Robert SwanMueller III
Apr 7th, 2008
From 9/11 to 7/7: Global Terrorism Today and the Challenges of Tomorrow with FBI Director Robert Mueller.
Since 11 September 2001 when Al-Qaeda launched a massive attack on US targets from its base in Afghanistan, terrorists have executed attacks around the world, including the bombing of the London Underground and bus system in July 2005.
Terrorist tactics continue to evolve and expand in Al-Qaeda and its affiliated groups, as well as homegrown terrorist cells, through foreign training camps and internet recruitment.
With the United States and United Kingdom remaining prime targets, the speaker will discuss the future implications of the terrorist threat, and how the global community must work together to combat it – Chatham House
Mueller was born in 1944 in New York City to Alice C. Truesdale and Robert Swan Mueller. He grew up outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A 1962 graduate of St. Paul’s School, he went on to graduate from Princeton University in 1966, earned a master’s degree in international relations at New York University in 1967, and obtained his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Prior to earning his law degree, Mueller joined the United States Marine Corps, where he served as an officer for three years, leading a rifle platoon of the 3rd Marine Division during the Vietnam War. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals, the Purple Heart and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
Following his military service, Mueller earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the University of Virginia in 1973 and served on the Law Review. After completing his education, Mueller worked as a litigator in San Francisco until 1976.
He then served for 12 years in United States Attorney offices. He first worked in the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, where he rose to be chief of the criminal division, and in 1982, he moved to Boston to work in the office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts as Assistant United States Attorney, where he investigated and prosecuted major financial fraud, terrorism and public corruption cases, as well as narcotics conspiracies and international money launderers.
After serving as a partner at the Boston law firm of Hill and Barlow, Mueller was again called to public service. In 1989, he served in the United States Department of Justice as an assistant to Attorney General Dick Thornburgh. The following year he took charge of its criminal division. During his tenure, he oversaw prosecutions that included Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, the Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie bombing) case, and the Gambino crime family boss John Gotti. In 1991, he was elected a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
In 1993, Mueller became a partner at Boston’s Hale and Dorr, specializing in complex white-collar crime litigation. He returned to public service in 1995 as senior litigator in the homicide section of the District of Columbia United States Attorney’s Office. In 1998, Mueller was named U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California and held that position until 2001.
Mueller was nominated for the position of FBI Director on July 5, 2001. He and two other candidates were up for the job at the time, but he was always considered the front runner. Washington lawyer George J. Terwilliger III and veteran Chicago prosecutor and white-collar defense lawyer Dan Webb were up for the job but both pulled out from consideration around mid-June. Confirmation hearings for Mueller, in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, were quickly set for July 30, only three days before his prostate cancer surgery. The vote on the Senate floor on August 2, 2001 passed unanimously, 98-0. He then served as Acting Deputy Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice for several months, before officially becoming the FBI Director on September 4, 2001, just one week before the September 11, 2001 attacks against the United States.
Domestic wiretapping investigation
Director Robert Mueller along with the then Acting Attorney General James B. Comey offered to resign from office in March 2004 if the White House overruled a Department of Justice ruling which concluded that warrantless domestic wiretapping was unconstitutional. Attorney General John D. Ashcroft refused to intervene in attempts by White House chief of Staff Andrew Card and then White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales to waive this ruling and permit the domestic warrantless eavesdropping program to proceed. President Bush ultimately gave his support to making changes to the program on March 12, 2004 thereby defusing a crisis here.
Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation