Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

The Kelleys: Who are these morons?

Dudes, if you don’t want your civil liberties infringed, don’t ask your pals in the FBI to investigate e-mails you don’t like. Instead, do what I do: Hit the "delete" button. Why the FBI dove into this mess remains, to me, the big unanswered question of the entire episode. Now that D. Petraeus, P. Broadwell, ...

Tim Boyles/Getty Images
Tim Boyles/Getty Images
Tim Boyles/Getty Images

Dudes, if you don't want your civil liberties infringed, don't ask your pals in the FBI to investigate e-mails you don't like. Instead, do what I do: Hit the "delete" button.

Why the FBI dove into this mess remains, to me, the big unanswered question of the entire episode. Now that D. Petraeus, P. Broadwell, and J. Allen have been cleared, the only pending transgression that has gone unaddressed is that apparently committed by the bureau.

So: What was the role of the FBI in this? Who authorized the investigation -- if anybody? And was the NSA involved? People who care about the American system should care about these questions. Anybody in Congress care to help out here? The word "patriot" gets tossed around a lot these days. Here is an instance where it counts.

Dudes, if you don’t want your civil liberties infringed, don’t ask your pals in the FBI to investigate e-mails you don’t like. Instead, do what I do: Hit the "delete" button.

Why the FBI dove into this mess remains, to me, the big unanswered question of the entire episode. Now that D. Petraeus, P. Broadwell, and J. Allen have been cleared, the only pending transgression that has gone unaddressed is that apparently committed by the bureau.

So: What was the role of the FBI in this? Who authorized the investigation — if anybody? And was the NSA involved? People who care about the American system should care about these questions. Anybody in Congress care to help out here? The word "patriot" gets tossed around a lot these days. Here is an instance where it counts.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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