Louis Freeh appears to be off to a good start in what has been promised as a thorough and complete investigation into Penn States response to the accusations against Jerry Sandusky.
Unless the former FBI agent, U.S. attorney, federal judge and FBI director forgot about the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and along with current law enforcement officials committed an unreasonable search in seizing the emails at the university, he appears to be on the road to finally unraveling what happened.
For those who think he might not check out Penn States board of trustees in detail due to the fact they hired him, consider his track record with the person who gave him the best public service job he will have in his life.
In his autobiography, My FBI, Freeh thanks 315 people in the acknowledgement section, but not President Bill Clinton, who appointed him FBI director in 1993.
Freeh served almost eight years, leaving just a couple of months before the Sept. 11, 2001, national disaster. Freehs 2005 book actually appears to be a direct response to Clintons autobiography, My Life, which was written the previous year. These two guys do not like each other.
In his book, Freeh presents himself as a straight arrow, no-nonsense, apolitical, tough, top cop. Though he takes some responsibility for the failures at the FBI during his tenure, he is quick to point out the lack of political will on Clintons part to pursue Osama bin Laden; the failure of Congress to provide proper technology and a realistic budget for the bureau; and how his agency only had 3.5 percent of the nations counterterrorism budget.
While calling Clinton the best politician of his generation, he complains that he spent almost his entire eight years investigating the presidents women and his Arkansas dealings.
Indeed, the books subtitle is Bringing down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton, and Fighting the War on Terror. He puts Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky right between taking out the Bonanno crime family and cleaning up after Timothy McVeigh and Osama bin Laden an interesting take for a former federal judge.
Freeh is clearly very talented, and no one has ever seriously questioned his integrity.
For someone who claims politics has never really played a role in his life, his actions as director were interesting jogging with all the agents, photos with the families, attending almost all the graduations; essentially politically pressing the flesh whenever possible. The time might have been better spent in the office studying the 2001 summer FBI report out of Arizona that questioned the number of Arab men attending flight school in the United States.
Freeh has had his successes. Even Clinton referred to his stellar career as a federal prosecutor. At the FBI, his work and compassion after the bombing at the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia were commendable. He clearly did his best to expand the FBIs presence around the world while preventing other terrorist attacks on the homeland.
He dealt with an FBI forever focused on white-collar crime while trying to transition the bureau into an effective agency against international terrorism.
He recognized sooner than most that part of the job was not mere law enforcement, but dealing with potential acts of war.
Again, lots of experience and unquestioned integrity. But how will we know if the final Penn State report is as thorough as promised?
We will know it if the athletic department is examined with the same attention to detail as the Penn State administrative offices. Then and only then will we know he is giving us the best possible report. I wish him well.
Everybody who appreciates Penn State as a great institution wants real answers.
Keith Bierly is a community columnist. He has a master's degree in American politics from Penn State and is an executive management program graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He operates Twin Avenues LLC Consulting and can be reached at email@example.com.