Micky Dolenz is suing the FBI. And rightly so.
The bureau has a file on the Monkees, the 1960s teen idol TV pop band. A seven-page document from the file was declassified and released about ten years ago, but it is heavily redacted, giving only a few hints of why the FBI thought the band posed a threat to the national security of the United States. The bit of text that is not blacked out reveals that the Monkees were “connected with the film industry in the Hollywood area,” something about “additional activities denouncing the U.S. policy in the war in Vietnam,” and a notation that the “quite successful” TV series “features four young men who dress as ‘beatnik types.’”
Dolenz and his attorney filed a Freedom of Information Act request in June to see the unredacted, complete file and any files on the band’s individual members. The law requires the FBI to comply within 20 working days, but that didn’t happen. It will take a lawsuit and a court order to see the FBI file on the Monkees.
That should give you an idea of how FBI leadership gets away with outrageous conduct. They have something on everybody.
In addition to files on performers who criticized the Vietnam War while dressed as beatnik types, the FBI maintains a vast library of background-check files. There’s probably one on everybody who works in or around government, from elected officials to cabinet secretaries to judges to military contractors. Background checks collect a lot of information that is unverified, such as rumor or gossip from neighbors who answered an investigator’s questions ahead of a confirmation hearing or for a security clearance.
During the Clinton administration, there was a scandal over hundreds of FBI background investigation files finding their way to the White House. “We know the files were in the hands of political operatives, non-professionals, volunteers, teen-agers in proximity to a photocopier, and individuals without security clearances,” a congressional committee reported following an investigation. “We know there was virtually no supervision over this sensitive process.”
Perhaps that gave the Clintons something on everybody.
By closely cooperating with a press corps that will protect a confidential source until death, the FBI can change the course of history. When Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were writing their Watergate stories, the source they called “Deep Throat” was Mark Felt, the associate director of the FBI. Felt was passed up for the job of director when J. Edgar Hoover died in 1972, and after that, he secretly fed information to Woodward.
Now let’s talk about what the FBI did ahead of the 2020 election.
In mid-October 2020, the New York Post published a completely true report about emails found on a laptop computer that belonged to Hunter Biden. The emails contained details of alleged business deals between Hunter and various foreign companies, including one with ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Presidential candidate Joe Biden was potentially implicated in an influence-peddling scheme when one of Hunter’s business partners, Tony Bobulinski, stated that an email describing “10 held by H for the big guy” was a reference to a ten percent equity stake in the deal for Joe Biden.
Immediately, Twitter blocked the Post’s story from being shared and locked the newspaper out of its account. Facebook also took action to suppress the visibility of the story.
Now we’re learning that the FBI led an effort to ensure that the Post’s reporting about the Biden family was effectively censored and wrongfully discredited.
In an interview last week with podcast superstar Joe Rogan, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that before the 2020 election, the FBI communicated with Facebook employees and told them to be on the lookout for “some kind of dump” of something similar to “Russian propaganda.”
Who ran this operation at the FBI? In July, Sen. Chuck Grassley sent a letter to FBI director Christopher Wray informing him of whistleblower reports that two bureau employees, assistant special agent in charge Timothy Thibault and intelligence analyst Brian Auten, allegedly schemed to “undermine derogatory information connected to Hunter Biden by falsely suggesting it was disinformation.”
Thibault had been on leave for a month following those allegations, and last week he resigned.
His resignation removes any possibility that the Justice Department’s inspector general can investigate him. An IG can only investigate current government employees, not former ones.
Separately, Sen. Ron Johnson said last week that his office has received whistleblower reports alleging that the FBI intentionally slow-walked an investigation into the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop. Although the bureau had obtained the laptop in December 2019, the examination of its contents did not begin until after the 2020 presidential election.
Meanwhile at Mar-a-Lago, the FBI showed up on August 8 with a search warrant so broad that it allowed the agents to seize all records and papers from the Trump presidency. This would include the binder of Crossfire Hurricane documents that Trump declassified before leaving office. Crossfire Hurricane was the code name of the FBI’s years-long counterintelligence investigation into Trump-Russia collusion, allegations that special counsel John Durham has now exposed as a total fabrication cooked up by the Hillary Clinton campaign and fed to the FBI and the press by her lawyers.
In March, Donald Trump sued Hillary Clinton over those false allegations and the damage they caused. The FBI may have seized attorney-client communications related to that lawsuit. The former president is currently fighting in court to have all the seized documents reviewed by a special master in order to keep privileged confidential documents out of the hands of the FBI.
It’s a little late. By now, FBI leadership has probably seen everything related to the case, including the background investigation file on the judge.
Something on everybody. It’s quite the business model.
Write Susan: [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @Susan_Shelley