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White House and FBI Files

July 07, 1996

* I don't get it; what was David Wise's "Psst, Wanna Read Your FBI File? Check It Out!" (Opinion, June 30) all about?

He begins by questioning whether "filegate" was just a "bureaucratic snafu" as claimed by this administration or something more sinister, such as a gigantic hit list, but he quickly digresses to giving a history of FBI files and J. Edgar Hoover. Nowhere does he try to make sense of this latest incredible incident involving the president.

It appears that Wise is just another media apologist for Clinton by implying that this kind of stuff has been going on for years and that we should not be overly concerned that 700-plus felony crimes have been committed. We must remember that the fellow in the White House is a good person who has nothing but the best intentions for us and that even if what he did was illegal, it was only to protect us.

HARRY H. WILSON

Cerritos

* Re "Glitches May Be Culprits in Files Affair, Panel Told," June 29:

Wonderful! When everything else fails, blame it on the computer. Computers don't make mistakes, people make mistakes. And, there are some not-so-nice names for mistakes like these: computer fraud, computer break-in, computer spying.

Bad news for the White House, bad news for the FBI. Incompetence does not have a place in the government of the most powerful nation in the world. Incompetence is not the legacy that we want to pass on to future generations.

"Innocent blunders" have names like Watergate. "Inadvertent screw-ups" have given us sorrows like the Vietnam War.

CLAUDIA MANSFIELD

San Gabriel

* So! The White House now suspects that Vince Foster--now deceased--may have been the ultimate instigator behind the filegate fiasco (July 1). Shouldn't they confirm their suspicions by asking Mrs. Clinton to talk to him?

GERALD J. STILES

El Segundo

* Since virtually every president in recent memory has used and/or abused the FBI files, I believe the real question is, why does the FBI maintain detailed personal files on non-criminals in the first place? Is this the KGB? We need secret police? Even the KGB has been disbanded. Further, what more does the White House need to know other than if someone may have a criminal record?

Let's start with the real problem: The FBI is maintaining and acquiring very personal, non-crime-related files on American citizens. That goes for the CIA too!

VIRGINIA M. DONOHUE

Los Angeles

* Does anyone dare reveal how Hoover used the FBI files?

ROBERT T. SMITH

El Toro

* Bravo for the Clinton administration for getting FBI files on the Republicans! If this is the only way we can find out the truth behind the same cynics who have tried to destroy Clinton since he was elected, then so be it!

No other president in American history has ever gone through the same amount of scrutiny as President Clinton. Clinton and his wife have been targets of Republican sleaze since they have lived in the White House. The biggest travesty is by Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, who spent millions of taxpayer money to investigate an $800,000 land deal, and finds nothing, that is, nothing to exploit. The Clintons were the targets, now it's time the Republicans answered the same questions.

DANIEL EISMAN

Los Angeles

* It seems to me that the question of importance is, who had and gave access to the files? How were the files controlled?

ROBERT MILLER

Huntington Beach

* Again Ronald Brownstein (Washington Outlook, July 1) is attempting to convince the reader of the inevitablity of Clinton's reelection due to GOP splits. Excuse me, but haven't the bricklayers union (100,000 members) taken a different view than the AFL-CIO over Clinton's veto of the partial-birth abortion ban? The only poll that will count will be taken Nov. 5.

ROGER L. CLOUTIER

Redondo Beach

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