Many people seem to be having a hard time understanding why Comey has “changed course” and acted “unpredictably” with regards to the numerous Clinton investigations.
So, without going to deep into any particular part of this, I want you to take a look at the “organizational culture” of the Executive and Legislative branches of government. The legislative branch has absolutely no moral conscience whatsoever – they encourage lobbying by being profoundly receptive to it. Certain portions of the Executive branch also encourage such “mutually beneficial” arrangements. However, there are “islands of integrity” which remain, even within the fetid swamp of Washington DC.
Historically, The Secret Service has been one such island. No one in the Secret Service is compelled to protect the President – if you’re good enough to be on the team, you’ll be invited, but some choose not to accept. For whatever their reasons, they don’t believe that they can give 110% to the job, and they’re honest about it when they decline. One example is the wave of transfer requests and resignations which went through the Secret Service in November and December of 2008, prior to 0bama’s inauguration. They had heard about what went on behind closed doors with Candidate 0bama, and weren’t willing to work in that kind of environment. Many of them went to the FBI or Federal Marshals, and they took their integrity with them.
Nearly two thirds of FBI Special Agents have served in one branch of the military or another. There is a culture of Honor and Duty which they bring with them. Thus they are a good fit – the organizational culture at the FBI, while not the same as that of any particular military team, holds Integrity, Duty, Honor, and Country above all else. Those are the pillars of their organizational culture – and most of the field agents and tech specialists are serious about upholding them. (yes, there are exceptions, and HRT is one of them. You can thank the Clintons for that, BTW)
There is always peer pressure in an organization – It can be either positive or negative. The peer pressure within the FBI is to maintain the standards, to be thorough, and to do complete investigations. When I say “complete investigations” I mean that they don’t just go find enough evidence to convict their suspect – they are looking for everything related to the case in question. (yeah, I know some of you are going to piss and moan about my positive presentation of the FBI, but I’m speaking the truth as I know it – and I know a number of guys who went to the Bureau after I served with them in the Army)
The only time this culture of positive peer pressure ‘breaks’ is when the politicians stick their finger in the pie and start rearranging things which they know nothing about. Janet Reno’s Waco incident is one such instance – and there were a wave of resignations in the aftermath of Waco, too. Janet had “poisoned the pot” and damaged the organizational culture pretty badly. But between Waco and 9/11, the FBI had managed to regain its balance and restore much of it’s culture of integrity. A lot of the FBI’s Deputy Directors, Office and District Chiefs, and senior agents lived through the Janet Reno years, and they have very bitter memories of what allowing politics into the Bureau cost them in terms of honor and respect.
So there is a very clear pressure directed towards Comey, not to let politics in the door – and that peer pressure can be pretty intense at times, as anyone with a Combat Arms background can tell you. So when you see headlines that say “Comey: Resignation Letters Piling Up” and such, I want you to understand that what isn’t being said is far more important – the peer pressure, the attitude and the support of the group – it is either 100% for you or 100% against you, there’s no middle ground.
And right now Comey is getting that message loud and clear, just like Private Pyle, here –
So Comey is caught between two very different Organizational cultures, and he can’t make both happy. Ultimately, he has to choose to abide one and repudiate the other… and at this point, it looks like he’s repudiating the Clinton Culture of death.
Considering all this, and what the new trove of Emails may well contain, I expect the next few weeks to be the most interesting I have experienced in quite some time.
As complex as the situation may be, my advice remains simple –
Watch where you go. Keep your gas tank full, and a rifle in your trunk… you never know when you might need it.