By Piers Morgan:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s official website couldn’t be any clearer about the purpose of the organisation.
‘The mission of the FBI,’ it reads, ‘is to protect the American people.’
As for the role of its much-vaunted Special Agents, the FBI defines their job as: ‘Staying ahead of the threat through leadership, agility and collaboration.’
Where do those two bold statements of intent sit today, I wonder?
It’s hard to imagine there has even been a worse week for the FBI in its 109-year history.
First, they were forced to admit they spectacularly dropped the ball on the Florida mass shooter.
On January 5 this year, the FBI received a call to its Public Access Line, a service specifically set up to encourage people to report crimes or threats.
This wasn’t a vague call to the hotline’s West Virginia call center.
It was very, very specific.
‘A person close to Nikolas Cruz,’ read the FBI statement, ‘provided information about Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behaviour, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.’
What should have happened next is blindingly obvious.
‘Under established protocols,’ the statement continued, ‘the information provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life (and) forwarded to the FBI Miami Field Office where appropriate investigative steps would have been taken.’
But staggeringly, shamefully, it wasn’t.
As the FBI conceded, ‘the information was not provided to the Miami field office, and no further investigation was conducted at that time.’
How is it even possible that such a detailed, terrifying warning could be ignored?
FBI Director Christopher Wray said: ‘It is up to all Americans to be vigilant, and when members of the public contact us with concerns, we must act properly and quickly.’
Well yes, Mr Wray.
Thanks for the reminder of what the FBI is supposed to do with tips like that.
But an American WAS vigilant, and DID contact you with concerns, and you acted improperly, and not just slowly but non-existently.