Well, it’s official. After 28 years, most recently as the Senior Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge for Counterterrorism and Intelligence in Seattle, Washington, I have retired from the FBI. It has been a long and tremendously rewarding experience, with an organization which, despite its flaws, remains the premier investigative agency in the world.
First, a little bit of background on me. I began my law enforcement career in 1977 with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). As an LAPD police officer I worked in some of the highest crime area in Los Angeles, including the 77th, Southeast, and Rampart Divisions, as well as in Wilshire and Narcotics Division as detective. In 1984, I left the LAPD for the FBI.
In the FBI my career has primarily centered on counterterrorism and counterintelligence matters. I have served in the field in the Los Angeles, San Diego, San Juan, and Seattle Divisions. At FBIHQ, I served at the Training Division, Quantico, Virginia, where I trained as a criminal profiler under John Douglas and was a member of the original Behavioral Science Investigative Support Unit, National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime. I later also served in the FBI’s Inspection Division.
There is a backstory regarding my retirement this week, which I will share sometime in the future. Suffice to say, it was more than time for me to move on. Where this new journey will take me, I don’t know. The point of this blog, however, is to try to comment occasionally on the world of domestic counterterrorism policy as it affects Homeland Security, using my experience in law enforcement to discuss the radicalization process, terrorism law, and the political process. The Constitution places considerable restrictions within the United States on how the domestic terrorism threat is addressed, so there will be also discussions regarding how to deal with the threat given the current set of investigative tools allocated to law enforcement and the Homeland Security community. And, since this is my blog, on other topics of interest to me, as they occur.
As a former member of the United States Intelligence Community I am very much restricted in what I can say or comment on based on my prior employment with the FBI and my former access to classified information. Which is why, at least initially, I will be restricting myself to the area of right and left-wing extremism within the United States, and hate motivated crime. These are generally areas where the groups and cases are criminal in nature and not subject to classification issues. I also have to be careful regarding my obligations for pre-publication review by the FBI. So until I work these issues out, I will not be commenting on specific FBI policies or procedures, no matter how inane or ludicrous (oops!).
This blog is a work in progress. I hope that, over time, both the writing and the content will improve enough that you will come back to consider what I have to offer. In the interim be safe, be proud of America, and take care of your family. In the end, they are all you have.