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Torn Apart: Tom Martin
If we lost our innocence on a Dallas street corner in 1963, our invincibility in the jungles of Vietnam, did we lose our sense of security in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building on April 19? The bombing in Oklahoma City focused our attention on our own safety, in a county where a talk show host can exhort listeners to shoot for a Federal agent’s head. Where routine mail is viewed with suspicion. Where road maintenance is abandoned in some rural counties by workers afraid for their lives. Has this changed us, we asked? How could it not?
48, Anaheim Private Investigator
When I was a DEA agent, I could go in myself, send informants in, gather intelligence and develop investigative techniques so I could put the dope peddlers in jail.
You take the FBI today. They have to react to the situation rather than get involved in the investigation of these people before something like this happens. They cannot put an undercover agent into a militia-type organization, they can’t do surveillance, they can’t send in informants. They must have absolute probable cause.
These wackos come out and say, “Well the FBI is doing surveillance and infiltration anyway.” The sad part is, they’re not doing it. No agent is going to put his butt on the line, because he’ll be fired.
They don’t get promotions; they don’t become middle management by gathering information on bozos who are crawling on their bellies on the weekend, shooting up hills with legal guns with legal bullets. They do is by gathering intelligence, arresting people and putting those people who commit crimes in jail. They don’t need to be arresting the weekend warrior. They haven’t got time for those people.
I don’t want any of my liberties taken away. But you don’t have to lose any of your freedoms. Just change the guidelines and let the FBI operate the way they want to operate. I would rather go through a thousand airport detectors than be in one plane that explodes.