When you can’t reform it, you must either remove it, or continue enduring it until such time as your resolve hardens, your spine stiffens, and your self-respect is restored.
Break up the FBI
The Republican staff of the House Judiciary Committee released a 1,000-page report on Friday on the “politicization of the FBI and Justice Department.” While sometimes overwrought and sometimes overbroad in its claims, the report supports well its fundamental assertion that “the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the stewardship of Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland, is broken. The problem lies not with the majority of front-line agents who serve our country, but with the FBI’s politicized bureaucracy.”
Uh huh, I see. SO, get rid of Wray and Garland and all will be well then, right? Is that the basic premise here, or nah?
Garland and Wray have repeatedly stonewalled legitimate attempts at congressional oversight, sometimes (by this observer’s reckoning) almost criminally. In a Nov. 2 letter to Garland, ranking committee Republican Jim Jordan of Ohio listed an astonishing 32 outstanding requests for information (stemming from eight different inquiry letters from committee Republicans) that Garland or his agents have yet to fulfill. Likewise, Wray has failed to fulfill 38 informational demands from eight other letters.
Riiiight. And THEN what happened, eh?
Even accounting for a tendency for the minority party in Congress to make some demands for information seemingly more crafted for political “gotcha” theatre than for legitimate oversight, the recalcitrance of Garland and Wray on obviously substantive demands is an affront to the public. Instead of the transparency due in a government based on the citizenry’s consent, this behavior looks like the sort of cover-up common to authoritarian rule.
As well it might, seeing as how we assuredly do NOT have “a government based on the citizenry’s consent” anymore. For any who requires evidence in support of the proposition that we are currently under authoritarian rule, as the author of this piece seems to be waiting for: by your own standard, the first two ‘graphs ought to suffice, I should think.
For example, in light of a concerted Justice Department effort to target anti-abortion protesters, which has included dangerous use of heavily armed SWAT team raids of homes with children readying for school, Republicans have asked for department communications referring to this aggressive campaign. Garland has not complied.
“Asked for.” You gotta love that.
In general, citing numerous whistleblower reports, committee Republicans produce copious evidence of “political bias [against conservatives or Republicans] by the FBI’s senior leadership,” of a “systemic culture of unaccountability,” and of “rampant corruption, manipulation, and abuse.” The most familiar complaints are about the targeting of parents who dare speak up at school board meetings, the major transgressions involved in the part of the “Russia probe” that targeted former President Donald Trump (rather than just Russian election interference more generally, which was significant), and the outlandish cover-up of concerns about the laptop and international business dealings of presidential son Hunter Biden.
And THEN what happened? Anything? Anything at all? Anybody? Bueller…?
The FBI is an immensely valuable agency with thousands of good workers. Its centralized top ranks, though, have become corrupted by too much power with too little accountability. House Republicans are right to limit its abuses, and McCarthy makes sense in proposing to reduce its mission.
Stuff and nonsense, every last syllable of it. The FBI has been abusive, unaccountable, and entirely immune to oversight, reining in, and reform since its very inception, BY DESIGN. The Bureau has no Constitutional remit whatsoever, which is another confirmation of the wisdom of our Founding Fathers. They would have abhorred the very idea of any such rogue, out-of-control federal agency. It’s a sad, sorry measure of how very far we’ve strayed from their original vision that it even exists at all, or ever did.