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Previous FBI controversies

• April 1997 -- Department of Justice Inspector General finds "significant instances of testimonial errors, substandard analytical work, and deficient practices" at the FBI's crime laboratory. The various problems were found in cases that included the UNABOM investigation, the World Trade Center bombing and the Oklahoma City bombing. (Department of Justice document)

• May 20, 1997 -- Three FBI agents who investigated the 1996 bombing at the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta are punished for tricking security guard Richard Jewell into answering questions without a lawyer present. Jewell discovered the bomb and helped move people away just before it exploded and killed one person and injured 111. Jewell quickly became the prime suspect, but the FBI cleared him after a three-month investigation. (More on the Jewell investigation)

• May 5, 1998 -- The FBI launches a nationwide manhunt for Eric Robert Rudolph, accused of the deadly 1998 bombing of a Birmingham, Alabama, clinic that performed abortions, the 1996 bombing of the Centennial Olympic Park that killed one person in Atlanta, Georgia, and the 1997 bombings of a nightclub and a women's clinic in the Atlanta area. Rudolph was put on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List but remains at large. (More on the Rudolph manhunt)


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• September 10, 1999 -- After denying for six years that potentially flammable tear gas canisters were used on the final day of the Branch Davidian standoff near Waco, Texas, the Justice Department and FBI turn over documents that indicate pyrotechnic military tear gas rounds were in fact used. Attorney General Janet Reno appoints former Sen. John Danforth to lead an independent probe into the standoff. A federal judge later finds that tear gas rounds were not to blame for the fire that killed about 80 people inside the compound. (More on the Waco incident)

• September 12, 2000 -- Nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee pleads guilty to one of 59 felony counts of mishandling classified data at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and is sentenced to the nine months he served in pretrial detention. Lee had agreed to help authorities with their investigation into what happened to 10 computer tapes that prosecutors said contained the "crown jewels" of U.S. nuclear defense secrets. The FBI and Justice Department were criticized for their treatment of the Taiwan-born naturalized citizen. In Senate hearings Freeh vigorously defended his agency's actions. (More on the Wen Ho Lee trial)

• February 18, 2001 -- Veteran FBI agent Robert Hanssen is arrested in a Vienna, Virginia, park and charged with spying for the Russians. Hanssen spent much of his 25-year career in counterintelligence and is accused of selling the Soviet Union and later Russia 6,000 pages of documents and 27 computer diskettes cataloging secret and top secret programs over 15 years. (More on Robert Hanssen)

FBI withheld key bombing evidence from state
May 3, 2001
FBI's 'Carnivore' does not invade privacy, review finds
November 22, 2000

Federal Bureau of Investigation

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