This is perhaps virtue signaling at its absolute pinnacle. Yesterday an op-ed appeared by an FBI agent who declared himself simply to righteous and offended by it all to serve in a federal agency that had been criticized. The guy is a Comey aide and alumni of Strzok’s organization named Josh Campbell and this is his story: Why I Am Leaving the F.B.I.
After more than a decade of service, which included investigating terrorism, working to rescue kidnapping victims overseas and being special assistant to the director, I am reluctantly turning in my badge and leaving an organization I love. Why? So I can join the growing chorus of people who believe that the relentless attacks on the bureau undermine not just America’s premier law enforcement agency but also the nation’s security.
This, quite honestly, is nuts. There actually haven’t been attacks on the FBI. There have been pointed critiques of a management clique that decided to act as though it was part of the Democrat party. They may have done this out of rank partisanship…and there was certainly some of that…or it may have arisen from the sense that Hillary Clinton was a lock for election (I was one of those) and a desire to ingratiate themselves with the winner. No matter the motive the outcome was precisely the same. It was the actions of the management clique in the FBI that put the FBI’s credibility on the line and any damage to the FBI
F.B.I. agents are dogged people who do not care about the direction of political winds. But to succeed in their work, they need public backing. Scorched-earth attacks from politicians with partisan goals now threaten that support, raising corrosive doubts about the integrity of the F.B.I. that could last for generations.
This may or may not be true. It is actually hard to believe that the FBI, given the qualifications required to be hired simply don’t care about the direction their country is taking. What is disturbing about Campbell’s snivel is that his primary loyalty is not to the nation, not to its political system, it is simply to the FBI. “Trust me” is just not good enough.
When the F.B.I. knocks on someone’s door or appeals to the public for assistance in solving crime, the willingness of people to help is directly correlated to their opinion of the agency. When an agent working to stop a terrorist plot attempts to recruit an informant, the agent’s success in gathering critical intelligence depends on the informant’s belief that the agent is credible and trustworthy. And, as the former director, James Comey, would frequently say in underscoring the importance of high standards, whether a jury believes an agent’s testimony depends on whether it has faith in the bureau’s honesty and independence. To be effective, the F.B.I. must be believed and must maintain the support of the public it serves.
All of this is true but Campbell seems intellectually unable to grasp the actual issue. The FBI must be thought of as honest and independent because IT IS honest and independent, not because it is verboten to point out times, like Ruby Ridge, when the FBI was patently out of control. Personally, I think the 2016 election clearly shows the FBI was engaging in political espionage and that, right there, says the FBI really doesn’t merit the benefit of a doubt. The other irony here is that while Campbell mouths the words “public it serves” he, at no point, is upset by the underlying actions. His gripe is that the actions are being discussed.
…Although those critics’ revisionist supporters claim their ire is reserved for institutional leadership and not the rank and file, it is the F.B.I. agent on the street who will be most severely affected as public support for federal law enforcement is sacrificed for partisan gain.
These political attacks on the bureau must stop. If those critics of the agency persuade the public that the F.B.I. cannot be trusted, they will also have succeeded in making our nation less safe.
And yet we’re assured that those rank and file agents are now angry and will take out that anger on the president and his administration because the FBI is so precious that no one is allowed to question its purity.
I think that when the smoke clears on the House Intelligence Committee memo, after all the quibbles about dates of great significance and other such dross has been dismissed, that the FBI will have suffered significant damage.