I hope that releasing the memo will help the FBI and Department of Justice become the organizations that as Trey Gowdy said, “do not give a whit about politics“. To achieve that goal they have to stop doing boneheaded things. Borrowing from a Forbes article, 5 Boneheaded Ways Smart People Fail, here are some examples that might help them achieve that goal.
1. Several People In The FBI Thought They Were The Smartest Person In The Room.
Mr. Comey, Mr. McCabe, Mr. Stzrok, Mr. Ohr, and Ms. Page are all smart people but seem to be too self-absorbed to recognize how bad their actions look. As an example, Mr. Comey probably thinks he did the country a great favor by leaking information and forcing a special prosecutor to take over the investigation. While some people may approve of his actions, others will view his actions as those of a political hack using the FBI to crudely attack the President. When you look at the actions of these four people, it is impossible to rationalize this investigation as one that does not give a whit about politics. As Travis Bradberry said in the Forbes article,
Your chance of failure is heightened when you don’t care to know what other people think.
2. The FBI Management Surrounded Themselves With Yes-men and Yes-women.
It is hard for me to imagine how Fusion GPS and the Trump dossier could have been so influential within the Department of Justice without Yes-men and Yes-women.
3. Several People In The FBI Viewed Themselves As Untouchable.
Mr. Comey and Mr. McCabe come across as people who thought they were untouchable. Mr. Comey must have thought he was pretty special after keeping his job despite antagonizing both political parties with his extra-legal actions. Then he was shocked when President Trump fired him. I am still amazed that Mr. McCabe did not recuse himself from the Clinton investigation. A lot of Clinton money went to his wife’s political campaign. As Travis said,
These unrealistic expectations made failure inevitable. Leaders must continually question their positions, especially when they’re on top.
4. Several People In The FBI couldn’t tell where they stopped and the FBI began.
The best example of this Mr. Strzok comments about an “insurance plan”. Just do your job!
5. Several People In The FBI drove past red flags and warning signs.
I think the Top Secret FISA Court Order document obtained by Judicial Watch on May 23, 2017, shows that the FISA Court was livid at the FBI. By April 18, 2016, the FBI they knew that their FISA-702 “Queries” irregularities had triggered a full Compliance Audit by the NSA. That should have been a warning sign not to mess with the FISA court. The idea that people were pushing the Trump dossier within the Department of Justice should have been a red flag. Did the FBI use it to get a FISA warrant despite its origin? As Travis said,
Some leaders are so enamored with their personal visions that they’re willing to drive the company off of a cliff in pursuit of them. Many of these leaders solicit input and suggestions, but they just can’t take their feet off the gas. Persistence is a great quality in a leader but not if it means ignoring the facts.