Weaponized Bureaucracies

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RxCowboy

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From my favorite libertarian blogger:

Weaponized Bureaucracies
by Peter Venetoklis
May 22, 2018

The latest allegation in the perpetually sordid deconstruction of this past election is that the FBI planted a mole inside Trump’s campaign. Concurrently, a preview of a pending report by the Inspector General is said to slam the FBI for foot-dragging its review of a trove of recovered Clinton emails prior to the election. Sadly, there’s no longer a sense of “outlier occurrence” here, no surprise, no feeling of outrage. When we constantly witness bureaucrats barely getting slaps on the wrist for misdeeds, we should be forgiven for lacking the energy to be outraged again. When Lois Lerner uses the frightening power of the IRS to tip the scales of political debate, and gets away with it, frustrated indifference is understandable. When James Comey makes a big mucky mess, flops from hero to villain to hero to villain to martyr, and embarks on a book tour instead of suffering any consequence beyond getting fired, we might be forgiven for becoming inured to further predations.

That’s dangerous. That’s real political dysfunction. When the parts of government that exist, or are at least supposed to exist, outside the pendulum of politics, instead become political weapons, and we accept it as the new normal, we are facing a possibly irreversible decline of social functioning itself.

Some have argued that all this “deep state” stuff is warranted by the uniquely frightening (in their eyes) election of Trump, that the cloud of stink surrounding his campaign and many who worked therein warrants extraordinary investigative efforts.

Nonsense.

Politicians, being politicians (i.e. cheats and liars who steal babies’ lollipops), often fail to resist the temptation to use the tools at their disposal for personal or partisan gain. Our system of divided power, checks, and balances, is supposed to combat that eternal reality. Law enforcement agencies, especially, are obligated to a government of laws, not men, and a deference to the citizenry that, via the ballot box, is the ultimate granter of power and authority. And, when that authority is turned against a powerless individual (Candidate Trump had no authority to do anything until sworn in as President) and against a big chunk of the body politic, we should see red flags and hear screaming alarms.

Certainly, if law enforcement has probable cause to investigate someone – anyone, a political candidate included – for criminal activity, it should, without reservation. But, it should do so for strictly non-partisan and apolitical reasons, not with bias aforethought or a desire to see a particular outcome. And, vitally, it needs to follow the law, including the Fourth Amendment’s mandate for search warrants.

If the FBI sent someone into the Trump campaign without a warrant, that would be an egregious transgression. And, if the Obama White House directed a government agency, whether it be the FBI or one of the spy services, to infiltrate the Trump campaign, that would be an even more monstrous violation of the public trust. After all, Obama was President until well after the 2016 presidential campaign concluded. Respect for our system of government and for the people he and it serve absolutely demands that a sitting President respect the process for the election of his successor. As Wall Street Journal columnist James Freeman asks, Where in the World Was Barack Obama?

We should demand the answers to these questions.

We should also demand total accountability from our regulatory agencies, with heads on platters in those cases where officials violated the public trust by injecting partisanship into process.

If you are more worried about Russian meddling than your own government’s dirty and partisan deeds, you’re doing it wrong. Nations, when they rot, usually do so from within, and no external meddler can hold a candle to the damage that internal rot can cause.

Copyright © 2013-2018.

About Peter Venetoklis
I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.
 

StillwaterTownie

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We should also demand total accountability from our regulatory agencies, with heads on platters in those cases where officials violated the public trust by injecting partisanship into process.

If you are more worried about Russian meddling than your own government’s dirty and partisan deeds, you’re doing it wrong. Nations, when they rot, usually do so from within, and no external meddler can hold a candle to the damage that internal rot can cause.
In other words, it should be made legal for people from another country to help run or provide money for a presidential campaign. Because it's currently illegal is why FBI was investigating the Trump campaign to see if reports of it were true.

As far as holding the government accountable, people need to heed the wise words of former Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson who said "It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error."

While demanding accountablilty, the voter can help keep the government from falling into error, also meaning corruption, by not letting incumbents stay in there too long. Since corruption has to be kept in secret, much of it is unable to rise to see the light of day. Voting out incumbents is one way to break it up.
 

CocoCincinnati

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The less punishments there are this time around, the more likely the same thing will occur again, either from a Republican administration or a Democrat one (or both). This should no longer be a partisan issue for the voters, a message needs to be sent and punishments need to be severe so that next time the people involved stop and think if they want to risk it.
 

Deere Poke

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In other words, it should be made legal for people from another country to help run or provide money for a presidential campaign. Because it's currently illegal is why FBI was investigating the Trump campaign to see if reports of it were true.
It's obvious you haven't been watching the actual government papers about whats been going on. The FBI knew Trump had not done anything when they started the investigation. The public paper trail exposes this fact. The Comey memo's had nothing in them to justify appointing a special council. This is the most over the top crap I have seen in my life. Couple that with the fact the MSM have been reporting out and out lies for the past year to cover for it and just wow.

Come on you remember all the reporting about how Trump was lying about being spied on. Oops that was 6 months worth of reporting unverified lies. Because you know the investigations taking place have proven not only was he spied on but it was worse than originally thought. Fox news the only one that reported about him being spied on are the liars fabricating news.

As John Stossel would say give me a break.
 

StillwaterTownie

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It's obvious you haven't been watching the actual government papers about whats been going on. The FBI knew Trump had not done anything when they started the investigation. The public paper trail exposes this fact. The Comey memo's had nothing in them to justify appointing a special council. This is the most over the top crap I have seen in my life. Couple that with the fact the MSM have been reporting out and out lies for the past year to cover for it and just wow.

Come on you remember all the reporting about how Trump was lying about being spied on. Oops that was 6 months worth of reporting unverified lies. Because you know the investigations taking place have proven not only was he spied on but it was worse than originally thought. Fox news the only one that reported about him being spied on are the liars fabricating news.

As John Stossel would say give me a break.
You are WRONG: Excerpt for the NY Times, May 18:

WASHINGTON — President Trump accused the F.B.I. on Friday, without evidence, of sending a spy to secretly infiltrate his 2016 campaign “for political purposes” even before the bureau had any inkling of the “phony Russia hoax.”

In fact, F.B.I. agents sent an informant to talk to two campaign advisers only after they received evidence that the pair had suspicious contacts linked to Russia during the campaign. The informant, an American academic who teaches in Britain, made contact late that summer with one campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, according to people familiar with the matter. He also met repeatedly in the ensuing months with the other aide, Carter Page, who was also under F.B.I. scrutiny for his ties to Russia.
 

Deere Poke

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You are WRONG: Excerpt for the NY Times, May 18:

WASHINGTON — President Trump accused the F.B.I. on Friday, without evidence, of sending a spy to secretly infiltrate his 2016 campaign “for political purposes” even before the bureau had any inkling of the “phony Russia hoax.”

In fact, F.B.I. agents sent an informant to talk to two campaign advisers only after they received evidence that the pair had suspicious contacts linked to Russia during the campaign. The informant, an American academic who teaches in Britain, made contact late that summer with one campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, according to people familiar with the matter. He also met repeatedly in the ensuing months with the other aide, Carter Page, who was also under F.B.I. scrutiny for his ties to Russia.
:facepalm::facepalm:

Go back about a year and look at what they were reporting. Is your memory really that short. I believe they were saying Trump was crazy for saying the FBI was listening to his phone conversations. Well they were. If the NYT were honest they would have to retract almost a years worth of political reporting. But of course they were only reporting what the unnamed sources told them. So it was true in that sense. It's not their fault their source was lying. Back in the day they would verify this crap before they reported it.

I notice the NYT also forgets to mention it appears said informant committed arkicide, cause he's been MIA for almost 6 months, as well as the other 2 informants who were trying to give the Trump campaign Hillary's emails.

Strange how that happens to the people that could land a bunch of other people in jail.