Sacrificing Our TODAY for the World's TOMORROW
FATA is "Federally Administered Tribal Area" of Pakistan; consisting of 7 Agencies and 6 F.Rs; with a 27000 Sq Km area and 4.5 m population.
MYTH: FATA is the HUB of militancy, terrorism and unrest in Afghanistan.
REALITY: FATA is the worst "VICTIM of Militancy”. Thousands of Civilians dead & injured; Hundreds of Schools destroyed; Thousands of homes raised to ground; 40% population displaced from homes.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Obama seeks extension for Robert Mueller as FBI director (New York Times, 12 May 2011)

Courtesy: "New York Times", 12 May 2011
Obama seeks extension for Robert Mueller as FBI director 
By Jerry Markon
President Obama announced Thursday that he is seeking a two-year extension of Robert S. Mueller III’s term as FBI director, saying he cannot afford to lose the longtime FBI chief at a time of terrorist threats.
The request for Congress to extend Mueller’s 10-year term comes as the White House had been searching for a candidate to succeed him. Mueller, 66, is facing mandatory retirement in September after a decade in which he oversaw the crackdown on terrorism following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, along with the bureau’s ongoing transformation into an intelligence-driven agency.
“In his 10 years at the FBI, Bob Mueller has set the gold standard for leading the Bureau,’’ Obama said in a statement. “Given the ongoing threats facing the United States, as well as the leadership transitions at other agencies like the Defense Department and Central Intelligence Agency, I believe continuity and stability at the FBI is critical at this time.’’
The unexpected request comes more than a week after U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. Though the military carried out that raid, the FBI plays a critical counterterrorism role, and the bureau is involved in analyzing the trove of materials found in the al-Qaeda leader’s compound.
It would take an act of Congress to extend Mueller’s tenure, which is limited by statute to 10 years. Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt)., chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, is considering legislation that he hopes will be bipartisan, congressional sources said.
“I was delighted when President Obama informed me that he has asked Director Mueller to stay on at the Bureau for an additional two years,’’ Leahy said Thursday. “The FBI plays a critical role in our efforts to protect national security. I appreciate Director Mueller’s continued service to the nation, and I am fully supportive of this decision.”
Reaction from Republicans was mixed. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters he supported Obama’s request, but Sen. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa), the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, called it “an unusual step by the President, and somewhat of a risky precedent to set.’’
Pointing out that the 10-year term limit is intended to guard against excesses like those that occurred during the J. Edgar Hoover era, Grassley said: “I’m open to the President’s idea, but will need to know more about his plan to ensure that this is not a more permanent extension that would undermine the purposes of the term limit.”
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said he strongly supported the extension.
“A short-term legislative change will allow Bob to remain at the FBI for an additional two years so the President’s counterterrorism team can continue to work together seamlessly,’’ said Holder, who added that Mueller “led the transformation of the FBI into what today is the world’s pre-eminent counterterrorism agency.’’
A spokesman for Mueller, who was nominated in 2001 by President George W. Bush, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Law enforcement sources have said the search for Mueller’s successor was being led by Vice President Biden, who chaired the Judiciary Committee when he was in the Senate, and that among those advising Biden were Holder and Louis J. Freeh, who was FBI director in the Clinton administration.
Experts have said that Mueller, a low-profile former Marine and federal prosecutor with a no-nonsense style, would be difficult to replace. Mueller started a week before Sept. 11, and his agency has successfully led the government’s efforts to prevent another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. It has also been criticized by some civil liberties advocates and Muslim leaders for what they consider tactics that infringe on civil rights.
Some government sources have said in recent weeks that the administration was having difficulty finding a successor for Mueller and that some top candidates didn’t want the job. Other sources denied that, saying the high-pressure post was attracting sufficient interest.
Law enforcement sources have said the possible candidates to succeed Mueller included Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the U.S. attorney in Chicago who investigated the leak of the identity of former CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson; New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly; and John S. Pistole, administrator for the Transportation Security Administration and Mueller’s former deputy.
Other possible candidates, sources have said, were James B. Comey, who was deputy attorney general in George W. Bush’s administration; Michael A. Mason, former head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Frances Fragos Townsend, a top Bush terrorism adviser; Kenneth L. Wainstein, a former top Justice Department official and Neil H. MacBride, the U.S. attorney in Alexandria.

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