I arrived at the FBI on September 4th, it
was already clear that there was a need
for change at the Bureau. Recent events
such as the Hanssen matter, the McVeigh
documents matter and the Wen Ho Lee case
all brought to light certain problems that
needed to be addressed. And then came the
events of September 11. The events of September
11 marked a turning point for the FBI. After
9/11 it was clear that we needed to fundamentally
change the way we do business.
I recently testified, responding to the
post-9/11 realities requires a redesigned
and refocused FBI. New technologies are
required to support new and different operational
practices. We have to do a better job recruiting,
managing and training our workforce; collaborating
with others; and, critically important,
managing, analyzing and sharing information.
In essence, we need a different approach
that puts prevention above all else. Simply
put, we need to change and we are changing.
December I described to you a new Headquarters
structure, one designed to support not hinder
the critically important work of our employees
stationed here and around the world. It
is working but obviously more needs to be
I am presenting for Congressional consideration
the second and clearly the most important
part of what must be done. It comes after
much consultation within the Bureau, with
the Attorney General and his Strategic Management
Council, with Administration officials,
with state and municipal law enforcement
officials, and with Members of Congress.
what I am going to describe does not stand
by itself. Much else needs to change if
we are to succeed, not the least of which
is the new information technology critical
to conducting business a different way,
critical to analyzing and sharing information
on a real time basis. Further, we are becoming
better intertwined with our colleagues,
particularly the CIA, and I appreciate Director
Tenet's willingness to share his analytical
resources as we go up the learning curve.
the end two things have come to symbolize
that which we must change. First, what did
not happen with the memo from Phoenix points
squarely at our analytical capacity. Our
analytical capability is not where it should
be, but I believe that this plan addresses
the letter from Agent Rowley points squarely
at the need for a different approach, especially
at Headquarters. With that proposition there
is no debate.
me take a moment to thank Agent Rowley for
her letter. It is critically important that
I hear criticisms of the organization, including
criticisms of me, in order to improve the
organization. Because our focus is on preventing
terrorist attacks, more so than in the past
we must be open to new ideas, to criticism
from within and without, and to admitting
and learning from our mistakes. I certainly
do not have a monopoly on the right answers.
new priorities, to new resources, to a new
structure applying a new approach, I believe
we are on the way to changing the FBI. And
while we believe these changes to be a dramatic
departure from the past, in the end our
culture must change with them. Long before
me, the Bureau had years of major successes
based on the efforts of the talented men
and women who make up the FBI. It is a history
we should not forget as we evolve to an
agency centered on prevention.
we must never forget that our actions must
be undertaken according to a constitutional
and statutory framework that protects the
rights and privacy of our citizens. That
too is part of our culture, representing
an appreciation unique to those who enforce
the laws. That must not get lost either.
me describe to you what I have proposed
and then answer your questions.
is the proposal I am submitting to Congress
for its consideration and, I hope, approval.
I believe it will help provide the more
agile, flexible and focused FBI that we
need to meet our primary objective of preventing
terrorist attacks. As I said, it is a work
in progress - we must continuously re-evaluate
where we are and how things are working.
And, far more than in the past, we must
be open to new idea, to criticism from within
and without, and to admitting and learning
from our mistakes. As recent events have
made all too clear, the world is a dangerous
place. Never before has this country depended
so heavily on the FBI to protect it at home.
I am confident that the talented men and
women of the FBI are up to the task and
I believe that these changes will help them
Let me make one final point before I open
up for questions. I know that you will have
many questions about the Phoenix EC and
other matters that occurred before 9/11.
I'd like to take just a minute to explain
my approach to such matters. Our primary
goal is to prevent the next terrorist attack.
I have been focused on looking forward and
making the changes I believe are necessary
to accomplish that. That does not mean that
investigating what happened before isn't
important -- it is. And it is being done
both by the congressional intelligence committees
and by the Department of Justice Inspector
General. I look forward to their reports
and will take any appropriate actions based
on what they find. But I personally have
been looking forward and focusing on prevention.
I was not here at the time and I have not
immersed myself in trying to determine the
details of who saw what document when and
who said what to whom. That will all be
sorted out by the ongoing investigations,
but I have chosen to focus my attention
on change and prevention.