Behind the FBI Reorganization

  • Share
  • Read Later
FBI director Robert Mueller shook up the FBI today with the bureau's most dramatic reorganization since the post-Watergate reforms. In recognition of the new threats facing the U.S., counter-espionage, the bureau's bread and butter during the Cold War, has received an effective demotion. Dale Watson, who has been in charge of counter-terrorism, will move up to executive assistant director, supervising both C/T and counter-intelligence functions. Also, some resources are expected to be shifted from counter-intelligence to the war on terrorism.

Another impact of the 9/11 attacks: Mueller is elevating and expanding counter-terror analytical functions into a new Office of Intelligence. He also hopes to hire a respected retired police chief to run a new office of Law Enforcement Coordination, designed to improve the bureau's often-testy relations with state and local police. That office will be supervised by executive assistant director Kathleen McChesney, who will also run the lab, the FBI Academy, the fingerprint division and other support services.

Mueller says the bureau will drop some tasks that can be handled by other federal agencies or state and local police, but he is elevating cyber-crime with a new, dedicated division. "In next five to ten years, cyber-crime is going to be one of those areas in which we ought to be the leader," he says. Reuben Garcia, the bureau's highest-ranking Hispanic agent, will become the executive assistant director supervising that division and the old criminal investigations division.

Improving information technology and records management, woefully backward in recent years, are Mueller's top priority. Bob Chiradio, who, Mueller boasts, "builds computers for fun," will become executive assistant director for administration, supervising the modernization effort. But Mueller has also created the post of chief technology officer for Bob Dies, a retired IBM executive, and he's looking to hire a top IT expert from the outside.

Finally, responding to the case of Bob Hanssen, the former FBI official who borrowed top secret records with ease, Muller has created a new Security Division with an expanded professional staff and greater powers to draft and enforce strict need-to-know rules for classified information.