Articles

Agent: FBI ill-equipped to Combat Terrorism

In Crime, U.S government, war on terror on May 25, 2008 by Editor Z


This past week in hearings before a Judiciary subcommittee in the U.S House of Representatives, an FBI agent testified; informing the panel that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has fallen short of the requirements necessary to effectively guard the country against terrorism.

Bassem Youseff,an FBI agent has spoken out about unresponsive superiors, legally questionable national security letters, and a lack of familiarity with the culture, language, and thinking of Middle Eastern terrorism.

So despite all the talk of fighting terrorists and winning the ‘war on terror’, we need to start looking at the institutions we have and learning how to reform them so our country can be protected; instead of invading nations like Iraq who don’t present a threat.

L.A TIMES:

Agent Bassem Youseff said that counter-terrorism agents and managers at FBI headquarters often lack knowledge about Middle Eastern Culture, language, and terrorist ideology. Compounding matters, he said, is the fact that the FBI has continued to name supervisors to anti-terrorism positions who have little or no experience outside traditional law enforcement.

The result, he said, is that agents are wasting resources chasing leads that more sophisticated observers would quickly dispense with. The time and energy expended on marginal cases have diverted resources from investigating more substantial threats, Youssef said.

“The FBI counter-terrorism division is ill-equipped to handle the terrorist threat we are facing,” he told a House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee considering legal protections for government whistle blowers working at National Security agencies such as the FBI.

“Regardless of what happens to me when I walk into the Hoover building [FBI headquarters] tomorrow that is what I hope to convey to you,” said Youseff, one of several who testified at the hearing.

Another Ex-agent, stated that he was ordered to keep quiet after discovering that the agency had illegally wiretapped a Neo-Nazi organization meeting with another hate group.

The FBI responded to the testimony by stating in a press release that the comments were “limited in scope” and that since the terrorist attacks of September 11in 2001 and said that since then the Bureau has made “great strides” in the arena of combating terrorism.

But Senator Chuck Grasley (R-Iowa), who also testified before the House Subcommittee, agrees that the FBI’s unwillingness to conform with the changes needed fotr the agency to effectively combat terrorism.

“The FBI is one of the most powerful and least transparent, organizations in the federal government,” he said. “Underneath all the good things the FBI does, unfortunately, there is a history of abuse, mismanagement, and retaliation so strong that it has become part of it’s organizational structure.”

MY TAKE: The problem it appears is that we invest so much in wanting to start needless wars (such as in Iraq), creating new bureaucracies like the bloated and often inept Homeland Security Department, instead of doing the smaller things that could add up to make a more effective agency that can actually fight terrorism.

Also with things such as warantless wiretaps, domestic spying, and telecom amnesty, the white house and agencies such as the FBI are spending so much time chasing frivolous leads, amassing power that they can’t legally have, trying to justify such seizures of power, and protecting their own political interests that we don’t end up enacting the more efficient and vital measures such as guarding our sea ports, our borders, our airports, railways, infrastructure, power plants, and chasing leads that seem like they could actually lead to the capture of a terrorist, instead of spying on such a vast number of Americans and chasing every little thing with so few resources.

If the Bush/Cheney administration spent half as much time implementing these measures instead of accusing their political rivals of being soft on terror, distorting the constitution, amassing dangerous levels of power in the executive branch, justifying their invasion and occupation of Iraq, and picking fights with every country led by a tyrannical regime, we could actually be safer and stronger in the fight against terrorism and those who wish to harm America. Instead we find ourselves unpopular, distrusted, weak, and with a Military under extreme stress.

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