Unprincipled loyalty switching

Today the Intelligence Committee of the House of Representatives finally released the so-called Nunes memo, so named after the chair of the committee. I have rarely seen such an extended period of hype over whether the memo would be released or not, with speculation extending for weeks. To be honest, this is the kind of absurd Washington kabuki that I abhor and tend to ignore because it is almost invariably much ado about nothing. If you are interested you can read the four-page memo here and read about it here.

What has astonished me in the debate leading up the release is how those who opposed the release and some in the media claimed that doing so would undermine the integrity and independence of the FBI.

Really? From its very inception the FBI has been an arm of the authoritarian state and has been involved in some of the most notorious abuses of power. To claim otherwise is laughable. This short piece from The Onion titled FBI Warns Republican Memo Could Undermine Faith In Massive, Unaccountable Government Secret Agencies captures the absurdity.

WASHINGTON—Stressing that such an action would be highly reckless, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Thursday that releasing the “Nunes Memo” could potentially undermine faith in the massive, unaccountable government secret agencies of the United States. “Making this memo public will almost certainly impede our ability to conduct clandestine activities operating outside any legal or judicial system on an international scale,” said Wray, noting that it was essential that mutual trust exist between the American people and the vast, mysterious cabal given free rein to use any tactics necessary to conduct surveillance on U.S. citizens or subvert religious and political groups. “If we take away the people’s faith in this shadowy monolith exempt from any consequences, all that’s left is an extensive network of rogue, unelected intelligence officers carrying out extrajudicial missions for a variety of subjective, and occasionally personal, reasons.” At press time, Wray confirmed the massive, unaccountable government secret agencies were unaware of any wrongdoing for violating constitutional rights.

This switch in attitude towards the FBI (and also the CIA and the NSA) by some liberals and Democrats is similar how they have now embraced some of the worst warmongering neoconservatives like Bill Kristol, David Frum, and Max Boot, people who urged and supported the criminal invasion of Iraq, simply because those people dislike Donald Trump.


  1. says

    Yup. The government is already illegally spying on EVERYONE. Why didn’t the republicans get excited by Snowden’s disclosures?

    Oh, right, never mind.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    The FBI et al. previously claimed that releasing the Nunes (more specifically the Nunes-Patel) memo would jeopardize their work, implying (at least to me) that it disclosed information sources &/or procedures and so make operatives or systems useless or in danger.

    So far, I haven’t seen anything of that sort not already known in the famous four pages -- has anyone else?

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