Episode 224: “The FBI’s Ambitious New Plans” with J. Michael Waller

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation is proceeding with plans to build a new headquarters which would be twice the size of the The Pentagon, the world’s largest office building.

The new FBI headquarters is to be built on one of three sites in suburban Virginia and Maryland. Those sites are large parcels of 58, 61, and 80 acres.

The Kremlin in Moscow —a walled fortress containing the administrative offices of the Russian central government, the official presidential residence, massive auditoriums, an arsenal, a museum, four palaces, three cathedrals and several churches—is just over 66 acres in area.

Vatican City in Rome, the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, is tucked into 110 acres.  

The FBI is proceeding with its plans at a time when Americans have grown increasingly alarmed about the mission creep of an institution we once regarded as the world’s greatest law-enforcement agency. 

After the 9/11 attacks, the Bureau’s mission changed to become an intelligence operation rather than a law enforcement agency. Case management has been centralized in its headquarters in Washington DC rather than as before in the field offices around the country. It did this to place so-called operational decisions in the hand of what they’ve called “politically sensitive” individuals at headquarters. 

What this means in practice it that the political biases of FBI leadership, and some of its investigators, have come to influence the conduct and public perception of the agency’s most consequential investigations.

Joining me to talk about the planned building, the FBI’s history and what it’s become today, is my frequent guest and astute observer of US intelligence agencies, Mike Waller.

J. Michael Waller, is a Senior Analyst for Strategy at the Center for Security Policy where he concentrates on propaganda, political warfare, psychological warfare, and subversion. Mike’s author of a soon to be published book about the CIA and the FBI.

The FBI hasn’t revealed a reason or strategy for its colossal new HQ but we do know this according to the GSA specs:

  • “Riveted into its new project are woke regulations to ensure that the FBI center will comply with diversity, equity, LGBTQ+, and climate change political goals,” explains Mike.

  • The site, design, and structure of the new FBI headquarters must “advance racial equity and support for underserved communities through the Federal Government,” as part of Joe Biden’s Executive Order 13985 calling for “an ambitious whole-of-government equity agenda.”

But the problem with today’s FBI runs deeper. 

“After 9/11 the FBI has been stuck in this netherworld of being a law enforcement agency and an intelligence agency, and you can’t combine those with the same people in the same organization or you get political police.”

Is this what we want from our FBI?

There is a lot packed into this episode about a woke and politicized FBI.

Mike explains how we got here – from the 1920s to today – and it’s a fascinating, and disturbing, story.

Check out this episode!