THE FBI: A Problem of Morale

When an FBI agent was subpoenaed recently by the Senate committee investigating domestic spying by federal agencies, he asked his bosses in Washington for guidance. Their response: You're on your own. The agent promptly hired his own attorney, whose fees will be paid partly by contributions that have been offered by other FBI agents.

Trivial as that incident may sound to outsiders, it lies at the heart of a growing morale problem among the bureau's 8,000 special agents. Increasingly, as their activities are scrutinized by investigators from Congress and the Justice Department, agents feel that they have been abandoned by their...

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