FBI Chief Comey: New Agents Required to Visit MLK Memorial

Image: FBI Chief Comey: New Agents Required to Visit MLK Memorial

Tuesday, 29 Apr 2014 11:33 AM

By Courtney Coren

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FBI Director James Comey has issued a requirement for all new agents — that they visit the Martin Luther King Memorial.

The new director said that he is adding the King memorial to the Holocaust Museum as a "reminder ... of the need for fidelity to the rule of law," he said during a speech to the Anti-Defamation League in Washington on Monday.

"I think it will serve as a different kind of reminder — one more personal to the bureau — of the need for fidelity to the rule of law and the dangers in becoming untethered to oversight and accountability," Comey said.

"For we know that we will be judged not only on whether we succeed in defeating crime and terrorism," he added. "We will be judged on whether we do so while safeguarding the liberties for which we are fighting."

He argued that protecting national security and civil liberties are not at odds with each other.

"At our best, we are looking for security that enhances liberty," Comey said. "The good people of the FBI are sworn to protect both national security and civil liberties. It is not a question of conflict. We must care deeply about both — in every investigation and every program."

USA Today reports that during the civil rights movement in the 1960s, the FBI had Martin Luther King, Jr., under surveillance in an effort to discredit the civil rights leader.

Agents have been required to visit the Holocaust Museum since the late 1990s.

He said that the reason the requirement was instituted is "so that [agents] can see and hear and feel — in a palpable, nauseating, and gut-wrenching way — the consequences of the abuse of power on a massive scale."


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