Thursday, March 29, 2012

Language Deemed Offensive Is Removed From F.B.I. Training Materials

By M. Schmidt & C. Savage| The NY Times | Mar 28, 2012 | [Original Article]

"WASHINGTON — Training material used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation said agents had the “ability to bend or suspend the law and impinge on freedoms of others,” but that language has now been removed, according to a briefing the bureau recently provided to Congress...

...Also removed was the admonition that agents should never stare at or shake hands with an Asian, and the assertion that Arabs had “Jekyll and Hyde” personalities making them more likely to have “outbursts and loss of control” than even-keeled Westerners... [Read More]

...“If the F.B.I. does not identify agents who received inaccurate information and take steps to retrain them, there is a real risk that agents will be operating on false assumptions about Arab-Americans and American Muslims,” Mr. Durbin wrote. “This could harm counterterrorism efforts by leading F.B.I. agents to target individuals based on their religion or ethnicity, rather than suspicion of wrongdoing.”...

...After Wired published its account of F.B.I. counterterrorism materials last year, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. testified before Congress that the documents undermined the government’s “substantial outreach efforts that we have made and really have a negative impact on our ability to communicate effectively.”..." [Read More]

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