Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

Wired has an article up about how the FBI purposefully delayed their investigation into the 2005 london bombings. It seems that an agent got some documents through a subpoena. The bosses want to get those documents through the Patriot Act (and set a precedent for getting documents without a subpoena), so they had the agent return the documents.

Look, this should not be that surprising. The FBI folks probably feel constrained by their dependence on judges to grant subpoenas. People chafe under authority – it’s human nature, everyone does it. The problem is that theĀ  FBI are supposed to be constrained by the judiciary. The US government was set up to spread the power around. The players try to pull the power towards themselves, and away from anyone who performs oversight on them (see also: the president).

All of this is normal. The problem is the response. When these power grabs are attempted, they need to be slapped down. The judiciary should be pushing back. Maybe the FBI had the greater good in mind – I honestly don’t know. But no matter how noble their intentions could well have been, there’s no knowing what future leadership will be like. Which is why they shouldn’t have the power to seize documents willy nilly.

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