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Our federal government has literally dozens of bureaus, departments, and commissions. But of all of those agencies, there is probably none who are as “notorious” as the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the FBI. This is an agency who’s reason for being and daily challenges are so dangerous and exotic that we often see the FBI portrayed in movies and TV shows, and almost always heroically.
It is really amazing when you think about it that the FBI is actually a very old agency. And yet in its long history, the FBI has maintained a high public approval and regard for honesty and their single-minded focus on their purpose, which is to protect the American people. That is why when we think of the FBI we think of the words of their motto which is, “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity”.
The actual history of the beginnings of the FBI date back to the turn of last century with a descendent of the French general Napoleon. The President at that time was Teddy Roosevelt and it was under his Attorney General that an agency known as the Bureau of Investigation (BOI) was established in 1908, almost 100 years ago. That Attorney General was Charles Joseph Bonaparte whose grandfather was Jerome Bonaparte, the brother of the famous Napoleon.
The name of the FBI went through several changes before settling in to what we know it as today. In 1932 it was renamed the United States Bureau of Investigation. Then in 1933, it was again renamed the Division of Investigation (DOI) because it had become part of the Bureau of Prohibition. Finally in 1935 it took on the name we know it as today, the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Just as the name of the FBI has gone through some changes, so has the focus of its mission. But this does not reflect a lack of vision on the part of the leadership of the FBI as much as it shows that the agency has continued to adapt and refocus as America’s enemies have changed. Over the years, the FBI has had some phenomenal successes in its war against those who would undermine the American way of life including…
.The most notorious and longest standing director of the FBI, J Edger Hoover lead a war on crime when gangsters and organized crime threatened the rule of law in this country. During his administration, the FBI killed or arrested such notorious mobsters as “Baby Face” Nelson, John Dillinger, “Machine Gun” Kelly, and “Ma” Barker.
.The FBI implemented a strategy to attack and slowly stop the infamous Klu Klux Klan from continuing their murderous and illegal activities across the south.
.In the 1920′s, the FBI arrested an entire army of Mexican revolutionaries who were massing on the nation’s border in California eliminating another threat to the American homeland.
.During World War II, the FBI had a pivotal role in that conflict when it broke up a cell of eight nazis where were working inside the borders of the United States planning acts of sabotage to reduce our ability to battle Hitler. Six of those Nazis were eventually put to death.
But the FBI has never rested on its successes. The mission of the agency has continued to grow and change even in the new century as the focus of our enemies has changed to the internet and the war on terror. That new focus has such a high priority that the top three official investigative priorities of the FBI are…
. To protect the United States from terrorist attack.
.To protect the United States against foreign intelligence operations and espionage.
.To protect the United States against cyber-based attacks and high-technology crimes.
Since the September 11th 2001 attacks, there have been dozens of instances where the FBI working with international and other US intelligence agencies stopped our terrorists from causing further loss of life and property in our nation. So whenever you hear of a great breakthrough in the war on terror or an arrest of one of our nation’s enemies, you can be sure that at the heart of that investigation was this hard working group of men and women, the FBI.
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