Comments: The State Of Things

"When I was young, the FBI was allowed to operate inside the USofA only"

I'm afraid that's a misconception, and has never, ever, been true.

In 1939, the FBI was ordered by President Roosevelt to set up a Secret Intelligence Section, which, after much bureaucratic tussling, was given the responsibility for foreign intelligence and counter-intelligence throughout the Americas. See here for considerable detail.

Although the briefly lived Coordinator of Intelligence, the also briefly lived Central Intelligence Group, then the CIA, took over those jobs in the post-war era, the FBI has always maintained attaches at a large number of embassies to liase with the relevant government in all sorts of criminal investigatory matters, training (the FBI Academy at Quantico takes in tons of people from local US agencies, and many foreigners, as well), and other duties.

You can check this in about eighty-gazillion books on the history of the FBI and intelligence; it is not obscure. Or, say, look here. Here is some Congressional testimony by the Director.

I'm not sure where you got this notion; the closest I can come to a reflection in reality is that post the Church Committee in the Seventies, the CIA was forbidden to act in the US (although this injunction is now, unsurprisingly, a tad blurrier). (It's also worth keeping in mind, in proportion, that the FBI is not a gigantic organization, although it's not small, either; there are far more cops in NYC than FBI agents in the entire world including the US.)

Posted by Gary Farber at July 30, 2004 01:52 AM

Gary -

I got it from school.

I should have known it was going to turn out to be a lie.

Posted by Anne at July 30, 2004 08:13 AM

My conclusion in elementary school was that said teachers didn't know a lot, and I commenced proving that, to their pain, and I continued my obnoxious approach in high school, but since I''ve also made the mistake of doing so in the blogosphere, I've sporadically regretted it.

I love high school teachers for what they do, but, as a rule, as I learned then, and learned later, they actually turn out to be, often, but, of course, not always, fairly badly educated.


That was why I had such fun being an auto-didact throughout elementary school, and high school, and all between. Man, I was obnoxious, and a snot. But, you know, right. (Let's not even get into my battle, as a seven-year-old, over the Pledge of Allegiance, in 1968.)

Where did you go to school, by the way?

Posted by Gary Farber at July 30, 2004 03:17 PM

I wasn't raised like that, as I've said before. :) I was raised with the whole, "respect your elders and children should be seen and not heard" thing.

Besides, I was very shy. I wouldn't have relished the attention acting out in class would have caused!

I went to school in a small town in Kansas. (I did this bit already, right?) Lawrence, in fact. The home of Kansas University.

Posted by Anne at July 30, 2004 06:55 PM