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A team of research analysts at Syracuse University has been tracking the FBI's activity in domestic crime investigations. The results are revealing.
For example, in 2007, the FBI made 2,300 referrals of cases to be prosecuted to the U.S. Justice Department. In 1993, the FBI made 20,900 such referrals.
Two decades ago, FBI investigations contributed 36 percent of the total cases prosecuted by the Justice Department. Last year, the FBI referrals were down to 16 percent.
So, if FBI agents aren't investigating crime in the United States, what are they doing? Ferreting out terrorists, apparently, and invading your privacy in the process.
Internal audits indicate the FBI has continued, and even expanded, its pursuit of information on American citizens - made possible by the Patriot Act - although it was ordered by a federal judge last year to cease and desist.
The judge's ruling came after testimony that the FBI had issued more than 140,000 “national security letters” in the period from the beginning of 2003 through 2005. In his ruling, the federal judge called such snooping the “legislative equivalent of breaking and entering.”
So, in the opinion of at least one judge, instead of solving crime and helping to put criminals behind bars, the FBI has instead focused its energies on violating the privacy rights of U.S. citizens.