Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Obama to Keep Mueller at FBI for 'Continuity,' as Other Security Chiefs Shift

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Obama to Keep Mueller at FBI for 'Continuity,' as Other Security Chiefs Shift

Article excerpt

President Obama will seek to extend Robert Mueller's tenure as FBI director for two more years. His decision comes amid changes at the top of the CIA and Defense Department.

Citing ongoing threats and the need for continuity in his national security team, President Obama on Thursday asked Congress to consider granting a two-year extension of FBI Director Robert Mueller's 10-year term to allow him to serve in that capacity until September 2013.

"Given 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 president said in a written statement.

He said Mr. Mueller had "set the gold standard" for leadership at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the extension - if approved by Congress - would permit the president's counterterrorism team to "continue to work together seamlessly."

"The United States faces ongoing threats from terrorists intent on attacking us both at home and abroad, and it is crucial that the FBI have sustained, strong leadership to confront the threat," Mr. Holder said. "There is no better person for that job than Bob Mueller."

The Obama administration had been preparing to name a replacement for Mueller, whose term ends in September. But it is unclear how far along that process had gotten.

In the meantime, the White House decided to reorganize other major components of its national security team. CIA Director Leon Panetta will become defense secretary and Gen. David Petraeus, who served as US commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, will replace Mr. Panetta as director of central intelligence.

Initial reaction from Congress to the proposed Mueller extension appears favorable.

Sen. …

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