident and she had trouble speaking in public. I don't believe she's amde a public appearance in the last two years. Don't expect her to blow the lid off of this or anything else, simply for reasons of heath.

furious_a said...

Clinton kept on Reno as AG because he needed her broken and beholden to him for her job. Confronting the horror she perpetrated at Waco, Clinton's "continued confidence in her ability to serve" cemented her allegiance to him.

Since we're playing Dick Norris here I'll say that Reno offered to resign after Waco but Clinton refused; thereafter she served as useful firewall between his administration and the myriad congressional investigations and special prosecutor requests to come.

MadisonMan said...

Because being paid for what you do = everything you say that I don't agree with is a lie.

Those are your words, not mine. I implied nothing about the truth of Morris' words, I was wondering why he was talking about this at the moment.

Mine would be more accurately stated: If I see a paid shill, I am suspicious of his/her motives.

If you are invited to a Sunday Talk Show and say something that leads to many tweets and re-posts and web hits, I think you're more likely to be invited back than if your appearance is largely ignored.

furious_a said...

Do you really believe that Bill Clinton would have given Janet Reno the discretion on whether to attack the Branch Davidian compound...

Janet Reno, while Dade County District Attorney, had a reputation of over)zealous prosecution of alleged child abuse (google "Grant Snowden"). The FBI on the scene played on that vulnerability, while playing the same child-abuse angle to get Ann Richards to release Texas Nat'l Guard armor used in the final assault.

Maybe not "discretion" so much as she was manipulated and stampeded into ordering the assault with armor and aircraft (FLIR cameras clearly showed that crew in the helicopters fired on Davidians emerging from the burning buildings.

Not a good day when the Fed'l gov't massacres 86 of its own citizens, 19 of them children.

David said...

"If I'm not mistaken, Eric Holder was Janet Reno's number 2 at Justice."

I did not know that.

hombre said...

Freeman: "What more is there to know about Waco? It was an incompetent fiasco wherein the government ended up killing a bunch of people. What revelation would make that worse?"

The revelation that federal agencies are accumulating millions of rounds of hollow point ammo in the face of a presumption that this administration has less compunction about killing innocents and Americans than that one. (See, e.g., drone deaths, Fast and Furious, etc.)

Doesn't make it worse, just more relevant for today.

David said...

Freeman Hunt said...
What more is there to know about Waco? It was an incompetent fiasco wherein the government ended up killing a bunch of people. What revelation would make that worse?


Waco was bad publicity for the Clinton administration before the attack and the fire. The Clintons did not like bad publicity. They wanted the Waco mess to "go away." (That much is beyond reasonable debate.)

My supposition has always been that Clinton either strongly urged or ordered Reno to take any measures necessary to end the siege at Waco. That included force. Thus Reno was operating under either direct orders or strong pressure from the President (and probably his wife as well) to end the Waco standoff.

The incompetence you identify ensued and the deaths unnecessarily followed.

The revelation that makes it worse is that (1) Clinton had a direct hand in causing this precipitate act, (2) he did so for domestic political reasons and (3) he and the attorney general conspired to cover up the presidential role.

It has never seemed to me even remotely likely that Janet Reno would have ordered this attack on her own. Nor was there any reason to keep Janet Reno on as AG for Clinton's entire term, other than the desire to both compromise and silence her.

Had a conservative president ordered Waco, or even if it had occurred on his or her watch without a direct order, it would be a highly resonant scandal today.

Once again the Clintons skate away without any accountability. They are a dangerous pair, those Clintons, too dangerous to put into the White House again.

MayBee said...

I've always been baffled and angry that Bush got more criticism for Katrina than Clinton did for Waco.

furious_a said...

Eric Holder was Janet Reno's number 2 at Justice

Eric Holder crafted the Marc Rich pardon. At the tie Rich was a fugitive from the law.

Birches said...

Dick Morris is not believable anymore --- no matter what you think about Waco. Dick Morris is such a media whore.

Tank said...

"Dick Morris says ..."

Has anyone ever been wrong about more things than that sleazy toe sucker? He has made more incorrect predictions than the rest of the media combined.

Hagar said...

Eric Holder also was the DoJ guy in the Elian Gonzales affair. I guess he has always been a "politico."

Waco, was another ATF screw-up, but the FBI was called in. Remember the guy with the open shirt-collar? He was trying his best to calm the circus down and get it resolved, but then the attack was called anyway.
I have always thought it was one of the Clintons, or Bill with Hillary standing behind him like in Little Rock, who called William Webster at the FBI and told him to do something or else. So he did, and then they fired him anyway.

Michael K said...

"They wanted the Waco mess to "go away."

And there is absolute silence in the media on he role of that event on the motives of McVeigh. There is not one American in 100 who knows what motivated McVeigh.

They do know what motivates Muslim jihad though. Islamophobia.

Brando said...

Much as I wouldn't put anything past Bill Clinton, Dick Morris has been so consistently wrong about so much for so long that you could do pretty well believing the opposite of what he tells you. How does this guy still find work as a pundit?

Besides, what could Reno have possibly revealed about Clinton regarding Waco? It's pretty clear she (and by extension, her boss) screwed that one up. Maybe some damning comments from him at the time? It's just hard to imagine what could have gone worse.

GOP's going to need better ammunition than this if they're to stop Her Inevitableness from becoming our next president.

LuAnn Zieman said...

Janet Reno also returned the young Elian Gonzalez to Cuba. Agents broke in to his relatives Miami home, guns drawn, and took the child at her command.

Lonetown said...

Isn't Janet Reno riding around "just a clumsy old woman" in her red pick up truck?

victoria said...

People still care what Dick Morris says? Liar, liar, wouldn't know the truth if it came up and bit him on the ass.

Vicki from Pasadena

Robert Cook said...

"There is not one American in 100 who knows what motivated McVeigh."

What difference does it make? Just because the feds engaged in murder and assault at Ruby Ridge does not in the least justify or ameliorate the horror of McVeigh's murder of innocents.

"They do know what motivates Muslim jihad though. Islamophobia."

Uh..."islamophobia" is a hatred or fear of the religion of Islam. You're saying Muslim jihand is driven by a hatred of Muslims.

While, among the motives driving terrorism by Muslim extremists can be included religious zealotry--similar to McVeigh's own personal political zealotry--hatred of America's invasion of and interference in Muslim lands and political affairs is at least part of their grievance against us. In other words, they, like McVeigh, are driven by their own anger at American offenses.

Skeptical Voter said...

Waco, Benghazi, sniper fire in Bosnia, billing records from an Arkansas law firm that a careless maid in the White House aomehow forgot to pick up and "dusted around" for 6 or 7 years.

Yup, these people are prime---something. I'll go with pustulent prevaricators--and in Bill's case, priapic as well.

Crazy Jane said...

Forget Dick Morris. Forget Janet Reno. She was incompetent, and Gladwell is right, Waco was an indefensible massacre. For that, we got Timothy McVeigh. If Clinton ordered her to do it, let's remember that during his first Presidential campaign, Clinton made a special trip back to Arkansas to make sure that a mentally incompetent man was given the death penalty for murder. (As the prisoner was led to the gas chamber or whatever, he asked his jailers to save his dinner leftovers for him.)

Is no one paying attention to Eric Holder, who leads the most political "Justice" Department in our history? How about the multiple prosecutions of JPMorgan, the ridiculous triumphal declarations of the the bogus Toyota acceleration problem (let's see what he does to GM), and on and on and on.

Skookum John said...

Whoever made the decision to pump CS gas into an enclosed space where there were small children is guilty of negligent homicide. The stuff is well known to be deadly to babies and children even outdoors, because their smaller caliber airways constrict to a proportionately greater degree than an adult's. Those kids died in agony before the fire even started.

I date my hatred of the US federal government from that day.

rcommal said...

By the way, Janet Reno still walks the face of the earth.

Wouldn't that be one of the best blog-mastheads ever?

Seriously. Wouldn't it?


*Guffaw*

rcommal said...

Honestly, it's all bullshit as it plays out at the end of the day.

Back in the '90s, I was firmly against Janet Reno. I thought she was a liar and the sort of person who would maliciously use her powers to enforce her own notions of what ought to be paid attention to and what ought not be paid attention to, not to mention paying ahead in terms of snuffing out unliked opinions and notions.

She was successful. She set a standard to which so many aspire, on account of her having been so good at both establishing that standard and achieving it.

---

I myself think the standard is disgusting.

cubanbob said...

@cubanbob, Morris says that Clinton said ...

And I stop right there. Why would Clinton have shared with Dick Morris a private discussion he had with Janet Reno?"

Gee Big Mike who has more credibility the convicted perjurer or Dick Morris who by the way was the perjurer's advisor?

Fen said...

Whoever made the decision to pump CS gas into an enclosed space where there were small children is guilty of negligent homicide. The stuff is well known to be deadly to babies and children even outdoors, because their smaller caliber airways constrict to a proportionately greater degree than an adult's. Those kids died in agony before the fire even started.

Worse, there was an Army NBC (nuclear, bio, chem hazard) officer on scene and he advised exactly that.

They chose to ignore him and do it anyway.