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  • Writer's pictureTerry Turchie

What Happened to the FBI?

That is a question many Americans have been asking.

Appointed by Attorney General Harlan Fiske Stone, J. Edgar Hoover became the Director of the Bureau of Investigation in 1924. Hoover assumed command of an agency that had close to 700 employees, 450 of them Special Agents. Taking on complaints of corruption within the agency he led, Hoover tightened requirements for his agents, established tough rules for new hires, and began the process of revolutionizing law enforcement with the addition of fingerprint and forensic laboratory services to the Bureau’s operations. By 1935, the Bureau of Investigation had become the Federal Bureau of Investigation-the FBI.

Years of hard work and adherence to integrity and the rule of law by thousands of men and women, who entered its ranks, made the FBI the most legendary crime fighting agency in the world. Director J. Edgar Hoover remained on the job for 50 years, turning a U.S. government agency into a brand name. Adding national security, counterintelligence, espionage and sabotage to its list of responsibilities as America entered World War II, Director Hoover and the Bureau became synonymous with truth, justice and the American way.

It didn’t take long for Hollywood to adopt the FBI’s relentless pursuit of spies, bad guys, crooks and cons to its movies and television shows. A legend was born. When Terry Turchie joined the FBI as a clerical employee after graduating from Sacramento State College in California in 1972, the agency could do no wrong and continuously topped polls of American citizens as one of their most trusted institutions. The FBI’s shootouts with violent mobsters capture of Nazi saboteurs, and identification of Soviet “moles,” living inside the United States under deep cover identities made Americans from all walks of life and all ages feel safe and protected by the agency that never slept.

When America was besieged by the ambush and murder of police officers and terrorist bombings in the 1970’s, inspired by the communist minded Weather Underground revolutionaries and Black Panther Party, politicians again turned to the FBI to stop the violence, identify those responsible and bring them to justice. The FBI responded. A domestic counterintelligence program was launched to stop the violent attacks on America’s institutions. An operation with the code name, COINTELPRO, was directed at the Black Panther Party and Weather Underground.

The Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army were responsible for upwards of 70 attacks on police officers between 1970 and 1976, resulting in 13 police officers murdered. American political leaders in both parties were fully aware that the FBI had taken aggressive steps to stop the violence tied to these organizations. But when COINTELPRO came to light following Watergate, Democrats and Republicans alike condemned the FBI’s spying on American citizens.

The consequences were immediate and sweeping. The FBI closed down its Domestic Intelligence Section and ended all of its domestic intelligence gathering activities. Many of its routine contacts and information sharing with local law enforcement ended as well.

New guidelines were established and implemented by Attorney General Robert Levi for the conduct of counterintelligence investigations. Congress passed legislation in the form of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which created a separate FISA Court to consider requests for national security related wiretaps and searches. FBI agents working counterintelligence investigations were not permitted to share what they had gained with fellow agents conducting criminal investigations. This prohibition became known as The Wall. It was common knowledge inside the Department of Justice and the FBI. Everyone knew that violating the rules of The Wall could potentially cost an agent his or her job if reported to the Intelligence Oversight Board.

The FISA wall was in place when terrorists slammed airplanes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and crashed another into the Pentagon, and a third into a field outside Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2001.

When this act of war was committed against the United States, FBI agents in the New York City Office were in hot pursuit of individuals whose arrests might have stopped the 9/11 conspiracy. Their whereabouts were possibly known to the CIA and the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters. That information wasn’t shared with New York criminal agents because of The Wall.

The FISA legislation passed by Congressional politicians with great fanfare in the 1970’s to curb potential FBI abuse, resulted in the end of liberty for over 3000 people murdered in the simultaneous terrorist attacks on American targets.

During the summer of 2001, just one week before the 9/11 terror attacks, Robert Mueller was appointed Director of the FBI by President George W. Bush. Thirty-nine days before the attack, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont in his oversight role on the FBI as Chairman of the Senate Oversight Committee on the Judiciary, said, while focusing on threats the Bureau posed to Civil Liberties in the United States. He deplored the problematic nature of the “FBI culture.”

Senator Charles Grassley piled on, commenting that the FBI had “a cowboy culture” and a “management culture that’s at fault.” The push was not only to get Mueller confirmed but to a reformation of the FBI, one that would be answerable to political forces. Mueller’s installation was a natural. He had been in the political world and knew how the game was played. He had been a career prosecutor and Assistant Attorney General.

During his first ten years as FBI Director, Mueller played the game and let political forces apply pressure on the FBI resulting in the FBI Reform Act of 2002 sponsored by both Grassley and Leahy.

The Act gave Congress the “hands-on” approach” it had long wanted. Mueller played the game, knew where the power was, and spent the next ten years changing the FBI culture. He brought Maureen Baginski in from the National Security Agency and Philip Mudd from the CIA. Mueller placed intelligence collection on an equal footing with the FBI’s criminal investigations. Mueller then created Field Intelligence Groups (FIGs) in FBI Field Offices. Investigations, long the FBI’s strong suit began to take a back seat to analysis in the FBI, resulting in a thirty percent reduction in criminal investigations.

Revolutions start long before the first shot is fired. The American Revolution started in 1765 when England passed the Stamp Act giving rise to “Taxation without Representation”. It was the birth of Americanism.

The street rioting in 2020, which has resulted in looting, arson, and destruction of parts of major American cities, along with demands for reparation and cries of systemic racism, reparations for slavery, and intimidation and bullying of white citizens claiming they represent white privilege and supremacy,started in the 1970’s.

The attack on America’s police and policing structure (one of the most advanced and disciplined in the entire world) comes directly from the communist ideology of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Opposite to the national emotion of 1765, the revolutionary emotion of 2020 is for international solidarity, communism under the cloak of socialism. The birth of anti-Americanism began 50 years ago and today is carried forward by the Marxist oriented Black Lives Matter, Antifa, a variety of political and violent movements with the goal of toppling the U.S. government. The Democratic Party of today has been overtaken by the communist virus, mutating and more dangerous than ever before.

Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, with a little help from a few Republicans, went to work on the FBI. In a few short years they returned it to the bad old days before 1924. For sixty -six years under Hoover’s administration and his successors, the FBI epitomized all that was good and true.

Then something happened. What caused the dramatic shift in the public perception of the FBI?

The culture changed. Robert Mueller became Director and allowed politicians to help manage the FBI. Mueller replaced the FBI’s successful formula of Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity with Diversity, Equality and Social Justice.

In 2011, Obama asked Mueller to stay on. He did for two more years,then Comey, protégé in waiting, stepped in. Mueller used the extra two years Obama granted to accelerate the pace of his changes in the FBI. A highly competitive process to recruit the absolutely best qualified people for the Special Agent position was replaced by a system that prioritized the hiring of a wide range of minorities and women to appease the American ministers of political correctness.

Hiring, training, promotions, future leaders- all changed. FBI traditions of sending new agents to a field office where they were mentored by senior agents in the Bureau’s investigative work and the importance of the FBI’s relationship with the public gave way to emphasis and training in areas like social justice.

This emphasis carried through in promotions to higher positions, which brought even more attacks on the FBI as an institution. Mueller sent the agents he selected to fill FBI Executive Leadership ranks to the Kellogg School of Executive Management. The once proud and proven formula that placed and maintained the FBI as the U.S. government agency most trusted by America’s citizens for decades, vanished.

When FBI employees tried to fire some warning shots, no one listened. The rank and file in the Bureau, long upset at the demoralizing changes Mueller implemented in the Bureau, sent Comey a letter of welcome and with due courtesy advised him that the FBI had been “led in the wrong direction.”

Neither that courtesy nor a reply was reciprocated by the new Director. In a few short years, the FBI’s hard -earned reputation for fairness and incorruptibility was gone, another victim of the communist virus which is now directly attacking the rule of law in America and our Constitutional Republic.

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