The last of the FBI files for my stepfather, and mother, arrived. As I went through the papers, I remembered how my parents thought communism would solve the social inequities they fought so hard against. But, when discovering the horrors of the real Stalin, they were disturbed. Their focus always had been on ending segregation in America, so they joined Civil Rights groups and were activists for the remainder of their lives. Most of the FBI paperwork reflected that change.
The FBI wasted tons of money, year after year, following my folks. A form appeared on top of each year. The manager of their cases filled out this form requesting funds for the coming year, or termination of the case. To quote him, "The Mosley's do not show behavior that would over throw the government of the United States, therefore I recommend ending these cases." Hoover ignored the recommendation and signed off on one more year anyway - 42 years against my pop and 32 years against my mother.
Hoover, and his lawyer Roy Cohn, were such bad characters, spending their time figuring out ways to intimidate and threaten and control people from nobodies like my pop, to Presidents of these United States, and got away with it for 50 years.
Informants were more than likely friends of our family. Intimate details I recognized through out the reports could only be known by people close to us. Page after page of blacked out names, over years. Reporting on my parents at meetings about integrating a local skating rink, or police brutality in the integrated neighborhood where we lived, or protests over wars, or stop sign fight where needed because a child was killed by a car. The agents even appeared in my high school classroom, scaring my teacher and classmates. They tapped our phone. They followed us every where we went. Abuse of power at its weirdest, but not violent, thank goodness.
Now I find myself defending people who are the FBI agents of modern United States, 2021. The Trump administration denied the 2016 election was interfered by Russia. The Republicans lined up behind him to defend the idea that the election was not meddled with and called the accusation a hoax. It doesn't seem to matter how many people who worked in National Security through the FBI, CIA, or Justice Department, or how many Congressional committees interviewed government officials, even the military, who testified that Russia did indeed try to mess with our election, the Trump administration said it didn't happen, and a third of our country still believe him.
Another election took place in 2020, but this time adding violence to the mix. Instead of a peaceful transfer of power, which is a hallmark of our democracy, on January 6th, 2021, the Trump people incited a violent mob to stop the Electoral College from certifying the fair election for the new President, Mr. Biden. More people voted in that election than in our history, in the midst of a pandemic, no less. The loser, Trump, cried foul and created The Big Lie.
I am stunned at this turn of events when I find myself rooting for the FBI team. During my childhood, the very same Republican party that led the Un-American Activities Committee to root out those they accused of defending Russian values, are now defending Russia and the Big Lie. My mind is boggled.
One of my new heroes is a man named McCabe. He was an FBI agent, I kid you not. He was apart of the process that led to the discovery that the Russians were interfering in our 2016 election cycle. He told the truth when congressional committees asked asked him details about the interference. Instead of being treated as a hero, former President Trump had him fired just a day before McCabe's retirement.
I saw this happen to a father of my best friend from childhood. This time the FBI were the tyrants. His livelihood destroyed, and even sent to jail, because of the abuse of power. All you had to do was call a person a communist and his reputation destroyed with no proof needed. All the former President had to do was call the Russian investigation a hoax and he destroyed McCabe's reputation and took away his retirement from a lifetime of work.
This week in June, 2021, the media exposed secret spying of Trump and his so-called justice department, on reporters, Trumps own lawyer, congress members and their families, including a child. Ah, brings me back to the good old days of my childhood. Shades of the likes of Roy Cohn, who had the morals of an alley cat.
The day McCabe's retirement benefits are rightfully given back to him, retroactively, is how I dream it. I will then consider this mind-boggling time to be woking its way to a better path. I will conjure up the memory of my parents and point out to them, justice does prevail, eventually. And those that tried to overthrow our government this very year, including the former guy, before our very eyes, will be held accountable because there is a new group of people in government, like my folks, who have the capacity to care about other people, and will right as many wrongs as they possibly can.
A system without good people cannot do good work. That is my conclusion.