Fri, 17 Sep 2021
© Scott Olson/Getty Images/Mark J.Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports/KJN
Larry Nassar Olympian McKayla Maroney
- The most vexing mystery of Larry Nassar's reign of terror at USA Gymnastics isn't why the organization protected the serial predator. After all,as long as everyone turned a blind eye to the doctor molesting hundreds of gymnasts, Nassar never spoke up about USAG's own brutal non-sexual abuse of the girls. The real question is why, once the FBI did finally find out about the abuse allegations, they refused to do anything about them.
During a congressional hearing on the Nassar affair, Olympian McKayla Maroney revealed that she told the agency about her abuse in September 2015, two months after the FBI was first alerted about Nassar. According to the inspector general report detailing the FBI's failures, the agency did not follow proper procedures, falsified Maroney's statements, and took over a year to finalize its own report - all facts corroborated by Maroney. Ultimately, the inspector general found that Nassar abused at least 70 victims between the time they first learned of his crimes in 2015 and his arrest by local authorities in the fall of 2016.
It's a heartbreaking revelation, but not a terribly shocking one, considering who was running the FBI at the time: James Comey, who oversaw a string of travesties during his four-year tenure as director.
Comey critics point to his highest-profile scandal - his handling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton's email server, which dominated the 2016 election. It's true that by prematurely closing the investigation and then announcing its reopening a week before Election Day, Comey likely handed Donald Trump the presidency at the eleventh hour. But the actual death toll caused by other examples of FBI malfeasance is far worse.
© Getty Images/Justin Sullivan
James Comey, ex-director FBI
In 2013, and then when Comey was director in 2014, the FBI investigated Omar Mateen as a person of interest before he went on to massacre 49 people at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando. Despite the fact that Mateen's own father was an FBI informant for years before the mass shooting, the FBI failed to stop his terrorist attack - the deadliest anti-gay attack in the nation's history.
In 2014, Mohammad Rahimi warned the FBI about his son Ahmad Khan Rahimi's potential terrorist ties. The FBI ultimately cleared the latter, who went on to set off three bombs in New York and New Jersey, injuring 35 people and sparking a two-day manhunt.
For years, the FBI had been tracking Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, following the pair to the Curtis Culwell Convention Center in 2015 for an exhibit of pictures of Muhammad. Even though the FBI was present and warned by police of a possible attack, the FBI did not stop Simpson and Soofi, who initiated a shootout, injuring a security guard who went on to sue the FBI.
In 2017, a YouTuber warned the FBI that a user named "nikolas cruz" commented on his video, "I'm going to be a professional school shooter [sic]." A year later, Nikolas Cruz conducted the deadliest school shooting in the nation's history.
Comment: The FBI has a growing track record of supporting and exploiting 'wannabe terrorists'. It infiltrates a group, coaches members, provides equipment and connections. Sandy Hook, Michigan capitol, Orlando club and DC are a few cases-in-point.
Throughout this time, female FBI agents were suffering repeated and rampant sexual harassment from male colleagues. One of many lawsuits alleging the agency allowed perpetrators to go unpunished during Comey's tenure claimed that
"it is the policy and practice of the FBI and its OIG to allow senior executives accused of sexual assault to quietly retire with full benefits without prosecution."
And, of course, that is without even mentioning the Nassar scandal, which the inspector general says included criminal conduct by certain members of the FBI under Comey.
In just the handful of examples listed here, Comey's total body count includes some 66 dead, 36 injured, countless sexually harassed, and at least 70 girls (that we know of) sexually abused. All of these were preventable. The buck was supposed to stop with Comey, and he deserves every bit of blame.
Comment: Along with many current aspects of the US Government and its agencies, the state of the FBI demands a clean up and clean out. It is a travesty to call this agency a service to the people and the country.