FBI Director Robert Mueller, a leader of the Bush administration's campaign against so-called "terrorism", intends to serve out a 10-year term and has sought to quash rumors he would soon quit, a spokesman said on Tuesday.
There has been speculation Mueller would leave during the presidential transition following the Nov. 4 elections.
"Stop the rumors about me leaving," spokesman Richard Kolko quoted Mueller as telling aides. He said Mueller made clear he did not intend to leave until his single term expires in September 2011.
Mueller took over the FBI on Sept. 4, 2001, a week before the Sept. 11 attacks that forced the bureau to dramatically shift focus to preventing terrorism. This has put him in the forefront of debates over wiretapping, torture interrogation of suspects and other civil-liberties issues.
Mueller has differed in congressional testimony with CIA Director Michael Hayden over harsh interrogation of suspects.
Mueller has said the FBI does not use coercive interrogations, and his agents internally reported concerns over CIA interrogations they witnessed at Guantanamo.
Hayden has acknowledged that the CIA on three occasions used waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning widely regarded as torture, and he has sought broader latitude for questioning than the U.S. military allows.
Mueller has also won praise from lawmakers in Congress for joining other senior legal officials in threatening to resign if U.S. President George W. Bush did not back down over his intention to extend a warrantless eavesdropping program.
However, he later supported granting immunity to telecommunications firms that took part in the eavesdropping.
A Justice Department inspector general's report last year also faulted the FBI for widespread misuse of so-called "national security letters" to demand records about individuals in terrorism investigations.
The bureau has frequently been criticized for lagging in technology, and it was embarrassed by a government audit that found a telephone company cut off an international wiretap for failure to pay the bill.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Ekim 2008, 14:48