Move the FBI Out of Washington to Save It

May 4, 2020 Updated: May 5, 2020

Commentary

Whatever happens with John Durham’s report, however many people in or out of the Federal Bureau of Investigation are indicted, fired, chastised or not, what we have learned so far, including the latest revelations from the Flynn case, tell us that a large percentage of our citizens may never trust the FBI again.

They will be justified in regarding what was once considered the “world’s greatest law enforcement agency” as an organization of partisan hacks providing “insurance policies” to their political favorites, while surveilling, harassing, bankrupting, and ruining the lives of innocent people in what appears to be an attempt to take down an administration.

It doesn’t, thankfully, go as far as the KGB or the Gestapo—yet. No one is being carted off to Lubyanka never to be seen again. But it’s bad enough and an argument can be made for totally dismantling the FBI and starting over.

That’s unlikely to happen in our current situation, but something drastic must be done to save or reform the bureau. And it’s not too early to think about this because, if we don’t, again no matter what emerges from Durham, we could easily, after the usual political uproar, amped up because it is a presidential year, return to the status quo ante.

At the very least, a public discussion about what to do should be initiated.

Moving the FBI out of Washington is a good place to start. In fact, it’s necessary—and as far away as practicable would be best, such as Utah or Wyoming.

This would put bureau agents and their leadership out of day-to day, face-to-face contact with, and possible coercion by, congressional and executive branch politicians, their staffs, the leaders of the political parties, the myriad K Street lobbyists, and the national media.

It won’t be perfect, but some degree of separation would be established. This would define the FBI as an organization unto itself, far away from the Beltway swim and expected to be rigidly nonpartisan.

In this digital age, practically the only method in which influence can be peddled and damage done while remaining anonymous are secretive personal encounters. The humiliating revelations of Peter Strzok’s and Lisa Page’s emails underscore that; few will be that arrogant and careless again.

If you’re up to mischief, the information or, more likely, the disinformation will be imparted in a clandestine meeting in the grand tradition of Deep Throat, not online where, eventually, assuming it hasn’t been bleached, it can be retrieved and brought in evidence.

Also, and equally important, moving the agency would help keep the national media from playing such a biased interfering role in the justice system, as it has in recent years. The infamous Steele dossier was promulgated person-to-person by the press, headquartered, of course, in Washington, working in tandem with elements, rogue or not, in the FBI and other government agencies.

The move could then make a start at altering the culture of the bureau, a difficult task because it may have been more infected than currently realized. Sean Hannity frequently asserts on his cable show that the rank-and-file of the FBI is good and hard working. It’s only a small cadre of corrupt leadership that is the problem.

Hannity may be too optimistic. Yes, the fish rots from the head, but, according to a leaked report (so take it for what you will), Durham was “shocked” upon reading recently revealed documents that no “whistleblower” had stepped forward to reveal the obvious malfeasances of the Flynn case.

If true, it’s easy to understand why the investigator felt that way. The FBI has its own version of omertà, which seems to go down through the ranks to some extent and is exacerbated by the current director who seems desperate to preserve the institution at the expense of the truth. Durham has his work cut out for him looking into the misdeeds of this hidebound bureaucracy.

It’s time to shake things up by moving to the wide-open spaces. (Quantico can stay where it is.) In a world where statues of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis are often taken down, we should be more than ready to lose a headquarters named for J. Edgar Hoover.

I understand the Spy Museum is the popular hit of Washington. Perhaps they could use more expansion space.

Roger L. Simon is The Epoch Times’ senior political columnist. He is also a prize-winning novelist, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, and the co-founder of PJ Media. His most recent book is “The GOAT.”

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.