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Wall Street Journal: FBI Director Mueller Should Resign

Friday, 31 May 2002 12:00 AM

The Journal asked that in the wake of 9-11, "The issue now is whether, and how, the CIA and FBI can regain public confidence and deter future attacks.”

The Journal said Mueller had clearly lost the confidence of the American people.

Though Mueller only took the helm the of the FBI weeks before Sept. 11, the Journal said that Mueller’s reforms proposed this week were only rearranging "bureaucratic furniture.”

In the aftermath of Sept, 11. when accountability of the FBI was demanded, the Journal said that Mueller had made clear "the lesson is that mistakes will go unpunished or be covered up, especially if they're committed close to the top. Specifically, this goes to the heart of the credibility of Mr. Mueller.

"The highly publicized letter from veteran agent Coleen Rowley is devastating on this score. Mr. Mueller can't be blamed for September 11--he took office only on September 4. Yet his statements since that date have been, to say the least, embarrassing. First he proclaimed that the FBI had no information on possible terrorist attacks prior to September 11. This was the line he kept up for months—‘circling the wagons,’ as Agent Rowley put it.

"Then, as information dribbled out--the Phoenix agent's memo on Arabs enrolling at flight schools, the Minneapolis agents who had identified Zacarias Moussaoui as a terrorist threat--he amended it to say that despite the information nothing the FBI might have done would have changed anything. Agent Rowley puts it succinctly: ‘I think your statements demonstrate a rush to judgment to protect the FBI at all costs.’ Specifically, she accuses Mr. Mueller and senior FBI officials as having ‘omitted, downplayed, glossed over and/or mischaracterized’ her office's probe of Moussaoui.”

The Journal notes that only after Rowley’s memo was released, which demonstrated the director was indeed engaging in a cover-up, did Mueller act.

"So now that his job is on the line, Mr. Mueller has apologized more or less. He concedes that the 9/11 attacks might have been detectable, even going so far as to thank Agent Rowley for her memo. This is a step forward, but the question for his future leadership is whether everyone in the FBI will see this for the self-protection it is.”

The Journal pointed out that "If Mr. Mueller had wanted to send a message to change the FBI mindset, he would have fired the supervisory special agent who ignored the Minneapolis warnings on Moussaoui. Instead, Ms. Rowley says, that agent was promoted.”

The Journal’s editorial comes in the wake of new revelations. Veteran FBI Agent, Robert Wright, who had been assigned to the FBI’s Counter-terrorism office, went public Thursday saying the FBI leadership could have prevented 9-11, but field agents were deliberately thwarted in doing their jobs.

Wright’s allegations deal with warning he made before 9-11, but at his press conference yesterday, his attorney, Judicial Watch chairman Larry Klayman, said that that Mueller and the FBI has sought to censor Agent Wright, and have threatened him with criminal prosecution if he reveals embarrassing information about the Bureau.

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The Journal asked that in the wake of 9-11, The issue now is whether, and how, the CIA and FBI can regain public confidence and deter future attacks." The Journal said Mueller had clearly lost the confidence of the American people. Though Mueller only took the helm the...
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2002-00-31
Friday, 31 May 2002 12:00 AM
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