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Chief FBI Spokesman Challenges NY Times Editorial on FBI Policy

Michael Kortan is assistant director for public affairs for the FBI in Washington. His letter to the editor is in response to a June 19 Editorial in the New York Times.

Michael Kortan (left) talking to ex-FBI Dir. Louis Freeh /fbi file photo

By Michael P. Kortan
New York Times Letter to Editor

WASHINGTON — The purpose of the attorney general guidelines and F.B.I. policy contained in the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide is to ensure that F.B.I. activities are conducted with respect for the constitutional rights and privacy interests of all Americans.

Although an effort is under way to revise the prior version of the guide, contrary to the editorial’s statements, the revision will not provide “agents significant new powers.”

The editorial notes that currently specialized surveillance squads may be used only once during an assessment but that the new guide will allow repeated use.

What the editorial does not mention is that surveillance, whether conducted by a specialized squad or a single agent, is tightly controlled during assessments. It can be authorized only for very limited periods of time, and any extension must be separately justified and approved.

To read more click here.


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