The rapid turnover of top-level managers and highly trained specialists since Sept. 11 is causing disorder within the FBI and undercutting its efforts to meet the mandate of Congress to dramatically expand its intelligence and counter-terrorism capabilities, says the Los Angeles Times. Its new intelligence arm, which is to form the core of a transformed FBI, is losing dozens of analysts who are supposed to connect the dots to protect the country from another terrorist attack.
All four members of the top management team announced by Director Robert S. Mueller III shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks have left their jobs – as have their successors. Since Sept. 11, five people have held the bureau’s top counter-terrorism job. Five others filled the top computer job within a 24-month period. And more than 1,000 other senior FBI agents and officials are eligible for retirement, boding a further exodus of employees who form the agency’s backbone. The FBI estimated that the number of top managers below the senior executive rank would decline by 16% – about 70 people – in the next year alone. The exits partly stems from burnout caused by the intense pace and scrutiny that followed Sept. 11, officials say. It also reflects the growing post-9/11 demand for security expertise in other fields, which has lured dozens from the FBI to lucrative jobs.