by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Joy Pullmann of the Federalist explores the recent furor over politicians’ mishandling of classified documents.
Procedural complaints about classified documents are quickly turning into a catch-all trap that can depose duly elected officials, especially those tasked with oversight of U.S. intelligence agencies. Last August, an unprecedented classified document complaint provided a pretext for an FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s home, in an eerie echo of the use of police and military resources against opposing politicians typical of banana republics.
That administrative power flex has now been turned into the unprecedented appointment of thre special counsels, most recently against the deeply unpopular current Democrat Party figurehead, Joe Biden. This all reverses the American structure of elected officials maintaining oversight of unelected permanent administrators. Instead, we now have unelected bureaucrats performing selective “oversight” of elected officials.
Of course, that pattern erases Americans’ deepest political birthright: government of the people, by the people, and for the people. A government not ultimately controlled by elected representatives of the citizenry is not a republic, nor is it any kind of democracy. Without elections truly affecting government policies, the original United States is no more and its elections are a sham.
The subversion of elected representative government via weaponized intelligence has been expanding for some time. The Trump presidential years saw a massive acceleration in this pre-existing trend of unelected bureaucrats exercising increasing power over elected officials, including by weaponizing classified information, usually via highly selective leaks to leftist media.
Recall that Michael Flynn, a would-be reformer of U.S. intelligence, was neatly precluded from becoming Trump’s national security advisor via leaks of classified intel to the media that a (still) gullible Vice President Mike Pence bought hook, line, and sinker. Rather than the leaker being sought, caught, and punished, Flynn was. The selective and deceptive leaks were shanghaied into a Justice Department investigation that ended with Flynn narrowly escaping jail time and professional repercussions for his son so long as he promised to disappear from public view.