A report in the NY Times on the tensions between Congress and the FBI is worth your time:
Disputes between the Justice Department and some of its Congressional allies over the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s performance, leadership vacancies and management issues are spurring tensions at a time when the department is seeking to remake its antiterrorism operations.
Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, the influential chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in an interview on Friday that he was deeply dissatisfied with the pace of reforms at the F.B.I. and that he hoped the national intelligence director’s new role in overseeing its terrorism operations would spur greater accountability at the Justice Department.
“Bringing in the director of national intelligence is a firm statement of dissatisfaction with the performance of the bureau and the director,” Robert S. Mueller III, Mr. Specter said.
“When you have all these issues where the F.B.I. has not performed, there’s no doubt that the director is on the spot,” he said in perhaps his harshest criticism to date of Mr. Mueller’s performance. “He’s not responsible for 9/11 – the problems came before his watch – but that was four years ago, and we’ve expected a lot of things to happen since then that have not happened…”
Among the issues that have divided them are the failure of the bureau’s $170 million software overhaul, after repeated assertions by Mr. Mueller that it was on track, as well as F.B.I. turf battles with immigration agents, questions about the training and experience of bureau counterterrorism supervisors, and complaints from lawmakers who learned that Mr. Mueller had not been writing or reviewing written Congressional responses that bore his name.
Bureau officials said on Sunday that they were puzzled to learn of Mr. Specter’s criticism.
“We have a lot of people going after us lately, but it’s not like we haven’t made an amazing transformation,” said an F.B.I. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want to jeopardize relations with Congress. “This is not the same agency it was four years ago.”
Officials at the Justice Department, which oversees the F.B.I., said they were confident the bureau was making strong progress in bolstering its counterterrorism operations, with new personnel moves announced just last week as part of a major restructuring. They added that they had full confidence in Mr. Mueller’s ability to reshape the agency…
Judiciary Committee members said that for the first time in memory, none of the most senior officials at the Justice Department – Mr. Gonzales, Mr. Flanigan, Robert D. McCallum Jr., the No. 3 official there, or Ms. Fisher, if she is confirmed – would have experience as a criminal prosecutor.
Justice Department officials said that while the department’s most senior officials might not have been criminal prosecutors, they all had significant experience in the department’s top priority, countering terrorism. They also said that Mr. Gonzales had surrounded himself with senior Justice Department advisers who had extensive experience as criminal prosecutors.
But Mr. Specter said the lack of criminal experience at the top of the department “does concern me.” He said that while there were “lots of first-class professionals” throughout the ranks of prosecutors, “there are tough judgment calls that have to be made at the top, and it’s good to have some experience on what criminal intent means when you have to make those decisions.”
Something else to keep an eye on. If anyone has anymore background else on this, please link it in the comments.