FBI to get freer rein to look for terrorism suspects
By Marisa Taylor | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — Attorney General Michael Mukasey confirmed plans Wednesday to loosen post-Watergate restrictions on the FBI's national security and criminal investigations, saying the changes were necessary to improve the bureau's ability to detect terrorists.
Mukasey said he expected criticism of the new rules because "they expressly authorize the FBI to engage in intelligence collection inside the United States." However, he said the criticism would be misplaced because the bureau has long had authority to do so.
Mukasey said the new rules "remove unnecessary barriers" to cooperation between law enforcement agencies and "eliminate the artificial distinctions" in the way agents conduct surveillance in criminal and national security investigations.