THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 497, December 14, 2008
"There's no single Libertarian future, but as many
different futures as there are individuals to create them."
Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise
From the beginning the FBI has had problems. They combine investigating violations of Federal law, interstate criminal activity, domestic counterintelligence, and investigating domestic subversives. It may be necessary to have a police agency dedicated to investigate criminal activity that crosses state borders.
It may even be necessary to have a police agency that enforces Federal Laws either in cooperation or instead of local law enforcement. And obviously we need to keep foreign intelligence agents under control.
However, adding controlling domestic subversives under control has led to the corruption of the FBI. Not the venal corruption of taking bribe money, but the corruption of becoming addicted to abusing power to carry out its mandate. All this derives from the Bureau's first head, J. Edgar Hoover, being unable to distinguish between the dissent encouraged and assured by the First Amendment and subversion. Consider the following abuses that have occurred because of this corruption. All of these are just some of the abuses I've heard in the news over the last 40 years, about half the Bureau's lifetime.
Given the reality of interstate crime we may not be able to abolish the FBI. However it needs to be altered, both by having its brief completely rewritten and by having its leadership purged sufficiently to get rid of its tyrannically inclined institutional culture.