If you are not in awe at the power of the FBI then you’ve been in a coma for a couple of weeks. If you’re unaware of the astonishing lack of privacy you have, then maybe this will be your wake up call. When you see that the FBI took a non criminal investigation as the key to invading the privacy of the head of the CIA and a four star Marine general, then you have to know all our safeguards against the government intrusion onto our privacy no longer exist and are lost, probably forever. Few seem to care it may have affected the election.
Keep in mind, the investigation of General Petraeus and General Allen involved no criminal activity. None. Not even a scent of it other than scenarios dreamed up by the FBI as ex post facto justifications for its unbridled invasions of their privacy.
I wonder whether you are familiar with this quaint adage that says: “The right of the people to be secure in their . . . papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, . . .” If you are and believe it means anything, then you had better be concerned about what just happened.
Let’s go back. As I understand it Jill Kelley, a so-called socialite, received five emails that weren’t threatening but merely sparked her curiosity. She wanted to know who knew about her ongoing relationship with General Petraeus. She had a buddy in the FBI named Frederick Humphries who had sent her a picture of three bare chested dummies, two of whom were used for shooting practice and the other himself. He seemed to have more than a professional interest in Jill so he agreed to track down the sender of the emails. If you went to the FBI with a similar request you’d be told to take a walk to the local police. But then again you may not be an attractive socialite.
No basis for a criminal investigation existed at that time although now a million reasons are being asserted to justify it. But you know as well as I that one can always conjecture up a reason for doing something. Here they allegedly were worried that someone knew what General Petraeus and Allen were doing. Still no where close to a crime.
In Jill’s case, although the investigation had no reason to begin, it did. It was done as a favor. Maybe Freddy Humphries figured he could get an invite to one of Jill’s parties. The ostensible purpose of it was to find out who sent the emails to Jill. It probably took them a day or two to figure out it was Paula Broadwell. It’d take an hour or so to figure out she certainly was no threat, was General Petraeus’s biographer, and perhaps was jealous of Jill. It should have ended.
Email is like regular mail. It is sent from a person to a person. It’s contents are secret unless you open them up. The FBI had no reason to read other than the five emails from Paula. But it didn’t contain itself. Curiosity ruled the day, the thing that the quaint statement was supposed to protect us against was forgotten. Keep in mind there’s nothing of a criminal nature going on but the FBI went on a fishing expedition with no probably cause.
It rampaged through all of Jill Kelley’s emails and through all of Paula Broadwell’s emails. It found and read the emails of two scintillating targets, the two general. It read emails of countless other persons. Every person who communicated with the two women, the generals, and whoever communicated with the people who communicated with them all were no longer secure in their papers. If ever a Constitutionally forbidden search took place this was it.
Here’s one thing that should really frighten you. This is all done in secrecy. No one knows it is going on. No one knows what other emails the FBI have read. No one knows what other generals, young women or politicians have had their email read during this investigation or any others. There is no requirement that the FBI disclose to anyone that it has read his or her email.
It is all only known to the FBI which puts the FBI in a position to control any politician, judge, media person or politician who has ever sent an embarrassing email which he or she wants to keep secret. Or, more broadly, any person in America in a like position.
If you’re not frightened, then maybe this will do it. The FBI used it in a political manner attempting to help or hurt a candidate.
The investigation started in the spring. It had to be over in early fall. The FBI sat on it. No one would have known about it except that Freddy Humphries, upset that the FBI had not gone public with it, leaked it in late October to Republican Congressman Eric Cantor hoping to embarrass Obama. (Yes, the untrustworthy Humphries is still on the job. The FBI protects its own, even people like Humphries who compromise investigations.) Cantor did not go public with it.
The FBI knew that cat was out of the bag. It had to come clean at some point. It held the information until after it could no longer have an effect on the election. Not only was it wrong in doing the investigation, the FBI considered politics in deciding when to disclose it. It may never have done so had it not been leaked giving it the power to control both General Petraeus and Allen down the road.
Recall the FBI’s history. J. Edgar Hoover remained as FBI director for 48 years because every president feared that he had something in his secret files that could compromise him. That’s the trouble with a secret police force that gathers up private information and is not required to notify the people that they have done this. It is not answerable to anyone. It has the power to blackmail or to spy on everyone. This time it may have decided who won the presidency.