How the FBI and intelligence agencies lost credibility

Victor Davis Hanson:
Washington’s self-righteous establishmentarians talk of professionalism when they act unprofessionally. They refer at length to their intellectual and professional pedigrees when they prove incompetent. And they cite their morality and ethics when they possess neither.

And then, adding insult to injury, when the public expresses abhorrence at their behavior, they accuse critics of unprofessionalism, a lack of patriotism, or reckless demagoguery.

A James Clapper can lie to Congress under oath about intelligence surveillance of U.S. citizens; a John Brennan can lie about CIA monitoring of U.S. Senate computers, or mislead Congress about the absence of any collateral damage in the use of drones. Yet we are supposed to give both further credence based on their emeriti titles or to believe their current Captain Renault-like outrage over President Trump’s lack of presidential decorum? But what in their past has earned them the moral high ground? Claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was largely “secular,” or redefining jihad as “a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam”?

Are we supposed to believe that Robert Mueller did not overreach by spinning off an investigation of Trump consigliere and lawyer Michael Cohen?

Why? Because we are also told that a regional federal prosecutor would have to have had good cause to order raids on Cohen? Because a federal judge would have had to have seen such credible evidence before anyone dared enter Cohen’s office and residence? Because another federal justice believes it is in the national interest that we know Michael Cohen knows Sean Hannity?

Trust in the Obama-era directorships of the Justice Department, FBI, and, indeed, the federal courts themselves are now horses that have long ago left the proverbial judicial barn. Should the public also believe that no sober and judicious FISA court judge would ever have approved surveillance of American citizens without asking where the evidence came from, who compiled it, who, if any, paid for it, or had a vested interest in seeing it used for a warrant? Should the public believe that its FBI director, and various deputy attorney generals, would never have dared keep from a FISA court information about their own submitted evidence?
There is much more.

These people either believed something that wasn't true or they were willing to say things that were not true to achieve their political objectives.   Prosecutors like those in the New York US attorney's office as well as in the Mueller investigation appear willing to bring charges against individuals in order to extort testimony against the President. That is not how justice is supposed to be done.  If, defense attorneys did the same thing they would be charged with crimes.


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