On September 4, FBI Director Robert Mueller’s statutorily limited ten-year term comes to an end. The Obama Administration has said it will ask the Congress to amend the law to allow Mr. Mueller to stay in office for two additional years. Congress should decline the offer.Mr. Mueller assumed his duties as FBI Director only a week before the 9/11 attacks. Since that time he has succeeded in convincing the FBI bureaucracy that terrorism is actually something they should be interested in and has pursued, by all accounts, lawbreakers without fear or favor. That Mr. Mueller’s tenure was limited by law is not a secret. That has been the case since the passing of J. Edgar Hoover. Suddenly, however, the circumvention of that law has become a top priority of the Administration:
“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,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House. “I am grateful for his leadership, and ask Democrats and Republicans in Congress to join together in extending that leadership for the sake of our nation’s safety and security.”
This is simply the worst sort of hyperbole and scaremongering, exactly what we’ve come to expect from the most vacuous White House in living memory.
To put it in terms aviator friends of mine use, Obama is out of altitude, out of airspeed, and out of ideas. The current shake-up within the national security establishment is nothing more than an own-goal created by the White House’s own pathetic abilities to plan and anticipate. The president also knows that the nomination of a new FBI director is going to be contentious. Anyone he would willingly nominate, or his base would approve of, could very well end up either not confirmed or filibustered. A recess appointment for FBI director, given the rather cavalier way the Administration has treated the whole “advise and consent” nonsense that the Constitution rambles on about, going into an election year would be a mistake.
Robert Mueller has been an excellent FBI Director but he his continued presence is not essential to our safety. The graveyard, as they say, is full of indispensable men. The Congress is being asked to do nothing more or less than assist in Obama’s re-election campaign. It should refuse to do so.