Will Obama Turn FBI Director Mueller into the Next J. Edgar Hoover?

Saturday, May 14, 2011
Robert Mueller
The director of the FBI is limited to serving one 10-year term in office according to federal law, a limitation born of the bureau’s early history when J. Edgar Hoover ruled for 37 years and amassed enough power to rival the president of the United States. When asked why he didn’t fire Hoover, President Lyndon Johnson told friends, “I’d rather have him inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.”
With this legacy as a backdrop, President Barack Obama has requested Congress to pass legislation that would extend the current term of FBI chief Robert Mueller III by another two years. Mueller will have to leave office in September unless lawmakers approve Obama’s request.
The decision to extend Mueller’s term surprised many in Washington, where no FBI director has exceeded the 10-year limitation since Hoover died in office in 1972.
Administration officials say the search for Mueller’s replacement, which is being led by Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder, has not yet produced a satisfactory list of potential successors, leading Obama to ask Mueller to stick around a little longer. Mueller reportedly has obliged.
Mueller took office a week before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He has guided the FBI from an agency dedicated to criminal investigations to one of the federal government’s leading counterterrorism weapons. During that time, civil libertarians and Muslim leaders have criticized some of the FBI’s tactics aimed at thwarting another terrorist attack against Americans.
The idea that Obama, Biden and Holder do not consider any current FBI officials good enough to be director seems somewhat insulting. The Washington Post reported that “some law enforcement sources expressed dismay that Mueller would not depart as planned, saying that agents have been looking forward to a ‘new face’ at the helm and that many careers have been on hold with so little turnover in the top job.”
Mueller enjoys bipartisan support on Capitol Hill, and it is expected Congress will support Obama’s request for an extension.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Obama Seeks Extension for Robert Mueller as FBI Director (by Jerry Markon and Anne E. Kornblut, Washington Post)


Lois 10 years ago
think in logical terms. what happens if mueller can't fulfill this request by obama? where does that leave obama in his choice of a director? will obama appoint himself as director since vice president joe biden and attorney general eric holder, have not yet produced a satisfactory list of potential successors. this statement alone is a slap in the face to other fbi agents by insulting their capabilities and reflects a lack of confidence in our nations security by the obama administration. what other reason could obama have for re-electing mueller? that question is one the american people need to pay attention to with great awareness.

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