morning. It's nice to be back in San Francisco.
I went to high school here ... what, 10 years
ago or so. Hey, I looked a lot younger before
I became Deputy Director! Then I worked in
the San Francisco Field Office for three years.
You could say I left my heart here, and it's
nice to get a chance to visit old friends
and old haunts. It's always strange when you
come back to a place after several years and
you see all the changes that have taken place
and it's always a comfort to see that
some things have stayed the same. Because,
let's face it, most of us don't like change.
Things were always better back when we were
growing up or back when we were new agents.
I know I was better-looking then.
I remember my very first assignment as a new
Agent in Denver. And in my second year on
the job, still feeling like a rookie, I was
pulled into an airplane hijacking case. An
individual in Grand Island, Nebraska, had
commandeered a small plane and taken the pilot
and mechanic hostage. He was apparently trying
to get to Mexico or somewhere in South America.
The pilot flew them to Denver, where the hijacker
demanded a bigger plane, a million dollars,
and a six-pack of beer. He had a clear set
So at 5:00 p.m. on Easter Sunday, the whole
Denver Field Office was called in, and we
were involved in negotiations with the hijacker
till around midnight. My SAC decided that
we would provide the plane the hijacker had
requested, and then have snipers take him
out when he transferred to it. We were absolutely
sure the snipers would take care of him, but,
just as a precaution, they decided to put
several agents on the plane as well. I was
one of the lucky picks.
I'm sure everyone here who has ever heard
the words "absolutely sure" and
"just as a precaution" and "don't
worry about it" knows what happened next.
The sniper wasn't able to take the hijacker
out, and he boarded the plane with both of
the hostages in tow. The end result was that
my partner and I were involved in a deadly
confrontation. The hijacker was killed, and
both of the hostages were, thankfully, unharmed.
Back in the 70's, of course, we had a lot
of airplane hijackings, and I suppose this
was one of the more innocuous an alcoholic
with marital problems who ended up being the
Thirty years ago, none of us envisioned what
an airplane hijacking would turn into on September
11, 2001. An event that changed the world
as we know it and changed the FBI forever!
As most of you know, I'll be retiring from
the Bureau effective October 1st. It's never
a good time to leave, but it feels right because
I know the Bureau is in such good hands. Director
Mueller is doing an incredible job of transforming
the Bureau to meet new threats, and of defending
us before Congress and the 9/11 Commission.
We couldn't ask for a better leader and spokesperson.
Over the past three years, members of Congress
have proposed splitting the FBI apart, placing
us under Homeland Security, and taking away
our responsibilities for counterterrorism
and intelligence thanks to Director
Mueller, none of those things has happened.
And I'm here to tell you, that's a huge accomplishment
in and of itself. We owe a lot to Director
I've seen a lot of changes in my 30 years
with the Bureau. But nothing compares to the
changes I've seen in the past three years
in response to the new terrorist threat. I
just want to give you a general idea of the
scope of what we're talking about.
Under Director Mueller, the FBI's organizational
structure has been transformed. Entire new
divisions and offices have been created. We've
even started our own "college" --
the College of Analytical Studies -- to train
our growing staff of intelligence analysts.
The Counterterrorism Division has been reorganized
and an Office of Intelligence was created.
I'm sure Director Mueller will talk about
this more on Saturday the Intelligence
function is one of our top priorities.
And the changes haven't just been at Headquarters.
Since 9-11, we've overhauled our Information
Technology systems Bureau-wide. We've expanded
the number of JTTFs around the country from
35 to 100. We've created Flying Squads that
can be dispatched on short notice to anywhere
in the world to assist in counterterrorism
investigations or operations. We've established
Foreign Counterintelligence Squads in all
field offices to address national security
threats. And we've created Field Intelligence
Groups with analysts and reports officers
in every field office.
We've also grown stronger internationally.
Since 9/11, our international Legal Attaché
Offices (56 going to be 62) have become increasingly
important to our overall operations. Today
we're using them to assist our counterparts
overseas on joint investigations, intelligence-sharing,
and the development of new methods to prevent
Should the FBI really be involved in all these
overseas operations? Yes. Just last spring,
our improved international relations helped
us tackle crime on the South Pole. That's
right, Antarctica. A United States scientific
research station located in the coldest spot
on the planet called us for help after their
computer systems had been hacked into and
their data corrupted.
Because of the sub-freezing temperatures,
it was impossible to send Agents to the scene
no aircraft could land or take off
from the site for months. But working from
thousands of miles away, our investigators
were able to trace the source of the intrusion
to a server outside Pittsburgh. From there,
we identified two Romanian suspects. Thanks
to the cooperation and hard work of the Romanian
authorities, they were arrested outside Bucharest
Conducting operations in Antarctica from FBI
offices in DC; Los Angeles; and Mobile, Alabama.
Working hand-in-hand with police in Romania
based on data from a server in Pittsburgh.
It's a whole new world. Sometimes, some of
us may feel like this isn't the same FBI we
signed onto years ago. And we'd be right
a lot of things are different. A lot of things
But it would be wrong to say that everything
has changed. The important things remain the
same. Our organizational culture, that has
come under so much fire in the media, has
stayed the same. As Director Mueller has said,
repeatedly, the "FBI culture" is
an ethic of hard work, integrity, excellence
and dedication to protecting the American
public and that has never and will
And we have not abandoned our traditional
criminal responsibilities -- they are still
core to our mission. We are still investigating
violent crime, drugs, organized crime, gang
activity, and financial crimes. We are still
cracking down on corporate fraud and public
corruption. We are still committed to protecting
the civil liberties of all Americans.
On the public corruption front, last year
the Bureau opened 50 percent more public corruption
cases than in the previous year. And our successes
included the case against a Congressman who
took bribes from local businessmen and demanded
kickbacks from his own employees. He even
made his staff work on his farm. He pled guilty,
was removed from office, and was sentenced
to 96 months in prison. Maybe they'll have
him work on a farm, too.
The Bureau currently has 300 pending corporate
fraud investigations, and our health care
fraud investigations resulted in 600 convictions
last year and more than $5 billion in settlements.
I'm sure many of you have tracked our investigations
into multi-billion dollar losses and fraud
at HealthSouth, Enron, and Imclone. I'm also
proud of work our agents did in Kansas City
in Operation Diluted Trust. Thanks to their
efforts, the subject pled guilty to diluting
what were meant to be life-saving chemotherapy
drugs, and he has started serving a 30 year
In the area of civil rights, the FBI was finally
able to bring Thomas Blanton Jr. and Bobby
Frank Cherry to justice for the 1963 bombing
of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, in
Birmingham, Alabama. That bombing resulted
in the deaths of four young African-American
girls and injured 19 others. I'm pleased to
say that, this past year, Blanton and Cherry
were finally convicted and sentenced for murder.
In the Organized Crime Program, we're conducting
operations both at home and overseas. We're
particularly going after Balkan and Albanian
criminal enterprises, which may already number
in the thousands in the U.S. These groups
are exceptionally brutal and are forming alliances
with La Cosa Nostra families. In some instances
they're even challenging them for control.
They're involved in murders, bank and ATM
burglaries, passport and visa fraud, illegal
gambling, weapons and narcotics trafficking,
and extortion. To get at the group's base
of operations overseas before it becomes entrenched
here, we are placing Agents in Eastern Europe
to work hand-in-hand with local law enforcement.
Clearly, our organized crime responsibilities
are going to remain one of the Bureau's top
criminal priorities for many years to come.
And we're also using what we've learned in
fighting LCN in the war on terrorism. The
criminal program has pioneered a key strategy
for our counterterrorism efforts focusing
on the underlying threat and not just the
overt criminal action. Whether a criminal
enterprise manipulates stocks or smuggles
drugs, weapons or humans, we must always focus
on dismantling the entire infrastructure of
the organization, not just on nabbing the
street criminals. The same is true for terrorist
organizations. It's not enough to capture
terrorist operatives we must demolish
the entire terrorist organization, from financiers
on up. Like I said earlier, a lot of things
have changed over the years, but then a lot
of things the most important things
The past 30 years have seen the advent of
new forensic techniques, various new investigative
technologies, new computer systems
there are whole TV shows dedicated to all
these high-tech tools. And they've helped
us do our jobs better.
But in the end it's not computers and databases
that make the FBI work. If it was, we could
just have machines do the job. What makes
the FBI great, what's made me proud to come
to work every day for the past 30 years, is
the people. It's the almost 30,000 men and
women of the FBI, out there on the front lines
every day, protecting our country from terrorists
and criminals. They do this behind the scenes
and, too often, in the face of criticism.
This is the last speech I will give as Deputy
Director. And I want to close with my favorite
quote something from Theodore Roosevelt
that I think sums up my spirit and the real
spirit of the FBI and those who serve in law
enforcement. He said: "It is not the
critic who counts, not the man who points
out how the strong man stumbled, or where
the doer of deeds could have done better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually
in the arena; whose face is marred by the
dust and sweat and blood...who knows the great
enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends
himself in a worthy course; who at the best,
knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails
while daring greatly; so that his place shall
never be with those cold and timid souls who
know neither victory or defeat."
Roosevelt said that nearly 100 years ago,
and, like so many other things, it's just
as true today. And back at Headquarters, Director
Mueller and the rest of the Executive Staff
are working to make sure everyone knows how
dedicated and patriotic our Special Agents
and professional support employees are. They
deserve the credit because they are in the
arenas everyday protecting this great country
of ours. Just like you did.
As for myself, I've been proud to serve with
you in the arena, and now I'm looking forward
to joining you as I retire from the FBI.
Thank you for allowing me to be here with
you this morning, and thank you for allowing
me to serve in this Great Institution called
the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
God bless you all.