The glory days of the CIA and the FBI are long past. Some of the elite in the Swamp would argue the perceived glory days of the past never existed, that the past days were days of white male dominated abuse against people of color, racism, imperialism, misogyny, and so on, and so on.
Only now that the halls of the old and new Headquarters building of the CIA are adorned (they might say liberated) with ideological virtue signaling (i.e., indoctrination) on alternative lifestyles and social justice themes is the CIA really what it was and is supposed to be. A similar thing could be said for the FBI by those in the wokeness business.
Well, I’m sure Jesus James Angleton and J. Edgar Hoover would beg to differ. They may have been imperfect, like all of us, but they knew who we were, and they knew who the mortal enemies were to our incredible, constitutional republic. The same ones who mocked Angleton and Hoover were the same ones who mocked everyone for believing that Soviet and Communist Chinese spies were everywhere or existed at all.
The belief and illogical thesis of these mockers, now the ones in charge of our institutions, including the CIA and FBI, was that if you fight communism, you create communism (Sound familiar? Sounds like the same intellectual naysayer talking point from the War on Terror era; if you fight Terrorism, you create Terrorism).
Currently these same naysayers shout about the Russian boogeyman as if they’re everywhere; behind every streetlamp, under every bed. Yes, the Russians are a problem and a danger, but their economy is less than 10 percent the size of ours. They have few resources to field a large-scale intelligence threat, much less military capability.
The real game is China, yet if you hear Bill Burns (the current Director of the CIA) talk, he appears to exhibit as much contempt about plastic straws in the ocean as he does about the Uyghur genocide or the spiraling CCP preparations for full scale war including a nuclear exchange to eliminate U.S. cities.
Now I don’t want to see a straw in the nostril of any Sea Turtle, but I’m far more concerned about deterring and preventing a mushroom cloud over an American City. Or any city of any country for that matter.
Yes, the glory days are gone alright for the CIA and FBI. Now that we know that significant elements of the leadership (and perhaps some rank and file) of the CIA and FBI were all in on Spygate and that Brennan and Comey lied and fabricated a fake Intelligence Community Assessment after President Trump won in November 2016, it’s clear.
Further evidence was wrought by FBI Director Wray’s baffling, detached from reality comments on the 2020 election and domestic terrorism. Like Chris Krebs, Director Wray’s far more truthful response should have been, his Bureau is not trained, equipped, resourced, or even knowledgeable about the American election process to have an opinion one way or another.
Sadly, the key, existing Federal agencies, designated to forewarn and take action against threats to the United States are broken. Perhaps irretrievably. If you have any experience in construction, home repair, car restoration, etc., you know to re-build, there must be a sound foundation to start with.
We may be at that point with these two, formerly hallowed organizations. It was a good ride while it lasted, but we must face the reality of the present, not spend time gazing in the rear-view mirror or fooling ourselves about the present.
Starve the Old, Feed the New
I’m not sure if it was Ronald Reagan or Rush Limbaugh (maybe both) who said it was nearly impossible to do away with any vestige of government, no matter now unnecessary, but at best, the rate of growth is the only thing that can restrained. Once bureaucracy is created, it just keeps growing.
I’ve spent over 35 years in the national security apparatus in one form or another and rarely was I in a meeting where the answer was, we need less government. In all fairness, one of my last political appointees was notoriously frugal, but it was almost to the extreme of sparing no expense to save money, which in the end, still grew government.
Normally, the going in position to any government meeting was more. No matter what the question was, the answer was more. More government, more resources, more personnel, more authority. More, More, More. The bureaucrat learns quickly that shrinking anything endangers job security. I saw it over and over again. And anyone who questions this is suspect and clearly untrustworthy.
It’s hard to find an example of where a U.S. Government agency went away. The Post Office did transition from an appropriated fund (supported by annual tax dollars) to a seemingly self-supporting entity, but after many years of losses it still somehow exists. More often than not the model is for the government entity to wither away, such as the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board or Amtrak, but even those are exceptions.
The creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) are in some ways examples of the Reagan/Limbaugh axiom. DHS and DNI were created by taking funding and authority from existing organizations. Unfortunately, 20 or so years later, their effectiveness is up for debate, and the organizations they were intended to lead, restrain, or supplant have continued to grow and, in the case of the CIA, still often act as if they do not have a higher headquarters, DNI or any other. So alas, how do we address this?
My suggestion is the creation of new organizations to sunset the CIA and the FBI and focus the new re-incarnations on lawful, core missions. We’ll call the new organizations, the “National Intelligence Agency” (NIA), and the “Federal Investigation Agency” (FIA).
There are key functions in the current CIA and FBI that need to exist. We need and deserve world class human intelligence, law enforcement, and counter-intelligence—no one is questioning that. But I would move the core, action-focused organizations such as the Directorate of Operations of the CIA to the NIA, as well as the National Security Branch and the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch of the FBI to the FIA.
The headquarters staff, the Intelligence Analysis Organizations, the climate change offices, and so on—all the corrupt overhead and support offices where the budding, future Eric Ciaramella’s plot their next Spygate conspiracy, stay behind.
And over 10 years’ time, the NIA and FIA can grow and mature, while the legacy vestiges of the CIA and FBI sunset and are forgotten except on Wikipedia. Impossible? No. We built the Panama Canal in eight years; I think we can do this evolution with perseverance and resolve in 10 years.
Trustworthy, Focused US Government Organizations
Will this proposal be met with applause by those who’s God is Big Government? Of course not. But for the good and continuance of our incredible constitutional republic, a transformation like this is necessary.
Change is hard, especially when there is so much vested interest by those who live off the largesse of plodding, ineffective Big Government that never delivers, only demands more resources, more time, and more of everything except accountability on behalf of the owners of the American Government, the American Citizen.
Most American Citizens want effectiveness, efficiency, and results. It’s time we gave this to the American people with two transformed entities to alert and safeguard America.
Retired Col. John Mills is a national security professional with service in five eras: Cold War, Peace Dividend, War on Terror, World in Chaos, and now, Great Power Competition. He is the former director of cybersecurity policy, strategy, and international affairs at the Department of Defense. On Gab: @ColonelRETJohn. On Telegram: Daily Missive
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.