Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Who Was Wrong? The FBI or the Newspaper?

Previous Whitecaps posts have discussed the role of federal inspectors general when their respective agencies are accused of fraud, waste, abuse, or misconduct. It is unusual for the public to have an opportunity to compare an agency's response to an allegation with the agency inspector general's findings. Today we have an opportunity to compare what the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) did or did not do in the Rep. Mark Foley investigation with what one newspaper, The Washington Post, says it did.

Today's Washington Post headline reads, FBI Faulted for Inaction in Foley Scandal". The subhed reads, "Justice IG Also Says Officials Misled Media About Group That Provided Messages."

First read The Washington Post article (free online registration may be required).

Then read the 31-page report by the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General. The report is dated January 2007 and titled A Review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Initial Response to Representative Mark Foley's E-mails to a Former Page. The value in reading the DoJ IG's report is it gives insight into how allegations of misconduct against an agency's employees are investigated.

Reading both the article and the report raises reasonable questions about the fairness and accuracy of the news reporting. It also raises equally reasonable questions about the thoroughness and thoughtfulness of the FBI's investigation.