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FBI Edits Mission Statement: Removes Law Enforcement As 'Primary' Purpose

Unknown Lamer posted about 7 months ago | from the security-trumps-law dept.

United States 539

schwit1 writes with news that the FBI has altered their declared primary function from "law enforcement" to "national security." From the article: "Following the 9/11 attacks, the FBI picked up scores of new responsibilities related to terrorism and counterintelligence while maintaining a finite amount of resources. What's not in question is that government agencies tend to benefit in numerous ways when considered critical to national security as opposed to law enforcement. 'If you tie yourself to national security, you get funding and you get exemptions on disclosure cases,' said McClanahan. 'You get all the wonderful arguments about how if you don't get your way, buildings will blow up and the country will be less safe.'"

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539 comments

Put a fork in it, it's done. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883539)

We are a police state regardless of what the Obamaites would have you think.
 
And this isn't to say that the right was any better but Bush & Company was a lot more honest about what they were up to. The silence from the left is deafening.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (5, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 7 months ago | (#45883623)

Just own the fact that the cancer is more Progressive than it is partisan. The two-party gag is merely a ruse.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#45883827)

Two parties? Apologies, maybe it's the distance, but from over here in Europe it looks like the US has only one party with two slightly differing wings.

Seriously. If the main problem for the moderator in a political debate is to find some kind of tiny semantic difference in the position of the two biggest candidates, you know something is not going right.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (4, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 7 months ago | (#45883937)

Two parties? Apologies, maybe it's the distance, but from over here in Europe it looks like the US has only one party with two slightly differing wings.

Wing nuts.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | about 7 months ago | (#45883971)

Godel was correct.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (4, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 7 months ago | (#45884003)

It's the distance.

The US parties may collude on a variety of things (like counterterrorism, or if you prefer, "counterterrorism") but they have significantly differing views on the relationship of the role of government to the citizenry and the economy. For instance, on the national level, the US Democratic party has been pushing for things like the recent health-care reform laws (for good or ill), additional environmental regulation, increases in the minimum wage, and other increases in taxes and spending which see the government taking a larger role in the economy, including transfer payments (welfare, etc). They also resent military spending as a rule. The Republican party pushes for less government involvement in the economy, lower/flatter tax regimes, market solutions to issues like healthcare and wages, and a regulatory regime which is not simply less stringent, but also more streamlined where it is in fact present (and they do not resent military spending, at least not as a rule).

Things are different outside the economic arena, true, but 2008-2016's top issues were, in order: the economy, the economy, and the economy. So.

It definitely *IS* a ruse ! (4, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 7 months ago | (#45883887)

The two-party gag is merely a ruse

How many governmental agencies are in charge of "National Security" ?

Navy
Army
Air Force
Marine
Coast Guard
NSA
CIA
FBI
TBA ...

How many governmental agencies are in charge of "Law Enforcement" ?

SEC (for financial/security)
DEA (for drugs)
ATF (for guns)
Marshall (for witness protection)

With FBI withdrawing from "Law Enforcement", who is in charge of interstate criminal activities, racketeering, and so on ??

Re:It definitely *IS* a ruse ! (4, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about 7 months ago | (#45884071)

With FBI withdrawing from "Law Enforcement", who is in charge of interstate criminal activities, racketeering, and so on ??

No need for that. The more crime (real or imagined) there is, the more people are afraid, stupid and easy to manipulate. That has been a top priority of the US administration since 9/11 gave it the prefect pretext to implement measures planned long before.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (3, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | about 7 months ago | (#45883627)

Bush & Company was a lot more honest about what they were up to

Oh really? Most of the snooping programs people are complaining about now began or expanded under their watch (just after 9/11), and it took forever to find out where the waterboarding orders came from. You can thank Snowden, not W, for our current knowledge.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (3, Interesting)

SumDog (466607) | about 7 months ago | (#45883715)

Spying under Bush. Retroactive immunity with Obama plus he did nothing to stop the programs.

There is just one party in the US: Repubcrats / Demolicans

It's funny when I meet people who think voting still matters.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#45883857)

You know the old saying, if voting could change a thing it had been outlawed ages ago.

Voting is nothing but the ancient art of legitimation. Every government needed some kind of legitimation to make its rule "acceptable", internally as well as internationally.

In the good ol' times, the emperor ruled as the son of some god, or as the appointed one of some god. However that appointment came to pass. He was the strongest, the best, the big warlord or simply the son of his father, who in turn was the strongest, best or his father's son, etc. Others ruled right in the name of some God, or in the name of some higher goal or ideal (the latter was especially popular after some kind of revolution). The latest fad now is appointment by the people. Which by itself sounds like a great idea, but let's face it, look around amongst your peers, notice just how stupid the average idiot is an realize that half of the people out there are even stupider. You could just as well let some kind of celestial fairy appoint your leader.

The crap about it is simply that those that want to rule the world are also the ones who are the least fit to do it. And until that changes, it doesn't matter at all how you appoint your leaders. They'll all suck.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45884021)

notice just how stupid the average idiot is an realize that half of the people out there are even stupider.

even more stupid.
FTFY

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45884013)

It's funny when I meet people who think voting still matters.

It's even funnier when I meet idiots like you who think the only thing to vote on is the President. I had a dozen items to vote on in the last presidential election, including a local Sheriff who won by 3 votes. (yes, three) I guess I should've gone around and convinced four people that voting is pointless, because this guy is a real ass-clown.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883725)

What took you so long? We've known it's a police state for over a decade already. What is wrong with you?

USA is not the only Police State (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 7 months ago | (#45884091)

What took you so long? We've known it's a police state for over a decade already. What is wrong with you?

USA is a police state, but USA is *NOT* the only police state.

Many of the so-called "Western Democracies" have turned into police states.

Take United Kingdom, for example.

What has GCHQ been doing for the past few decades ?

And when "The Guardian" newspaper printed the revelation from Edward Snowden files, what did the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom do ?

He threaten the paper with censure.

Let's not forget the contribution of "Great Firewall of UK", aka the "David Cameron Porn Filter" which filtered out many non-porn site, including Slashdot.org

It's also England which has blocked out the Pirate Bay.

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883727)

We were a Police state since Ray-Gun

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883759)

Really? Posts with terms like "Obamaites" get modded up? What is this, free republic?

Slashdot has gone to shit. Good bye.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#45883781)

We are a police state regardless of what the Obamaites would have you think.

And this isn't to say that the right was any better but Bush & Company was a lot more honest about what they were up to. The silence from the left is deafening.

A "police state"? In what respect? Who has been sent to jail for making jokes about Obama? Who gets arrested for voting for the "wrong" political party? What is the nature of this so called "police state"? I would think it is about more than banning 32oz soft drinks.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 7 months ago | (#45883837)

We're on a slippery slope. Just give it time, nay saying the president will become a crime.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883905)

How cute! You actually believe it isn't already a crime. Hint: it is.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883851)

Who has been sent to jail for making jokes about Obama?

Yes I have. Pull your fucking head out of of your ass and look around you sometime. Just because you refuse to believe that ordinary people are jailed for making jokes about Obama does not mean it does not happen. It means you are an ignorant fucking asshole. Keep voting for fascism like the rest of the shit that you are you fucker.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 7 months ago | (#45883881)

What is the nature of this so called "police state"?

Does being the world leader in imprisoning people count? We have more people in prison than China, North Korea, Iran, etc. -- and that is more people in prison period, not merely per capita.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 7 months ago | (#45883925)

There are 'papers please' sty;e checkpoints a hundred or more miles inland from your borders, in zones which the fourth amendment does not apply. Warrantless search and seizure has just been confirmed as 'legal' again last week. There are 'free speech zones'. The NSA ans possibly other agencies spy oin the people of the country and have threatened to blackmail 'extremists' with the information they find. Call it what you want, but I'm calling it a police state.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#45883959)

Does being the world leader in imprisoning people count?

Not really, no. A nation being termed a "police state" generally is associated with political oppression. It is drug use that has really driven up the prison population, and like it or not that isn't political crime. The question of the US prison population is getting more political attention, and maybe there will be some changes. Or, maybe youth will decide that drugs aren't the way to go seeing how it can turn out.

But to reiterate, no, it doesn't count by the usual criterion.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (3, Informative)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 7 months ago | (#45884005)

Drug use is a political crime. The criminalization of recreational chemicals have long been political, and the victims of such actions often differ substantially from the politics of those in power.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (1, Insightful)

Kielistic (1273232) | about 7 months ago | (#45884007)

A nation being termed a "police state" generally is associated with political oppression.

If by generally you mean: when convenient for cold fjord's trite arguments. That's not the definition of police state at all and you know it. You are obtusely trying to redefine police state to rely on something that you think you can deny.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | about 7 months ago | (#45884027)

It is drug use that has really driven up the prison population, and like it or not that isn't political crime.

Really? Not the inconsiderate drug laws? Weren't they designed to stifle dissent? Still not a political crime? Still not oppression? You're still stupid.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (4, Interesting)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 7 months ago | (#45883935)

1) Clearly you haven't been to the airport or crossed the border in YEARS.
2) The NSA is reading your email, monitoring your phone calls, keeping track of what websites you visit, knows who your Facebook friends are, out to 4 degrees.
3) Been pulled over for using a cell phone while driving, not wearing a seatbelt, or just asked for some DNA by the friendly police-escorted federal contractors?
4) Buy a couple ounces of gold. Buy a gun. Write or deposit a check for $10,000 or more. March at a rally. Expect to wind up in a database.
5) Walk down a big-city street and wave at all the cameras.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#45883979)

"Police State" does not necessarily mean oppressive to the point where you don't dare to raise your head because you fear to lose it. All a good police state has to do is to ensure that whoever is in power stays in power by using just enough intimidation on those that would consider changing it a good idea.

A police state doesn't need to get overly oppressive as long as the majority of people accepts its rule. Nazi Germany felt like a fairly ok state to most of its people. No, seriously. Yes, it was a veritable nightmare if you were communist, or a yew, or gay, or ... well, or any kind of minority. It was simply the most extreme form of petty bourgeoisie. Think far right bible-thumping conservatives getting their way. It may surprise many that Germany was a very modern, liberal state in the 1920s. A bit like the US today, where we're currently moving out of the liberal years into the bible-thumper years.

And yes, a lot of people thought that the liberal "craze" went overboard and that the Nazis are ... well, not right, but hey, they're not THAT wrong, ya know? I mean, that liberal bull has gone TOO far and we need to get back a bit towards more sensibility and morals.

Sounds familiar? Maybe a little bit?

The police state of today is certainly not German 1934. It's far more subtle. First of all, the situation is not as dire (yet) to make people accept such drastic cuts into their private life as they had to back then. It's also far from necessary. People are much more easily directed today, as they are far less politically active than they used to be back then. People have a lot more to lose, and people who have something to lose are far easier cowed and steered. You needn't threaten someone with prison if you can threaten him with the loss of his job.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883807)

This is counter-factual and counter-historical. Republicans have always been about expanding both law enforcement and national security programs, including intelligence gathering, at the expense of civil liberties. This has been true going all the way back to Lincoln. It wasn't liberals planting spies among hippies, environmentalists, and other protesters.

The factual history is that conservatives have always bludgeoned liberals over the head with the "you're weak on security" club. With the rise of neo-liberalism in the 1990s Democrats figured out that if they just stopped protesting conservative law enforcement and defense programs, and went along, that Republicans couldn't claim superiority on domestic and national security issues. This is why Clinton and Obama have passed ridiculous law enforcement laws, invariably at the behest of a GOP-controlled Congress.

An expansive and powerful police state is the epitome of the conservative, Republican political platform. And this platform has been passively accepted by the Democrats too, because they know it's a losing battle. American society is ridiculously conservative. It's almost always been this way.

The GOP and DNC are not in collusion. There are very real differences in policies. But the American body politik is also crazy conservative. It's why communism spread like wildfire in Europe but couldn't get so much as a toehold in the United States, even among poor laborers. (Yes, we had the Wobblies, but they were quite tiny relative to other unions, which were all vehemently pro-capitalist, just like today.)

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 7 months ago | (#45883825)

You can blame one party or another if you want. Personally I blame the voters. The stupid, stupid voters. An idiotic, ignorant, apathetic voter base is both necessary and sufficient to get bad politics no matter which party or ideology is in charge. Stupid cowardly voters who are willing to trade their real freedoms for fake security will get that deal from either party. Or independents for that matter. Someone will offer them that deal in order to get power. The party doesn't matter.

And frankly, I don't see how honesty matters. A thief who is stealing from me and is honest about it is only better when I can stop him. Bush et al didn't spell it out to the stupid, stupid voters in ways they understood. To me, that's still not being honest. Making an obvious lie to a child, when you know the child can't tell you're lying, that's still being dishonest.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883855)

"The silence from the left is deafening."

Liberals who elected obama are not left wing, the democratic party and liberals are naturally capitalist parties.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45884075)

Corollary: American politics has NO left wing. We range from center-right to far-right. This is something non-Americans may need to get a handle on to understand an American when he/she talks about "liberals" or "leftists." They have never seen a leftist, and our politics are far from liberal.

Re:Put a fork in it, it's done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883889)

Not to be pedantic, but it's more like a corporate/government/military partnership national security state.

But whatever we call it, it's a skunk by any other name.

The USA has been pwned hard, pity the citizens (can I call them that?) continue to be so well entertained that they haven't noticed... yet.

we will not be happy... (5, Insightful)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 7 months ago | (#45883543)

...until the fear mongering military industrial complex bankrupts this country. Rome was not built in a day, but neither did it fall in a day. We are falling now, will we catch it?

Re:we will not be happy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883571)

Exactly. It is like watching a car crash in slow motion. Hopefully people will revolt before it is too late. If it isn't already.

Re:we will not be happy... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883863)

You have too much faith in people. The people are stupid obedient morons who are perfectly happy to suck STASI cock. The people are the problem.

Re:we will not be happy... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#45883993)

It's more like watching an oil tanker move. The US is pretty much an oil tanker. Even with the engine off it still keeps moving forwards for a long, long time and it will still cover a lot of ground and slow down very slowly.

The problem is, once that tanker is standing still, getting it moving is going to take a LOT of power for very, very little gain. Who'd want to put that much energy behind it anymore instead of simply letting it sink and charter a ship that's still moving?

Re:we will not be happy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883587)

we will not be happy...

We're already 'not happy'. This is just going to make us many much more unhappier.

Breaking News: The FBI has joined the NSA in their pursuit to prove all Americans are suspects until proven terrorists.

The military did not destroy Rome ... (1, Insightful)

drnb (2434720) | about 7 months ago | (#45883635)

we will not be happy until the fear mongering military industrial complex bankrupts this country. Rome was not built in a day, but neither did it fall in a day. We are falling now, will we catch it?

I'm no fan of the military industrial complex, nor a fan of an major source of government waste. We could get a more effective defense for less money. That said ...

The military industrial complex did not destroy Rome. It was the free bread and circuses and other freebies designed to buy the votes of the citizenry. This not only racked up the debt but it undermined the concept of citizenship. Undermined the idea that citizens (both patricians and plebeians) should contribute to the greatness of their country, not that the greatness of their country entitled them to freebies.

Re:The military did not destroy Rome ... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883679)

The military industrial complex did not destroy Rome. It was the free bread and circuses and other freebies designed to buy the votes of the citizenry. This not only racked up the debt but it undermined the concept of citizenship. Undermined the idea that citizens (both patricians and plebeians) should contribute to the greatness of their country, not that the greatness of their country entitled them to freebies.

Nice whitewash there. It's common knowledge that the Roman Empire was destroyed by their transition to the metric system. The very same metric system that tried to infiltrate the United States back in the 70s.

Yep, the citizens, the nasty citizens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883717)

That's exactly who the military-industrial complex wants to scape-goat, the citizens, rather than its own excesses.

Never mind who was the ones keeping those citizens from having productive opportunities, and exporting resources elsewhere, rather than developing infrastructure and other improvements at home.

Re:The military did not destroy Rome ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883749)

What do you call someone who criticises beard and circuses? A racist. However, the racists were right all along.

Re:The military did not destroy Rome ... (5, Informative)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 7 months ago | (#45883913)

The military industrial complex did not destroy Rome. It was the free bread and circuses and other freebies designed to buy the votes of the citizenry. This not only racked up the debt but it undermined the concept of citizenship.

OK, This is Mises's revisionism. Rome had corruption among the tribunes, but they also had praetorians killing emperors left and right; they had foederati and mercenaries defending the borders; they had a completely broken tax system which exempted most citizens from above-board taxation, which demanded a spoils-driven empire to merely sustain law and order. Rome also had a sclerotic civil administration that was never equal to the task of operating a vast continental empire, and lacked innovations even the Merovingians and Franks had, such as accounting of state appropriations.

We also have the multi-cultural development of the Roman state, it's long-term tendency towards centralization, it's failure to integrate foreign societies as it did in the Republican era. Gibbon's belief that the rise of Christianity depleted the state of its legitimacy and caused the elite to give up on civic improvement can also be studied with profit.

We also have the reorganization of the Roman state after the partition, and the Byzantine empire, which operated under approximately the same constraints as the Roman Empire, and would stage influence-buying sprees that made the Roman panem et circenses look like a church social, yet it lasted an extra thousand years.

It's also a point of argument wether or not the Roman imperial office actually fell, or merely just reorganized itself as the Catholic Church, which, again, used religion and the narrative of salvation as a replacement for panem.

The fact is that all states, or cultural orders, try to buy the consent of the masses; when they can, they do it with law and order, when they must, they do it with great feats of the state, military triumphs, evidence that whatever else may be wrong, we can beat the crap out of the Alemanni. If the Alemanni are no longer being defeated, worse, they're successfully sacking the city every couple years, the state tries to buy the people's obedience with "freebees." We moderns demand our government send men to the moon, and merely steal the oil of the barbarians and not slaughter them, so we might call that progress.

Re:The military did not destroy Rome ... (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#45884089)

I know, I shouldn't butt in with facts when partisan bickering tries to prove points with made up stories, but I just can't resist...

What really fell Rome was simply the infighting. The last years of the empire are fraught with civil war and competing emperors that pit their legions against each other instead of trying to fend off the invading barbarians that flee from the Huns. That of course has very negative effects on tax incomes (because you can't tax what is destroyed), which in turn means that you lose even more of your military power (since you can't afford it anymore).

Rome existed long centuries after its emperors started to "buy" the love of the masses. Besides, you really think that throwing games for everyone in D.C. could cripple the economy of the US? Then why do you think that games in Rome could cripple that Empire?

Re:we will not be happy... (3, Interesting)

gweihir (88907) | about 7 months ago | (#45883639)

Historically speaking, the US peaked some time ago. There is no way but down now.

If the US were a modern state, maybe the trend could be stopped, but with waning economic power, over-sized military spending, religion becoming more and more important than science and education, it does look rather like the classical collapse. That one is basically never stopped unless externally. But the US is too large and to removed from the rest of the world for that to be likely to happen. If the US is very lucky, there will not be a totalitarian state before collapse and recovery, but that looks less and less likely.

Re:we will not be happy... (2)

epyT-R (613989) | about 7 months ago | (#45883681)

In addition, there's the pandering, divisive influence of identity politics distracting the citizens' attention towards each other.. What better way to get people to vote for bigger government than to bribe one group into dependence while shaming the other out of their self-reliance?

Re:we will not be happy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883719)

1. The USA peaked right before LBJ signed the Immigration Reform Act of 1965
2. Science and education are code words for atheism, elitism and collectivism.
3. Government waste is NOT government waste when it funds the projects that pay your salary, right?

Prove otherwise.

Re:we will not be happy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883789)

What does immigration reform have to do with anything except you finding a target to direct your Hispanic racism towards? You're not being racist? Prove otherwise.

Re:we will not be happy... (4, Insightful)

bob_super (3391281) | about 7 months ago | (#45883853)

Externally, the USA peaked right around 2000.
The economy was bubbling like crazy. The tech was spreading everywhere. The USSR was long gone. We just mopped the floor with a dictator, proving that we could when nobody else could. Everyone else was marveling at the super-weapons, stealth planes, and wondering what else was in secret store. USA domestic issues were trivial and the biggest problem _seemed_ to be in the pants of the president.
Remember that time of bliss? Not superpower, unchallenged hyperpower.

In 2001, the tech bubble burst, the lost jobs to outsourcing became obvious and painful, we pissed off our friends one after the other until late summer, and when they came to offer help, we started behaving like an angry bully who got punched back, as we underestimated what turned into a 13-year war, and planned another one against their best advice. And everyone foreign and domestic became a threat, from 2-year-olds in Iran to wheelchair-bound grandma. Some people got very rich. They probably don't only have assets in dollars.

Re:we will not be happy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883973)

Externally, the USA peaked right around 2000.
The economy was bubbling like crazy. The tech was spreading everywhere. The USSR was long gone. We just mopped the floor with a dictator, proving that we could when nobody else could. Everyone else was marveling at the super-weapons, stealth planes, and wondering what else was in secret store. USA domestic issues were trivial and the biggest problem _seemed_ to be in the pants of the president.
Remember that time of bliss? Not superpower, unchallenged hyperpower.

Jan 17, 2001. Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over." [theonion.com]

Re:we will not be happy... (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 7 months ago | (#45883867)

Interesting thesis but facts don't back it up.

1. Waning economic power. 'Waning' means decreasing. Well it isn't. It's just some alarmist claim, just like when Gen LeMay was going around claiming the Russians had 1500 ICBMs. Well after the fact it was found they had 4.

2. Over-sized military spending isn't a sign of collapse.

3. Religion becoming more important than science and education. Um this is not new. Religion has always been #1 in the US. If anything religion is declining in the US.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/michael-gerson-an-america-that-is-losing-faith-with-religion/2013/03/25/10d9fcb8-9582-11e2-bc8a-934ce979aa74_story.html [washingtonpost.com]

In fact 2012 was the year in which Protestants became a minority in America.

Re:we will not be happy... (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 7 months ago | (#45884041)

I would submit that it is not so easy to see these changes from the inside. They are glaringly obvious from the outside though.

Your argumentation, incidentally, is a sign of that. You completely miss the point on all counts, and are merely regurgitating propaganda.

Re:we will not be happy... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#45883697)

we will not be happy .... until the fear mongering military industrial complex bankrupts this country. Rome was not built in a day, but neither did it fall in a day. We are falling now, will we catch it?

Rome didn't go bankrupt, it fell to barbarian invasion. Well, the barbarians just took another city, one we had taken from them, but now they have it back.

Al-Qaeda-linked force captures Fallujah amid rise in violence in Iraq [washingtonpost.com]

They are fighting in many places around the world to advance their causes. Eventually they are almost certain to become an enormous problem in Europe.

If you are worried about the US going bankrupt, it won't be because of defense spending, which is a part of the Constitutionally designated responsibility of defending the country, but rather social welfare spending combined with the growing weight of the deficit.

Medicare and Other Entitlements Are Crowding Out Spending on Defense [heritage.org]

So to be accurate you should be complaining about Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and so on, piling up a crushing weight of spending and debt. That constitutes the major part of Federal spending.

Re:we will not be happy... (1)

mattmarlowe (694498) | about 7 months ago | (#45883969)

The city of rome being sacked by barbarian invaders from 390-500AD is what historians commonly use as a milestone to mark rome's fall. It is however, more interesting, from a comparitive perspective to note the long decline and increasing struggles of rome from ~100BC onwards. This is partly because it clashes so much against the amazing and astonishing rise of rome during the preceeding 650 year period. It is almost like history plays itself forward and reverses itself in a pyramid shape across a 1100 year period. People can not help but wonder about it.

The actual sacking of the city is almost irrelevant to the story.

In any case, there are hundreds - if not thousands of discussions, movies, and books that one can ingest to get a better understanding. Rome and its leaders were aware that they were in decline relatively early on, but they could not stop the momentum.

With regard to military spending, some have argued that it was not the spending so much as the romes need for ever increasing borders to protect itself which required ever more soldiers to patrol/fortify which also involved ever more absorbtion of other cultures/people without traditional loyalty to rome or roman work ethic.

Likewise, many historians have suggested that during Rome's rise, the conflicting classes of roman society were able to compromise, share common values, sacrifice for common good, and accept the results of elections even when their candidates did not win. All of these necessary components of society stopped functioning around 50BC and there is no single reason. The decline was as much cultural as economic as military.

and I quote: (1)

Infestedkudzu (2557914) | about 7 months ago | (#45883549)

"The more things change, the more they stay the same." - snake -

Re:and I quote: (1)

Mister Transistor (259842) | about 7 months ago | (#45883703)

The more things change, the more they SUCK.

- Butthead

Yet another excuse (3, Interesting)

Endloser (1170279) | about 7 months ago | (#45883553)

to ignore FOIA.

Of course (5, Interesting)

epyT-R (613989) | about 7 months ago | (#45883569)

If their motto was about "Law enforcement" they'd at least have to put up the pretense that they are not only objectively enforcing the law, but that they are subject to the law as well. 'National Security' however, gives a whole new sense of self interest to their stated motivations. After all, since when has the Committee for State Security in any non-free nation taken any action that was not in its own best political interests? If anything, I applaud this change as it's a better description of their more recent activities.

Re:Of course (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#45883763)

The FBI isn't becoming the KGB (Committee for State Security) [youtube.com] , it's becoming a hybrid of MI5 [wikipedia.org] and the police. (MI5 doesn't have arrest powers.)

Has al Qaeda decided to stop trying to attack the country? Have the nations that make themselves adversaries of the US decided to stop trying to spy or undermine the US? If not, why would the US stop defending itself?

Re:Of course (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 7 months ago | (#45883843)

Why does it matter? We have more to fear from bath tubs than Al Quada, and it seems like they lost every competent agent about 12 years ago. The only people more inept are working in intelligence.

Re:Of course (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#45884057)

Al Qaida killed as many people on 11 September 2001 as the Japanese killed on 7 December 1941. The US went to war with both despite the fact that traffic deaths killed more people than enemy attacks in both those years by 10x or more.

Al Qaida has not reached the Gates of Vienna yet, but they aspire to eventually. There is a choice: Fight the fire in the frying pan, wait to fight it until the kitchen burns, or wait to fight it when the house burns. Plenty of people seem to be saying, "Don't fight it at all." That isn't the choice you have unless you are content to consign your children or grandchildren to being slaves.

Al-Qaeda-linked force captures Fallujah amid rise in violence in Iraq [washingtonpost.com]

Al Qaida and its allies have retaken Fallujah, which was taken by US forces in one of the harder battles in Iraq. They fight to take Syria, Yemen, and other lands. They cast a longing gaze at Spain. In time they think Europe and the world.

Alarm in Spain over al-Qaeda call for its "reconquest" [jihadwatch.org]
HAMAS Targets Spain [frontpagemag.com]

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883877)

Has al Qaeda decided to stop trying to attack the country? Have the nations that make themselves adversaries of the US decided to stop trying to spy or undermine the US? If not, why would the US stop defending itself?

Because being alive is pointless if you have nothing to live for.

Burning the country's soul to keep the flesh alive will just create a brainless zombie.

We're doomed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883575)

The FBI got roped into shit the CIA should have been handling in the Middle East. Now they're a counterterrorism unit, same as every other fucking law enforcement body in this country. The militarization of our police forces is now complete.

Re:We're doomed (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about 7 months ago | (#45883685)

should split the national security away from the FBI and have the FBI just as a civilian federal police force and have something like MI5

Re:We're doomed (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 7 months ago | (#45883909)

We did. It's called the DHS which the FBI is not part of.

The FBI sees all the shiny over there and wants in.

Ugh.

they had to... (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 7 months ago | (#45883583)

with the amount of information that Snowden has disclosed about the NSA's "domestic wiretapping" shit, what was the point of the FBI duplicating the efforts??

it would seem that the NSA already has the ability to know almost anything about anyone...the FBI simply realized it was time for greener pastures.

Re:they had to... (3, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 7 months ago | (#45883617)

There's no money in law enforcement anymore but national security agencies get a blank check.

I smell $$$, not stealth (4, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | about 7 months ago | (#45883585)

I suspect they are doing it because they want more "homeland security" funds, and use the mission statement as "evidence" they are multipurpose.

Re:I smell $$$, not stealth (1)

Endloser (1170279) | about 7 months ago | (#45883793)

I suspect they are doing it so they can do whatever the fuck they want without recourse because nobody is up their ass investigating the blatant abuse. The FBI is kinda known for being pushy asshats.

At least they are honest (2)

gweihir (88907) | about 7 months ago | (#45883589)

The law has not been their guideline for a while now and cannot be changed fast enough for creating a successful police-state in th near future anyways. So assigning it a lesser importance compared to their primary goal is entirely rational.

For those still clueless: "National Security" as primary government objective was historically called "Police State". It is also not about the security of the citizens either.

Re:At least they are honest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883839)

You old bastards are so goddamned paranoid. Is that a side-effect of aging? I really think you people have an orgasm every time something that was imagined in your childhood literature appears to be coming true. 1984 was just a fucking book. So was the bible, but I digress.

Re:At least they are honest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45884001)

1984 was just a fucking book.

Yeah, an instruction manual.

One or the other? (4, Funny)

gallondr00nk (868673) | about 7 months ago | (#45883601)

Are the two mutually exclusive? Call me naive, but would it be possible to protect national security within the law?

Actually, don't answer that. They should just change it again to "our primary function is to get more funding" and have done with it.

Re:One or the other? (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 7 months ago | (#45883733)

Are the two mutually exclusive? Call me naive, but would it be possible to protect national security within the law?

There's this whole legal commentary on the question of wether or not a nation's sovereign jurisdiction extends to those that fight its wars ("Most signs point to no"). It's bound up in the question of wether or not soldiers are bound to follow "illegal" orders ("No, but it's gotta be illegal in the first place"), and wether or not an officer of the government, in exercising this or that authority, is either executing an order or obeying the law.

National security is always going to be considered a superlative priority to the rule of law, because a state, secure to make, break and enforce whatever laws its polity may demand, is a precondition for the rule of law.

So yeah the FBIs exceeding it's ambit, but this is just a mission statement— it merely states what's been the de facto situation since the early aughts, and which nobody is really concerned about. The FBI is an internal security service, nothing more or less.

Re:One or the other? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45884051)

Ok, first of all, all the worthwhile "national security" objectives would be met by just fighting crime in the first place.

But just blanket saying "national security" enables you to go beyond the law and then just yell NATIONAL SECURITY!!! while shooting down some guy in his cottage without warning, totally illegally but "necessarily for national security".

That is truly scary ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883613)

So, the US turns yet another law-enforcement agency into an arm of the security apparatus.

You guys are well on your way to devolving into a police state and can't even understand what is happening.

With the US devolving into this kind of "we can do anything we want in the name of security", they will increasingly become a disruptive force in world politics.

You guys are turning into everything you've ever historically been against, which means you're now becoming terrifying, and nobody is prepared to listen to your self appointed moral high-ground -- because you've long since abdicated that.

Papers please, comrade. Me must protect the Rhodina.

Enjoy your new and improved fascism, which looks a little like Capitalism. And don't tell me you still have freedoms -- you have the illusion of the freedoms as long as your government doesn't deem it necessary to take them away.

America is going to be much more the worse by turning the FBI into anything but being primarily a law enforcement agency. Because the NSA and CIA have demonstrated they don't give a shit about laws.

Re:That is truly scary ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883797)

Should those of us that watch this happening flee the state or should we try to spread reason while being drowned out by everything else?

Maybe we can grow a charismatic leader from those "evil" stem cells to help us grow our own backbones.

Actually, if the MPAA / RIAA fall and there is a black hole of culture as they say will happen, maybe a portion of the eyes will open to the world around them. Well, that gives me a reason to infringe on as many copyrights from those publishers as I want as a political instead of simply false moral standing.

Fine (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 7 months ago | (#45883625)

Fold all these under the DOD and call it a day.

National Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883631)

Does that mean that from now on, the primary function of the NSA will be law enforcement?
Or does it mean the FBI has become part of the NSA?
Or doe it mean that the NSA is part od the FBI?
Are the black helicopters comming to get me?

Freedom is safety (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883651)

The country will be more safe because we won't have these yahoos picking away at our constitutional rights.

Mission Accomplished (1)

kbolino (920292) | about 7 months ago | (#45883655)

We can get rid of the FBI now, right?

The transformation is startling (4, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#45883665)

The degeneration of the federal government is really amazing to watch.

I hesitate to put blame on anyone for it because we're so politically divided and I think everyone is so factional that we can't get past that. If I say X is responsible then people from X camp will automatically defend them or vice versa.

Regardless, there are serious problems here and the country could well trend towards tyranny.

I have even seen editorials in major newspapers calling for a King or the repeal of all sorts of rights past generations risked their lives to protect.

Its really sort of amazing. Its like a different country altogether. I'd expect to see this sort of thing in the developing world... some unstable backwater. But in the US? Really sort of amazing.

I'm not sure what is causing it... I just think its in everyone's interest if we take a few steps back and carefully consider what we are doing to ourselves.

Re:The transformation is startling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883859)

Relax. It's for the children. Don't you care about the children?

Re:The transformation is startling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883883)

" But in the US? Really sort of amazing."

Nope, the vast majority of americans are below average intelligence compared to the world population as a whole.

Re:The transformation is startling (5, Insightful)

melchoir55 (218842) | about 7 months ago | (#45884017)

I think this is a big part of it. US citizens are basically complete idiots (including myself) compared to other countries I would want to vacation in. I was "really smart" in elementary school, high school, and college. When I traveled to Europe, met foreign exchange students, or engaged with family friends who were from other countries, I was consistently impressed by their casual grasp of mathematics, history, and philosophy. And these are just the subjects you run into on a day to day basis! My "raw intellect" (my biology) is usually more than a match for who I meet, but the breadth and depth of my intellectual development didn't come close to competing with my foreign friends until I was well passed grad school with plenty of time to do catch-up after leaving the US school system.

The USA mostly doesn't care about its children. It doesn't even know what it *means* to care about children. The country burns resources other countries protect for their progeny. It gives education a token budget (compared to war, or law enforcement, or you name it) and the budget it does get is squandered by educators who are clueless about education.

There is a lot of bad in the USA. It has been in a tailspin since the 80s, and it was in decline before that. Our clear shift to a police state is the most obvious evidence of that, though it is the tip of the iceberg. There is always hope... but we are at the level of hope Gandalf had for Frodo getting to Mount Doom. When I think of what it would realistically take to get the USA into shape, I am struck by a profound sense of dread.

Re:The transformation is startling (2)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 7 months ago | (#45883917)

I'm not sure what is causing it...

Follow the money

I just think its in everyone's interest if we take a few steps back and carefully consider what we are doing to ourselves.

I think it's entirely in some very well monied people's best interests.
ObamaCare is step one.

We are well on our way to a Brave New World of Indentured Servitude to our Corporate Masters via Gov't Mandates to buy from them, to be spied on and controlled by them. over time, all Social Welfare programs will be replaced by ones that will be benefit not the people but the Corporations, and we will be Mandated to buy their products or suffer the Tax Penalties.

Health Care was first, Education Loan programs, Social Security and even Food Stamps will be rolling out in the years ahead.

Re:The transformation is startling (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#45883987)

I think its a good deal more complicated then that. I agree there are those interests and I agree they are seem to go out of their way to gather money and power to themselves. But I think what we're dealing with is a bit more complex then that.

That is... I think they're a cough... and not the cold. Get me? I think their advances are a symptom but not a cause. Sort of how old people or HIV patients tend to die of pneumonia. Something else creates a weakness and then that weakness leads to infection.

These people are always there. They have always been there and they will always be there. But in past generations we were strong enough to resist their consistent tug. Now... not so much... and the question is why? What has broken down that has allowed these forces to be relevant?

Another small issue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883675)

If your job is national security, then your role is military not civilian.

The question is who they define as 'the nation' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883689)

National Security is the term used when you've stopped giving even an inkling of a crap about the people you supposedly had been created to "serve and protect".
The laws were getting in the way, which of course leaves us wondering just whom they are protecting and from what... Because the answer to the first part certainly ain't us.

National Security (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883755)

"'A matter of internal security.' - the age-old cry of the oppressor.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Stardate 43489.2

Federal Bureau of Incompetence (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 7 months ago | (#45883769)

"We ain't cops, we are corporate mercenary's, and we ain't gonna tolerate no democracy bull trying change that!"

Did they change (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 7 months ago | (#45883787)

Did they change their fact sheet, or definition of "law enforcement"? It looks like they didn't remove "Law enforcement" as their primary objective, but rather renamed it from "law enforcement" to "national security". If they changed what they actually do, then we're looking at no more FBI raids on governmental buildings, as we've seen in the past, as well as a private citizens, for things that used to be covered by the FBI's jurisdiction - and I guess, what state police do that now? Does this mean that drug runners will be better off crossing state lines?

And if it's just verbiage that's changed, does that mean that governmental problems and drug runners will now be addressed as threats to national security?

Either way, this is weird.

Re:Did they change (3)

iggymanz (596061) | about 7 months ago | (#45884053)

the statsi will do raids, and actions against private citizens, and anyone else who is a threat the the State and to the Order.

other countries have gone down this same path

Overlap upon overlap... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883813)

So now busting up drug rings is a national security issue, but I thought we had a DEA for that, or was the the ATF, and does the FBI, DEA or ATF ever go after the CIA for providing the drugs in the first place? I already thought we had an agency for national security issues. I believe it was called something like the National Security Agency. And we have a Department of Homeland Security which I guess Homeland Security is something like National Security, but one has to do with reading your emails and the other has to do with feeling up your grandmother.

And now helping catch and profile serial killers is that a national security issue or now is it unimportant.

And is breaking into the Watergate building is that a national security issue now?

Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883871)

It does make sense if you think about it. If you're a law enforcement agency then you are not only expected to uphold the law, but are subject to the law as well. While "national security" agencies can do whatever the F they want without consequences or any kind of oversight. And FTFA (paraphrased) "Had the FBI continued investigating financial crimes at the same rate as it was doing, about 2,000 more rich possible political-campaign contributing criminals would be behind bars,"

Salient quote from TFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45883939)

You get all the wonderful arguments about how if you don't get your way, buildings will blow up and the country will be less safe.

Isn't that the same argument made by... terrorists?

Re:Salient quote from TFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45884043)

Isn't it obvious that the USA is a terrorist state?

You know who else? (2)

russotto (537200) | about 7 months ago | (#45884023)

You know who else says "if we don't get your way, buildings will blow up and your country will be less safe"? That's right, Hitl... I mean, Al Queda.

No surprise (1)

Livius (318358) | about 7 months ago | (#45884085)

After re-writing laws, judicial precedent, and the US Constitution itself, amending a mission statement does not seem so radical any more.

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