What’s the most disgusting thing about Peter Strzok, the disgraced anti-Trump FBI agent who was fired a few days ago for unprofessional behaviour? I know, I know, you’ve got a lot to choose from there. Some might say ‘Cheating on his wife with fellow FBI employee and anti-Trump hysteric Lisa Page.’ Some might point to his extraordinary texts about Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. My personal favourite was this exchange between paramour Page and Strzok:
Page: ‘[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!’
Strzok: ‘No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.’
Your partisan, selective enforcing justice department at work, ladies and gentlemen.
All of that is distasteful and, as Inspector General Michael Horowitz noted in is delicately phrased but nonetheless devastating report on the FBI’s bias during the 2016 presidential campaign, grounds for disciplinary action.
At the end of the day, however, I think it is Peter Strzok’s coda that is the most repellent thing about him. Inspired, perhaps, by yet another disgraced FBI agent, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok was barely out on the pavement in front of FBI headquarters before he started a ‘GoFundMe’ campaign.
At first he was asking for $150,000. When the money started pouring in, he raised his goal to $350,000. As I write, his goal is $500,000 and he has managed to attract $417,000 from 10,000 credulous souls.
Everyman’s guide to success and riches in the FBI. 1. Join the bureau. 2. Do bad stuff and get fired. 3. Hit the jackpot.
Five hundred thousand of the crispest. For what? Strzok’s GoFundMe page says that ‘Peter Strzok [is] a man who has spent his entire life working to help keep us and our nation safe.’ Translation: he worked tirelessly to keep like-minded people safe from Donald Trump.
I’m not sure we have really taken on board how bizarre has been the behaviour of the top echelon of Obama’s intelligence and law enforcement services.
It used to be that top government workers would gracefully bow out of the limelight went they left service. Not this crew. John Brennan, Obama’s Communist voting, Islamophilic head of the CIA, has been the source of countless hysterical tweets and commentary on MSNBC about the President of the United States. James Comey, Obama’s head of the FBI, has conducted his own anti-Trump twitter campaign while raking in the royalties from his self-serving anti-Trump memoir. James Clapper, Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, leaked the infamous Steele dossier to CNN, lied about it, and was rewarded with a job at that wretched network. He, too, has been violently vocal in his opposition to the president.
Then there is Sally Yates, formerly Deputy Attorney General, the aforementioned Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, our recently enriched Peter Strzok, and countless minnow-like figures in public life. These ‘public servants’ specialise in shamelessly serving themselves in public: lucrative book and television contracts that parade former high-ranking intelligence and law enforcement officials as circus animals is one gambit.
The ‘GoFundMe’ me wheeze is doubtless the most shameless to date, however. What we’re seeing is the partisan exploitation of an innovative charity that was designed to assist people in real need. Cynical operators like Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok have perverted an enterprise that was meant to aid impecunious cancer patients, widows and orphans, victims of natural disasters, and the like into a get-rich-quick (and get-publicity-quick) scheme for disgraced high level coppers.
The great English essayist William Hazlitt once observed that ‘those who lack delicacy hold us in their power.’ The behaviour of Peter Strzok illustrates that thesis. It also reminds us of the curious linguistic fact that the English words ‘shameless’ and ‘shameful’ are synonyms. Peter Strzok illustrates that oddity as well. He is simultaneously without shame and yet full of it. Doubtless he is laughing on his way to the bank, but I suspect that a public accounting will eventually catch up with him.