Policy Forum

The FBI Turns 100

Watch the Event

Join the conversation on Twitter using #CatoEvents. Follow @CatoEvents on Twitter to get future event updates, live streams, and videos from the Cato Institute.

Date and Time
July 23, 2008 12 - 1:30 PM EDT
Featuring John Fox, Historian, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Athan Theoharis, Marquette University and author of The FBI & American Democracy, and John F. Kelly, Investigative Reporter and author of Tainting Evidence: Inside the Scandals at the FBI Lab. Moderated by Tim Lynch, Cato Institute.

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. As the Bureau turns 100, it is an appropriate time to review its history, both good and bad, and to discuss its future.