It’s hilariously naive how mainstream American news media feign an air of disdain concerning accusations of impropriety by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during the last presidential elections.
Allegations that senior ranks of the FBI were involved in “dirty tricks” to fix the 2016 presidential vote in favor of Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton – potentially highly criminal conduct – are treated as if such allegations are scurrilous distractions thrown up by the Trump White House or Republican supporters.
When President Donald Trump has alluded to FBI collusion with the previous Obama Democrat administration to destroy his election campaign, or when Republican congressmen released a secret memo earlier this month also suggesting Deep State dirty tricks, there were gasps of disdain among major news media. Outlets like the New York Times and CNN affected a sanctimonious air that such allegations were contemptible slurs against the honor of the Feds – the nation’s top law-enforcement agency.
“Don’t dare impugn the reputation of our law officers,” is the attitude. Former FBI director James Comey – who was fired by Trump – is held up as a paragon of civic duty and squeaky-clean conduct. So too is Robert Mueller, a previous FBI chief who is carrying out a probe into alleged Russian collusion during the last election.
Of course, those media outlets would prefer to keep the focus on allegations of Russian interference in the US elections and supposed Kremlin collusion with the Trump campaign that somehow got him into the White House. That media bias is partly to do with their current political affiliation with Democrats and supposedly liberal politics.
Even though, after more than a year of constant, saturated media coverage on the so-called Russiagate story there is an embarrassing paucity of any supporting evidence. More reliable observers like Princeton Professor Stephen Cohen have cogently argued that the real story is US “Intelgate”, not the media sensationalized “Russiagate”.
One thing that would help the American public discern the relative merits of those competing narratives is greater awareness of the dark history of the FBI. Over the past century, the FBI’s political “influence campaigns” to control elected members of US government, including presidents, are on a scale that the Kremlin could only envy.
While the New York Times, CNN and others project a pious view of the FBI, as well as other secret arms of the Deep State, the reality is that the bureau has a long history of endemic political corruption – corruption that begs disturbing questions about the very integrity of American democracy.
No other individual in modern US history has a more sinister legacy than John Edgar Hoover, the founder and lifetime director of the FBI. He founded the bureau in 1924 and was its director until his death in 1972 at the age of 77.
Serving under nine presidents, from Calvin Coolidge to Richard Nixon, the FBI was turned into a “Gestapo by Hoover whose modus operandi was blackmail”. That’s how President Harry Truman (1943-53) reportedly characterized Hoover’s bureau. How else do you think he survived for so long – five decades – as the nation’s top law enforcer?
J Edgar Hoover and his henchmen kept files on thousands of politicians, judges, journalists and other public figures, according to biographer Anthony Summers. Hoover ruthlessly used those files on the secret and often sordid private lives of senior public figures to control their career conduct and official decisions so as to serve his interests.
And Hoover’s interests were of a rightwing, anti-communist, racist bigot.
Ironically, his own suppressed homosexuality also manifested in witch-hunts against homosexuals in public life.
It was Hoover’s secret files that largely informed the McCarthyite anti-communist inquisitions of the 1950s, whose baleful legacy on American democracy, foreign policy and freedom of expression continues to this day.
One of Hoover’s mainstay sources is strongly believed to be Mafia crime bosses who had lots of dirt on politicians, from bribe-taking to vote-rigging, to illicit sexual affairs. It is suspected that the Mafia had their own dossier of images on Hoover in a compromising homosexual tryst which, in turn, kept him under their thumb.
Absurdly, the FBI chief maintained that there was “no such thing as the Mafia” in public statements.
Two notorious cases of how FBI wiretapping worked under Hoover can be seen in the presidencies of John F Kennedy (1961-63) and Richard Nixon (1969-74).
As recounted by Laurent Guyénot in his 2013 book, ‘JFK to 9/11: 50 Years of Deep State’, Hoover made a point of letting each new president know of compromising information he had on them. It wouldn’t be brandished overtly as blackmail; the president would be briefed subtly, “Sir, if someone were to have copies of this it would be damaging to your career”. Enough said.
JFK was particularly wide open to blackmail owing to his rampant promiscuity and extra-marital liaisons, including with screen idol Marilyn Monroe. Kennedy more than once confided to his aides that “the bastards” had him nailed. It was for this reason that he made the thuggish Texan Senator Lyndon B Johnson his vice president even though he detested LBJ. Hoover and Johnson were longtime associates and the former no doubt pulled a favor to get LBJ into the White House.
However, Hoover’s blackmail on JFK was not enough to curtail his defiance of rabidly anti-communist Cold War politics. Against the hostility of the Pentagon, CIA and FBI, Kennedy pursued a courageous policy of detente with the Soviet Union and Cuba. Such a policy no doubt led to his assassination by the Deep State in Dallas on November 22, 1963. There is ample evidence that Hoover and Johnson, who became the new president, then colluded with the Deep State assassins to cover up the assassination as the act of lone nut Lee Harvey Oswald – a cover-up that persists to this day.
As for Richard Nixon, it is believed that “Tricky Dicky” engaged in secret communications with the US-backed South Vietnamese regime on the cusp of the presidential elections in 1968. Nixon promised the South Vietnamese stronger military support if they held off entering peace talks with communist North Vietnam, which incumbent President Johnson was trying to organize. LBJ wanted to claim a peace process was underway in order to boost the election chances of his vice president Hubert Humphrey.
Nixon’s scheming prevailed. The Vietnam peace gambit was scuttled, the Vietnam war raged on, and so the Democrat candidate lost. Nixon finally got into the White House, which he had long coveted from the time he lost out to JFK back in 1960.
But Hoover and Johnson got their revenge by subsequently letting Nixon know that there was classified information on him – thanks to FBI wiretaps. The specter of incrimination is possibly a factor in Nixon becoming increasingly paranoid during this presidency, culminating in the ignominy of the Watergate scandal that ended his career.
These are but only two examples of how Deep State politics works in controlling and subverting American democracy. The notion that lawmakers and presidents are free to serve the people is a quaintly naive one. For the US media to pretend otherwise, and to hail the FBI as some kind of benign bastion of justice, while also deprecating claims of “Deep State” intrusion as “conspiracy theory”, is either impossibly ignorant of history – or a sign of the media’s own compromised complicity.
Nonetheless, to blame this culture of institutionalized blackmail and corruption on one individual – J Edgar Hoover – is not fair either.
Hoover certainly was the devious architect of a malign Deep State machine. But he was not alone. He instilled a culture and legacy that pervades the top echelons of the bureau. And not just the FBI. The early Cold War years saw the formation of the CIA and the NSA under the Machiavellian guidance of men like Allen Dulles and Richard Helms and a host of others.
Once formed, the Deep State – as an alternate, unaccountable, unelected government – does not surrender its immense power willingly. It has learnt to hold on to its power through blackmail, media control, incitement of wars, and, even ultimately, assassination of American dissenters.
The illegal tapping of private communications is an oxygen supply for the depredations of the American Deep State.
Thinking that such agencies are not actively warping and working the electoral system to fix the figurehead in the White House is a dangerous delusion.
So too are claims that American democracy is being “influenced” by malign Russian enemies, as the US intelligence chiefs once again chorused in front of the Senate this past week. The consummate irony of it!
The real “influence campaigns” corrupting American democracy are those of the “All-American” agencies who claim to be law enforcers and defenders of national security.
US citizens would do well to refresh on the untold history of their country to appreciate how they are being manipulated.
We might even surmise that a good number of citizens are already aware, if only vaguely, of the elite corruption – and that is why Washington DC is viewed with increasing contempt by the people.