In a piece of extremely gratifying news, Miranda Devine at the NEW YORK POST reports that 30 former FBI officials have come forward to back whistleblower Steve Friend, who protested against the heavy-handed use of SWAT teams against January 6 defendants facing misdemeanor charges. Many of them called him a “hero” for refusing to participate in the raids, which he characterized as unconstitutional in their use of excessive force against political dissenters.
Friend sent a report to Inspector General Michael Horowitz, saying also that the FBI has been manipulating case files to exaggerate the threat of domestic terrorism.
As you know, Steve has faced retaliation from the FBI for voicing his concerns and is now suspended. But he receives glowing praise from these former agents.
One after another, the comments are absolutely stellar. “It’s time to stop the FBI from being the enforcer of a political party’s ideology,” said Ernie Tibaldi, a retired agent from San Francisco. “We need to re-establish the FBI as the apolitical and independent law enforcement agency that it always was.”
Terry Turchie, who led the Unabomber task force, said he didn’t even use a SWAT team in 1996 when apprehending violent terrorist Ted Kaczynski, who had killed 3 people and injured 23 others. He called Friend “a model example of what FBI agents nationwide should be.”
“No real FBI agent would defend the position of using SWAT teams to arrest non-violent senior citizens and others with political opinions not currently tolerated by this administration,” he said, “compounded by the idea that many of these cases involve misdemeanor criminal charges.”
John Solomon has a report specifically about Turchie’s comments on the use of SWAT teams.
Retired Special Agent David Baldovin, who served 25 years on SWAT teams, thanked Friend “for having the courage to say ‘hell, no’ to to the current bunch of FBI bureaucrats and tyrants. They do not represent Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity, but you, sir, certainly do.”
Echoing what whistleblower Kyle Seraphin said in that two-part interview we reviewed, Baldovin said, “The SWAT colleagues of yours who agree to participate in these police state tactics are doing the same thing as those in Germany who participated in war crimes. ‘Only following orders,’ right?” It’s great to know that the day-long visit by agents-in-training to the Holocaust Museum is still resonating with many of them.
Special Agent Dewanna Jackolski was of like mind and speaks with an eloquence that could be called Jeffersonian: “FBI Agents pledged to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. [We] did not pledge unquestioning loyalty to any supervisor, director, president or political party. The oath does not state that we are to obey orders if those orders are being used to persecute individuals who disagree with the actions and policies of the politicians in power. There comes a time and place where our conscience, morality and humanity demand that we speak out and condemn the actions of the FBI.”
Former Supervisory Special Agent Urey Patrick articulated what we’ve suspected about changes at the FBI: “The FBI has mutated over the years. [When I joined, it] was an independent investigative agency essentially devoid of political partisanship, subordinate to but not subservient to the DOJ...Since then, it has inexorably devolved into just another supplicant agency doing the bidding of whatever political regime is in control of the DOJ. I don’t know if that is irreparable or not, but I do know that, if there is to be a restoration of FBI integrity, honor and calling to duty, it will only be because of men and women like you. For what it is worth, I am with you...in any way I can be –- as are countless others.”
This outpouring of support is what had to happen, and it did. Whistleblowers who said that rank-and-file agents were largely frustrated and concerned about the turn the FBI have been telling the truth. That realization is the first step.
Of course, just because some agents speak up, that doesn’t guarantee reform. Turchie told of how, after 9/11, some agents expressed their concern about abuse of surveillance powers to then-head of the FBI Robert Mueller. It probably won’t surprise you that Mueller rejected their advice. When Mueller retired, hundreds of agents signed a letter to incoming Director James Comey warning about “political bias and political compromise at the FBI.” Oh, yeah, he’d get right on that. Actually, he didn’t even acknowledge receipt of the letter. And current Director Christopher Wray is cast from the same mold.
This time, though, agents’ complaints are being offered much more publicly, at a time when our institutions truly are at a crossroads. This time, it has to be the start of something big.
You probably noticed that those who came forward in support of Steve Friend are retired agents who at least aren’t risking the loss of their job or pension. (That doesn’t lessen their contribution, for which we all should be eternally grateful) In breaking news late Thursday, FOX NEWS reported that whistleblowers are telling Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, that the FBI now is so politicized, they’re trying to purge their staff of conservatives. They do this by revoking their security clearances (the right threatens “our democracy”?), which effectively prohibits them from working.
Jordan has written to Jennifer Moore, FBI assistant director of the Human Resources branch, to say “...we have received protected whistleblower disclosures that the FBI is engaging in a ‘purge’ of employees with conservative views by revoking their security clearances and indefinitely suspending these employees...” He told her it’s essential that she testify and formally requested that she preserve all “existing and future records” relating to the topics at issue. Whistleblowers have told him that Moore herself has been involved in revoking these clearances.
An FBI spokesperson released a statement denying they take action against employees “for exercising their First Amendment rights or for their political views.” They can deny it all day, but we see it happening. Attorney General Merrick Garland wrote a memo just two weeks ago to intimidate prospective FBI whistleblowers from speaking to members of Congress. And there HAS been retaliation, by suspension in the case of Steve Friend and revoking security clearances in others. The FBI has lied so much, we believe John Solomon’s reporting over their denials.
Jordan appeared Thursday evening on Sean Hannity’s show, pointing out that Garland’s memo went out the very next day after he went on the show to announce there were 14 whistleblowers. “It was a memo designed to chill the speech,” he said, “of brave whistleblowers who want to come forward and tell us the truth.”
Former FBI Special Agent Jonathan Gilliam came on FOX NEWS early Friday morning to address the FBI’s denial. “Justice as we know it is not impartial,” he said. “We know that the DOJ is ideologically driven.” But he noted that Jim Jordan today is saying the same thing he did in 2017. “I look at Jim Jordan like Paul Revere...” he said. “The problem here is that we rely on the GOP largely to go and do battle with these leftists, and they have no strategic plan and nothing is being done.” We’re battling against an IDEOLOGY, he said, not just the DOJ and FBI. We’re fighting a conspiracy between elements in the public and private sectors “to bring this nation down.”
RELATED: The FBI supposedly raided Mar-A-Lago because...why? Because of documents he’d kept that had classified markings. The special master wanted the Trump team to produce evidence that he had declassified them. According to Matt Margolis, that evidence exists in the person of former White House adviser Kash Patel. He was there and saw it being done. That should be enough.
Also, another way the ‘Justice’ Department is targeting conservatives is by hitting them with “seditious conspiracy” charges, VERY rarely used and stemming from post-Civil War days. The trial of Oath Keepers co-founder Stewart Rhodes and several others started this week --- they’re in jury selection --- and that’s the big charge they face. It could mean 20 years in prison. Details here...