May 20, 2011

WAPO: Some FBI agents are angered by plan to extend tenure of Director Robert Mueller. “President Obama’s plan to keep FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III in office beyond his 10-year term has triggered an angry reaction among some agents, who say Muel­ler imposed term limits on hundreds of supervisors in the agency but is failing to abide by legal limits set on his own tenure. The accusations of hypocrisy come as Congress is considering whether to grant Obama’s request to allow Mueller two more years in office — an extension the president said would provide stability as other national security agencies undergo major transitions in leadership.” Meh. When you’ve got a tax cheat as Treasury Secretary, who’s surprised by this kind of thing?

UPDATE: Reader Eric Markley writes:

Don’t forget Mueller was a Bush appointee, and is not a political type. Lumping him in with Geithner et al is unfair.

Much of the opposition to Mueller is based on the fact that he has moved away from a model that put agents in charge of everything, and instead has been filling administrative posts with administrative professionals: e.g., the head of the crime lab is a scientist with experience running large labs, not an FBI lifer. The head of IT is from the corporate world, not an FBI agent. etc. This has been a massive culture change within the FBI, which since the days of Hoover has always insisted that every major spot go to someone who began as a trigger-puller — and which has reduced the number of high-paying jobs available to said agents.

Whatever the merits (or lack) of that approach, it explains why there’s not going to be a shortage of ex-agents ready to rip him in the media.

Meanwhile, reader Charley Kron emails: “Obama probably doesn’t know anybody qualified to be head of the FBI, so is forced to try to keep this guy on.” Yeah, Bill Ayers wouldn’t pass the background check.

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