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Support our local police! (Inside Report).

As the Bush administration, under the rubric of the "War on Terrorism," accelerates our nation's plunge into a garrison state, some state and local law enforcement leaders are offering timely resistance. The process of centralizing and militarizing our law enforcement system involves making the FBI a full-fledged national police force, with all state and local agencies subordinate to it. But many local police officials are rebelling against an FBI intelligence counter-terrorism initiative intended to advance that goal.

"A new FBI program designed to provide local police with intelligence reports on potential terrorism is sputtering because many police officials believe the application process is too long and intrusive," reported the August 2nd issue of USA Today. "They also say the reports aren't that valuable." For access to the reports, police officials would have to undergo detailed background checks, sometimes taking up to six months. This would be tantamount to charging the FBI with vetting state and local police personnel involved in counter-terrorism efforts. Bureau whistle-blower Colleen Rowley, recall, described the FBI's handling of the pre-Black Tuesday terrorism inquiry as so spectacularly inept that some field agents joked that "spies or moles ... working for Osama bin Laden" had infiltrated the Bureau.

Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, observes that police officials are "infuriated" by the Bureau's background check requirement. "Most of these people have been chiefs for a long time with established records in law enforcement. Having to wait for clearance is unbelievable.... We should be sharing information right away." William Berger, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, received a 12-page application from the FBI requiring a detailed family profile, including credit references and other personal information. "I didn't have time for it, and I don't know many chiefs who do, especially when the information we're getting in return is minimal at best."
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Title Annotation:the new supercops, the Federal Bureau of Investigations
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 26, 2002
Previous Article:FBI-mafia axis. (Inside Report).
Next Article:FTAA progress report. (Insider Report).

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