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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

FBI dealt stinging rebuff
with decision to ditch body
"Within hours of President Obama’s announcement Sunday night that the U.S. intelligence community had confirmed the identity of bin Laden’s body, FBI officials briefed field offices via secure videoconference calls" in the words of one news account.

We're also told the FBI is on a "war footing" in the aftermath of Osama bin Laden's death.

Not too much more concerning the FBI.

But Washington insiders will have noticed that the FBI was denied access to the CIA's prize corpse. No bureau agents were given the opportunity to look it over and, more important, the FBI's famed forensics lab was bypassed. Whether this had anything to do with the bureau's initial refusal to list bin Laden as a suspect in the 9/11 attacks is not evident.

The line is that the White House didn't want to have a shrine form around the remains. But the body could easily have been kept indefinitely at a morgue on some undisclosed military base.

That excuse however will do little to ameliorate the impression that the FBI's vaunted power is on the wane, an impression that may well have an impact on Capitol Hill where lawmakers are eyeing budgets with eagle eyes.

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