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Opinion | It Is Too Late to Save the FBI With a Reform

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Jan. 8, 2023 10:40 am ET

Photo: YURI GRIPAS/REUTERS

William McGurn asks “Can the FBI be reformed?” in “Let an FBI Agent Lead the FBI” (Main Street, Jan. 3). He points to politicization of the top jobs as the cause of the bureau’s recent shameful record. While it may be true that a fish rots from the head down, at this point the entire body is rotten. Despite his repetition of the mantra that “the overwhelming majority of agents are professional investigators who do their jobs without regard to politics,” most Americans no longer trust the bureau to do the right thing. Why? Because during a decade of blatant civil-rights violations and circumventions of the Constitution, the number of rank-and-file agents who stood up as whistleblowers can be counted on one hand.

To answer Mr. McGurn’s question: No, the FBI cannot be reformed. The time has come to dismantle the organization, make sure its current employees are deemed no longer fit for service in any capacity that requires public trust, and start over. Until then, the American public will be correct in suspecting that the FBI is no longer on its side. They aren’t the good guys anymore.

Christopher Stephens

New York

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