Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 497, December 14, 2008

"There's no single Libertarian future, but as many
different futures as there are individuals to create them."

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Clean up the FBI
by A.X. Perez
perez180ehs -+at+-

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

From the beginning the FBI has had problems. They combine investigating violations of Federal law, interstate criminal activity, domestic counterintelligence, and investigating domestic subversives. It may be necessary to have a police agency dedicated to investigate criminal activity that crosses state borders.

It may even be necessary to have a police agency that enforces Federal Laws either in cooperation or instead of local law enforcement. And obviously we need to keep foreign intelligence agents under control.

However, adding controlling domestic subversives under control has led to the corruption of the FBI. Not the venal corruption of taking bribe money, but the corruption of becoming addicted to abusing power to carry out its mandate. All this derives from the Bureau's first head, J. Edgar Hoover, being unable to distinguish between the dissent encouraged and assured by the First Amendment and subversion. Consider the following abuses that have occurred because of this corruption. All of these are just some of the abuses I've heard in the news over the last 40 years, about half the Bureau's lifetime.

  • Bugging Martin Luther King Jr. and trying to blackmail him into backing down on the pursuit of civil rights because of his proclivity for adultery. There is no excuse for adultery, but Dr. King's personality flaws do not detract from the importance of his message.

  • Infiltrating agents provocateurs into anti Vietnam War groups and the Ku Klux Klan. Obviously it can be argued that having spies in groups inclined or potentially inclined to using criminal violence to achieve their goals is part of law enforcement. However inciting these crimes and taking the lead in planning and executing them is another. Some (me for instance) would say it's the kind of criminality the FBI was created to prevent.

  • Trying to find ways to end run 4th Amendment restrictions on eavesdropping in criminal investigations.

  • Ron Horiuchi's murders.

  • Excusing Horiuchi's murders on what amounts to claims of sovereign immunity.

  • Trying to con Richard Jewel into giving up his Miranda rights so they could trick him into falsely confessing to the Atlanta Olympics bombing.

  • Forcing Dr. Lee to confess to espionage by the expedient of holding him in jail and delaying his trial until he confessed and received a suspended sentence. This one was so raw the judge actually apologized if I remember correctly.

  • Carelessness in maintaining the chain of evidence for their labs, after getting themselves labeled the World's premiere crime labs.

  • The current Director of the FBI complaining that recognition of the right of honest people to keep and bear arms would make his job more difficult instead of vowing to protect this right as part of his job to enforce the Constitution as the the highest law of the land.

Given the reality of interstate crime we may not be able to abolish the FBI. However it needs to be altered, both by having its brief completely rewritten and by having its leadership purged sufficiently to get rid of its tyrannically inclined institutional culture.


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