Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Government Security United States Politics Your Rights Online

Counterterrorism Agents Were Told They Could Suspend the Law 369

politkal writes "According to the FBI's internal inquiry on counterterrorism training, the FBI taught agents that the Bureau 'has the ability to bend or suspend the law to impinge on the freedoms of others;' that agents should 'never attempt to shake hands with an Asian;' that Arabs were 'prone to outbursts' of a 'Jekyll & Hyde' nature." Even better: "That review, now complete, did not result in a single disciplinary action for any instructor. Nor did it mandate the retraining of any FBI agent exposed to what the Bureau concedes was inappropriate material. Nor did it look at any intelligence reports that might have been influenced by the training."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Counterterrorism Agents Were Told They Could Suspend the Law

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @01:34PM (#39498401)

    agents should 'never attempt to shake hands with an Asia

    Christ. The racism I can cope with, but the sheer incompetence... how can these people have jobs?

  • by Sir_Sri ( 199544 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @01:51PM (#39498583)

    they probably don't, or at least not the same job or training contracts.

    It might have been so farcically stupid that people in the training rightly realized it was asinine and didn't actually do anything from it either, hence the lack of a need for retraining.

    Inevitably in life you will go to a training session where the person doing the teaching clearly has no clue what they're talking about, and sometimes it's easier to just write it off as a wasted venture than to try and argue the point or get a refund. This happens in technical training as much as social, business, security, safety or any other kind of training and I somehow doubt this is the first time the FBI has got a bad deal training people on something.

    It depends how long ago all of this was, and what has happened since, but a lot of times you can't get your money back, since the person is out of business, or it would cost more in lawyer fees to recoup it.

    And, sadly, there are racists in the US. The sooner you get used to dealing with that the better off you'll be. They're everywhere, even if there aren't a lot of them, you should have enough brains to know to ignore them. It's not like the FBI is training 5 year olds on racial profiling, these are adults who should have the brains to realize when information they're getting is batshit crazy, and the ones who think it's the greatest thing ever were racists already. By the time they get to the FBI they're long past the point of being able to influence their biases (or lack thereof) about people from a training session.

  • Re:FBI (Score:2, Interesting)

    by NeutronCowboy ( 896098 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @01:51PM (#39498589)

    Wow, Internet Tough Guy advocates shooting at law enforcement. I'll wait for your example. No, really, after you. Please shoot the officers arresting your friend. I'll bring the popcorn. In the meantime, I'll do what civilized people do - get the courts involved.

  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @02:03PM (#39498713)

    They were recently scolded by a Judge, for trying to imprison a group of supposed "terrorists" who were really just a rifle club:

    "The prosecution is not free to roam at large â" to shift its theory of criminality so as to take advantage of each passing vicissitude of the trial,â Judge Victoria Roberts said. âoeIf the government now admits that the plan alleged in Count 1 of the indictment (seditious conspiracy) did not exist, then defendants must be acquitted," Roberts wrote in her 28-page ruling. "The governmentâ(TM)s case is built largely of circumstantial evidence. While this evidence could certainly lead a rational fact finder to conclude that âsomething fishyâ(TM) was going on, it does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that defendants reached a concrete agreement to forcibly oppose the U.S. government." []

  • Re:FBI (Score:5, Interesting)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @02:32PM (#39499057)

    Wow, Internet Tough Guy advocates shooting at law enforcement

    I advocate defending yourself from unlawful violations of your civil liberty, which can (and historically usually does) lead to violence. I do not advocate suicide. Violence is the last thing to try, not the first!

    Those men have families too -- they're not going to unload their gun on a crowd of people with the will and determination to fight back if attacked when they are outnumbered 10 to 1 or more. They aren't suicidal either. A show of force and solidarity is a better deterrent than a truck load of guns... Liberty has historically been paid for in blood. It is is maintained by the willingness to pay for it. It's how we avoided a nuclear holocaust when the USSR still existed: Mutually Assured Destruction was the most successful peace policy the modern world has seen.

    I'll do what civilized people do - get the courts involved.

    There is nothing dignified about dying, or being beaten, arrested, and/or tortured, much less at the hands of a corrupt authority. Civilized people try to avoid those things -- but civilized people also understand that sometimes the individual must be sacrificed for the greater good. If that means standing in front of a tank, so be it. We send our men and women overseas to fight for our freedoms every day, and they have the same attitude; They do everything possible to avoid violence, but if the enemy is intent upon it, then by god we give it to them. That's what patriotism is; It's not standing by your government, it's standing by your country -- it's about the people.

  • by YurB ( 2583187 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @02:47PM (#39499213)
    When studying my country's history and the bloody things done by the NKVD (and it's predecessors) I was always having this question: "How could that happen?". I simply couldn't believe so many people could simply serve Stalin and do all the violent things in such big scale (millions of victims.) The violence often highly exceeded what was required by the order. But then I found something close to an explanation of that by Philip Zimbardo in a TED talk []. He argues that structures where people have a uniform, orders, hierarchy, power over others (like in this case when one can even cross the law's edges), and racism, seem to provide the grounds for violent behaior.
  • by venom85 ( 1399525 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @02:56PM (#39499347)

    I never implied that the private sector doesn't accept incompetence. I stated that the government allows it in mass quantities. I do work in the private sector and see incompetence routinely. However, there's a huge difference between what happens in a private company and what happens in government. When incompetence is allowed in a private company, the company suffers. Sometimes, depending on the type of incompetence, the customers suffer by having to pay higher prices for inferior products (see things like the content holders and providers like Comcast). When incompetence is allowed in the government, however, it comes with the business end of a gun, so to speak. It can, and often does, result in a loss of basic freedoms, jail time, or worse. There's a huge, huge difference there.

    Also, don't forget that many, if not most, of the problems you see in the private world are the result of government actions. For instance, going back to the content industry, a lack of competition and other factors created by FCC regulations (among many, many other laws) are a large reason prices are so high and options are so few. I can't say with certainty that the industry would be perfect without government involvement, but I have yet to find anyone who thinks that it'd be anywhere near this bad if the industry was left to its own devices.

  • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @03:40PM (#39499919)

    The solution is fairly simple, though I'm not clear on all the details. The solution is for the USA to collapse and break apart. Just like parts of the USSR were much better off after its collapse, so it will be with the USA. (The west coast, with all its tech industry and better education, will do much better on its own without the rest of the country dragging it down, for instance.) Large countries simply don't work with democratically-elected governments, only small ones do.

    So voting for Santorum might just be the best solution here, to bring about collapse more quickly.

  • by lcam ( 848192 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @05:00PM (#39501019)

    I found your comments to be very very interesting. I wish I had mod points left even though you don't need them.

    The fact is, if more people looked after each other, we would not be busy with our own self-interests but making sure that the interests of everyone around us was looked after. Since capitalism sort of insinuates we should look after ourselves before our brothers we end up more isolated in a way.

    Furthermore, the ideals you share do put a new light on extremism. Specifically extremism in the middle east, what we call terrorists may very well have been people who are willing to give their lives to a system of ideals defending their "friends" in any way possible, including at the price of their lives, because those ideals have become corrupted by violence, hate and misdirection.

    Thanks for an inspirational posting.

  • by Trogre ( 513942 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @06:50PM (#39502337) Homepage

    Perhaps that's a cultural thing. The article also mentions not staring at Asians (which I understand, since eye-contact means very different things in different cultures).

    And did you really want to approach an Arab woman before approaching a male first?

    This isn't racism, people, these are rules of thumb that look like they're attempting to help you establish relations, trust, whatever.

    The rage thing I'm really not sure about. I have seen that effect in several people of Arab descent but have no idea how pervasive it is compared with other groups.

May all your PUSHes be POPped.