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MSNBC: FBI drops ‘law enforcement’ from its mission statement


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FBI drops ‘law enforcement’ from its mission statement


The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s primary mission has been changed from “law enforcement” to “national security.”


The change in the mission was noted on the bureau’s fact sheet, as first reported by Foreign PolicyThe FBI fact sheet previously stated, “The primary function of the FBI is law enforcement.” But the mission has now been changed to, “The primary function of the FBI is national security.”


It remains unclear when the change in the language was made. Kel McClanahan, a national security lawyer based in Washington, D.C., told Foreign Policy he first noticed the change last month while reviewing a Freedom of Information Act request from the agency.


The institutional change marks the agency’s advances into counterterrorism after the 9/11 attacks. The FBI’s website indicates how the the agency has become a “post 9/11 FBI” and refocused its efforts towards intelligence and national security in the past 12 years. Detailing how the bureau has changed since 9/11, the website states that the nation’s primary domestic counterterrorism agency has “become a more intel-driven and future-focused agency.


An agency spokesman told Foreign Policy that the FBI has changed its mission to keep up with the times.

“When our mission changed after 9/11, our fact sheet changed to reflect that,” FBI spokesman Paul Bresson told Foreign Policy.


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This reflects the FBI's increased involvement in Intelligence gathering.

For decades under Hoover the FBI was the primary Intelligence agency responsible for North, Central and South America. Hoover was a big enough personality to claim and defend this role against other Intelligence agencies such as the CIA and NSA...

After Hoover's death the FBI's role as an intelligence organization infliltrating and running collection missions inside foreign nations was taken away from them and all such activities were centralized in the uncentralized 27 or so odd intelligence organizations inside the US.

Now it seems the FBI has mussled their way back into the game... We know from the Snowden leaked documents the FBI runs their own ubiquitious mass data collection programs independent of the NSA. As these are coming more and more into the light I'm guessing members of congress might have asked... Is this even your mission?

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There is a general blurring of the lines between law enforcement and National Security...    Terrorism typically a law enforcement concern post 911 became a National Secuirty concern.


The problem with this is we traditionally have a different (more lax) standard of discovery for national security concerns than we allow for criminal cases.   Does this mean we now support as a nation lax policies for ease dropping across the Federal, State and local governments.   The answer is yes... but should it?  

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