By George Cassidy Payne |
After Trump’s decision to release the Nunes Memo, condemnation was swift throughout the world of intelligence and the institutions which report on it. Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post said bluntly: “No president, Democratic or Republican, has done as much damage to the operation and success of the FBI than President Trump.”
In a Reuters article, former FBI supervisory agent Josh Campbell said, “One sure-fire way to depress morale, impede recruiting and promote retirements is to falsely claim it’s a rotten organization and poorly led.” Campbell left the FBI to “join the growing chorus of people who believe that the relentless attacks on the bureau undermine not just America’s premier law enforcement agency but also the nation’s security.
My resignation is painful, but the alternative of remaining quiet while the bureau is tarnished for political gain is impossible.”
After the Nunes Memo, I think the president owes the American people the remaining JFK documents, the ones he unfairly withheld from the citizenry back in October 2017. Now that Trump has openly lashed into the FBI, CIA, and NSA, and compromised their very existence with his accusations and aspersions, he should be consistent about why he is choosing to hold back on releasing the JFK documents; after all, these are historic documents of national importance which have been promised to the American people since 1992. In fact, in a memo to government agency heads back in October, Trump said the American people deserved as much access as possible to the records. “Therefore, I am ordering today that the veil finally be lifted,” he wrote, adding that he had no choice but to accept the requested redactions for now.”
At the time, the Central Intelligence Agency declared that every single one of approximately 18,000 remaining CIA records in the collection would ultimately be released, with just 1 percent of the material left redacted. With that guarantee, Trump was told not to release sensitive documents which would compromise their mission. Trump obeyed.
What has changed? Contrary to the president’s subservience just four months ago, he was adamant when it came to releasing the Nunes Memo.
There was nothing that the FBI, CIA, NSA, or any other intelligence agency could do to deter him. If it meant harming the reputation of his entire Justice Department, Trump was hell bent on getting that information out to the public.
Again, what was so different four months ago when the FBI and CIA asked the president not to disclose all of the documents pertaining to JFK’s assassination?
If Trump is willing to reject these agencies when it comes to releasing the Nunes Memo, he should reject their request to classify and suppress the remaining JFK files. As I see it, the president can no longer say that he is keeping the JFK files secret because he wants to protect the integrity and effectiveness of the FBI. As an independent, justice seeking organization- one that serves a vital role -the FBI is meaningless to him.
George Cassidy Payne is a freelance writer, domestic violence counselor and SUNY adjunct professor of philosophy. He writes frequently for a wide variety of national and international publications.