As Clint Eastwood’s new movie about Jewell hits theatres, we’re reminded that corruption and bias can create a false narrative very quickly.
Most of us had forgotten the story of Richard Jewell until the release of this movie. Yet, it is one we should all remember.
The story is ultimately about how FBI overreach and Media(D) malfeasance in the wake of a horrific tragedy created a perfect storm that painted a law enforcement hero as guilty of a terrorist attack.
Richard Jewell was a security guard for the Summer Olympics in Atlanta in 1996. He was the one that spotted the pipe bomb which was hidden inside an abandoned backpack and helped to evacuate people from Centennial Olympic Park and get them to safety. Tragically, one person died, 111 were injured, and one more died of a heart attack because of the domestic terror attack on July 27, 1996.
Jewell went from hero to suspect very quickly and suffered for 88 days as journalists camped out in front of his apartment and the FBI abused his cooperative nature and respect for law enforcement to put him through a living hell.
He was portrayed as a “hero bomber” — a profile that seemed to have been created specifically to implicate Jewell as a socially-awkward loner who was obsessed with law enforcement and was determined to be a hero.
On July 30, 1997, Jewell testified before a Congressional inquiry into the FBI’s handling of the investigation.
Here is what he said:
JEWELL: I come before you today not as a Republican or a Democrat. I have no political agenda. I come before you simply as an American citizen with rights, just like everybody else.
One year ago today, the FBI and the media joined together to launch an attack on me of unparalleled proportion in the history of this nation. An attack calculated to portray me to the world as some type of abnormal person with a bizarre employment history who was guilty of the Centennial Olympic Park bombing. It was all a lie.
Two days ago, the Justice Department issued a written report about its investigation into a few of the unlawful acts committed by the FBI in its investigation of me. While I have not had an opportunity to study the OPR report in detail, I did read a redacted summary yesterday.
I submit to you that the Justice Department cannot be trusted to investigate itself because that report is also a lie. It is filled with false statements, half-truths, and gross distortions of the truth. Reading it reminded me of reading the FBI search warrant affidavits against me. Apparently, truth to the Justice Department is simply whatever the Justice Department wants the truth to be.
Within a few days, after my name was leaked to the media, the FBI knew that it had a public relations disaster on its hands. The organization that prided itself for being the best investigative agency in the world had quickly — and with the world watching — pointed the federal government’s finger of guilt at the wrong man, and they knew it within days. Not only did the FBI accuse the wrong man, its agency in Atlanta and officials in Washington actively participated in publicly humiliating me.
Wow. Seriously. Go watch this testimony of Richard Jewell from 1996. Staggering especially in context of today. 20 yrs ago FBI went after a nobody. Now they go after the duly elected President of the United States. pic.twitter.com/YIzDZexINp
— Ned Ryun (@nedryun) December 12, 2019
It seems just as relevant now since it appears that the FBI and the Media aren’t gunning for a “nobody” anymore — but the sitting President of the United States. It’s been much longer than 88 days, this has been happening since before he was elected in November 2016.
That’s what the Senate hearing with Inspector General Horowitz revealed.
No, there is nothing new under the sun, but this is part of why President Trump was elected — we knew about the swampiness of federal agencies and the leftwing bias of the media.
Look what happens when they get called out on it — they blame the victim and gaslight everyone to insist that their version of events are correct.
You can read all about Richard Jewell’s ordeal in this 1997 Vanity Fair article, American Nightmare: The Ballad of Richard Jewell.