masthead-highres

Friday, May 13, 2005

FBI Files: Confidential

Allow me to add my voice to those condemning the action of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid when he made allegations that the FBI file on Judge Harry Saad contains damaging information about the judge.

Senator Reid must be aware that FBI files contain raw material (unconfirmed allegations) and that Judge Saad himself is not in a position to defend himself, as he would not know what is in the file nor who made the allegations. In short, Reid has made an unanswerable smear.

I have no idea what is in Judge Saad's FBI file, but it would take a lot more than knowing there is uncomplimentary information in it for me to draw a negative conclusion about the judge's character.

Like many people who live and work in the D.C. area, I have been interviewed by the FBI when people I know, or neighbors, have been appointed to governmental positions or sought to acquire security clearances. On at least two occasions within the last few years I have been interviewed about people I have never met and who I would not recognize on the street because they live in our neighborhood. On both occasions, as part of the interview process, the individual was described to me so that I might have some idea if I had ever seen or talked with them. I had nothing negative to say about these people, but what if I had, based on a physical description, misidentified someone and honestly confused them with a person I know something negative about? In an honest attempt to be helpful, I would have shared that information with the FBI. And, presumably, that information would be in their file forever afterward. They would not even know it, and they could never defend themselves against it. Yet the allegation would not be fair, even though I would have meant no harm in sharing it.

Senator Reid owes Judge Saad an apology.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:03 PM

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