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smellycat6464
04-14-2014, 01:18 PM
Hello everyone,

Off the bat, I'm going to out myself as someone who probably knows almost nothing on American government departments and such. I do apologize for my political slothness--I'm trying to remedy this, and it is most certainly biting me in the you know where now.

But hopefully I can get some help in disabusing myself of my ignorance.

My setting is a future "America" that isn't dystopian, but it will become dystopian by the end of the book. I use the air quotes because it is not America to the denizens of said country. It is set in the future by an unspecified (as of yet) period--far enough that the people don't know what America is really, but not far enough where the gist of the government anatomy (like the FBI) isn't obsolete or replaced.

I have a character who will represent a more poli-thriller/detective mystery side of the story. She will be either a member of law enforcement who is later taken into the FBI, or part of the FBI, I haven't decided yet because I'm not sure which occupation makes more sense plot-wise.

Point is, her arc begins with the investigation of an assassination of the president (most likely in the lame duck period). Both the assassin and the target died during the process (or so it seems).

The character, Rae, is called in by her superior for a few reasons-she's good, she used to date the dead assassin, and the boss has a crush on her.

I know it's not proper protocol to involve agents who are attached to the case, and Rae will get in some sort of trouble for not speaking up about it, so I'm wondering how this could transpire logically? How much scrutiny occurs in these situations? Is it that big of a deal? What are the repercussions of such a violation? Also, would later successes by Rae's hand in the mission be able to mitigate any punishments (her being fired would certainly ruin the plot!)

I'm asking this because I'm not sure if her supervisor should even know he is placing an agent in this situation. (He isn't a good person, if that makes a difference--we just don't know yet.)

Also, a random techie question, but what advanced investigative tools would you say are at the FBIs disposal? I know there's a registry for fingerprints, explosives, tire tracks, criminal histories, and census data. However, does the FBI have facial recognition software, something that can look at a face and tell you who it is (like on Facebook). If not, I have no problem making something up, it's the future.

And now, for the big question, would the FBI even have proper jurisdiction here? The great plan is to have Rae be absorbed into a secret unit of the FBI that deals with a specific criminal organization comprised of the offspring of what turns out to be humans and some alien race, introducing super powers to the human gene pool. Would such a division even belong to the FBI? and would they be allowed to investigate a presidential assassination? Also, would the FBI even be allowed to say "hey, Rae, you know a lot about this already, welcome to the team--sign this "talk to the press and you die" contract over there."


Sorry for the rambling preamble. If I was unclear, too broad, or too lengthy, feel free to let me know :)

Thanks, and happy writing.

jeffo
04-14-2014, 03:57 PM
Not to muddy the waters of your knowledge, but you might want to consider the US Secret Service as well. They are tasked with protecting the president: http://www.secretservice.gov/protection.shtml

It could be possible that Rae was part of the protection service and witnessed the assassin. I would assume that the FBI would lead the investigation into the assassination, but in the US government, nearly every 3-letter agency would also be involved. You can be sure that the BATF would be involved, especially if there was a firearm. Homeland Security would absolutely get involved (there is nothing they don't claim jurisdiction over today). If there is any hint of foreign involvement, the CIA would jump in. The sheer number of investigating agencies would, in reality, be absolutely staggering (and utterly wasteful).

I think the FBI, in such a case, would tend to not want to bring in new people. That said, they wouldn't mind paying a "consultant" so they could wash their hands if the investigation went wrong. As for the love interest, I don't think the agencies themselves would have any problem, but if the press were to get a leak and start dropping suggestions, the media inquiries would be enough of a distraction to cause any amount of trouble you need!

Good luck!

King Neptune
04-14-2014, 04:00 PM
The character, Rae, is called in by her superior for a few reasons-she's good, she used to date the dead assassin, and the boss has a crush on her.

I know it's not proper protocol to involve agents who are attached to the case, and Rae will get in some sort of trouble for not speaking up about it, so I'm wondering how this could transpire logically? How much scrutiny occurs in these situations? Is it that big of a deal? What are the repercussions of such a violation? Also, would later successes by Rae's hand in the mission be able to mitigate any punishments (her being fired would certainly ruin the plot!)

To start with, you are setting this in the dim future, so the fact that the primary investigating agency of the assassination of the President of the U.S.A. would be the Secret Service not the FBI; although the FBI would be involved.

As for her having dated the assassin, if she had any sort of relationship with the guy, then there would be a folder on him. If she saw him once or twice, then probably no connection recorded. If someone found out later, then she probably would be taken off the case and nothing more.


Also, a random techie question, but what advanced investigative tools would you say are at the FBIs disposal? I know there's a registry for fingerprints, explosives, tire tracks, criminal histories, and census data. However, does the FBI have facial recognition software, something that can look at a face and tell you who it is (like on Facebook). If not, I have no problem making something up, it's the future.

You're writing it, and it's set in the future, so they have wahtever technology you want.


And now, for the big question, would the FBI even have proper jurisdiction here? The great plan is to have Rae be absorbed into a secret unit of the FBI that deals with a specific criminal organization comprised of the offspring of what turns out to be humans and some alien race, introducing super powers to the human gene pool. Would such a division even belong to the FBI? and would they be allowed to investigate a presidential assassination? Also, would the FBI even be allowed to say "hey, Rae, you know a lot about this already, welcome to the team--sign this "talk to the press and you die" contract over there."

As I mentioned above, the Secret Service would have primary responsibility. At present the FBI is the primary law enforcement agency for federal and interstate crime. When international crime hits the U.S.A. the FBI gets jurisdiction. It sdoesn't make any difference whether the criminals have super powers. But the conspiracy theory lovers claim that the CIA has a secret base on Mars. but Mars is outside the U.S.A., so that is right and proper.

ironmikezero
04-14-2014, 11:04 PM
From a pragmatic perspective, it would be a cooperative investigation with the FBI as the lead agency. The Secret Service would, of course, participate, as would every other agency with appropriate expertise to contribute - think multiple investigators so assigned to an ad hoc task force.

An agent so assigned would be required to immediately disclose any prior contact and/or knowledge of the suspect or person of interest. Failure to do so can not only jeopardize the case, but can result in sanctions, administrative/civil/criminal, against the involved agent.

Of course it's your story, so you can craft it as you see fit... but be aware of the reality as described above.

I'd recommend having your MC come clean about any relationship asap. Then let some wiser supervisor consider the advantages of having her on board - to perhaps provide insight and enhance the psyche profile of your perp and any potential accomplices.

cornflake
04-14-2014, 11:45 PM
Hello everyone,

Off the bat, I'm going to out myself as someone who probably knows almost nothing on American government departments and such. I do apologize for my political slothness--I'm trying to remedy this, and it is most certainly biting me in the you know where now.

But hopefully I can get some help in disabusing myself of my ignorance.

My setting is a future "America" that isn't dystopian, but it will become dystopian by the end of the book. I use the air quotes because it is not America to the denizens of said country. It is set in the future by an unspecified (as of yet) period--far enough that the people don't know what America is really, but not far enough where the gist of the government anatomy (like the FBI) isn't obsolete or replaced.

I have a character who will represent a more poli-thriller/detective mystery side of the story. She will be either a member of law enforcement who is later taken into the FBI, or part of the FBI, I haven't decided yet because I'm not sure which occupation makes more sense plot-wise.

Point is, her arc begins with the investigation of an assassination of the president (most likely in the lame duck period). Both the assassin and the target died during the process (or so it seems).

The character, Rae, is called in by her superior for a few reasons-she's good, she used to date the dead assassin, and the boss has a crush on her.

I know it's not proper protocol to involve agents who are attached to the case, and Rae will get in some sort of trouble for not speaking up about it, so I'm wondering how this could transpire logically? How much scrutiny occurs in these situations? Is it that big of a deal? What are the repercussions of such a violation? Also, would later successes by Rae's hand in the mission be able to mitigate any punishments (her being fired would certainly ruin the plot!)

I'm asking this because I'm not sure if her supervisor should even know he is placing an agent in this situation. (He isn't a good person, if that makes a difference--we just don't know yet.)

Also, a random techie question, but what advanced investigative tools would you say are at the FBIs disposal? I know there's a registry for fingerprints, explosives, tire tracks, criminal histories, and census data. However, does the FBI have facial recognition software, something that can look at a face and tell you who it is (like on Facebook). If not, I have no problem making something up, it's the future.

And now, for the big question, would the FBI even have proper jurisdiction here? The great plan is to have Rae be absorbed into a secret unit of the FBI that deals with a specific criminal organization comprised of the offspring of what turns out to be humans and some alien race, introducing super powers to the human gene pool. Would such a division even belong to the FBI? and would they be allowed to investigate a presidential assassination? Also, would the FBI even be allowed to say "hey, Rae, you know a lot about this already, welcome to the team--sign this "talk to the press and you die" contract over there."


Sorry for the rambling preamble. If I was unclear, too broad, or too lengthy, feel free to let me know :)

Thanks, and happy writing.

I'm a little confused as people don't remember America, but there's a president and FBI and attendant agencies but whatever.

The Secret Service would probably be at the forefront immediately, but it's a federal crime, so you could certainly have the FBI and other agencies from the DOJ, plus the local cops wherever the crime took place - depending. If it was in East Noplace, with Sheriff Bob, well, he'll be ditched quickly. If it was in NY or some such, the locals may be involved.

It's your story in the future, invent whatever tech you want.

As for her not disclosing she dated him? I don't know what your future world is like, but here, she's not only in so much trouble it's crazy, she's likely a suspect as an accomplice (when and where did the assassination happen? How did the person know the schedule? How did the person get close to the president?). She's off the case, she's likely on probation as a precursor to being canned, may be charged with obstruction if nothing else, if they're just pissed and she's under investigation.

Trebor1415
04-15-2014, 12:32 AM
To start with, you are setting this in the dim future, so the fact that the primary investigating agency of the assassination of the President of the U.S.A. would be the Secret Service not the FBI; although the FBI would be involved.

No, the Secret Service is assigned to protect the president, and investigate threats to the president.

If there is an actual attempted (or successful) assassination the FBI is the lead agency for the investigation. After JFK was assassinated they made killing the president a Federal crime. (It wasn't actually one before that. It was just a homicide and technically the Dallas PD had jurisdiction).

Read about the JFK assassination and, more recently and more relevant, how the FBI investigated Hinkley's attack on the president and how quickly they took over the case from the Secret Service including how quickly they took over physical custody of Hinkley.

Trebor1415
04-15-2014, 12:34 AM
The character, Rae, is called in by her superior for a few reasons-she's good, she used to date the dead assassin,

Yeah, right there, that's where I'd put the book down and walk away. No WAY would they allow her to be involved in the case. If anything, she'd be a subject of the investigation or, at best, just a witness.

Think of it this way, "Yeah, I used to date Oswald and now I work for the Dallas PD. Why don't you want me on the investigation again?"

smellycat6464
04-19-2014, 04:53 AM
Sorry for taking so long to respond--but thanks to everyone!!! The insight here was invaluable :) Reps around!