The FBI used to advertise its primary mission as "law enforcement." No longer
So. Do we conclude that the situation has gotten worse -- or do we simply shrug our shoulders and say that the Bureau has finally become more honest? When J. Edgar was alive, the FBI refused to admit that the mafia was real -- in fact, we were told that the very concept of "organized crime" was no more than commie propaganda. But the Bureau did have agents at every meeting of the Communist Party.
Whatever the reason, the agency's increased focus on national security over the last decade has not occurred without consequence. Between 2001 and 2009, the FBI doubled the amount of agents dedicated to counterterrorism, according to a 2010 Inspector's General report. That period coincided with a steady decline in the overall number of criminal cases investigated nationally and a steep decline in the number of white-collar crime investigations.
"Violent crime, property crime and white-collar crime: All those things had reductions in the number of people available to investigate them," former FBI agent Brad Garrett told Foreign Policy. "Are there cases they missed? Probably."
Last month, Robert Holley, the special agent in charge in Chicago, said the agency's focus on terrorism and other crimes continued to affect the level of resources available to combat the violent crime plaguing the city. "If I put more resources on violent crime, I'd have to take away from other things," he told The Chicago Tribune.
Nevertheless, if you plug "FBI" into the Google News search engine, most of the links will go to stories about law enforcement. So, like, there's that