Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Richard Jewell’

Clint Eastwood’s ‘Richard Jewell’ Movie Is Remarkably Libertarian

Posted by M. C. on December 21, 2019


I generally resent recommending art for political reasons. I believe art and beauty transcend ideology and should be judged on aesthetic merit first and foremost. In the case of “Richard Jewell,” however, the unusual point of view moves the film in a novel direction and makes it a compelling standout feature.

Director Clint Eastwood is an avowed libertarian, and “Richard Jewell” is probably the single most self-consciously libertarian film he’s ever made.

Of course, I don’t understand everything about Eastwood’s brand of libertarianism. His support of gun control, for instance, is a major departure from libertarianism. It’s also hard to take his 2012 Chrysler Super Bowl commercial as anything other than support for the Obama auto bailout, even if Eastwood claimed that’s not what he intended. Moreover, the actor/director has endorsed an array of big-government politicians in California.

Still, ‘Richard Jewell’ Is a Libertarian Film

I am going to give Eastwood a pass on all of that, however, because his job isn’t to be consistent. His job is to create compelling cinema, and he delivers that, film after film.

“Richard Jewell” is probably not his strongest work. It leaves little room for suspense and is a bit predictable, in part because we all know the story: Security guard Richard Jewell find a suspicious backpack at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, which turns out to be a bomb that kills two people and injures more than 100. At first heralded as a hero, Jewell soon becomes the FBI’s primary suspect and the target of a media rampage.

It is exquisitely acted, however, with Eastwood’s minimalist directing style shining through. The characters Eastwood introduces are as familiar to the American psyche as they are unusual to meet onscreen: a hard-working and loving, if TV-addicted, single mom; a geeky, libertarian lawyer; an overweight, overzealous copper.

The cop is an interesting stage in the artistic trajectory of the director, whose iconic ’70s role was “Dirty Harry,” the out-of-bounds police officer pursuing rough justice in San Francisco, a city gone awry. My guess is that Eastwood feels more like the libertarian lawyer these days. Nonetheless, the cop he’s created with actor Paul Walter Hauser is highly sympathetic, if flawed.

Clint Eastwood’s Characters Are Recognizable

I can think of two reasons Eastwood continues to create novel but easily recognizable characters. First, he makes films from the point of view of ordinary Americans. Second, he makes libertarian films. Since libertarianism is a very American worldview, one reason blends into the other.

For a film to make a libertarian point, the director must introduce characters that would not figure into your standard “critique of American capitalism” Hollywood drama. Most of the films produced in this country today are ideological and amount to some sort of soft Marxism. It’s hard to imagine that in different hands, Jewell’s persona would morph into anything other than a villain or an unfortunate victim of circumstances, but in Eastwood’s reading, he is an individual in his own right.

The American film industry can make an anarchist — or wannabe anarchist — film such as “Bonnie and Clyde” or “V for Vendetta.” That’s admirable, because anarchist cinema is too important to be left to the Spaniards and Ukrainians. Or the Russians, for that matter.

Libertarianism is right next door to anarchy, but somehow not many artists are interested in making films representing that outlook. The pent-up demand for this type of entertainment has surfaced since the emergence of the Tea Party in the beginning of President Barack Obama’s first term. Ten years later, there’s finally a movie about healthy, vocal mistrust of the state and the media, and the tension between respect for authority and individual autonomy.

Filmmakers Should Explore More Libertarian Themes

Nobody in the world can possibly make a film like that except for American artists, and out of all big-name directors in America, Eastwood is the only one who picks up this opportunity.

I am not arguing that American filmmakers should be producing libertarian-themed work because it’s a potential money-maker. I am not arguing they should fill this niche because it suits my political agenda — which, to be sure, it does, even if I’m not strictly speaking a libertarian.

In any event, I can point to movies made by true-blue lefties that inadvertently make conservative points. HBO’s “Chernobyl” is one obvious example, albeit that mini-series went awry because of the creators’ insistence on authenticity, which led them to rely on sources hostile to socialism. More generally, however, good art transcends artist intentions, and a good artist allows his art to lead him into places he wouldn’t dare visit alone.

American filmmakers should try to work with libertarian themes because these creators are in an ideal position to explore them, and taking that kind of risk would lead their craft in a new, interesting direction. We’ve all seen filmmakers’ cookie-cutter wokeness. Show us something new. Ars gratia artis.

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9 Books Rory Gilmore And Jess Mariano Read Together On ...



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Richard Jewell, Carter Page And The Illusion Of The FBI’s Power And Competence | The Daily Caller

Posted by M. C. on December 20, 2019

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is outraged that Clint Eastwood’s new movie portrays its star reporter Kathy Scruggs as sleeping with her FBI source, but there is no question that Scruggs screwed the hell out of Jewell.

James Bovard

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s reputation has been ravaged this month by the inspector general report that proved that the FBI deceived the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to secretly spy on a Trump campaign official.

Even fired FBI chief James Comey was forced to admit that “I was wrong” in a Fox News interview Sunday regarding the FBI’s abuse of Carter Page. The Russiagate controversy could not have occurred unless much of the American media docilely recited the false charges that FBI officials fed them. A stunning new movie on Richard Jewell is a reminder that this is not the first time that collusion between the feds and the media destroyed the reputation of innocent Americans.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is outraged that Clint Eastwood’s new movie portrays its star reporter Kathy Scruggs as sleeping with her FBI source, but there is no question that Scruggs screwed the hell out of Jewell. The movie vividly portrays how the FBI shoveled false information to journalists who rushed to condemn the 33-year-old security guard who saved many lives by discovering a pipe bomb that had been placed in a crowded venue during the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta. When he died in 2007 at age 44, his New York Times obituary was headlined: “Richard Jewell, Hero of Atlanta Attack, Dies.” But his heroism revived only after the FBI and the media sought to destroy him. (RELATED: REVIEW: ‘Richard Jewell’ Is The Best Movie Of 2019)

After suspecting that Jewell had planted the bomb he discovered, FBI agents lured him to their Atlanta office and asked him to help them make a training film about detecting bombs. The ruse allowed the agents to question Jewell extensively without reading him a Miranda warning notifying him that anything he said could be used against him. FBI leaks tagging Jewell led to 88 days of Jewell’s life and reputation dragged in the gutter day after day. The FBI did nothing to curb the media harassment of Jewell long after it had recognized that he was innocent, as I wrote in “Feeling Your Pain: The Explosion and Abuse of Government Power in the Clinton-Gore Years.”

A Justice Department investigation concluded that the FBI’s training film charade violated Jewell’s constitutional rights. But in 1997 Senate testimony, FBI chief Louis Freeh denied that Jewell’s rights were violated because he did not incriminate himself. Who knew that only guilty citizens have constitutional rights? Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Richard Jewell’: The Problem With Profiling – Taki’s Magazine – Taki’s Magazine

Posted by M. C. on December 19, 2019

Richard Jewell is director Clint Eastwood’s well-acted, solidly scripted biopic about the racial-profiling fiasco that undermined the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing investigation. The FBI monomaniacally targeted an innocent rent-a-cop for being a Frustrated White Man, and then leaked his name to the press despite never having any actual evidence against him.

Much of the media has denounced Clint’s movie for casting aspersions upon America’s noble Deep State. Just because our beloved Intelligence Community has a lamentable track record of going off on wild-goose chases against innocent citizens and then inviting the press to pile on to turn their daily existences into living hells is no reason to, you know, make a movie about it. Some bits of history are best swept under the rug.

The New Yorker, for example, is hallucinatory with rage about the film:

Yet, paradoxically, there is another woman—an ultra-competent and accomplished woman—who’s never mentioned and never seen and yet is obliquely, perhaps unintentionally, implied throughout the movie: Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Uh…no, actually the movie is not at all about Hillary.


Jewell was working security during a concert at Atlanta’s downtown Centennial Park when he noticed a suspicious backpack under a bench. He began to clear the crowd, so when the three pipe bombs inside exploded thirteen minutes later, only one person was killed.

Jewell was initially acclaimed a hero. But when the FBI couldn’t come up with a clue who the terrorist was, they began to obsess over the notion that Jewell fit the profile of the lone white male who wants so much to be the good guy that he becomes the bad guy.

The FBI leaked this wild surmise to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which explained to its readers:

This profile generally includes a frustrated white man who is a former police officer, member of the military or police “wanna-be” who seeks to become a hero.

This was not a wholly ridiculous conjecture. For example, firemen who love fighting fires so much that they turn arsonist are hardly unknown. Joseph Wambaugh’s true-crime book Fire Lover tells of an arson investigator in my neighborhood who used to set stores where my mother shopped on fire so he could call in the first report.

But this is a memorable phenomenon, precisely because it’s also a fairly rare one.

“I particularly liked the climactic moment when Jewell asks the FBI if they have a single clue tying him to the bomb.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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American Police State | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on December 17, 2019

Remember Ruby Ridge, Waco, OKC, Richard Jewell, Khobar Towers, 300 fake terrorist entrapment cases, illegal spying, the false prosecution of the Bundy family. These are the same people who falsely accused the president of the United States of high treason with the Kremlin for three years — of all things. The FBI and DoJ lie about everything. They bear false witness against innocent people as a matter of course. It’s because they are dishonest, dishonorable people. They are not to be believed.

Laurie Laughlin, the lady from Full House, and her husband, clothing designer Something Mossimo, are being prosecuted by the feds for bribing their kid’s way into USC.

She now says the feds are hiding exculpatory evidence showing she thought the half-million was the same kind of “donation” to colleges that rich people give to get their kids in all the time.

We should believe her and presume that the FBI and DoJ are guilty premeditated criminals unfairly persecuting her and her husband.

Just a few weeks ago the feds announced that they were adding decades worth of charges to this couple for having the temerity to plead not guilty. They are now facing 45 years in prison.

Remember Ruby Ridge, Waco, OKC, Richard Jewell, Khobar Towers, 300 fake terrorist entrapment cases, illegal spying, the false prosecution of the Bundy family. These are the same people who falsely accused the president of the United States of high treason with the Kremlin for three years — of all things. The FBI and DoJ lie about everything. They bear false witness against innocent people as a matter of course. It’s because they are dishonest, dishonorable people. They are not to be believed.

Somehow regular schmucks like us are supposed to be happy to see the government take down someone rich and famous. Yeah right. Some mid-level TV star sure makes for a great Judas goat to take the place of the think tank liars, generals, bailed-out bankers, their Fed, the spies, arms dealers, New York Times propagandists and the rest of the insider political class that has driven this country into the ground.

The lesson is that even millions of dollars are no protection from the lawless American totalitarian police state. None of us are safe.

(Mr. Mossimo, if you’re reading this, please bring back the Target black “Saul” skate shoes. Believe it or not, they were my favorite skate shoes ever.)

Update: You see? The Department of Justice does perjury all day. They are liars. They are criminals:

“The government originally alleged Mr. McGlashan [another one of the defendants] dropped the plan to falsely pitch his son to USC as a football kicker only after Mr. Singer tipped him off to the investigation. But prosecutors confirmed to his attorney, John Hueston, in a recent letter that Mr. Singer told investigators that Mr. McGlashan decided earlier that he would be ‘going through his own connections.’”

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The Woke Media: Apologists for the State

Posted by M. C. on December 10, 2019

…It is one thing for Nike to discontinue a line of sneakers because the Betsy Ross flag offended someone or for PayPal to refuse to serve as a pay conduit for a conservative organization. One may decry the narrow-minded thinking from company executives, but they are private outfits that have — and should have — the privilege of refusing to do business with certain people — and if they make a bad economic choice, the company will pay financially. And, as I pointed out in the article, corporations are not governments, which really can kill and cage people who are helpless against state-sponsored predations.

Private sector Wokeness is not limited to profit-making businesses, however, as the giants of American media now are subscribing to the same hard-left political and social theories, and this development has become a much greater problem to American society and American liberty because of the symbiotic relationship between media and government. While Google’s squelching of libertarian speech within its ranks might make it unpopular with libertarians, nonetheless, the company has taken no one’s freedom away.

However, a media campaign against someone, even someone who is innocent of a crime, can result in imprisonment or worse…

With the upcoming movie “Richard Jewell” to be released soon, we see the spotlight on misconduct by American media outlets that helped to falsely accuse an innocent person of the infamous Olympic bombing in Atlanta in 1996. But media problems hardly begin and end with the saga of Richard Jewell.

When the New York Times calls for curtailing free speech or when its reporters actively work to promote a corrupt prosecutor in order to frame innocent people for rape, as the NYT did in the infamous Duke Lacrosse Case, when the press wrongly accused the high school boys from Covington Catholic School of harassing a Native American, which led to active death threats against the students, or when media outlets recklessly repeat false statements by government officials, as was done in the Jewell case, such transgressions are open attacks on a free society. When these things happen, a media outlet then becomes an advocate for oppressive government, which seems to openly conflict with the media’s self-declared label of “government watchdog.”…

What makes things even worse is that the NYT’s editorial page now is being used as a conduit to promote questionable historical narratives, promote huge confiscatory taxation schemes, and a very dark history of American capitalism that claims that capitalism here entirely owes its existence to the worst aspects of black chattel slavery. Yes, these are opinion pieces that ostensibly represent independent thought from intellectuals, political figures, and academic leaders, but when these writers are dishonest or terribly misleading, a newspaper as influential as the NYT should not be promoting them.

Because so many American journalists today are squarely joined to the radical left, one wonders what is going to happen to journalism here in the next decade. The so-called watchdogs of state power today are advocating for government to grab authority that would end many aspects of historical American liberty. The next step seems to be the media becoming the TASS of a future Democratic Party administration, and if we reach that stage, it is doubtful we ever can roll back those levels of state power, and we will see Woke journalism not being a barrier to state-sponsored oppression, but rather its enabler.

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Richard Jewell Quotes. QuotesGram




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FBI Diagnosed With CIA Disease – American Greatness

Posted by M. C. on December 2, 2019

The Justice Department’s inspector general this month reprimanded the FBI for the manner in which it recruits and supervises its “confidential human sources.” To the layman, this seems about technicalities. In fact, it shows that one of the CIA’s deadliest dysfunctions now infects the FBI as well.

This disease consists of choosing and rejecting sources for the purpose of indulging the agencies’ and their leaders’ private agendas rather than to further intelligence work on the public’s behalf.

Necessarily, the language of the inspector general’s November 19 report is vague: “Ineffective management and oversight of confidential sources.” This means the FBI has failed to use “adequate controls” in its validation of human sources, which has resulted in “jeopardizing FBI operations, and placing FBI agents, sources, subjects of investigation, and the public in harm’s way.”

The inspector general’s concern with the FBI’s source management stems from the investigation into the FBI’s involvement in the 2016 presidential campaign, including by taking seriously the infamous Steele dossier that it knew was a fabrication as well as, likely, some Russian communication intercepts that also should have been rejected on strictly professional grounds. In short, the FBI departed from its tradition of professionalism and honesty in pursuit of domestic political influence.

Choosing and recruiting sources, validating and managing them, is the very heart of intelligence. Doing it badly, taking sources that come easy—especially dispensing with due skepticism about the ones that contribute to one’s own agendas—is professional corruption. But doing it right is hard. To the extent that intelligence agencies find it difficult to fulfill expectations, they are tempted to substitute such corruption for the competence they lack. The pursuit of agency interests or even personal agendas takes over.

CIA Disease

Soon after the Central Intelligence Agency’s founding in 1947, Hanson Baldwin, the New York Times’ legendary military correspondent, had already noticed that the agency was using perfunctorily vetted-sources, or the officers’ own opinions, to fill the gap between the few modest secrets of which it could be sure, and the many big questions on which it was pronouncing itself.

CIA case officers, ivy leaguers whose “cover” was a thin pretense, were never able to recruit Soviet officials and tore at each other over whether those who offered themselves were for real. They solved the problem by subordinating counterintelligence (i.e., quality control) to what they felt was the need to tell the stories they wanted to tell.

During my years on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s staff, CIA officials’ preference for their personal and corporate interests over professional standards continued to get worse. It turned out that every last one of the Cubans they thought were our agents were actually working for Cuban intelligence. In East Germany, the United States had not a single “good” agent. Not only had CIA never recruited even one high-level Soviet agent, but for a decade, Aldrich Ames, CIA’s own chief of counterintelligence for the Soviet Union/Russia, the man who validated the Russians who offered their services and oversaw our operations in that country, worked for the KGB.

So congenial did the agency find the disinformation coming its way that it was reluctant to investigate. Finally, when it did suspect that the dispatches coming from our agents had been crafted by the KGB, it sent them on to the president anyway because, according to the inspector general, “they contained thoughts they believed the President should consider.”

In short, CIA officials—and not just a few people at the top—have so valued their own opinions, have so wanted to influence U.S. policy, that they have mistaken their own opinions and desires for the truth.

The FBI Catches the Disease

The FBI used to be different. Unlike the CIA’s faux aristos, the first generations of FBI agents were cops first. They had graduated from places like Fordham, a blue-collar Catholic university in the Bronx. Like all good cops, they knew the difference between the people on whose behalf they worked, and those who threatened them. Like TV’s Sergeant Joe Friday, they wore white shirts and said, “Yes, sir,” and “Yes, ma’am.” Unlike CIA case officers, FBI officers mixed with the kinds of people they investigated, and often went undercover themselves.

Robert Mueller’s directorship, followed by his friend James Comey’s, made the FBI into the domestic danger it is today.

The FBI used to take counterintelligence seriously. That made it possible for them to neutralize threats to America—the old joke was that, in any meeting of the U.S, Communist Party or of its front groups, a majority of attendees were FBI agents. The only U.S. intelligence penetration of the Kremlin was the FBI’s recruitment of a U.S. labor activist whom high-level Soviets trusted.

In the late 1970s, that began to change. Director William Webster (1978-1987) failed to back up the officers who had infiltrated and surveilled the New Left’s collaboration with the Soviets against America in the Vietnam War…

The directorships of William Sessions and Louis Freeh, ending in 2001, did nothing to slow the FBI’s devolution. Two additional tendencies developed, which further contributed to the devaluation of what had been scrupulous recruitment and evaluation of sources. First, reliance on pseudoscientific “profiling” vastly reduced the felt need for scruples. But the FBI’s experience with profiles is as powerful an argument as can be made of how debilitating, noxious, and corrupting reliance on them can be. Thus did the bureau practically convict an innocent man, Richard Jewell, of having bombed Centennial Park during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Second, the bureau’s increasing adoption of military weapons and tactics further tempted its officials to shortcut intelligence for the sake of, well, war against disfavored persons and movements…

The investigation into the letters containing weapons-grade Anthrax, which killed five and injured 17 Americans, defined Mueller’s directorship and today’s FBI. No one was ever charged with the crime. From the beginning, the FBI’s “profiling” process concluded that no foreign government or entity had been responsible, but rather that the attacks had been the work of a lone, white, conservative scientist. Thus the bureau pursued and nearly broke Steven Hatfill, whose lawsuit the government settled for $ 5.8 million.

The FBI then turned its attention to someone else who fit its profile, Bruce Edward Ivins. He was never charged. The bureau ruined his reputation and hounded Ivans into suicide. After which the bureau declared him guilty, but refused to make public the evidence on which it had reached its conclusion. Reassuring, isn’t it?…

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Clint Eastwood Takes Aim at the FBI and the Media in ‘Richard Jewell’ Trailer (Video)

Posted by M. C. on October 3, 2019

I quit getting Leonard Maltin’s movie review book in 1992. I didn’t see the point anymore. That pretty much tells you what I think of today’s filmdom.

This film may be worth watching.

The comments are interesting for a change- The FIB director in 1996 was Louis Freeh. Same old stuff, different name.

I would like to see a film about Kenneth Trentdue. He was mis-arrested by the FIB as an OK City bombing conspirator. Trentadue hanged himself in jail…just like Jeffery Epstein.

Fact-based drama explores the case of the security guard who found a bomb at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics — and then was falsely accused of planting it

Clint Eastwood points a stern finger at FBI investigators and the media in the first trailer for his new fact-based drama “Richard Jewell,” which explores the security guard who reported finding an explosive device at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics — and then was falsely accused of planting it himself.

Paul Walter Hauser (“I, Tonya”) stars as Jewell, joined by Kathy Bates as his mother, Sam Rockwell as his attorney, Jon Hamm as the lead FBI investigator and Olivia Wilde as Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Kathy Scruggs.

“They want to fry you,” Rockwell’s attorney tells Jewell as the trailer suggests that FBI agents and the media pushed a false narrative of his culpability.

“Jewell fits the profile of the lone bomber, a frustrated white man who is a police wannabe who seeks to become a hero,” Wilde’s reporter says at one point, while Hamm and another investigator press Jewell to make incriminating statements on tape “to clear your name.”

The film follows the true story of Jewell, whose fame as the hero who reported an explosive device at Atlanta’s Centennial Park was followed just days later by headlines identifying him as the FBI’s No. 1 suspect…

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Richard Jewell, 44, Hero of Atlanta Attack, Dies ...

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