In my humble opinion, James Comey, without a doubt, almost single handedly, is responsible for the collapse of the FBI…bringing it from the finest Crime Fighting Agency in the World to a 2nd rate, intelligence gathering agency…a politically driven, crime committing, activist, RICO violating group of underachievers!
He accomplished that in 4 years, 2013 to 2017!I say “almost” because he did have a great deal of help.
Allow me to explain…What made the FBI great was the dedication of its people lead by a “strong” (that’s an understatement) Director J Edgar Hoover (1924-1972). Hoover recognized the importance of the American Citizens trust and confidence in the FBI if we were to obtain information to find Fugitives, solve crimes and catch enemies of the United States…those seeking to destroy America as a Constitutional Republic!
He firmly believed that the FBI had to be extremely well trained, well disciplined, very selective in appointing Agents…that he designated as Special Agents… an insignia that caused some problems with brother law men feeling that Agents believed they were better than others. Hoover required college graduates, with 3 years of work experience after college, a minimum 23 years old, 5ft 10ft, and physically fit. Only Lawyers and Accountants were recruited, for years, and then he opened up to, former Military and Police with 4 years of full resident college as well as those with Science Degrees. Hoover opened it up because the Viet Nam war engaged too many potential Agents…but he never lowered the qualifications.
After Hoover’s passing, things started to change…some for the better but most for the worst. The “better” was for the treatment of employees…big changes! The worst was the lowering of qualifications…mostly the physical requirements. Those changes would never have happened under Hoover because he had the POWER that few enjoyed but he used that power to keep the FBI clean and powerful and not for personal gain. When former VP Nixon told Hoover he decided to drop out of politics and take an Executive position with the FBI, Hoover handed him an application and told him to apply and explained the rest of the requirements including training at the FBI Academy…Nixon stormed out!
Hoover recognized the importance of OJT, on the job training, and insisted that all Agents work criminal cases and make arrests, learn to fight, shoot and mix it up. He demanded that all Agents have confidential informants and stay in shape. He devised a group of 15 criminal violations that he believed were vital to keeping the FBI in the public’s eye! They were such crimes as Bank Robbery, Kidnapping, Interstate Thefts of various commodities and Fugitives were high on his list of top priority Crimes… as they taught Agents how to handle dangerous developing situations. He devised the Identification Order Fugitive Program (IO Fugitives)… the Wanted Flyers you saw in post offices. They were violent Felons so dangerous that rookie Agents were not allowed to work IO cases, except in a few limited set of circumstances.
After Hoover’s death the Fugitive program was turned over to the US Marshals Office. That was the single biggest mistake that was made as it was the beginning of the end for the FBI, in my opinion! In 1979 whoever allowed the Marshals to take away fugitives was an idiot…pure and simple and I don’t know who did it…but it took a popular, great, useful, crime category which offered great OJT for young and old and reduced the opportunity to make a significant number of arrests. The only real way to safely learn to make arrests is to do it…lots of times. Safer for the public, safer for the fugitive and safer for the Agents…period…and there is no argument!
Then to make matters worse, Bob Mueller turned the FBI away from Crime Fighting and more towards Intel gathering. Mueller was Director from 9/4/2001 to 9/4/2013…9/11/01 was under his watch which explains, why he did what he did. Mueller over reacted because of his lack of any experience on the street as a Law man! It takes street savvy…combat experience.. to be a Military General, the Chief of Police, Director of the FBI, ATF, DEA or any other Law Enforcement Agency or Military Organization. Mueller had no law enforcement experience.
He took away the crime fighting categories that built honest, hard hitting, criminal investigators and started creating, FBI gatherers…The FBI always had Security Agents who were gatherers, running surveilling and taking photos… for the State Department. When they needed investigations they called on the Criminal Agents. That’s a fact!
Judges, defense Attorneys, Prosecutors, don’t know a damn thing about “Law Enforcement”, they have no idea when to shoot or not, they have no idea how to “make an Arrest” nor do they know how to investigate…because of their lack of the proper training.
Just because you know how to hold a baseball bat doesn’t mean you can hit!
Just because you know the law doesn’t mean you know how to enforce it!
Then came James Comey…an agenda driven, opportunist with no moral ethics. He lied, cheated and sent equally ignorant “Agents” who were chosen by him, for they lack of experience in criminal matters , lack of integrity, and lack of commitment to their Oaths of Office…placed them in charge of the biggest criminal cases in the FBI’s history so they could ,would and did, screw them up…which they did. These sorry ass “FBI Agents” broke every rule in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure as well as every evidence handling law as well as chain of custody laws and evidence reporting rules in the book.
Comey admitted, under oath, that he leaked information to the press for personal reasons, said he never told others to leak but they said, again, under oath that Comey told them to leak info. He said, she said! Comey took official records home to leak them…that’s a crime.
Comey took steps to remove the ability of the public to have direct contact with FBI Agents through his methodology of handling calls from the public. He did that by re- routing calls to a call center type of situation... “If this is an emergency call 911”…don’t call us! He created an FBI of non-criminal investigators (MaCabes and Strzoks, Pages and Bakers) who end up not knowing what being a real FBI Agent is like. I have spoken to manner of the new breed of Agents and heard from many Police Officers who have worked with the new Bureau and it’s not very complimentary.
Comey and his former followers made it almost impossible for those of us who would never have allowed an investigation like the Hillary debacle to take place…to proudly say, “We were FBI Agents”. We must qualify that with, “When Agents honored their Oath of Office”. They obtained illegal wire taps on US Citizens, put their personal agenda ahead of the law, like they were judge and jury. They were instrumental in obtaining Immunity for criminals who never put forth a proffer or testified before a Grand Jury. That’s unheard of! They ignored the laws they swore to enforce.
To those Agents who were not involved with what they did…where the hell were you? Why didn’t you speak up?
Before you say I don’t know what I’m talking about…answer me this…how many arrests did you make last year? How many convictions? How many Agents do you know who don’t carry their gun?
I never had a single year of no arrests in my 3 decade career…and made 57 arrests my last year on the NYO Br Squad, drew up most search warrants and arrest warrants on every squad I was on and in my first office rescued a 5 year old kidnap victim, Tondaleya Jones, kidnapped from Brooklyn, NY. Ray Gilbart and I found her at 3am in Charleston SC…Dennis Wicklein and I caught a Bank Robber 1 ½ hours after a BR in Myrtle beach with shotgun and loot, and I caught an IO fugitive after solving a Bronx deli armed robbery where he shot and killed a uniformed NYPD officer. That was my first year, in Charleston and in between the over 200 Fugitive –Deserters and UNLAWFUL flight Fugitives , Wick Jim Colegan and I caught. You won’t believe how successful the rest of my career was so I’ll leave you with this thought…in my 2nd year in my 2nd office, the NYO, I had two secret meetings with Director Hoover regarding a confidential source I successfully developed into, what Mr Hoover said, was the best source in the FBI at that time . How was your FBI career?
J. Gary DiLaura