Barr-ometer Falling

Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr on May 5 showed up in Cleveland, Ohio, where he told reporters, “It is a horror show, you know. If you believe in his policies, what he’s advertising is his policies, he’s the last person who could actually execute them and achieve them.” 

The “horror show” he’s talking about has nothing to do with current White House occupant Joe Biden. The horror show is what Barr believes will happen if Donald Trump is reelected president. 

“He does not have the discipline. He does not have the ability for strategic thinking and linear thinking or setting priorities or how to get things done in the system,” Barr told reporters. “And so, you may want his policies. But Trump will not deliver Trump policies. He will deliver chaos, and, if anything, lead to a backlash that will set his policies much further back than they otherwise would be” (emphasis added). 

That’s quite the performance from the former attorney general for President Donald Trump and George H. W. Bush. Barr seems to have missed a few horrors happening now. Despite his obvious mental and physical decline, Joe Biden seems fully capable of delivering Bidenesque policies. For example, Biden says the border situation will be “chaotic for a while,” but there’s more to it. 

Barr cannot be ignorant of the supply-chain problems, soaring crime and inflation, a weak economy, and fathomless incompetence from government officials such as Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. On the other hand, Barr knows that Trump slowed illegal border crossings, built a strong economy, boosted energy independence, promoted Middle East peace through the Abraham Accords, and reduced the tax and regulatory burden on the people. 

Whatever one thinks of these policies, there is no question Trump delivered them. Now the former attorney general prophecies that “Trump will not deliver Trump policies” and does not even have the discipline to do so. For Barr, this kind of partisan salvo is hardly out of character. 

Barr conducted no investigation or audit of the 2020 election, yet he claimed there was not enough fraud to affect the outcome. Barr backs the Democrats’ January 6 show trial and supported the FBI raid on Trump’s residence. As he told reporters, FBI Director Christopher Wray and the people around him are not the types to “throw the FBI’s weight around to interfere in the political process.” 

As Barr knows, they are the type to throw their weight around, and they do interfere. Recall that the FBI mounted covert operations “Mid-Year Exam” and “Crossfire Hurricane” against candidate and President Trump. 

In his recent book, One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General, Barr gives glowing reviews to friends Robert Mueller, another former director of the FBI, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller to investigate Trump. 

“Few can appreciate the complexities Rod faced during that tumultuous time,” writes Barr, “and even fewer will know the important contributions he made to the administration and the country.” Since Barr names not a single one, a ballpark figure for these important contributions might be zero. Current FBI boss  Wray, who denied any government spying on Trump, gets Barr’s full approval.

Back in law school, William Barr applied for an internship with the Central Intelligence Agency and was admitted to the program. As a lawyer, Barr continued to work in the CIA’s Office of Legislative Counsel. Aside from judging Jimmy Carter’s pick of Stansfield Turner as “a disaster,” CIA bosses come off pretty well in Barr’s memoir.

John Brennan shows up on page 190, claiming that the CIA knew what Russians were doing in the 2016 election. In the 1976 election, Brennan voted for the Stalinist Gus Hall, candidate of the Communist Party USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Soviet Union. 

Barr is not curious why the CIA would hire such a person, who never should have been allowed through the door. As the people might recall, Brennan was a signatory to the letter calling the Hunter Biden laptop story an example of “Russian disinformation.” 

Barr assigned U.S. Attorney John Durham to look into the Russia hoax, but as the memoir explains, “I made it clear that neither President Obama nor Vice President Biden were in Durham’s crosshairs.” 

For William Barr, some people are indeed above the law, including Joe Biden. If that seems strange for a former attorney general, check out an episode not charted in Barr’s book. 

Back in 1992, at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, the FBI deployed massive military force against the Weaver family. FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi shot Vicki Weaver through the head as she held her infant daughter. 

Snipers are trained carefully to “acquire” their targets, so there is little chance the killing was an accident, as the FBI claims. As husband Randy Weaver testified in the Senate, his wife Vicki “was not wanted for any crime. There were no warrants for her arrest. At the time she was gunned down, she was helpless.”

At the time of the siege, Attorney General William Barr spent two weeks organizing former attornies general to defend Horiuchi. The Weaver family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, and the Justice Department paid out $3 million. When an Idaho county filed criminal charges against Horiuchi, Barr sought immunity for the FBI sniper. 

Abuse of power by a militarized federal agency is not a problem for William Barr. Given his record, it’s no surprise that the former attorney general can’t sort out the chaos and horror now going on. The struggle against ruling-class rot is the struggle of memory against forgetting. 

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About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images