I never suggested the FBI be abolished. I suggested it change. I believed if it shared better we could do better work cooperatively. I wrote out my suggestions for this in my book. I had fifteen of what I called humble suggestions. They were: to record all interviews, if not recorded let the person read the agents report of the interview and make corrections, tighten up control over informants allowed to commit crimes, have independent authority review files on people who have been informants for over a year, institute real punishment for agents who break laws or rules and not promote them; change the culture where the only thing considered as being s true is what the FBI agent writes down in a 302 report; and give the Department of Justice (DOJ) more control.
I went on to advocate that 302 reports about a DOJ attorney must be copied to him or her, ensure necessary reports are filed and discipline supervisors who don’t enforce it, mandatory forfeit of agents pension for serious crimes while an agent, add people from outside at middle levels of management, experiment with new ideas, provide all indicted people with notice of electronic intercepts and whether persons outside FBI were privy to them, require notice to any person whose privacy has been infringed upon, and eliminate the fear of embarrassment.
All my recommendations were made based on my experience dealing with or learning about the FBI. I sought to make it better by changing the claustrophobic J. Edgar Hoover culture that enveloped it. Trump’s cares little about bettering the FBI. He doesn’t want to improve it. He seeks to diminish it. If it would not investigate him or his family he would give it riches beyond its imagination.
It is true I have attacked the FBI in the past because of its actions. That is the reason why I made these proposals that would have eliminated those actions. No human agency is perfect. Accepting that is the first step the FBI can make to better itself. We need the FBI as it is presently constituted; the changes I have suggested are easily accomplished if the FBI has the will to do it.
Problems I have had with the FBI come down to a few relatively large ones that mainly stem out of the Boston office, the office that the House Committee on Government Reform excoriated in its report. Limiting it to the Boston office however is closing one’s eyes to the tight control Washington, DC, the FBI headquarters that used to be referred to by the agents as the Seat of Government, had over all its offices. As in the Agent John Connolly case it walked away from him at the first sign of trouble even though it approved, at least tacitly, of the job he was doing.
That is one of my major problems with the FBI which is its betrayal of John Connolly who is destined to die in prison having been there for 16 years. He was framed by the FBI. Unfortunately, he does not recognize that the FBI was his real enemy.
An ongoing problem I have with the FBI is its use of the Top Echelon Informant program. After Whitey Bulger and Stevie Flemmi were identified as such we were led to believe that the program had stopped in the Boston area. Years later in 2011 we learned from an electronic interception by the Massachusetts state police that an FBI agent had mobster named Mark Rossetti who had done time for armed robber and was suspected of five murders as his top echelon informant. The agent was intercepted telling Rosetti, “my job is to keep you safe.”
“Yuk”, I thought when I learned it, “the FBI lied about stopping what it did with Bulger and Flemmi. It was still protecting murderers who gave them information.” Not only was I upset, so was Congressman Stephen Lynch. He was demanding an answer from the FBI asking why this had happened. After the FBI delayed and stalled Lynch apparently lost interest. He went on to other things forgetting about it.