An alarming deterioration in recruitment standards for the FBI has been exposed in a report delivered to the House Judiciary Committee by an alliance of retired and active-duty agents and analysts.
One veteran agent who works as a recruitment coordinator, codenamed SIERRA 87, said the drug policy for new agents has been “liberalized to include applicants who had a lifestyle of using drugs".
A candidate who “was arrested and fought with police officers” was not disqualified. Nor are candidates with driving-under-the-influence convictions, or people with documented mental illness.
Nor are candidates who lie during the recruitment process.
SIERRA 72 disqualified a special-agent applicant because their only work experience was working two years as a coffee-shop barista and having a bachelor’s degree in art history. But FBI HQ ordered SIERRA 72 to push the applicant through.
SIERRA 23, a special agent for four years in counterterrorism observed that most new agents disappear during the day, go home early, or never want to work late for after-hours operations. SIERRA 23 does not trust most of the agents with his/her life since they have questionable competence, tactical abilities and work ethic.
SIERRA 22 said one applicant recently rejected by a local police department and one who was a long-term unemployed “gamer” were pushed through by FBI HQ for non-special-agent positions despite objections from the field office.
In one case, training agent SIERRA 11 “advised a new agent that his/her writing skills needed improvement and that the new agent needed to pay attention to detail". The new agent complained to the supervisor that SIERRA 11 was “too difficult and expecting too much".
A female minority recruit “could not compose a simple FD-302, the standard FBI interview report,” said SIERRA 79, a criminal investigator of four decades. “The agent never made a case or wrote an affidavit and had to be pulled along to support investigations [and] could not be trusted in court.” During the agent’s probationary period, her supervisor went up the chain of command to request that her employment be terminated but was told “we need minority female agents".
An FBI-agent recruit “stuttered and appeared to have Tourette syndrome or other tic disorder that hindered [his/her] ability to communicate,” said SIERRA 32, a veteran supervisor at the academy who wondered how this recruit “would function in a high-threat, hostile environment".
Recruiters are required to host “Diversity Applicant Recruitment” events based on race, gender and sexual orientation.
Straight white males may not attend. [But] if a recruiter chose not to attend a Pride Parade or fly the Pride flag, the recruiter would “most likely be removed immediately”.