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Letters to the Editor
The New York Times

Washington, D.C. November 21, 2002
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691

Letters to the Editor
The New York Times
229 West 43rd. St.
New York, N.Y. 10036

Dear Editor:

I want to assure readers that senior FBI officials have not "grown frustrated with the bureau's performance in the war on terrorism," as suggested in Thursday's story. Rather, I and my leadership team are tremendously proud of the progress of transforming the nation's premier law enforcement and counterintelligence agency into a 21st century counterterrorism agency, while maintaining our other varied responsibilities, which also are critically important to the well being of this nation.

Never before in the history of the FBI has such a transformation been undertaken, particularly in such a short time and under these conditions. No one here at the FBI expected such a fundamental shift in priorities to come without challenges, and yet the more than 27,000 dedicated men and women that make up this organization have answered that call. We are a different FBI than we were a year ago and we continue to move toward where we need to be. I am confident that we will get there.

I also accept that such an undertaking -- no matter how brisk the progress -- will continue to require regular communication throughout the FBI to address the inevitable bumps in the road. I will continue, as will my management team, to remind -- sometimes in strong terms -- our employees and the public of our mission priorities. This does not -- and should not -- suggest any kind of institutional slippage in the pursuit of that mission, but rather, an expected part of leadership leading such a transformation.

I believe the American people expect nothing less.


Robert S. Mueller, III