Richard Jewell is a true American hero and deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom. More about that later. If you are not familiar with Mr. Jewell, he was a security guard at Centennial Park in Atlanta during the 1996 Summer Olympics and discovered what turned out to be a terrorist bomb. His action in warning authorities and helping push people away from the backpack containing the bomb, which was placed under a park bench, saved lives. He was hailed briefly as a hero until a Georgia police officer told an Atlanta Journal Constitution reporter, Kathy Scruggs, that the FBI suspected Jewell of being the bomber.
Richard Jewell experienced what Donald Trump, Michael Flynn, George Papdopolous and numerous others in the Trump galaxy have endured during the Russia Gate Hoax. Jewell's entire life was mined for every unflattering detail and news reports often got the information wrong. He was electronically lynched by a stupid, lazy media. But the lynching was made possible by equally corrupt, lazy FBI.
I strongly encourage you to get and watch Clint Eastwood's movie on the case, Richard Jewell. It shows how the FBI tried to railroad and frame Jewell as the culprit. FBI agents on the case, for example, tried to manipulate Jewell into waiving his constitutional rights by telling him he was taking part in a training film about bomb detection. All the FBI had to do was look at three critical pieces of evidence from the phone call from a phone booth near Centennial Park warning that a bomb would go off. First, it was impossible for Jewell to have made the call because the phone was located more than a six minute walk from where Jewell was stationed. Second, the voice in the recording did not match Jewell's. Third, there were numerous eyewitnesses who could testify to Jewell's presence before and during the bombing.
The FBI also failed to find any corroborating forensic evidence to support their theory that Jewell had built and placed the bomb in hopes of becoming a hero. All they had was their own ignorance and prejudice. They viewed Jewell as a fat, stupid red-neck who wanted to be a cop and then assumed that he would do anything, including killing innocent people, to get ahead.
Sound familiar Mr. Trump? The malevolent partnership between the FBI and the media was weaponized to attack and destroy the reputation of Mr. Jewell. When you watch Clint Eastwood's telling of this story you immediately recognize that this was not aberrant behavior by a few bad apples at the FBI. This is standard operating procedure and has continued to today. The FBI, in my view, is a corrupted, crooked outfit and must be reined in.
I have several dear friends who are retired FBI agents. I know that none of them would have engaged in this dishonorable conduct. But the bureaucracy of the FBI is replete with a culture that punishes anyone who dare speak out to challenge conventional wisdom or the decisions of senior leaders. It you try to take a stand on principle you find yourself assigned to Bismark, North Dakota or Helena, Montana. Backwaters that are career killers.
Those who get ahead are the Peter Strzok and Andrew McCabe types. They will violate procedures and laws in pursuit of an objective that higher ups want. They will lie and deceive and excuse their conduct as justified because they are pursuing a greater good. The heart of the FBI misconduct can be explained in part by a willingness to believe the most heinous allegation without using reason or facts to verify its truth.
Their perception that Richard Jewell was a fat redneck who was not too smart made it easy for them to concluded that he was so desperate for recognition that he would kill innocents.
Jump ahead twenty years–because Donald Trump had a business interest in Russia it was just assumed, by both the media and the FBI, that he was tied to organized crime and under the thumb of the Russians. But there was no evidence for that either. Just the FBI's own perverted fantasies.
Richard Jewell died 13 years ago from complications caused by severe diabetes. He did received financial settlements for media smears. But he has not yet received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He should. If Donald Trump decides to do a posthumous award for Richard Jewell, it will a just end to an unjust, crooked attempt to indict an innocent man. I think that is something the President and others, such as Michael Flynn, George Papdopolous and Roger Stone, keenly understand.