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Horowitz: It’s time to strip down the FBI to bare bones

Op-ed
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Our Founders feared the presence of a standing army in our streets, but they never envisioned that one day we’d have an even more powerful force than an army deployed domestically. Rather than calling it a military, we simply call it the FBI. But make no mistake, the bureau has more authority, firepower, resources, and surveillance than any military James Madison could have envisioned. Such amassed power would be frightening enough in the hands of good people, but now that we know the FBI is full of neo-Marxists directing operations against patriot Americans, how is dismantling of the FBI not the biggest priority of Republicans?

“The FBI has been collapsed into nothing more than a police agency for the Democratic Party,” said Terry Turchie, the retired former head of counterterrorism and front-line agent of almost 30 years, in an exclusive interview with the New York Post. “Many of us feel that over the decades [we have seen] the complete compromise of the bureau.” He was one of 30 retired agents who came to the defense of whistleblower Stephen Friend, who is accusing the FBI of essentially becoming the enforcement arm of the Democrat Party.

That would be dangerous for even a non-weaponized agency of the government, but for the FBI, which is armed to the teeth with tactics, technology, manpower, and weapons, it is an existential threat to our liberties the likes of which we’ve never faced before.

Nowhere is this more evident that in the early-morning raid of the home of anti-abortion activist Mark Houck. A father of seven, Houck stands outside a Philly Planned Parenthood counseling those seeking abortions. According to his wife, one day in October 2021, a radical pro-abortion activist got into Mark’s personal space and shouted obscenities at his 12-year-old son. Mark pushed the man back. That is all. The “victim” tried to sue him, but all civil and criminal charges were thrown out. Local law enforcement never saw a need to intervene. Fast-forward almost a year later, and 25-30 FBI agents armed to the teeth raid Mark’s home and kidnap him out of nowhere. He is being charged with breaking the "Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances," which makes it a federal crime to "injure, intimidate, and interfere with anyone because that person is a provider of reproductive health care." Houck faces up to 11 years in federal prison if convicted.

Contrast this to the claim by Rev. James Harden that after his pro-life pregnancy center was firebombed, the FBI refused to get involved. There have been over 70 such attacks, yet not a single arrest has been made or an investigation even commenced. Just as with nearly every major terrorist attack or school shooting where the attacker was known to the FBI, they never seem to be there for us when we need them. Oh, and five years later, we still have no report from the FBI on the motive behind the largest mass shooting, which took place in Las Vegas. They are only there to serve as the enforcement tool of Democrat dogma, as the KKK did for southern Democrats during the fight for civil rights.

This is what has been going on for months now with anyone who was within eyeshot of the Capitol and, as the FBI whistleblowing agent is alleging, even those who never went to the Capitol. Between this and the Whitmer kidnapping plot, it is becoming clear that the FBI has been given a green light to go out and commit crimes in order to frame conservatives and persecute them simply for opposing the regime. Yet even after Trump himself was targeted, there is no plan from Republican governors to block FBI tyranny within their states or from federal Republicans to defund, dismantle, or narrow the purview of this rogue agency acting more like a terrorist organization.

This is a red alert moment. We cannot move on as a free people with the most powerful law enforcement agency in the world being turned loose on political opponents – literally the nightmare scenario of our Founders. In opposing a standing army at the Constitutional Convention, James Madison warned, “A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.” He argued, based on examples from Europe, that “the means of defense against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.”

That was the concern about an army that was mainly directed at external enemies. Could Madison even have imagined an agency with more technology and weaponry directed at domestic affairs and now proven to singularly focus on political opponents?

Establishment Republicans have accused those of us who want to dismantle the FBI as being like leftists who seek to abolish ICE. However, ICE is the antithesis of the FBI. It has a very narrow scope that only enforces one law – the one dealing with national sovereignty and intersecting with foreign nationals who don’t have an affirmative right to be here. The FBI, on the other hand, can commandeer any case from any state or local law enforcement agency, can investigate any crime or non-crime, has endless resources, and has now proven to be irretrievably politically motivated.

The FBI is also notorious for breaking the law – supposedly under the guise of enforcing it. According to documents obtained by USA Today in 2013, the FBI gave its informants permission to break the law at least 5,658 times in a single year. “Agents authorized 15 crimes a day, on average, including everything from buying and selling illegal drugs to bribing government officials and plotting robberies.”

The FBI has virtually unlimited resources. Its appropriations have increased 93%, in inflation-adjusted terms, from 2001 to 2017. The White House is asking nearly $11 billion in appropriations for FY 2023, more than a quarter of the entire Justice Department’s budget. The FBI is staffed with 35,000 people and boasts 56 domestic field offices, 350 resident agencies located in smaller cities, and 50 international offices. The bureau’s spying and hacking capabilities are second to none. After everything we know about the FBI’s behavior, how is it not a greater threat to liberty than any external enemy?

The GOP part of Congress already gave up its leverage over the budget of the FBI until next fiscal year, thanks to Mitch McConnell’s budget betrayal. The congressional hearings they are promising will be meaningless without a promise to slim down the FBI’s budget to bare bones. The FBI will evade every question by asserting the subject is part of an ongoing investigation. The only solution is to cut the FBI’s function to the bare minimum purview of issues that cannot be dealt with by the states or other federal law enforcement, of which there are few categories of crimes that fit the bill.

Moreover, it’s time for Republican governors to fight back against the FBI. The creation of state guards as a deterrent against federal overreach would be a perfect tool. As Eldridge Gerry said during the congressional debate over the Bill of Rights, “What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. …Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.”

It's time to strip the FBI of its monopoly over law, power, morality, trust, and resources.
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