If The FBI’s Contempt For The Law Is Not Reined In, Its Abuses Will Get Worse

In 2018, the U.S. government filed 1,117 final applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court for authority for the FBI to conduct electronic surveillance and physical searches. One application was withdrawn. One other was denied. The remaining 1,115 were granted.

Hours before the FISA court issued a December 17 order openly declaring that it could no longer trust any of the sworn statements the FBI had submitted to justify spying on Americans, The New York Times published an opinion article by William Webster, a former director of both the FBI and the CIA. Webster wrote, “Today, the integrity of the institutions that protect our civil order is, tragically, under assault from too many people whose job it should be to protect them.”

Gone are the days The New York Times worked to expose government abuse of power. The New York Times now defends power from truth.

Setting aside the very dubious propositions that the FBI and the CIA should be protected from criticism, let’s plumb the depths of the Webster/NYT argument. Who, according to Webster, has the job of protecting the FBI and the CIA? Webster explains exactly who he means: “I am deeply disturbed by the assertion of President Trump that our ‘current director’ — as he refers to the man he selected for the job of running the F.B.I. — cannot fix what the president calls a broken agency.”
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