Trump has turned the world bizarre and not only because of his way with the world and the politics over which he has come to preside. Trump has turned the world bizarre by shifting alliances and refocusing scrutiny so that those hired to pry who were once under the scrutiny of those of liberal persuasion are now being scrutinized by those least liberal and that scrutiny argued against by not so liberal anymore liberals. Good liberals wish for a state that serves the people and not one that controls them. Agencies like the CIA and the FBI have historically acted to control people and there is considerable good evidence that proves this. Recall the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover and the Church Committee’s damning report on the CIA or, if that is thought old history, consider the Wikileaks release of all of those documents showing the extent of domestic spying and the role of the CIA in George Bush and Dick Cheney’s war in Iraq, it supported by a good number of those who still want to be considered liberal in their thinking. The CIA and the FBI have been distrusted by liberals historically and for very good reason, their work too often for truly dark purposes and often against liberal causes. Remember the FBI and the job they did on Martin Luther King.
When Trump came to office—before this, actually, when they were in the hands of democratic presidents, for instance–these agencies and their agents, for liberals, became entities to defend because they were seen to be using their investigative tools–many of these criticized vociferously for their intrusiveness on liberty by liberals–to good purpose, to get at Trump and his allies in what, rightly, yes, should be seen as crimes, crimes against democracy and crimes against humanity. Righteous dislike for Trump, has led to a profoundly troubling kind of forgetfulness that allows for the championing of members of the spy organizations and former leaders of the agencies to be seen as not only as good but as heroes, many of these individuals who for their entire careers engaged in secret acts that were ugly, really ugly and for purposes that were not liberal at all, often not humane and often criminal for any court that would dare to bring them to justice. Consider the response by our country to calls for the World Court to bring to trial those government officials who did indeed inspire and often order inhumane, crimes against humanity, to insure that the USA got its way no matter how wrong the intended results might be.
So many of these people have been given a pass by now liberals, not only cleansed of their sins but those sins washed away and the sinners not only made good but allowed to become spokespeople for the liberal cause even though there is really nothing liberal about them. They have been hired in bunches to inform us on our politics, on right and wrong, on morality even and their voices tell great numbers of once liberal people how to think and how to vote, CIA officials, FBI officials, military officials. Will headshops soon be selling John Brennen tee shirts and baseball caps? Comey sweatshirts, McCabe bongs?
Central to the problem this hug fest with delinquents creates is the hypocrisy, it of a kind that destroys not only the possibility for honest conversation but also and more importantly, the possibility for truth. The effect on history as a source of lesson to inform decisions and set precedence by is undermined when it is made possible to revise whenever convenient to a cause, any cause no matter right or wrong. Consider how well washed away are the real history of the agencies, their work against civil right activists and war protesters, their work to overthrow democratically elected governments and put down liberation movements. Horrific and devastating and inhumane and most always for purposes other than what is good for the people affected but almost always good for the cause of capitalism and continued exploitation of other nations, their resources and their people.
It would be good to reflect, to rethink how to think about these agencies and the people who lead them and do the work. It does seem to me that a very bizarre kind of propaganda has won over far too many who think themselves liberal minded, who allow themselves to be schooled by those known to have worked for purposes of deceit and against meaningful liberation of human beings.