The FBI: Accountable to No One

In the lead up to this year’s Boston Marathon, there has inevitably been an influx of coverage examining the status of the case of the Tsnarnaev brothers, more colloquially known as last year’s “Boston Marathon Bombers. One of the more interesting issues to have bubbled to the surface in the midst of all of this news coverage lack of accountability within the FBI, the agency who allegedly had information on the Tsnarnaev brothers’ extremist activities prior to the attacks. In this recent Boston Globe article, journalist Kevin Cullen highlights the transparency issue within the FBI; the FBI is not even accountable to Congress, so there are zero repercussions for the agency (aside from negative press) when they slip up and fail to thoroughly investigate a suspect, such as Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

At present, there are no true answers to the questions Cullen is posing in his article, he is simply drawing attention to the fact that something needs to change within the transparency of government agencies. While hindsight is 20/20, one can’t help but think what might have happened (or, should we say, what might not have happened), had the FBI been in top form and performed a thorough investigation when they received leads on Tamerlan Tsarnaev; the threat of accountability might well have been the push the FBI needed to leave no stone unturned in their investigation of Tsarnaev as a potential terrorist.

Ultimately, it is clear that the FBI’s lack of accountability leads to holes in its investigations, as there are no outsiders regulating its activities, which ultimately leaves the U.S. susceptible to potential national security threats.

The article can be read in its entirety here.

Kelly Ann Taddonio, Senior Research Fellow
Center for Policy & Research





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