I never met an FBI agent I didn't like.

It's not that I've met a bunch of them, but in the course of 25 years as a street reporter, I've met a few, and they've all seemed to be honest, straightforward, dedicated, and decent guys. A few are women, so decent women too.

So where are all the FBI turkeys who keep screwing things up? I guess I haven't met the bad FBI, but it makes me wonder. Since I've met so many good FBI agents, how  many bad agents does it take to compile this miserable record of buffoonery?

The latest is the Mcveigh fumble, but it's a long history.

I was actually at Waco for most of the seige, so I know those guys were desperate for a decent resolution, and I'm convinced there was no intention on the FBI's part for that thing to go as badly as it did.

I know Gerry Spence and I like him a lot. He tells me the FBI did bad things at Ruby Ridge, and I believe him.

And I know this Joseph Salvati case ... which is about as bad as it gets. Purposely framing an innocent man for a crime committed by an informant whom the FBI didn't want to lose, and then letting that innocent man sit in jail for 30 years ... somebody besides Salvati ought to spend decades in prison for that one.

Then there's the business of a Russian spy in the  midst of the FBI ... and the business of screwing up the investigation of who stole our nuke secrets from the Los Alamos lab. Wen Ho Lee got nailed, then got an apology and a get out of jail free card.

I guess I'm asking the same question everybody is asking: If J. Edgar Hoover is really dead, how come the FBI is still Hoover-bad?

And that raises the question: Who cops the cops?

Obviously the Director of the FBI isn't the right person because directors come, and directors go, but this stuff remains the same.

I think it's time for an FBI watchdog. Inside the government, inside the FBI. Somebody to sound an alarm when the FBI is quietly driving a bus over a cliff. Somebody accountable, and available to the public.

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