Today the subcommittee holds the third and final hearing in a series of oversight hearings concerning the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
One year ago, on July 27, 1996, a bomb exploded in Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia at approximately 1:20 a.m. One person was killed by the blast. Another person died as a result of the commotion following the explosion. And more than 100 people were injured.
Coming, as it did, in the middle of the summer Olympics, the explosion drew international attention. Despite the efforts of hundreds of Federal, State and local law enforcement officials, this crime remains unsolved.
On January 16 and February 21 this year, two other bombings occurred in Atlanta. Federal officials now believe that one or more persons may have been responsible for all the bombings. Yet these other crimes also remain unsolved.
One year ago today, the news media, first in Atlanta and then across the Nation, named Richard Jewell as a prime suspect in the bombing. Mr. Jewell had been employed as a private security guard during the Olympics and discovered the green knapsack which contained the bomb. Mr. Jewell reported the knapsack to authorities and helped to move spectators in the park away from the site where the bomb when it blasted occurred.
There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Jewell’s actions saved the lives and helped to significantly reduce the number of persons who were injured by the bomb blast. Despite his actions, information provided to the FBI by a number of sources caused agents to decide to investigate Mr. Jewell further and then to seek to interview him. That interview was held at the Atlanta office of the FBI.
During the course of the interview, it appears that the agents used what has now been referred to as a ruse or a ploy to induce Mr. Jewell to agree even to the interview itself or at least to agree to the taping of the interview. During the course of the interview, Director of the FBI, Louis Freeh, gave an order to supervisors in Atlanta that Miranda warnings were to be given to Mr. Jewell. The manner in which the agents gave those warnings to Mr. Jewell has been the subject of much discussion and speculation, and is a key aspect of our hearing today.
Specifically, the subcommittee has a number of questions which it will put to the witnesses before it.
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