Timothy Buchanan
What the I.G. report declares and doesn't
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By Timothy Buchanan
December 12, 2019

When the long-awaited report of Inspector General, Michael Horowitz was released this week, it landed with a sickening thud like a Palestinian missile outside an Israeli neighborhood. No significant damage was done, but the crumpled heap continues to smoke and squeal as it poses future threats to innocent civilian adults and children.

Prior to the official release, news media reports said that the I.G.'s assessment has something for both sides. It has nothing, however, for the most important side – the citizens of the United States who pay the country's bills, do the country's work and own its businesses.

Immediately following the report's release, former F.B.I. Director, James Comey could be found on network television declaring that the report vindicates him personally. It does not. Neither does it confirm or deny that Department of Justice and F.B.I. officials launched an improper investigation with little or no credible justification and for purely political reasons.

Major news networks mischaracterized the Inspector General's report as a patent rejection of President Trump's claim that he was a victim of government surveillance that was specious, at best. It is not that. In fact, the report lists seventeen mistakes and/or failures by the Department of Justice and the F.B.I. associated with the investigation from its inception. Most seriously, information was withheld from the F.I.S.A. court judge who authorized the probe, known to D.O.J. and FBI insiders as Operation Crossfire Hurricane.

The I.G. report reads as if it was written to present the appearance of impartiality while attempting to arbitrate a settlement in a dispute between two friends. It is unsatisfactory for both sides, ignoring the essential facts and motivations related to the three-year-long series of questionable accusations that has beleaguered the government and consumed the media.

Since most people will not examine the report of Inspector General, Michael Horowitz for themselves, they will likely believe that the U.S. Department of Justice and the F.B.I. did nothing wrong by investigating President Trump and his associates, because that's what they are being told by Congressional Democrats and dishonest media personalities. But that would be false.

Unfortunately, the report takes the least credible and most unrewarding position by stating that the F.B.I. had legitimate "discretion" to open the probe, even if it had no legitimate cause to do so. The 500-page report chronicles many facts without reaching a clear conclusion. It ignores the political bias of FBI agents, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and fails to condemn the exploitation of legal loopholes in the FISA process, all but assuring a future situation similar to this one.

While the Inspector General said that the F.B.I. had discretion to launch investigations of this type, he cited violations of policy and crucial lapses of judgment made by the two agencies at the center of the case. Horowitz stopped short of condemning the F.B.I., but acknowledged that the information at the heart of the investigation was flawed.

The report concludes with a list of recommended policy changes to improve the government system that gave rise to the unprecedented series of investigations that have yielded no substantial evidence of crime, collusion or abusive behavior on the part of Donald J. Trump either before or after he was elected president. But just as we know from the rising numbers of mass shootings, laws and federal government policies will not prevent bad people from committing deadly and destructive criminal acts.

Operation Crossfire Hurricane began during the Obama administration with false and unsubstantiated evidence that would be thrown out of any criminal court in the United States because it falls short of probable cause of wrong-doing. Just as evidence obtained from an illegal search warrant would be rejected as "fruit from a poisoned tree," any so-called evidence collected during an illegitimate political hatchet-job should be discredited. Instead, benign information found incidentally has now been churned into fabricated articles of impeachment against President Trump. Crossfire Hurricane was nothing other than an end-run around the Hatch Act.

As a way of preventing "pernicious political activities" from being committed by federal government employees against elected officials, the Hatch Act was passed in 1939. Its intent was to restrain the power of the government from being weaponized against a political adversary. The FISA process was abused in Crossfire Hurricane to circumvent this vital protection. One may wonder, "Are there no honest people working for our government anymore?"

Two thousand years ago, Tacitus prophetically described the current crop of treacherous Washington Democrats writing, "Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but audacity."

The Horowitz report shows that civil laws and D.O.J. or F.B.I. policies are only effective when the people subject to them are honest. Sadly, our nihilistic culture has given rise to a politically contaminated federal justice system and a criminally corrupt political syndicate. As has been said by dishonest attorneys, "It's not what's true that matters; it's what you can persuade a jury to believe." The American people are that jury and too many of us are content to remain woefully ignorant.

© Timothy Buchanan

 

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Timothy Buchanan

Timothy Buchanan is a US Navy veteran, a former defense contractor and broadcast engineer. He's the author of two published books and a regular contributor to BarbWire.com. Timothy and his wife live among the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia.

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