A few days ago I posted a video on Facebook of Robert Mueller, former director of the FBI and currently the special counsel investigating the Trump Administration. In the video, Mueller is giving a speech about the future of the FBI as a counterterrorism force. Of course, the word “future” is a relative term. The speech was given eleven years ago- everything that Mueller hoped would come to pass for the FBI has probably already happened by now, and then some.
I strongly recommend watching the entire speech (or listening to it in the background, the video is just Mueller standing at a podium) because it’s instructive not only about the kind of man Mueller is, but also about the agenda of organizations like the FBI. Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory, but it’s quite surprising how often the various organs of the government tell us exactly what they want to do, and how they’re going to do it, publicly. At one point in the speech, Mueller declares that the distinction between the FBI and the United States military is gone. He then went on to describe the FBI’s global footprint, it’s efficacy as a counterterrorism force and its plans to increase its capacity in the future.
He said all of this in a public broadcast which was being live-streamed back in 2007. I stress this point because the public record of Mueller, and people in similar positions of authority, should give all of us pause, but particularly people on the left end of the political spectrum. This isn’t “small government, free markets” Republican rhetoric. This is the kind of political and military integration threat that people have cooked up in their heads since before “jet fuel can’t melt steel beams” became a meme. No smoke-filled rooms or Illuminati influences, just publicly stated policy.
Our politics have swung so far to the right that self-proclaimed liberals and progressives are cheering for the former director of the FBI to save the day. When Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, New York Times columnist Charles Blow tweeted the following:
And please, let’s not get into a pissing contest as to how leftist Charles Blow is. The dude is obviously not a Republican or conservative. Yet he, and millions of other leftists, have pinned their hopes on a man that declared the distinction between the federal military and the federal police gone. I was hopeful at first that the insanity of Donald Trump would at least blow up the old political alliances, and in some ways they have. Did you ever think you would see this?
But instead of shaking up those coalitions and then pulling right-wing organizations like the FBI to the left, we’ve all been pulled to the right. The judiciary isn’t just leaning to the right, it’s marching in that direction. Even if Mueller finds evidence of direct cooperation between Donald Trump and foreign actors (which he won’t) and impeachment proceedings began, there’s no chance in hell that two thirds of the Senate will vote to convict. And even if they did, our reward is President Mike Pence, maybe the only person in politics actively worse than Trump. We’re watching a right wing civil war play out right now, and we’re picking sides in their fight instead of preparing for when they come for us. And they are coming, and they’ll probably make a speech about it before they do.