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Senate Questions Re-Write of FBI Investigation Guidelines
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2008 11:08:19 -0400



Begin forwarded message:

From: Brock N Meeks <bmeeks () cox net>
Date: September 23, 2008 10:44:52 AM EDT
To: dave () farber net
Subject: Senate Questions Re-Write of FBI Investigation Guidelines

Yes, our financial system teeters on the edge of a big, black abyss... meanwhile there is still that pesky little business to attend to called "everything else."

While Wall St. burns, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (where only VIPs are allowed to peek behind the curtain of the 'intelligence community'), will conduct a hearing -- a PUBLIC hearing -- on new Attorney General Guidelines governing FBI investigations and the collection of domestic intelligence. The Department of Justice first issued guidelines governing FBI investigations in 1974 and has loosened the guidelines virtually every time its allowed to open the books and pencil whip the rules.

And now Justice is again engaged in a substantial re-write. CDT got a peek at a draft of the new guidelines. The real news behind the re- write is that when the dust settles, the FBI will be permitted to engage in intrusive investigative techniques without having a tip that a crime may be committed and without having evidence of a particularized threat to national security.

Look for senators to question the witnesses about "assessments." The new guidelines would permit FBI agents conducting an "assessment" to recruit informants to surreptitiously attend meetings and events, to misrepresent their identities while engaging people in conversation in an effort to elicit information, and to indefinitely surveil homes, offices and individuals, all without any evidence of crime. Traditionally, such intrusive investigative techniques were reserved for investigating when there was evidence of a crime or of a threat to national security; now they would be used to investigate whether to investigate. Go figure.

Here's some further background on the issue:  http://cdt.org/security/usapatriot/guidelines.php




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