Timothy Lynch reviews the FBI’s first 100 years.

September 24, 2008
In 1908, the Justice Department created the Bureau of Investigation, a small division of detectives that was responsible for investigating violations of federal law. The division was filled with incompetent and corrupt agents until a young bureaucrat by the name of J. Edgar Hoover was brought in to clean house. Hoover reorganized the division and renamed it the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and he served as its director for nearly 50 years. As the federal government expanded over the years, so did the power of the Bureau. Today, the FBI employs more than twenty thousand people and spends approximately $6.5 billion per year. Timothy Lynch, the director of the Cato Institute’s Project on Criminal Justice, gives the agency a due evaluation.

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