Newly released FBI texts show that middle-class people will usually ignore principles and take whatever path helps them pay their bills.
In May 2017, Trump fired James Comey. Comey, of course, presented himself (he still does) as the most virtuous man in Washington. But even then, before we knew that Comey had participated in a coup against an American president, it was clear that Comey was not a straight shooter.
At the time, people were talking about how, while the FBI fish might have been rotten at the head, the rank-and-file agents FBI surely still believed in truth, justice, and the American way. In my post about rumors of FBI agents coming clean, after quoting language that some agents “bravely” but Comey’s face on their Facebook pages, I said,
According to Gateway Pundit, though, some agents are thinking of going public about their disagreements with Comey. The link in that article is to an October 17, 2016 article in which anonymous FBI agents say they’re displeased with Comey’s handling of matters.
I was less sanguine. Heck, I totally disbelieved that attitude! This is what I wrote then:
You know what? I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for those agents to go public. I think FBI agents’ courage is limited to Facebook profile pictures.
I say that for the reasons I stated back in April 2016, when I predicted (accurately) that Hillary would get a pass [from the FBI and DOJ]. The basis for this prediction is my unchanging belief that middle class civil servants crave job security and will not allow principles to get in their way. (Please note that I don’t give myself any moral high ground as I have the same cowardly, middle class mindset.)
No matter how principled they’d like to think they are, most middle-class people will turn a blind eye to corruption in their midst rather than run the risk of being unable to pay their mortgage or fund all of the other payments necessary to support a middle-class lifestyle. They don’t think of themselves as dishonest or complicit in dishonesty. They think of themselves as cautious people who aren’t going to risk their children’s future for some grand-standing that, rather than resulting in applause, could leave them unemployed and desperate.
This episode from my past makes me doubt very strongly that Hillary Clinton will be indicted. I know that the rumor mill keeps saying that FBI agents, from Comey on down, will quit if Loretta Lynch lets Hillary walk. Some of the FBI agents whispering this to friendly reporters may even believe that they’ll quit.
Mostly, though, this is a bluff. Why? Because the people talking about quitting are middle-class people with mortgages, and school fees, and insurance, and all the other expenses that keep us in the middle-class living up to our own expectations. If Hillary really does walk, 99% of those “I’ll quit if she’s not indicted” agents will manage, very quickly and easily, to convince themselves to stay in their jobs, and get their salaries and pensions.
We middle-class people — the ones who collect paychecks for showing up and doing our job — are not paying the piper. We’re not entrepreneurs who get to make our own decisions. Instead, we are dependent on the good will of the very people who may stand accused of corruption. It’s the government, the high-level management, the business owner, who pay the piper and call the tune. We just dance. And if we miss a step, we’re out on our derrieres with nothing to show for all the skillful dancing we did for so many years before we alienated both piper and payor.
Human nature is fixed. Those of us comfortable with our status are also trapped by our status. While there are people with sufficient moral courage or insufficient investment in their middle-class status who will take a stand, most of us will manage to tell ourselves a series of comfortable lies that enable us to live with the embezzler [and] the corrupt politician. . . .
I’m doing a cynical victory lap right now. We now have proof that many people in the FBI knew exactly what was going on. That proof, ironically enough, comes about because the appellate court and Judge Sullivan refused to let the Flynn case go away. To explain why dismissing Flynn’s case is the right thing to do, Barr’s Justice Department did another document drop and it’s big.
Sidney Powell, in her latest brief for Flynn, includes text messages between FBI agents expressing their concern that the FBI upper management had a monomaniacal, and obviously wrong, fixation on Trump and supported Clinton. I’m including only a few of the text messages here but all of them are devastating.
The messages have a few abbreviations and codes. The agents refer to the Flynn investigation as either “Crossfire” or “Razor.” “FOIA’d” means a request from members of the public for government documents under the Freedom of Information Act. “NSL” or “nsl” refers to a National Security Letter, which is a subpoena demanding documents. It does not require a judge’s authorization. Also, I’ve highlighted pertinent language for clarity. The highlights are not in Sidney Powell’s brief.
In the following four images, you can read as unnamed FBI agents chat with each other about the fact that Flynn was clean, that management insisted on keeping the case going, and that the agents were pretty clear that (a) management supported Clinton and (b) management was intentionally (and without basis) gunning for Trump:
In sum, these agents knew something bad was going on. Did they take advantage of the whistleblower statutes that, to this day, protect Eric Ciaramella, who blew a false whistle regarding Trump’s Ukraine phone call last summer? Of course not. Did they quit their jobs on principled grounds? No way. Did they try to signal their concerns to leadership? You must be joking.
Here’s what they did: They bought insurance. And it wasn’t only these two chit-chatters who bought insurance — it was the entire department and, moreover, they bought the insurance on the taxpayers’ dime:
Did I call it or what? I said all along that the rank and file FBI agents would not speak up. The pressures of maintaining a middle-class lifestyle, especially when living in an expensive area like D.C. and the surrounding suburbs, would outweigh any moral considerations.
Let me say again that, much as I feel disdain for the choices these employees made, I’m not sure that I would have had the moral fiber to do better. I’d certainly like to think that, if I saw the Federal Bureau of Investigation plotting a coup against a duly elected president, I’d speak up, but I don’t know. I can imagine myself thinking, “I’ve got a Mortgage, college funds, insurance payments, car payments, a house in a good neighborhood with good schools,” and a whole laundry list of other things (and people) dependent on my salary and, even more importantly, my benefits. I can then imagine telling myself that the FBI management must know what it’s doing, that everything will work out or, maybe, that I should have the taxpayers buy me insurance to protect all my middle-class concerns.
Middle-class fragility is real. This isn’t like that stupid “white privilege, white fragility” garbage that Critical Race Theory spouts. CRT holds that whites will viciously protect their turf to make sure that all the various non-white groups don’t take from them. Nonsense. Middle-class people aren’t driven by race fear. They’re driven by mortgage payments fear. And these FBI agents were willing to go along with trying to overthrow an elected president to keep paying those mortgages.
Shame on them! And, God willing, if I ever face that kind of moral dilemma, I hope I make better choices.