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April 12, 2024

Is It Time to End the FBI?

As Congress debates FISA, it’s worth reviewing why so many Americans completely distrust the bureau.

At the risk of dating myself, I remember watching that FBI TV series as a kid. I still vividly remember the theme music, and I remember wondering, What kind of a name is Efrem Zimbalist Jr.?

One thing I never wondered, though, is who the good guys were.

So it’s not without a measure of remorse that I now find myself joining a couple of brave and patriotic FBI whistleblowers, Garret O'Boyle and Steve Friend, in calling for the abolition of the FBI. As the “devastating” Durham Report made clear, the bureau has long since lost its way, and it hasn’t seen fit to course-correct despite its director, Christopher Wray, having been continually hauled before Congress and asked to explain.

It’s not just us. The libertarian Mises Institute’s Ryan McMaken has written forcefully on the subject of ending the FBI.

The problem is trust. The FBI has been weaponized, and it can no longer be trusted to act without a left-leaning political agenda. As I wrote nearly three years ago:

The bureau’s slide into rank partisanship didn’t happen overnight; it happened over the course of years. It was obvious that at least the leadership of the FBI had become corruptly partisan during the Barack Obama years, when it slow-walked the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s “private” email server and then launched a phony investigation of then-candidate Donald Trump — an investigation that hinged on a piece of uncorroborated oppo-research garbage called the Steele dossier, which was put together by a Trump-hating British spy, was chock-full of Russian disinformation, was bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, was vouched for by smarmy, scummy, slippery FBI Director James Comey, and was used with devastating effect to secure FISA warrants for spying on Trump’s campaign.

The investigation also included the falsification of evidence by FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who willfully changed the language in an email to help the bureau secure those same spy warrants. The whole investigative episode, called Crossfire Hurricane, plagued Trump’s entire presidency and will go down in history as one of the FBI’s darkest hours.

Of course, it’s not just Hillary Clinton’s compromised homebrew server or that filthy Crossfire Hurricane scheme. Since that time, the FBI has targeted not only concerned parents but religious Catholics — or what the bureau weirdly called “radical-traditionalist Catholics.” The bureau has also colluded with Big Tech to stifle conservative speech and interfere with the 2020 election on behalf of Joe Biden, to include a conveniently timed pre-election entrapment case in Michigan. The bureau has willfully misdirected Republican senators, seized the cellphone of a Trump-allied congressman and retired brigadier general, and continually stonewalled Republican efforts to get to the truth about the bureau’s involvement in the incitement of the January 6 riot, including the construction of a fake gallows and the placement of those mysterious pipe bombs at the DNC and RNC headquarters. Indeed, a House GOP report said the FBI is “rotted at its core.” The FBI has even peddled a race-based — and thereby unconstitutional — Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion agenda. And it was recently taken out to the woodshed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for its rank violation of the Fourth Amendment rights of the American citizens whose property was unlawfully confiscated by the bureau.

Is it any wonder that certain House Republicans are reluctant to renew the federal government’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)? Despite its myriad flaws and abuses, FISA is a vital counterterrorism tool. But, again, it comes down to trust.

As we noted yesterday, more than a dozen House GOP privacy hawks have blocked the House from advancing a bill backed by Speaker Mike Johnson to renew the particular FISA surveillance tool known as Section 702. That came hours after former President Trump posted on Truth Social, “KILL FISA, IT WAS ILLEGALLY USED AGAINST ME AND MANY OTHERS.”

Trump is right. FISA was illegally used against him. Just ask that dirty rat Clinesmith. But, as Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie observed: “There was not a vote on the FISA bill. There was a vote on a resolution that would have allowed FISA, as well as 6 amendments to it, including a warrant requirement amendment, and three other pieces of legislation, to come to the floor.”

Section 702 is certainly at issue. As The Wall Street Journal reports, “The concern is that Federal Bureau of Investigation officials have on occasion abused their access to search for American names that aren’t plausibly linked to terrorism.” You’re telling us. Yesterday, Director Wray went before Congress to implore its members to pass Section 702. We’re not sure what credibility Wray has, though, given his infuriating lack of candor before this body and his failure to reform the bureau.

The corruption, though, isn’t just limited to the FBI. It was actually the CIA, under the deep state direction of Obama stooge John Brennan, that launched the whole Trump-Russia collusion hoax with its “reverse targeting” and “bumping” scheme, as reported recently by independent journalist Michael Shellenberger.

But still: The FBI was a willing — indeed, an enthusiastic — partner.

It’s against this litany, then, that the aforementioned whistleblowers, O'Boyle and Friend, spoke at a Heritage Foundation “Oversight Project” event about how they had their security clearances suspended after having testified before Congress about some of the bureau’s most troubling transgressions. At Heritage, the whistleblowers also revealed new aspects of the bureau’s rotting culture — specifically, its DEI agenda. Said O'Boyle: “The type of recruiting events they have — they have adopted this Marxist culture to permanently change our institutions. … Remember, the FBI are the people with the guns and badges who will come after you.”

As The Daily Signal’s Tyler O'Neil writes, “O'Boyle was referring to the FBI’s decision to publicly champion identity politics celebrations such as Arab American Heritage Month and to use race as a factor in hiring.”

O'Boyle’s fellow whistleblower, Friend, has echoed concerns about this unconstitutional DEI agenda, noting, “Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate against job applicants based on race or sex.”

In a 2022 essay on the “FBI Problem,” our Mark Alexander noted that the bureau had long ago been “badly tarnished by its excessive (to put it kindly) actions during the 1992 siege at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and the 1993 siege at Waco, Texas, the latter being two months after the bureau failed to detect and thwart the February 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center’s North Tower.” He added, “The bureau’s mishandling of the 1996 Summer Olympics bombing, including the leaking of information leading to the public vilification of the wrong person, Richard Jewell, was another deep wound to its reputation.” (To this list, I would add the bureau’s catastrophic failure to mount a thorough investigation of al-Qaida operative and 9/11 co-conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, which would likely have blown up the entire plot.)

But Alexander also noted, as I have, that there are plenty of good, decent, patriotic agents among the bureau’s 37,000 employees. He cautions against tarring them with the same brush that we’ve used to expose its rank political corruption, which begins on the 7th floor of the J. Edgar Hoover Building.

None of this, however, moves me off my mark. Like agent O'Boyle and former agent Friend, I believe the FBI, as it currently stands, should be ended, abolished, and rebuilt under new management and with a better mission.

“I think you have to abolish the FBI,” O'Boyle said Tuesday at Heritage. To which Friend added: “I think it needs to be shattered and scattered. Disarm the FBI … make them unarmed investigators, like they originally were, and force them to partner with local agencies.”

Reform, at the very least, is desperately needed. An FBI so thoroughly weaponized against the citizenry simply cannot stand — at least not in a free republic.

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