How Many Times Are We Going to Let the FBI and DOJ Break the Law?

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

It seems I can’t keep up with the latest DOJ or FBI scandal as of late. In the last two weeks, I have penned two pieces at RedState voicing my displeasure with their continued political targeting and questionable tactics.

While some missed my sarcasm regarding the “J. Edgar glory days,” the problems at the FBI and DOJ, along with other federal law enforcement organizations (I’m looking at you, ATF), are nothing new. While this author is going to stop far short of suggesting that the likes of McVeigh and Nichols had any justification whatsoever to do what they did, one can certainly step back and look at the actions taken at Ruby Ridge and Waco and question whether or not any government should have the power to take that sort of action against their own citizens.

One can still be as disgusted by the action of domestic terrorists with a Ryder truck as we are by domestic terrorists with blue jackets with bold yellow lettering. Look at what the FBI did to Richard Jewell, in the wake of the Centennial Park Bombing, despite having zero evidence of any wrongdoing. In fact, the entirety of what linked Jewell to the bombing was geographic proximity and a single FBI profiler’s opinion. That’s it.

We found out from the 9/11 Commission Report that the FBI was responsible for some of the breakdown in communication that could have potentially helped to stop several of the hijackers leading up to the attacks. Remember, Zacarias Moussaoui, sometimes referred to as the 20th hijacker, was picked up by the FBI in August 2001, but was not linked to the other hijackers until after the 9/11 attacks.

Yet it doesn’t stop there. The FBI had contacted and/or investigated the Tsarnaev Brothers — perpetrators of the Boston Bombing in 2013, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik — perpetrators of the San Bernardino Shooting in 2015, and Omar Mateen — perpetrator of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016, all before any of those crimes were committed.

Even after crimes are committed, the FBI (and by extension, the DOJ) seem completely incapable of securing evidence of a motive or how the perpetrators had committed the crimes. In the case of Stephen Paddock, the entirety of our domestic federal law enforcement power couldn’t figure out how a guy, or better yet, why a guy got an armory into a tower room at the Mandalay Bay and murdered and injured hundreds.

Yet every one of these failures, these clinics of incompetence, were used to justify increased power to the FBI. The argument went something like, “well, we failed because we didn’t have enough access, or we couldn’t do a certain thing that would have helped us to prevent those situations.” Close-door meetings with the White House or Members of Congress likely started with questions of how to prevent those attacks from ever occurring again. The answers to those questions? More power to the FBI and DOJ.

With the recent arrest of Steve Bannon by the DOJ, on Contempt of Congress charges, I again question why any law enforcement agency needs this power. What is Bannon’s crime? Bannon ignored requests from Congressional Investigators into the January 6th riots. Bannon did nothing but tell these Congressional Investigators, who mind you have proven very recently to have used fraudulent information from the FBI and DOJ to conduct illegal investigations into the Trump Administration, to pound sand. When was the last time someone was arrested by the DOJ for Contempt of Congress? I was unable to identify that time. Remember Lois Lerner, architect of the IRS Scandal that targeted Conservative Groups? She was held in Contempt of Congress; however, the DOJ chose not to prosecute her.

Yet when it comes to protecting government abuse of power, the very agency tasked with preventing it is, by the very nature of its existence, an abuse of power. Who is in charge of investigating the shady actions of Members of Congress? Who is in charge of appropriations for the DOJ? And thus, the Corruption Tango continues.

During the Trump Administration Bill Barr was held in Contempt of Congress, but as the Attorney General of the United States would have been tasked with his own prosecution for such crime. The Left, I am sure, had a problem with that, but what was Barr held in Contempt for specifically?  His refusal to comply with a subpoena from Congress. He didn’t lie. He didn’t send them false information or alter documents. He simply said no, I refuse to participate in your sham of an investigation, which, mind you, was motivated by the same people who had used fraudulent information provided to them by the FBI and DOJ to conduct other, potentially illegal investigations.

When Attorney General Merrick Garland lied before Congress about tactics and targets the FBI was using to investigate “domestic terrorists,” (see: PTA, Parents against rape in school bathrooms) this carries with it a specific intent to mislead. When NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci lied to a Senate Committee saying that gain-of-function research never took place at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, that again, contained an intent to mislead. The FBI leaked privileged information to the New York Times.

Yet, when we discuss the issues with Barr and Bannon, the left interprets silence and refusal to participate in Kangaroo Courts as an intent to mislead. That’s just not true. Congressional hearings often are just that…Kangaroo courts… which don’t have any power to request the information they do, nor enforce those requests. Bannon’s arrest was just more theatrics from the same house of political theatre. Garland, who lied to Congress, is in charge of determining whether or not to prosecute himself, decided to prosecute Bannon simply because Bannon refused to participate in a sham investigation?

The targeting that has been seen from the DOJ is against the law. The withholding of exculpatory evidence also is against the law. So is lying to Congress. At which point are we going to say enough is enough? And more importantly, how? How do we stop them from doing this?

This is why 2022 is so important as is 2024. This needs to be the point stuck under the nose of every undecided voter while answering the following: Is this the government you want? Is this the government you deserve? We need to make the wholesale corruption that has been occurring in our government, as well as the oft-rewarded incompetence of other government entities, the outrage point.

Enough about Republicans vs Democrats, and the Right versus the Left. It is us, the people, versus them, the government. We need our leaders to fear what will happen if they abuse our trust and lie to us about it more than they fear others in government to whom they might have to stand up. The only way we get them to respect their offices and the sacred trust we have extended them is to make the punishment of the violation of such so much worse than anything they stand to gain by engaging in questionable actions in the first place.

We need strong leaders who will call out the corruption then refuse to move on anything until that corruption is fully investigated by an independent party and the involved parties prosecuted to the furthest extent of the law.

Let’s start there, but as our Forefathers taught us, sometimes it takes a group of motivated ordinary citizens to effect major change.