By Allan Lengel
DENVER — In the halls of FBI headquarters, FBI Director Robert Mueller III isn’t exactly known as a kidder.
The words “stoic” and “serious” often come to mind. Let’s face it: the guy is always under a lot of pressure, particularly when it comes to preventing a domestic terrorism attack. Guess who’s going to get blamed if something happens?
But on occasion, while delivering a speech around the country, he sprinkles in a little humor. That happened Monday when he delivered a speech here to the International Association of Chiefs of Police annual conference, emphasizing cooperation between the feds and locals.
He started out his speech by saying:
“Year after year, I look out at all of you, and I ask myself the same question. Could I handle the challenges you face, day after day? Could I do the jobs you do with the same success? And the answer is no, for one simple reason: I could never bring myself to wear anything but a white shirt.”
“Your former president, Ron Ruecker, is now serving as our Director of Law Enforcement, and he is doing a great job. Several weeks ago, I asked Ron if he knew any good jokes to warm up the crowd. He suggested self-deprecating humor. And I said, ‘Sounds great. What are my weak points?’ And Ron said, ‘Well, sir, you’re only speaking for 15 minutes…so let’s just hit the highlights.’ I am sure that Ron will enjoy his new post in Yemen.”
Later on in his speech he talked about the FBI image and used an old joke that has circulated among law enforcement for many many years.
It started like this:
“I want to talk about the state of our relationships for a moment.
“I came to this position having worked with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., as a homicide prosecutor. Working closely with my state and local counterparts, I became familiar with some of the more cynical views of the Bureau.
“An old joke reflects that view. A joint task force of federal, state, and local officers raids a house with their respective police dogs. The state and local dog sniffs out the suspects on the run. The DEA dog discovers a suitcase full of cocaine. The ATF dog uncovers a buried cache of AK-47s. Finally, the FBI agents release their dog, who pulls out a microphone and holds a press conference.”