When Mayor Bloomberg and the New York Police Department trotted out the arrest of alleged “al Qaeda sympathizer” Jose Pimentel, who was building a pipe bomb in the house of a police informant, reports started popping up almost immediately questioning the validity of the threat. As more information came out, Pimentel seemed increasingly nutty, but not like a terrorist mastermind, and anonymous sources explained to the press that the FBI passed on the case multiple times. The NYPD did not appreciate the inter-agency derision and so yesterday, FBI Director Robert Mueller was made to apologize on behalf of his people.
Mueller told a Senate Judiciary Committee that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly called him personally to demand the leaks stop. Mueller says he was “distressed” about the leaks, adding, “I gave directions that that should not happen, and when I saw it happening again went back to give directions to have it stopped.”
Senator Chuck Grassley gently scolded Mueller: “I’m sure you would agree that if we’re busy fighting each other then we’re not fighting our real enemies.” Grassley also reminded the FBI director that his crew has a reputation for “not playing well with others.” Mueller admitted that perception is “a long-term problem with the FBI,” but said they’ve made “significant strides” in their collaboration skills. As for us, the American people, we can all rest easy knowing that the agencies meant to protect us are a bunch of overgrown teenagers.