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Disrupt, Discredit, and Divide: How the New FBI Damages Democracy

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Vanderbilt Hall, Greenberg Lounge

NYU School of Law

40 Washington Square South

New York, NY 10012

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A former FBI agent – and leading critic – examines the agency as it has been transformed.

The attacks on 9/11 changed the country—and with it, U.S. law enforcement, especially the FBI. The FBI once was made famous by prosecuting organized crime and corruption. After the attacks, it shifted its focus to the disruption of terrorist activity. But its strategy relies upon the discredited theory of “radicalization.” By targeting Muslims, foreigners, communities of color, and dissidents, the FBI pitted American communities against one another. And it ignored the threat of white nationalist violence.

In his new book, Disrupt, Discredit, and Divide, Brennan Center Fellow and former FBI special agent Michael German details the transformation of the FBI from a law enforcement body into a secretive domestic intelligence agency. For 16 years, German served in the FBI and twice infiltrated extremist groups using constitutionally sound law enforcement techniques.

German will examine the direction the agency has taken since 9/11 and its effect on public life and civil liberties. How did the FBI’s role and structure change after 9/11? What are the dangers of ignoring white nationalist terrorism? What changes are needed to protect national security while respecting constitutional rights?

Michael German, Brennan Center Liberty & National Security fellow; former FBI Special Agent; author of Disrupt, Discredit, and Divide: How the New FBI Damages Democracy
Adam Serwer, Staff Writer, The Atlantic


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Vanderbilt Hall, Greenberg Lounge

NYU School of Law

40 Washington Square South

New York, NY 10012

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