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June 13, 2006
America's Most Wanted Politicians

Almost three weeks ago, I posted about a new FBI focus on public corruption, adding more than 200 agents for their work in discovering and stopping bribery and malfeasance by public officials. At the time, the FBI stated that most of the new effort would go to investigating illegal campaign contributions rather than an increased effort to catch outright bribery and payoffs. Now the FBI wants to clearly show a broad effort in this fight -- and they're hoping to use some new Internet tools to help them succeed:

Even with stories about public corruption probes flooding the morning papers, Internet and cable news airwaves, the FBI's new Web site for individuals to report malfeasance and just plain bad behavior hasn't made splashy headlines.

But the site,, is up and running and the G-Men are paying attention. ...

Tipsters from any walk of life are welcome to report suspicious activities, but since most of the would-be criminal action occurs behind closed doors, the bureau expects most contributions to come from individuals who work within the government.

The FBI's anti-corruption Web site offers visitors links where they can enter a tip or find phone numbers for local FBI field offices. Kodak said tipsters can leave as much or as little information as they want and assures that if tipsters want to remain anonymous, the FBI won't reveal their identities.

The web site contains much more than just a tip sheet. It lists all of the toll-free hotlines for its field offices, offers links to press releases on existing investigations, and links to the strategic plan to combat public corruption and other resources, including e-mail and Internet scam FAQs. It's a one-stop shop for those following corruption stories and gives potential whistleblowers a tool always at the ready. The FBI says that it has already received plenty of solid tips through their usual hotline numbers. They hope that the website will make it even easier for tipsters to pass along actionable information.

The idea sprang from the FBI's use of a similar website to combat Hurricane Katrina fraud. The site generated plenty of leads and allowed the FBI to aggressively attack relief fraudsters and shady businesses that preyed on the victims of our worst natural disaster. Success breeds success, and the FBI should be applauded for learning best practices and applying the lessons wherever appropriate.

When the House erupted with indignant anger from the FBI's enforcement of a legal search warrant on the offices of William Jefferson, some fools in Congress thought they could intimidate the Department of Justice into backing down by issuing threats of impeachment. Instead of being cowed, Robert Mueller and his agency has just sent a message that the FBI will use all the tools legally at their disposal to uncover corruption regardless of where it lies. That message should escape no one's attention on Capitol Hill.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 13, 2006 10:06 PM

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» Investigating Government Corruption from Dean's World

Captain Ed notes a very worthwhile new FBI program.

Hard to find anything objectionable in that.

[Read More]

Tracked on June 14, 2006 3:23 AM

» FBI Focus On Corruption from It Shines For All
Captain's Quarters writes on a "new FBI focus on public corruption." Sounds good.... [Read More]

Tracked on June 14, 2006 6:41 AM


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