Earlier this week, 22-year FBI veteran Peter Strzok was fired from his job, with his superiors “overruling the agency’s normal and independent process by rejecting the decision of the career professionals in the FBI’s disciplinary division” and taking a route which seemed politically motivated.
I had followed Strzok’s story for months, ever since the president began attacking his integrity in what appeared to be an effort to undermine an ongoing investigation into him and his campaign. I knew that Strzok was a man who was immensely respected within the FBI.
He served in the US Army for 5 years before joining the Bureau in 1996. Once at the FBI he quickly climbed the ladder and found himself the lead agent in the FBI’s “Operation Ghost Stories” and in 2010 this operation resulted in the arrest of 10 Russian spies, reminding America that espionage on our own soil was still a common occurrence. For years Strzok surveilled these Russian agents before finally bringing their entire operation to the ground. In doing so, he likely saved lives and prevented sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.
So, as soon as I heard that Strzok had been fired, I searched Google for a gofundme campaign to help him out, and there I found it. It had only been 2 hours since the launch of this crowdfunding campaign, but the campaign had already received $21,000. I sent out two tweets over the next 18 hours and according to gofundme, those tweets helped raise just under $1700 for the campaign. This morning the total amount raised sits north of $370,000, and is likely headed to half a million dollars within short order.
Shortly after my name began appearing on the campaign, as being the individual atop the list of those who raised the most “from sharing,” the emails, Twitter direct messages and tweets attacking me began flowing in faster than water through a broken dam.
The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald, the journalist known for helping Edward Snowden leak a wealth of information related to the NSA’s mass global surveillance program, posted the following image, with my name circled and a sarcastic caption saying “So many amazing things going on here, in just this little excerpt.”
So many amazing things going on here, in just this little excerpt pic.twitter.com/i3KPhW9j9r
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) August 14, 2018
Then came the calls to execute Strzok and throw me in jail:
“Peter Strzok should be executed as a traitor. Raising money for that lowlife should be a crime & not just total stupidity!” Richard Phillips from Lebanon, Ohio told me in a Twitter direct message.
“Hey Dick Lick,” wrote another angry anti-Strzoker, going by the name ‘RedNeck Sua-veh’. “First of all, what one does while employed is not private. Especially as a govt employee. Also, you say loved one. Are you referring to his wife or lover? Credibility issue # 2. One’s behavior and comments especially in his position concerning the President, is deserving of his outcome. So, I’m not as concerned about the private messages/conversation anymore than what I’m sending you. Make it public if you choose. You LPOS. #MAGA.”
“Strzok is a COMMUNIST LIAR and Shithead. He is a poor excuse for an FBI Agent & UR for supporting him over Trump, wrote Dave Gaubatz.
Others decided to use the occasion to point out that I was Jewish, using the triple parenthesis that neo-Nazis and white supremacists commonly use on social media to point out Jewish last names.
“(((@Krassenstein))) being a leech is all he knows,” wrote AleksandrSolzhenitsyn.
One person even accused my brother and I of actually taking all the money for ourselves.
“Bet you this is just Kran-bros grift. Money goes right to them.”
Then there are the conspiracy theorists who tried to equate the fact that I was once raided by Homeland security, but cleared of any criminal wrongdoing back in 2016, to try and make me out to be some deep state agent of sorts.
“You mean like bribing a DHS employee after being investigated by DHS? There are very clear problems indeed.”
It’s really remarkable that so many people have so many opinions on how other people should donate their money. To those throwing hate my way for trying to help a hero of this nation after what appears to be an unjust termination, I will not respond with hate myself, instead opting to Retweet a link to Strzok’s gofundme for every hate message I receive from here on out.