Wednesday, November 21, 2007

FBI - Federal Bureau of Incompetents

"Silent enim leges inter arma." - Laws are silent in time of war.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - Who watches the watchers?
Juvenal (wikipedia entry)

I've been reading bad tidings of late for the FBI. It's seems that their Criminal Behavioral Profiling Unit is a sham. The New Yorker article makes for interesting reading and concludes that criminal profiling analyses are as ambiguous as psychic readings. Then I find out that their forensics lab did shoddy work that sent innocents to jail, and the FBI didn't care. The FBI abandoned bullet-lead analysis as a forensic tool in 2004, after the National Academy of Sciences found that bullet chemical composition wasn't a unique marker. One couldn't use it to trace a bullet back to a batch of bullets owned by the defendant. The FBI quietly downplayed the issue and stalled attempts by the Forensic Justice Project to obtain a list of the 2,500 bullet-lead analysis cases. Before these latest revelations, it turns out the FBI hired an illegal alien and gave her a Security Clearance. The woman had ties to Hezbollah which means that the FBI, and subsequently the CIA, were possibly penetrated by a known terrorist group. I say possibly because giving money to Hezbollah could mean many things. Was the money used for charity or was it used to train or recruit terrorists? Basically, this woman just showed that the Security Clearance background checks are practically useless. The FSB must be rolling on the floor laughing.

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Comments:
The FBI has probably stayed cleaner than the CIA (at least :).

Its the CIA that has pursued the President's rendition covert action program. The FBI also knocked back involvement in warrantless wiretaps - that job defaulted to the NSA (which normally doesn't do domestic directly).

FBI agents were also higly critical of Gitmo.

So its a case of ups and downs for vast organizations.

Pete
 
I always liked the New Yorker Magazine, still do, wish I could read it more often, thanks.
 
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