HH Note: Enjoy this story about more of the FBI's history as they get ready for their anniversary on July 26th..
Mr. Schiff: Hi, welcome to "FBI 100, A Closer Look." I'm Neal Schiff of the Bureau's Office of Public Affairs along with FBI Historian Dr. John Fox. John, over the first century the FBI has had many great cases, so different that it’s hard to rank them?
Dr. Fox: "Sure Neal. Anything from the investigations of potential German espionage in World War I through Dillinger and the Gangster Era, the breaking of Nazi espionage just before we entered World War II to some of our biggest cases of more recent years. We’ve had some great successes.”
Mr. Schiff: How did the FBI’s priorities change from the early days of bank robbery and car theft cases?
Dr. Fox: "Over the years we’ve always had duel responsibilities for protecting America’s national security and enforcing our federal criminal law. And over the years one side of that equation or the other has been more important. In World War II, national security was the top of our priority list. But it was only a couple of years before, when, just as you said, car thefts and bank robberies were at the top. How does it change? It’s a matter of our Presidents, Attorneys General, really ultimately what the American people are most concerned with. And it’s also what we see as the future; what kinds of security threats or what kind of crimes are becoming more of a danger and something that we really need to put more resources towards.”
Mr. Schiff: John, what’s the FBI’s greatest strength?
Dr. Fox: "Neal, over the years the FBI’s greatest strength is that because it has such a talented and educated force of agent and professional support; from the scientists to the analysts to specially-trained agents who can go into computer intrusions or the people who can gather the minutest quantities of evidence at the crime scene and analyze it and tell us the story of what happened. These people are able to adapt and change as we look back at what we’ve done; sometimes learn from our mistakes, learn from the successes that we have. Address the new issues as they are arising. Our people have been very good at changing with the times and building on what has been done before.”
Mr. Schiff: July 26, 2008, the FBI’s 100th anniversary. From the FBI’s Public Affairs office, along with Bureau Historian Dr. John Fox, I'm Neal Schiff with "FBI 100, A Closer Look."