The failures of the FBI to find probable cause to consider Nikolas Cruz worthy of intense questioning after their receipt of an accurate tip of his desire for school shootings 5 months earlier is not the ONLY FBI investigation failures in the past. Sure the FBI is a monstrosity full of 35,000+ employees with a $1.7 Billion annual budget. But being big should not interpret into being incapable of managing its significant resources — especially not the World’s most sophisticated intelligence entity. But the FBI has a speckled past when it comes to botching investigations and overlooking some critical operational elements. Let’s take a look.
Another Florida disaster barely averted
Tragedy of Columbine proportions was narrowly avoided as Tampa police detained angsty 17-year-old Jared Michael Cano before he was able to set off a bomb on some of his classmates several years ago. There was a multitude of evidence against this kid’s mental stability long before his bust, including several catch-and-releases in which Jared was charged with fire-arm burglary, felony-level weapons offenses, grand larceny, and several misdemeanor drug crimes. In it’s infinite wisdom, the state of Florida decided to take little or no action and dismissed most of the cases, even as his Facebook page depicted him holding a machete and quoting the nihilistic movie Law Abiding Citizen, “Lessons not learned in blood are soon forgotten.” As Florida’s credo states, “Boys will be boys.”
The FBI gets some credit for stepping in and not allowing Cano to kill anyone. Following a confidential informant’s tip, the authorities searched Jared’s room and found a wealth of bomb making materials and a journal which included minute-by-minute plans of how he was going to out-casualty any other school massacre, as well as some evil — evil marijuana. Any credit the FBI earned is quickly face-palmed away, however, after reading Cano’s Facebook status update only a few days prior to the raid, “The weirdest thing happened today … when my homie was trying to connect to a wireless network the connections list came up and one of them was called: FBI_SURVEILLANCE_VAN… It was weird…” For a government agency that’s built its sterling reputation on being secretive, that’s pretty bad. The FBI did not think of hiding their wireless surveillance Wifi connection from their surveillance van in front of Cano’s house!
Don’t Forget the Important Stuff
In September 2010, the FBI did just that while ransacking the home of Mick Kelly and his partner, Linden Gawboy. The FBI made such a mess for Kelly, an outspoken political activist and member of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, that it took almost seven months for the confidential government operations order to be discovered among the thousands of disarrayed pages of the couple’s personal effects. The operations order detailed the plan for the raid, photographs, and potential interview questions for Kelly and other activists deemed “dangerous” by the FBI, primarily due to suspected socialist ties. Speaking about the nature of the questions, Kelly said they conveyed a “disturbingly odd 1950s red scare tone.”
When asked how the FBI would be so incompetent as to leave critical internal documents behind while seizing half a household, and then not even realize what had happened until seven months later when the documents were posted online, FBI Special Agent Steve Warfield refused to comment.
The FBI is so committed to diversity in its workforce that even its employment web site has compiled a multitude of different ethnicities to prove how multicultural it is. Their “American Indian/Native Alaskan” initiative, however, hit a snag. A few years ago, that page featured a picture of former special agent Elizabeth Morris, who alleges that part of the reason she lost her job with the Bureau was filing a complaint of workplace prejudice. She claims she was relieved from her position after she brought to light some unethical practices made by another agent and against her supervisor, who made racially insensitive remarks. Oh the irony!
And it wasn’t like this just happened and they were a little slow on taking down the snapshot. No, her photo was featured in 2009, a full TWO YEARS after she was fired for allegedly being the victim of the very behavior the FBI hoped to disassociate themselves with.
Gotta Pay the Price
The FBI had their phone service shut down during a national security investigation and missed countless other opportunities to collect key evidence because they failed to pay their phone bills in a timely manner. According to a report by the Justice Department, “We analyzed 990 telecommunication surveillance payments made by five field divisions, and found that over half of these payments were not made on time.” If, that is, they were paid at all. One primary carrier sent a list detailing $66k in unpaid bills resulting from surveillance activity.
It’s hard to say where the biggest aspect of fail lies in the case of Tennessee Circuit Judge John B. Hagler, who made a “fantasy tape” with recordings so sensational the FBI mistook it for a torture session and linked it to an unsolved murder case. The tape, however, spurned no charges against the Judge, and police admitted he is not a suspect in any investigation.
The tape, which was brought to authorities by a recently fired secretary over two years before it’s existence was made public, contained graphic erotic situations intertwined with legal dictation made by now former Judge Hagler. While this is intriguing, why did the FBI keep it private for over two years while Hagler heard family court cases if they believed him to be dangerous? If they believed him guilty of nothing more than an overactive imagination, why distribute the tape at all?
The tape was ultimately leaked by an unidentified source to the media which forced Hagler, married 65-year-old and three-times nominated president of the Tennessee Trial Judges Association, into early retirement, but the FBI saw it fit to show it to district attorneys in Hagler’s jurisdiction even after it was deemed inconsequential and harmless, unless the listener had a sensitive stomach.
The FBI Today
To the chagrin of many, the recent latest failure of the FBI that actually cost 17 Floridians their lives exposes just a bit of the certain ills of the bloated intelligence bureaucratic machine. This certainly illustrates that “big” does not always interpret as “good.”
With the recent FBI investigations of Hillary Clinton, Democrat National Committee IT issues, the apparent Clinton Foundation conflicts of interest, and the initiation of the Russian election tampering of the U.S. system, prove that FBI problems are significant to say the least, and probably monumental if all FBI failures were known. That fact is certainly scary and should make ALL Americans take pause. At this point, an intense overhaul of the FBI is clearly warranted, “IF” politics do not intervene with a cloud of mystery that might allow further and deeper FBI problems to remain hidden.
Clearly the FBI issues since the turn of the century have been more visible to the American public because of the 24/7 news cycle and internet communications. And clearly most of the current FBI issues were either initiated are perpetuated by many of the current leaders of the FBI. FBI lifers like Robert Mueller, James Comey, Rod Rosenstein, and Chris Rey have been a part of that erosion of the FBI’s effectiveness for the last couple of decades.
How has it happened? I think the FBI is too politicized and too available for politicians, political parties, and even non-political “lifer” public servants to “use” for political agendas instead of to “serve” the American people. My hope is that surely the rank-and-file FBI employees and mid-level managers are not blinded by political pursuits and continue to fulfill their oaths of service to the nation and the American public. But with the almost weekly revelation of a new scandal at the FBI, my hopes may be false.
There needs to be a house cleaning at the FBI. Some will attack my suggestion as being too costly, would destroy already underway investigations, and would necessarily allow some lawbreakers to slip through the cracks of justice. But even with the light of truth shining on the FBI, these scandals continue to pop up. It’s almost like the bureaucrats there work with impunity — like they feel they can do anything and never get caught for doing something wrong. Maybe it is just that they know if caught, they will be able to escape any consequences for their actions because they “have” something on those above them.
I suggest that the top two layers of appointed individuals at the FBI be given walking papers in the 4th quarter of this year. Until then I suggest that the Inspector General be given full authority to investigate, audit, and analyze the offices of each of those to-be-canned individuals to determine any wrongdoing if any.
It is obvious that the likes of Mueller, Comey, Rosenstein, Rey and others have escaped scrutiny for far too long. Personal agendas are obviously at work here. Those agendas MUST be intercepted and. terminated.
For God’s sake: is there not enough evidence to criminally prosecute James Comey RIGHT NOW? There certainly is. But bureaucrats keep that from happening.
How far up the ladder do you think FBI fault lies?