No matter where you stand politically, a growing body of facts raises the question: Is there systemic corruption or misfeasance at work inside America’s intelligence agencies?
By that, I don’t mean people stealing money. I mean officials who are stealing our privacy — using the tools of intelligence-gathering and law-enforcing, which are meant to protect Americans, to instead spy on them, to gather information that isn’t the government’s business (at least not without a court’s approval). And, in some instances, it appears, to punish or silence those with whom they disagree — personal and political foes, in and out of government — rather than to pursue and protect Americans from the country’s real enemies.
Perhaps more alarming is the growing evidence that suggests some officials at all levels in intelligence and justice agencies are operating in a way that is clearly intended to serve their own political beliefs and interests — not the public’s interests.
And sometimes, it appears, they operate not just in direct defiance of their superiors but of the Congress, the courts and the very laws of the land as well. (Almost as disturbing, Congress, for its part, seems all too willing to allow all of this to take place, when it becomes known, rather than using its authority to stop the misfeasance, punish the miscreants who lie or stonewall, and protect their constituents.)
This is not, in my view, a partisan political question.
The evidence leading us to ask such a disturbing question indicates there are forces inside our intelligence agencies that are more persistent and powerful than any single political party or administration. They can usurp the intentions of the many fine intelligence officers serving our country.