Barbara Kay Olson (née Bracher; December 27, 1955 – September 11, 2001) was an American lawyer and conservative television commentator who worked for CNN, Fox News Channel, and several other outlets. She was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77 en route to a taping of Bill Maher's television show Politically Incorrect when it was flown into the Pentagon in the September 11 attacks. Her original plan had been to fly to California on September 10 but delayed until the next morning so that she could wake up with her husband on his birthday, September 11.
As a newcomer, she achieved a surprising measure of success, working for HBO and Stacy Keach Productions in the early 1990s, she worked as an associate at the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Wilmer Cutler & Pickering where she did civil litigation for several years before becoming an Assistant U.S. Attorney.
Olson's support in 1991 of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas led to the formation of the Independent Women's Forum. At that time, Olson and friend Rosalie (Ricky) Gaull Silberman started an informal network of women who supported the Thomas nomination to the Supreme Court despite allegations of sexual harassment by Anita Hill, a former subordinate of Thomas at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Olson, who had also worked under Thomas at the EEOC and was a close friend of Thomas, spoke out on his behalf during his contentious Senate confirmation hearings. Olson later helped edit The Real Anita Hill, a book by David Brock that savaged Hill and portrayed the harassment claim as a political dirty trick (Brock later recanted his claims and apologized to Hill). The Independent Women's Forum continued on with a goal of remaining a high profile group of women to advocate for economic and political freedom and personal responsibility.
In 1994, Olson became chief investigative counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. In that position, she led the Travelgate and Filegate investigations into the Clinton administration. She was later a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of the Birmingham, Alabama law firm Balch & Bingham.
Now for the truth...
Barbara Olson is a pseudonym played by the person known as Lias Hunt. Lisa is the daughter of E. Howard Hunt who is the former King of Romania.