Monday, April 30, 2007

What happened to the FBI?

As mid-size papers across the country strain to remain relevant, it's always nice to see cases of them still doing their own reporting on national or international topics that we haven't heard much or enough about.

Earlier this month, the Seattle Post-Intelligcencer published an article based on original statistical analysis showing that the FBI's "Focus on national security after 9/11 means that the agency has turned its back on thousands of white-collar crimes."

Among the findings:

* White-collar crime investigations by the bureau have plummeted in recent years. In 2005, the FBI sent prosecutors 3,500 cases -- a fraction of the more than 10,000 cases assigned to agents in 2000.
* Civil rights investigations, which include hate crimes and police abuse, have continued a steady decline since the late 1990s. FBI agents pursued 65 percent fewer cases in 2005 than they did in 2000.


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