Time: Tue Jul 22 17:59:17 1997
	by primenet.com (8.8.5/8.8.5) with ESMTP id RAA22224
	for [address in tool bar]; Tue, 22 Jul 1997 17:58:55 -0700 (MST)
	by usr10.primenet.com (8.8.5/8.8.5) with SMTP id RAA05118;
	Tue, 22 Jul 1997 17:57:03 -0700 (MST)
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 17:56:33 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Washington Post on FBI (fwd)

>"Is the FBI Becoming Too Powerful? Public Safety and Civil Liberty in the
>Era of Louis Freeh?"  Washington Post Magazine, July 20, 1997 written by
>Jim McGee
>Here are some key quotes, with emphasis added (all caps) here and there
>for editorial purposes
>"On May 9, 1995, FBI Director Louis J. Freeh finished a letter that set
>down his vision of the bureau's future.  It was just three weeks after the
>bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, the
>worst act of DOMESTIC TERRORISM in U.S. history."
>"Louis Freeh has obtained most of what he sought in that 1995 letter--and
>more.  The bureau's budget has soared, INCREASING 47 PERCENT from $2.1
>billion when Freeh took over to $3 billion in the current fiscal year.
>Jurisdiction over new areas has been assigned to the FBI.  The CIA has
>been integrated into the FBI's operating system..."
>"They are building something America has never really had before: a robust
>national police system."
>"The argument against consolidation is that it may create a concentration
>of federal police power at odds with American tradition--power that,
>history suggests, MIGHT EVENTUALLY BE ABUSED by an unscrupulous FBI
>"Hardly anyone in Congress is worried that Freeh is going to abuse the
>power being handed him these days;  if they worry at all, they tend to
>worry about who may come after Freeh, or what may occur in spite of him."
>"Of course, implicit in the support Freeh has won is a viewpoint that many
>Americans find acceptable today, but which would have been highly
>contentious only 20 years ago.  The FBI can be trusted."
>"Under the looser (Reagan Atty. Gen. William French) Smith guidelines in
>the '80s, the FBI had great success against terrorists.  The bureau
>hammered down the rate of domestic political violence to virtually nil and
>estimates that it prevented more than 50 planned terrorist attacks."
>"The teletype affirmed that FBI agents should now feel comfortable in
>being more aggressive in their preliminary domestic investigations--and
>not just of groups.  'Now we can take a look at individuals,' is how
>Robert M. Blitzer, head of the FBI's domestic counterterrorism section,
>described this change in an interview."
>'As a result, the number of open domestic security investigations has
>risen from appoximately 100 in 1995 to more than 800.  The basic change,
>FBI officials say, reflects a greater number of investigations of suspect
>individuals, as opposed to groups."
>"'I consider it my job' to ensure that civil liberties are not violated,
>Attorney General Reno said in an interview, 'and so far nobody's pointed
>out to me where we have failed.'"
>"The changes at the FBI do not only involve amending old rules and
>widening jurisdiction.  The agency is also interweaving itself with the
>rest of the NATIONAL SECURITY establishment.
>"One example can be found each weekday morning at FBI headquarters, where
>ARMY COL. John J. Ellis reports for duty in plain-clothes.  In his back
>pocket are FBI credentials, which get him through security...to the FBI's
>new counterterrrorism center, where Ellis serves as a deputy section
>"With more than 100 staff members, the center is the hub for a much
>larger FBI-led counterterrorism bureaucracy that reaches major U.S.
>cities through a network of 13 Joint Terrorism Task Forces, where agents
>and local police detectives gather intelligence on POLITICAL ACTIVISTS OF
>ALL KINDS who MIGHT be inclined toward violence."
>"Freeh sees all these changes as a natural and necessary evolution of
>federal policing in response to serious threats.  As he said in a speech
>delivered not long after the Oklahoma City bombing, 'We do not have a
>civil liberties crisis in America.  Nor are we under siege by enemies,
>domestic or foreign.  Americans do not have to make a choice NOW between
>safety or freedom... (ellipsis in the original)
>"'But at the same time,' he continued, 'we have not spent over 200 years
>carrying out history's most successful experiment in liberty to have it
>destroyed by crime, fear, and terrorists.'
>"Such are Louis Freeh's good intentions, that much seems clear.  Where the
>road they pave will lead is a murkier question."

Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

tel:     (520) 320-1514: machine; fax: (520) 320-1256: 24-hour/day-night
email:   [address in tool bar]       : using Eudora Pro 3.0.3 on 586 CPU
website: http://www.supremelaw.com   : visit the Supreme Law Library now
ship to: c/o 2509 N. Campbell, #1776 : this is free speech,  at its best
             Tucson, Arizona state   : state zone,  not the federal zone
             Postal Zone 85719/tdc   : USPS delays first class  w/o this

As agents of the Most High, we came here to establish justice.  We shall
not leave, until our mission is accomplished and justice reigns eternal.
[This text formatted on-screen in Courier 11, non-proportional spacing.]


Return to Table of Contents for

Supreme Law School:   E-mail