Dear You Know Who You Are,
As you remember, well over a year ago you staged a grandstanding, insulting exit from participation on this blog, declaring that I had “drunk the Kool-Aid.” Your false claim was provoked because I had successfully navigated through lies, calculated disinformation and lawbreaking—engineered by those within and without the U.S. government—to conclude that a coordinated effort had been and was underway to overthrow the elected President of the United States. At this point, the fact that your accusation was based on your own blindness and bias is not subject to rational denial or debate.
I knew that at the time, of course. I also felt, and feel, that for you to behave that way, in public, here, was a personal as well as a professional betrayal. We had, I thought, a cordial and mutually respectful relationship. We had exchanged details about the high and low points of our lives face to face. We are in the same field and profession. I trusted you.
I have provided you some slack in my ultimate judgment on your character because I know that, as we say here often, bias makes us stupid, even the best of us. I have seen this particular bias make many people, even some smarter than you, as difficult as it may be for you to conceive of that, both stupid and destructive, apparently without a glimmer of self-realization. I recognize that it the phenomenon is, at this point, indistinguishable from an illness, one triggered by emotion and group-think. Thus I am, up to a point, sympathetic, just as I am regarding so many of my Facebook friends who figuratively make asses of themselves every single day because they are addicted to “likes” and peer approval. Some of them are even lawyers, but you know…lawyers. That is a professional group, along with historians, politicians, historians, scholars, psychiatrist, educators and, of course, journalists, that has broken its duty of trust with the public as it joined a dangerous and unconscionable effort to break our democracy.
But they aren’t ethicists. Foolishly, I still expect more of them, though I have been repeatedly disappointed over the past three and half years. I definitely expected more of you. I even get your newsletter, gullible sap that I am.
The “Kool-Aid” that you claimed I drank was the developing evidence that powerful forces within the Justice Department and the FBI had conspired, even before Donald Trump was elected, to sabotage first, his campaign, and second, his presidency.
“The FBI was warned sections of the controversial Steele dossier could have been part of a ‘Russian disinformation campaign to denigrate U.S. foreign relations’…”
“… according to newly declassified footnotes from a government watchdog report. The December report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz examined the FBI’s investigation into alleged coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia as well as the FBI’s four surveillance warrants for former Trump campaign aide Carter Page…. Several footnotes in Horowitz’s report were redacted, and Republican Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson pushed for the declassification of four footnotes related to the Steele dossier… Footnote 350 in the IG report addresses the FBI’s knowledge of Russian contacts with Steele and the potential for disinformation. Steele had ‘frequent contacts with representatives for multiple Russian oligarchs, we identified reporting the Crossfire Hurricane team received from (redacted) indicating the potential for Russian disinformation influencing Steele’s election reporting.’…”
Glenn Greenwald had more in a report at the end of last year, well over a year after I had been writing about the same issues—you know, “Kool-Aid.” It began,
Before evaluating the media component of this scandal, the FBI’s gross abuse of its power – its serial deceit – is so grave and manifest that it requires little effort to demonstrate it. In sum, the IG Report documents multiple instances in which the FBI – in order to convince a FISA court to allow it spy on former Trump campaign operative Carter Page during the 2016 election – manipulated documents, concealed crucial exonerating evidence, and touted what it knew were unreliable if not outright false claims.
If you don’t consider FBI lying, concealment of evidence, and manipulation of documents in order to spy on a U.S. citizen in the middle of a presidential campaign to be a major scandal, what is?
Oh, I don’t know, maybe using the same methods and people to attempt a successful impeachment?
But I digress.
I thought you might have had the decency to apologize and retract your exit statement then. Shame on me.
You can restore a shred of your personal and professional integrity, my erstwhile friend, by belatedly coming back here and admitting you were both wrong and unfair, and attaching the admission to a Level 1 apology. (Let this be your guide.) I’ll generously post that as a Comment of the Day. You have until the end of next week, though you should have registered this months ago if you possessed the ethical traits you get paid to inculcate in others.
It’s a generous offer. If you have any integrity at all, you will accept it.
I won’t be holding my breath,
Jack Marshall, Ethics Alarms Proprietor.