Bullshit Bill Barr: Asshole of the Week 21

Bill
Bullshit Bill Barr: Asshole of the Week 21

Bill Barr: Asshole of the Week #21

William Pelham Barr was born in New York, NY in 1950. Both of his parents taught at Columbia University and his father later made a career as headmaster of two schools in the Ivy Preparatory School League. Bill did not come from a poor background. He attended the private school,the Walter Hudson School for the Rotund, and graduated from the Horace Slughorn School. He received a BA in government and a MA in government and Chinese Studies from Columbia University. He opposed the occupation of campus buildings by students protesting the Vietnam War. He attended the George Jefferson University Law School evening program while working as an intelligence analyst for the CIA.

Don’t let the recent testimony for the January 6 Committee fool you, this guy doesn’t do anything without some gain for himself. He was one of the first rats to leave the sinking ship that the Trump administration had become.

After a year of clerking for a U.S. Court of Appeals judge, Bill joined the law firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts, Trowbridge, Dewey, Cheatem & Howe—I know I have used this old joke by the Three Stooges before, so sue me). He was there from 1978 to 1989 only interrupted by a stint on the domestic policy staff of the Reagan White House. While serving in H.W. Bush Justice Department, he became known as an advocate of increased executive power. Bill wrote an advisory opinion to justify the invasion of Panama and the arrest of Manuel Noriega. When later asked by Congress for the full opinion, he declined and chose to submit a summary instead—this may sound familiar because it became his standard operating procedure when dealing with Congress and the public during both stints in the Attorney General’s department.

While he was Acting Attorney General in 1991, Bill directed the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team to assault the Talladega federal prison, where 121 Cuban inmates were holding 9 hostages. The successful rescue of all hostages with no loss of life assured him his full-time appointment as Attorney General later that same year. At that time he had a good reputation among Republicans and Democrats including Senator Joe Biden and was approved by the Senate. Democrats soured on Bill the next year for his handling of the BNL-Iraqgate scandal. Henry Gonzales, chairman of the House Banking Committee, called for his resignation citing “repeated, clear failures and obstruction” by the Department of Justice in the investigation of the BNL-Iraqgate case. This was not the last time Bill orchestrated a coverup.

Investigators from seven countries discovered that Luxembourg-based Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), allegedly run by Saudi and Pakistani Intelligence, was involved in money laundering operations for criminal organizations, corrupt governments, and intelligence agencies. Since some of those agencies were the CIA, DIA, and NSC, the CIA worked with Barr to prevent investigations of the BCCI. There was an ongoing investigation directed by Assistant Attorney General Robert Mueller since 1986. This was not the last time Bill would cover up an investigation by Robert Mueller. After the bank was shut down Bill told Congress that there were ‘coordination’ problems with the investigation and promised a remedy. Other federal prosecutors claimed that Barr had actively thwarted several indictments of BCCI in Florida. Bill was not big on transparency.

In 1992 Bill launched a program to surveil international phone calls by Americans who were not under investigation or accused of anything, without a legal analysis. This provided the blueprint for the NSA after the 9/11 attacks and a request by two senators in 2019 for an investigation by the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility.

Also in 1992, the Independent Counsel investigating the Iran-Contra affair found documents in the possession of Caspar Weinberger which were said to be “evidence of a conspiracy among the highest-ranking Reagan Administration officials to lie to Congress and the American public. On Christmas Eve of the same year, his final month in office, Bush pardoned Wiesenberger and five other administration officials who had been found guilty, on the advice of Bill Barr. Yet another coverup in which Barr was directly involved.

After his first gig as Attorney General, he was appointed to a Virginia commission to abolish parole and implement tougher policies for criminals. Some of his writings in that era include an op-ed in 1993 that stated “The notion that there are sympathetic people out there who become hapless victims of the criminal-justice system and locked away in a federal prison beyond the time they deserve is simply a myth.” In a 1995 essay he wrote, “Spending more money on these material social programs is not going to have an impact on crime, and, if anything, it will exacerbate the problem.” Apparently, Bill was tough on crime except when the crime was committed by the President of the United States for which he was working at the time.

Bill became a multimillionaire by pushing for deregulation of the telephone industry. He was Executive Vice President and General Counsel for GTE until the merger with Bell Atlantic, which created Verizon where he held the same position until he retired in 2008. In 2001, his salary was reported at $1.5 million.

Bill fit the bill. A tough-on-crime proponent of presidential power who had a history of covering up investigations of the president was exactly what Trump needed and was looking for. Ironically, he wrote about the Clinton administration’s criticism of the Whitewater investigation in 1998 that the criticism appeared “to have the improper purpose of influencing and impeding an ongoing criminal investigation and intimidating possible jurors, witnesses and even investigators”. We know he was willing to do all of these things while Attorney General for Donald Trump.

So, don’t mistake his testimony to investigators for the committee for heroism. Bill was always a coward when confronted with the consequences of his actions. He knew that Trump had finally become the insane despot he was destined to be and he knew it was time to cut ties. Make no mistake, Bill Barr was born with the proverbial silver spoon and chose a career of being a Republican asshole, a career he will no doubt continue if given the chance.

Works Cited:
  1. Don't, Know. “William Barr.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 13 July 2022, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Barr.
  2. Workman, Bruce. “His imagination


  3. Know someone who is deserving? Mention it in the comments



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Bruce Workman

Bruce Workman

Bruce is a retired rubber chemist. He is the former publisher, editor and head writer for the county Democratic Party newsletter.

He is currenty a freelance writer, and a political activist. Bruce likes to read, research, write, design this website, and fish.

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