As many people are aware, CTH has decided to go back through two years of documents, releases, reports, testimony and media interviews; including interviews with fired FBI Director James Comey; question all prior assumptions; re-examine the entire framework within all the known granular DOJ and FBI activity; and finally contrast it all against the full scope of released messaging between FBI Counterintelligence Agent Peter Strzok and DOJ Special Counsel assigned to Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page.
Suffice to say, this project was no small task; reading the messages in a chronological order takes a minimum of four to six hours. It is understandable why so much mystery and confusion circles the rather complex storyline. However, before going into the deep weeds – two distinct issues must frame what will soon follow:
♦First, notice a catch-phrase by fired FBI Director James Comey in every interview: “that was not my understanding.” That phrase is Mr. Comey’s ‘go-to’ lead-in at the beginning of every explanation, amid challenging questions presented to him, on his current book tour. That phrase is also a highly legalized linguistics and deployed for a specific reason.
♦Second, if you are going to endeavor to read through all of the released messages between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok; and/or review an outline of content that utilizes their communication as the background to understand events within the FBI and DOJ-NSD; it helps to have a familiarity from their perspective.
Having said that, this encapsulation of the Page and Strzok outlook by “Newhere” is both fair and accurate:
The nature and tone sound like a couple of earnest, self-important, professional bureaucrats who see themselves as high-achieving stand-outs among their peers, doing the “right thing” or at least the “best” thing among some ugly office politics and broader forces.
Among the two of them, they unquestionably believe themselves “the good guys,” with appropriate motives and judgment.
They are preoccupied with their professional reputations, ambitions and positioning. They spend lots of time dissecting the minutiae of day-to-day interactions and orchestrating mundane office dynamics, and often reassure each other on their respective “excellence” and superiority. All to a degree that pegs their maturity and self-awareness at a level of maybe adolescent. They interpret events and decisions around them in insular terms, like teenagers passing notes in homeroom about high school social cliques.
— They weren’t driven by specifically by partisan bias. Viewing it as simple bias only minimizes the bigger problem. They were consummate professional bureaucrats, intuiting, anticipating, and expanding upon the goals of leadership, both spoken and implied. Contempt for the implicated political actors was a given; all politicians are intellectually and morally inferior, and (in their minds) the country needs professionals like them having the tools to stand watch and “protect” the country when necessary.
— Trump was viewed as so obviously “dangerous” that extreme measures were necessary. This wasn’t a *partisan* sentiment — it was (again, in their minds) a professional judgment. Which is how they managed the cognitive dissonance of behaving as they did while seeing themselves as moral actors.
These aren’t sociopaths with no consciences. They have the conscience of a common, professional technocrat. Self-delusion and self-importance that warps the moral compass (e.g., they feel aggrieved by things like being left out of a meeting, and they hyper-focus on their own “credit-seeking” vs. “team player” motivations, as if THESE are the pressing moral issues at stake . . ). They are professional technocrats like a lot of professional technocrats, who believe their jobs are singularly important, that they face pressures that are uniquely complicated — who know they hold replaceable jobs, but secretly believe themselves irreplaceable.
Professionalism becomes its own ethic, from which perspective actual ethics are quaint, a luxury for academics or simpletons. This isn’t spoken or acknowledged.
— The scariest part: conduct in the the Clinton/Trump investigations wasn’t anomalous. The fact that these “professionals” behaved this way with only a faint notion of the significance of what they were doing suggests it was more business-as-usual than the biggest scandal of our lifetimes. Meaning it’s even a bigger scandal.
— They did have at least a faint notion that they had ventured well outside of “by the book” territory, but were again deluded by feeling indispensable, hand-picked by the highest echelons of bureau hierarchy, to which they aspired. Page, in particular, felt special because she was chosen by McCabe. Their moral compasses were aimed at pleasing those whose favor they sought.
— They seemed to see the FBI as white hats vis a vis DOJ. I think they truly believed that any corruption/politicization came from DOJ, and FBI jockeying/mischief was trying to set things right against all these other corrupting [political] forces.
–Page’s final “never write to me again” doesn’t seem like a hostile snub. Seems more like a signal/coded message to a friend: “We’re scr*wed. Every (wo)man for himself. I’m looking out for myself. You should too.”