The Justice Department is investigating whether hundreds of FBI agents cheated on a test of new rules allowing the bureau to conduct surveillance and open cases without evidence that a crime has been committed.
In some instances, agents took the open-book test together, violating rules that they take it alone. Others finished the lengthy exam unusually quickly, current and former officials said.
In Columbia, S.C., agents printed the test in advance to use as a study guide, according to a letter to the inspector general from the FBI Agents Association that summarized the investigation. The inspector general investigation also was confirmed by current and former officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.
“There are similar stories for practically every office, demonstrating the pervasive confusion and miscommunication that existed,” Konrad Motyka, the association’s president, wrote May 13 in the letter obtained by The Associated Press.
“Confusion and miscommunication” is almost as good an excuse as “the dog ate my homework”.
Depending on the outcome of the investigation, agents could be disciplined or even fired…
The inquiry threatens to be another black eye for the FBI as it tightens controls after years of collecting phone records and e-mails without court approval…
Such testing is unusual. FBI agents are required to take online training courses to stay current on bureau policies, but pass-fail tests are rare. In 2008, however, when the FBI received more leeway than ever in conducting surveillance and opening investigations, it assured Congress that it would train and test its agents to make sure they knew the rules…
The FBI has a checkered past when it comes to conducting surveillance. From the late 1950s though the early 1970s, the bureau opened hundreds of thousands of files on Americans and domestic groups, including anti-war organizations, civil rights groups and women’s movements. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the bureau collected U.S. phone and computer records without court orders.
Lawmakers and civil liberties groups were concerned that the new rules would allow racial profiling and other abuses. The FBI assured them they would not.
The FBI has always assured everyone – blah, blah! The guarantees were never worth the paper they were printed on.
They are an agency with a history of corruption matching that of the thugs who set their standards – Congress. When our government wishes to snoop in citizens, they call on the FBI. The service extends all the way up to illegal break-ins, planting evidence, distributing slander and concocting lies.
Part of the job description.