WASHINGTON (AP) -- FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III told Congress on Thursday his agency needs to devote more agents, money and time to meeting its "paramount mission of prevention" in an age of terrorism.
"The need for change was apparent even before Sept. 11. It has become more urgent since then," he told the Senate Judiciary Committee in a nationally televised hearing. "I believe our culture must change as well."
Prodded by members of the panel, Mueller also renewed a pledge of whistleblower protection for an FBI attorney in Minneapolis who has criticized the pre-Sept. 11 investigation into a man now identified as a 20th hijacker in last fall's terrorist attacks. The lawyer, Coleen Rowley, was on the panel's witness list for later in the day.
Sen. Patrick Leahy and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, both questioned Mueller about Rowley. "Can you personally assure this committee unequivocally there will be no retaliation of any kind against either Colleen Rowel or ....any FBI employee" for whistle-blowing activity?" asked Leahy
"Absolutely," Mueller said, adding he would "not tolerate reprisals or intimidation" in such cases.
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