Friday, November 04, 2016

The FBI needs to be kept under control of civilian authorities.

With the election coming in less than four days, it's too late to take any pre-election action against a rogue Federal Bureau of Investigation that seems to be trying to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump with selective last-minute leaks and innuendos, but the FBI is going to have to be put under control after the election.

The 44th President Barack Obama will not be the first chief executive to have concerns about an out-of-control secret federal police force.

Here's the 33rd President, Harry Truman, addressing the Federal Bar Association in April 1950:
"Now I am going to tell you how we are not going to fight communism. We are not going to transform our fine FBI into a Gestapo secret police. That is what some people would like to do. We are not going to try to control what our people read and say and think. We are not going to turn the United States into a right-wing totalitarian country in order to deal with a left-wing totalitarian threat."
It's probably not too much of a stretch to assume that J. Edgar Hoover was at least one of the people Truman had in mind when he suggested that "some people" would like to turn the FBI into a Gestapo-like agency. The FBI can't be expected to police itself, or limit its own power. But somebody has to do it.

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