FBI no longer primarily a crime-fighting agency


#1

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#2

Well, national security does sound a lot more patriotic, doesn't it?


#3

Law Enforcement =/= National Security

Except in Spook-speak.

Which leads me to the conclusion that, for spooks, English is a weakly typed language.


#4

Out of all of the authors who wrote about the future, George Orwell is clearly leading the pack.


#5

One down, when will they update bullet point #2? ...


#6

With the NSA doing it all for them, they'll no longer need to keep a file on anyone. Especially since they're no longer doing law enforcement and therefore need not do any serious research or analysis on suspects.


#7

It only takes excluding one person to keep point #2 technically true.


#8

''the FBI does not keep a file on every citizen of the United States*.

*there are new people being born every second...''


#9

One could argue that law-enforcement and fighting crime are similar but not the same, depending what law you're enforcing, and for who, or why...


#10

As David Lesher said in The Risks newsletter back in 2005:

"I am reminded of the {alleged} quota scheme in the FBI. For years, no agent would willingly undertake terrorism cases, as such are long, time consuming and fraught with failure. Stick to the meat & potatoes of doofus bankrobbers, and you'll get promoted.

So the PHB's made terrorism cases carry more weight... Result? Now jaywalking and felony mopery are charged as terrorism..."


#11

This "national security" is just cover for the real reason for the FBI -- to protect us from the Monsters of the Week -- flukemen, Eugene Tooms, etc. Of course they end up pairing the agents involved in that with a partner who always seems to doubt the existence of such things even after seeing concrete evidence of them week after week...


#12

This isn't anything new, as today's Democracy Now program covers the activists who broke into a FBI office over 40 years ago in order to prove a similar thing:

"It Was Time to Do More Than Protest": Activists Admit to 1971 FBI Burglary That Exposed COINTELPRO
http://www.democracynow.org/2014/1/8/it_was_time_to_do_more

However there were new rules put in place to deter the FBI's poor behavior a few years after that. Guess they got rid of the old rules, and now national security is a matter for advertising rather proudly about it instead.


#13

As pointed out on Twitter by Jesselyn Radack (@JesselynRadack) ".3 of 1% of crime in US affects 'natl security.'" As pointed out by many others on Twitter, if the FBI's main purpose is "national security", what is the purpose of "Homeland Security"?

Of course, the odd thing about all of this is that by diverting so many resources and attention to "terrorism" and "national security", we are actually making the country weaker by diverting resources and attention from white-collar crime, and other problems mentioned in the linked article. With the outrageous amounts we spend on defense, and all of the internal changes since 9/11, we are like the man who spends all of his time and money installing state-of-the-art security systems outside and inside his house, all the while totally ignoring the termites and rot in the foundations and the roof, and ignoring his starving family. Is the house "secure" at all?


#14

This coincides interestingly with the release of the book "The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI" and the revealing of the identities of three of the activists who broke into an FBI field office in 1971 uncovering the FBI's COINTELPRO activity. The activists discovered that the agency was instructed to disrupt the political activities of Administration opponents and civil rights activists... basically act like a political police force.

This sounds like a formal return to those practices. My what short memories we all have.

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/1/8/it_was_time_to_do_more


#15

Now, hey! Don't you be hating on the Wealth-Creators like that!


#16

Gee, I wonder if changing that wording will get them more funding and make their actions less open to scrutiny? The FDA and Bank Regulators needs to jump on that bandwagon.


#17

Cut their budgets, take their weapons, layoff 85%, and strip their power. Remove them from ALL national security responsibility and let them do what they were originally mandated to do, investigate bank robberies.


#18

Before it was federalised in 1908, the FBI was known as the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Their bread and butter was union-busting. The more things change....


#19

This is something that comes up more than once in The Wire; the Baltimore Police Department will ask the FBI for help, and find out that the FBI had more than enough resources to spare... if the BPD can somehow make the case about national security.


#20

The FBI used to be one of the main investigators of financial crimes, large scale frauds, etc.

We don't really prosecute those anymore, of course, so why bother.

*btw: pinkerton federalized??? huh?
A) Pinkerton still exists! I once had a background check from them for a new job, so I would imagine they are still busting unions at some level. Actually it looks like it has split into several pieces over the 163 years.
B) Wikipedia says the FBI's investigation methods were modeled after Pinkerton and another big detective agency, but says nothing about "federalizing" it.

**double btw: Didn't this fbi mission change happen like two years ago? I know I was depressed by it before.