The Police Were Not Policed

By the police, he means those responsible for enforcing federal law and protecting our national security — here is Victor Davis Hanson:

How can Americans now trust the intelligence agencies shown to be corrupt in the very recent past?

o doubt Russia must be watched for its chronic efforts to sow more chaos in American elections — despite Barack Obama’s naïve assertion in 2016 that no entity could possibly ever rig a U.S. election, given the decentralization of state voting.

Lately the heads of four U.S. intelligence and security agencies — Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, FBI Director Chris Wray, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, National Security Agency Director Paul Nakasone, and National Security Adviser John Bolton — held coordinated White House press conferences to remind America of the dangers of Russian chicanery. Trump, who is prone to conflate documented Russian efforts to meddle and cause chaos with unproven accusations of Trump-Russia collusion, should heed their warnings and beef up U.S. counter-espionage efforts and cyber deterrence.

But why do our intelligence heads seem to feel so exasperated that they’re not getting through to the American people? Why do they need to reassert the immediacy of the Russian threat?

Is it because Trump has poisoned the waters of American espionage and surveillance by his understandable furor over the never-ending Mueller investigation and his perceived downplaying of “Russian meddling”?

Not really.

Consider the larger context.

Most recently, it was disclosed, two years after the fact — and despite the FBI’s kicking-and-screaming refusal to release subpoenaed documents — that the FBI did, as alleged, offer to pay Christopher Steele to dig for dirt on the Trump campaign.

The FBI also knew that Steele was working on behalf of the Clinton campaign to find dirt on Donald Trump. We now also know that the FBI used at least one informant to spy on members of the Trump campaign. In other words, the FBI joined forces with one political campaign to thwart the efforts of the opposing campaign. Has that happened before in American history?

Read more: National Review