Discussion


Dear FRONTLINE,

It is almost hard to select the right thought at this point after seeing your program. I was mesmerized by the show. Yes, it did change my views. It completely cemented my opinion that there was so much corruption in this and other Independent Prosecutor cases that it borders on a threat to our form of government and way of life. We are not immune to corruption at the highest seeds of government so as to threaten everything we treasure. Dan Smaltz should be given a medal for his efforts to confront this threat. He gave his all up to the point of jeopardizing his very life. He perceived a highly corrupt and powerful machine setup by the Clinton administration. Perceptions are real. Each time the Justice Department spoke on your program it very much appeared to me that they were perpetuating and encouraging this corruption. As honest as Janet Reno wants to appear, she is culpable to a system "out of control," that needs more and more powerful Independent Prosecutors, not less. Kenneth Starr has been dealt the same treatment by the Justice Department and Clinton machine that Kenneth Smaltz experienced. Why not? It worked to limit damage and reduce involvment of more Clinton politicos. In my heart as an American citizen, I felt in your program a real powerful threat to our life and freedom. I could feel the threat to Dan Smaltz as if it were me. Please present more such thought provoking commentary.

san antonio, tx


Dear FRONTLINE,

If any one is out of control it is the President and his justice department. The fact that the justice department stopped an investigation of a direct allegation of payoffs to the president by Tyson Foods is chilling and scary. The fact that Clinton's justice department continues to impede its own independent counsels is outrageous and chilling. The attorney general has obviously been compromised and numerous additional independent cousels should be demanded by all citizens, democrats and republicans.

atlanta, ga


Dear FRONTLINE,

If any one is out of control it is the president and his justice department. The fact that the justice department stopped an investigation of a direct allegation of payoffs to the president by Tyson Foods is chilling and scary. The fact that Clinton's justice department continues to impede its own independent counsels is outrageous and chilling. The attorney general has obviously been compromised and numerous additional independent cousels should be demanded by all citizens, democrats and republicans.

atlanta, georgia


Dear FRONTLINE,

Again and again Frontline demonstrates what television can and should be. Clearly the independent counsel statute provides the oversight that protects the citizenery from imperial government. It must be preserved. This Frontline program, like so many others, demonstrates what Public Television was meant to be--truly investigative journalism.

james knox
houston, texas


Dear FRONTLINE,

No , my mind was made up! This program absolutely deserves a Pulitzer ( or whatever you people get in the way of high honors).I firmly believe that Judge Starr is one of the heroes of all times in the American system of jurisprudence. I pray for him on many occasions that he can withstand the tidal wave of press innuendo and insinuation that has been coming his way. He is THE PEOPLE'S LAWYER and few of us even know that!

Wanda Forbes
columbia, sc


Dear FRONTLINE,

I was very impressed with this program. It very fairly presented the efforts which the independant prosecutor must do to carry out his job. Seeing the way that the Justice Department has openly fought Donald Smaltz's efforts to get at the truth shows the importantance of the Independant Council. This may be the only way for the public to have any confidence in the upper levels of government.

I do not believe that Janet Reno operates in the best interest interest of the public by not appointing an Independent Council to investigate Campaign Contributions to the DNC.

Tim Harris
edwards, il


Dear FRONTLINE,

I never ceases to amaze me at the total conflict of interest that goes on at the Justice Department. The Justice Department is supposed to safe guard the laws of our great country, instead they follow the wishes of the party in the power. Mr. Smaltz had to fight the government to find out the truth. Janet Reno should resign over her continuing lack of caring out proper legal responsiblities.

Miles Curtin
fort wayne, indiana


Dear FRONTLINE,

Frontline's report on Mr. Smaltz's investigation only gave me new respect for the office of independent counsel. Here is an actual case history of an individual who held no political bias, who sought the truth, who fought against an administration not interested in the facts, and who brought indictments against several citizens and several politicians who betrayed the public trust and defrauded the American people. Why do away with the office of independent counsel--because a presidential administration we cannot trust says the office is politically biased? I don't think so!

Richard Karel
knoxville, tn


Dear FRONTLINE,

Last time I did this I got a very nasty response from somebody, so please do not use my name. This program convinved me further that the statute and/or its implementation is badly flawed. There are hundreds of people using influence with government officials. I'm not saying that's right, but why should some be singled out for being somehow related, even twice or thrice removed, from a government official qualifying for the IC designation? I do believe that the IC's power goes far too far. I hope they don't renew the statute or change it dramatically.

bethesda, maryland


Dear FRONTLINE,

I was stunned to read a New Republic article on Smalz (linked here by PBS) only to discover all sorts of damaging charges against Mr. Smaltz and his four year investigation into football tickets. I find it hard to believe Frontline was not aware of Smaltz's prosecutorial missteps.

If the point of the show was to illuminate, why not include all important information. If the point of the show was to shade the truth, why?

eric boehlert
ny, ny


Dear FRONTLINE,

Enjoyed your story. I've felt sorry for Mr. Kenneth Star. It seems that the crime rate is down in the US because the rats have moved up the food chain. If PBS doesn't do it, who will?

Lance Heitz
alpena, mi


Dear FRONTLINE,

First again!!!!, Frontline, which has been first in so many stories, is now the first News organization in America to prove they are not part of the vast crimial network, that history will know as the "Clinton Administration"

bryan, tx


Dear FRONTLINE,

I welcome your look into the "independent" prosecutors. However, in order to do your job thoroughly, you need to talk to the people in Arkansas that Starr's outfit has been pressing to say what he wants--rather than the truth. Talk to the same folks that 60 Minutes talked to for that show's early May expose. Then try to get others to talk. Investigate the investigator. At the same time, feel free to investigate the President. Our freedoms are being abridged. We are creating a new category for our country: political prisoners (and people whose lives and family fortunes have been ruined just because a prosecutor thinks they may, possibly, maybe, know something that might help make a case against a political figure). The justice system is no longer interested in justice. It will not limit its invasive powers.

lynchburg, va


Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank god for honest Americans like Mr. Smaltz. The spineless non-response from the justice department reflects this entire administration's full time efforts to cover up corruption for their personal political and financial gains.

When officials of the government delegate their responses to semi-literate lawyers it is hard to understand how they live with themselves. Can they actually go home and sleep at nights?

I have a great faith in the American system and people like these special prosecutors will prevail. The truth always wins and this adminstration's only hope is that when it does they will be so long gone that no one will care. This administration will not be remembered for anything, except perhaps starting a nuclear arms race, so a few months out of office and they will be home free. I believe that history will be kind to them and completely ignore them.

The American people are much smarter than this administration thinks. One can only feel pity for people like Ms. Reno and Mr. Carville. It must be tough being them.

Lee Hevner
washington, dc


Dear FRONTLINE,

If Frontline's Mr. Boyer wants to blow Mr. Smaltz, that's his choice. But does the unpleasant act have to be televised?

I've heard of giving interview subjects the last word. But the first word, the middle word AND the last word? Pathetic

Ralph Thompson
ft. wayne, in



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