James Comey, the former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, waded into the FISA Memo debate late on Thursday, hoping to get media attention before the memo eclipses other stories. His statement can be seen only as an attempt to defend practices that occurred on his watch.
All should appreciate the FBI speaking up. I wish more of our leaders would. But take heart: American history shows that, in the long run, weasels and liars never hold the field, so long as good people stand up. Not a lot of schools or streets named for Joe McCarthy.
— James Comey (@Comey) February 1, 2018
The statement, though not unexpected, is yet another fairly political statement from James Comey, which seems to suggest that those who don’t like the idea that the FBI can launch investigations using only unverified claims made during a campaign.
In his tweet, Comey referred to those who disagree with the FBI being patently political as “weasels and liars,” and goes on to suggest that they won’t hold power for very long.
He ended his tweet with a dig both at current politicians and at former Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy, saying that not a lot of schools or streets are named after him.
To begin with, saying that there aren’t many government locations named after someone does not mean that they are not good people, nor does it mean that they ARE good people. That’s a pathetic way to measure the value of a person of any sort.
Further, it seems that James Comey doesn’t know much about the history of Senator McCarthy and the ‘Red Scare’ of the Cold War.
Senator Joe McCarthy was relatively unknown until 1950, when he launched a crusade against Communists in government and in America in general.
He came to prominence when he claimed that Communists had infiltrated the State Department and other government institutions. Decades after his death, these claims would be substantiated, even by documents from the collapsed Soviet Union itself.
Senator Joe McCarthy went after alleged Communists in the government, culminating in the Army-McCarthy hearings, which resulted in nothing but 36 days’ worth of interesting television for citizens to watch.
What Comey seems to have forgotten is that the FBI not only helped the Senate and Joe McCarthy attempt to target Communists (and alleged Communists) in the United States Army, but they also targeted American citizens.
The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), which McCarthy had nothing to do with, worked EXTENSIVELY with the Federal Bureau of Investigations to go after citizens who were part of the American Communist Party, as well as various related Communist and Socialist parties.
It was the FBI, under the leadership of J. Edgar Hoover, that went after American citizens for their political beliefs. It was the FBI that helped create the Hollywood blacklist that forced Hollywood writers out of the industry.
It was the FBI that helped assail people because of their political beliefs, without any evidence that they had done anything wrong.
It was the FBI, along with the federal government, that went after people with political leanings they didn’t like. At worst, Joe McCarthy can be said to have kicked off the ‘Red Scare’ that led to the blacklist, but the HUAC predates McCarthy’s time in Senate by almost thirty years.
Does that sound familiar?
Republicans currently maintain that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its agents, including Mueller, launched a ‘collusion’ investigation under false pretenses. That investigation targeted people that the FBI didn’t particularly like.
The investigation claimed to have solid evidence that there was collusion between President Donald Trump and Russian agents.
The only ‘evidence’ for such claims is the Steele dossier, a dossier filled with factual errors and fantastical claims that either cannot or have not been verified.
The FBI, however, used this document, which was produced by Fusion GPS and paid for by the Hillary Clinton Campaign, as the basis for warrants to spy on American citizens.
The FBI and their political allies in the DNC also used this political document, and the claims contained therein, to launch the Mueller special investigation.
In other words, the investigation was launched utilizing what was essentially a political attack ad as its basis.
This is not just morally questionable, it’s legally questionable as well. The FBI is supposed to remain above the tactics of such partisan hacks, not to happily participate in them.
When it is in their interest, politicians like to pretend that the FBI does not have a long history of being involved in partisan political schemes, but the reality is otherwise.
The practices that have been discovered lately at the FBI, including attempts to avoid proper record-keeping of messages, occurred under James Comey and others. Pretending that the FBI is not still acting in an underhanded way is absurd.