morning. In learning about the Exchange Club,
I realized that we in the FBI share many of
the same values. A dedication to protecting
children. A belief in public service. A deep
love of our country. And a desire to make our
communities and our nation a better and safer
On the 75th anniversary of the FBI, President
Reagan summed up the FBI's mission and values
in these words: "From its inception under
President Theodore Roosevelt to the present,
the FBI has worked diligently to enforce our
laws, ensure the nation's security, and further
the pursuit of justice across our land."
And though the FBI has adapted and changed to
successfully confront new threats, our broader
mission has remain unchanged. We are still enforcing
the laws of this country, still protecting the
rights of all Americans, and still safeguarding
the security of our nation against all enemies.
Who are these enemies? First and foremost, Al
Qaeda and other terrorists overseas and their
operatives and supporters hiding within our
own borders. They are dangerous and they are
deadly, and stopping them is the FBI's highest
But they are not our only enemies. America and
America's children are also at risk from drug
dealers, online predators, gangs, and violent
criminals. And it is not just our freedom and
our security that are under assault, but also
Today, I want to talk to you about what the
FBI is doing to defend our freedom, safeguard
our security, and support our shared values.
First, let's talk about public enemy number
one: terrorists. I would imagine that many of
you say a prayer of gratitude, as I do, every
time the Capitol rotunda comes into view. The
terrorists sought to destroy our Capitol on
September 11, 2001 but they did not succeed.
And the FBI is here to make sure they will never
again succeed. We are the lead agency charged
with investigating and preventing terrorism.
Since the September 11th attacks, we have made
rapid and tremendous progress in understanding
the nature of our enemies and implementing ways
to defeat them.
This progress is largely the result of two important
changes in the FBI: Improved intelligence, and
improved partnerships with the intelligence
community and with federal, state, local and
international law enforcement. Let me give you
a quick overview of these improvements.
First, before the September 11th attacks, the
FBI was primarily focused on investigating traditional
criminal and terrorism issues in a reactive
way investigating after the fact in order
to bring perpetrators to justice. We have spent
the past several years transforming the FBI
into an intelligence-driven agency, working
in a proactive way with the goal not just of
prosecuting, but preventing crime and terrorism.
To prevent illegal activity, our intelligence
capability has had to increase and improve dramatically.
And it has.
We now have Field Intelligence Groups in every
FBI office, collecting and analyzing intelligence
and sharing it with over 100 Joint Terrorism
Task Forces and other law enforcement and intelligence
officials around the country and the world.
We have stood up a new Directorate of Intelligence
within the FBI, to make sure that intelligence
is integrated into every single FBI investigation,
from drugs, to gangs, to foreign counterintelligence,
And in all these areas, our increased intelligence
ability has paid off in arrests and prosecutions,
in dismantled drug and gang enterprises, in
thwarted terrorist attacks, and in the lowest
crime rate in 30 years.
The second area of improvement is our partnerships.
In the wake of September 11th, it became all
too clear that no agency, no department, and
no nation could succeed alone. We could not
afford to wrangle over turf. We could not afford
to keep information to ourselves. We could not
afford to introduce ourselves for the first
time at another Ground Zero.
And so we have come together. We work together,
train together, and share information together
like never before. Today, police officers from
across the country and the world work inside
FBI offices, side-by-side with FBI Agents and
analysts. Our counterterrorism Agents and analysts
sit at the same tables, in the same rooms, in
the same building with analysts and reports
officers from the CIA. We are one team with
one mission preventing terrorism.
These improvements demonstrate how the FBI has
adapted and changed to successfully confront
today's threats. But the threats to America
keep changing. Today's criminal landscape is
becoming more complex, more dangerous, and more
The rules of the game also keep changing. Our
adversaries carry no flags and wear no uniforms.
They do not fight on traditional battlefields.
Technology has enabled them to travel unnoticed,
to communicate their plans with the click of
a mouse, and to carry them out with the push
of a cell phone button.
The first FBI Agents, working under President
Roosevelt, worried about bank robbers and gangsters.
Nearly 100 years later, Agents must also worry
about hackers, online predators, spies, and
terrorists. And we are concerned about the growing
convergence of these threats, both old and new.
Today, we see organized crime enterprises laundering
money for drug groups. Drug groups selling weapons
to terrorists. Terrorists committing white-collar
crime and fraud to raise money for their operations.
But perhaps my greatest worry is that our culture
is inadvertently supporting these evolving threats.
And that's where you come in to play...
Our culture has changed dramatically since the
early days of the FBI. Technology has allowed
us to progress in many ways. But in some ways,
technology has also been a vehicle of moral
and cultural regress. It has allowed some people
to indulge their worst instincts through too-real
Let me give you a quick example video
games. Now, you may be wondering why I feel
I can speak authoritatively on the way video
games are eroding our culture and values and
serving as a training ground for today's evolving
crimes. Well, I have a 15-year old son. I know
all about video games.
The label on his latest game obsession proves
my point. It includes these warnings: "Blood
and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language,
Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs."
Of course, you could say, "Well, you're
the Mom, don't let him play with it." But
today, this and other video games, computer
games, Internet games, and much more are readily
available if not in my home, then in
the homes of others. But let's get back to the
As far as I can tell, the "protagonist"
of the game is a sleazy gangster. In order to
win, you have to acquire lots of money and lots
of power. You have to take over rival gangs,
put hits out on the police, ally yourself with
drug kingpins and hopefully share some of their
profits, befriend the Mafia, and kill as many
people as you can with as many weapons as you
can get your hands on.
Whatever happened to Pac-Man? You know, the
nice little yellow guy that just ate power pellets
and chased pastel ghosts away?
Yet this is the culture we live in. These are
the values we are instilling in our children.
Today's games glorify violence and cultivate
a casual attitude towards lawlessness. But it's
not just games. The more our music, our music
videos, our movies, and our TV shows promote
violence and lawlessness, the more this same
type of violence and lawlessness will play out
on the streets, by children whose minds and
hearts have been lost. And because America is
a great exporter of ideas and influence, this
same violence and lawlessness is seeping into
other cultures and the minds and hearts of children
in other nations.
This cultural degradation is perhaps the greatest
future challenge of law enforcement. The FBI
can work to prevent terrorism, gang violence
and drug trafficking, but we cannot prevent
them from being glorified to a kid with a new
video or game. The FBI can stand on the front
lines every day, trying to stop the spread of
drugs, of firearms, of weapons of mass destruction.
But we cannot stop the infiltration of the ideas
that are dehumanizing our culture and encouraging
kids to support the spread of drugs, of firearms,
and of weapons of mass destruction.
That is why you are so important to the law
enforcement community. Groups like the Exchange
Club are vital to turning the tide in our nation
and in the world. We share a common goal
securing a peaceful world and a civil society
where freedom can flourish. Even the world's
strongest army, using the best intelligence,
aided by the most aggressive legislation cannot
alone accomplish this goal.
It takes more than just changes in the FBI.
It takes more than just law enforcement and
military might to ensure our children can grow
up in safety and in freedom. It takes all of
you, doing just what you are doing volunteering
to make a difference that will help win
President Bush put it best when he announced
the creation of the USA Freedom Corps in January
2002. He said, "You overcome the evil in
society by doing something to help somebody...If
people want to fight terror, do something kind
for a neighbor. Stand up to evil with acts of
goodness. Not only will our country be better,
but we will show the world that values must
be adhered to. And as a result, the world will
be more peaceful."
President Bush said, "has called us to
action, and action we will take."
The FBI is taking action by changing to meet
evolving threats. And we are thankful that citizens
like you are also taking that action, by serving
our children, our communities and our country.
You embody the American spirit of giving, and
you are spreading that spirit to the people
you serve. You are ambassadors of America's
values. And together we will succeed in making
America a safer place.