It's a hard life at the FBI

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It's a hard life at the FBI

Posted by Thersites on UTC 2018-02-08 13:01. Updated on UTC 2018-02-25

Our readers seeking amusement by browsing the latest report of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in the United States will have found plenty to cheer them up in the email and text exchanges now reported between those two star-crossed lovers, FBI Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page.

That two such high-flying positions are filled by people with the mental age of fourteen is yet one more validation for our reincarnated Peter Principle. These two reached their level of incompetence some time ago, it seems, but have received regular promotions since then.

You have probably read some of the more politically interesting quotes from their conversation. These quotes are bad enough. But selective quoting doesn't do justice to the juvenile minds that exchanged ten(?) thousand texts and emails over a two-year period.

You have to skim through the messages from Scribd starting on page 119. Have refreshment handy: you have to get to page 501.

There were sometimes dozens of messages per day between them, most of them filled with the kind of trivia that you might rather expect between two young teenage girls – except in this case the trivia is between relatively high-ranking adults inside the FBI, the premier law-enforcement agency in the US, one of them allegedly responsible for 'counterintelligence'. Although both were in the same agency, the pair were in different departments with only occasional overlap. Nevertheless the two lovebirds communicated as if they were joined at the hip: 'Let me know when you are free', 'Free', 'Just going into a meeting', 'Saw X'.

We don't know what hours of work were specified for them, but a large part of their working day appears to have been spent messaging each other. There is no obvious commitment to doing the jobs they were employed to do – the messages suggest that the time they didn't spend in meetings was passed in playing office politics.

There are lots of the usual OMGs and assorted profanities. On 8 November, election day, Page pulled out all the SMS stops: 'OMG THIS IS F*CKING TERRIFYING.' Strzok responded: 'Omg, I am so depressed.'

Geriatric readers will be reminded of the frequent use of '[expletive deleted]' in the transcripts of President Nixon's tapes. It is quite amusing to realise that the Watergate affair took place five years before these two were even born, and even more amusing to find this high-level attorney in the FBI, Lisa Page, thinking about buying All the President's Men in order to 'brush up on Watergate'. She really is quite dim.

The crisis in their relationship finally struck with full force after about 20 June last year. Just before midnight on 22 June the messaging stopped. There followed a remarkable three day silence until 14:32 on Sunday 25 June, when we read the cryptic message: 'Please don't ever text me again.'

Whatever happens with them over the 'secret society' they were proposing to set up, it is clear that the FBI and all the other organizations of the US government ought to do some Peter Principle weeding-out of their staff. It's too easy for underemployed incompetents to turn into loose cannon. Idle hands make work for the Devil.

Update 25.02.2018

'[T]he FBI and all the other organizations of the US government ought to do some Peter Principle weeding-out of their staff'. Florida seems like a good place to start the process.