The FBI Agents Association has endorsed ex-FBI agent Mike Mason to replace the soon-to-retire FBI Director Robert Mueller III.
The association, which represents more than 12,000 active duty and retired agents, said Tuesday that it had submitted the recommendation to the Obama Administration.
“While the FBIAA is not limiting itself to the candidacy of Mr. Mason, we believe it is important to provide an example of the type of person who embodies our principles,” wrote FBIAA President Konrad Motyka in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.
“In the wake of 9-11, there was a concerted effort to transfer the Bureau’s domestic, intelligence-gathering responsibilities to a proposed MI5-styled agency,” wrote Motyka. “Quashing that effort, Director Mueller effectively explained the important linkage between criminal investigative principles and experience, intelligence gathering and analysis, and counterterrorism efforts.”
“While priorities may change,” continued Motyka, “Agents are as essential to our primary mission of protecting our country as they are to combating a wide array of threats ranging from Bloods street gangs to mortgage fraud to Russian sleeper cells…The next Director must remain committed to the centrality of the Special Agent to the Bureau’s mission.”
Mason would become the first African-American FBI director. He was a popular figure at the FBI. He was an agent for nearly 23 years and left to head up Verizon’s security in 2007. He held a number of positions during his tenure. He headed up the Sacramento and Washington field offices and retired as executive assistant director for the criminal division at headquarters.
The endorsement of an ex-agent comes as no surprise. The association generally prefers a law enforcement agent in the job. Robert Mueller, the current director, is a former federal prosecutor and the previous director, Louis Freeh had been an agent at one time.
Mason declined comment on Tuesday when asked by ticklethewire.com about his endorsements.
The endorsement doesn’t guarantee anything, but it could raise the profile of Mason as a candidate. Others names that have surfaced include U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald of Chicago, former deputy Attorney General James Comey, ex-FBI agent John Pistole who heads the Transportation Security Administration, Frances Fragos Townsend, a top Bush terror adviser during the Bush administration, NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and former Justice Department official Ken Wainstein.
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