William Barr Goes for the Gold

Michael Flynn is an arrogant, lying jerk—no doubt about it—a criminal and a war-monger. It’s entirely believable that he was eager to do whatever it took to get his pot of loot from the Russians. And it’s likely he did exactly what he said he did—and pled guilty to.
And William Barr is doing what he did with Roger Stone—whatever it takes to block the prosecution of one of Donald Trump’s mafia buddies, and bolster the autocratic power of the commander, the Godfather himself.
But there’s also no doubt that the FBI and federal prosecutors do whatever it takes to get their indictments and guilty pleas, including making up the “predication,” fabricating evidence, gross overcharging, asset seizures, threats to family members, bribes and extortion, public shaming, and more.
The liberal outcry about Michael Flynn’s slipping-the-knot focuses on the Attorney General’s outrageous intervention, but fails to mention (and may not believe in or care about) the common, everyday bad actions and practices of the FBI, CIA, and other police forces.
A friend makes the same argument about the “Varsity Blues” cases: privileged parents cheating to get their kids into top colleges is despicable, and it’s the kind of thing lots of folks rightly hate about “elites.” But I don’t doubt that the FBI encouraged their star witness to lie to the parents, and that the prosecutors then withheld evidence of those lies from the defense, and that over-charging, deception, and threats were all in-play. They may still be hiding even more evidence that would support the parents’ entrapment defense. We’ll likely never know.
I’d like to see them all go down—Flynn and Stone, as well as the rich, cheating parents. But let’s not get into the position of cheering on the FBI or prosecutors—they are their own distinct and much more dangerous criminal enterprise.
William Barr is vile and villainous, but he’s not a fool. When asked how history might judge his actions regarding Flynn, Barr smiled like a sly fox and said, “History is written by the winners.” If undermining faith in “law enforcement” is the price of his misdeeds, so be it—that specific sabotage may actually grease the slide toward fully realized authoritarian control and autocratic rule. William Barr is going for the gold.

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