June 23rd, 2017

The FBI appears to have lost its collective mind

Or perhaps it’s become a PC tool.

I prefer the first explanation, but the second could be correct.

What am I talking about? This:

The FBI’s briefing appears so contrary to the facts as to be insulting. When a man with a history of hating Republicans cases a location, takes pictures, verifies the targets are Republicans before opening fire, has a list of Republican politicians in his pocket, and shoots and nearly kills Republicans, it’s hard to swallow the FBI’s contention that the shooting was “spontaneous” with “no target.” The agency should reconsider whether it wants to troll Americans about something this serious.

I haven’t been able to locate a transcript of the FBI briefing, but I keep hoping that if I could read the entirety of the remarks and their context that there would be a rational explanation. I can think of only one somewhat rational possibility, though, and it’s that what the FBI was actually trying to say may have been some version of this: Hodgkinson was looking to kill Republicans and attempting to kill Republicans in general but not necessarily the specific Republican (Scalise) he came within a hair of killing. Under this theory, Scalise would have been a target of opportunity who happened to be on that baseball field, as were the other people Hodgkinson wounded. Hodgkinson may have been more interested in killing certain other Republicans, but when he saw that group on the field and asked whether they were Republicans or Democrats and was informed “Republicans,” he figured hey, I may as well make the most of this golden opportunity.

One glitch in that theory, however, is that Hodgkinson apparently had taken photos of the baseball field in the days leading up to the shooting. Hard to believe it was a major tourist attraction.

The entire FBI briefing therefore appears to be something out of the Twilight Zone. And that’s the second time in the past week I’ve used that “Twilight Zone” analogy. Not an encouraging sign.

30 Responses to “The FBI appears to have lost its collective mind”

  1. Tom Says:

    In a single news conference, after 110 years of service to the nation, the FBI became a laughing stock. I have a high threshold for surprise/disappointment these days, but this made my jaw drop. Nothing like this happens in a vacuum though. “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”.

  2. Sharon W Says:

    This latest absurdity has served to eradicate any confidence I have in the FBI.

  3. Griffin Says:

    The downplaying and outright dismissing of the politically motivated violence and threats right now is extremely troubling. Is there a point where it will go too far for some of these people? Sadly I’m beginning to think the answer is no, they will be just fine if their political opponents are actually killed.

  4. skeptic Says:

    After then FBI Director Comey’s tortured logic for not prosecuting Hillary over her multiple felonies with her email servers, anyone who is surprised by this is not paying attention.

  5. arfldgr Says:

    I would tell you to ask Natalie Wraga, but she just died at 101.. so we lost a superb resource, historian, smart lady, and more…

    but why would people know her, willi, chase, utley, Ruta U., and tons more?

    funny watching people fumble over all the stuff that they ignord and didnt want to read or put in their ideas or assesments. its now center stage and all ya have is a big empty spot where the knowlege should be, and lots of people making stuff up…

    didnt pay attention to the experts who were real experts i guess…

    Natalie Wraga

    WHEN Natalie Wraga turned 100 last year the local council for Leesburg, Virginia, sent her a certificate of “congratulations and commendation” for her work as an adviser on Soviet affairs to the United States government.

    [snip for size ]

    Although Mrs Wraga was almost blind towards the end of her life “you’d never know it by the way she navigated the miles and miles of back country roads on our way to lunch.” Mrs Wraga’s mountain home was also a mecca for Kremlin-watchers who came to see her from Washington, only some 35 miles away.

    Well into her 90s she was happy to offer her views on how the foxy Russians were trying to deceive the innocent Americans.

    She was perhaps the only person alive in the West who could claim such an intimate knowledge of Russian political thinking, from tsarist times to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    As they drove back to Washington, her guests would mull over Mrs Wraga’s delphic pronouncement: “Many people are studying the past, but very few are studying the present. Keep your eyes open and your ears open.”

    [snip]

    The Americans were deeply reluctant to recognise Russia’s government; not so much because it was communist, an ideology few ordinary Americans knew much about, but because it was “godless”.

    In 1933, the new Democratic president, Franklin Roosevelt, said even a godless country could provide America with much-needed trade, and 16 years after the Russian revolution recognition was granted.

    Natalie Wraga (by now married to a Polish intelligence chief, Richard Wraga) observed how the Russians were keeping to the promises they had made to gain recognition, and reported that they were mostly breaking them, even over trae, which did not increase.

    After her spell in Tallinn she had been posted in 1928 to the American legation in Riga, the capital of Latvia (where her boss was George Kennan, who was to become famous diplomatically for advocating the “containment” of the Soviet Union, which became the basis of American policy during the cold war).

    In 1940, when the Russians occupied Latvia, Mrs Wraga was moved to Switzerland, and after the second world war she worked for the State Department in Washington.
    .

    why pay attention to the peopel deep into it?

    but here is the key, and her opinion is shared much in the right circles, and confirmed by defectors

    Mrs Wraga believed that the cold war did not end with the break-up of the Soviet Union.

    The Russians were pretending to be weak<, she said, that their soldiers were on the verge of collapse.

    But they still had missiles and nuclear arms and their espionage was excellent. They remained masters of disinformation, the “planned, conscious deception for gain”.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Sometimes, she said, more than 90% of the content of disinformation was true. “Find the part that is false.”
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    From the 1930s onwards the Russians had pushed “peace” as a tool against the West. Now they had come up with the idea of the environment. Regimes they disliked were “poisoning the atmosphere”.

    As in the past, Mrs Wraga said, their ideas were popular, especially among the young. “There’s always a tendency to trust the left wing.”

    this is why i tried to teach you guys..
    referring to tsun tsu.. history, pointing out the one piece of sh*t in the candy made so well.

    but people who want to be entertained, dont want to learn..
    and those who want to learn, do not want to be entertained
    want to guess who gets left behind and has no idea what is going on?

    anyone want to tell NEO what happend to the FBI decades ago?
    thx

  6. arfldgr Says:

    anyone want to play catchup?
    go here if you can

    A Register to the Natalie Grant Wraga Papers
    http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt1r29q8hs/

    The papers of the American Foreign Service officer and Sovietologist include writings, notes, correspondence, and printed matter, relating to the Soviet government, foreign policy, espionage and clandestine activities, and especially the use of disinformation as a tactic. Includes photocopies of United States Department of State dispatches relating to Soviet activities during the 1920s and 1930s. Includes a typescript book-length-study entitled “Window on Russia.” Also includes some papers of Ryszard (Richard) Wraga, Sovietologist and husband of Natalie Wraga.

    very interesting stuff if you get access..
    but if the past is an indication of the present and future, its a waste of time… which is why the change cant be stopped… those that want it to stop, dont want to know what needs to be known to have proper regard and to know not only what they fight against, but who they fight for.

  7. Sam L. Says:

    FBI “reasoning” pretty much defines the word “bizarre”.

  8. Dave Says:

    One thing that most scholars in the west missed is that the Nazi was violent not because of its nationalist element, as proven by the fact that there are many peace nationalist countries in the world, but it was violent because of its socialist element. have any of you noticed that there is no such thing as conservative or constitutional dictatorship? every remaining dictatorship government in the world falls into either of the two groups, socialist and Islamic. Socialism and Nationalism are not exclusive of each other, many socialistic governments rely heavily on nationalism as a way to legitimatize the regime. Mao offered his party as a solution to the people against the imperial foreigners, and nationalism is still used as the way to maintain its legitimacy, being the government of the Chinese people protecting the Chinese interest against the evil oversea imperialist invaders from imperial America and Imperial Japan.

  9. Dave Says:

    Black live matter is a nationalist concept, it is nationalism for the black people. the solution the liberals came up with to fight white nationalism was black nationalism, the only thing fighting fire with fire will achieve is having the whole house burnt down.

  10. Ann Says:

    A 24-minute video of the FBI briefing is here. It starts out with a nuts-and-bolts review of the findings to date and then has some comments from a police officer and then a Q&A with the lead FBI person. If you watch the whole thing, you’ll see his answers pretty much follow the classic just-the-facts-ma’am format and lots of “ongoing investigation” responses.

    I think the Q&A bears out Neo’s “one somewhat rational possibility . . . that what the FBI was actually trying to say may have been some version of this: Hodgkinson was looking to kill Republicans and attempting to kill Republicans in general but not necessarily the specific Republican (Scalise) he came within a hair of killing. Under this theory, Scalise would have been a target of opportunity who happened to be on that baseball field, as were the other people Hodgkinson wounded.”

  11. parker Says:

    Twilight zone indeed. Its like Comey last July. 2+2 = 4 but this time 2+2=5 or maybe 6 or it could be 3. Now run along and look there’s a squirrel

  12. ed in texas Says:

    Bear in mind that this is the same group that decided that Nidal’s shooting up Ft Hood was not Islamic in nature, oh no, but workplace violence. When a muslim stabs a cop in an airport while yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’ it is apparently caused by travel stress (let’s just ignore the knife in the airport thing).
    The FBI knows how to find out stuff; the problem is what they’re usually looking for is a pre-determined conclusion. They are the Praetorian Guard for the federal state, and it will never be shown in a bad light.

  13. TommyJay Says:

    I found this at the FBI.

    https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/washingtondc/news/press-releases/law-enforcement-shares-findings-of-the-investigation-into-the-june-14-alexandria-virginia-shooting

    Seems similar the topic at hand.

    I like the part about how the hit list in his pocket couldn’t have been a hit list because they only found Google searches of two people on the list. How many persons searched are required? Three, or the full 6?? And because he couldn’t get an Alexandria library card, he could not possibly have conducted searches on their computers. Because criminals never break rules? The FBI has never heard of an internet café?

  14. TommyJay Says:

    Another annoying part of the FBI Findings post I listed above, is the claim that Hodgkinson had a 9mm pistol and that 9mm casings were found at the scene. Well thanks!

    We know the Capitol police officers fired a truck load of rounds, and that the 9mm is the most common law enforcement caliber. So who’s 9mm casings did the FBI find? I am sure it would take at least 60 min. to match the casings to the firearms, so we should give the FBI a few months to figure that out; and keep the results secret.

  15. AesopFan Says:

    The general v. specific distinction is the first thing I thought of also, a pretty typical technique for sliding around the subject, when you don’t want to tell the world what the meaning of “general” really is.

    It’s not the only example of weasel-wording we could come up with, but here’s the meme-starter.

    via Google:
    Contending that his statement that “there’s nothing going on between us” had been truthful because he had no ongoing relationship with Lewinsky at the time he was questioned, Clinton said, “It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. … If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement”.
    Impeachment of Bill Clinton – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_of_Bill_Clinton

    PS I don’t know that the FBI bears the burden of the Major Hassan euphemism, although they did invistigate him and decided he wasn’t the droid they were looking for; Wikipedia says that was a political decision by DoD — and one of the earliest signs that told us for sure which way the wind was blowing in Obama’s fantasy world.
    However:
    A jury panel of 13 officers convicted him of 13 counts of premeditated murder, 32 counts of attempted murder, and unanimously recommended he be dismissed from the service and sentenced to death.[3][6][7] Hasan is incarcerated at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas awaiting execution while his case is reviewed by appellate courts.

    It will never happen.

  16. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Speaking of TV shows,
    Is this the show starring Efram Zimbalist Jr?
    Or the movie with Jimmy Stewart?
    Oh, couldn’t be.
    Those weren’t comedies.

  17. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Obfuscation. The FBI is firmly in the Deep State and the top and middle leadership of those Federal Departments and organizations have looked to Europe and realized that under the Democrats, an E.U. style bureaucracy will flourish, which has already happened in the EPA and US Department of Education. This is about keeping and increasing power.

  18. klm Says:

    This is not first time and its very common with FBI and others agencies

    Let what and see who things turned chaos and every one in FBI, President office and other believe its NOT!!!

    Please look carefully @18 min and after
    Why?

    you need to find by yourself.

    The Secret History of ISIS

  19. AesopFan Says:

    Another interesting investigation by the FBI is proceeding – if Trump kills it or pushes it, look for one side or the other to scream “obstruction” or “witch hunt” — the story came out briefly during the campaign but couldn’t get any traction from the MSM.

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/22/bernie-sanders-jane-sanders-lawyer-bank-fraud-investigation-burlington-college-215297

    As yet, the investigation has not concluded. Once FBI or other federal agents present the results of their investigation to federal prosecutors, the top lawyers will have discretion on whether or not to bring charges.

    Once the federal investigation concludes, the Justice Department will decide whether or not to bring charges—which some worry will give Donald Trump a chance to affect the course of action.
    That gives President Donald Trump a chance to affect the course of the investigation and potential for prosecution, as Trump’s Department of Justice—led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a longtime senatorial colleague of Bernie Sanders—will make the call on whether to prosecute the wife of a senator who has been deeply critical of this president and once called him a “pathological liar.”
    * * *
    The rest of the article points out that the investigation was begun under Obama’s DOJ, although at the prodding of a Republican activist in Vermont; at about 18 months there is no conclusion, but mounds and mounds of evidence that some kind of hanky-panky was involved. Maybe it was willfull fraud, but I think more likely idealistic wishful thinking by Sanders, trying to carve out her own “legacy” — using other people’s money, of course.

  20. Foxfier Says:

    If something sounds this crazy, there’s usually a reason– either the phrase doesn’t mean what it means in common terms, or an official finding the other way changes who takes over the investigation.

  21. Manju Says:

    This piece offers some possible explanations:

    Why The FBI Usually Doesn’t Label Attacks By Non-Muslims Terrorism

    Long/short: It boils down to having links to a “designated foreign terrorist organization”. While this isn’t essential for a terrorist charge…the FBI generally doesn’t bother unless this is in play.

    So, for example, Dylan Roof got a pass. But the Muslim guy who shot a cop at the airport recently is a terrorist suspect. Even if he acted alone, “elements like retweets can be considered material support for a designated foreign terrorist organization.”

  22. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    AesopFan: Glad you pointed that out. I assumed it had been dropped.
    So many squirrels, so few eyeballs.

  23. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Manju
    Roof got a pass because, as far as anybody knows, he wanted to kill people because he wanted to kill people. Terrorism is designed to have a political effect, by definition. Even if it’s lone nutcases stabbing cops and getting shot or arrested immediately. The organizing and radicalizing and encouragement from Terror Central–whichever one it is–hopes that even lone nutcases in sufficient quantities will have the desired effect.
    What Hodgkinson wanted is unknown, except he wanted to kill republicans for being republicans. What political effect this would have is unclear, except if you consider it a coup. That’s difficult to figure since the governor of the decedent’s state usually appoints a replacement until a special election can be held, or a regular election if sooner.
    So the political balance is unlikely to change, although if an important vote is coming up, the vacancies may make a difference.
    So H isn’t a terrorist. But, as has been pointed out, whatever is known of his political beliefs, he’s a white-bread dem/prog.

  24. n.n Says:

    Random act. With this logic, there is only one crime that has an unambiguous attribution. Ironically, it was made legal in this society with the establishment of the twilight faith, selective, opportunistic, and unprincipled.

  25. Dave M Says:

    Here’s a link to FBI.gov that includes all of the statements in question. https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/washingtondc/news/press-releases/law-enforcement-shares-findings-of-the-investigation-into-the-june-14-alexandria-virginia-shooting

    As a recently-retired GS1811 (Federal Criminal Investigator, NOT FBI, however) the spin on this release makes no sense.

    FYI, the US Capitol Police carry Glock 22s in .40 caliber. There would be no difficulty in differentiating between their cases and the 9mm used by the shooter.

  26. Manju Says:

    Manju
    Roof got a pass because, as far as anybody knows, he wanted to kill people because he wanted to kill people

    He wanted to kill black people.

    Terrorism is designed to have a political effect, by definition.

    He confessed to wanting to start another civil war and to supporting segregation. Unless you think Jim Crow and the Civil War weren’t political, I don’t see your point.

  27. neo-neocon Says:

    Manju, Richard Aubrey, et al:

    The definition of terrorism is a tricky one, and much debated.

    There is often a distinction made between terrorism and assassination. Is assassination a form of terrorism? Maybe. I happen to be of the opinion that Hodgkinson’s act was an assassination (the definition of the term is usually the killing of a prominent person in government). It is a politically motivated act, but perhaps not “terrorism” per se, although that’s the debatable point. Roof was a terrorist, however, and he definitely wanted to kill black people, which makes him a racist terrorist.

  28. Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup » Pirate's Cove Says:

    […] Neo Neocon discusses the FBI having seemingly to lost their minds […]

  29. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Manju. In that case, Charles Manson would be a terrorist, as would various Symbionese Liberation Army analogs. I haven’t heard the term used there.
    As Neo says, this is slippery. As a convention, terrorism is presumed to be performed for, by whatever connection, some organized operation. Like Isis, or Communists, or Hezbollah, etc.
    It may be strictly true that Roof wanted to make a political change, but since he was working for himself, in a manner of speaking, as a convention, the term does not apply.
    McVeigh killed, I believe, 158 people. His political point, as far as anybody knows, is revenge for the feds’ massacre of nearly eighty innocents civilians at Waco and the following lack of interest by the Usual Suspects who are ordinarily all over government overreaching.
    He has not, as far as I know, been called a terrorist because political change was not his goal, or if it were, did not have a particular group in mind to take over.
    Hodgkinso’s goal, insofar as we can figure it out, was to reduce the number of republicans in congress by killing some and scaring others out of public service. This would make it easier to move Bernie’s agenda. Strictly speaking, again, that isn’t terror because he wasn’t looking for a major social upheaval with revolution in the streets. You could call it tactical assassination.

  30. skeptic Says:

    Neo: “Or perhaps it’s become a PC tool.”

    The FBI is a corrupt Democrat party tool. See this article by John Hinderaker of Powerlineblog discussing the FBI’s involvement in a plot by the Obama administration to smear Trump in the runup to the election:
    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/06/democrats-fbi-collaborated-on-trump-smear.php

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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