The politicization of the Department of Justice and the FBI in recent years is best illustrated by their draconian handling of the individuals involved in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol incursion. We’ve seen videos of FBI SWAT teams descending upon quiet neighborhoods to arrest ordinary Americans for misdemeanors. Even those of us with little knowledge of the legal system can see that these tactics are unnecessary.
Just the News recently interviewed nine retired FBI agents and reported that all of them “were concerned about the use of SWAT teams to make arrests of the Jan. 6 defendants.” Nearly all said they were worried about the increasing politicization of the bureau.
Moreover, most indicated they’d “never heard of the FBI working on misdemeanor cases.” Some even said they would have been mocked if they’d brought a misdemeanor case to a U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Terry Turchie, former deputy assistant director of the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI, led the Unabomber task force. He left the FBI shortly before the 9/11 terrorist attacks and said, in those days, the bureau was not politicized.
He told Just the News that the FBI did not deploy a SWAT team for the arrest of Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber, who was known to be a violent man.
They did use members of a SWAT team, however, “to seal off the geographical area around the cabin, so he couldn’t escape.” The team hadn’t been necessary.
“This was a very, very violent terrorist, and he was becoming more unstable,” Turchie said. “Even there, we didn’t use the SWAT team for the arrest.”
Turchie explained the reason why it’s best not to use a SWAT team when you don’t really need one: “The more you escalate the use of force, the more you take a chance of having possible injuries in some catastrophic failure of agents and civilians alike.”
As he sees it, the FBI’s deployment of SWAT teams to arrest those charged with misdemeanors related to Jan. 6 sends the message, “You don’t speak up and get involved with the wrong political side, or we’ll teach you a lesson.”
Turchie agrees the FBI is becoming increasingly politicized, and he pointed to their decision to send SWAT teams to arrest people like former Trump adviser Roger Stone in January 2019 and pro-life activist Mark Houck last week.
The public is losing trust in the FBI because of their aggressive and nakedly political tactics. In a Monday appearance on “Just the News, Not Noise” TV show, former FBI Supervisory Special Agent Jeff Danik said this is “a disaster” for agents in the field.
“The number one thing an FBI agent has to be able to do is talk to people, gain their trust and get them to cooperate,” Danik explained. “And that’s true of witnesses, targets, subjects, foreign intelligence officers, even prosecutors … Any kind of aura, where a person you contact comes in contact with you with some suspicion about you, it definitely hinders your job performance, ability to get the job done.”
Gerry Mullen, a 21-year FBI veteran told Just the News that, “with nonviolent felony offenders, rather than the FBI using a SWAT team, the offender would receive a summons.” A far more reasonable alternative.
Last week, The New York Post’s Miranda Devine reported that a 12-year FBI veteran who had been fired a few days earlier had submitted a formal whistleblower complaint with the Department of Justice inspector general, and she had obtained a copy.
According to his whistleblower report, former agent Steve Friend had objected to the agency’s tactics in August by refusing to participate in a SWAT raid on a Jan. 6 subject in Jacksonville, Florida. He told his superiors he believed the raids “violated FBI policy and were a use of excessive force against Jan. 6 subjects accused of misdemeanor offenses.” He also considered the raid to be a violation of “the subject’s right under the Sixth Amendment to a fair trial and Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment.”
Friend alleged in the complaint that the FBI has expanded the jurisdiction of its investigation into Jan. 6, opening domestic terrorism cases into people “who were were nowhere near the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, based on anonymous tips to an FBI hotline or from Facebook spying on their messages.” To “widen the net of prosecutions,” Friend said, the FBI has also “post-facto designated a grassy area outside the Capital as a restricted zone, when it was not restricted on Jan. 6, 2021.”
None of this should come as a surprise. The FBI has a long track record of corruption and abuse of authority, as historian Victor David Hanson pointed out in a recent article. He wrote: “The FBI interferes with and warps national elections. It hires complete frauds as informants who are far worse than its targets. It humiliates or exempts government and elected officials based on their politics. It violates the civil liberties of individual American citizens. The FBI’s highest officials now routinely mislead Congress. They have erased or altered court and subpoenaed evidence. They illegally leak confidential material to the media. And they have lied under oath to federal investigators.”
Hanson is right. The corruption runs deep. The FBI has abandoned its declared mission and focuses instead on advancing the political agenda of the Democratic Party.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.