(Article by Glenn Carle featured on The Daily Beast website)
- The memorandum put together by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), alleging partisan behavior by the FBI and the Department of Justice in a “Deep State” conspiracy / / against Donald Trump is, what we would call in the CIA, “disinformation.”Tougher words could be used. But let’s put it simply at this: It is a deliberate diversion from the hard facts that the FBI and CIA have been amassing of Russian espionage activity with members of Donald Trump’s entourage.And it presents FBI and CIA officers with a progressively grave constitutional crisis. The Nunes memo makes it difficult for those officers to serve an executive who—evidence increasingly indicates—has betrayed his oath to the Constitution. It also makes it hard for them to serve a legislative oversight committee that is distorting its functions so as to protect that executive.Inside the CIA, where I served for decades, and the FBI, the strongest reaction to the Nunes memo will be anger and alarm. Top officials in both those institutions operate in a manner fundamentally at odds with what is now being depicted.In the CIA, I encountered colleagues with views that ranged from the far right to far left—every view except, perhaps, that of the communists. This broad diversity is also true for my colleagues in the FBI. Indeed, the “cultures” of both institutions are utterly apolitical. Officers take their oaths with sometimes life-sacrificing devotion: To “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
I have been moved literally to tears on numerous occasions by my colleagues’ devotion to our laws and the institutions charged with protecting them; and not to any man, be he president, general, or party leader; nor to any party. CIA and FBI officers seek to give life to James Madison’s hope, expressed in “Federalist #10,” that our system be impartial and unaffected by non-democratic influences, and that it be “more difficult for unworthy candidates to practice the vicious arts by which elections are too often carried.” They seek to make sure that no foreign power can affect our elections, plant spies among us, or even choose our leaders and shape our policies.
I never saw an officer’s personal views interfere with how the agency performed its duties. Personal political opinions, like cellphones and football pools, are left out of the office. This commitment and motivation is why we spend our careers working for a fraction of what our peers in the private sector earn.