His Honor, Frank Rizzo, Mayor and once-Chief of Police, Philadelphia, PA
Strzok, Page, Rizzo, and me: when politics breaks
It was 1972. The top song was American Pie. Top movie was The Godfather. I was taken to a political function where the notorious Frank Rizzo — Chief of the Philadelphia Police Department — was running for mayor. He had about 500 serious-looking people there. It looked like a scene from that movie.
I didn’t know anybody other than the friend who had brought me, a detective sergeant in the District Attorney’s office whom they called Scar because of his face. But he had circulated out of sight, leaving me by myself.
I was suddenly slammed against the wall — Frank Rizzo’s nose two inches from mine. “Who the fuck are you,” he said. His mouth a line; his eyes slits.
He knew he didn’t know me. He knew he had not invited me.
He said, “I asked you a fucking question,” and rammed me with his gut.
My friend the sergeant showed up in time. He and Rizzo used first names.
A good politician knows everything they need to know. Names, affiliations, connections, donors, what that politician wants and how to get it, and “who the fuck” everybody is.
A good politician will have an organized network of friends, contacts, gophers, users, and doers. Operatives — some of whom will do just about anything.
The network structures itself in a seemingly planned way, meeting its own needs and goals. It’s self-creating, self-organizing, and self-fulfilling. Almost a living thing.
And it’s unstoppable.
Statue of Frank Rizzo, Philadelphia police commissioner 1968 to 1971; Philadelphia mayor 1972 to 1980 (photo credit MakeMice54543)
For instance, years later, I was a private eye with my own organization. I frequented an infamous restaurant in South Philly. The owner of the restaurant was a major elected politician. He later went to prison, but at this time, he wanted me to hire people he would send me. “You know, give them a job until I find something. As a favor.”
See? Keep your mouth shut and do favors to receive favors in return.
As my detective sergeant friend would tell me, “Play ball. These people can make you a millionaire with just a City contract for pencils. You help them and they help you. Or you could fall out a window.”
This game of thrones and clones is one damn dangerous game. And those alleged networkers who play it — such as Peter Strzok and Lisa Page — can win, lose, or have undesired things happen to them.
In his article, “Sex, Lies, and the Deep State,” Daniel Greenfield explores the depth and breadth of a supposed, surreptitious campaign against Donald Trump, duly elected President of the United States.
…The affairs between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page in the FBI, and between Senate Intelligence Committee security director James Wolfe and New York Times reporter Ali Watkins, did more than betray the spouses of Strzok, Page, and Wolfe. They also betrayed the duties of the two men and two women….
…Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Clinton ally…used Page as his liaison with Strzok to circumvent the chain of command on the investigation….
…and Watkins’s media employers used the young reporter as a conduit to her older married lover and the leaked information he allegedly provided her….
And so we had married mistresses trafficking illegal information, secret finances, and fog-wrapped financial means. In the nation’s capital, this was just business as usual. Nothing new. Nothing wrong. It was the way to make and work with friends, connections, and others who may want to overthrow the US Government. The Deep State.
Not many in politics seem able to see and comprehend this, mainly because they are a traditional, networked part of it. The so-called, “Deep State” people wake in the morning, and conduct their offices as they have done for decades. They don’t grasp that their traditional methods and means are what constitutes the perils of the Deep State.
The Deep State is a phantom. The Deep State is a fog — an invented literary name blanketing the traditional game of everyday politics. Small tricks and favors that snowball into ego, tribalism, and machination.
It’s understood that to illicitly subvert President Trump — by whatever means — would also be to illicitly subvert America, those Americans who voted him into office, and the US Constitution itself.
But can this accurately be called, “treason,” as some do?
The Treason Clause applies only to disloyal acts committed during times of war. Acts of dis-loyalty during peacetime are not considered treasonous…Unexpressed seditious thoughts do not constitute treason, even if those thoughts contemplate a bloody revolution or coup. Nor does the public expression of subversive opinions, including vehement criticism of the government and its policies, constitute treason. The First Amendment…guarantees the right of all Americans to advocate the violent overthrow of their government unless such advocacy is directed toward inciting imminent lawless action and is likely to produce it.
But what exactly was the Strzok/Page/FBI/News Axis of Evil trying to achieve? And what was wrong with that?
At the rotten heart of the campaign against Trump lay the betrayal of private and public fidelities….
…Illicit affairs are popular espionage tradecraft not just because they provide blackmail material against influential officials, but because their very informality makes it easy to create covert networks within organizations….
…McCabe allegedly used Page to create such a connection between him and Strzok.
The media appeared to have used Watkins to create a link into the Senate Intelligence Committee….
Mr. Greenfield goes on to assert that such covert liaisons and illicit goings-on occur frequently in political networks and government. Some consist of favors for favors-received, corruption, or cash transactions and the like.
Others may be more politically organized in nature, actually seek the subornation and overthrow of legitimately constituted organizations or offices.
Should this have resulted in armed insurrection or a type of war, it could have been interpreted legally as treason, and the death penalty legally invoked.
The legitimate body of government tests for ethics. The parallel deep state tests for corruption….
…These parallel networks, in government, in public life and in private life, are the conduits of corruption.
To defeat the deep state, these parallel networks in government must be exposed to the light of day.
So putting those like Peter Strzok aside; Comey, Mueller, Rodney Rosenstein, Lynch, Obama, and all the others; those like Lisa Page or James Wolfe and Ali Watkins: what is left in the light is the ancient art of politics.
Networking, corruption, getting around barriers, knowing who to know, favors for favors, the trading of influence and wealth, what to do and how to do it by any means feasible.
It’s just politics.
And it seems clear that politics is broken.
If politics ever worked as a means of government, it doesn’t work anymore. Just look around: it’s madness.
And now maybe Trump’s reputed “madness” becomes clearer. He does not intend to “get along” with the system. To comply and “look presidential.”
Donald Trump is here to govern.
Jeffrey A. Friedberg was a state-licensed east-coast private eye for 35 years. He is an author internet columnist, and blogger. His website: Www.ConservativeRightWingNews.com