You may be aware of a story in the January 11, 2019 New York Times that disclosed the FBI decided to investigate President Trump for possible treason right after he fired FBI Director James B. Comey. As America divides almost in half over whether Donald Trump is a messiah or a menace, probably half of you who read the Times story were infuriated and half of you were elated. Perhaps this column may invoke similar reactions, among a somewhat smaller audience of course.
If you have read Gavel Gamut over the past 28 years you may recall my general philosophical position on our political system is that democracy not bureaucracy is the ideal. In other words, if we want to keep control of our government and our freedom, we should elect all public officials, they should all be term-limited and bureaucrats should be subservient to elected officer holders. Much as we make our military subservient to our civilian authority, we should make sure we do not allow unelected, life-time appointees to rule us via unfettered discretion.
On the local level that means our law enforcement community’s duty is to serve and protect not abuse. And at the federal level that means our FBI, CIA, FISA (United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) and other agencies should serve at the pleasure of our elected officials because we can know who our officials are, and we have the power to remove them at the next election.
Unfortunately, our FBI has always been a political organization with shifting ideologies depending upon the bureaucrats, especially the Directors, who lead them. As set forth on National Public Radio in a January 26, 2018 report:
“Everyone agrees that the FBI should be as professional and impartial as possible and that its investigations should not be driven by any political agenda or vendetta. That has always been the ideal.
… As a matter of reality, the FBI has been political from its outset.
… Surely there is a massive case of collective amnesia afflicting Washington and much of the media commentariat on that score.”
NPR then exposited the sordid history of the FBI being used to harass Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., anti-war protesters during the Viet Nam War and numerous instances of FBI surveillances and investigations of civil rights activists by agents of the FBI whose main purpose was to advance partisan political positions.
I realize if you hate the President, you want him investigated. If you hate Hillary Clinton, you want her investigated. And if you hate your neighbors, you want them investigated. However, you might reflect on the possibility they feel the same way.
As for politically connected matters, some do need to be addressed and even investigated. I respectfully suggest that should remain the purview of Congress. They will gladly proceed.