FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

1999

Materials arranged chronologically.

Weiner, Tim. "F.B.I. Helped Chile Search for Leftists, Files Show." New York Times, 10 Feb. 1999. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"The FBI tried to track suspected associates of Chilean leftists in the United States in the 1970s on behalf of the government of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the Chilean dictator, newly declassified documents show."

Johnston, David. "F.B.I. Is Proposing a Special Division for Hunting Spies." New York Times, 26 Jun. 1999. [http://www.nytimes.com]

FBI Director Louis J. Freeh "has proposed splitting the [FBI's] national security division into two divisions, one to fight terrorism and the other to root out spies, both led by assistant directors," officials said on 25 June 1999. The Attorney General "has approved the request and forwarded it to the White House."

Suro, Roberto. "New FBI Spy Unit Gets Reno's Approval." Washington Post, 26 Jun. 1999, A5. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"Officials at the FBI, CIA and Department of Defense have been discussing a possible reorganization of counterintelligence operations for months. But in the wake of a scathing congressional report on Chinese espionage, [Attorney General] Reno 'has signed off' on the proposal and forwarded it to the White House," a senior Justice Department official said on 25 June 1999.

Associated Press. "More F.B.I. Workers Fired as Inquiries Rise." 8 Aug. 1999. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"The number of F.B.I. employees fired for misconduct rose to 32 from 19 between 1997 and 1998," the bureau's Office of Professional Responsibility reported in its annual report, released on 6 August 1999. The report "also said 301 employees received discipline ranging from oral reprimands to dismissal in 1998, compared with 212 the previous year." The report noted "an increase in the number of ... internal investigations and the speed with which they were completed."

Suro, Roberto. "FBI's 'Clean' Team Follows 'Dirty' Work of Intelligence: Units Pool Facts on Sensitive Foreign Cases but Work Apart." Washington Post, 16 Aug. 1999, A13. "Dirty Work, but Someone's Got to Do It." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 23 Aug. 1999, 30.

Clark comment: It is interesting and, perhaps, instructive that as the FBI expands its new-found foreign intelligence role both overseas and in the United States, it is encountering many of the same difficulties within the Bureau as were previously attributed to "friction" between the FBI and the CIA. [See Mark Riebling's Wedge (1994).] For a long time, individuals who are less inclined to run around pointing fingers have understood the inherent differences between the agendas of those entrusted with enforcing the law and those whose function it is to collect information.

This article notes that "[a]s the FBI becomes more and more involved in overseas investigations of terrorist threats, using two distinct teams of agents kept apart by an imaginary wall has become a key to separating criminal cases that can be prosecuted in open court from intelligence secrets that must be protected forever.... 'We find ourselves more and more frequently in situations that require us to protect intelligence assets even as we develop evidence that can be used in a criminal prosecution,' Larry R. Parkinson, general counsel of the FBI, said in an interview."

Weiner, Tim. "Author of Computer Surveillance Plan Tries to Ease Fears." New York Times, 16 Aug. 1999. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 30 July 1999, the House Appropriations Committee deleted from the budget proposal $2 million requested by the FBI as start-up money to develop a system -- called Fidnet -- to protect government computers from hackers. But the main author of the plan, Richard Clarke, National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counterterrorism on the National Security Council, believes that Congress will fund the system once lawmakers understand it.

O'Harrow, Robert, Jr. "Justice Department Mulls Covert-Action Bill." Washington Post, 20 Aug. 1999, A1. "Who's Tinkering with Your Computer?" Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 30 Aug. 1999, 30.

According to a 4 August 1999 memorandum by the Justice Department, "[l]egislation drafted by the department, called the Cyberspace Electronic Security Act [CESA], would enable investigators to get a sealed warrant signed by a judge permitting them to enter private property, search through computers for passwords and install devices that override encryption programs."

Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), "New White House Computer Surveillance Plan Would Pose Unprecedented Threat to Privacy," 20 Aug. 1999, says that the proposed legislation "could result in an unprecedented intrusion into the sanctity of private homes and businesses."

Labaton, Stephen. "New Rules Expand Ability of Police to Monitor Talk on Cell Phones." New York Times, 28 Aug. 1999. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 27 August 1999, the federal government "announced new technical standards for cellular phones that will broadly expand the ability of law enforcement agents to monitor conversations and locate criminal suspects."

Stafford, David. "Revealed: The FBI File on Churchill." Times (London), 6 Sep. 1999. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]

"J. Edgar Hoover inaugurated a file on Winston Churchill, including agent reports and internal memos, which shows that several death threats were made against him." Includes sidebar story, "'Affable but drinks excessive amounts.'"

Rosenfeld, Susan. "Doing Injustice to the FBI: The Negative Myths Perpetrated by Historians." Chronicle of Higher Education, 8 Oct. 1999, B6-B8.

The former NARA archivist and former FBI official historian argues that "some people often allow untested negative assumptions about the F.B.I., and its former director J. Edgar Hoover, to color their responses" to current events. "Even more unfortunate, many scholars are among those who accept such untested assumptions -- and thus give them the imprimatur of truth." Clark comment: This article is a quick and informative read; I recommend it.

Vise, David A., and Lorraine Adams. "FBI to Restructure, Adding Emphasis on Crime Prevention." Washington Post, 11 Nov. 1999, A2. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"[T]he FBI is changing its structure to address internal problems with the handling of information and put a greater emphasis on preventing terrorism and espionage.... [T]he number of major operating divisions ... will increase from two -- the Criminal Division and National Security Division -- to four. A new Counterterrorism Division will focus on terrorist threats and include the bureau's National Infrastructure Protection Center and its computer crimes unit; an Investigative Services Division will consolidate analysts who had worked in separate divisions and will also include the bureau's hostage rescue team and negotiators."

Vise, David A., and Lorraine Adams. "FBI Deputy Director Retires: Bryant Presided Over Bureau Reorganization, Major Cases." Washington Post, 1 Dec. 1999, A41. [http://www. washingtonpost.com]

On 30 November 1999, Robert M. "Bear" Bryant retired from the number two spot at the FBI after a 31-year career.

 

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