The FBI -- the Dog That Turned on Its Master
Feedback is a fundamental principle of control theory. All systems, regardless of whether they’re technical or social, require negative feedback to maintain predictability and stability. System actions which deviate from those desired must trigger a response which counteracts (rather than reinforces) the deviation. When an automobile begins to accelerate, the cruise control applies negative feedback by reducing the throttle to maintain control. Were it to do otherwise, the car’s behavior would be unpredictable or even catastrophic.
The same principle applies to people. Accountability for one’s actions maintains the predictability of human behavior. When one is punished for breaking the rules, the likelihood of future infractions is reduced. If a child is punished for anti-social behavior and rewarded for teamwork, a productive contributor to society is developed. If a child receives little or no feedback about his behavior, a person with no sense of right or wrong is created. If a child is rewarded for bad behavior, a monster destined to prey on society is created. The penalties that accompany laws are the negative feedback that prevents our society from doing a “Thelma and Louise” -- socially speaking.
In 1908, in response to rising organized crime, the federal government decided that additional accountability was warranted. It created a watchdog called the Bureau of Investigation (which later became the FBI). Given the sweeping police powers of the watchdog, its agents receive training about the limits of their authority, and are required to swear a sacred oath to those they serve that they will not abuse their authority.
We trusted our new watchdog to hold miscreants accountable for violation of federal laws. But we failed to hold the watchdog itself accountable. We never yanked the leash and said “bad boy” when the dog deviated from its oath. Subsequently the dog learned bad habits. After decades of biting people without consequences, we’re faced with a beast that has become a menace to society, rather than its protector. Our “watchdog” has become the threat which it was intended to police.
In his book, The Thin Blue Lie, Greg Dillon chronicles one such episode in which accountability failed. While working as a Supervisory Inspector for the Connecticut Chief State’s Attorney’s office, Dillon was assigned to a joint fugitive task force which included other state agencies and the FBI. In late 1994, he became aware that various FBI agents on the task force were falsifying affidavits for warrants (a felony), at the urging of the lead FBI Special Agent, Ralph DiFonzo Jr. Making matters even worse, the agents were attributing the false statements in their affidavits to other members of the task force.
After reporting the issue to his Connecticut leadership, Dillon was shunned by the FBI, and ostracized by his own office. Meanwhile, Director Freeh, known for his “bright line” ethical behavior edicts, issued a letter of commendation to the task force. The agent who had ordered, “If you don’t have it (probable cause), lie.” wasn’t disciplined. He was promoted. The dog bit a bystander (violated its oath), received a treat (positive feedback), and learned from it.
Years later, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe worked with his boss, James Comey, to set a perjury trap for Trump’s National Security Advisor, General Michael Flynn. It was part of the bureau’s “insurance policy” to undermine the Trump presidency. The prosecution of Flynn ruined him financially.
An Inspector General investigation found that McCabe had leaked information to the press (against bureau policy) and lied to federal investigators (a felony). The IG recommended criminal prosecution. Then Attorney General Jeff Sessions opted to merely terminate McCabe’s employment. However, when Merrick Garland became the attorney general, he cleared McCabe’s record, reinstated his pension, and awarded him half a million bucks for his trouble. The dog broke FBI policies, undermined an election, violated a patriot’s rights, and received a “good dog” from the AG. It was another learning moment for the pack -- to the public’s detriment.
In the runup to the 2020 election, the Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field office, Steven D’Antuono, oversaw what is now widely recognized as an entrapment scheme -- the Governor Whitmer kidnapping case. The FBI used paid assets to talk a bunch of drug and alcohol-addled halfwits into the kidnapping plot. It was a political dirty trick carried out to assert that President Trump’s rhetoric was responsible for a rise in domestic terrorism.
However, in court it was discovered that the FBI had as many assets involved in the “conspiracy” as there were alleged domestic terrorists. In fact, the FBI assets had planned every aspect of the operation, and actively recruited others to join the “conspiracy.” Under FBI guidance, the “conspirators” had even conducted a protest at the Michigan Capital, which was eerily similar to the events of January 6 -- almost as if it were a dress rehearsal.
As the case went to trial, D’Antuono was promoted to head the Washington Field Office -- just in time for January 6. It seems he was a very good dog to his leftist benefactors.
Now we’re witnessing firsthand what an out-of-control watchdog is capable of. Agents are violating our rights by colluding with social media to censor our freedom of speech, targeting Catholics for their religious observance, and investigating parents as domestic terrorists. They’re openly using police state intimidation tactics to conduct armed raids against the elderly (Roger Stone), nonviolent defendants (Mark Hauck), and even journalists (James O’Keefe).
There are so many instances of bad behavior that it’s impossible to cover all of them in the space of this article. A partial list includes Ruby Ridge, Waco, the Atlanta Olympics bombing, the Olympic gymnastics scandal, the Midyear review, Crossfire Hurricane, and on and on.
In 2023, Director Christopher Wray was called before Congress to account for his vicious pack of attack dogs prowling the streets with impunity. Wray simply
- Lied, as he did with his Seth Rich testimony;
- Obfuscated with “I don’t know” or “part of an ongoing investigation”; or
- Ducked questioning entirely by leaving for vacation.
His behavior was like the alpha dog, snarling at his owner, and daring him to take a swing with the rolled-up newspaper. It was a stark demonstration that our “watchdog” has learned that disobedience to its master is of no consequence.
In all the above cases, the punishment for those who swore an oath, was considerably less than it would have been for those they are sworn to serve. The system feedback has been either ineffectively weak, or destructively reinforcing of misconduct. The FBI has not accepted accountability, it has merely posed for the appearance of accountability. Like all criminals, corrupt FBI agents are doing a risk/benefit analysis. They’ve clearly found that the benefits (perks from their benefactors) outweigh the risks (an occasional slap on the wrist). The bureau’s out-of-control spiral, has proven that its accountability is woefully inadequate.
When a dog can’t be trusted among the vulnerable, there are only three options: train it, restrain it, or put it down. The one response that is patently incorrect is to reward it -- patting the dog on the head with a new headquarters, and consolidating its operations in Washington so that the pack may be trained by the Deep State.