Roger L. Simon

The FBI Meets the Zabar's Zeitgeist

Nora Ephron has written a snarky piece for the Huff Post, which purports to reveal the dishonest nature of FBI terror investigations like the latest one at JFK and, presumably, Fort Dix a few weeks back. A hundred and fifty or more commenters applaud her post like the congregation at a gospel meeting.

I found the whole thing depressing. Actually I could barely read it. Why – after Bali, Madrid, London, Amsterdam, New York (twice), Casablanca, Istanbul, on and on – is someone so intelligent as Nora writing this trendy tripe? What does she expect law enforcement to do? Not to investigate these things? Nora implies it’s all entrapment… but is it? How does she know? Indeed, she doesn’t and couldn’t. She just assumes it to be so because it is a comfortable world view for her.

People like Nora in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 were supporting such actions themselves, but soon grew weary. It put too much strain on their self-images, so it became easier to make snotty comments about the FBI, as if J. Edgar Hoover was still in charge and the Palmer Raids never ended – only he’s dead and they have. Long ago. Times have changed. And how.

It is, however, an (endless) election season and the subtext of all this self-indulgent nonsense is that another Republican cannot be elected, even if it is not Bush. Rational thinking does not apply. We live in a strange world of signs and symbols, not that different in a way from that tribal society we are having so many problems with in Iraq. People are still stuck in their tribes – whether they are Harif or Howetat, Sunni, Shiite, or Zabarians. Zabarians, it seems, never trust the FBI. It’s just not done.