Movie patrons recall Forrest Gump’s remarkable presence in an amazing succession of notable historical events. Gump’s innocence and simple wisdom amid those times made for a delightful two hours of cinematic escapism. But there is no escaping the damage that would result if President Obama appoints Jamie Gorelick to succeed Robert Mueller as FBI director. Like Gump, Gorelick was present at a remarkable series of recent historical events during the past two decades, but through them all she displayed nothing that could be called either innocent or wise. So let us count the ways in which Gorelick earned the sobriquet “Mistress of Disaster.”
First, there was her tenure as deputy attorney general under Janet Reno during President Clinton’s first term. Reno described Gorelick as Justice’s “chief operating officer” from 1993 to 1997. She was a key Reno adviser during the horrendous events in Waco, Texas, in which David Koresh, 76 of his Branch Davidian followers (including 20 women and children) and four federal agents died in an unbelievably bungled assault intended to end a 50-day siege. The Davidians were immolated in an inferno apparently ignited by pyrotechnic gas grenades used by the government in the assault.
Next came Gorelick’s move to Fannie Mae, where as vice chairwoman from 1997 to 2003 she was paid in excess of $26 million. During her time at Fannie Mae, Enron-style accounting techniques were used to make the government-chartered mortgage corporation appear to be in better financial shape than it was. As a result of the cooked books, Gorelick was paid more than $800,000 in bonuses in 1998