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The FBI and President Trump: Mutual Manipulation

By James Petras

Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, February 10, 2018 


Few government organizations have been engaged in violation of the US citizensí
constitutional rights for as long a time and against as many individuals as the Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Seldom has there been greater collusion in the
perpetration of crimes against civil liberties, electoral freedom and free and lawful
expression as what has taken place between the FBI and the US Justice Department.
In the past, the FBI and Justice Department secured the enthusiastic support and
public acclaim from the conservative members of the US Congress, members of the
judiciary at all levels and the mass media. The leading liberal voices, public figures,
educators, intellectuals and progressive dissenters opposing the FBI and their witch
hunting tactics were all from the left. Today, the right and the left have changed places:
The most powerful voices endorsing the FBI and the Justice Departmentís fabrications,
and abuse of constitutional rights are on the left, the liberal wing of the Democratic Party
and famous liberal media corporations and public opinion makers.

The recently published Congressional memo, authored by Congressman Devin
Nunes, provides ample proof that the FBI spied on Trump campaign workers with the
intent to undermine the Republican candidate and sabotage his bid for the presidency.
Private sector investigators, hired by Trumpís rival Hillary Clinton and the Democratic
National Committee, worked with pro-Clinton operatives within the FBI and Justice
Department to violate the national electoral process while flouting rules governing
wiretaps on US citizens. This was done with the approval of the sitting Democratic
President Barack Obama.

The liberals and Democrats and their allies in the FBI, political police and other
elements of the security state apparatus were deeply involved in an attempt to implicate
Russian government officials in a plot to manipulate US public opinion on Trumpís
behalf and corrupt the outcome of the election. However, the FBI, the Justice
Department and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller have produced no evidence of
collusion linking the Russian government to a campaign to undermine Hillary Clintonís
candidacy in favor of Trump. This is despite thousands of interviews and threats of long
prison sentences against former Trump campaign advisers. Instead, they focus their
attack on Trumpís early campaign promise to find common ground in improving
economic and diplomatic ties between the US and Russia, especially in confronting jihadi

The liberal-progressive FBI cohort turned into rabid Russia-bashers demanding
that Trump take a highly aggressive stance against Moscow, while systematically
eliminating his military and security advisors who expressed anti-confrontation
sentiments. In the spirit of a Joe McCarthy, the liberal-left launched hysterical attacks on
any and every Trump campaign adviser who had spoken to, dined with or exchanged
eyebrows with any and all Russians!

The conversion of liberalism to the pursuit of political purges is unprecedented.
Their collective amnesia about the long-term, large-scale involvement by the FBI in the
worst criminal violations of democratic values is reprehensible. The FBIís anti
communist crusade led to the purge of thousands of trade unionists from the mid-1940ís
onward, decimating the AFL-CIO. They blacklisted actors, screen writers, artists,
teachers, university academics, researchers, scientists, journalists and civil rights leaders
as part of their sweeping purge of civil society.

The FBI investigated the private lives of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X,
even threatening their family members. They illegally spied on and infiltrated civil
liberties organizations, and used provocateurs and spies in anti-war groups. Individuals
lives were destroyed, some were driven to suicide; important popular American
organizations were undermined to the detriment of millions. This has been its focus since
its beginning and continues with the current fabrication of anti-Russian propaganda and

President Trump: Victim and Executor

President Trump has pursued an agenda mirroring the police state operations of
the FBI Ė only on a global scale. Trumpís violation of international law includes
collaboration and support for Saudi Arabiaís tyrannical invasion and destruction of the
sovereign nation of Yemen; intensified aid and support for Israelís ethnic war against the
Palestinian people; severe sanctions and threatened nuclear first-strike against North
Korea (DPRK); increased deployment of US special forces in collaboration with the
jihadi terrorist war to overthrow the legitimate government of Syria; coup-mongering,
sabotage, sanctions and economic blockade of Venezuela; NATO missile and nuclear
encirclement of Russia; and the growing naval threats against China.

Domestically, Trumpís response to the FBIís blackmail has been to replace the
original political leadership with his own version; to expand and increase the police state
powers against immigrants; to increase the powers of the major tech companies to police
and intensify work-place exploitation and the invasion of citizensí privacy; to expand the
unleash the power of state agents to torture suspects and to saturate all public events,
celebrations and activities with open displays of jingoism and militarism with the goal of
creating pro-war public opinion.

In a word: From the right to the left there are no political options to choose from
among the two ruling political parties. Popular political movements and mass
demonstrations have risen up against Trump with clear justification, but have since
dissolved and been absorbed. They came together from diverse sectors: Women against
sexual abuse and workplace humiliation; African-Americans against police impunity and
violence; and immigrants against mass expulsion and harassment. They staged mass
demonstrations and then declined as their Ďanti-Trumpí animus was frustrated by the
liberal-democrats hell-bent on pursuing the Russian connection.

In the face of the national-political debacle local and regional movements became
the vehicle to support the struggles. Women organized at some workplaces and gained
better protection of their rights; African-Americans vividly documented and published
video evidence of the systematic brutal violation of their rights by the police state and
effectively acted to restrain local police violence in a few localities; immigrant workers
and especially their children gained broad public sympathy and allies within religious and
political organizations; and anti-Trump movements combined with critics of the
liberal/democrat apparatus to build broader movements and especially oppose growing

Abroad, bi-partisan wars have failed to defeat independent state and mass popular
resistance struggles for national sovereignty everywhere Ė from North Korea, Iran,
Yemen, Syria, and Venezuela and beyond.

Even the fight within the two-headed reactionary party of the US oligarchy has
had a positive effect. Each side is hell-bent on exposing the state-sponsored crimes of the
other. In an unprecedented and historic sense, the US and world public is witness to the
spies, lies and crimes of the leadership and elite on prime time and on the wide screen.
We head in two directions. In one direction, there are the threats of nuclear war,
economic collapse, environmental disasters and a full blown police state. In the other
direction, there is the demise of empire, a revived and renewed civil society rooted in a
participatory economy and a renewed moral order.


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