Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Barrett Report: an Open Letter to Congress

In 2005, Robert Novak described the importance of the Barrett Report, an investigation into widespread corruption and coverups:

The Barrett report's shocking allegations of high-level corruption in the [Clinton era] Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department are likely to be concealed from the public and from Congress....

A recently passed appropriations bill, intended to permit release of this report, was altered behind closed doors to ensure that its politically combustible elements never saw the light of day... That investigation would be a long walk into the unknown, with possibly far-reaching consequences. Prominent Democrats in Congress have spent much of the last decade in a campaign, successful so far, to suppress Barrett's report. Its disclosures could dig deeply into concealed scandals of the Clinton administration... IRS whistle-blower told Barrett of an unprecedented cover-up. The informant said a regional IRS official had formulated a new rule enabling him to transfer an investigation of Cisneros to Washington to be buried by the Justice Department. Barrett's investigators found Lee Radek, head of Justice's public integrity office, determined to protect President Bill Clinton...

In January of 2006, Novak described the successful efforts of Democrats to censor key portions of the Barrett Report.

...the question remains what [was] blacked out in 120 pages worth of redactions. Even after the report is released, Barrett and his lawyers would face judicial sanctions if they disclosed anything that was redacted.

However, [there is] an exception, or rather 535 exceptions, to the rule that nobody can see what has been redacted. Any member of Congress can read it merely by asking. Any such lawmaker, who believes American taxpayers should see the product of $23 million in expenditures, presumably could then publish the material without fear of legal sanction.

It is likely, according to Novak, that the disclosures contained in the full Barrett Report could expose many "concealed scandals of the Clinton administration."

Put simply, the corruption and coverups hinted at in the current version of the Barrett Report may be just the tip of the iceberg. And with Hillary Clinton poised to take the Democratic nomination, isn't it of paramount importance that Congress fully disclose how the Clinton Administration operated?

Is there not a single member of Congress brave enough to read and disclose the full Barrett Report to the American taxpayers who paid for it? Is there not one?

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