Diary

My "hero" agency - bruised and a little tarnished

Earlier today, I read a main page post by Brandon Morse about an FBI report telling us a terrible story of murder rates of black Americans, referring to the percentages of black lives that are lost at the hands of other black Americans.

As as read further into the article, I began to wonder how could it be that this report was published? Who at the FBI let the data out? The data do not support an administration narrative that talks confidently about law and order. Maybe this is nothing more than the result of an uninformed FBI employee who didn’t get the FBI leadership memo about advancing the ‘correct’ narrative?

Then I realized what really happened – here I am, so shell-shocked at the FBI for their seeming inaction and premeditated ‘no harm no foul’ handling of the Clinton classified email destruction / cover up that I find myself distracted from the real meaning of their report.  I can hardly accept it without wondering if there is ‘spin’ in how the numbers were released.  Yes, I do believe that there was some sort of ‘interference’ during the FBI’s investigation of Secretary Clinton’s email server.  Shame on me, but it is where I am today…. cynical, critical and cautious of one of the few American government agencies historically worthy of respect.  Now I am doubting their every report?

Watching Mr. Comey’s explanations over the last few weeks, about what the FBI did / didn’t do in the Clinton email investigation, and recognizing the obvious ethical contortions made during those explanations, are something I don’t remember ever seeing before; at least from the head of such a revered and storied agency of American government. For goodness sake, its the FBI!  How the heck did they fall into the same slime-lined trench that holds the IRS, the Department of State, the EPA and both DOE(s)?  Did something happen to just doing the right thing, or at least to being able to easily explain why you didn’t?

I feel that one of my hero agency’s reputation is tarnished.  I know – the FBI isn’t every agency; but come on, this is the FBI were talking about!  This is one of a few places in government where I am sure honor prevails.

It may sound corny, but I really look up to the men and women of the FBI.  There was a time in my younger life when I wanted to be one of them.  Their status as superior law enforcers and investigators extraordinaire are for me a source of pride in America and in (a small part of) my government.  No matter how bad politics get, in the back of my mind the FBI is always there; a stalwart organization that epitomizes the bedrock ideals of American justice, law and order, freedom. The FBI have always been America’s good guys, smart and tough – unimpeachable character.

Regardless of what pretzel logic I heard, or the implications thereof, during the Director’s testimony before Congress, I still believe in the FBI.  I still believe that they will stand in the investigative arena and wield the sword of truth, discerning right from wrong.  I still believe that they fight for justice, not political expediency.  I don’t want them to be tarnished, sullied and soiled by recent events and courses of action that could have been forced upon them.  I desperately want to give them any benefit of any doubt, in any circumstance.  In spite of the Clinton email scandal and whatever portion of her corrupt splatter may have landed upon some of them, they remain my heroes.

Yes I know. I sound naive, like some delicate flower of a personality, recoiling at newly discovered injustice or hard-nosed reality.  If one’s hero’s die hard, their reputations die even harder.  Not every agent in the FBI was involved in the Clinton email investigation.  I don’t know if those that were involved feel that the their reputations, or that of their Agency, are tarnished.   For those that might, where do those good men and women go to get their reputations back?