Reining in the FBI | Eastern North Carolina Now | The weaponization of the FBI especially as related to President Donald Trump and his associates including the impeachment hoaxes, charging General Flynn, and most recently the totally unjustified and unprecedented raid on Mar-a Lago.

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        Authoritarian governments that limit people’s freedom all have police forces that ensure the compliance of their citizens and keep them in power.  The Romans had the Pretorian Guard, the Nazi’s the Gestapo, and the Soviet Union the KGB.  Alarmingly, it is increasingly apparent that the FBI has morphed into an enforcement arm of the Democrat party/Biden administration.   The Founding Fathers, wisely, did not authorized a federal law enforcement agency in the Constitution.   Let’s examine how we got in this situation and what we can do to reverse it.

        The FBI was originally established in 1908 as a small group (30) of special “investigators” to assist the Department of Justice in prosecuting federal crimes that involved crossing state lines.  As all government agencies do, the bureau not only grew in size but greatly expanded their authority and redefined their role over the years.   By the early 1920’s they began gathering and keeping information on private citizens who were not actually charged with crimes other than their political ideology was unacceptable to the government.   The FBI’s most renowned director J. Edgar Hoover, began keeping information that eventually reached over 450,000 files on people suspected of communist leanings.  A good proportion of these people were deported if they were not citizens.  Few were ever actually charged or given the opportunity to defend themselves in court.  In the 1950s the FBI began gathering similar files on homosexuals in the government and later even non-government employees.  In the 1960s the focus was on civil rights sympathizers and leaders such as the Reverend  M.L.King.   Politicians feared what might be in the FBI files on them.  In the course of gathering this illicit information, the FBI frequently used illegal wire-tapping and abused their subpoena and search authority.   Recently, they issued a subpoena to the newspaper USA Today requiring them to turn over a list of all people who logged in to read a specific article on their website.   

        There are many other recent example of the weaponization of the FBI especially as related to President Donald Trump and his associates including the impeachment hoaxes, charging General Flynn, and most recently the totally unjustified and unprecedented raid on Mar-a Lago.    One of the worst instances was when the FBI in order to protect the identity of one of their informers, allowed false witness testimony at a trial that resulted in four men receiving life sentences.  Two served over 30 years and two died in prison.  A court eventually awarded the victims/families over $100 million in damages.  Still trust the FBI?

        So what do we do about it?   Here are my recommendations: (1) Repeal the Patriot Act that greatly expanded the authority of the FBI; (2) Terminate the law enforcement authority of the FBI.  All subpoenas, warrants, searches should be handled by the local Sheriff’s departments.   Sheriffs are the only elected law enforcement officials and therefore accountable directly for their actions to the people. (3)  An elected state official or panel should be given the authority to monitor all FBI activities in their state and report to the state legislature.  (4) It should no longer be a crime to “lie” to the FBI.  This has been abused to entrap people and is a violation of the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination. 

        There may be other effective actions, but this would be a good start.

        R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D



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