11/20/17, "Should The FBI Be Abolished?" American Spectator, Steve Baldwin
"Abuses from the likes of Comey and Mueller are just the tip of the iceberg. We need to be reminded why the founders opposed having any sort of national police force."
"For the last few years, the media has been dominated by a number of sensational stories: that Trump colluded with Russia to influence the presidential election; that the Trump team was wiretapped by Obama intelligence officials; that Hillary used a private email server to transmit classified information; that Hillary and the DNC colluded with Russian sources to compile a dossier on Trump, and finally, that Russia acquired 20% of America’s uranium supply during the same time period $145 million miraculously appeared in the Clinton Foundation’s bank account. It all stinks to high heaven but it’s created a confusing array of facts that has bewildered most Americans. They all know something is seriously wrong with their country even if they can’t pinpoint exactly what the problem is.
But there is a common denominator in all these scandals or alleged scandals, and that would be the FBI and the actions they took or didn’t take. Indeed, it’s hard to not conclude that the agency’s actions in these events were improper if not illegal. If so, this validates the warnings by constitutionalists in the early 1900s that a federal police force would someday be used to prop up the ruling elites and attack those who dare challenge the establishment.
Under FBI Director James Comey, Hillary was allowed to escape prosecution, even though he presented compelling evidence that she committed numerous felonies by transmitting classified documents using her private email server. Comey also leaked classified information to a friend to be disseminated to the media, another felony, and his FBI was the recipient of a dossier full of sensational but false allegations traced to Putin-connected individuals. Instead of investigating the dossier’s sources, Comey used the phony intel as the basis for his allegation that the Russians intervened in our election, a charge later proven to be without factual basis. It also appears that Comey likely used the dossier’s claims to convince a FISA court to authorize a phone tap on various Trump aides and possibly even Trump himself.
Lastly, Comey refused to demand that the DNC hand over the computer servers they claimed were hacked by Russia, but nevertheless, he announced that the Russians had hacked into the DNC, thereby helping to create the phony Trump/Russia collusion narrative. But a group of cyber experts led by former high-ranking NSA cyber expert Bill Binney has concluded that the hack simply could not have occurred for technical reasons and that the leaked DNC emails had to come from an inside source.
Regardless, for Comey to create a phony “Russia hacked the DNC” narrative without his agency ever analyzing the DNC server calls into question his honesty and his integrity.
Lastly, when Mueller was FBI Director, he served on the board of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the agency that approved the sale of uranium to Russia by the Uranium One company only a short time after his own agency had arrested a Russian official attempting to bribe American uranium officials. But there is no record of Mueller warning his fellow CFIUS members about the illegal Russian efforts. It likewise begs logic to believe that Mueller knew nothing about the $145 million the Clinton Foundation received from Putin-connected sources shortly after the CFIUS vote. It is also inconceivable that Mueller, as FBI Director from 2001-2013, was not aware that the Clintons were using their foundation and Hillary’s Secretary of State position to operate a massive pay-to-play scam that went far beyond the Uranium One scandal.
It has become abundantly clear that Mueller is a partisan, as is Comey. Both of them have jeopardized national security in order to protect the Democratic Party. This is an unprecedented situation and both men should be investigated. Moreover, Mueller should be removed as the Special Counsel. The foxes are guarding the hen house.
Mueller and Comey have turned the FBI into a partisan force that ignores crimes by the left and fabricates crimes on the right such as the Trump/Russian collusion theory. Again, such corruption of the FBI was predicted by constitutionalists at the time the agency was formed. That time has arrived.
Within most conservative circles today it would be considered sacrilegious to argue in favor of abolishing the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Indeed, older Americans still think of the FBI as an agency full of incorruptible, efficient, clean-cut guys in suits tracking down mobsters and exposing communist subversion. Younger Americans are influenced by popular shows such as television’s Criminal Minds, which, again, portray the G-Men as squeaky clean heroes.
The FBI was started in 1935, although its predecessor — the Bureau of Investigation — was founded in 1908. In the early 1900s, crime was becoming more nationalized with multi-state mob crime families and the creation of large prostitution smuggling rings that crossed state lines. As a result, advocates of a federalized police force argued that a federal law enforcement agency was necessary in order to keep up with the criminals. The main argument was that the local police forces didn’t have the resources or the flexibility to investigate complex criminal cases or to chase mobsters from state to state.
But note that the FBI did not come into existence until 132 years after the country declared its independence. This was because the founders never envisioned a federal role for law enforcement. It is not one of the “enumerated” duties of the federal government listed in the constitution.
There were reasons for that. Our founders were skeptical of a large federal government and, indeed, not even the “federalist” faction argued for a federal law enforcement role. The Constitution’s authors all assumed that most of the country’s governing would be carried out by state and local governments; the Federal government was created simply to take care of things that states were not well suited to do, such as maintaining a military, minting currency, and negotiating trade treaties.
Indeed, for most of America’s first century, the highest law enforcement officer was the county sheriff.
Except for treason, the idea of federal crimes was not even mentioned in the Constitution. Our founders had a healthy fear of America turning into a tyrannical government such as those which existed all over the world at the time. They wanted to maximize freedom; hence the Bill of Rights.
They assumed the creation of a federalized police force would make it far easier for the federal government to abuse the rights of its citizens. This is why neither the Constitution, the ratification debates, nor the Federalist papers ever mention anything about a federal law enforcement role. Nada.
Nothing. Indeed, in Federalist No. 45, James Madison specifically singles out “internal order” as an “unenumerated power” that must “remain in the state governments.”
In the last few decades, Congress has created over 3,000 federal crimes, thereby undermining the authority of local law enforcement and ultimately making the federal government more powerful and more prone to corruption and tyranny. As the late Washington Times columnist Sam Francis wrote,
“Over the last 30 years or so, the creeping federal incursion into law enforcement has yielded some 140 agencies at the federal level that have such a role… but everyone knows the federal engulfment of law enforcement has failed miserably to control crime and make the country safe. That’s because, by its very nature, effective law enforcement is local.”
And there’s no doubt that national police forces in other countries have been used to transition a country to a dictatorship. Historian William L. Shirer wrote in his famous history of Nazi Germany, The Rise and Fall of the Third Rich, “On June 16, 1936, for the first time in German history, a unified police as established for the whole of the Reich — previously the police had been organized separately by each of the states …the Third Reich, as is inevitable in the development of all totalitarian dictatorships, had become a police state.”
But the FBI has never seemed concerned about its growing powers. Indeed, in the aftermath of WWII, the FBI was so impressed with Hitler’s police state, they secretly hired hundreds of Nazis as spies and informants. As Rutherford Institute president and conservative civil rights lawyer John Whitehead writes, the FBI “then carried out a massive cover-up campaign to ensure that their true identities and ties to Hitler’s holocaust machine would remain unknown. Moreover, anyone who dared to blow the whistle on the FBI’s illicit Nazi ties found himself spied upon, intimidated, harassed and labeled a threat to national security.”
But long before the rise of Hitler, America’s founders understood that the more locally controlled law enforcement is, the more accountable they are, whereas, a federal police force tends to be abused by a central government and is largely unaccountable to local and state governments. Indeed, it is unsettling to review the long list of incidents in which the FBI abused the rights of Americans and was clearly used by one political faction or another to carry out police state-like tactics. Let’s take a trip down memory lane:
Prosecuting Opponents of World War 1. President Woodrow Wilson used the FBI’s predecessor to illegally harass and prosecute thousands of peaceful opponents of World War 1, a war most conservatives would argue America had no business entering. ["Over there, over there, send the word to beware over there, cause the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming."...]
COINTELPRO. This was the FBI’s covert internal security program in the 1950s and ’60s, created to “disrupt, misdirect, discredit, and neutralize” groups and individuals the government deemed to be enemies. It was carried out under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover with the consent of Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Congressional hearings found that “Many of the techniques used would be intolerable in a democratic society even if all of the targets had been involved in violent activity, but COINTELPRO went far beyond that … the Bureau conducted a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at preventing the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association…” Many conservatives of the day cheered on COINTELPRO since it targeted Marxists and antiwar groups, but that cheering ended when the FBI set its sights on the right.
FBI Preparations for Martial Law. MuckRock, a group that exposes governmental corruption, obtained a 1956 FBI document via a FOIA request that described the FBI’s plans to implement martial law and round up dissidents in the event of nuclear war. The document, titled “Plan C,” states that ‘”as of April 17, 1956, 12,949 individuals were scheduled for apprehension in an emergency.” The FBI’s secretive list of “anti-government” citizens they felt needed to be rounded up has never been revealed but it’s clear the FBI was keeping files on anti-government individuals.
The Ruby Ridge Murders. In 1992, a BATF informant convinced former Green Beret Randy Weaver to sell him two shotguns which had barrels shortened illegally, thus creating the pretext for the FBI to launch a military-style assault on Weaver’s remote Idaho cabin, eventually killing his wife and fatally shooting his son in the back. The FBI agents violated numerous rules of engagement and an Idaho jury found Weaver innocent of almost all charges.
According to author James Bovard, “Judge Lodge issued a lengthy list detailing the Justice Departments misconduct, fabrication of evidence and refusal to obey court orders.” No one was held accountable; indeed the agent in charge, Larry Potts, was promoted to FBI Deputy Director.
The Waco Massacre. In 1993, 76 citizens — including 26 children — were burned to death when the FBI laid siege to a Branch Davidian compound in Waco on the grounds they believed cult leader David Koresh possessed unauthorized weapons.
However, there was no reason for the FBI to use police state tactics. Koresh visited town almost every week and could have easily been arrested during these excursions. Six years later the FBI admitted during the course of a civil lawsuit that the tear gas it fired into the compound was, in fact, pyrotechnic tear gas, which, probably caused the fire that killed most of the people. The shells were even stamped with a fire warning. Moreover, a law enforcement infrared video revealed muzzle flashes from the FBI’s positions, so contrary to the FBI’s testimony that they did not fire “a single shot,” it appears its snipers were shooting people as they tried to escape the compound. Indeed, a Policy Analysis report by the Heritage Foundation stated that “numerous crimes by government agents were never seriously investigated or prosecuted” and therefore, “the people serving in our federal police agencies may well come to the conclusion that it is permissible to recklessly endanger the lives of innocent people, lie to newspapers, obstruct congressional subpoenas, and give misleading testimony in our courtrooms.”
Helping Bill Clinton Collect Dirt on his Enemies. Often referred to as “Filegate,” in 1993-94, the FBI willingly turned over as many as 900 background check files on Republicans to the Clinton White House. Nothing came of the investigation into this as the Clintons claimed it was all a big mistake. Right.
Project Megiddo. This was another shady FBI project, launched in 1999, created for the purpose of monitoring groups on the right, such as constitutionalists, devout Christians, anti-tax activists, anti-UN and pro-gun groups and individuals, all considered by the FBI to be budding terrorists. Such descriptions cover just about everyone on the right. It is not known if Project Megiddo violated the rights of individuals as the FBI did with previous similar programs, such as COINTELPRO, but it’s likely.
Not surprisingly, much of the info used by Project Megiddo was fed to them by hysterical leftist groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), as even the FBI has publicly acknowledged. Shameful.
Use of Criminals as Undercover Agents. Rutherford Institute President John Whitehead writes, “FBI agents are also among the nation’s most notorious lawbreakers. In fact, in addition to creating certain crimes in order to then ‘solve’ them, the FBI also gives certain informants permission to break the law… USA Today estimates that agents have authorized criminals to engage in as many as 15 crimes a day. Some of these informants are getting paid astronomical sums.”
Operation Vigilant Eagle. This FBI program initiated in 2009 targeted anti-government activists such as Tea Party activists and, alarmingly, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who are, as one FBI document states, “disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering for the psychological effects of war.”
The purpose of this program was allegedly to counter terrorism, but there’s not a shred of evidence veterans are more prone to terrorism than any other citizen. Nonetheless, the FBI actually claimed that veterans who challenge the government are suffering from “Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD).” One of the program’s first targets was 26-year-old decorated Marine veteran Brandon Raub.
Due to posting anti-government statements on his Facebook page, the FBI arrested Raub with no warning, labeled him mentally ill and placed him in a psych ward against his will. Thankfully, Rutherford Institute attorney John Whitehead intervened and secured his release. Whitehead writes that he “may have helped prevent Raub from being successfully ‘disappeared’ by the government.” And this has happened to other veterans. If the FBI paid as much attention to jihadists as it does to military veterans, it would have stopped every domestic terror plot!
Targeting Pro-Lifers. In 2010, The FBI held a joint training session on terrorism with Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation. The main message of the seminar was that all pro-lifers are potential terrorists, an outrageous allegation. Indeed, material passed out by the pro-aborts at the seminar listed three pages of “anti-abortion websites,” including those of National Right to Life, Concerned Women for America, the American Center for Law and Justice, and Human Life International. None of those groups advocate violence. This is another example of how the FBI allows itself to be used by the left to go after its enemies.
Similarly, during Bill Clinton’s presidency, the FBI created a project called VAAPCON to create files on pro-life religious leaders such as Rev. Jerry Falwell. Indeed, Judicial Watch, representing Falwell, sued the Clinton White House, seeking info on the project, but all the files mysteriously disappeared, Clinton style.
The IRS Scandal. The government watchdog group, Judicial Watch, obtained documents revealing that the FBI was involved with the illegal IRS effort to investigate — and thus silence— around 500 conservative and Tea Party groups during Obama’s 2012 reelection. Perhaps the worst use of the IRS in American history, this was about manipulating the 2012 presidential election and the FBI was complicit in this abuse of governmental power. As JWs Tom Fitton writes, “Both the FBI and Justice Department collaborated with Lois Lerner and the IRS to try to persecute and jail Barack Obama’s political opponents.” [The Tea Party was no threat to Obama. It was a mortal threat to the GOP Establishment. It cost Obama nothing to use his influence with the IRS to help his GOP E pals who in any case desperately wanted Obama re-elected in 2012 and would elect him for life if they could.]
FBI Worked With the SPLC. For much of the Obama era, the FBI listed the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on its website as part of its effort to combat “hate crimes.” However, many of the groups identified by the SPLC as “hate groups” are not. One example is the Family Research Council, a mainstream pro-family organization. As a result of the FBI’s promotion of SPLC’s phony hate group list, a shooter entered FRC’s headquarters in 2012, wounding the front desk security guard and attempted to slaughter all the FRC employees. He was subdued by the wounded guard. Indeed, the SPLC believes all Christian groups that oppose the gay agenda or abortion are “hate groups,” a bizarre notion that has never been condemned by the FBI even though it did, in 2014, quietly drop the SPLC from its website.
Data Mining Innocent Americans. In 2013, Bloomberg exposed the FBI’s data mining project carried out on hundreds of thousands of Americans, most of whom were not guilty of any crimes.
Raids on Homes of Anti-Government Activists. Repeatedly, the FBI has raided homes on the flimsiest of evidence. In 2014, it raided the home of prepper Martin Winters, claiming he was some kind of domestic terrorist. But nothing was found aside from food stocks and other survivalist gear.
Then there’s Terry Porter, also a prepper, whose house the FBI raided in 2012 using twice as many agents as in the Branch Davidian raid. Again, nothing alarming found there. Since when did anti-government preppers become terrorists? The FBI raids group meetings as well, such as when it raided a Republic of Texas secessionist movement meeting in 2015. No one was arrested because no one did anything illegal. But once again, the FBI treated a handful of elderly men discussing constitutional issues as a terrorist plot.
Fraudulent Forensics. Special Agent and whistleblower Frederic Whitehurst revealed in 2015 that FBI crime lab technicians routinely testified falsely about crime lab samples throughout the 1980s and 1990s. As former Judge Andrew Napolitano writes, “its agents and lab technicians who examine hair samples testified falsely in 257 of 268 cases that resulted in convictions. Of the convictions, 18 persons were sentenced to death, and of those, 12 have been executed.” Yes, innocent people died, thanks to the FBI.
FBI High School Informer Network. In 2016, the FBI launched an effort to enlist the help of high school students to ostensibly identify terrorists, but the FBI documents in question reveal they were also urging students to report on anti-government groups such as libertarian and constitutional groups. This effort is shockingly similar to the informant networks set up by the KGB in the USSR and the Stasi in East Germany.
The FBI Record on Fighting Terrorism.
Many Americans assume, however, that at least in the area of Islamic terrorism, the FBI has kept Americans largely safe. Not so fast. The record doesn’t quite show that. In fact, the agency has blundered many terrorism investigations and thus jeopardized the security of Americans.
- In 2009, Islamist Nidal Hasan fatally shot 13 people at the Fort Hood Military Base, but his radical associations and open support for jihad were previously known by the FBI. It even had emails in which Hasan stated he wanted to kill his fellow soldiers. Indeed, records show that not only was there reluctance by officials to drum Hasan out of the military — for political reasons — but he was promoted at every opportunity.
- In 2013, local officials caught seven foreign Muslims trespassing after midnight onto Quabbin Reservoir, a critical Northwest drinking reservoir. The FBI took over the case but let the trespassers go because they believe them to be just “tourists.” Yes, just midnight tourists. Only a few months earlier, another terrorist had been arrested for planning to poison a different reservoir.
- In 2013, the Tsarnaev brothers bombed the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring hundreds more. Russian intelligence warned the FBI about Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the agency even interviewed him, but it appears the FBI determined that Russia’s intelligence was not accurate. Until the bombs went off.
- In 2015, when the government watchdog group Judicial Watch obtained documents confirming that ISIS terrorists were crossing the Mexican/Texas border, concerned FBI agents held meetings at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez with Mexican officials. But not to figure out a plan to deal with such crossings, but rather to deny these allegations and to determine who leaked the info to JW. Forget the message and attack the messenger. What a great counter-terrorism strategy.
- In 2015, the FBI failed to prevent the San Bernardino terror attack by an Islamic couple from Pakistan connected to an Islamic terrorist group whose files were among those purged earlier by the FBI, thereby making it nearly impossible for the agency to detect this pair.
- In 2015, two Islamic terrorists attacked a Muhammad art expo in Garland, Texas, but the FBI actually had an informant at the scene with the terrorists, but it never bothered to warn the expo’s organizers of the impending attack. Apparently, the agency didn’t want to blow the informant’s cover! Fortunately, security guard Bruce Joiner shot and killed both shooters before they could get inside the exhibition hall. Joiner wonders why the FBI would allow this attack to transpire, stating “That’s not the kind of thing we do in the United States with our citizens.”
- In 2016, Islamist Omar Mateen slaughtered 49 people at an Orlando nightclub. While the FBI did investigate him for 10 months it closed his file because it believed he was “being marginalized because of his Muslim faith.” Seriously.
- The FBI has flat out denied that Las Vegas shooter Steven Paddock has any Islamic terror connections, but the reality is it really doesn’t know enough about him to make such a claim. Indeed, ISIS never takes credit for attacks that are not its own and on three occasions, it has announced Paddock was connected to ISIS. It even revealed Paddock’s Islamic name: Abu Abdul Barr al-Amriki. Also, Paddock made trips to the Middle East. Given the FBI’s record, ISIS’s statements may be more credible than the FBI’s denials.
- The latest terrorist incident in New York City was also bungled. Months before Sayfullo Saipov mowed down over 20 people, the FBI interviewed him because it knew he was connected to two men with terrorist connections. As such, his visa should have been revoked and he should have been deported, but the agency didn’t even open up a file on him.
- Finally, the 9/11 terrorist attack itself could have been prevented by the FBI. It had enough intel to connect the dots but didn’t. Many of its pre-9/11 reports on al Qaeda were lost or not shared with the proper people. One was a memo by Phoenix FBI Agent Ken Williams, describing suspected al Qaeda members training at U.S. flight schools. How could that not result in a full-scale investigation? And Special Agent Mark Rossini sent a message to FBI headquarters warning that 9/11 hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar had a multi-entry visa to enter the U.S. before 9/11. But that cable went “missing” when Congress held hearings on how our intelligence agencies manage to completely miss so many obvious clues.
Incredible as it may seem, in 2011, Obama’s FBI Director, Robert Mueller, met with a coalition of radical Islamic groups and agreed to purge thousands of files “offensive” to Muslims. Judicial Watch said the “purge is part of a broader Islamic ‘influence operation’ aimed at our government and constitution.”
In other words, the FBI caved in to groups that do not have our best interests at heart. Indeed, two of the groups Mueller met with, ISNA and CAIR, were unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation terror funding case. Many terror experts believe this purge crippled the FBI’s abilities to detect some of the terror plots that occurred during the Obama years. Due to its desire not to offend Muslims, the FBI jeopardized the lives of many Americans.
Conservatives Should Quit Defending the FBI
The FBI has a long history of being used by various administrations to harass certain groups and individuals, or, conversely, to allow certain groups and individuals to commit crimes without fear of prosecution. The FBI is supposed to uphold the Constitution but instead has repeatedly violated the constitutional rights of Americans. This politicization has cost many Americans their lives and their freedoms. The abuse listed here is not comprehensive but it’s enough, one would think, to make conservatives think twice about defending this agency’s police state tactics.
Indeed, the Wall Street Journal has reported that “nearly one out of every three American adults are on file in the FBI’s master criminal database,” even though most of them have not been convicted of a crime. Does anyone really believe our founding fathers would be fine with such sweeping federal law enforcement powers?
The aforementioned conservative civil rights attorney, John Whitehead, summarizes today’s FBI: “In additions to procedural misconduct, trespassing, enabling criminal activity, and damaging private property, the FBI’s laundry list of crimes against the American people includes surveillance, disinformation, blackmail, entrapment, intimidation tactics, and harassment.” President Harry Truman once said, “We want no Gestapo or secret police. The FBI is trending in that direction.” And that was 72 years ago.
It’s Time to Turn Over FBI Investigations to the States
If the FBI was abolished and its workload turned over to the states, it would not be as difficult as some would portray it. Indeed, what most Americans don’t realize is that almost every state already has a state version of the FBI. New Mexico has the New Mexico State Police, the Golden State has the California Bureau of Investigation, Texas has both the Texas Rangers and the Texas Department of Public Safety, and Georgia has the Georgia Bureau of investigation. (One can view the list here.)
Moreover, all these agencies are equipped with crime labs and the latest forensic tools. At one time, such tools were prohibitively expensive for state police agencies to acquire, but technological advances have brought the cost of such equipment down, resulting in most states having the latest forensics equipment that at one time was monopolized by the FBI. For example, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is famous for its forensic work: “The Division of Forensic Sciences envisions a future in which we continue to build and develop an internationally recognized forensic laboratory system that partners with governmental and private entities….”
Today, much of the FBI’s work entails the investigation of federal crimes committed within one state. There is no reason why the states can’t handle these investigations and if the case does happen to cross over into other states, then the states simply coordinate. Those days in which a criminal would escape the law by crossing a state line are long gone. Indeed, that practice was one of the reasons why the FBI was created, but with today’s advances in communication technology, that simply doesn’t happen anymore. All states today have the technology to easily track criminals as they cross state lines and it’s not difficult for two states or more to work together in the apprehension of a criminal.
Already, states today cooperate on a wide array of governmental actions; there is no reason why they can’t coordinate on a police investigation or criminal apprehension.
Then, of course, there are the federal crime databases largely maintained by the FBI, including the National Crime Information Center database, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the Integrated Fingerprint Identification System, and the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). These databases should be turned over to the Department of Justice, which, in part, already play a role in maintaining them. More importantly, the state police agencies will need to be given ready access to these databases if they are to take on cases formerly handled by the FBI.
State law enforcement agencies are not perfect but it is far more difficult for the federal government to politicize the actions of a state agency. Moreover, it is much easier to hold state agencies accountable for any abuses they commit, just by virtue of being closer to the people.
Indeed, with access to federal crime databases, most state police agencies have the capability to handle cases the FBI now handles, including domestic terrorist investigations. It’s a good bet that, given the FBI’s record on terrorism, the states will do a better job at stopping and preventing terrorism.
America’s founders were wise men and they knew not to make law enforcement a federal responsibility. They foresaw how the federal government could use a national police agency to play favorites, wreak havoc on our democratic institutions, and ultimately move us closer to a police state. The only question that remains is whether any politician will have the guts to initiate discussion on abolishing the FBI."