The FBI that agents like me were once so proud to be a part of is gone. It’s been destroyed by wokeness and outright politicization.
This week’s release of the Durham report shows senior leaders either manufactured evidence or purposely ignored established protocols to pursue the solely political Crossfire Hurricane farce probe into Trump-Russia “collusion.”
Then on Thursday three FBI whistleblowers, including a combat vet and a decorated Marine FBI professional-support employee, testified before the House, laying bare the bureau’s retaliation against them after they came forward to describe politically partisan decision-making and the weaponization of a once rigidly apolitical agency.
No surprise, then, that recent polling reveals that only 40% of Americans believe FBI agents are fair.
It comes down to this: The drift away from core FBI tenets and its embrace of wokeness and politics has compromised its mission and sacrificed public trust.
Think about it: Tradition in the FBI has always been one of its hallmarks.
The mythologized image of the “G-Man” had nothing to do with skin tone or gender but reflected the single standard of excellence and adherence to our enduring motto: Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity.
Those tenets have been sidelined — pushed aside in favor of identity and a focus on our differences, rather than on what once made us all proud Feds.
James Comey’s tenure as FBI director, in particular, saw a noticeable abandonment of tradition.
In his 2018 book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership,” Comey describes how he met with FBI headquarters employees on his first day as director.
He was seated on a stool, wearing a tie, blue shirt and no jacket. Why mention that? Because the man who Comey succeeded, Robert S. Mueller III, proudly wore a white shirt, tie and jacket to work every day — as did his five predecessors dating back to Hoover. Tradition.
Per Comey, “I thought that shirt color was one early, small way to set a different tone.”
We see this change-the-culture fever across our entire great nation, whose motto once drew scores of immigrants captivated by the notion of e pluribus unum — “out of many, one.”
Assimilation is no longer the goal; it’s now focusing on one’s perceived identity that counts most.
Once a fairly conservative agency, the bureau now competes to align itself with activists for wokeness. And division.
Comey’s blue shirt is emblematic of what’s seemingly become most important to the FBI.
Don’t believe me? Check out the 2023 FBI edition’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion webpage.
The bureau once attracted eager, qualified applicants to hunt down terrorists, dismantle violent street gangs and stymie China’s spying.
Now FBI 2.0 lures aspiring crimefighters with its Diversity Advisory Committee and Employee Resource Group.
Long gone are the days of special agents being instructed at Quantico that they were but a small, unified bunch striving to do right at the premier law-enforcement agency in the world.
You didn’t own an “identity.” You were part of the FBI, and blessed for it.
Now the DAC highlights all the distribution lists where you can align with causes to divide up as employees: American Indian and Alaska Native Advisory Committee, Asian Pacific American Advisory Committee, Black Affairs Diversity Committee, Bureau Equality, Hispanic Advisory Board, Near and Middle East Advisory Committee, Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee, Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee and the Women’s Advisory Committee.
The ERG adds more fissures to the workforce; groups tied to it include: Blacks in Government, FBI African American Millennials, FBI Family, FBI Jewish Americans, FBI Latinos for Empowerment Advancement and Development, FBI Pride, Federal Asian Pacific American Counsel, Federally Employed Women, From Boots to Suits and the Toastmasters Club (where the jokes write themselves).
For so many retired FBI agents, these gratuitous DEI efforts are beyond shameful — contributing to the pedestal-toppling of an FBI we sweated for and bled to honor.
As the bureau reels under its now oh-so-tarnished reputation, maybe we’ll be invited back for its upcoming “Happiness Seminar” sponsored by its newest, coolest diversity groups, Save the Earth from A to Z and We Are One Family, on May 30.
There we’ll relax, lament the melting polar ice caps and find our inner peace — as terrorists, gangbangers and hostile nation-states enjoy the demise of a once-proud agency.
James A. Gagliano is a retired FBI supervisory special agent and doctoral candidate in homeland security at St. John’s University. He serves on the board of directors for the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund.