Editor’s note: We’re back with letters from The Daily Signal’s audience, this time dominated by responses to our coverage of the cloud over the FBI and concerns with wokeness in the military. Here’s a sampling from the mailbag at email@example.com.—Ken McIntyre
Dear Daily Signal: It’s misleading to state that FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before Congress (“6 Big Highlights as FBI Director Chris Wray Defends His Agency Amid Scandals”). As I read Fred Lucas’ article, I noted that Mr. Wray evaded or sidestepped virtually every question posed to him; in other words, he didn’t answer. It appears to me that this was a complete waste of time.
I pose two questions:
Would it be more productive to prepare such witnesses by sending them a list of questions that they will be required to answer fully during the hearing?
And does the House Judiciary Committee have the authority to hold the witness in contempt of Congress and assess some sort of penalty for contempt?
There must be some way actually to hold such people responsible for their leadership actions or inactions.
One more question: Suppose the House Judiciary Committee investigates and finds incontrovertible evidence of malfeasance in the office of the FBI director. Is there a process to remove him from office?
Right now, no one is being held accountable and removed from office for weaponizing the FBI and the Justice Department. Have the American people no recourse, other than waiting for the next general election?—Bill Gray
Dear Daily Signal: I consider FBI Director Chris Wray’s answers to the House committee’s questions to be taunts of congressional probing. He not only sees no issues with the FBI’s conduct, he plans to continue to stonewall and be biased against select U.S. citizens.
This plus all his other answers point to a mighty power that is backing the FBI director to make sure this comes out best for the FBI, no matter how at fault it may seem to be. If only the FBI had accomplished something for the good of all, instead of having harassed these people.
There should be no benefit of the doubt when considering Wray’s stance on these matters. His agency should go through a complete overhaul, starting with a drastic cut in funding.
But the Republicans are incapable of standing up to the wrongs of the so-called woke people of the Left, and these people understand how weak the GOP is when it comes to power in Congress.—Michael Terrell, Pass Christian, Miss.
Dear Daily Signal: When the House or Senate brings in someone like Chris Wray and he gives the runaround garbage, he should be fined $100,000 for the first offense, with a tripling of that fine for each offense afterward.
Both Wray and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who is in charge of the border, have violated the charge given them by the American people (those who are legal citizens), and they should be removed.
Our elected leaders have failed us. Their only devotion is to the ”party line”—not you and not me—fattening their wallets. Their living standards don’t relate to the people whom they fictitiously say they represent.—B. Wright
Oh my gosh, FBI Director Chris Wray is a master at deflection. After he has raped and pillaged America for all it’s worth, he should join a circus act that involves deflecting knives and bullets. He would be very good at it.—Andrew Bedoian
Reading these answers from Chrisopher Wray suggests highly that he uses any excuse he can find to skirt the truth of bias in the FBI. Wray isn’t telling the truth. He’s corrupt, like a bunch of government bureaucrats are.—Francis Nenninger
I think the worst mistake that President Trump made was his failure to fire Christopher Wray, who is obviously a pawn for the Democrats and one of the corrupt FBI leaders who have destroyed the credibility of the FBI.—Ann Sykes
A Plan to Repair the FBI
Dear Daily Signal: All of Steve Bradbury’s recommendations in his commentary “How to Fix the FBI,” reflecting his major Heritage Foundation paper on the topic, are important. However, the most important change would be to remove the FBI from the control of the executive branch.
The FBI is supposed to be under the jurisdiction of the Justice Department. However, today’s Justice Department operates under the control of two corrupt individuals: Attorney General Merrick Garland, himself under the direct control of President Joe Biden.
This is a situation that deeply concerned the Founders almost 250 years ago: when two entire branches of government collude against the one branch that represents the public’s interests. This is what we have today and exactly why the Second Amendment exists—to prevent a destructive government.
Enforcement of the laws belongs to the people, not the federal bureaucracy, especially because so much authority has been turned over to unelected and unaccountable civil servants or bureaucrats. Congress illegally has altered the chain of responsibility by handing its sweeping powers, only meant for Congress, to unelected civil servants.
This wasn’t the intent of the Founders, by any stretch of the imagination.—James Draws
Dear Daily Signal: I fully support Steve Bradbury’s recommendations for fixing the FBI and add the following:
—The FBI and the attorney general must report to Congress without restrictions, even if in a secure setting.
—The status of all FBI investigations shall be disclosed to Congress in a monthly live session with all new or pending prosecutions also provided.
—Top-level FBI management should be structured to accomplish this reporting.
—Finally, minimize the FBI’s Washington bureaucracy so that local and statewide branches do 100% of investigatory tasks.—Joseph Mercurio
Dear Daily Signal: Good article by Steve Bradbury. The FBI at the street level is fine and does amazing work. The problem is the politicized seventh floor (or executive level) and introducing nonagents to special agent positions.
I’m retired FBI, a former supervisory special agent. The decline began with FBI Director Louis Freeh’s filling of leadership positions with graduates of so-called “elite” northeastern law schools [during his tenure from September 1993 to June 2001].
Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. That would be a big mistake.—Richard Schneider
A great article by Steve Bradbury with fantastic ideas.
Post-9/11, the FBI did and continues to do great work flushing out potential terrorists. Some of that work bled over into our country’s day-to-day activities. Which, of course, is where we are now.
My concern is with the way things get done in DC it will take a lifetime to fix these deeply routed problems.
Thank you for the great work pointing out what and how to fix the problem. Maybe a few legislators will pick up your message and begin the process to fix the FBI.—Patrick J. Conroy, North Fort Myers, Fla.
I believe Bradbury makes a mistake by focusing on the topic as if it is a new phenomenon that emerged after 2016. It is not.
The corruption of our justice and intelligence systems goes far back, but it was diverted for the party use of the Democrats by Bill Clinton, when, after the 1992 election, the new president had the FBI give him files on Congress and other enemies. From there, the slide to tyranny was stealthy.
Both the FBI and the intelligence community have become politically motivated by the far Left. Whether this radicalization is from external or internal forces is beyond my scope, as I have no sources other than personal observation.
My hunch is that influence has been exerted from outside the U.S. by what appears to be an alliance of the repressive communists of Russia and China.—Norman Hendrickson
It is with great interest that I read Steve Bradbury’s article on fixing the FBI. As someone who emigrated 43 years ago from the USSR, I never could forget the horrors of the Stalin era, now replicated in part by the FBI.
My concern about his proposal for the FBI to come under the jurisdiction of the attorney general: How can change take place with the rogue, lying attorney general we have right now?—Polina Maire, Morristown, N.J.
Bradbury makes a good start on how to fix the FBI, but falls short in offering punishment recommendations for government officials—elected, appointed, or hired—who violate their oaths of office.
Government positions must be filled with men and women of the highest honor and integrity. With that, when one goes off course, the punishment must be quick and severe (fines, prison, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, retirement pension, and government Thrift Savings Plan accounts).
This would ensure that the nation doesn’t experience the level of corruption found over the past decade.—David K. Walden
Along with Bradbury’s point of “shifting headcount and resources from Washington headquarters to the field offices,” I would rotate all FBI agents out of the Washington metropolitan area every six years.
This change would aid in getting rid of the corruption related to the politics of the swamp.—Steve Roadruck, Jackson, Fla.
Is The Heritage Foundation really suggesting that having the FBI report to the attorney general would result in a better outcome?—Larry Ernst
The FBI must be disestablished and rechartered as a legitimate organization. The FBI fully destroyed its overextended grip on public trust.—James T. Bryson
Nothing gets the attention of wrongdoers like prison sentences. If you can’t get a conviction, break them financially, like they did others while they were trying to get Donald Trump.—Fred Patt
Thank you. I agree. The FBI has done so much that is wrong.—Elizabeth Crouse
Gen. Brown’s Confirmation Hearing
Dear Daily Signal: I am a retired Army officer and aviator with 24 years of flying experience. I strongly disagree with the conclusion of conservatives who oppose Air Force Gen. Charles Brown’s confirmation as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as reported by Fred Lucas (“Conservatives Urge Senators to Oppose Gen. Brown for Chairman of Joint Chiefs”).
I will not try to explain the so-called performance issue that the article documents, but it is my experience over a 30-plus year career that every officer has one period of service that is an outlier to his normal performance. For this officer to be promoted to four-star flag rank says that his overall performance has been exemplary.
Now, I strongly support Gen. Brown’s efforts to increase black and other minority representation in the Air Force officer corps. Most of the officers in the Air Force are aviators. Blacks and other minorities are woefully underrepresented in aviation. So affirmative actions have to be taken to increase their representation.
This was done in World War ll when the Army Air Corps established the Tuskegee Airmen. These men distinguished themselves as a unit that was second to none. Blacks such as Gen. Brown and myself prove that, when given the chance through exposure and opportunity, we will make excellent military aviators and officers.
I was a flight instructor for four years and the question that I asked myself when I evaluated any of my students was this: Would I trust this student pilot to fly me or my family? If I couldn’t honestly answer yes to that question, he didn’t pass.
I am sure that no officer or enlisted person was advanced or selected over someone else by Gen. Brown if he or she wasn’t qualified. My guess is that he mentored officers who worked for him, as do all senior officers.
If Gen. Brown’s nomination is rejected by the Senate on such thin accusations as these conservatives have put forward, it will be clearly because of political and racial bias.—Army Maj. (retired) Leo Armbrister
Dear Daily Signal: In his confirmation hearing, Gen. Brown spouted the leftists’ degrading politics (“What Biden’s Top Military Pick Has to Say About 18-Year-Old Woman in National Guard Required to Shower With Males”). Perhaps that answers the questions. Per usual.
I would not advise military service now. We need to clean the quonsets first. Hangars too.
I had military instructors for my flight training in Civil Air Patrol. These men and women, through the ’80s and ’90s, would have fought this and/or left the service.—Christine Lucas
If I were on the Senate panel regarding Air Force Gen. Charles Brown’s confirmation as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I would respectfully ask him two questions.
They are: “General, if you were facing the prospect of brain surgery, would you demand that your brain surgeon be a person of color regardless of merit? Or, in the alternative, would you ask for the best brain surgeon available, regardless of color?”
His honest answer would tell us a lot about his priorities.—Air Force Col. (retired) Michael B. Lumbard
The issue is promotion policies rather than numbers. When people are “passed over,” they leave.
Why would they stay when the message they get is “We don’t want you”?
Promotion, career path, and reduction-in-force policies have resulted in a military that can’t recruit.
That, along with mistrust of leadership, has resulted in Americans avoiding enlistment and leaving the armed services.—Steven Brenner
If Gen. Brown didn’t have the guts to say immediately that it was wrong for that 18-year-old woman to have to shower with biological males, he doesn’t deserve to lead the armed forces of the United States or even to be in the military at all
That’s a two-second decision. But Brown is Biden’s guy, so you know he’ll have to think about it.—Gus Philpott, Columbia, S.C.
If the military didn’t want women in its ranks, this incident should solve that problem.—Jon Fleming
The Daily Signal publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here is to be construed as representing the views of The Heritage Foundation.