Where is the FBI’s Rubicon? After the Mar-a-Lago raid, when will the public stop standing for this?
August 12, 2022 | 10:13 am
By Roger Kimball
Roger Kimball is the editor and publisher of the New Criterion, publisher of Encounter Books and a Spectator columnist and contributing editor.
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Everyone knows that in January 49 BC Julius Caesar, about to lead part of his army across the Rubicon river, said “Alea iacta est,” “the die is cast.” Except that, according to Plutarch, what he really said was “Ἀνερρίφθω κύβος,” “let the die be cast,” and he did not so much say it as quote it, since the already-proverbial line came from the Greek playwright Menander. Anyway, in bringing an army across the stream that separated cis-Alpine Gaul from Italy proper, Caesar had committed treason. In crossing the Rubicon he had crossed a line, sparking the civil war that engulfed Rome and formalized the end of the Republic that had, as Caesar himself noted, been dead in all-but-name-only for decades.
Contemplating the recent actions of our secret police, known to some as the FBI, I have often wondered where to locate their Rubicon. Was it when they conducted a dawn raid against Roger Stone, having been careful to alert CNN beforehand so they could be on hand to publicize the attack? Maybe it was when they burst into the apartment of Project Veritas’s James O’Keefe, throwing him out in the hallway in his pajamas, while they ransacked his home looking for a diary kept by Joe Biden’s daughter? Or perhaps it was when they arrested former Trump aide Peter Navarro, throwing him in handcuffs and leg irons before depositing him in jail? Or when they accosted the lawyer John Eastman and confiscated his cell phone? That seems to have become a favorite pastime of the FBI, seizing people’s cell phones. Just a couple of days ago, they took Representative Scott Perry’s phone. “But,” you point out, “Perry is a Republican and Trump ally. He has no property rights.”
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But the question remains: will the American people accept that the FBI has become the Praetorian Guard for the regime? I don’t know. I hope not. Harvey Silverglate is right: given its history of lawless behavior, “it is remarkable that no sitting president has moved to abolish the FBI.” Of course, it won’t happen on Biden’s, er, watch (or during his naps). But one way or another, the FBI must be dismantled. “We need an entirely new agency,” as Silverglate observed, “and a director who has no history of having worked in or with the FBI. Agency culture is a powerful force, and if we are to have any success in ridding the nation of this menace, we best eradicate it completely and start over.”
“Eradicate it completely and start over.” I couldn’t agree more. Will this partisan assault on a once (and possibly future) president be the Rubicon we’ve been waiting for? Let’s see.
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It has definitely crossed the line and demonstrated that it’s now a political tool. That’s what the Dead Old White Guys feared most — “private militias”. Rogue “law enforcement”. Tyrants with their “standing armies”.
It’s up to the next President and Congress to tear this agency down and, where important and salvageable, move components to appropriate places.
The Federal Gooferment needs to return to it’s very limited nightwatchman’s role.
It does that by eleimating whole Departments. Education and Agriculture come immediately to mind. Followed by the FDA, CDC, BATF, Homeland Security, and even the Department of Energy.