Daily Dose: Some Smell Hypocrisy In The FBI’s Upper Ranks

The decision by President Obama to request that FBI Director Robert Mueller be retained beyond the end of his 10-year term has stoked new complaints by some agents about a policy Mueller put in place shortly after 9/11. Jerry Markon of the Washington Post writes:

The FBI’s policy, which is unusual among law enforcement agencies, was adopted after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Known as “up or out,’’ it requires FBI supervisors to leave their posts after seven years and compete for other managerial jobs, retire or accept a demotion in the same field office with lower pay.

Some FBI agents are angered by plan to extend tenure of Director Robert Mueller

As a result of the policy, a number of agents feel smart, talented supervisors are being prematurely forced out of the Bureau. That never sat well with some in the field, but resentment is peaking now in the face of the White House’s plan to ask Congress for a two-year extension on Mueller’s term.

Those who support the president’s proposal argue there’s a substantive difference between losing a supervisor and losing an agency head. Mueller is widely credited with shaking up the FBI and preventing further terrorist attacks (he’d spent just a week on the job on September 11, 2001).

Detractors, however, think Mueller staying after so many agents had no choice but to retire or be demoted is ironic, hypocritical and generally unfair.

How do you feel about the situation? Is it reasonable for the president to ask an agency director to stay on board beyond his term limit when regular employees are subjected to a strict policy of up or out?


“Daily Dose of the Washington Post” is a blog series created by GovLoop in partnership with The Washington Post. If you see great a story in the Post and want to ask a question around it, please send it to [email protected].

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