NEWSMAN #1: Trump fired Comey.
NEWSMAN #2: Biggest thing since the great Chicago fire of 1871.
NEWSMAN #1: Bigger. How do we play this? The Democrats wanted Comey’s head for what he did to Hillary. Trump just fired Comey. I’m confused.
NEWSMAN #2: Doesn’t matter. Say Trump just burned up the Constitution. Say he hates dogs and little children. Say his hair is actually a wig made of Russian sable.
NEWSMAN #1: What about the truth?
NEWSMAN #2: The what? You poor sap. Truth is relative to agenda. Did you miss that lesson in journalism school?
NEWSMAN #1: I didn’t go to journalism school. I got my PhD in philosophy at Yale. I wrote my thesis on a comparison of “an” and “the” in ancient Babylonia.
Fired FBI Director Comey is obviously in trouble. Cry for him. He’ll have to go on food stamps and welfare now, won’t he? Will he be able to collect Social Security? He’s too young! He needs crowdfunding. Send canned food.
The media are portraying Trump firing Comey as “breathtaking,” “stunning,” “shocking.” They’re saying this is how Washington is reacting.
If you live in Washington, try to find somebody who is really sucking air and trying to breathe. Find somebody who is leaning against a wall because he’s stunned. Find somebody whose eyes are rolling up inside his head from the shock.
Washington politicians may be pretending shock and amazement for the cameras, but that’s about it.
And if you travel outside Washington, most people don’t care about Comey. People are fired from their jobs all the time. People are let go for many reasons. People who can’t afford to be unemployed. Comey, on the other hand, is thinking about a book deal. He might be planning a vacation. He might be talking to Obama about doing some elite “community organizing.” He’ll be fielding offers to sit on corporate boards. His biggest worry: “Do I go on the talk shows right away or do I wait?”
Washington insiders aren’t shocked by anything. They just play that role on television.
When an interesting event occurs, like Trump firing Comey, Washington pols meet with their staffs and plan their public response. They look for a personal advantage. “How can I play this?” “Can I use this to get ahead?” “Let’s go for the Trump impeachment angle.”
Comey himself knew he was on the verge of getting fired. There wasn’t any mystery about it. He kept pushing the fantastical Trump-Russia investigation. He didn’t bother looking into Trump-team leaks that were the result of domestic hacking. His initial reaction to getting fired—he thought it was a joke, a prank—was nonsensical. He knew. He knew he was on the edge.
Right now, Comey is wondering how far he can move from his former job and maintain credibility as a non-partisan figure. Or: can he go the other way and sign on with Obama? Can he approach Hillary and mend fences? Can he lobby? How can he successfully position himself for the “next chapter of his life?”
I once interviewed a troubled Washington politician who had jumped the wrong way on an important decision involving his Party. He was toast. With me, he mouthed all sorts of gumble-jumble about “sticking to his guns,” but I could see his wheels were turning. He was contemplating his future. Where could he go? What could he do to make hay after public office? These people don’t waste time. They move on. Nobody cares. It’s politics.
Comey rolled the dice and lost. He knew he could lose. As he was rolling those dice, he was already thinking about his image and whether he could emerge as a hero or a martyr. Or whether he had already played out all his political capital. If so, his next gig would land him in the private sector, or with a prestigious foundation.
Washington is a mix of musical chairs and checkers. Doors open, doors close, the players scramble for a spot.
Nobody is shocked.
In the swamp, nobody is amazed.
The media pretend shock, awe, and amazement, because when they do, their ratings go up.
Right now, in that vein, they’re all jockeying for a chance to interview Comey. He’s the next big “get.”
“Tell Mr. Comey we can do this anywhere he wants to. In his living room, his study, or we’ll put him in a quiet studio. And we’ll walk along a riverbank, stroll through a forest. It’ll be dignified. Absolutely no gossip. He’s a major figure. We’ll accord him all the respect he deserves. We’ll track his career from the early days. He’s a…statesman. We hold him in the highest regard. We’d like to do this long-form, as a two-parter, on consecutive nights. An hour each night. Only one commercial per half-hour. We want to give him the widest possible exposure. All of America wants to hear what he has to say at this crucial moment. As a token of our appreciation and an expression of concern, we’re prepared to FedEx him a dozen cans of baked beans and several flank steaks from Safeway, because we know he’s currently unemployed…”
As you read it, try to hold back the tears.
“I have said to you before that, in times of turbulence, the American people should see the FBI as a rock of competence, honesty, and independence. What makes leaving the FBI hard is the nature and quality of its people, who together make it that rock for America.”
“It is very hard to leave a group of people who are committed only to doing the right thing. My hope is that you will continue to live our values and the mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution. If you do that, you too will be sad when you leave, and the American people will be safer.”
Competence? Committed to doing the right thing? Upholding the Constitution and the law?
Comey was obviously excluding himself from that reference.
Recall his surreal press conference during the presidential campaign, during which he acted as FBI director, Attorney General, and grand jury, when he recited a list of felonies Hillary Clinton had committed in the handling of her private email server…and then said he was not recommending prosecution, because Hillary showed no intent to deceive or do harm. Comey obviously knew intent was no part of the law, which was written to make sure negligence alone, in the handling of classified materials, was sufficient to prosecute and convict a perpetrator.
A number of FBI agents weren’t happy with Comey then. Not at all. The new Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe belatedly confirmed it in testimony before Congress on Thursday: “…there were folks within our agency that were frustrated with the outcome of the Hillary Clinton case and some of those folks were very vocal about those concerns.”
As for the unparalleled honesty of the FBI Comey referred to in his farewell letter, where does one begin?
Let’s take a peek at just one area: the vaunted FBI lab, where evidence in crime investigations is analyzed.
April 20, 2015, The Atlantic: “…the Washington Post made clear Saturday in an article that begins with a punch to the gut… ‘Nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000,’ the newspaper reported, adding that ‘the cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death’.”
August 12, 2014, New Scientist: “…the initial results were released of an ongoing review of thousands of criminal cases in which FBI scientists’ testimony may have led to wrongful convictions – including for some people now on death row…’we teach these people [lab techs in training] for two weeks, and they would go back to their laboratories with a certificate of completion and be told: “Great you’re qualified to do this [analysis of evidence] – here’s your caseload”’.”
Buckle up for this one. March 22, 1997, CNN: “The Justice Department inspector general’s office has determined that the FBI crime laboratory working on the Oklahoma City bombing case made ‘scientifically unsound’ conclusions that were ‘biased in favor of the prosecution,’ The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.”
“…[FBI] supervisors approved lab reports that they ‘cannot support’ and…FBI lab officials may have erred about the size of the blast, the amount of explosives involved and the type of explosives used in the bombing[!].”
“…harshest criticism was of David Williams, a supervisory agent in the explosives unit, the paper [LA Times] said. Those flaws reportedly include the basis of his determination that the main charge of the explosion was ammonium nitrate. The inspector general called such a determination ‘inappropriate,’ the Times said.”
“…FBI officials found a receipt for ammonium nitrate at defendant [Terry] Nichols’ home and, because of that discovery, Williams slanted his conclusion to match the evidence.”
If you’re thinking the FBI’s fake investigation of the Oklahoma bombing evidence opens the door to a whole new direction in the case, you’re right. (I wrote a book about false evidence in the OKC bombing in 1995.)
Yes, there are honest and honorable agents at the FBI, but let’s not go overboard with Comey and his sop of a farewell letter.
Comey postures. He works the “honor” angle. He tap dances. He puts out pure jive.
In 2013, before his appointment as FBI director, Comey was brought in by the scandal-ridden HSBC Bank, to oversee efforts to clean up its act—in particular, money laundering for drug cartels.
Comey was positioned as the face of honesty and competence for HSBC.
How well did he do, before he exited his position? How much crime and how many criminals did he leave behind?
Three years later, after Comey had departed, The NY Times wrote: “HSBC Bank Executives Face Charges in $3.5 Billion Currency [Fraud] Case … Traders Use Front-Running to Profit From Client Orders…”
I guess Comey didn’t clean up the HSBC mess. There were a few things he didn’t notice while he was there. A few thing he left behind. A few billion things.
The old saying, fake it ‘til you make it, applies. Comey faked it until he made it. And then he faked it again.
Now he’ll move into a new role. Who knows, some day, as history is rewritten, people may be saying he was the only honest man in Washington.
FUTURE NEWSMAN #1: I’m writing a book about Comey, comparing him to Gandhi.
FUTURE NEWSMAN #2: Who wins?
FUTURE NEWSMAN #1: Comey, in a landslide. He stood up against the titanic forces of evil in Washington.
FUTURE NEWSMAN #2: You have a publisher?
FUTURE NEWSMAN #1: The US Printing Office. My uncle owns it.
FUTURE NEWSMAN #2: I thought that was a government department.
FUTURE NEWSMAN #1: The New York Times bought it.
FUTURE NEWSMAN #2: Your uncle owns the New York Times?
FUTURE NEWSMAN #1: He owns the company that owns Facebook and Google. They own the New York Times.
FUTURE NEWSMAN #2: Wow. What’s the name of the company your uncle owns?
FUTURE NEWSMAN #1: Clinton and Comey. It’s a law firm and a foundation. Their headquarters are in Jerusalem, Riyadh, and the Vatican.
(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, Power Outside The Matrix, click here.)
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.