One of the salient facts to remember in the wake of the firing (finally!) of Peter Strzok is that the man was the chief of the Counterespionage Section of the FBI. That means the man in charge of counterespionage for the Unites States of America was conducting an extramarital affair with another important Justice Department employee via text messages that could easily have been hacked by a high school student.
Roll that around in your mind for a moment. Can you think of anything dumber in the intelligence world? You don’t have to have read any of a dozen John le Carré novels to understand how foolhardy it was, how it made Strzok subject to all sorts of skullduggery from foreign powers. No wonder it took them so long to fire him. There must have been a lot to investigate besides his ridiculously biased and jejune politics.
Now roll back five years to when it was discovered that Dianne Feinstein’s chauffeur of twenty years (!) was a spy for the People’s Republic of China. (Well, five years for Dianne. The rest of us found out only last week.)
How was it possible the then-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee was under such intimate covert surveillance by China for decades? Where was our counterespionage on that one? Not doing a lot of countering.
Part of this can be explained by the greed of the Feinsteins, husband and wife, who during those years made millions off their business dealings with China, relations that made the couple easy prey for the ChiComs, but still one wonders about the blindness. If you believe our government’s claim that the Chinese didn’t get very much useful information over those twenty years, well, I have a Brooklyn Bridge to sell you — and I’ll throw in the Manhattan, Triborough and Verrazano into the bargain. That would make the Chinese as dumb as, well, Peter Strzok.
It would be interesting to review Feinstein’s comments during the Russia probe, given this revelation — especially since, these days, as most would agree, China is a far more potent and ultimately more dangerous adversary than Russia. But more of that in a minute.
These two events separated by just a few years demonstrate incompetence in the extreme. But they are far from alone. Michael Ledeen in an article at this site detailed a host of errors by our intelligence agencies over the years, from the complete misjudgment of the Soviet Union onward to missing 9/11, the Boston Marathon, etc.
So what does that record of malfeasance add up to? What is its twisted progeny? What else but The Russia Probe itself?
After decades of failure safely hidden by codes of bureaucratic silence, a new administration arrives — or threatens to arrive — with a wild card president. That immediately spells trouble for these intelligence bureaucracies. Indeed, it clearly spelled trouble before he arrived. They tried to head it off at the pass.
How better then to distract from being investigated than to launch an investigation of the person (or persons) that would normally be investigating you. In that way they would be following the normal pattern of bureaucracies as detailed in Benda’s The Treason of the Intellectuals, first failing and then protecting themselves through omertà. And our intelligence agencies are nothing if not bureaucracies, bloated ones at that.
Until the Trump administration, no one cared, at least enough to do anything about it, not for a long time anyway. Remember, they had the likes of Dianne Feinstein overseeing their behavior, she of “Driving Miss Feinstein.” Nothing to worry about there.
So… a Russia Probe. How better, once again, for Brennan, Clapper, Comey, et al. to avoid being brought to justice or even being given much scrutiny for what they did? And they were doubtless aided and abetted by the previous administration, their willing collaborators and/or instigators.
Separately or together they had the solution. Bring someone else far less criminal to the dock — like Michael Flynn, who had had the temerity to criticize their beloved Iran Deal. Let that poor sucker take the heat. Put good old Strzok in there to sink him. Then accuse a president — who, conveniently, has a tendency toward malapropisms — of covering up whatever (it doesn’t matter — pick anything). With any luck they can nail that president for perjury or that most heinous of sins, lying to the FBI. He could be a second Martha Stewart. Then they’re really off the hook. Rabid dogs of the press and the opposition party will demand impeachment. Again, it doesn’t matter for what as long as it happens. Distraction is all.
And lucky for them they have two functional eunuchs standing by, ever willing to protect the organization at the expense of the truth — Christopher Wray and Jeff Sessions. People like that have the gift of convincing themselves that they are doing good when they are doing the opposite.
Speaking of which, Inspector General Michael Horowitz is due for a report about all this. His first, about the Clinton email scandal, was a sophisticated whitewash. The second is about a subject yet more important — the essence of the FBI itself. Will it be a second whitewash? If it is, as Jerry Garcia once said, “Trouble ahead, trouble behind...”
Roger L. Simon is the co-founder and CEO Emeritus of PJ Media. He is also an award-winning author and screenwriter.