This week’s firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey by President Donald Trump has aroused the indignation of conservatives and liberals alike, who decry the Trump Administration’s alleged attempt at “politicization” of the FBI by interfering with the “work” of the agency as it investigated alleged collusion between members of the Trump for President campaign and the Russian Government of Vladimir Putin in order to “rig” the US Presidential election of 2016 in favor of Trump.
As revolutionary Trotskyists, we take as the fundamental basis of any analysis of any capitalist government and its agencies that the working class and its organizations must oppose all of the police agencies of the capitalist state and recognize that they are NOT designed “to protect and serve the people” nor are they “neutral arbiters” of the law – as the liberals and the fake-socialists would have you believe – but are in fact highly politicized and partisan in favor of the capitalist class and against the working class, its organizations and their supporters. As revolutionary Trotskyists, though we do defend the very real gains of the bourgeois revolutions of 1776 and 1865 and though we defend and seek to extend the limited rights enjoyed by the workers which are enshrined in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, we do not defend or support the capitalist state, its police agencies, its military or its courts, as they are all weapons in the hands of the capitalist class which are used to suppress and destroy the workers movement as the working class struggles to emancipate itself from the capitalist system of wage slavery, racism, unemployment, poverty and war.
The FBI is nothing less than a US version of the same secret police agencies in every nation-state in the capitalist era that have terrorized and sought to “disrupt, discredit and destroy” every organization the working class has created to fight to defend workers rights against the depredations of the capitalist class and its greed-based economic system of capitalism. The FBI was designed, from its very inception, to be the federal police agency that would be responsible for crushing the militant and revolutionary socialist workers movement of the United States. Shamelessly propagandistic US television shows and movies portray the FBI as some kind of squeaky-clean utterly non-political honest and trustworthy police agency – nothing could be further from the truth! If “the truth is out there” – you can be sure that the FBI and its hordes of agents, informers, provocateurs and apologists are doing their best to find it, kill it and bury it where it will never be found! To hell with the FBI!
The FBI traces its origins to the Red Scare run by US Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, who organized the notorious “Palmer Raids” to round up suspected US radicals and labor militants who sympathised with or openly supported the Bolshevik Revolution of October, 1917, which was the very first successful revolution in world history that made the workers and peasants the ruling class of what was formerly Tsarist Russia. The militant labor movement in the US at the time was led largely by the Socialist Party of Eugene Debs, which had, along with the Bolsheviks and a handful of other revolutionary socialist parties, steadfastly refused to support the United States Government’s intervention in WWI; they were joined by the powerful anarcho-syndicalist trade union movement organized by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW); both organizations had opposed the war and many members of both came out in favor of the Bolshevik Revolution. Debs was thrown into prison for giving anti-war speeches against the recruitment of US workers into the US military in WWI.
Fearing that the Russian Revolution was the beginning of a world-wide movement to overthrow the capitalist system, which had been massively discredited by the horrific mass slaughter of WWI caused by the inter-imperialist rivalries of the leading capitalist nation-states of the time, the US capitalist class , like its fellow capitalist ruling classes worldwide, was thrown into a state of panic at the prospect that here in the USA there would be a similar uprising of the working class to overthrow the capitalist class that had been responsible for the slaughter of millions of workers in WWI. To prevent this from happening, the US Attorney General Palmer unleashed the US Justice Department’s “Bureau of Investigation” to hunt down, brutalize and imprison – and even deport – “radicals” who sympathised with the Russian Revolution. Casting the widest net possible, the cops arrested, brutalized and murdered workers in every part of the US labor movement, from the AFL-CIO to the IWW. Union halls were destroyed; pro-union newspapers had their presses smashed. One of the things the US capitalist class hated the most about the socialists was that they welcomed into their organizations workers of every nationality and race, including immigrant workers. The socialists and IWWs (or Wobblies”) fought against racism and sought to organize all workers together in the same unions – black and white, native-born and immigrant. For all these reasons the infant Communist Party of the US as well as the pro-Soviet Socialist Party and the IWW were the main targets of the Palmer Raids and suffered the most from the attacks. It was an onslaught was so brutally “successful” (in the eyes of the US capitalist class) that it wasn’t until the 1930s that the trade union movement was able to get back on its feet once again with a militant communist and communist-sympathising leadership that built the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) and led the greatest rise in trade union membership and increase in the standard of living for workers that the US has ever seen (~1935-1948).
The forerunner organization that would later become the FBI was created by Palmer in August of 1919; it was organized as the Bureau of Investigation’s “General Intelligence Division”: its first leader was the notorious J. Edgar Hoover.
Palmer charged Hoover “with the responsibility of gathering and coordinating all information concerning domestic radical activities… through the unstinting zeal of Hoover, this unit rapidly became the nerve center of the entire Justice Department… by 1920 [it had] made its war on radicalism the department’s primary occupation.” (Source: “Red Scare: A Study in National Hysteria, 1919-1920” by Robert K. Murray; McGraw-Hill, 1964).
Hoover, who had learned about organizing huge collections of files from his work at the Library of Congress, organized a file system in which he placed the names of over 200,000 US citizens and immigrant workers who were classified as “radicals”. This was the rotten foundation upon which the FBI was built.
From 1919 to the present day, every US citizen or resident who ever supported the Civil Rights Movement, the socialist movement or the Communist Party or any event organized by the various US revolutionary socialist parties thereby came under the scrutiny of the FBI. From E.B. White to John Lennon every singer, artist, writer or political activist that ever opposed the US Government in any way or who criticised the FBI was added to the FBI’s voluminous files of “subversives”. (See, for example “Dangerous Dossiers” by Herbert Mitgang, Ballantine, 1988)
Since its inception the FBI has been at the forefront of every attempt by the US capitalist class to infiltrate, disrupt and destroy the workers movement of the USA. The FBI attacked unions; it attacked socialist and communist parties; it attacked the Civil Rights Movement; it set up the infamous COINTELPRO conspiracy against those elements of the US working class it fears most: the communists and the black working class.
The FBI has sent its agents and placed informers in fascist and Ku Klux Klan organizations and then stood by and watched as those Klan and Nazi scum beat and murdered workers, including men, women and children. It has conspired to assassinate young leaders of the workers movement, like Fred Hampton of the Black Panther Party. In the 1960’s the NAACP’s Robert F. Williams was set up for summary execution by local, state and federal police agencies by the FBI’s lying slander that he was an “armed and dangerous” “kidnapper”.
The FBI was also instrumental in the frame-up and 20-year-plus imprisonments of class-war prisoners Geronimo Ji-Jaga Pratt, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier – as well as the still-running persecution of such heroic US political activists as Assata Shakur – and many others.
It has organized mass murder of dissident workers like the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas; it has most recently been involved in the planning of attacks against antigovernment protestors, one of which resulted in the murder of LaVoy Finicum during the 2015-16 protest at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The FBI’s infamous “crime lab” was caught red-handed grossly exaggerating and falsifying evidence, tailoring it to suit state and federal prosecutors’ cases! FBI crime lab technicians and FBI agents have a long, long history of consciously committing perjury in US courtrooms. The FBI has framed up environmentalists and sent them to prison for decades; it has framed up anarchists and antifascistss and sent them to prison. The FBI has taken organized crime hitmen, put them on its payroll and helped them take over leadership of organized crime networks… and then looked the other way while they committed murders! The FBI has proven again and again to be the mortal enemy of the US working class and of anyone who dares to stand up to the continuous attacks on workers rights and the environment launched endlessly by the money-worshipping US capitalist class and its corporations. There is literally no crime which the FBI and its agents have not committed during its far-too-long malignant existence! Only a child, fool or a congenital liar can look you in the eye and call the FBI a pillar of impartial justice.
In short: we don’t give a rat’s ass what happens to the FBI – so long as it weakens that cesspool of reactionary intrigue and conspiracy against the working class! When the workers of the USA finally overthrow the capitalist class and take power, the FBI will be immediately dismantled, root and branch and its leaders – past and present – will be brought before the courts of the new workers republic to answer for their many, many crimes.
Two of the most disgusting developments of this Trump vs. FBI dog-and-pony show have been the statements made in support of the FBI by courageous whistleblower Edward Snowden and Julian Assange of WikiLeaks!
Snowden – who still imagines that he will one day be welcomed back to the NSA and CIA as a hero for exposing the “excesses” of the US domestic and international spying operations he revealed to the world – took the bizarre step of writing a series of Tweets in support of now-deposed former FBI head James Comey!
Snowden’s most recent “expose” is of his vast ignorance of how the political system of the United States works – and how the US capitalist class and its government views “traitors” like himself. It is likely that the only way Edward Snowden will ever be able to return to the US as a free man is in the wake of a workers socialist revolution in the USA. But if he keeps expressing his love for the FBI and keeps pining to get his old security clearance and desk back at Langley, he’ll still be “persona non grata” then as well!
Julian Assange went a step further, offering Comey a job working for WikiLeaks’ non-existent bureau in Washington D.C.!
Assange – whose politics are a somewhat milder version of repulsive pro-capitalist and reactionary libertarianism – also would do well to take a few months of his sequestration in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London to study the basics of Marxism. If nothing else, it would help to clarify what side of the class line he wishes to take his stand upon: that of the working class or of the capitalist class. We created the “Friends of WikiLeaks – Chicago” organization to defend WikiLeaks from attacks launched against it by the US Government. In the event that Julkian Assange and WikiLeaks begin to hire “former” FBI agents to work for WikiLeaks, the days of our support for them will be over. Once they start hiring agents of US imperialism to work for them, WikiLeaks will quickly be transformed into another pro-US NGO like Human Rights Watch, that will be just another brick in the wall of US imperialism.
The Democrats are now posing as the great defenders of the FBI’s “independence” as a law enforcement agency against the alleged attacks being made against the FBI by the Trump administration. First of all, anyone who thinks that US billionaire real-estate swindler has ever given a moment’s thought to dismantling the FBI can just do everyone a favor and give up political analysis now and forever and get back to doing word-search puzzles or something. James Comey’s half-witted interference in the 2016 US Presidential election was enough to get him fired right then and there. He did more damage to the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton than all the hackers and Russian agents combined. If anything needs to be investigated it is the interference of the CIA and the rest of the US “deep state” into the US presidential elections, both before and after the election proper. The machinations of Comey and of the Pentagon and its agents who are the focus of the alleged connections between the Russian Government and the Trump campaign need investigation; as well as the CIA-Pentagon takeover of “Trump’s” National Security Council!
Unfortunately, since the US working class has not one elected official in the Congress to call for such an investigation, it will not happen. The Democrats – supposedly the “friends of the working class” – have proven time and time again their incapacity to carry out their oversight responsibilities over the US “Deep State”, as the various satraps of the NSA, CIA and Pentagon routinely “testify” falsely to Congress, get caught doing it and… nothing is done to them!
The US “Deep State” proved it actually runs the USA when the CIA was caught red-handed spying on US Senate staffers as they attempted to investigate the CIA’s secret torture camps set up to brutalize suspected “terrorists” into “confessing” their “sins” past and present. (See: NY Times, “Inquiry by C.I.A. Affirms It Spied on Senate Panel”, 31 July 2014) That was a clear-cut case of the CIA placing itself illegally and monstrously above and outside the purview of the highest legislative body in the land. What did the Democrats do about it? Absolutely nothing! The CIA’s director at the time as well as everyone involved in the spying operation against the Congressional investigators should be cooling their heels in prison cells these days – but they weren’t even disciplined! Having abdicated their responsibility to the public to bring the CIA leadership up on charges of illegally spying on Congress, the Democrats surrendered the last line of defense the nation had against the “Deep State” this side of workers revolution. Now the Democrats can be seen running around frantically trying to pass the hat to anyone who is willing to commit political suicide by launching an investigation into the FBI’s handling of the allegations of Russian meddling in the US Presidential election and the Trump campaign’s alleged involvement in that scheme. When Comey made his damning presentation to Congress regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails, stopping just short of issuing indictments for her criminal acts just weeks before the election, the Democrats were furious and many were screaming for Comey’s head to be placed on a platter and sent to the House of Repesentatives: now, when Comey is fired by Trump for his inability to testify before Congress without, essentially, committing perjury, the Democrats are ready to begin the process for impeaching Trump! The US Congress has become such a banal comedy act that it has become a national embarrassment – to the US’ allies. Here in the USA, the bourgeois press has become so insipid and the working class (for the most part) has become so sick of the political games being played there, that the prospects for anything other than a continuation of the long-term dysfunction of the federal government look bleak to say the least.
It is absolutely imperative that the US working class organize its own revolutionary Trotskyist workers party immediately, to begin the work necessary to eventually kick this sad capitalist political fraud to the curb and in its place to build a workers government that will take the responsibility to guarantee all the necessities of human life in the 21st century for every woman, man and child in this country and around the world. This phony “democracy” is a conspiracy against the working class designed to squeeze every penny of profit possible from each and every one of us, leaving us without the money to provide ourselves with decent housing, clothing, food and everything else we need. These capitalist cretins and their politicians promise us a “future” of endless wars against endless enemies who they will constantly be creating via their endless wars – until they finally set off the chain of events that leads to the next world war – a nuclear world war – in which, this time, many if not all of the US’ major cities will be totally destroyed! If this is your idea of the kind of future you want for you, your kids, and your grandkids then just keep on doing what you’re doing now – supporting the capitalist class and capitalism by voting for its bought-and-paid-for political parties – and your “American Dream(TM)” will undoubtedly come true (in a brief blaze of fascist “glory”)… and then it’ll be Berlin, 1945 for the fascist USA! (Trust us: you don’t want to go there).
If you want to create a long-term future of peace and prosperity for future generations, then you must realize that capitalism is barring the door to that future, and until we overthrow it, the human race can not go one step further! To overthrow capitalism we must create a revolutionary Trotskyist workers party that will lead that revolution to success and to the establishment of an egalitarian socialist workers republic where we won’t just have the right merely “to PURSUE happiness” but for everyone to actually achieve it. Join us!
Independent Workers Party of Chicago