Five of the most embarrassing uses of FBI resources

A round up of some of the more dubious cases the Bureau’s cracked over the years.

Written by JPat Brown
Edited by Michael Morisy

Earlier this week, we looked at how the FBI spent two years hot on the heels of a bloodthirsty cult, only to find out it didn’t exist. Inspired by this magnificent waste of time and money, we decided to round up some of the more dubious cases the Bureau’s top men have cracked over the years.

5. Figuring out what “Objectivism” is

After J. Edgar Hoover recieved a letter from Ayn Rand praising the FBI director and asking if he was a follower of her Objectivist philosophy, Hoover sent his agents on a fact-finding mission to figure out what the hell “Objectivism” is.

4. Unsuccessfully sabotaging Alfred Hitchcock

Tipped off that an upcoming episode of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” was going to portray an ex-FBI agent engaged in shady dealings, the Bureau sought squash this potential blemish on their reputation by instructing an ex-FBI to get the script altered by any means necessary.

3. Searching for non-existent porn stashes

During their obscenity investigation into Dr. Strangelove screenwriter Terry Southern, agents became obsessed with gaining access to Southern’s legendary - and entirely imaginary - stockpile of smut.

2. Settling a bet with Tom Clancy

After a night drinking with the author, former FBI director William S. Sessions assigned agents to research the veracity of a story Tom Clancy had told. Sessions was later dismissed for misuse of Bureau resources.

1. Determining that mathematicians are into math

After decades of tracking his every move, the only thing the Bureau managed to uncover about mathematician Paul Erdős was that the dude liked math.


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