FBI Is Now A ‘Weaponized Apparatchik’ Of The Presidential Administration: Whistleblower

There’s a growing divide between the rank-and-file officers of the FBI and upper management, according to FBI agent-turned-whistleblower Steve Friend, and it’s those at the top who are pushing a political agenda.

“I spent close to nine years in the FBI, spent a good chunk of my time just keeping my head down and working the cases in front of me,” Friend noted in a March 14 interview with NTD News, The Epoch Times’ sister outlet.

The evidence, Friend said, could be seen in the bureau’s disparate treatment of pro-life activists—like Mark Houck, whose home was raided by the FBI over an altercation outside of a Planned Parenthood—and pro-abortion activists, like those who protested outside of Supreme Court justices’ homes and were never investigated.

“I think there’s an argument to be made that the FBI has now just become a weaponized apparatchik of the presidential administration,” he added, holding that public trust in the agency has diminished largely as a result of the perception of political bias.

FBI special agent Steve Friend in a file image. (Courtesy of Steve Friend)

Blowing the Whistle

Friend—now a senior fellow at the Center for Renewing America—previously worked as a special agent in the FBI’s Jacksonville, Florida, office, but was suspended from the agency after he came forward last September with concerns about how the bureau was handling child sexual abuse cases and allegations that cases were being inappropriately assigned.

Friend had also objected to the FBI’s use of SWAT teams to arrest individuals suspected of committing misdemeanors during the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.

According to a March 6 letter (pdf) written by whistleblower organization Empower Oversight, Friend was informed in December by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) that, “after careful consideration,” the OIG had decided against opening an investigation into his allegations.

However, on March 16, DOJ Assistant Inspector General Sean O’Neill responded that DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz “still intends to schedule an interview with Mr. Friend regarding his disclosures.”

Views on Jan. 6

Prior to his suspension, Friend was involved in investigations relating to the Jan. 6 Capitol breach—an incident he said could only be fully understood through “radical transparency.”

“I’m hoping that this slow drip of surveillance footage is just eventually abandoned, and we just get the whole amount of it,” he said, alluding to the recent exposés aired by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.

There’s no reason why it should be leaked out slowly because that just gives cannon fodder to both sides to accuse the other of cherry-picking their information.”

As for his views on the events of that day, Friend said he thought the incident involved a “mixed bag” of people who did some “deplorable and abhorrent” things and should be held accountable and those who were just there to exercise their First Amendment rights.

Read more here…

Half Of Americans Believe Media “Intend To Mislead, Misinform”; New Poll Finds

A study has revealed new lows in terms of trust Americans have in the establishment media.

The study by pollster Gallup and the Knight Foundation found that only a quarter of Americans have some level of favourability regarding the media, the lowest figure recorded for five years.

The study also found that half of Americans believe news organisations  “intend to mislead, misinform, or persuade the public.”

More than half (52%) also said that they do not believe news organisations have people’s best interests at heart.

Gallup/Knight noted that “This study suggests that many Americans … feel distrust on an emotional level, believing news organizations intend to mislead them and are indifferent to the social and political impact of their reporting. Our analysis demonstrates that these indicators of emotional trust in news are, in fact, distinct from the opinion that news organizations are capable of delivering accurate and fair reporting.”

Trust in media is spiralling downward, with the criminal justice system and banks garnering more trust at this point:

Gallup: Trust In Media Hits Historic Low

The establishment media has almost completely ignored one of the stories of the decade in the Twitter files.

The Twitter Files: The Corporate Media Ignores The Biggest Story Of The Decade

Video: Twitter Files Journalist Michael Shellenberger Warns Of ‘Censorship-Industrial Complex’

Investigative journalist Matt Taibbi, who worked on the Twitter Files, and was insulted and attacked by Democrats in Congress last week, noted this week how the media seems completely unconcerned now that real reporting is being suppressed at the behest of the government, where as four years ago it would have been constantly in the headlines.

“These stories are clearly newsworthy,” Taibbi said of the Twitter Files, adding “They are not particularly partisan, the bulk of them. And these attacks on myself and [Michael] Shellenberger. It’s the kind of thing that drove the mainstream media wild when Donald Trump was in office.”

“There would have been days and days of headlines of this kind of thing back then. Now, there is total unconcern about it. But I’ve been really troubled outside this entire period by the lack of esprit de corps among reporters about the story,” Taibbi added.

He continued, “Normally when you get a big story you want the cavalry to come to help investigate and nobody did and I think that’s been a very troubling aspect.”

“This idea of journalists sticking up for one another and sticking up for civil liberties which used to be a no-brainer issue in this profession, again, it’s gone. It’s just something that has disappeared entirely from the business,” the reporter further urged.