The Words That Must Not Be Spoken – An American Coup
I have heard and read a lot of media in the last couple of days concerning the cabal within the FBI that is intent on destroying Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and the analysis always seems to be missing one word. Yesterday’s news brought us three new stories about the heart of this conspiracy which seems to originate in the FBI’s New York field office. Spencer Ackerman at the Guardian reports that some NY FBI agents consider Clinton “the anti-Christ”. Ackerman quoted one unnamed agent as saying that “the FBI is Trumpland” and the reason the agency is leaking so badly is “they’re pro-Trump.”
This was followed by a story from Wayne Barrett at the Daily Beast that describes the nexus between former FBI Assistant Director Jim Kallstrom, Rudy Giuliani, and a network of current and former agents. Both Kallstrom and Giuliani have known Trump since the 1980s in New York and Giuliani is one of Trump’s most important surrogates while Kallstrom has been a long-time Fox News contributor since his retirement. Please read the whole of Barrett’s article to get a flavor of how the FBI has long covered for Republican malfeasance while doggedly pursuing Democrats. And read his other article that describes how Giuliani has been bought and paid for by Trump ever since the late 1980s when Trump bootstrapped Giuliani’s first mayoral campaign and got the FBI to cover-up Trump’s deep mob connections.
On Fox, Brett Baier reported that his sources say that Clinton will likely be indicted in a “pay-to-play” scheme at the Clinton Foundation; that new emails with possible classified information have been found among the Abedin emails; and that Hillary’s email had almost assuredly been hacked at least five foreign intelligence services, which directly contradicts the conclusions made public by Comey. Baier had to walk much of these accusations back when it became apparent that his sources were two unnamed sources that were not even law-enforcement sources but just sources “familiar with the investigations”. In fact, it’s quite possible his sources were actually Giuliani and Kallstrom.
Kallstrom and Giuliani have been saying for months that agents both inside and outside the FBI have been talking them and are furious with Comey’s decision not to prosecute Clinton over the email issue. Of course, any comments from a current agent is a violation of department rules if not a violation of the law. When pressed, both initially deny they ever sourced current FBI agents and, when confronted with their actual statements, deny that talked to any current agents. But, in an interview on Fox just two days before the Comey letter, Giuliani said, “there are going to be a couple of surprises in the next few days…I’m talking about some pretty big surprises…we’ve got a couple of things up our sleeve that should turn this around.” He seems pretty prescient and, in the video, quite smug and confident that he knows what will happen.
We have seen other leaks coming from FBI or FBI-related sources that have clearly helped the Trump campaign. Initial stories that showed evidence of a possible direct connection between a Russian bank associated with Putin and the Trump campaign were immediately knocked down by an NY Times’ story that cited law enforcement sources. The Times subsequently had to walk back the definitive nature of their rebuttal. In addition, Comey refused to sign on to the finding by other security agencies that Russia has been behind the hacking of Democratic emails because of his concern about influencing the election.
So let’s be clear about what is going on here. There is a group within the FBI that has essentially blackmailed the FBI Director into releasing his ill-considered letter in violation of DOJ rules and protocols. Plenty of sources have reported that a large part of Comey’s reasoning for writing the letter was that he was convinced that the information about the Abedin emails would leak, most probably from within his own Bureau. After Comey’s letter, this cabal quite rightly felt that a wall had been breached (which it clearly had) and they began to leak like crazy to the point where we have unsubstantiated reports of possible classified material on some new Abedin emails, a wide-spread investigation into pay-to-play at the Clinton Foundation (that is purely based on a propaganda book against Clinton) that will likely result in an indictment, the dismissal of any Russian ties to the Trump campaign, and the refusal to confirm Russian hacking to influence the election. All of this clearly is intended to damage Hillary Clinton and support Donald Trump. And now we have indications that this cabal within the FBI is actually coordinating its actions with the Trump campaign.
All the media seems to treat all these revelations of the inappropriate and possibly illegal activities of the FBI with kid gloves. Rachel Maddow spent her show last night showing how the FBI relied on a Breitbart-inspired hit job on the Clinton Foundation (that was coordinated with the NY Times in a shocking breach of judgement) to launch its investigation of the Foundation which has apparently turned up nothing despite the FBI’s best efforts that apparently continued long after the DOJ had basically laughed the agents out of the room and told them they had nothing. Maddow described the actions of these rogue agents as an attempt to influence or interject the FBI into the election. And that is the same kind of phrasing that most of the media uses – “interject”, “influence”, a “politicization” of the FBI, or other such euphemisms. Today’s New York Times is a perfect example. It has one big story in the election section on the choices Comey has with regard to the Abedin emails that barely discusses the inappropriateness of Comey’s actions. The best they can do is mention that he has few defenders and that some in the FBI worry about the agency’s “reputation for impartiality”. In the New York section, they have a much smaller article on Giuliani’s FBI connections that largely quotes from his interview on Fox & Friends, his claim of contacts with acting agents outraged at Clinton, and the lack of substantiation of any of his accusations. In neither article is their any detailed analysis of the potential effects of the FBI’s rogue actions.
None of the media is willing to call this insurrection within the FBI for exactly what it is – an attempted coup. But that is exactly what it is. As Wayne Barrett has pointed out, the FBI has never had a Director who was a Democrat and has continually covered up for the GOP and pursued Democrats. Whether Comey is part of this cabal is not known but he has certainly succumbed to their pressure. And just like every political entity when a coup begins, there is a moment to choose sides before the outcome is known. And it is clear that the Republican party has decided to throw its lot in with the coup-plotters, primarily because they have been attempting to subvert government for decades. They have already allowed their nominee to refuse to accept the results of the election and deny the legitimacy of the new president if it was not Trump. The party has also already called for Clinton’s impeachment should she win, having actually impeached her husband when he was President. It stands silent when its nominee declares that Clinton’s election will result in our greatest constitutional crisis. It is refusing to consider any Democratic nominee to the Supreme Court. It has threatened the full faith and credit of the United States. It engages in massive voter suppression of its political opponents. It has ignored court orders to eliminate unconstitutional voting restrictions. So it is no surprise that the party would throw its hat in with this budding coup. Yes, this is not a military coup yet, despite many supporters of Trump threatening violence if the election does not go their way. But it is a coup nonetheless that is being supported by the Republican party. The most powerful investigative agency in the country has become an arm of a political campaign and party. And we need to recognize it for what it really is.
I am amazed when the media talks about how the FBI can repair its relationship with Clinton and the general attitude is that they will find a way to work it out. Ackerman’s piece describes the thoughts of a long-time FBI agent on a reconciliation saying that, “if Clinton is elected, she and Comey would probably find a way to work together out of a sense of pragmatism. He recalled both his own occasional clashes with federal prosecutors and Bill Clinton’s uneasy relationship with his choice for FBI director.” As we all remember, Freeh went after Clinton relentlessly while he was FBI Director and his actions ended up with Bill Clinton’s impeachment so that is not a particular precedent that the country can afford to repeat.
There is only one member of the media who has confronted the dangers of this kind of coup head on and that was Republican strategist Steve Schmidt in his emotional reaction to Trump’s attempt to delegitimize the results of the election. And his comments came before Comey’s letter and the revelation of the apparent coordination between coup-plotters in the FBI and the Trump campaign. My sense is the media is prepared to let bygones be bygones once the election is over. But that is just more appeasement that will lead to an even greater attack on our democratic institutions and, as Steve Schmidt fears, the overthrow of our democratic processes and the rise of fascism in the United States. And, when that happens, establishment Republicans, who have long played ball with these forces in order to maintain their grip on power against the demographic wave that is soon to swamp them, may find out that they have become the next target.
Update: Steve Schmidt finally did comment on James Comey today and you can see his full comments starting at the 5:00 mark in the video included with the story. The money quote, “In an era where trust has completely collapsed in very nearly every institution of the United States, really with the exception of the U.S. military and a couple others, let’s now take the FBI and add it to the list of politicized discredited institutions. There has never been a director in the modern age who has done more damage to the reputation of this institution putting it into the center of a political campaign like James Comey did. And he did it because of ego.”