Congress Unites to Demand Answers on Deadly Incompetence of FBI

With all of its shortcomings, at least the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has achieved one thing: In a harshly divided Congress, its astonishing ineptitude—or worse—has managed to unite Republicans and Democrats. This ineptitude may have literally sent innocent people to their deaths.

In a strongly worded letter, the GOP chairman and the ranking Democrat of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform demanded answers from FBI Director James Comey regarding the recent revelations that the Bureau’s forensic “experts” made erroneous statements in an unfathomable 95% of trials involving microscopic hair analysis.

A “catastrophe”
“The scope of this catastrophe is almost impossible to believe,” Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) wrote, noting that 35 of the defendants in the cases involving such testimony ended up receiving the death penalty. Nine of them have already been executed and five others died on death row. According to the FBI’s own internal investigation, errors were made in 94% of those cases.

“Our criminal justice system—and people’s very freedom—relies on the integrity of FBI analysts’ reports and testimony,” added the two lawmakers. “To learn that the FBI systematically provided erroneous information and biased report results in matters of life and death is shocking and obviously unacceptable.”...


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