Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Stonewallery

Yeah, about those “declassified” documents and all.

Entrenched officials in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) are refusing to declassify key documents related to the Trump-Russia affair more than three months after President Trump granted his attorney general the power to declassify the documents, Paul Sperry of RealClearInvestigations reported on Wednesday.

The office is in limbo in the wake of the resignations last month of its director, Dan Coats, and principal deputy, Sue Gordon, who is reportedly a close ally of former CIA Director John Brennan. According to sources, “establishment officials in that agency are still dragging their feet.”

For the time being, intelligence officials are not in any trouble, according to sources, as Attorney General Bill Barr has only requested, rather than demanded, the documents. Barr is hoping for their cooperation. But that could soon change.

Frustrated with intelligence agency officials’ resistance, President Trump orchestrated a shake-up of senior leadership in ODNI, leading to the departures of Coats and Gordon.

Well, fine. But who was the danged fool that appointed Coats in the first place, I wonder? Hmmm

Dan Coats, a veteran of the US Army Corps of Engineers who served from 1966 through 1968, was an Indiana congressman throughout the 1980s. He was elected to the first of two stints in the Senate in 1988, filling the seat of Vice President Dan Quayle. Coats left the Senate in 1998 and was appointed ambassador to Germany by George W. Bush in 2001. He was re-elected to the Senate in 2011 where he served until Donald Trump appointed him DNI in 2017.

Oooops. Kinda ironic, innit, that one of Trump’s most-repeated campaign boasts was that he would be appointing nothing but “the best people, believe me” to posts in his administration, when he’s shot himself in the foot time and again with blunders like this. Between the Ogabe stay-behind saboteurs, entrenched Deep State remoras doggedly determined to resist anything resembling change or reform, and outright fanatical enemies of his administration appointed by Trump, the man has done himself no favors.

Stupid questions update! Corrupt forever, forever corrupt.

Why is the FBI obstructing the release of its disgraced former director’s memos? As they say, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. Whatever harm releasing these memos might cause to the FBI’s legitimate crime-fighting ability is surely offset by the lack of accountability for one of the most controversial episodes in the bureau’s history. The public must know that the FBI is not operating as a government unto itself.

It is to laugh; that’s exactly what the FBI IS doing, and has been since its inception.

Fellow son of Kansas City Harry S Truman wrote during his presidency: “We want no Gestapo or secret police.”

But we got both.

“FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail… Edgar Hoover would give his right eye to take over, and all congressmen and senators are afraid of him.”

In spite of all the reforms, oversight, and internal regulations meant to protect the elected governance from the power of the unelected FBI, liberal journalist Michael Isikoff wrote this of Comey’s private meeting with Donald Trump, the subject matter of some of these memos: “Senior FBI officials were concerned then-director James Comey would appear to be blackmailing then-President-elect Trump

Which he was.

– using tactics notoriously associated with J. Edgar Hoover

Which they were.

– when he attended a fateful Jan. 6, 2017, meeting at which he informed the real estate magnate about allegations he had consorted with prostitutes in Moscow.”

He’s not the only one. The president-elect also thought the FBI director was using the occasion of a private pre-inauguration meeting as blackmail to gain control over the incoming president. Trump thought Comey used the Christopher Steele dossier story of Trump directing Russian hookers in a Moscow hotel room as “leverage“ to secure his job. Comey himself understood the appearance of his private briefing of the president: “I was very concerned that he might interpret it as an effort to pull a J. Edgar Hoover on him.”

Which you did.

Then, when the president fired Comey, the former FBI director retaliated by releasing some of the contents of memos for the stated purpose of prompting the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Trump. Isn’t that what unsuccessful blackmailers do when their targets balk?

Looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…

Comey had another reason to want the swift appointment of a special counsel. He literally lost sleep over the prospect that the president had made an audio recording of their meetings. “I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday night, because it didn’t dawn on me originally, that there might be corroboration for our conversation, there might be a tape.”

Pro tip for ya, Honest Jim: actual men of integrity—honorable, trustworthy, forthright men—are never plagued by such fears. NEVER.

Whatever spooks or spies might be outed by the release of Comey’s memos, the American people should have the right to insist upon the supremacy of constitutional interests over the reputations of career bureaucrats who might be embarrassed by a public airing of their misconduct. Attorney General William Barr should tell the FBI to pound sand.

Yeah, not holding my breath over here. The FBI has never been anything but a wholly corrupt and unaccountable agency: a rogue department of a government itself gone rogue. There is no “reforming” it; the problems stemming from its corporate degeneracy cannot be resolved short of dismantling it. Which, none of us should be holding our breath waiting on that, either.

SO(FBI)S update! The leopard’s spots do not change.

The IG concluded that by using sensitive information “to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI  employees — and the many thousands more former FBI employees — who similarly have access to or knowledge of non-public information.” The IG report warned that “the civil liberties of every individual who may fall within the scope of the FBI’s investigative authorities depend on FBI’s ability to protect sensitive information from unauthorized disclosure.”

This is true but it ignores the FBI’s long record of violating Americans’ liberties and covert political interventions. As Yale University historian Beverly Gage noted, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover “insisted that investigative files be kept secret, waging repeated battles to keep them away from the courts and Congress. But he also became a master of the leak, parceling out choice tidbits to reporters at strategic moments.” Hoover’s FBI covertly intervened in the presidential elections of 1948 (seeking to sabotage Henry Wallace’s campaign), 1952 (smearing Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson as gay), and 1964 (spying on the campaign of Republican nominee Barry Goldwater). 

Nothing but corruption and abuse of power, all the way down. That the once-proud American people blithely tolerate the continued existence of such an abominable affront to every Founding principle is as damning and shameful an indictment as can be imagined.

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