A History of the FBI


Each week, the FBI sends reporters an email of “top ten news stories” that it hopes will hit the headlines. The press releases usually highlight crooks nabbed, terrorism plots foiled and convictions notched up by the straight-shooting, gang-busting agents from the world’s most famous law enforcement agency. It’s doubtful any of the cases the FBI likes to publicize made it into Tim Weiner’s absorbing “Enemies: A History of the FBI.” It is a scathing indictment of the FBI as a secret intelligence service that has bent and broken the law for decades in the pursuit of Communists, terrorists and spies. Worse, in his view, the bureau was often grossly inept. As Thomas Kean, Republican chair of the9/11Commission, declared in 2004: “You have a record of an agency that’s failed, and it’s failed again and again and again.” Weiner eviscerates the FBI in a sweeping narrative that is all the more entertaining because it is so redolent with screw-ups and scandals.

more from Bob Drogin at the LA Times here.