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Tag: Robert Mueller

FBI Dir. Mueller Says Agency Has More than Doubled Agents and Analysts for National Security

Robert Mueller/file fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III told a Congressional committee in Washington on Thursday morning that the FBI’s commitment on intelligence gathering and counterterrorism can be found in the numbers.

Appearing before the House Permanent Select Committee Intelligence, Mueller noted that since 9/11 the agency has more than doubled the number of agents and analysts assigned to its national security mission.

He said the number of agents has gone from 2,514 agents to 4,815 agents and analysts went from 1,023 to 3,118.

He also testified that the number of Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) has jumped from 35 in 2001 to 104 today.

“Each of the FBI’s 56 Field Offices has a Field Intelligence Group (FIG) composed of Intelligence Analysts, Special Agents, and Staff Operations Specialists (SOS),” he testified. “FIGs, which did not exist prior to 2001, now have 1,662 Intelligence Analysts, 451 Special Agents, and 415 SOSs.”

To read his full statement click here.

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller Meets in Pakistan With Interior Minister

Robert Mueller III/fbi file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III visited Pakistan Wednesday, the country where Osama bin Laden took refuge and was killed by the American military in May, the Associated Press reported.

The visit comes as tension mounts over the U.S. demands that Pakistan crack down on Afghan militants hiding out in Pakistan, AP reported.

AP reported that the Pakistani government confirmed that Mueller met with Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik for talks Wednesday in the capital.

AP reported that U.S. officials declined to discuss the visit.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

 

Ten Year Anniversary of Anthrax Attacks; Congressman Holt Still Not Satisfied With FBI Probe

Rep. Rush Holt

By Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.)
Ashbury Park Press

Ten years ago, America was a nation shaken by grief and terror. Nearly 3,000 people had perished in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and in the thwarted attack on the Capitol. Federal authorities were warning the public that additional al-Qaida “sleeper cells” still might be at large in the United States. We were living through a national nightmare.

Less than a week later, the nightmare deepened.

Sometime on Sept. 17 or Sept. 18, someone deposited five envelopes — four addressed to media outlets in New York, and one addressed to the National Enquirer in Florida — in a central New Jersey mailbox. Later, two more letters would be mailed to members of the U.S. Senate. Each contained a highly refined dry powder containing spores of Bacillus anthracis, which can cause deadly anthrax infection in humans.

Unlike the attacks of Sept. 11, which erupted over a few terrible hours, the anthrax attacks unfolded in slow motion over several weeks. First, news reports surfaced that a Florida man had died after entering the hospital with an unknown respiratory illness. Then, the public learned he had contracted anthrax, an infection that occurs naturally but has long been explored as a biological weapon.

It was possible, at first, to believe that the Florida infection was just a freak accident, much as it was possible early on Sept. 11 to believe that the first plane crash in New York was simply a catastrophic mistake.

To read the full column click here.

 

Robert Mueller Chalks Up 2 New Records as Director

Atty. Gen. Holder (left) and FBI Director Mueller /fbi file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Robert S. Mueller III takes on two new records as the FBI director.

For one, he’s the first director to serve a full 10-year term since J. Edgar Hoover died in 1972. And Wednesday, he became the first to get a two-year extension.

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. swore Mueller in Wednesday to take on the two-year extension beyond his 10-year term. President Obama last week signed legislation allowing the extension.

The President then forwarded the nomination to the Senate, which confirmed Mueller for two more years.

In 1976, Congress enacted a law limiting the FBI Director to a 10-year term to prevent directors from accumulating too much power, as Hoover was perceived to have had.

Mueller’s term was to end in September.

House On Monday to Consider Bill to Extend FBI Dir. Mueller’s Term

Atty. Gen. Holder (left) and FBI Director Mueller /fbi file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The House on Monday is expected to consider a bill that would extend FBI Director Mueller’s 10-year term two additional years, Fox News reported.

The Senate last week gave a thumbs up to the bill, and the House is expected to easily pass the legislation. Mueller’s 10-year term expires this year, but the White House decided to push for the extension for the sake of continuity at the agency.

The bill would provide a one-time extension and would not provide one for future FBI directors — unless legislators again decided to introduce a similar bill.

After FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover died, Congress passed a law limiting the FBI director term to 10-years.

The law was passed so that no other FBI director would accumulate as much power as Hoover. Some groups have opposed that extension for just that reason.

Column: Could Blago Verdict Put U.S. Atty. Fitzgerald Back in Running for FBI Director?

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s not that Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has to worry about his career.

But on Monday, he got some redemption when a federal jury convicted the ever-too chatty ex-Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich on 17 of 20 public corruption charges.

It was the second trial. The first had a rather embarrassing outcome. The jury convicted Blago on only 1 of 24 counts, and that was for lying  to the FBI, a charge that was not really central to the meat of the case.

What made matters worse, before the first trial, Fitzgerald held a press conference after arresting Blago in December 2008 and displayed a lot of swagger. Some thought he was a little over the top.

Could this redemption help Fitzgerald’s chances of becoming the next FBI director when the job comes up in a couple years?

Possibly.

Patrick Fitzgerald/doj photo

He fits the bill. The White House tends to prefer someone with a law degree like the current director Robert S. Mueller III, who is expected to get a two-year extension on his 10-year term.

Before the White House decided to propose a two year extension for Mueller, it began looking for his replacement.

Initially, Fitzgerald’s was one of the names most often heard inside the Beltway.

But his swagger at the press conference and the dismal verdict seemed to sour some people.  His name seemed to fade.

With the latest results in the Blago case, who knows?

Maybe he’ll be back in the race for the FBI director job.

Whatever the case, at least he was able to finally back up the swagger he showed back at the press conference.

Senators Introduce Legislation to Extend FBI Dir. Mueller’s Term; Sen. Grassley Has Mixed Feelings

Robert Mueller III last year in Denver at IACP / file fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In an unusual sign of bipartisanship, the top Democrats and Republicans of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence introduced legislation Thursday that would allow  FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to extend his 10-year term by two years.

Top ranking senators said the bill would provide a “one time extension” and would apparently keep the 10-year term limit in place for future directors. Mueller began serving as director in 2001 and was set to step down this September. One co-sponsor of the bill, Sen. Chuck Grassely (R-Ia.),  said he had some mixed feelings given that existing legislation that limits the term to 10-years was put in place for a reason.

President Obama caught many off guard when he announced that he wanted Mueller to stay on past September. Next to J. Edgar  Hoover, Mueller is the longest serving director.

The president said he wanted it to keep some continuity. Some applauded the move. But some agents inside the bureau felt it was time for Mueller to move on.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), one of  the Senators who co-sponsored the bill to extend Mueller’s term, said in a statement :

“Bob Mueller has served tirelessly and selflessly for 10 years, and is undoubtedly ready to begin the next phase of his life.”

“But he has characteristically answered duty’s call and indicated his willingness to continue his service. We should fulfill our duty, as well, and join together without delay to secure the continuity and stability that is demanded at this time, and that is needed to keep our country safe.”

Sen. Grassley  said he favored the bill, but had some concerns.

“The ten-year term for an FBI director is good for the agency and our country. It was designed to insulate the FBI Director from the political process and ensure that no one Director amass too much power. It has worked for thirty-five years. But, we live in extraordinary times.

” Given the complex and uncertain time we live in, the good work of Director Mueller following September 11, and a heightened alert to terrorist attack following the death of Osama Bin Laden, this one-time statutory exemption that will extend the term of FBI Director Mueller’s term by two years is the right decision. I do this with trepidation, though, because of the constitutional and precedential concerns associated with this action.”

“I look forward to a hearing in the Judiciary Committee so we can address those concerns.”

Book Review: Author Chronicles FBI Battle Against Terrorism Over the Decades


By Joshua Sinai
The Washington Times

Now that an elite American special-operations unit has ended the life of Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda’s charismatic leader and founder, the world’s most lethal and geographically dispersed terrorist organization is entering a new, uncertain direction.

Although this momentous event occurred after the publication of Garrett M. Graff’s important book “The Threat Matrix: The FBI at War in the Age of Global Terror,” we can be certain of one fact that runs through its pages: Our nation’s counterterrorism capability is sound and robust, exemplified domestically, although with an increasing overseas presence, by the nation’s top law enforcement agency, the FBI.

“The Threat Matrix” – the name of the daily compilation of actual or rumored threats to the American homeland and Americans overseas – is a prodigious volume, covering the FBI’s involvement in counterterrorism over the past 90 years. Mr. Graff, the editor of Washingtonian magazine, spent more than two years researching the FBI, including interviewing hundreds of people associated with the agency, such as Director Robert Mueller and current and former top officials and special agents, many of whom are discussed in the book.

To read more click here.