Excellent article from the Heritage Foundation below by Steven Bradbury.
However, the FBI might not be fixable — it may require firing them all or cutting funding to zero and then starting all over again.
By Steven Bradbury • Distinguished Fellow, Executive Vice President’s Office
The FBI’s chilling record of politicized abuses and the executive branch’s continuing misuse of federal intelligence authorities to target the exercise of free speech and other constitutional rights of Americans gives Congress clear and compelling grounds for enacting forceful reforms, starting with the FBI. In fact, the time is ripe for Congress to consider a complete reconstruction of the FBI, defining the scope of its jurisdiction, refocusing its mission on traditional law enforcement, and putting it under effective control. Short of that comprehensive reform, Congress must, at the very least, put in place the minimum set of proposed reforms outlined in this paper, and reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act’s Section 702 offers a perfect vehicle for doing so.
- The executive branch’s misuse of federal intelligence authorities gives Congress clear and compelling grounds for enacting forceful reforms, starting with the FBI.
- Congress should define the scope of the FBI’s jurisdiction, refocus its mission on traditional law enforcement, and put it under effective control.
- At the very least, Congress must adopt a minimum set of critical reforms necessary to safeguard America’s freedoms.
The liberty of the American people is under threat from politicized national security agencies, exemplified by the abuses of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Congress must act to restrain and reform the FBI and mitigate this threat to our cherished freedoms.
There is good reason to rethink the entire idea of the FBI at a fundamental level—to start over from scratch and reconstruct the Bureau in a new form, one refocused on its core law enforcement responsibilities, brought under effective control and oversight, and subject to the structural restraints needed to protect the constitutional rights of Americans.
After laying out the need for fundamental reform, this paper describes the general elements that would be involved in rebuilding the FBI and offers options for Congress’s consideration. We at The Heritage Foundation stand ready to assist with the foundational research and analytical work needed to flesh out the components of a serious plan for the Bureau’s reconstruction.
Whether or not Congress decides to advance a comprehensive package for reimagining the FBI, there still remains an urgent imperative for Congress to act without delay to end the weaponization of the FBI and the misuse of intelligence authorities. We describe below the minimum set of reforms we believe must be enacted. The push this year for legislation reauthorizing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) provides a useful opportunity for congressional action. Any reauthorization of Section 702 must include meaningful reforms.
©2023. Royal A. Brown III. All rights reserved.