Saturday, November 17, 2012

FBI for Dummies

Based on what is being reported in the media, Tampa's FBI Special Agent Frederick Humphries seems really creepy to me. In the first place, it is not clear to me that there was a good reason to investigate those trashy, juvenile emails that embarrassed General Petraeus. In the second place, Agent Humphries even went outside of the FBI and contacted a Republican Congressman. Agent Humphries seems to be more of a political operative than an FBI official. It's a good thing that the FBI is reviewing Agent Humphries' conduct in connection with the Petraeus scandal. 

According to the New York Times (11-14-12):

A law enforcement official said disclosing a confidential investigation even to Congress members could sometimes violate F.B.I. rules. The official said that Mr. Humphries’s conduct was under review and that he had not been punished in any way.

I have previously written that the Tampa FBI has issues.

That said, I don't think that a person who runs the CIA should be having affairs.

The Washington Post (11-15-12) makes a good point:

[S]ome Democrats have begun to draw comparisons between the exposure of an adulterous affair by Petraeus and the bureau’s history of digging up dirt on Washington officials during the tenure of founding FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

“We don’t want to return to those days,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the House intelligence committee and a former federal prosecutor. “The FBI was trying to find the right line here,” he said, even as it unearthed “what may have been an affair that had nothing to do with national security.”

Lawmakers from both parties have faulted the FBI for not notifying Congress that a criminal probe had turned up compromising material on the CIA director as well as potentially inappropriate communications between a Tampa socialite at the center of the case and Gen. John R. Allen, the U.S. military commander in Afghanistan.
Holder fired back Thursday, saying the Justice Department “made the determination as we were going through that there was not a threat to national security.” Because of that conclusion, he said, there was no reason to advise officials outside the department before the investigation was complete.