It’s amazing to me that anyone defends the FBI as we go through this amazing battle over the 2016 election campaign. Not only that, mainstream publications suggest we – as citizens – should not criticize the FBI. The New York Times even calls it a pillar of our society. I can’t tell you how insane that sounds to me. It sounds like an invitation to Jerry Sandusky to give a commencement address at Penn State because his Second Mile Foundation shows he’s a pillar of his community. Caring families, legitimate churches and charitable organizations are pillars of the community. No governmental organization, especially not one that operates in secret, can possibly be a pillar of society.
Governmental organizations, specifically those that hide behind the all-purpose veil of national security, endanger society, just as child molesters hide behind gymnastics organizations or group homes for troubled adolescents. That is why we enumerate powers for those who police society, to specify what they may and may not do. We do these things because those who hold others in their power also have power to threaten and harm the same people. To accomplish their own designs, they seek to expand their power, and to hold what they have. Governmental organizations are supposed to protect society, but they manifestly do not do that. If they protected us, we would not fear them.
I do not want to compare FBI agents directly to child molesters. The analogy is to the means by which individuals flagrantly break the law for decades because they convince others to respect them.
I do not want to compare FBI agents directly to child molesters. The analogy is to the means by which individuals flagrantly break the law for decades because they convince others to respect them. No one wants to question what they do, since that makes the questioner look bad. In all kinds of ways, we gaslight people who suggest these so-called pillars are actually criminals. We convince them they must be wrong. We convinced young girls, over and over, to keep quiet because nice Dr. Nassar administered routine medical treatment. No one wanted to listen to them. He has a medical degree: he must know his business. How many people have found similar excuses to explain the FBI’s behavior over the years?
We are coming up on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the siege at Waco. For those of you not old enough to know about that bit of routine treatment, the FBI led several other governmental agencies in the destruction of the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas, after a siege that lasted from February 28 to April 19, 1993. Eighty-two people died there. When the carnage was over, the FBI lied about what happened on April 19, when law enforcement burned the compound, and all the people who stayed in it. They tried to prosecute people who escaped the inferno. They did not, at the time or afterwards, admit they had done anything wrong. The precedent they set was as frightening as it was deadly: the feds can do anything they like with you, under color of law.
The precedent they set was as frightening as it was deadly: the feds can do anything they like with you, under color of law.
Now the New York Times calls law enforcement – federal law enforcement in particular – an essential protection for our life together, just as your doctor will keep you healthy so you can compete. I’d like someone who holds that belief to cite a single instance where the FBI completed some beneficial project, or accomplished some beneficial task, where the country would have been worse off if they had not done it.
Hoover managed to make his enforcers heroes in the 1920s and 1930s. Their first big project was enforcement of Prohibition, then gunning down gangsters. They went on to hunt Communists, civil rights leaders, and anti-war activists. One of their most significant accomplishments was the Warren Commission report, where they fingered one of their own, Lee Oswald, as an assassin. Their latest big project, before they interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign in multiple ways, was to scam vulnerable people into becoming would-be terrorists, so they could arrest the hapless souls and brag about it in their press releases.
The FBI deserves no more respect than the FBI has given us, or the Constitution.
The FBI deserves no more respect than the FBI has given us, or the Constitution. If the FBI had limited its own power, respected our Bill of Rights, protected individual liberties, preserved our privacy, and placed rule of law above every other consideration, then we might make a case that the bureau deserves more respect – or at least benefit of doubt – than it currently receives. As it is, the FBI assuredly earns our contempt every day it operates, because it regards the law as irrelevant to its activities.
No investigative body ought to train local police forces how to use military tactics and equipment to serve warrants or respond to trouble calls. No domestic investigative body ought to keep the information it gathers, or information about its activities, secret. International intelligence agencies may claim that national security requires them maintain a system of classified information, but why would a domestic law enforcement agency want or need to operate under the same cloak of secrecy, if it respected the Constitution?
Law and leadership both rest on openness and truth. No one respects agencies who constantly lie to you. The FBI cannot win respect until it deals openly with the people who pay its bills, who rely on the agency to protect the country from domestic criminals. Citizens want to respect their leaders. Government secrecy propagates pervasive falsehood and deceit. Secrecy removes respect for all those who practice it.