The following is an opinion piece by FBI Special Agent Stephen Friend, who was suspended after objecting to a number of practices within the agency.
The Oath of Office is Not an iPhone User Agreement
by Stephen Friend (indefinitely suspended FBI Special Agent)
Twitter: @RealStevefriend; Truth-Social: @Real_SteveFriend
Legend holds that when George Washington was inaugurated as our nation’s first president, he improvised, “So help me God” as an addendum to the presidential oath of office. Unlike Washington’s wooden teeth or cutting down the cherry tree, the factual basis for this account is still hotly debated. Nevertheless, America’s ensuing Presidents, elected officials, military members, and civilian government workforce continually honor the tradition by pledging:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
Recent events in Arizona as well as my own experience as an FBI whistleblower warrant an examination as to whether America’s officials still honor their respective oaths of office.
Watch Friend on Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson here.
Mohave County Arizona Board of Supervisors held a late November meeting to certify the 2022 election results. Many voters and officials held misgivings about possible fraud and there was public pressure to delay the certification. However, delaying certification beyond November 28th arguably represented an act of malfeasance of office by county officials- a class 2 misdemeanor under Arizona law. Mohave County certified the results. But after voting in favor, County Supervisor Ron Gould somberly remarked, “I found out today that I have no choice but to (vote in favor of approving the canvass), or I’ll be arrested.”
Regardless of one’s opinions on Arizona electoral hijinks, Gould’s decision ranks as a gross violation of his oath of office. Elected Arizona candidates swear a loyalty oath before assuming office. The would-be officials solemnly swear they will “support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the state of Arizona…” My question for Supervisor Gould is, if he honestly believes nefarious activities influenced the outcomes of the 2022 election and infringed on citizens’ rights, didn’t his oath of office preclude him from voting to certify? I do not begrudge Mr. Gould’s desire to avoid a misdemeanor arrest. But he undoubtedly placed his personal welfare ahead of his fundamental responsibility as an elected Board of Supervisor member.
Watch the full interview with Stephen Friend on Rumble here.
My decision to become an FBI whistleblower was largely driven by a devotion to my oath of office. I expressed this sentiment repeatedly to every level of my chain of command. I sincerely believe that the FBI’s improper management of January 6th investigations and aggressive arrest tactics against January 6th subjects are violations of citizens’ Sixth Amendment due process rights and Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment. When my supervisors ordered me to engage in January 6th arrest operations, I noted the order violated my oath of office and refused to participate.
I anticipated an FBI retaliation and it ultimately arrived in the form of an unpaid, indefinite suspension from duty. But unlike Gould, I place my oath ahead of my professional well-being. While my family and I are now suffering financial hardship, I do not question my decision. The oath is the oath.
Financial privation aside, the worst cause for alarm is the thunderous silence from my FBI colleagues. I expected my fellow FBI Special Agents to follow my lead. After all, we were all vetted as people of integrity. We all swore the same oath. To my great sorrow and complete chagrin, the “fine men and women of the FBI” left me in the cold.
I contend that the oath of office has not simply lost its luster. It has completely morphed into something unrecognizable from the dignified and grand words once uttered by the father of our nation. Today’s intonements are tantamount to clicking “Agree” on the latest iPhone update. No one reads the contract. Instead, we all immediately agree. We are all hellbent on attaining the latest technological innovations and willing to sacrifice whatever personal data Apple requires for the privilege.
Similarly, swearing today’s oaths is a means to an end instead of a portentous pledge to the nation. The ends are obvious- lucrative government salaries, generous pensions, and nearly invincible job security (except for FBI whistleblowers).
The crucial question is, what are public servants sacrificing on our behalf when they click “Agree” to their oath? In the case of Mohave County, it may be fraudulent election results. For the FBI and January 6th subjects, it is the civil rights for which our forebearers pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.
As I write these words, thousands of Chinese citizens protest their tyrannical government. It is an uphill battle against an authoritarian Communist regime. The fight is made indelibly harder when companies like Apple (which long ago clicked “Agree” to the terms and conditions spelled out by the Chinese Communist Party in exchange for access to 1.4 billion potential customers) are complicit with the CCP in thwarting dissent.
This is a rhetorical call to arms for my fellow government employees. Unlike China, America is a constitutional republic. If we hope to retain our form of government and maintain citizens’ freedoms, elected representatives must cease clicking “Agree” and afford our oaths of office all due honor and regard. The rights of “We The People” are worth more than the latest iOS app updates and camera enhancements.
This opinion article may be linked to or republished in its entirety with appropriate attribution to Stephen Friend at SharylAttkisson.com.
Gary Hogan says
Brilliant letter by Stephen Friend. What is deeply concerning to me is that the Feds are driving out people with this kind of character, bravery and integrity. Meanwhile, what’s left?
The American people are grateful for your sacrifices, Steve. Thank God there are people with integrity and courage who don't just keep pretending like what is going on is normal. We're in truly precarious times (imo) and every person's actions can make a difference. Thanks to Sharyl for being one of the few journalists to treat his whistleblowing with seriousness it deserves.
The selfishness and cowardice of both elected and appointed oath breakers is appalling and will not be forgotten or without repercussion. There is a judge. (Psalms 7, 58, 82)
The people I admire most are those who persevere despite the hardships they endure. The tribulations you and others experience will be made into victories, just maybe not as soon as we'd like or in the way we'd like. Please know that you ARE doing the right thing and will have a clear conscience.
Listen to Jennifer Sey, formerly of Levi Strauss, or read her book, "Levi Unbuttoned: The woke mob took my job but gave me my voice" and all those medical people who fought against the fear porn of covid and are slowly being vindicated.
Prayers to you and your family for your courage from a grateful citizen.
Poor FBI agent risked his job and his financial future for an idea?
And its obvious the idea no one in this country cares enough about to protest! No beat downs no arrests no burning down buildings nothing just hobahead and steal our elections ( for the second time now)
And the people of this country won't do a damn thing. In summary he risked all this for people who don't deserve the dog crap on the bottom of your shoe. People of Brasil deserve his allegiance not Americans
Greg Hill says
My hat is off to Mr. Friend for adamantly sticking to his oath of office. However I respectfully disagree with his opinion that supervisor Gould violated his own oath. If Gould had believed that the election results from his own county were not valid, then it certainly would have been appropriate for him to refuse to "canvass" them. But that apparently was not the case because the election results for his own county seem to have been legitimate. He is a member of the Board of Supervisors of Mohave County only, and his obligation is to assure the integrity of the vote count within that county only, not within a neighboring county where the laws clearly were broken. I'm sure that as a citizen of the State of Arizona there are plenty of other ways in which he can support the legal cases being filed against state officials and officials in Maricopa County for failing to properly carry out their jobs, and I hope he does so. But failing to canvass the valid results from his own county would have been a violation of his oath of office.
N G says
Some additional context:
It was Cochise County not Mojave County. Fact check.
Kimberly Flege says
Sheryl Attkisson is one of the few journalists that has chosen to be true to her profession, as opposed to the majority who merely parrot each other’s left biased articles.The mid stream media has become communist like in their efforts to release only the information that is pro leftist in nature. The fact that you had to find fault with this article, says a lot about you.
N G says
Every article I can find states that Ron Gould is with the Mojave County BOS.
Glenn Brooks J6#503 says
Don't Gould's words speak clearly. . . for themselves?
Glenn Brooks says
Special Jesse Kruppa in Santa Ana CA swore out the affidavit for the warrants - both search & arrest. . .then brought 11 fellow FBI agents & 6 local LEO in full swat tactical gear with battering ram, riot shield & fully automatic machine guns, dragging my wife & 2 daughters out of bed (6am 7-29-21) as I sat down alone with coffee to read my bible in my quiet peaceful livingroom. I think a couple plain clothed agents coulda worked fine. Maybe just a phone call for four misdemeanors...no violent acts. No shouting. No raising my arms. No kicking. I got there an hour late after it was in its stable declining phase. I am the "J6 nothing burger" you hear about. My neighbors recalled the raid as a warzone. Jesse you terrorized my neighborhood. I've suffered PTSD & continue too. Wife filed for divorce & moved my youngest out of state. Home sold at tragic financial loss. Known terrorist watchlist status on commercial flights included TSA officers being forced to manhandle sweep my genital area 8 times per aircraft (each connecting aircraft required separate searches) - a humiliating DEHUMANIZING experience. My number is $17m.
Shepard Smith says
- The Fascist Bureau of Idiots ARE THE PROUD NAZI enforcement arm of the DemocraT Party !!
- Anyone can clearly see that, right ? Too many similarities.
- Democrat party is patterned after the Nazi regime,
- They coordinate (infiltrate) -use antifa/blm are the Brownshirts !
Like a duplicate pattern of the nazi regime..... https://www.historyhit.com/hitlers-inner-circle/
"... the worst cause for alarm is the thunderous silence from my FBI colleagues."
This is why I have lost faith in the US government. In the end, the government is nothing more than the people of whom it is composed; and, when the preponderance of people are corrupt, so is the government.
This is not a one-off problem that can be cured with an election. The corruption in Washington is endemic and its roots go very deep. A Republican Congress will prove to be toothless, since it must rely on a corrupt DOJ for enforcement; and, with an overwhelmingly corrupted press, its hearings will be largely an exercise in futility.
Revolution is the traditional solution when a system like this breaks down, but revolution in the usual sense would almost surely fail. Nonetheless, revolution is possible. People like Gandhi and Gene Sharp have lighted the way.
Bill Jones says
Who In DC gives a damn about the "oath"? For almost 3 years the fbi terrorist organization has been going after citizens targeted by their gestapo doj.. Every agent who has participated in these nefarious activities needs to face Nuremberg style justice and punishment. They cannot be excused bc they were taking orders.. This solution means this government overthrow will NEVER happen again
Finally, a man of principle that is speaking out on all the corruption at the Bureau. It's hard to believe that all the rank and file have not a twinge of regret in wanting to come forward. Are they so afraid of losing their jobs, their pensions that they cannot see what is going on there?
Mr. Friend your day will come, and you will get the last laugh when people's heads start to roll. In the meantime, Americans have to put up with this third world system of justice.
In eyes of founding fathers much of which thats honored, perpetuated, encouraged under guises of for the greater good and because I know you love this country as much as I do violating inalienable rights, etc these things are outright treason.