Following the death of Stalin, the Soviet secret police pivoted from heavy-handed mass arrests to a subtler, but still sinister, system of mass spying and accumulation of “kompromot,” or compromising material, on its citizens. The Soviets maintained control by prioritizing spying on religious figures, political activists, journalists, and public officials. We’re now finding out that the FBI in America has a similar program of mass surveillance of similar targets. And, as with the Soviets, much of the spying has nothing to do with investigating crime.
According to a Justice Department internal audit report, the FBI maintained an active caseload of 24,584 cases during the 18 months between January 2018 and June of 2019. A grossly disproportionate share of those cases involved surveillance of influential Americans such as candidates for office, public officials, journalists, religious leaders, and political activists. When the FBI targets an individual wielding high social influence, it categorizes the case as “sensitive.”
To prevent the FBI from abusing investigations to capture the levers of government and subverting democracy, the Justice Department has established rules. Most important among these rules is that the FBI isn’t supposed to start investigating a public official unless it has reason to suspect a crime. Nearly every “sensitive case” evidenced violations of the rules. In fact, the office of inspector general identified an average of two violations for every reviewed sensitive case.
Vladimir Putin, not unlike our current FBI Director Christopher Wray, got his start as a “reformer” known for mouthing reform slogans to parry public outrage over the many abuses of the national police organization. Like Putin, Wray has used the smokescreen of cosmetic reforms to amass great power at the expense of the democratic process he is supposed to protect. The FBI has proven over and over again to be totally immune to reform. It consistently fails to punish employees for violating the rules, so changing those rules has no effect.
The existence of the FBI has had no effect on the crime wave plaguing America. Contrary to the many dramatized depictions of the FBI, the Bureau solves an insignificant minority of crimes in America.
The FBI is more than a dysfunctional agency. If it merely failed to fulfill its mandate, it might be a tolerable nuisance. Instead, the FBI has proven to be the single greatest threat to the very Constitution it is supposed to serve and protect. Its domestic spying program and its network of unaccountable informants lead to few bonafide criminal cases but many wholesale violations of constitutional principles.
As we seek to create a bulwark for our nation’s cherished constitutional freedoms with a robust national defense, the FBI works as a totalitarian fifth column from within our nation. Below are five reasons why the FBI is beyond the reach of reform and should be abolished as a matter of civic integrity.
1. The FBI interferes with elections and undermines elected officials.
Just in time to flip a Senate seat in the 2008 election, the FBI framed Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) for accepting bribes. The FBI coerced a crooked contractor into testifying that he under-billed for home renovations. The FBI easily sold the fiction to a D.C.-based jury that clearly understood the benefit of unseating a Republican senator. The operation was a brilliant success in that it swung the Senate majority to Democrats. The Justice Department prosecutors guilty of undisputed misconduct received a light suspension which was later reversed.
Of course, we all recall the FBI collaborating with the Democratic National Committee’s Trump/Russia collusion hoax smear operation to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power following the 2016 election. Departing FBI Director James Comey engineered an FBI-friendly special counsel (headed by former FBI Director Robert Mueller). Using a team that included a platoon of FBI agents and one Clinton-aligned attorney, the FBI used the Mueller team to undermine and sabotage Trump for two years. This included politically-timed leaks that helped swing the 2018 midterm elections towards Democrats. On the flip side, the FBI deliberately tanked its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s pay-for-play scheme which she concealed by redirecting official State Department communication to a private email account through a private server she could control and from which she could delete.
But the FBI didn’t just spy on candidate Donald Trump. The OIG’s sample study discovered 10 ongoing investigations of candidates for political office. This is on top of the hundreds of sitting public officials the FBI spies on.
In 2020, the FBI ran a “Truman Show” style sting in which FBI handlers, informants, and agents coaxed a small band of halfwits into a plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmar. The FBI was in total control of the plot and “busted” it just in time to swing Michigan against Trump in the November election. Like the Ted Stevens frame-up, the FBI’s scheme worked well enough to swing an election. A jury has now rebuked the FBI for the Michigan scheme and exposed it as the public relations scam it was. The jury refused to convict two of the four targets and outright exonerated the other two.
Like the Soviets of old, the FBI uses its powers to undermine a free press. As even the likes of the ACLU has noted, the FBI has spied on journalists for years in order to catch and prosecute whistleblowers who embarrass the government. Most recently, the FBI raided Project Veritas, detained its founder, and seized cell phones with sensitive source material for its journalists. Project Veritas has had spectacular success outing left-wing institutional hypocrisy.
Other examples of the FBI spying on and intimidating journalists can be found here, here, and here. The FBI’s tactics are to intimidate and deter sources from contacting journalists, thus harming the free press. Free elections depend on an informed electorate. That’s pretty hard to achieve when the FBI intimidates sources by spying on reporters. It’s no coincidence that the legacy press has fallen in line and almost universally pushes pro-FBI propaganda.
2. The FBI gathers dirt on powerful people—but not for prosecution.
Today’s FBI continues to gather what the Russians might call, “kompromat” on American politicians and influencers. More often than not, the dirt is held without immediately being used to prosecute these officials. When a prosecution does follow, it usually results from public pressure when the dirt comes to light through outside sources.
The most glaring example has to be the FBI’s handling of the Jeffrey Epstein case. As reported in the Daily Beast, for 11 years the FBI failed to make an arrest as it sat on evidence of Epstein’s child-rape-for-money business. An inspector general report details how, in 2007, federal prosecutors cut a secret deal with Epstein resulting in shockingly light penalties. The report also states that, “the government’s lack of transparency and its inconsistent messages led to victims feeling confused and ill-treated by the government; gave victims and the public the misimpression that the government had colluded with Epstein’s counsel to keep the NPA secret from the victims; and undercut public confidence in the legitimacy of the resulting agreement.” Did the FBI use the Epstein files as kompromat to cultivate sources and influence powerful people? The poor treatment of the victims strongly suggests ulterior motives were at play on the part of the government.
To this date, the FBI has failed to prosecute any of the high-profile clients serviced by Epstein’s child-rape sex ring. The FBI is now believed to be in possession of Epstein’s treasure trove of blackmail material he kept on his rich and famous clients. Whatever the FBI is doing with this material, it’s not being used to prosecute criminal cases.
Hunter Biden’s laptop serves as another example. In December of 2019, the FBI seized Hunter’s laptop from the computer repair shop at which Hunter abandoned the item. The laptop contains a mountain of kompromat against the Biden family including evidence suggesting tax evasion, violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and bribery. The FBI could have arrested Hunter while there was still a chance for the Democrats to adjust to the scandal during their primaries. Only after Biden ascended to the presidency did legacy media reports of the investigation begin to turn the screws on the Biden family. As I pointed out here, it was obvious at the time of the election that the FBI planned to leverage the dirt against Biden for influence. It can fairly be said that the FBI now has more control over the president than the president has over the FBI.
After Attorney General William Barr discovered gross misconduct by the FBI in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation (aka Trump/Russia Collusion Hoax), he ordered a review of a sample of other investigations into politicians and influential people. The FBI is supposed to observe these safeguards to prevent it from using its power to gain control over elected officials and other influential figures in American life. These rules are intended to prevent the FBI from using dirt to blackmail influential people. It’s impossible to overstate the seriousness of the abuses this review revealed.
A recent Washington Examiner article shows that the OIG reviewed 353 “sensitive” cases subject to these special rules. These cases involved “less than half” the total number of such cases during the approximately 18 months that were under review. Although the report did not disclose the targets of these investigations, the article revealed that, “191, involved domestic public officials. Dozens of cases involved religious organizations or their prominent members, and dozens of cases involved domestic political organizations and individuals. Ten cases involved domestic political candidates, and 11 cases involved news media.”
Of the 353 cases reviewed, the OIG noted rules broken in 747 instances or an average of more than twice per case. The violations typically involved, “failure to document a necessary legal review before opening an investigation and failure to tell prosecutors what they were doing.” In other words, the FBI opens these investigations without having a law enforcement purpose in mind. It’s just spying.
3. Rules governing FBI conduct are meaningless because they go unenforced.
The OIG reports are replete with examples of FBI misconduct where the official’s identity is kept anonymous and the employee is allowed to retire or resign without prosecution (see for example, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here—examples selected from just the last 12 months). Even where a crime is clearly documented, such as former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe lying to investigators or former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith falsifying evidence for the FISA court, the stars magically align to protect these former employees.
According to a well-documented OIG report, McCabe repeatedly lied about leaking information during the 2016 presidential campaign in order to somehow deflect charges that he was in the tank for Hillary Cllinton. After months of stalling and obstruction, the Justice Department (not the FBI) finally fired McCabe just in time to slightly impact his retirement benefits. But the Democratic-aligned attorneys at the Department of Justice soon restored these retirement benefits and paid him a generous $200,000 in back pay.
Clinesmith, likewise, insisted he falsified evidence for the FISA court with the full knowledge and participation of his superiors. He didn’t name names and thus far, Clinesmith is the only FBI employee to take the fall for the deception. He received no jail time and had his law license reinstated after just a short suspension. One would normally expect an attorney who falsified evidence for the purpose of deceiving a court to be disbarred. The Clinesmith case is particularly disturbing because it involves defrauding the court to spy on Carter Page, who was a political campaign figure.
One reason so many FBI employees feel protected is that the FBI’s internal affairs system is riddled with conflicts of interests, i.e. friends “investigating” friends. As noted by the recent OIG notification, “the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) delegates the responsibility for Internal Affairs Investigations (IAI) of FBI personnel to FBI employees who have professional relationships or friendships with the subject or witnesses of the [investigation].”
As mentioned above, the two Justice Department prosecutors who helped frame Senator Ted Stevens received no penalty. To its credit, the FBI did supposedly discipline one of the agents involved.
4. The politicization of the FBI blinds it to real crime.
When the FBI participates in a high-profile case, it often obstructs the search for a real suspect in favor of shoe-horning the investigation into a political narrative.
The FBI ignored warnings about the September 11 hijackers. Shortly after the September 11 attacks, several high-profile figures received U.S. mail laced with deadly anthrax spores. The FBI immediately sought out a suspect whose ethnicity would not expose the FBI to charges of Islamophobia. It settled on Dr. Stephen Hatfill. Rather than quietly gathering evidence to test the hypothesis, the FBI embarked on a relentless smear and harassment campaign employing leaks and multiple search warrants to destroy his career and destabilize his life. Dr. Hatfill successfully sued the FBI forcing taxpayers to pay $5.8 million to compensate for the FBI’s defamation and libel.
It the rush to grab a headline after the Atlanta Olympics bombing, the FBI saw an opportunity to score public relations points by preying on a hapless security guard who happened to find the bomb before it went off. Richard Jewell fit the FBI’s desired profile of a lone-wolf suspect, so an FBI agent attempted to trick Jewell into recording a confession by asking him to play a fictional role in a “training video.” The FBI hoped to take Jewell’s spoken lines fed to him by the FBI and replay them as though Jewell was actually confessing.
More recently, in the wake of the BLM 2020 summer riots over the George Floyd verdict, which caused over a billion dollars in property damage, dozens of murders, and touched off a murder epidemic that has not yet abated, the politicized FBI has “assessed” white supremacists as the greatest law enforcement priority. Where are these white supremacist terror attacks? The FBI stands ready to pounce when and if these politically designed adversaries can ever be coaxed to commit the crimes the FBI hopes they will.
5. The FBI stages crimes to entrap halfwits into committing crimes.
In his book, The Terror Factory, Author Trevor Aaronson cataloged hundreds of FBI terror investigations. He concluded that the FBI staged the vast majority of the post-September 11 terror-related cases leading to convictions. When catching real terrorists proved too difficult, the FBI instead paid informants to scour mosques for gullible targets. The informants would then charm the targets, plying them with money, flattery, friendship, and sometimes sex, in order to slowly radicalize the subject into committing an act of terror. When the target finally fell under the informant’s spell, the FBI would supply all the components necessary to carry out a terror plot: money, weapons, fake bombs, and even co-conspirators.
Now that the FBI has shifted its focus to “white nationalists” and “white domestic terrorists,” it has applied the same tactics to create new terror plots to fit its message. The Gretchen Whitmer Michigan kidnapping plot mentioned above follows exactly the same recipe the FBI used in the early 2000s to manufacture cases against Muslims. Just as before, the FBI used informants to influence, plan, and fund a kidnapping conspiracy. The jury saw through the FBI’s contrivance in the Michigan case. It refused to convict two of the defendants and outright exonerated the remaining defendants. It’s heartening to see ordinary citizens stand up to the FBI steamroller.
We’re still learning more about the FBI’s role in the January 6 incident at the Capitol. Reporting confirmed the presence of FBI informants within the crowd that entered the Capitol. Another man, a suspected FBI informant, organized and encouraged the breach. Another similar claim regarding a different FBI informant was made here. According to the New York Times, one informant actually “took part in the sacking of the Capitol,” suggesting an FBI informant actually damaged property to escalate the situation. Either the FBI is an incompetent law enforcement agency, incapable of responding to its own sources warning it of an ongoing crime, or the FBI staged a January 6 operation not unlike the Michigan kidnapping plot.
Almost all countries, even North Korea, have elections. But when a shadowy, unelected national police force wields real power, the elections are merely ceremonial exercises. Truman wrote of the FBI, “We want no Gestapo or Secret Police. F.B.I. is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex life scandles [sic] and plain blackmail when they should be catching criminals. They also have a habit of sneering at local law enforcement officers,” adding, “Edgar Hoover would give his right eye to take over, and all congressmen and senators are afraid of him.”
Since J. Edgar Hoover founded it, the FBI has never really been a law enforcement agency. It’s a clearing house for kompromot and intimidation. Indeed, it so often bungles the few bonafide law enforcement operations it runs. The FBI’s chief competence is rapidly growing its size and power. Soon nothing left will be capable of restraining its abuses. There’s no reforming this monster. It needs to be scrapped before it’s too late.