It is said that towards the end his life as he sank into dementia, Maurice Ravel was tormented by the theme from Bolero playing over and over in his head. I would not be surprised to hear that Christopher Wray, head of America’s Staatspolizei (also known as the FBI) is suffering from a similar torment as the theme from the movie Jaws plays over and over in his noggin.
In fact, I suspect that John Williams’s minatory masterpiece is playing at Democratic redoubts all across the country. Merrick Garland hears it, as do Raphael Warnock, Tim Ryan, Mark Kelly, Catherine Cortez Masto, Katie Hobbs and Gretchen Whitmer. I decline to speculate about the music bouncing around in John Fetterman’s head, but I know it is loud and distressing. As one commentator noted, Tuesday’s red wave in the midterm elections is going to be like the red elevator scene in The Shining. I had to look that one up but, yep, it seems like an appropriate metaphor for what is about to happen.
Some hapless scribe called Emily Oster recently wrote an article for the Atlantic called “Let’s Declare a Pandemic Amnesty.” That’s not bloody likely, Emily. The fallen angel Anthony Fauci and power-hungry apparatchiks throughout the land destroyed businesses, ruined nearly two years of education and socialization for children, made it impossible to visit your dying grandmother, go to the beach or to church or celebrate your favorite nephew’s birthday. Meanwhile, they forced millions to wear pointless masks and undergo experimental vaccinations whose safety, it now emerges, is highly questionable. The spectacle of the coercive power of the state being wielded against ordinary citizens going about their lives was frightening and outrageous.
“Amnesty” comes from the Greek word ἀμνηστία, whose primary meaning is “forgetfulness.” In common parlance, the word carries a suggestion of forgiveness as well. But neither forgetfulness nor forgiveness is on the docket. People are not about to forget what the politicians and their bureaucrats just did to them. And if they do not forget, neither will they forgive.
Nor are they going to forget what the FBI has done and is doing to us. The dawn raids against non-violent political rivals of the regime and pro-life activists, the nationwide dragnets to nab people who protested against the 2020 election, the spying on Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, manufacture of forged evidence in order to mobilize the awesome surveillance apparatus of the state against American citizens and undermine Trump’s presidency. The bill of indictment is long and damning. How long? More than a thousand pages in its first iteration, which GOP members of House Judiciary Committee dropped on Friday under the title “FBI Whistleblowers: What Their Disclosures Indicate About the Politicization of the FBI and Justice Department.”
What they indicate is an agency that has gone rogue and should be dismantled. This has been a theme sounding for more than a years now. Roger L. Simon, writing for the Epoch Times, said that the FBI, like ancient Carthage, must be destroyed. Holman Jenkins, writing for the Wall Street Journal, said that the agency had to be abolished. I’ve argued the same case several times, here, for example, and here. In my column for the December Speccie, I suggest that FBI be relocated to Kansas City and have its budget cut by 75 percent. “Then,” I write, “it should be taken apart altogether,” not least because “a national police is probably unconstitutional certainly un-American”
With few exceptions, the consensus is that the Bureau is beyond reformation or reclamation. Friday’s lengthy J’Accuse underscores the moral bankruptcy and corruption of the FBI.
Its opening statement provides a bracing summary:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the stewardship of Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland, is broken. The problem lies not with the majority of front-line agents who serve our country, but with the FBI’s politicized bureaucracy. The problem lies, for example, with the FBI hierarchy that spied on President Trump’s campaign and ridiculed conservative Americans. The problem lies with FBI bureaucrats who altered and mischaracterized evidence to federal courts, circumvented safeguards and exploited weaknesses in policies governing investigations and informants to target politically disfavored subjects and to protect favored ones. The problem lies with the FBI structure that centralizes high-profile cases in DC, in the hands of politicized actors with politicized incentives. Quite simply, the problem — the rot within the FBI — festers in and proceeds from Washington.
There follows a detailed exposition, based on first-hand testimony, of the FBI’s corrupt activities. Among much else, it shows (I quote from the table of contents) how “FBI Leadership Is Abusing its Law-Enforcement Authorities for Political Reasons,” how “the FBI downplayed and sought to reduce the spread of the serious allegations of wrongdoing leveled against Hunter Biden,” how “the Justice Department and FBI is using counterterrorism resources to target parents resisting a far-left educational curriculum,” how “the Justice Department and FBI conducted an unprecedented raid on a former president,” how “the FBI stalked a Republican congressman while on a family vacation to seize his personal cell phone,” and on and on.
Of course, anyone can write a report. The significance of this report is that it proceeds from the party that, come Tuesday, will be on the express route to control of the Congress. Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio is slated to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee when the Augean Stables of Congress are fumigated in January. NPR delicately stated that he has “hinted” that he plans to investigate the DoJ and the FBI if Republicans retake the House. Hinted? I’d say he has stated it about as bluntly as possible.
The volume on the theme from Jaws has just been turned up to eleven. It’s doubtless too much to hope that Christopher Wray and Merrick Garland should schedule a fitting for something orange. But their friends should urge them to start polishing their resumés.