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Former U.S. Secret Service agent Dan Bongino warned Wednesday against conservatives pushing for increased federal surveillance after a former convict was arrested as a suspect in Tuesday’s New York subway shooting.
On “The Dan Bongino Show”, Bongino described what he called the “Walking Dead” theory – in a nod to the popular television show – and how it should serve as a warning to those wanting the feds to be more deliberate in their surveillance via “watchlists” and other tools, in the wake of the Sunset Park, Brooklyn shooting.
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He noted Frank R. James, who was arrested in connection to the shooting, had previously been interviewed by the FBI but still was able to go on to commit the mass shooting.
“You have to be very careful with this stuff – apparently, some of these [social media] posts were indicative of someone who was really disturbed… but I saw a couple of conservative accounts – and I get what’s going on, I’m not trying to knock anyone or be holier than thou — but they were like, ‘Oh my gosh. What is the FBI doing – How did they mess this up?’,” he said.
Bongino warned about giving the FBI more power after their conduct in regards to ‘SpyGate’, the “Russia collusion hoax”, the handling of Hunter Biden’s laptop and the fallout from the case against a pair of men acquitted in a kidnapping plot against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
“I was in law enforcement. We should be held to a higher standard. The FBI has messed up big time, and they have a major league housecleaning to do. So nobody has been more interested in that than me,” he said.
He countered those calling for more watchlists, heftier surveillance and other tools could backfire on conservatives. He went on to describe how an allegory from “The Walking Dead” illustrates the case well – pointing to a plotline where the initial survivors of a zombie apocalypse decide to seek refuge in old prisons.
“Who voluntarily walks into a prison? – The answer his people, who are scared of what’s outside,” he said. “And, that’s why the left loves – fear– they’d love nothing more than they would like that cause of public-safety/chaos situation where we’re the ones calling for an empowered FBI and elsewhere to start watchlists of people, because you’ll find yourself on the watch list next — one of my biggest fears.”
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Bongino recounted working in the Secret Service outside of New York City in the days after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks. He said Americans would call in to his bureau with even the most mundane-seeming potential red-flags.
He recounted the case of one concerned citizen calling his office to alert them that an “Arab” neighbor was out walking to get his mail and that he was watching him closely. Many of the 9/11 conspirators hailed from Saudi Arabia. Bongino warned that that is exactly the wrong way to surveil potential suspects.
“There is no doubt our Federal Bureau of Investigation and our police departments should be able if they get a tip that a guy wants to kill someone and the guy posts something publicly on social media, you’re not spying on him,” he said, appearing to refer to James’ virulent social media posts about New York Mayor Eric Adams and repeated epithets toward White people.
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Calling for watch lists and stronger surveillance tools are “the kind of stuff that can get us into trouble later,” he said, warning that the leftist establishment wants nothing more than to use such tools against their political enemies – conservatives and center-right Americans.