Column: Ex-FBI Official Says New FBI Director Should Be “Someone Who Has Lived the Life of a Law Enforcement and Intelligence Officer”

Anthony Riggio is a former lawyer who went on to work for the FBI for 24 years. He held a number of posts during that time including assistant special agent in charge of the Detroit office. He retired in 1995 as a senior executive at FBI headquarters.

Tony Riggio
By Anthony Riggio

There is no more important a job in Law Enforcement anywhere on the planet than the Director of the FBI. He is the person whose views, counsel and influence are sought anytime major criminal or terrorist actions occur.

As a retired FBI Agent who has worked for three Directors — having applied during J. Edgar Hoover’s long reign but coming on board just after he died — I have watched the FBI evolve into a worldwide force in both the area of intelligence and criminal investigations.

Each successive Director has built upon the Hoover’s legacy and have brought the FBI to this point in its recognition and reputation.

Each Director has done his absolute best to keep the FBI apolitical in an ever increasing and demanding political environment.

The FBI, must remain free of the influences of politicians who have a tendency to point the finger of blame every time something goes wrong.

The media pundits, who often represent destructive cynicism and reporting, often times, from a wide base of poor information, speculation and hidden agendas, cause the elected officials to get nervous.

The result: the event reported becomes an avalanche heaped upon the dedicated institutions, who are neither Gods nor Prophets, but are human beings with all the frailties of the fallible called upon to deal with super heroic dramas.

Having worked as an agent I know what goes on behind the scenes and there are rarely evil intentions on the minds of 99.9% of the agents on board.

They represent the very best and brightest of American society and will be among the first to take a bullet for you, given the evil intents that this society faces every day.

Consequently, the selection of an FBI director is of paramount importance to the American people and he must be a man or woman who understands the reputation and power this organization wields in preserving our great people and their heritage as Americans.

Our President must utilize the wisdom of Solomon in making this selection and must use every source in vetting the right person for this Herculean job.

For the vast majority of current and former Special Agents of the FBI, the right choice is someone devoid of a political agenda who does not seek an appointment simply because he is a Judge or an attorney.

They, including me, would like to see someone who has lived the life of a law enforcement and intelligence officer and who has survived the bloody trenches on his/her way up and has the heart of a Joshua.

What we don’t need in the FBI is someone who will be beholden to anyone or to any political party. We need someone who will reflect today’s American demographics and be able to stand toe to toe with anyone, and yet be able to accept his or her subordinate position in the chain of command.

Our President must appoint on the basis of good and honest counsel and then afterward stick by his appointee through thick or thin.

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