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The task ahead for the FBI

It is with more than a passing interest that North Central West Virginians view the confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill for Robert Mueller. President Bush's choice to head the FBI is expected to be easily approved by the Senate.

That will be the easy part.

The hard part will be restoring the integrity of the nation's largest law enforcement agency.

The Bureau has taken it on the chin in recent years: Waco, the bombing at the Atlanta Olympics, the lost files on the McVeigh case and the arrest of Robert Hannsen for spying for the Russians.

Fortunately, the recent blunders have not reflected negatively on the FBI complex in Clarksburg. The 3,000 or so employees there do very important work, and they do it well.

It is our hope that Mueller can deliver on his promise to fix the problems at the FBI. "I will make it my highest priority to restore the public's confidence in the FBI, to re-earn the faith and trust of the American people," he told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.

Mueller, a former federal prosecutor, gets high marks from Republicans and Democrats alike, and, if confirmed, he is expected to run a tight ship.

His task will be a daunting one, but certainly not impossible. And soon, perhaps, all Americans can once again be as proud of the entire FBI as we here in West Virginia are proud of our own branch of the agency.

James Logue

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