The FBI has lost the plot. But who’s plot?

The FBI has lost the plot. But who’s plot? By Roger Kimball.

Whom the gods would destroy, they first make ridiculous. Consider the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That once-respected institution has been busy wiping (or, more to the point, not wiping) egg off its face at least since the moist tenure of James ‘higher loyalty’ Comey. For those wondering why it is that Comey is cashing fat royalty checks instead of stamping out license plates at Club Fed, the answer is part of my story. …

On July 11, the agency emitted a Tweet that they must have picked up from East Germany circa 1960 or maybe from the pages of George Orwell:

Family members and peers are often best positioned to witness signs of mobilization to violence. Help prevent homegrown violent extremism. Visit to learn how to spot suspicious behaviors and report them to the #FBI. #NatSec

Love the hashtags. Underneath this little invitation to family harmony and collegiality was a three-panel drawing showing a featureless red, male figure (red, get it?) at an airport, in front of a computer, and out on a street gesturing and surrounded by three or four other male figures. The drawing communicates menace, unnamed but palpable, and the text communicates a ham-handed and possibly unconstitutional — certainly, un-American — intrusiveness into people’s private affairs.



That tweet went viral and was the occasion of much outrage but also much mirth. Here they were asking family members and coworkers to snitch on one another by sending tips to #FBI and #NatSec. It’s the mirth that the G-Men have to worry about as they strap on the shoulder holsters and prepare to mount a dawn raid on someone who voted for Donald Trump. …

The FBI has rendered itself ridiculous. It has jumped the shark … We have granted them unprecedented power, we have lavished money and other resources upon them, in order that they might find and neutralize the bad guys. They miss a lot of them — remember 9/11? — but they itch to perform the tricks they’ve been trained to do.

A terrier confined to a city apartment, for example, will be found ‘digging’ in imaginary dirt on the carpet in order to ‘bury’ an imaginary bone. A dirt-less, boneless life is not to be borne, so the bow-wow practices its instinctual behavior in make-believe.

The FBI is similarly domesticated. Its number is increasingly part of the shapeless swamp that controls our lives. Its actions are, seen from afar, often ridiculous. But that does not mean they are not also malevolent. That’s an important point: that the ridiculous often easily cohabits with the vile. Hence the dawn raids, the summary incarcerations, the identification of people they disagree with as ‘domestic extremists’, ‘terrorists’, etc.

The Elites have a virtual monopoly on the levers of power — in Joe Biden’s memorable phrase, they have the F-15s and the nuclear weapons. The Elites have yet to absorb the old protest slogan, ‘We are many, they are few’. Maybe they never will. But the Serfs will. What then?

hat-tip David Archibald