“I want to believe”, so says the poster on the office wall of Fox Mulder, the FBI's most eccentric - and gullible – agent. Underneath the words is a flying saucer. “I want to disbelieve”, would be better, under which should be a picture of a naked G-Person. My, my, how shocking it would all be to poor old J. Edgar: his very own Agency has turned into a bare assed joke!
The naked truth, you see, is coming out at last. An Agency that long believed itself above the law has been obliged to face some uncomfortable truths about itself and its more unsavoury practices. Sexual indiscretions by the politically suspect were all to the good. It’s not so good when one’s own sexual indiscretions come to the fore. The buggers, you see, have been bugged.
Sadly for the Agency’s public image records, which should have remained hidden, have leaked. The private eye, if you like, is in the public eye. The rap sheet is a long one. Agents have been been caught with their pants down, or visiting massage parlours, pretty much the same thing. They have been caught ‘sexting’ and they have been caught sending nude images of themselves to other members of staff on Bureau cell phones.
It’s all come out in recent months, a lot of tawdry sex scandals. The hands down, pants down embarrassment seems to be infectious, crossing all sorts of departmental boundaries. No sooner did we discover that Federal agents had invited prostitutes to a party in Colombia last year than the Petraeus affair broke, the former director of the CIA having to resign when details of his private affair became public. Then there is General John Allen, nominated as the next NATO supreme commander, that is until it was found that he had exchanged 30,000 emails with a socialite in Florida. Last week it was announced that he would be taking early retirement. Poor man; he’s doubtless exhausted.
We have gone from the ridiculous to the farcical in recent days. Behave yourself!, a leaked memo exhorted, reminding agents to obey the terms of their employment. It simply will not do to bug a supervisor’s office; it will not do to leave a shotgun to be stolen from a car; it will not do to crash an FBI motor cycle while off duty; and it will not do to use the criminal data base to look up friends and family.
The misdemeanours, high and low and risible, go on and on. One agent got involved in a domestic dispute in his mistress’s apartment while drunk and armed with his government issued handgun. Another used a department cell to send nude photographs of herself to other employees. Investigators found that this had “adversely affected the daily activities of several squads.” Perhaps even Mulder was distracted, taking his eyes momentarily off ET.
In another unrelated incident, an FBI worker used her office BlackBerry to email a naked picture of herself to the wife of a former boyfriend. It was all too, too much for the powers above. Candice Will, the Bureau’s assistant director, who sent the private - now public - memo, recently told CNN “When you are given an FBI BlackBerry, it’s for official use. It’s not to text a woman in another office who you find attractive or to send a picture of yourself in a state of undress. That’s not why we provided an FBI BlackBerry.”
Clearly not, but it has allowed the Agency to be overtaken by an avalanche of sexing and sexting. Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity...hmm. Perhaps that motto should be changed to reflect more contemporary attitudes and practices. Would Fornicate, Bitching and Indiscretion do?