My replies to David Bromwich, at The London Review of Books


Mr. Bromwich’s  style is very readable in this instance, I don’t know that Bromwich has modeled his style on that of Murray Kempton, but it sometimes reads as if it were. The essay seems quite straight forward, except that the shifting roles of hero and villain in The American Political Melodrama begins to fatigue the reader. Although the claim of Hillary Clinton as ‘victim’ is one of the comic aspects of this debacle.

We are supposed to take the word of Edward Snowden that Comey deserves our support. Quite frankly I admire Mr. Snowden, but he did not live through the Dark Age of J.Edgar Hoover! A closeted paranoid hysteric who had unquestioned power from 1935 to 1972. The FBI is his creation, and its culture of political oppression allied to its claim to be self-righteous upholders of The Law. It even qualified for a long running television show, that was Hollywood’s contribution to the FBI Myth.

‘The FBI over its history has shown itself to be criminally incompetent and utterly mendacious: its targeting of dissidents, and ‘fellow travelers’ of the McCarthy/Nixon era, the JFK assassination, the Black Panthers in the 60’s , the notorious letter to Martin Luther King, and its ‘Crime Lab‘ this is jut to name a few of the FBI’s many crimes!:

Forty years ago, Bob Dylan reacted to the conviction of an innocent man by singing that he couldn’t help but feel ashamed “to live in a land where justice is a game.” Over the ensuing decades, the criminal-justice system has improved in many significant ways. But shame is still an appropriate response to it, as the Washington Post made clear Saturday in an article that begins with a punch to the gut: “Nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000,” the newspaper reported, adding that “the cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death.”

The article notes that the admissions from the FBI and Department of Justice “confirm long-suspected problems with subjective, pattern-based forensic techniques—like hair and bite-mark comparisons—that have contributed to wrongful convictions in more than one-quarter of 329 DNA-exoneration cases since 1989.

This history of the FBI is utterly relevant to the construction of Comey as Hero. How can one be that hero, if one heads an institution so riddled with corruption , not to speak of covered with lies and an impasto of Public Relations. The rise of The American National Security State asphyxiated the the Republic, and the FBI one of the nascent institutional strongholds of autocracy in the person of J. Edgar Hoover, now succeeded by Comey’s replacement. Aided by Trump’s jurisprudential catamite Rod Rosenstein.


Here is a link to an Intercept report by Trevor Aaronson on Comey that is worth your time.
A eye opening quote that demonstrates the unchecked power of the FBI:

‘Had this been a normal criminal investigation, and had Comey been a special agent in the field, the memo he would have written would have been known, in the FBI’s parlance, as an FD-302. The FBI does not record conversations with subjects related to criminal investigations. Instead, FBI agents, using their memory and sometimes handwritten notes, draft memos that summarize the conversations and include purportedly verbatim quotes. Federal judges and juries have consistently viewed these memos as indisputable fact. For this reason, Comey’s memo is no normal government memo. It could do lasting damage to Trump’s presidency, if not contribute to costing him the nation’s highest office altogether.’

The recollections of FBI agents are treated as fact! Its not Law but Political Theology!

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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