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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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:21PM (#45883539)

    We are a police state regardless of what the Obamaites would have you think.
     
    And this isn't to say that the right was any better but Bush & Company was a lot more honest about what they were up to. The silence from the left is deafening.

    • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:37PM (#45883623) Homepage Journal
      Just own the fact that the cancer is more Progressive than it is partisan. The two-party gag is merely a ruse.
      • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:04PM (#45883827)

        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.

        Seriously. If the main problem for the moderator in a political debate is to find some kind of tiny semantic difference in the position of the two biggest candidates, you know something is not going right.

        • 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 FooAtWFU (699187) on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:26PM (#45884003) Homepage
          It's the distance.

          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. For instance, on the national level, the US Democratic party has been pushing for things like the recent health-care reform laws (for good or ill), additional environmental regulation, increases in the minimum wage, and other increases in taxes and spending which see the government taking a larger role in the economy, including transfer payments (welfare, etc). They also resent military spending as a rule. The Republican party pushes for less government involvement in the economy, lower/flatter tax regimes, market solutions to issues like healthcare and wages, and a regulatory regime which is not simply less stringent, but also more streamlined where it is in fact present (and they do not resent military spending, at least not as a rule).

          Things are different outside the economic arena, true, but 2008-2016's top issues were, in order: the economy, the economy, and the economy. So.

          • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:50PM (#45884161) Homepage Journal

            they have significantly differing views on the relationship of the role of government to the citizenry and the economy

            The debate between R's & D's is not "Should we get our Thelma & Louise on?", but, rather, who gets to drive.

          • by demachina (71715) on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:56PM (#45884205)

            How exactly do you explain the Republican passing Medicare D? That was there Obamacare, though it was more a scheme to throw money to their backers in big pharma than anything. Obamacare is a market solution to Health care.

            The mammoth TARP bailout of big banks was a one one of the most massive interventions in the economy ever and it was Republican lead. Your thesis simply doesn't hold.

            Democrats are throwing just as much money to defense and intelligence since 9/11 as the Republicans. Feinstein, a Democrat, and Leibermen a former Democrat were point men in giving away our civil liberties to the NSA and DHS. In case you haven't noticed most of the big wars in the 20th century were started/fought by Democrats, Vietnam being the worst of the lot.

            There are a bunch of wedge issues the two parties differ on but they are mostly designed to herd people in to the two parties and make them think they have a choice wben really they don't. The wedge issues are unions, abortions, guns, gays. They are emotional hotbutton issues designed to divide people but yhey have very little to do with the stuff that really matters, who controls the power and the money (with the possible exception of unions). Reagan mostly broke the backs of unions and they matter less and less every day outside of government employee unions.

            Republicans are traditionally friendlier to plutocrats but I seriously doubt there is much difference between the two in pandering to rich people. Dems tend to pander to Hollywood celebs and trial lawyers, Republicans to Texas oil men, but they are just pandering to which ever group of rich people will fill their campaign war chests.

            • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @12:09AM (#45884657)

              The mammoth TARP bailout of big banks was a one one of the most massive interventions in the economy ever and it was Republican lead.

              Let's look at the vote [house.gov]:
              For TARP: 172 Democrats, 91 Republicans
              Against: 63 Democrats, 108 Republicans

            • by fatboy (6851)

              Obamacare is a market solution to Health care.

              No it's not. A law who's fundamental structural base forces everyone to purchase a product, is not a market solution. It's the opposite of that.

              A market based solution would remove insurance companies as middle men for purchasing health care. Insurance is supposed to take on the risk that you can't absorb. A Dr's visit for the cold or flu should not be absorbed by insurance, a hospital stay should be. That's the problem these days. The person that is purchasing

              • A Doctor visit for a cold or flu (aside from being entirely unnecessary and useless) is a major expense that many people cannot absorb. If I need to get 4 people (typical family) tested for strep, that is $80 / with most insurances. Without, as you advocate, it's at least $280.

                Many American family's do not have an extra $100 in their budget.
                • You are missing the fatboy's point- at least as I understand it.

                  The REASON that a simple doctor visit is a major expense is because of how we have things structured. If doctors were paid by their patients, there would be plenty of doctors with reasonable advertised costs for a simple doctors visit. A large portion of the decrease in price would come from not having to pay as many middle-men.

                  The inability of so many people to budget for occasional $100 surprises is a different (and very real) problem. Not th

          • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @12:21AM (#45884719)

            but they have significantly differing views on the relationship of the role of government to the citizenry and the economy.

            You're seriously out-of-date. That was the OLD government, 20 years ago.

            Today, they're both a bunch of namby-pambies. The Democrat party gives lip service to the idea of reducing military, but they are now responsible for expanding our military presence around the world more than anybody else, ever. The Republican party has been giving lib-service to the idea of smaller government, but when it actually came to any kind of a fight, they simply caved. If you actually believed the lies on either side, these things would be an absolute mystery to you. But if, like most of us, you don't believe ANY of it any more, it all makes perfect sense and there is no more mystery.

            And don't give me Tea Party guff, either. They aren't a subset of Republicans, and Republicans aren't really Tea Party. GOP has strictly prohibited support for Tea Party from all the major elections, and (as was all over the U.S. newspapers recently) they decided that if they want to win more elections they'll have to reject Tea Party even more, and run on the wishy-washy platforms they were running on 10 years ago. What a laugh.

            It used to be, Democrats were the party of civil rights and social tolerance. Today, they have become extremely INtolerant. (Say anything about gays that isn't genuinely flattering in a crowd of them today, for example, and see how fast you get tossed out. That's not "tolerance", that's intolerance of anything but their pet points of view.) Obama has violated more civil rights than any President in history.

            It used to be, Republicans were the party of fiscal responsibility and small government. But they haven't done anything serious about the budget, and grudgingly allowed Democrats to "force them" (haha) to put this nation in twice as much debt as it was in just a few years ago. They haven't fought Obama's monetary policy. They haven't actually been trying (or not hard, anyway) to reduce government. They have just been going through the motions, so they can pretend that they did.

            The only solution is to shitcan both parties. They have been WAY more trouble than they're worth.

          • 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 Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @10:40AM (#45887211)

              Instead, he wasted precious time on disastrous health care reforms

              I wish people would stop repeating this. It's not true. He wasted precious time on disastrous health insurance reforms. He (and the Democrats) didn't do shit when it comes to health care. Insurance companies do NOT provide any kind of health care. Try going to a Blue Cross/Blue Shield office and asking them for a medical procedure. Why this distinction matters is that the problem with our healthcare isn't so much the insurance, but the out-of-control costs for the care itself (ridiculously expensive hospital bills, compared to what it costs to get the same procedure done in western European private hospitals, for instance). Obamacare didn't do anything at all to fix the problem of these out-of-control costs, it just changed the rules for the insurance that most people use to pay for them, basically spreading the cost out to more people and increasing most peoples' monthly premiums greatly.

          • by EzInKy (115248) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @03:17AM (#45885393)

            Yep they got you too! Either you believe the government dictates to you to protect others particular beliefs or the government dictates to others to enforce your particular beliefs. It seems no one follows the government exists to protect "life, liberty, and happiness" ideal that this nation was founded on.

          • It's the distance.

            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. For instance, on the national level, the US Democratic party has been pushing for things like the recent health-care reform laws (for good or ill), additional environmental regulation, increases in the minimum wage, and other increases in taxes and spending which see the government taking a larger role in the economy, including transfer payments (welfare, etc). They also resent military spending as a rule. The Republican party pushes for less government involvement in the economy, lower/flatter tax regimes, market solutions to issues like healthcare and wages, and a regulatory regime which is not simply less stringent, but also more streamlined where it is in fact present (and they do not resent military spending, at least not as a rule).

            Things are different outside the economic arena, true, but 2008-2016's top issues were, in order: the economy, the economy, and the economy. So.

            I look at it as the Democrats are the Socialist, spread the wealth and tax the working people party and the Republicans are the American Taliban. Kill all the gays and jam some version of the Christian religion down everyone's throat. Neither of them represent the values I have.

          • 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

        • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @12:44AM (#45884811)

          there is one party: rich, mostly white, mostly men, entirely well connected and ultra wealthy.

          they look out for themselves. the rest be damned.

          yes, the two-party system is a hoax. its there (now) to keep us in-fighting and to distract us.

          it mostly works, too ;(

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Aighearach (97333)

            I'm just glad I got to live to vote for the first black President!

            Long live President Clinton!

        • by Aighearach (97333) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:30AM (#45885005) Homepage

          Well, to be fair, any foreign country is going to look that way. Just like Americans see one France, one Germany. Or these days, maybe even one Europe! And you see one USA.

          If you think Kucinich and Bush look like they're from the same political party, it just means you don't know anything about them.

          And if Obama is trying to make a bunch of center-left changes, and Congress is dysfunctional and little change happens, and we have enough Democracy that the President can't make changes by himself without the other elected officials, then to foreigners who mostly only the see the end result, the final policy, it might look fairly consistent over time. But that just means you don't have very much information, not that the different forces are the same.

          • by demachina (71715) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @06:35AM (#45885989)

            Last I heard establishment politicians redistricted Kucinich out of Congress. Kucinich was an outlier and the establishment finally figured out a way to get rid of him because they didn't want to hear his inconvenient truths, or worse have Americans hear them.

            If anything Kucinich is proof that in fact we do have a one party state posing as two. Establishment Democrats hated him as much as anyone.

            The Tea Party is probably the only actual second party we have and its been coopted by a bunch of crazy, opportunist, demagogues like Palin, Beck and Bachman so its regrettably turned in to kind of a bizarro train wreck. It was completely despised by our establishment one party state, and if it hadn't been completely derailed it would have been the greatest threat to that one party state since the Progressive movement a hundred years ago.

      • 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 gweihir (88907) on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:37PM (#45884071)

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

          No need for that. The more crime (real or imagined) there is, the more people are afraid, stupid and easy to manipulate. That has been a top priority of the US administration since 9/11 gave it the prefect pretext to implement measures planned long before.

        • by demachina (71715) on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:58PM (#45884221)

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

          Wall Street?

        • by Nyder (754090) on Monday January 06, 2014 @11:12PM (#45884325) 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 ??

          My guess is they are going to start classifying various crimes as terrorist acts. Thus the FBI will still get to go after them but with better funding and the ability to say they are protecting America from "terrorists".

          • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @12:51AM (#45884853)

            funny: america was CREATED by a bunch of 'terrorists'.

            the english viewed the yanks as such (some still do, to this day).

            the american revolution would not be allowed to happen, if it were today. and many people believe we need a reboot of america, but if we try to change our own government like we did 200+ yrs ago, we'd be arrested and locked away for years without access to lawyers or due process.

            contrary to what some may think, the role of the gov is NOT to keep itself going! they think so, but that was not the original intention of the constitution.

          • My guess is they are going to start classifying various crimes as terrorist acts. Thus the FBI will still get to go after them but with better funding and the ability to say they are protecting America from "terrorists".

            Starting? They're doing it. "Terroristic threatening" is a crime now, and "Weapons of mass destruction" now include grenades and IEDs and the like.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tablizer (95088)

      Bush & Company was a lot more honest about what they were up to

      Oh really? Most of the snooping programs people are complaining about now began or expanded under their watch (just after 9/11), and it took forever to find out where the waterboarding orders came from. You can thank Snowden, not W, for our current knowledge.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SumDog (466607)

        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 Opportunist (166417) on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:09PM (#45883857)

          You know the old saying, if voting could change a thing it had been outlawed ages ago.

          Voting is nothing but the ancient art of legitimation. Every government needed some kind of legitimation to make its rule "acceptable", internally as well as internationally.

          In the good ol' times, the emperor ruled as the son of some god, or as the appointed one of some god. However that appointment came to pass. He was the strongest, the best, the big warlord or simply the son of his father, who in turn was the strongest, best or his father's son, etc. Others ruled right in the name of some God, or in the name of some higher goal or ideal (the latter was especially popular after some kind of revolution). The latest fad now is appointment by the people. Which by itself sounds like a great idea, but let's face it, look around amongst your peers, notice just how stupid the average idiot is an realize that half of the people out there are even stupider. You could just as well let some kind of celestial fairy appoint your leader.

          The crap about it is simply that those that want to rule the world are also the ones who are the least fit to do it. And until that changes, it doesn't matter at all how you appoint your leaders. They'll all suck.

          • by Eskarel (565631) on Monday January 06, 2014 @11:37PM (#45884523)

            Defeatist bullshit.

            Voting works perfectly well, it's just not simple. Voting and policy have a related relationship. If policy will change voting then voting will change policy. If people won't change their vote over an issue then politicians won't change the issue based on votes. The core reality is that the vast majority of Americans don't give a crap about the NSA, certainly not enough to change their vote in the current political climate where the two parties are pushing contradictory world views.

            For the most part this isn't surprising, the vast majority of the news time on the NSA scandal has been manufactured outrage about legitimate foreign targets and the repercussions of revealing the monitoring of those targets. There's been bugger all discussion about what metadata actually is, what it can reveal to the government, and what that means for regular people. People are also perfectly entitled, even if they actually understand all that, to not give a flying fuck.

            • by Uberbah (647458) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @05:04AM (#45885703)

              Defeatist bullshit.

              Idealist bullshit.

              Voting works perfectly well

              It's simply not. The western world is dominated by democracies without democratic outcomes. 60% of the Canadian public votes against the Tories, yet they dominate the government. In the United States, massively popular policies like the Public Option are strangled in the crib by the very politicians who ran on supporting them, while deeply unpopular policies like telecom immunity and military detention sail through Congress.

              You can say voting works when the corrupt motherfuckers are losing elections in droves, to be replaced by people who have some respect for the public and the rule of law.

          • 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.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

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

          It's even funnier when I meet idiots like you who think the only thing to vote on is the President. I had a dozen items to vote on in the last presidential election, including a local Sheriff who won by 3 votes. (yes, three) I guess I should've gone around and convinced four people that voting is pointless, because this guy is a real ass-clown.

    • 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 demachina (71715) on Monday January 06, 2014 @11:18PM (#45884373)

        "It's why communism spread like wildfire in Europe but couldn't get so much as a toehold in the United States"

        The U.S. was pretty left leaning during the progressive era and the Depression.

        World War II and the permenent ascendence of the miltary industrial intelligence complex aided and abetted by J. Edgar Hoover, McCarthy, Reagan and friends who engaged in no holds barred witch hunt to kill communism, socialism, progressivism and unions. Back in those days "communists" played the scape goat role Muslim "terrorists" play today. In the World War I era it was "anarchists".

        The problems with liberals and leftists in the U.S. were they were pretty much all pussies and they couldn't counterpunch with a master like Hoover. Hoover also had the power that comes from knowledge, and he had more knowledge than anyone thanks to all the files he had the FBI build on all of his enemies. If you think the NSA surveillence state isn't dangerous just look back at what Hoover did with a tiny fraction of the information the NSA has.

        • The problems with liberals and leftists in the U.S. were they were pretty much all pussies and they couldn't counterpunch with a master like Hoover. Hoover also had the power that comes from knowledge, and he had more knowledge than anyone thanks to all the files he had the FBI build on all of his enemies. If you think the NSA surveillence state isn't dangerous just look back at what Hoover did with a tiny fraction of the information the NSA has.

          Hoover had an entire security service and the state backing him up. When you are a political organisation being persecuted by the FBI which is being backed to the hilt by the state it self, 'punching back' is a lot easier to say than it is to do.

    • You can blame one party or another if you want. Personally I blame the voters. The stupid, stupid voters. An idiotic, ignorant, apathetic voter base is both necessary and sufficient to get bad politics no matter which party or ideology is in charge. Stupid cowardly voters who are willing to trade their real freedoms for fake security will get that deal from either party. Or independents for that matter. Someone will offer them that deal in order to get power. The party doesn't matter.

      And frankly,
    • There is no left and right in this - there are just two large groups of people misled by sometimes opposing "values". In all aspects that matter, they are exactly the same.

      Put a pitchfork in them, they're clones :P

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Pseudonym (62607)

      Didn't you read TFA? The US isn't a police state because the FBI has defined itself as being no longer the police.

  • by wbr1 (2538558) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:22PM (#45883543)
    ...until the fear mongering military industrial complex bankrupts this country. Rome was not built in a day, but neither did it fall in a day. We are falling now, will we catch it?
    • 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 epyT-R (613989)

        In addition, there's the pandering, divisive influence of identity politics distracting the citizens' attention towards each other.. What better way to get people to vote for bigger government than to bribe one group into dependence while shaming the other out of their self-reliance?

      • by bob_super (3391281) on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:08PM (#45883853)

        Externally, the USA peaked right around 2000.
        The economy was bubbling like crazy. The tech was spreading everywhere. The USSR was long gone. We just mopped the floor with a dictator, proving that we could when nobody else could. Everyone else was marveling at the super-weapons, stealth planes, and wondering what else was in secret store. USA domestic issues were trivial and the biggest problem _seemed_ to be in the pants of the president.
        Remember that time of bliss? Not superpower, unchallenged hyperpower.

        In 2001, the tech bubble burst, the lost jobs to outsourcing became obvious and painful, we pissed off our friends one after the other until late summer, and when they came to offer help, we started behaving like an angry bully who got punched back, as we underestimated what turned into a 13-year war, and planned another one against their best advice. And everyone foreign and domestic became a threat, from 2-year-olds in Iran to wheelchair-bound grandma. Some people got very rich. They probably don't only have assets in dollars.

      • Interesting thesis but facts don't back it up.

        1. Waning economic power. 'Waning' means decreasing. Well it isn't. It's just some alarmist claim, just like when Gen LeMay was going around claiming the Russians had 1500 ICBMs. Well after the fact it was found they had 4.

        2. Over-sized military spending isn't a sign of collapse.

        3. Religion becoming more important than science and education. Um this is not new. Religion has always been #1 in the US. If anything religion is declining in the US.

        http://www.washingt [washingtonpost.com]

  • 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.

    • The FBI isn't becoming the KGB (Committee for State Security) [youtube.com], it's becoming a hybrid of MI5 [wikipedia.org] and the police. (MI5 doesn't have arrest powers.)

      Has al Qaeda decided to stop trying to attack the country? Have the nations that make themselves adversaries of the US decided to stop trying to spy or undermine the US? If not, why would the US stop defending itself?

      • Why does it matter? We have more to fear from bath tubs than Al Quada, and it seems like they lost every competent agent about 12 years ago. The only people more inept are working in intelligence.
    • but that they are subject to the law as well.

      I don't want to start an "is too"/"is not" argument here, but I do have one request of Slashdotters:

      Think about what criteria you would use to judge if you're living in an authoritarian police state, if that distinction is important to you, and what you'd do about it if you decide it is. That might be last year, next year, or in a thousand years - you set the criteria. But do think about it - societies that fail to do so do not turn out well.

  • with the amount of information that Snowden has disclosed about the NSA's "domestic wiretapping" shit, what was the point of the FBI duplicating the efforts??

    it would seem that the NSA already has the ability to know almost anything about anyone...the FBI simply realized it was time for greener pastures.

  • 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 @09:33PM (#45883589)

    The law has not been their guideline for a while now and cannot be changed fast enough for creating a successful police-state in th near future anyways. So assigning it a lesser importance compared to their primary goal is entirely rational.

    For those still clueless: "National Security" as primary government objective was historically called "Police State". It is also not about the security of the citizens either.

  • by gallondr00nk (868673) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:34PM (#45883601)

    Are the two mutually exclusive? Call me naive, but would it be possible to protect national security within the law?

    Actually, don't answer that. They should just change it again to "our primary function is to get more funding" and have done with it.

    • by iluvcapra (782887)

      Are the two mutually exclusive? Call me naive, but would it be possible to protect national security within the law?

      There's this whole legal commentary on the question of wether or not a nation's sovereign jurisdiction extends to those that fight its wars ("Most signs point to no"). It's bound up in the question of wether or not soldiers are bound to follow "illegal" orders ("No, but it's gotta be illegal in the first place"), and wether or not an officer of the government, in exercising this or that autho

  • Fold all these under the DOD and call it a day.
  • We can get rid of the FBI now, right?

  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:43PM (#45883665)

    The degeneration of the federal government is really amazing to watch.

    I hesitate to put blame on anyone for it because we're so politically divided and I think everyone is so factional that we can't get past that. If I say X is responsible then people from X camp will automatically defend them or vice versa.

    Regardless, there are serious problems here and the country could well trend towards tyranny.

    I have even seen editorials in major newspapers calling for a King or the repeal of all sorts of rights past generations risked their lives to protect.

    Its really sort of amazing. Its like a different country altogether. I'd expect to see this sort of thing in the developing world... some unstable backwater. But in the US? Really sort of amazing.

    I'm not sure what is causing it... I just think its in everyone's interest if we take a few steps back and carefully consider what we are doing to ourselves.

    • by l0ungeb0y (442022)

      I'm not sure what is causing it...

      Follow the money

      I just think its in everyone's interest if we take a few steps back and carefully consider what we are doing to ourselves.

      I think it's entirely in some very well monied people's best interests.
      ObamaCare is step one.

      We are well on our way to a Brave New World of Indentured Servitude to our Corporate Masters via Gov't Mandates to buy from them, to be spied on and controlled by them. over time, all Social Welfare programs will be replaced by ones that will be benefit not the people but the Corporations, and we will be Mandated to buy their products or suffer the Tax Penalties.

      Health Care was first, Education Loan

  • Did they change their fact sheet, or definition of "law enforcement"? It looks like they didn't remove "Law enforcement" as their primary objective, but rather renamed it from "law enforcement" to "national security". If they changed what they actually do, then we're looking at no more FBI raids on governmental buildings, as we've seen in the past, as well as a private citizens, for things that used to be covered by the FBI's jurisdiction - and I guess, what state police do that now? Does this mean that
  • by russotto (537200) on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:29PM (#45884023) Journal

    You know who else says "if we don't get your way, buildings will blow up and your country will be less safe"? That's right, Hitl... I mean, Al Queda.

  • Wait a minute. . . (Score:5, Insightful)

    by physicsphairy (720718) on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:54PM (#45884187) Homepage

    '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.'

    Isn't it usually the terrorists who make this argument?

    • Of course.

      State security services == domestic terrorism. That's the whole point.

      A frightened population is a docile population. The only matter is who the people fear more.

  • by InterGuru (50986) <jhdNO@SPAMinterguru.com> on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @12:16AM (#45884689) Homepage

    In the last dozen years we have had about two dozen victims of terrorism and 100,000 victims of gun crime. Yet we are devoting so many more resources to terrorism. The main danger of terrorism is causing overreaction. Bin Laden's strategy [seattletimes.com] was to bankrupt the United States and we are helping him succeed.. The main danger of terrorism is causing overreaction. With this, NSA and Iraq he is on the way to success,

    • by isorox (205688)

      In the last dozen years we have had about two dozen victims of terrorism and 100,000 victims of gun crime. Yet we are devoting so many more resources to terrorism. The main danger of terrorism is causing overreaction. Bin Laden's strategy [seattletimes.com] was to bankrupt the United States and we are helping him succeed.. The main danger of terrorism is causing overreaction. With this, NSA and Iraq he is on the way to success,

      Your post was true 10 years ago, you're way beyond it now. Bin Laden went to his grave knowing he had won, truly and completely. The only question is will China be enough to stop an Islamic superstate from emerging from the forthcoming civil war.

"Never give in. Never give in. Never. Never. Never." -- Winston Churchill

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