Sunday, May 22, 2011

FBI Director Follies

Obama's recent announcement about asking Congress to keep FBI Director Robert Mueller on position two more years beyond his current appointment has caused nary a ripple:
President Obama, seeking some stability in the reshuffling of his national security team, has asked Congress to allow FBI Director Robert Mueller to remain at the bureau for two more years, beyond a 10-year term that expires in September.

"Given the ongoing threat facing the United States, as well as the leadership transitions at other agencies (Defense Department and CIA), I believe continuity and stability at the FBI is critical at this time," Obama said Thursday.
The request is a bit strange but few are going to seriously question it especially when the given rationale is national security. But just a short few weeks ago media types were happily discussing the likely candidates to succeed Mueller, including this story from April 27th:
FBI Director Robert Mueller III’s 10-year term is up in September, and it’s about time for President Barack Obama to be announcing a nominee. Here is Main Justice’s look at the possible contenders:
Their top list included quite a few potentially controversial picks, such as....
  • John Pistole, head of TSA
  • Michael Mason, a former deputy director but also a man of color--Holder would be his boss
  • Fran Townsend, a former Bush appointee, and a woman..
  • Patrick Fitzgerald, involved in a lot of cases, such as Scooter Libby and Rod Blagojevich.
  • James Comey, the assistant to John Ashcroft who once refused to reauthorize the 'program' while Ashcroft lay sick in a hospital bed;
  • Michael Garcia, a former Bush official and a Hispanic;
  • Jamie Gorelick, perhaps the most controversial pick possible for so many reasons;
  • Mary Jo White, the SDNY AUSA who was there for all the terror trials of the 90s under Clinton;
  • ..and a guy who used to work for Biden.
That's almost all of them. And almost all of them are controversial. So a cynic might decide that Obama didn't want to pull the trigger before the election due to the political fallout but at the same time didn't want to choose someone more hawkish to appeal to moderates and be stuck with him/her for 10 years. After all, there will be much spreading of wealth and battles with capitalism in the second term. So voila--just extend Mueller beyond the election and pick someone more friendly after the big party, no need to worry about controversy then.

At the same time, Senators like Grassley realize that if Obama loses in 2012--before choosing a permanent successor--the new GOP president will get to appoint someone of their choice who could remain in place for up to 10 years. So it's a win-win for the politicos.

For the rest of us it seems to point out once again that in Washington anything is possible, and the rules are made for the rubes.


Debbie said...

None of those potentials look good to me. Jamie Gorelick, that a bad joke.

Right Truth

LASunsett said...

Like Debbie says, none of them are good. None are are even so-so. And Pistole? The TSA is a joke right now, no way would he even begin to measure up. Body cavity searches on the street are not the norm in a free society.

A.C. McCloud said...

I gotta believe Gorelick was thrown on there as a joke.