Julian Sanchez fumes over a new report from the Office of the Inspector General:
[A]n FBI supervisor, in an exercise of spectacularly poor judgment, sent a rookie out to monitor an antiwar rallyevading the charge of monitoring Americans based exclusively on the basis of First Amendment protected activity only because of the laughable pretext that said rookie was there to eye the crowd for any international terrorists who might be in attendance. Fine. But when Congress got wind of this and began to inquire into why this had occurredand why said rookie had filed a report on “antiwar activity” that focused on whether any persons of apparent “Middle Eastern descent” had been involvedthe OIG found that someone at the FBI had utterly fabricated a retroactive justification for the investigation, involving dubious “terror suspects” that nobody had actually believed at the time might be present at this rally.
His bigger complaint:
Someone at the FBI decided that it was a good idea to lie to Congress in order to cover up improper monitoring of an unpopular political group. In this case, it was pacifists, but who knows who’ll be next. If brazen lies aren’t punished the one case out of a dozen or a hundred that draw the attention of the overseers, why should they ever bother to observe the rules? So watch the Department of Justice. If someone is fired over this, maybe we still live in a country governed by the rule of law. If not, they’re convinced we’re so dim and besotted by reruns of Friends that they no longer even feel obliged to put up a good show.
The usual Obama Administration tactic in this situation would be to insist that we need to look forward. In other words, it's been quite awhile since federal officials were as subject to the rule of law as the rest of us.
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