WASHINGTON - FBI agents frequently violate the bureau's rules for handling confidential informants, instructions that were rewritten following FBI abuses in the 1990s, the Justice Department's internal watchdog said Monday.
A review of 120 confidential informant files from FBI offices around the nation found violations in 104 cases, or 87 percent, Inspector General Glenn A. Fine said in a 301-page, partially blacked-out report that examined the FBI's compliance with rules that govern most investigations.
Agents failed to assess informants' suitability, get authorization for informants to engage in activity that otherwise would be illegal, convey proper instructions or tell prosecutors when informants had committed serious crimes, Fine said.
FBI Director Robert Mueller and many agents said the required paperwork is cumbersome, Fine said in the report.
Among the material withheld from the public is how many confidential informants the FBI employs.
Confidential informants are critical to some prosecutions, but their use by the FBI also "presents serious risks, including the risk that informants may claim that their criminal activities were authorized or acquiesced in by the government," Fine said.
The Attorney General's Investigative Guidelines were first developed in the mid-1970s in response to FBI surveillance and infiltration of civil rights and other protest groups in the 1950s and '60s.
The section on informants was overhauled in 2001, after celebrated cases in which FBI agents protected mobsters from prosecution or tipped them off to investigations while simultaneously using them as FBI informants.
In one case, former FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr. tipped off Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger to a looming racketeering indictment, causing Bulger to flee. He remains at large.
since when has the FBI ever been honorable? fuck em.
Both the ATF and FBI could take some serious ethical lessons from the Secret Service, Texas Rangers, US Marshals and DEA(except for the ma-foh-tee guy) on proper discipline and decency.
well the ATF needs to be disband all together, but the FBI isn't really any better.
Kind of funny how both the ATF and FBI were founded/created for clandestine purposes.......
Feebs not playing by the rules??? NO WAY!