Regardless of what you think of Donald Trump, Victor Davis Hanson aptly summarized the firestorm caused by the FBI’s unprecedented raid of his home: “The FBI is dissolving before our eyes into a rogue security service akin to those in Eastern Europe during the Cold War.” https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2022/08/11/fbi_rip_148036.html
Having spent the early years of my military career as a special agent in Army intelligence, I am appalled by the systemic abuse of power demonstrated by the FBI over the last three administrations. Remember James Comey’s blithe dismissal of charges against Hillary Clinton, how it smoothly seduced Lieutenant General Michael Flynn with warm smiles and deceptive assurances? Or how its agents lied repeatedly to the FISA Court even as higher-ups methodically sabotaged Donald Trump’s presidency? Those endless leaks to a biased media about Trump’s alleged ties to Russian espionage lead inevitably to the tedious investigation by former FBI Director Robert Mueller which eventually produced nothing. And just last week, Senator Chuck Grassley confronted FBI Director Wray, alleging that “whistle blowers” had informed him of “political bias” in the agency’s handling of the Hunter Biden laptop. BREAKING: Grassley Confronts FBI Chief Wray Over 'Political Bias' In Hunter Biden Investigation - Bing video Can you imagine what the senator thinks now after that Keystone Kops raid?
As Victor Hanson and others have noted, these are the tactics of the East German Stasi, their Nazi predecessors and the Russian KGB. If that seems like an exaggeration, then consider the famous boast of Lavrenti Beria, the KGB’s most notorious chief: "Show me the man and I will show you the crime." https://www.oxfordeagle.com/2018/05/09/show-me-the-man-and-ill-show-you-the-crime/ Those same marching orders also appear to motivate the intrepid investigators of the House January 6th committee. Was the suspension of their prime-time kangaroo court linked in any way to the equally sudden search for explosive documents – heretofore a smooth but dull months-long process? Having found their man, how far will 1/6 investigators go to “prove” his criminality? And how far is too far?
That dramatic widening of scope is matched by the equally suspect silence following the raid. First, President Biden jetted off on vacation accompanied by his son Hunter – apparently without his laptop – as the White House clammed up. Inept beyond comparison, the current flack-artists never even suspected that an “appearance problem” might emerge. Eventually these pressures led to Friday’s appearance by the Attorney General, a purse-lipped, furtive little man unable to lie convincingly. His only honest statement was that he indeed had approved the raid: But then things turned south as he claimed to be shocked, shocked that anyone would question him or the virtues of his agents!
Call me cynical but my inherent distrust of federal investigators springs from having been one of them. As chief investigator for a front-line Army intelligence unit during the Cold War, my unit commander swore me to secrecy while gesturing at a banker’s box of investigative files. He then related an astounding tale for a unit then struggling mightily to counter Soviet espionage. Displaying more zealotry than common-sense, some of our not-so-special agents had taken it upon themselves to spy on expatriate Democrats! My astonishment was total. “But sir, whose idea was this? Were they afraid these Democrats were preparing their absentee ballots to vote for George McGovern?” He laughed but explained that a formal investigation would insure punishment for any wrong-doing. “Meanwhile, Captain, you are to take personal charge of these files to insure they are ‘sealed and segregated’ until that investigation begins.” And so I did, until the day when a distinguished- looking civilian bounced into our headquarters, informally introducing himself as “Bob” – actually the Hon. Robert Froehlke, Secretary of the Army! Things were quickly put right; but similar incidents throughout the 1970’s led to permanent Congressional oversight of the steadily expanding intelligence bureaucracy. https://www.nytimes.com/1974/09/19/archives/us-checks-reply-by-army-to-suit-sends-investigator-to-berlin-in.html
The lesson for the future: You cannot centralize investigative powers in what the Soviets called "certain of the organs of state security" without expecting those powers to be abused. Undeterred, we have indulged in a continuous orgy of centralization for more than three decades under both parties, from DHS to NSA to CIA. Should you discover, for example, an urgent necessity to purge, decimate or defund the FBI, then you only have to worry about those other 17 security agencies which were never reformed after 911. Sadly, none of those organizations were ever disciplined and no senior leader was compelled to walk the plank. Is it any wonder their latter-day successors are so arrogant? I only hope my newly-hired IRS agent remembers to thank me for my military service!
NOTE: COL (Ret.) Ken Allard rose from Vietnam-era draftee to the West Point faculty and Dean of the National War College. After leaving active duty, he served for nearly a decade as an on-air military analyst for the networks of NBC News.