Ron Kessler, Newsmax’s chief Washington correspondent, applauds President Barack Obama’s decision to nominate FBI Director Robert Mueller to a two-year extension. Mueller has turned the agency into a stellar performer in the fight against terror, Kessler said.
Mueller, whose regular 10-year term would expire Sept. 4, will have no trouble gaining Senate confirmation, Kessler said.
“Congress loves Mueller,” Kessler, author of “The Secrets of the FBI,”
which will be published in August, tells Newsmax.TV.
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Mueller has turned the FBI into a strong counterterrorism agency that pursues leads way beyond the case at hand to learn about plots against the United States, Kessler says.
“When it comes to stopping terrorist plots, they really are doing a sterling job.” He mentioned two examples. First, if a tip comes in, the FBI will pursue it to the end, “even if it sounds bonkers.” Second, instead of putting a terrorism suspect in jail immediately, the FBI will first try to get leads on other terrorists.
Those are reasons why we haven’t been attacked since 9/11, Kessler says. “Mueller has good relations with members of Congress and speaks with them behind the scenes,” so he will be approved.
FBI agents will breathe a big sigh of relief because of concern that someone they didn’t like might be named to replace Mueller, Kessler says. “Generally they recognize that Mueller has done a smash up job, and they’ll want him to continue.”
Mueller’s appointment is another example of the fact that Obama is continuing Bush’s anti-terrorism policies despite his criticism of them in the past. “Obama will say things to appeal to his base, but in the end, in almost every case, he’s following Bush’s policies,” Kessler says.
“One of the most important is that Bush told Mueller early on: I don’t care about prosecutions so much. I want to know what you’re doing to prevent the next attack. That has created a sea change in how the FBI deals with terrorism.”
As for the FBI’s biggest failure under Mueller, that would be the effort to develop a centralized computer system, Kessler says. “They claim by September or October they will have a working model. But this is after millions of dollars of waste and years of delay.”
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