In the haunting Oscar-winning film The Lives of Others, an East German Stasi agent spies on innocent artists to tragic effect – but ends up changed, regretful and more fully human.
Watching it again this past week made me wonder: Is it remotely possible that America’s domestic spies and malefactors – who conspired to subvert and perhaps destroy our republic the past seven years – might also someday feel guilt and shame enough to come clean?
The Durham report on the FBI’s Russia collusion coup lays bare the fact that federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies under Barack Obama cynically conspired to gin up an investigation of candidate-turned-President Donald Trump. While cozying up to the Hillary Clinton campaign, the agency ignored intelligence of “a trusted foreign source pointing to a Clinton campaign plan to vilify Trump by tying him to Vladimir Putin so as to divert attention from her own concerns relating to her use of a private email server.”
The world-class conspiracy, involving an unknown number of unindicted co-conspirators, led to trumped-up charges against former Trump National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (who is now suing the government for $50 million for wrongful prosecution); illegal surveillance of a Trump supporter, aided by the phony Steele dossier and by repeated bald-faced government lies to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court; and a two-year, multimillion-dollar Potemkin “probe” by special prosecutor Robert Mueller that hamstrung and further divided America.
All this, despite the fact that Christopher Steele’s own researcher had told the FBI in May 2017 there was absolutely nothing to the dossier. Yet the political operatives atop the agency plowed on in their scheme to destroy Trump and install their preferred political regime.
Does that even sound like America?
Even the far-left New York Times had to admit that Inspector General Michael Horowitz “painted a bleak portrait of the F.B.I. as a dysfunctional agency that severely mishandled its surveillance powers.”
There is a long history and a tragic trail of victims of FBI incompetence and corruption. But the Russia collusion fabrication – an attempt to first swing an election and then, failing that, nothing short of an attempted coup – is the darkest hour of a now wholly discredited law enforcement agency.
Emboldened by their ability to get away with their crimes against the American people, federal intelligence officials more recently conspired before the 2020 election to help Joe Biden by insinuating the damning Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation. To pull off the ruse, they produced a letter bearing the weight of 51 former intelligence officials. And now we know it was all to give the elder Biden cover during a presidential debate with Trump.
It also helped the Biden family corruption story – which, three years later, has fresh legs – to go away in time for the fateful election.
But again, as bad as that was, the Russia hoax is “the biggest scandal in American history, that we’re still living with today,” says former U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., who was among the first to unearth the conspiracy years ago.
“This changed the course of human history. It changed the course of our elections.”
Undoubtedly. Still, the reason we’re “still living” with it is because the spies and malefactors behind it all can somehow live with themselves, and apparently won’t slink out of the slimy sewers of espionage to own up to their crimes.
They should. And they must.
If there’s a shred of decency, a shard of shame, left inside them, they’ll step out of the darkened alleys of their contemptible crimes to tell their countrymen, the world and posterity what they have done to the nation and to the cause of freedom.
And then they’ll fall to their knees and beg Americans for forgiveness.
I’ve watched The Lives of Others before, but it has a particularly somber resonance today. For, like the East Germans of old, we, too, live under a government that has turned on its own people – at least those of us who refuse to conform to the liberal orthodoxy of the current ruling class and its torch-wielding sycophants bent on breaking down the few doors to power they don’t already control.
In the film, the victim eventually learns that his Stasi spy had secretly grown to care for and actually protect him from government overseers. In a free and unified Germany, the victim later writes a book called Sonata for a Good Man – which he has cryptically dedicated to the spy who came in from the cold.
Could that happen here? Could any of those in our intelligence and law enforcement agencies who have knowingly subverted our republic feel remorse sufficient to admit their crimes – offenses which they compound every morning when they wake up in a free country they don’t deserve to live in, much less “serve”?
Are there no good men left?