The Problem With Shirtless FBI Agents

by Robert Wenzel Economic Policy Journal

Recently by Robert Wenzel: Lesson #1 From the Petraeus Scandal: Google Is a Bit More Secure Than YahooEmail

There is a great lesson to be learned in the Petraeus Affair about the expanding surveillance state.

Advocates of the expanding surveillance state often ask, "If you have nothing to hide, why should you be concerned?" We now have the quick answer, "shirtless FBI agents."

If we are to buy into the mainstream accounts of how the Petraeus scandal broke open, it appears that a very attractive woman in Tampa, FL received what she considered to be harassing emails. From reports, the emails, did not rise to a threat level, but were more of the "stay away from my man," "stop wearing short skirts and letting your boobs hangout," type. Certainly nothing that would warrant a full scale FBI investigation.

Indeed, when the emails were first shown to the FBI’s Tampa cybersecurity division, a question was raised as to whether the emails warranted an investigation.

So how did the investigation proceed along? Because of a shirtless FBI agent.

Jill Kelley, the Tampa resident who received the emails, apparently knew an FBI agent that she showed the emails to. It appears that the FBI agent was attracted to Kelley and sent her email pictures of himself, shirtless.

So when she showed him the anonymous harassing emails, he made sure an investigation would take place. He was hot for the broad. It appears he pushed the Tampa cybersecurity team and then became the whistleblower to Congress, when it seemed to him that the FBI was slowing down on the investigation.

What’s important to note is that it is unlikely that any investigation would have been launched without the pushing of the shirtless FBI agent. In other words, the billions in data that the FBI has access to, with or without the flick of a subpoena, was used not to catch terrorists but at its core to help out a hot broad with big boobs. My point here is not to focus on how two generals ensnared in the scandal, but the dangers of so much data being collected on each one of us.

It’s not that we are doing anything wrong, which we must fear, it is the shirtless FBI agents, CIA agents and other government operatives who have access to this data that we must fear. It is obvious that, under the right circumstances, some would inappropriately seek out data on us, which would make it easier for them to take the next step and use that data against us in God only knows what way. An agent sending shirtless pics to a married woman is not an agent that is held back by a strong moral and ethical compass.

The more and more data that is accumulated by government, the more and more data is available to shirtless governmnat agents and that is what we should fear and why the roll back of data collection and access should start now.

Reprinted with permission from Economic Policy Journal.

2012 Economic Policy Journal