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Is the FBI being destroyed?

Reader comment on item: The Saga of FBI Special Agent Gamal Abdel-Hafiz

Submitted by Alan M. Kaplan (United States), Dec 15, 2005 at 02:37

I logged on to this blog after being alerted by Merry Whitney that in her 'Past time to "kick (posteriors) and take names"' she put a link to a 2002 post that has been on my web site for more than 3 years. Merry's very kind and unnecessarily self-deprecating comments were embarrassing and I'm really not here to say, "I told you so".

However, the post that Merry references makes reference to the amatuerish bungling by the FBI of both the Padilla Matter and the Hatfill Matter (Anthrax mailings). At that time Ashcroft was still on board and 3 years ago I speculated that only Ashcroft and Mueller had so little knowledge of investigation and so much authority to screw things up that badly without getting fired.

Of course Ashcroft has been gone for a year, so for at least a part of the time he has an alibi. That leaves FBI Director Mueller.

Although I had heard of the Abdel-Hafiz case, I have not really followed it. Accordingly most of what I know about it comes from this blog. This has been a real eye opener. I found myself shocked and echoing Chris', "We got problems". (12/09/05).

The FBI starts out with Abdel-Hafiz, an undisciplined, uncontrollable informant, and "promote" him to Special Agent complete with badge and credentials. That childish decision had as much chance as working out as the decision of the 17 year old bride who decided to marry and remake the 27 year old alcoholic doper she thinks she loves.

As I read the history, I see FBI supervisor after FBI supervisor issuing lawful orders (they appear as requests, but do in fact have the force of orders) to Abdel-Hafiz and Abdel-Hafiz replying that he "doesn't do floors or windows."

Rather than back up the field supervisors, or Senior Staff at FBI HQ, Mueller seems to have supported Abdel-Hafiz to victory in every skirmish. The thing that is so troubling is not the fact that Abdel-Hafiz apparently has managed to damage at least part of a major criminal case or that he was put in a position to do grave damage to our counterintelligence efforts. Don't misunderstand me. Those are indeed outrages that this country cannot tolerate -- particularly when they come from our elite investigative agency.

However, my real concern is more long term. It goes to what appears to be the systematic destruction of good order and discipline of the FBI. By letting Abdel-Hafiz run the show, Director Mueller has demonstrated his childlike naievety and ignorance of intelligence and counterintelligence operations. In matters of this type, the sucess of operational plans depends upon loyalty and teamwork. Abdel-Hafiz questionable loyalty and lack of discipline is regrettable, but, at least in part, Abdel-Hafiz, is apparently a "What You See Is What You Get." kind of guy. He is a guy who will only do things his way. Throughout the entire saga Mueller either did not understand that, or didn't think it mattered.

By undercutting Abdel-Hafiz' supervisors, on the the critical issue of discipline and loyalty, Mueller has made planning a type of frustrating lose-lose guessing game. It would be like a Coach of a football team wanting to call for a "Quarterback Sneak", but being hesitant because he wasn't sure of which way the quarterback was going to decide he wanted to run.

Frankly, I'm surprised that we don't read about wide spread resignations from the FBI. Moral in certain areas has to be at an all time low.

When I was in the Air Force and we had a guy who seemed to get favored treatment from higher headquarters, we would jokingly ask the question, "Who's his Rabbi?" That applied to the favored party regardless of whether he was Christian or Jewish.

In the case of Abdel-Hafiz, it would seem inappropriate to ask, "Who's his Rabbi?" So I'll ask, "Who's his Mullah?".

The short answer appears to be, "Mueller is his Mullah!"


Alan M. Kaplan 12/14/05

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