FBI Director Mueller Reflects on His 12-Year Term
On the eve of his departure from the FBI after 12 years as Director, Robert S. Mueller reflects on the important role of the Bureau's personnel and partners in the FBI mission.
It is a family and it is a well respected family. We have a legacy that’s gone back almost 105 years now and the personnel of the Bureau during the time I’ve been there have in my mind set the legacy for those who follow us in the organization.
It’s important to realize that every organization has its elite. I don’t care what organization it is. It could be the Marine Corps, it could be the CIA. There are persons that are singled out as being elite and special and special agents are. They put their lives on the line. But what you know and understand in this day in age is that they cannot do it alone. It’s a team approach. You need the analytical capabilities, the intelligence for them to be, for agents to be effective for them to do the investigations. You need the computer scientists, you need the administrative support, you need the Behavioral Analysis Unit, all to support the organization and contribute to its success.
By the same token, our success in the future is going to be in some large part dependent upon our relationships with out counterparts at state and local law enforcement, our counterparts overseas. And consequently you cannot focus and single out for success one element of the institution. It requires all elements of the institution but all elements of the law enforcement and the intelligence community for us to be successful.
Day in and day out, agents put their lives on the line. There is a certain closeness that comes from being … the institution and persons associated with the institution—not everybody is an agent quite obviously—but being associated with agents who do put their lives on the line day in and day out brings a closeness that you do not find in many other institutions and a tremendous level of support. If you lose an agent, you can lose it to cancer, you can lose it in the line of duty, we respond as a family. We have lost a piece of our body so to speak.
And also, we have unique mission. We have a unique legacy that has been passed down to us. And I think that people in the FBI know and understand and are tremendously proud to be a part of that legacy. And so because of the legacy, because of the fact that agents put their lives on the line, it’s somewhat different than being in just about any other organization.
I think it’s well positioned and it’s well positioned because of the quality and capability of its people. I do think we have credibility because of the integrity of the institution. I think people know and understand that more than anything else, the institution grows when it is credible. When we get a black eye, when we stumble and trip, acknowledging that we make mistakes and that fixing those mistakes is essential to assuring the credibility of the institution before the American public. And I think that’s what stands us in best stead is the understanding that we are an organization, and entity where integrity is at the heart and soul of what we do. And I think that is a quintessential core value that postures us for success in the future.
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