Thousands of white-collar criminals across the country are no longer being prosecuted in federal court -- and, in many cases, not at all -- leaving a trail of frustrated victims and potentially billions of dollars in fraud and theft losses.
It is the untold story of the Bush administration's massive restructuring of the FBI after the terrorism attacks of 9/11.
Five-and-a-half years later, the White House and the Justice Department have failed to replace at least 2,400 agents transferred to counterterrorism squads, leaving far fewer agents on the trail of identity thieves, con artists, hatemongers and other criminals.
Two successive attorneys general have rejected the FBI's pleas for reinforcements behind closed doors.
While there hasn't been a terrorism strike on American soil since the realignment, few are aware of the hidden cost: a dramatic plunge in FBI investigations and case referrals in many of the crimes that the bureau has traditionally fought, including sophisticated fraud, embezzlement schemes and civil rights violations.
"Politically, this trade-off has been accepted," said Charles Mandigo, a former FBI congressional liaison who retired four years ago as special agent in charge in Seattle. "But do the American people know this trade-off has been made?"
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Iraq is stretching our military to the breaking point, but what most Americans do not realize is the extent to which our FBI is being stretched to the limit, and criminals are benefiting:
Posted by Grey Matter at 10:30 PM