The memo is finally released, and albeit far from the bombshell that Republicans made it out to be or the “nothing-burger” Democrats are trying to claim it is, it does uncover some damning evidence for both sides. As always with these sorts of dramatic events, the American public is left with both a bevy of unanswered questions, the majority of which it’s safe to assume, will be swept under the rug, as well as a few lessons to learn about our trustworthiness towards government.
The most obvious question we should be asking ourselves is why we suspected that a secret court, operated for the dubious and open-ended purpose of “intelligence gathering,” would continue operating within the confines of the law for any extended period of time with no accountability. Considering what we know about the FBI’s nefarious history of skirting the law for its own desires, it should come as no surprise that not only would it seek to use a secret court to help carry out its operations, but that this court would be susceptible to corruption.
Many people in America today still place too much faith in the idea that their government serves the interests of the people, as opposed to their own, however. It’s why we see so many parroting the mainstream talking points before we even saw the memo, and also why these obvious lessons often go unremembered until we find ourselves repeating them over and over – much like our foreign policy debacles.
To drive this point home, we must only ask the next unanswered question left by this memo; which is, why did Congress vote to renew and expand the FISA program just a few weeks ago if there was so much controversy surrounding the actions of this program? Now, surely people will point to the fact that the House Intelligence Committee hadn’t released this information beforehand. But, if we are to believe that this memo was compiled and released because our representatives care about upholding the Constitution and our best interests – as we’re told they do – why wasn’t this readily available information released to the house before the vote?
Whether or not the information provided in the memo is completely authentic, it goes to show that there are serious doubts had by even those in positions of authority on whether or not the innerworkings of our intelligence community operate within the purview of the law.
Let’s be honest, it’s not much of a leap to say that regardless of whether this information is verified, no significant figure from the Clinton campaign, the FBI, or the Department of Justice will see any repercussions from this – other than an early retirement, with benefits of course. Similarly, we can postulate that anything uncovered from the Mueller investigation will now be considered “fruit of the poisonous tree,” and subjected to the same partisan diversions that the memo was.
The lesson we need to take away from these scenarios is that these institutions need to be done away with entirely. We can conclude that these operations, oftentimes endorsed as a necessary defense for the protection of citizens and upholding the law, always end up debased by the corrupt nature of politics, to the point of being used to accomplish the very things they were set up to defend against. We should remember these scenarios as an undeniable fact of their dangerous nature, rather than fear the theoretical danger that we’re told may occur in their absence.
So, as libertarians caught in the middle of this partisan battle, we can simply say “thanks for the memo-ries.” Hopefully the American people will put this one, as well as future ones, to good use.
Thomas J. Eckert
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