The Federal Bureau of Investigations has rewritten its mission statement:
The FBI’s creeping advance into the world of counterterrorism is nothing new. But quietly and without notice, the agency has finally decided to make it official in one of its organizational fact sheets. Instead of declaring “law enforcement” as its “primary function,” as it has for years, the FBI fact sheet now lists “national security” as its chief mission.
As the FBI’s own history shows, the agency has sought to justify and expand its role throughout its existence:
Today, most Americans take for granted that our country needs a federal investigative service, but in 1908, the establishment of this kind of agency at a national level was highly controversial. The U.S. Constitution is based on “federalism:” a national government with jurisdiction over matters that crossed boundaries, like interstate commerce and foreign affairs, with all other powers reserved to the states. Through the 1800s, Americans usually looked to cities, counties, and states to fulfill most government responsibilities. However, by the 20th century, easier transportation and communications had created a climate of opinion favorable to the federal government establishing a strong investigative tradition.
The impulse among the American people toward a responsive federal government, coupled with an idealistic, reformist spirit, characterized what is known as the Progressive Era, from approximately 1900 to 1918. The Progressive generation believed that government intervention was necessary to produce justice in an industrial society. Moreover, it looked to “experts” in all phases of industry and government to produce that just society… ((that’s called “technocracy,” by the way… –Jemison))
When the Bureau was established, there were few federal crimes. The Bureau of Investigation primarily investigated violations of laws involving national banking, bankruptcy, naturalization, antitrust, peonage, and land fraud. ((remember this… we’ll come back to those topics shortly. — Jemison))
As the ‘Progressive’ obsession with creating utopia through government fiat crept into every area of life, however, the number of federal laws proliferated accordingly. A good portion of those laws–as many are today–were passed by crusading “do-gooders” without broad support for their agenda. The prime example of this would be the Prohibition Era, with strong echoes in today’s “War on Drugs.”
The years from 1921 to 1933 were sometimes called the “lawless years” because of gangsterism and the public disregard for Prohibition, which made it illegal to sell or import intoxicating beverages. Prohibition created a new federal medium for fighting crime…
In other words, not only did Prohibition provoke widespread disrespect for ‘the law,’ it provided an artificial excuse to increase the size and scope of Federal ‘crime fighting.’ More recently, Uncle Sam issued 141 new regulations in just the first three days of 2014. How much expansion of ‘crime fighting’ is such constant additions to the Federal register likely to create?
There is a reason, though, the FBI is leaving behind the era of the “Untouchables” to dive officially into national security. It’s called “follow the money:”
What’s not in question is that government agencies tend to benefit in numerous ways when considered critical to national security as opposed to law enforcement. “If you tie yourself to national security, you get funding and you get exemptions on disclosure cases,” said McClanahan. “You get all the wonderful arguments about how if you don’t get your way, buildings will blow up and the country will be less safe.”
Translation: more money, more authority, relief from your original functions, a license to fearmonger, and reduced accountability. Pretty much the playbook for the entire federal government over the last decade. Besides, it sounds much cooler to say you fight al Qada than to say you go after privileged criminals (including some known as ‘Congresscritters‘ and their minions) who game the U.S. system to their advantage.
According to a 2007 Seattle Post-Intelligencer investigation, the Justice Department did not replace 2,400 agents assigned to focus on counterterrorism in the years following 9/11. The reductions in white-collar crime investigations became obvious. Back in 2000, the FBI sent prosecutors 10,000 cases. That fell to a paltry 3,500 cases by 2005. … As a result, the agency fielded criticism for failing to crack down on financial crimes ahead of the Great Recession and losing sight of real-estate fraud ahead of the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis.
Almost makes you think 9/11 became a great smoke screen for the looting and pillaging of America, doesn’t it?
Rest well, citizens…