FBI no longer primarily a crime-fighting agency

A new info-sheet issued by the FBI redefines the bureau's primary mission, dropping "law enforcement" and replacing it with "national security." The bureau has not made any formal announcements regarding this change — but it does signal that the bureau's leadership views its primary activity as spying on Americans, not catching bad guys, possibly because the budget for spying is effectively bottomless.

"What happened in the last year that changed?" asked Kel McClanahan, a Washington-based national security lawyer.

McClanahan noticed the change last month while reviewing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the agency. The FBI fact sheet accompanies every FOIA response and highlights a variety of facts about the agency. After noticing the change, McClanahan reviewed his records and saw that the revised fact sheets began going out this summer. "I think they're trying to rebrand," he said. "So many good things happen to your agency when you tie it to national security."

FBI Drops Law Enforcement as 'Primary' Mission [John Hudson/Foreign Policy]