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Believe it or not this article is actually from Time Magazine. I know surprising eh? There is actually so much too it I am only going to post some snippets just to give you an idea of what they actually cover.
All I know after reading it, was that I sensed a change in the way the wind was blowing. Of course they did fumble the ball a little bit on some things. but I suppose thats a given considering the source. Even still, they did get a lot right and it is much more then we have been used to hearing up till now.
Snippets, Lots of Snippets:
In normal times, the televisions are humming at the FBI’s 56 field offices nationwide, piping in the latest news as agents work their investigations. But these days, some agents say, the TVs are often off to avoid the crush of bad stories about the FBI itself. The bureau, which is used to making headlines for nabbing crooks, has been grabbing the spotlight for unwanted reasons: fired leaders, texts between lovers and, most of all, attacks by President Trump. “I don’t care what channel it’s on,” says Tom O’Connor, a veteran investigator in Washington who leads the FBI Agents Association. “All you hear is negative stuff about the FBI … It gets depressing.”
Many view Trump’s attacks as self-serving: he has called the renowned agency an “embarrassment to our country” and its investigations of his business and political dealings a “witch hunt.” But as much as the bureau’s roughly 14,000 special agents might like to tune out the news, internal and external reports have found lapses throughout the agency, and longtime observers, looking past the partisan haze, see a troubling picture: something really is wrong at the FBI.
The Justice Department’s Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, will soon release a much-anticipated assessment of Democratic and Republican charges that officials at the FBI interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign. That year-long probe, sources familiar with it tell TIME, is expected to come down particularly hard on former FBI director James Comey, who is currently on a high-profile book tour. It will likely find that Comey breached Justice Department protocols in a July 5, 2016, press conference when he criticized Hillary Clinton for using a private email server as Secretary of State even as he cleared her of any crimes, the sources say. The report is expected to also hit Comey for the way he reopened the Clinton email probe less than two weeks before the election, the sources say.
The report closely follows an earlier one in April by Horowitz, which showed that the ousted deputy director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, had lied to the bureau’s internal investigations branch to cover up a leak he orchestrated about Clinton’s family foundation less than two weeks before the election. (The case has since been referred to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., for potential prosecution.) Another IG report in March found that FBI retaliation against internal whistle-blowers was continuing despite years of bureau pledges to fix the problem. Last fall, Horowitz found that the FBI wasn’t adequately investigating “high-risk” employees who failed polygraph tests.
There have been other painful, more public failures as well: missed opportunities to prevent mass shootings that go beyond the much-publicized overlooked warnings in the Parkland, Fla., school killings; an anguishing delay in the sexual-molestation probe into Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar; and evidence of misconduct by agents in the aftermath of standoffs with armed militias in Nevada and Oregon. FBI agents are facing criminal charges ranging from obstruction to leaking classified material. And then there’s potentially the widest-reaching failure of all: the FBI’s miss of the Russian influence operation against the 2016 election, which went largely undetected for more than two years.
The FBI’s crisis of credibility appears to have seeped into the jury room. The number of convictions in FBI-led investigations has declined in each of the last five years, dropping nearly 11% over that period. Indeed, public support for the FBI has plunged. A PBS NewsHour survey in April showed a 10-point drop–from 71% to 61%–in the prior two months among Americans who thought the FBI was “just trying to do its job” and an 8-point jump–from 23% to 31%–among those who thought it was “biased against the Trump Administration.”
Many of the bureau’s woes developed on Comey’s 3½-year watch. They extend beyond the most visible controversies, like the Clinton email and Russia investigations, to his costly confrontation with Apple over unlocking an iPhone used by one of the terrorists in the San Bernardino, Calif., shooting in 2015, and beyond.
Last May, McCabe, then the FBI’s deputy director, sat down at the table in his seventh-floor office for a meeting with two agents from the inspections division. The agents had some questions about the Clinton Foundation leak just before the election. It was a quick meeting. McCabe, an FBI veteran who rose through the ranks over a 21-year career, told them he had “no idea” where the leak came from.
McCabe had offered that same basic assurance months earlier to his boss, then director Comey, investigators said, and had angrily lit into FBI officials under him, suggesting the Clinton leak had come from their offices and telling one senior agent in Washington to “get his house in order.” But as it turned out, McCabe knew exactly where the leak had come from. He personally authorized it, Horowitz’s investigators found, to counter charges that he favored Clinton. (His wife received $467,500 from the PAC of a Clinton ally, then Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, in a failed 2015 bid for state office.) (Even Time mag is outing his wife and the money taken from Clinton)
In September, Horowitz found that bureau investigators had allowed employees with dubious polygraph results to keep their top-secret clearances for months or even years, posing “potential risks to U.S. national security.” In one instance, an FBI IT specialist with top-secret security clearance failed four polygraph tests and admitted to having created a fictitious Facebook account to communicate with a foreign national, but received no disciplinary action for that. (I wonder who that was?)
The article also goes on to mention some of the recent ones they have dropped the ball on. “Nikolas Cruz” from the Parkland Shooting. "Omar Mateen" the shooter from the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and his wife. "Dylann Roof" who shot to death nine African-American parishioners at a South Carolina church. Also mentioned, the Boston Bombers.
In January, a federal judge threw out all the criminal charges against renegade Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy, his two sons and a supporter who had been in an armed standoff over unpaid grazing fees. Judge Gloria Navarro accused the government of “outrageous” and “flagrant” misconduct, citing failures by both prosecutors and the FBI to produce at least 1,000 pages of required documents. The judge said the FBI misplaced–or “perhaps hid”–a thumb drive revealing the existence of snipers and a surveillance camera at the site of the standoff.
A related case in Oregon, growing out of the 2016 takeover of a wildlife refuge by Bundy’s sons and their followers, has not gone well for the FBI either. An agent at the scene, W. Joseph Astarita, is now charged with five criminal counts after prosecutors say he falsely denied shooting twice at an occupation leader who was fatally shot by police, who said he appeared to be reaching for his handgun during a roadside encounter.
The number of convictions in FBI-led investigations dropped last year for the fifth consecutive year–from 11,461 in 2012 to 10,232, according to Syracuse University data, which was obtained under Freedom of Information Act requests.
Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior says a variety of factors could play into the drop in prosecutions and convictions over the last five years, including “de-emphasizing” some crimes under Obama-era policies.
Gina Nichols, a nurse in Minnesota, says she never had strong impressions one way or the other about the FBI until her daughter Maggie Nichols, who was a member of the national gymnastics team, reported three years ago that team physician Larry Nassar had molested her. Gina waited anxiously for the FBI to contact her and interview Maggie. But no one did so for nearly a year as the case languished among different FBI field offices in Indianapolis, Detroit and Los Angeles. Nassar is believed to have molested dozens of additional victims over the course of that year. “It makes you sick,” Gina tells TIME. “I have a child who was sexually abused for 2½ years by an Olympic doctor, and the FBI did nothing.”
Mueller’s Russia probe has found that Moscow’s operation against the 2016 election first got under way in 2014, but the FBI failed to grasp the scope and danger of what was unfolding. The bureau missed the significance of the damaging 2015 hack of the DNC database. The bureau also sat on the disputed “dossier” prepared by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.
A report released on April 27 by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee found that the FBI was slow to confront the election meddling, especially in its failure to notify U.S. victims of Russian hacking quickly enough. The committee also charged that the bureau’s decision to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page was influenced by politics. At the same time, the GOP has pointed to text messages between FBI special agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, which were critical of Trump–as well as many Democrats–to argue the bureau is fundamentally biased.
The most important thing the FBI can do to fix itself? Follow its own rules. In his handling of the Clinton email probe ahead of the 2016 election, Comey acted without telling the Justice Department what he planned to do. Comey is expected to come under fire in the upcoming IG report for breaking with Justice Department rules and norms by assuming authority usually held by prosecutors and speaking in public about a case that did not produce criminal charges, sources with knowledge of the report tell TIME.
Ok my friends, I have gotten you this far. If you are interested in reading the full article you can do so by following this link, Remember I only gave you snippets of it, so you can see there is much more here and worth the read.
The article will appear in the May 14 2018 issue: http://time.com/5264153/the-fbi-is-in-crisis-and-america-is-paying-the-price/