Thanks to all who wrote in response to the description by Mrs. Roger Stone (and the shocking home security video) detailing how the FBI handled its raid on their home. Most of you shared my horror at this.
While trying to determine who signed off on this raid --- and unless I find out differently, I have to assume it was FBI Director Chris Wray --- I came across some commentary by James Gagliano, a 25-year veteran of the FBI and now a law enforcement analyst for CNN, that raised my hackles. In trying to explain why the raid on Stone’s house was “by the book” –- yes, that is what he says –- he paints a disturbing picture of how the FBI operates. If this raid was by the book, they need a new book.
He attempts to defend the indefensible by daring to dismiss any questioning as “Monday morning quarterbacking” and says we should save it “for the day after the Super Bowl.”
RELATED READING: Roger Stone's wife and security cameras tell the story of FBI ambush
In his words: “To those pearl-clutchers raising alarms about ‘armed FBI agents,’ you must be made aware that FBI agents were granted arrest powers and authority to carry firearms back when Congress passed a series of anti-crime legislation back in the summer of 1934, precipitated by an agent’s murder during the Kansas City Massacre of 1933.”
Well, isn’t that special. Because of a massacre that took place in 1933, it was perfectly appropriate to conduct a massive, heavily-armed raid on the home of a non-violent man without so much as a parking ticket on his record. For crying out loud, we know FBI agents are going to be armed. But Gagliano feels the need to explain to us rubes that the term “armed FBI agent” is “a foolish redundancy.” Does that mean we’re foolish if we ever question the amount of firepower they’re toting along?
Gagliano says he’s been involved in both the planning and execution of hundreds of these early morning arrests and that nothing about this seems “irregular.” And instead of a “no-knock” warrant, which I guess is just breaking down the door, this was a “knock and announce” warrant, meaning they would use mechanical breaching tools only if the occupant took what they considered to be too long opening the door. Gee, wasn’t that considerate of them?
He tries to justify this approach by claiming that Stone was a flight risk. He was no such thing The judge in the case obviously realized that he wasn't, as he was released right away on a recognizance bond.
Gagliano doesn’t address the treatment of Stone’s wife at all.
But one sentence in particular, towards the end of the lecture, gives us the full picture of what is going on with this former agent. “Yes," he says, "we can add Roger Stone to the sordid rogue’s gallery of grifters, liars and justice obstructionists who once operated inside the President’s orbit.” Well, now we know why he cares so little for how the FBI treated this individual. Stone was associated with Trump and does not deserve the presumption of innocence. Gagliano is thinking not just as an FBI agent, but as the judge and the jury, too. Maybe someone needs to sit him down and lecture HIM on how the FBI is supposed to operate.
And now, offered as a welcome palate-cleanser, here is a letter I received from another former federal agent (in Florida, yet) who is shocked that this happened, offering us the reassurance that we are not crazy, or simpletons. Hope Mr. Gagliano sees it. He obviously thinks that anyone who has a problem with this raid is just an ignoramus –- well, of course we are; we support Trump! –- who doesn’t understand how these things are done. Wrong.
From Shannon D:
Gov Huckabee, As a Federal Agent (ret) with DOJ for 22 years, (in Florida), I would have been raked over the coals by our Federal Magistrates had I pulled that kind of stunt. As Mr. Stone was clearly represented, his lawyer should have been asked to turn his client in at a scheduled initial appearance. It is overwhelming proof that DOJ/FBI has way over stepped their legal authority. Once again producing false information to the Judge who signed off on the Search & arrest warrants. Additionally violated protocols having allowed CNN to be there video-taping. DISGUSTING and a real black eye to Federal Law Enforcement.
And an interesting point from Jason S:
Obama apologized to the world for our aggressive atrocities of past wars and military actions as he embarrassed us all. Now Trump has to apologize to Americans for our own justice departments’ actions toward its own citizens. It's a sad state of affairs. Wish I didn't live in such a jacked up time in American history. But I do and we all do. Sad times for the red white and blue.