Events have truly heated up in the past few days as the chair and staff of the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have created and then approved releasing a memo on the FBI and their use of FISA warrants in the Russia investigation. It seems to me there is so much “he said, she said” in this debate that the average American has given up trying to figure it out and in most cases has reverted to their respective corners of either believing Fox News or CNN/MSNBC commentary. Even I, who attempt to understand much of it, have a hard time keeping the players and accusations straight.
I guess my fallback position is to try and determine who has conflicts of interest here and who do I trust and who do I not. The Chairman of the Intel Committee of the House, Devin Nunes, had to recuse himself on a similar matter months ago as he was formally on the President’s transition team. In my view of the world, I would have thought recusal throughout the entire process would have been appropriate. Right or wrong, his continued participation has put his credibility and the recently-released memo from the Republican majority in jeopardy. That said, by not allowing (so far anyway) the release of the Democratic response, even more tainting of the report is occurring.
That said, we each come from our own biased position and I will now admit mine. Before I retired, I owned a company that managed 23 different associations, two of which were federal law enforcement associations, the ATF Association and the Association of Former Agents of the US Secret Service (AFAUSSS). There are 50+ federal law enforcement agencies, with the FBI being in the top three. All are made up of well-trained, competent, dedicated men and women whose first and foremost obligation is to this country.
I was privileged to see that commitment on a daily basis with the work I did. Could there be a few outliers not fitting the model? Of course, as long as human beings are filling positions of power that will be true. But if I compare federal law enforcement personnel to any other subset of the population, my experience is that they are head and shoulders above the rest and fall into the same category as doctors and clergy and way ahead of politicians. Therefore, if it is a question of “who do you trust” in this series of events, sorry, but the FBI wins hands down.
Also, in the fray are the Russians and in a “who do you trust” line up – they come in dead last or maybe tied to the North Koreans.
All of this tells me there is “stuff” which still needs to come out on the investigation into the Russian meddling of our election process. I have certain opinions, but will save them for another article. All I can say now is, “please everyone take a deep breath.” Don’t politicize the Mueller investigation and let it go where it needs to go to get at the truth. This investigation is critical for our democracy.
If in the process either the special council Bob Mueller or his boss, Rob Rosenstein or the head of the FBI Christopher Wray are let go any time soon a major constitutional crisis will be upon us. Hopefully we will get through this without that occurring and truth will win out.
by Dick Goodson
Photo via Gage Skidmore