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United States Security Politics

FBI Edits Mission Statement: Removes Law Enforcement As 'Primary' Purpose 539

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the security-trumps-law dept.
schwit1 writes with news that the FBI has altered their declared primary function from "law enforcement" to "national security." From the article: "Following the 9/11 attacks, the FBI picked up scores of new responsibilities related to terrorism and counterintelligence while maintaining a finite amount of resources. 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.'"
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FBI Edits Mission Statement: Removes Law Enforcement As 'Primary' Purpose

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  • Yet another excuse (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Endloser (1170279) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:24PM (#45883553)

    to ignore FOIA.

  • Of course (Score:5, Interesting)

    by epyT-R (613989) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:29PM (#45883569)

    If their motto was about "Law enforcement" they'd at least have to put up the pretense that they are not only objectively enforcing the law, but that they are subject to the law as well. 'National Security' however, gives a whole new sense of self interest to their stated motivations. After all, since when has the Committee for State Security in any non-free nation taken any action that was not in its own best political interests? If anything, I applaud this change as it's a better description of their more recent activities.

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:32PM (#45883585) Homepage Journal

    I suspect they are doing it because they want more "homeland security" funds, and use the mission statement as "evidence" they are multipurpose.

  • by gweihir (88907) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:38PM (#45883639)

    Historically speaking, the US peaked some time ago. There is no way but down now.

    If the US were a modern state, maybe the trend could be stopped, but with waning economic power, over-sized military spending, religion becoming more and more important than science and education, it does look rather like the classical collapse. That one is basically never stopped unless externally. But the US is too large and to removed from the rest of the world for that to be likely to happen. If the US is very lucky, there will not be a totalitarian state before collapse and recovery, but that looks less and less likely.

  • by SumDog (466607) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:50PM (#45883715) Homepage Journal

    Spying under Bush. Retroactive immunity with Obama plus he did nothing to stop the programs.

    There is just one party in the US: Repubcrats / Demolicans

    It's funny when I meet people who think voting still matters.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:02PM (#45883807)

    This is counter-factual and counter-historical. Republicans have always been about expanding both law enforcement and national security programs, including intelligence gathering, at the expense of civil liberties. This has been true going all the way back to Lincoln. It wasn't liberals planting spies among hippies, environmentalists, and other protesters.

    The factual history is that conservatives have always bludgeoned liberals over the head with the "you're weak on security" club. With the rise of neo-liberalism in the 1990s Democrats figured out that if they just stopped protesting conservative law enforcement and defense programs, and went along, that Republicans couldn't claim superiority on domestic and national security issues. This is why Clinton and Obama have passed ridiculous law enforcement laws, invariably at the behest of a GOP-controlled Congress.

    An expansive and powerful police state is the epitome of the conservative, Republican political platform. And this platform has been passively accepted by the Democrats too, because they know it's a losing battle. American society is ridiculously conservative. It's almost always been this way.

    The GOP and DNC are not in collusion. There are very real differences in policies. But the American body politik is also crazy conservative. It's why communism spread like wildfire in Europe but couldn't get so much as a toehold in the United States, even among poor laborers. (Yes, we had the Wobblies, but they were quite tiny relative to other unions, which were all vehemently pro-capitalist, just like today.)

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:13PM (#45883887) Journal

    The two-party gag is merely a ruse

    How many governmental agencies are in charge of "National Security" ?

    Navy
    Army
    Air Force
    Marine
    Coast Guard
    NSA
    CIA
    FBI
    TBA ...

    How many governmental agencies are in charge of "Law Enforcement" ?

    SEC (for financial/security)
    DEA (for drugs)
    ATF (for guns)
    Marshall (for witness protection)

    With FBI withdrawing from "Law Enforcement", who is in charge of interstate criminal activities, racketeering, and so on ??

  • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:18PM (#45883935)
    1) Clearly you haven't been to the airport or crossed the border in YEARS.
    2) The NSA is reading your email, monitoring your phone calls, keeping track of what websites you visit, knows who your Facebook friends are, out to 4 degrees.
    3) Been pulled over for using a cell phone while driving, not wearing a seatbelt, or just asked for some DNA by the friendly police-escorted federal contractors?
    4) Buy a couple ounces of gold. Buy a gun. Write or deposit a check for $10,000 or more. March at a rally. Expect to wind up in a database.
    5) Walk down a big-city street and wave at all the cameras.
  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:19PM (#45883937) Homepage

    Two parties? Apologies, maybe it's the distance, but from over here in Europe it looks like the US has only one party with two slightly differing wings.

    Wing nuts.

  • by demachina (71715) on Monday January 06, 2014 @11:04PM (#45884261)

    Joe Nacchio [wikipedia.org] was sent to Federal prison because he had the balls to tell the NSA he wasn't going to let them spy on Qwest's customers, while ATT, Verizon et al just rolled over and let them do, and back then it was completely illegal, it was years later when Congress retroactively made it legal.

    Nacchio is an unsung hero for having the balls to stand up to the survellience state when it first started and he paid dearly for it.

  • by reboot246 (623534) on Monday January 06, 2014 @11:11PM (#45884311) Homepage
    How far they have come! Remember, the agency that eventually became the FBI could not even make arrests until 1934.
  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday January 06, 2014 @11:35PM (#45884509)
    Opium was outlawed to prevent Chinese and Filipino immigrants from bringing their bad habits to the USA:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_Narcotics_Tax_Act#Domestic_Background [wikipedia.org]

    I suppose in your world, oppressing a specific group of people is not at all political.
  • by Tablizer (95088) on Monday January 06, 2014 @11:45PM (#45884561) Homepage Journal

    Face it, 9/11 made voters stupid also. Everybody was panicked at the time by terrorists smashing planes, trains, and automobiles into stuff; ricin-laced letters, etc. Civil liberties looked like bygone idealism as obsolete as the Brady Bunch's plaid pants (which by now are back in style). Citizens are fickle and think short term. It's as if they just evolved from apes a few million years ago or something.

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @12:27AM (#45884749)

    "No need for that. The more crime (real or imagined) there is, the more people are afraid, stupid and easy to manipulate. "

    Well, it's mostly imagined. Crime has been going steadily DOWN for 20 years. Even serious crimes are down to HALF of what they were 30 years ago.

    But what I want to know is this: since when does the FBI get to amend its own mission statement? Where did they get the authority to do that? (Rhetorical question: they don't have the authority to do that. So either somebody higher up did it, or they did it illegally.)

  • by demachina (71715) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @12:46AM (#45884825)

    It was a MASSIVE economic intervention none-the-ess which is something the GP said Republican's didn't do. The Bush administration indulged in massive picking of winners and losers during the whole crisis.

    Lehman, Bear Sterns, WaMu and Merril Lynch losers.

    Citi, AIG, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo massive winners thanks to Republican help.

    You notice that the Republican Treasury Secretary came from Goldman Sachs and was one of the people responsible for lobbying to allow banks to leverage up to 30-1 so they would be doomed the second a crisis hit? And when the crisis did he he funnelled billions in tax payer money through AIG to keep his old firm from collapsing?

    If Republicans were the free marketeers they claim to be AIG, Citi and Goldman Sachs would be dead now.

  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:32AM (#45885013)

    2008-2016's top issues were, in order: the economy, the economy, and the economy.

    Too bad Obama didn't get that memo. Instead, he wasted precious time on disastrous health care reforms, idiotic foreign policies (aka the "Russian Reset"), inappropriate forays into racially charged domestic news events and a host of other non issues that were either much less important than the worst economy in a generation or simply not important at all. The President should have been focused on the economy from day one in 2008, but instead he took his eye off the ball and fiddled while Rome burned. He was far more interested in ramming through health care reforms quickly, during the brief period of time that his party controlled Congress, regardless of how crude or ill considered, than he was about plight of the American middle class. Obama will be remembered by future generations as the President who presided over the destruction of the middle class, paralyzed by his own ineptitude and blinded by delusions of grandeur. The only consolation is that the people who voted for him, the young, will live long enough to regret it as they face diminished prospects and a bruising fall down the economic ladder climbed in previous generations by their parents and grandparents.

  • by FridayBob (619244) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @08:49AM (#45886469) Homepage

    The US parties may collude on a variety of things (like counterterrorism, or if you prefer, "counterterrorism") but they have significantly differing views on the relationship of the role of government to the citizenry and the economy. ...

    Yes, and lions and hyenas are sworn enemies, but somehow that doesn't matter to you when you're alone on the savannah in the African night.

    The fact is that the ideological differences between the two main parties have become increasingly superficial. The problem is that neither of them work for us anymore: they only work for their donors. That's by far the most corrosive influence on US politics these days: big money. Politicians running for Federal office know that they can't get elected without it. Did you know that 94% of the time the candidate running for the House of Representatives wins if they raise more money than their opponents? It's even 95% for the Senate. And Barack Obama, who was so good at raising all those small donations during the 2012 election cycle, still got 70% of his money from the big donors -- corporations and the super rich who give almost equally to both Republicans and Democrats -- the people who in the last three decades have become the de facto rulers of this country. There is so little disagreement between the two main parties on the really important issues (dragnet spying, military spending, Wall Street crime, taxes on the rich, the war on drugs, energy policy, etc.) because their masters want the same things from both of them. This is why, behind the scenes, the Republicans like to refer to Obama I and II as Bush III and IV. And Congress itself is now basically only a farming operation for K Street, where as lobbyists ex-members of Congress can expect to earn 15x as much as before.

    There is only one solution to this problem: get big money out of politics.

    This would be difficult in any other country with such a thoroughly corrupt political system, but lucky for us the United States Constitution includes Article Five [wikipedia.org], which describes an alternative process through which the Constitution can be altered: by holding a national convention at the request of the legislatures of at least two-thirds (34) of the country's 50 States. Any proposed amendments must then be ratified by at least three-quarters (38 States).

    Is anybody doing this yet? Yes. WOLF-PAC [wolf-pac.com] was launched in October 2011 for the purpose of passing a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that will end corporate personhood* and publicly finance all elections**. Since then, many volunteers have approached their State Legislators about this idea and their efforts have often been met with unexpected bi-partisan enthusiasm. So far, 50 State Legislators have authored or co-sponsored resolutions to call for a Constitutional Convention to get money out of politics! Notable successes have been in Texas, Idaho and Kentucky.

    However, if the State Legislators are also corrupt, why are they helping us? Well, maybe they aren't as corrupt as you think. And even if they are, the important thing is that they seem to be just as fed up with the Federal government as we are -- so much so that they seem quite happy to help out with this effort. After all, it's a pretty simple proposal that speaks to both Democrats and Republicans.

    If you think this idea makes sense, you can sign this petition [wolf-pac.com], donate, or even take action by personally contacting your favorite State Legislator and asking for a meeting. It's easier than you might think and as a result we might be able to change this awful situation sooner than you think.

    .

    *) The aim is not to end legal personhood for corporations, but natural personhood. The latter became a problem following the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, which

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