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Director Asks Judge Webster to Conduct Independent Review

Washington, D.C. December 08, 2009
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III has asked Judge William H. Webster to conduct an independent review of FBI policies, practices, and actions prior to the tragic events at Fort Hood. Following the November 5, 2009 shootings, Director Mueller ordered an immediate, preliminary review of the FBI’s actions, as well any relevant policies and procedures that may have impacted FBI efforts before the shootings. The preliminary review has been completed, and Judge Webster will now lead an independent, outside effort that will look both at the initial findings and allow for additional review as he and his staff determine.

“As a former FBI director, director of central intelligence, and federal judge, Judge Webster is uniquely qualified to undertake this task and look at the procedures and actions involved in this matter,” Mueller said. “He, in the past, has led independent reviews of various FBI systems and broader policies and provided valuable recommendations. In this case, Judge Webster will have complete access and whatever resources necessary to complete the task.”

Judge Webster will coordinate his review with similar reviews underway by Department of Defense (DOD) and DOD-appointed officials, and will follow the DOD time frames. Mueller emphasized that Judge Webster’s review will be careful not to interfere with the ongoing, Army-led shooting inquiry and military legal proceedings.

“We must be sure that the systems we have in place give investigators the tools they need to carry out their responsibilities. At the same time, we must ensure constitutional protections and the confidence of the American public we serve,” Mueller said. “It is essential to determine whether there are improvements to our current practices or other authorities that could make us all safer in the future.”