The FBI Under Fire

April 11, 1997 • Volume 7, Issue 14
How serious are the bureau's recent problems?
By Charles S. Clark


FBI Director Louis J. Freeh (Photo Credit: Reuters)
FBI Director Louis J. Freeh (Photo Credit: Reuters)

For decades, the FBI has ruffled feathers as it sought to balance tough law enforcement with sensitivity toward civil liberties. But today's bureau operates in a climate vastly altered from the days when agents in J. Edgar Hoover's virtually unchecked empire could burglarize homes and keep files on political opponents. With stepped-up scrutiny from Congress and the press, the modern FBI under Louis Freeh has demonstrated new willingnessto admit its mistakes. Currently, the bureau is under fire for, among other things, alleged misconduct in its famous forensics lab and possible political favoritism toward the White House.The FBI's defenders, nonetheless, say the agency's record-high budgets are needed more than everto fight high-tech criminals in globalized drug-running, terrorism, espionage and organized crime.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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May 29, 2015  Intelligence Reform
Sep. 25, 2009  Interrogating the CIA
Jun. 04, 2004  Re-examining 9/11
Sep. 12, 2003  Homeland Security
Jan. 25, 2002  Intelligence Reforms
Apr. 11, 1997  The FBI Under Fire
Feb. 02, 1996  Reforming the CIA
Dec. 11, 1992  The New CIA
Dec. 28, 1979  Intelligence Agencies Under Fire
Sep. 30, 1977  FBI in Transition
Jul. 25, 1973  Intelligence Community
Jun. 25, 1971  Future of the FBI
Dec. 28, 1961  Intelligence for Security
Feb. 03, 1954  Security Risks in Government
May 18, 1949  Foreign Intelligence
Crime and Law Enforcement