Senators at a Judiciary Committee meeting raked FBI Director Robert Mueller over the coals yesterday for what it sees as an inability to effectively implement intelligence changes deemed necessary after 9/11, which occurred nearly four years ago.

Problems with its computer system and language translation program were seen as major concerns. It was said in the hearing that a new computer system that cost $170 million has been deemed insufficient and its replacement will not be fully operational until 2009. Also, the amount of unreviewed counterterrorism audio recordings has doubled since April 2004.

Mueller defended the FBI’s efforts, saying the agency is doing the best it can.

“Occasionally, I liken it to trying to change the tires on a car as it hurtles at 70 miles an hour down the road,” he said.

Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine says the FBI needs to upgrade its computer system, hire and train more intelligence analysts, translate and review foreign language material more quickly, and stop the turnover in key FBI leadership positions.

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