COMMISSION ON THE ADVANCEMENT OF
FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT
May 18, 1998
American Chemical Society
1550 M Street, N.W.
P R O C E E D I N G S
JUDGE WEBSTER: Attorney General Reno, the floor
GENERAL RENO: Thank you, Judge.
Chief Stewart, President Gallegos, Professor
Dahlin, we appreciate this opportunity to be here today
and we look forward to working with you and trying to be
as helpful as we can in terms of information response that
will be helpful to you.
I, at Judge Webster's request, really outlined
what I think are going to be some of the critical issues
in the next century, and that is what I present today. I
don't see that it is minutely inclusive, but I think it
will present what I think are some of our priorities and
First of all, I hope that we will go into the
next century continuing the general approach that we have
had in these last 5 years in an effort to create a
partnership, first a partnership between the Federal
Secretary Rubin and I, Department of Treasury
and Department of Justice, I think have had an excellent
working relationship where we have tried to put turf aside
and focus on what is best, and what is in the best
interest of the case, and we do it daily, and I am really
gratified at the response of the Department of Treasury.
We feel very good about that.
My background is in State and local law
enforcement, and I came to Washington committed to
building a true partnership with State and local law
enforcement, a two-way street for exchange of information,
and in deference to State and local law enforcement based
upon principles of Federalism and what was in the best
interest of the case and the community, but not in who got
the credit, or whose turf it was.
We have also found that with the
internationalization of crime, that it becomes Director
Freeh and Mr. Tenet's predecessors and Mr. Tenet have
built an excellent relationship between the intelligence
community and law enforcement, and I think we want to take
every step we can to enhance that as we move into the next
We formed a closer working relationship with
State in these last 5 years, trying to recognize that on
issues of institution-building and of training and of
international crime State can be an invaluable partner in
this effort, and we are continuing to build on that.
We have also started regular meetings with the
Department of Defense. As a matter of fact, this morning
Deputy Secretary Hamre and I will be meeting to identify
issues of mutual concern and to address those, and we hope
very much that Treasury will be part of that effort.
Again, the second principle that I have operated
on is the need for bipartisanship. I see so many U.S.
Attorneys from one party working with sheriffs and DA's
from another party, and doing it without regard to party
affiliation, and I think that is very important, and I
think we can make so many inroads if we approach it in a
thoughtful, bipartisan way.
We have tried to put a heavy emphasis on
research in terms of what the crime problem is in a
particular area or nationally, analysis, planning, and the
development of sound plans based on what the solid
information is, and I think that has been key to much of
what we have done.
And finally, we have tried to promote it from a
balanced point of view, focusing on punishment to assure
that punishment was fair, absolutely firm, and fit the
crime, but that there was early intervention when you saw
a first offender and prevention whenever possible.
We tried to look at prevention, for example, in
the health care fraud arena. We are trying to analyze
each case now to see what caused the fraud and what
permitted the fraud to take place, and work with the
industry to develop checks and balances that will prevent
it for the future.
To give you an example, I would like to put a
subject on the table. It has always frustrated me to see
the amount of effort and time and money and manpower that
law enforcement has to put into auto theft. I would like
to work with Detroit to develop some mechanisms that can
effectively prevent auto theft, that would save so much in
terms of law enforcement's commitment, and this is the
type of prevention that I am talking about.
I know our priorities will continue to be drugs
and drug trafficking violence, white collar crime, public
corruption, and generally the other traditional priorities
of the Department of Justice, but terrorism is clearly
going to be -- nothing can exceed that in terms of
importance, both domestic and international terrorism.
We have seen the results of it in Oklahoma City,
and again law enforcement responded so magnificently in
that regard, but it is important that we develop, again,
the partnership between State and local law enforcement
and the Federal agencies to make sure that we have the
earliest possible information that will enable us to
prevent the crime in the first place, and I think the ATF
and the FBI working together in a number of instances have
been able to do that.
Clearly, one of the great issues that we will
face in the next century will be the issue of weapons of
mass destruction, and we are taking steps to make sure
that we are prepared in terms of bio and chemical weapons
and, of course, nuclear weapons.
Another issue in that regard is the whole threat
on our information infrastructure.
Can you hear me?
JUDGE WEBSTER: Your microphone seems to be
cutting in and out. I am not sure.
GENERAL RENO: Let me try again.
I think the newest threat, and one of those that
cause me most concern, is the whole question of the
security of our information technology. This Nation is
much more dependent upon its information technology and
information infrastructure than any other. It provides us
with some remarkable opportunities, but it also creates
some serious vulnerabilities that we have got to be
prepared to address.
As you know, the President appointed a
commission that has returned a report, and we are now in
the process of implementing it. The FBI has established
the National Infrastructure Protection Center that works
in conjunction with the Terrorism Center at the Bureau in
what I think is going to be a very effective effort to
deal with this issue, but it is going to require a new
approach from law enforcement.
It is going to require outreach and trust-building between law enforcement and the sectors of
Government and the private sector that are primarily
dependent on information technology and on the
There is so much of what we do that is our
emergency systems, fire and police, banking, energy,
utilities, how we get our food to the market and do it in
a timely way, and when you see what one 17-year-old hacker
can do just playing, it makes you realize what somebody
with more malicious and evil purposes could do --
I think it is going off and on, so forgive me.
Could do if they really wanted to bring down the
information infrastructure, so this is one of our prime
focuses, and I think a very important one in that regard.
What we would like to do, and what we are
working on, is to develop, again, a partnership between
the State and local officials and the Federal agencies to
ensure information-sharing, to ensure that we get early
warnings out to the field, and that we get information
from the field that will be helpful to us that we share
Much of the technology in this area is very
expensive. It also becomes obsolete right quickly. Not
every State can afford to buy it, and it doesn't make good
sense if we can provide regional and national capacity to
share not just the technology but the expertise to go with
That raises I think a critical issue for law
enforcement, as it does for the private sector. How are
we going to make sure we have sufficient people in law
enforcement with the technical sophistication that can
match wits with some of these cyber criminals or cyber
terrorists, and how can we be prepared in terms of people
who know how to -- who know the law as well as the
technology to permit the Constitution to keep track of the
These are issues we are grappling with, and that
I think are going to be critical for law enforcement, but
I think it is going to be imperative that we share with
State and local our expertise on issues of weapons of mass
destruction, cyber issues, and the like.
I think it is also going to be important for us
in other areas to establish standards for forensic
standards that will enable us to again share the equipment
and share the knowledge, and use the latest research to
inform and to improve law enforcement efforts.
Leaving aside terrorism for a moment, just the
issue of cyber crime will be a major force, I think, in
the next century. When a man can sit in a kitchen in St.
Petersburg, Russia, and steal from a bank in New York with
the use of his computer, you understand the dimensions of
the problem that we face.
When someone can run a boiler room from off-shore, we don't quite know where, through the Internet, we
face significant problems.
When child pornography is conveyed across the
globe through the Internet, we see problems.
When stalkers can stalk through a chat room as
opposed to stalking down the street, we see problems.
There are so many issues that are going to have
to be addressed in a thoughtful way by law enforcement and
the private sector to ensure that the cyber tools we have
now give us the opportunities that everybody dreams of
without the risk.
Another issue that law enforcement faces is tied
into that, and that is that I think borders are shrinking.
In some instances they are being eliminated, and it is
imperative that law enforcement be prepared to deal with
crime and its international consequences.
If the computer becomes the tool rather than the
gun, the FBI is going to have to be able to work with
agencies around the world to track down where the intruder
is, who is doing it. We are going to have to develop
common statutes and common laws to address the problem.
We are going to have to have common understandings as to
who prosecutes and ensure that there is prosecution.
Director Freeh has done some really wonderful
work in ensuring that there is an FBI presence in many
areas around the world. I think this has been extremely
helpful in improving the working relationship between law
enforcement around the world, but I think the old days of
diplomatic niceties and archaic forms should be a thing of
the past, because we are going to have to deal with
countries around the world as we deal with States, in a
respectful, orderly partnership if we are going to be
effective in law enforcement.
That leads to, I think, one of the critical
shortages in law enforcement, at least at the Federal
level, and that is a language capacity. We see it
regularly with respect to the need for Spanish-speaking
agents. We have other areas of the world where we need
this capacity, and I think this is something we must be
One area where law enforcement has, I think,
just a critical responsibility that it has not yet met is
in the area of Indian country. We are seeing an increase
particularly in youth crime in Indian country, with gangs
coming from areas like Los Angeles. I think it is
reaching a very serious proportion, and I think it is
vital that we identify resources and enhance our
commitment in that area.
Finally, with respect to professionalization, we
again work with State and local law enforcement through
our COPS program and the National Institute of Justice,
and I think that that has been a good initiative that is
producing some good results, and something we can build on
for the next century with respect to the Federal agencies.
For example, we have developed a deadly force
policy that the Department of Justice and the Department
of Treasury have both adopted after appropriate
consultation. This in effect covers about 90 percent of
the Federal agents now, as I read the numbers, and this is
the type of thing we are trying to undertake through our
Office of Investigative Agency Policy to address issues
such as deadly force, and do everything we can to promote
the professional competence of the agents and to ensure
that people understand the processes and area of
Obviously, many questions are raised about law
enforcement, and we constantly review our data, our
charging data issues involving the death penalty to make
sure that we do not see any pattern of disparity that is
These are some of the issues, Judge Webster,
that I wanted to touch on. They are not by any means --
they don't cover the whole waterfront, but I thought it
would give you a flavor of where we are at and where I
hope we are going.
JUDGE WEBSTER: Thank you, Attorney General.
That is a very good start indeed.
I understand both you and Secretary Rubin are
willing to come back after we have developed other issues,
and we are very appreciative of that.
Your comments about cooperation made me think
of -- incidentally, I think I know the secret of these
microphones, which I will now try to demonstrate. They
are voice-activated, so that means you have got to be up
close to them, and that is about the only thing I know to
do, and I am having the same effect that you were,
wondering whether they are on or not.
I was Director of the FBI at the time that we
looked for a quotation on the Hoover Building to put on
the interior courtyard, and one that I had a role in
selecting was one by J. Edgar Hoover which stated the key
to effective law enforcement was cooperation at all levels
of Government, and with the support and understanding of
the American people.
And you also touched upon trust-building as an
essential ingredient, and I think that is so important,
and we appreciate your calling it to our attention,
because it will be a very vital part of what I think we
were intended to do when this commission was established.
CHIEF STEWART: I know there is a serious debate
going on on encryption, which can create serious problems
for law enforcement. I wonder, where do we stand? Are we
any closer to getting the encryption problem worked at?
GENERAL RENO: I think this is what we are
talking about as far as trust-building. Right now we are
engaged in conversation with the industry, saying look,
everybody agrees there should be strong encryption to
ensure privacy. The whole cyber world will not work
unless we can provide that, and I do not think anybody
disagrees with that.
But I think we should have privacy today, except
when there is a situation that will justify under our
current law and Constitution an appropriate electronic
intercept of a telephone call or otherwise.
Everybody understands that if you have stored
data in a computer, and it is encrypted, it is going to be
very important to get into that stored data if you have a
search warrant for the stored data, and we are going to
have to work together to solve the problem.
I think there has been tension developed between
the industry and law enforcement, and I think it is
incumbent upon us all to sit down and work through these
issues and find the right technical solution, but the one
thing I am convinced of is that what we find tomorrow will
probably be obsolete in 6 months to a year, and that is
the reason it is absolutely imperative that we form the
partnership with the academic world, with labs such as
Lawrence Livermore, with the private sector, in order to
keep pace with the technology that just staggers the
imagination and converts vanity to prayer, as I see it.
The trust-building is absolutely essential. I
think we are making some progress, Chief, not as fast as I
The other factor I think we all realize is that
there is going to be strong encryption that is not
immediately accessible, brought into this country. It is
there, and we are going to have to be prepared to be able,
when it is appropriate, according to the present
Constitution and the present law, to electronically
surveil it or intercept it. We are going to have to be
prepared with new technical solutions that I do not think
we know yet.
So I do not have the best report to make, but
that is about the most candid.
CHIEF STEWART: The only other thing I would
mention in your comments on training and
professionalization, my agency in South Carolina works
closely with the FBI Academy and FLETSI. We have a
program going now through FLETSI and the State Department
with training with Russian station chiefs, which is an
interesting program, but I think you are doing a great
deal in the level of cooperation with the States and local
government through those two facilities, and all that is
being done in regard to standardization and
Some of us that are very active in the CALEA
accreditation movement and ASCLAD lab accreditation were
very pleased to see the FBI working toward ASCLAD
accreditation as well on the road to obtaining that, and
General, you have endorsed the U.S. Marshalls Service and
started down the road to CALEA accreditation, and we are
watching that very closely to see whether that is
something that would be suitable for the Federal agencies
or would not be suitable for the Federal agencies.
GENERAL RENO: I want to explore every avenue I
can, because I think just as law enforcement is facing
some incredible challenges that I do not think it has ever
faced before, and of dimensions they've never faced
before -- you wander down the hall, Judge Webster, in the
Justice Building and you see an old crime lab mural right
across the wall, on the wall across from the Attorney
General's Office, and you realize how far we have come,
but then you look at the cyber tools and it really is
But I think this is an exciting time for law
enforcement, because I have never seen both with the
officer on the front line and the manager such
professionalism that exists across the range of police
agencies wherever I go.
I am so impressed with the young officer,
President Gallegos, who is interested, he is innovative,
she is bold -- they are doing new and good things,
reaching out to the community. Police chiefs and sheriffs
are doing the same thing.
It is just a wonderful time where people are
very receptive to anything they can get that will improve
the professionalism of their agency, and the time is now
for us to do it.
JUDGE WEBSTER: You made me think of a comment.
Saturday, I attended and spoke at the South Central
Conference of Former Agents of the FBI in St. Louis, and
Acting Assistant Director Roger Wheeler was talking about
the days where the people largely in that audience had
trained and each was given a revolver with six rounds as
they graduated from the academy.
Now, they not only get rounds of 9 mm, having
had extensive training in automatic weapons, but they are
each given a $4,000 laptop computer, which sort of says
where we are going and the direction that we had better be
able to achieve in a proper way.
MR. GALLEGOS: We definitely have made a
substantial amount of progress. When I went through the
academy we received a revolver with six shots but no
bullets. That's what graduation was all about.
Secretary Rubin made a comment about oversight,
and that seems to be a very substantial issue with State
and local law enforcement agencies, and I think it kind of
goes also into a shooting policy, or use of force policy
that both of you have developed, and I think one of the
concerns has been on a good deadly force policy, or
shooting force policy, and I think you are to be commended
for bringing those issues kind of together, because it is
a big one with State and local.
One of the concerns that I have heard with other
Federal agencies, not necessarily within yours, is that it
doesn't seem to track through all the Federal law
enforcement agencies as far as the deadly force, so I
think the initial steps you have taken to bring Treasury
and Justice together are critical to passing it on to
other Federal agencies and the Department of Interior and
Department of Defense and so on, so I think you are to be
commended for that.
Kind of in general, how do you see oversight in
the Office of Professional Responsibility, and have you
taken a look at how you can bring the American public into
play and how they can feel more comfortable in necessarily
filing complaints, or whatever it may be, against Federal
GENERAL RENO: One of the issues that is most
troubling to me is, I come from a State that had a public
records law, an open Government law. Once you completed
the investigation, the investigation became public, and it
was much easier to advise people on just what had been
done and why.
When I came into office, as Mr. Shaheen can tell
you, I started looking at what we can do to properly
release at least summaries of OPR reports, and I would
defer to him to give you a critique on how it is working.
He may want to wait until I leave.
GENERAL RENO: But it is very important for me.
Also, with respect to civil rights complaints,
for example, against border patrol agents or others along
the border, the IG investigates those complaints, and it
is frustrating because they initially investigate them.
They may then be referred to the Bureau or to
the Civil Rights Division, and we are trying to develop
some means of tracking it and letting people know what
happens to the complaint, because Doris Meisner, the
Commissioner of INS, tells me that one of her major
problems is, okay, the agencies are investigating it.
She doesn't control it. She can't let people
know what's happening to their complaint, and when it's
concluded it's not clear that she is advised as
immediately as possible.
And so there is a lot to be done, and what we're
doing in that regard is really a self-assessment of our
civil rights processes with respect to the Federal
agencies within the Department of Justice to make sure
that we are doing it right as well, but response and
feedback to the complainant I think is essential, and that
is our ultimate goal, and I think we have made some real
progress with regard to the OPR process and to the IG
MR. GALLEGOS: I think as ever there has to be a
careful balance between the due process rights of the
individual officer or employee versus trying to get to the
truth and address the issues that are affected by the
person that has a complaint, or has a concern, whether it
be civil rights or procedural, or whatever, and so a good
policy I think, yet it is central to getting to those
JUDGE WEBSTER: We are very glad to hear the
Attorney General say what she just did. I am reminded that
back in the 1980's I appeared on a question and answer
radio program that was heard largely in the Middle West,
but had a national following.
I got a call in -- I was here in Washington. I
got a call in from a police officer out, I believe in
Illinois, and he said he understood why the FBI had its
civil rights responsibilities with respect to violations
of constitutional rights of citizens for allegations of
civil rights by State and local law enforcement, but why
did it take so long, and why were they never told what the
outcome of the inquiry was.
And I said I was not at all certain why it took
long, but I am surprised to hear that they were not told,
so I said I would look into it, and I found indeed these
reports were being concluded at sometimes at a rapid rate
and sometimes a very slow rate, but in any event, they
were never told.
And I asked, why was that, and they said that
would require several thousand letters going out every
year, and I said, if the Department of Justice didn't want
to do it, the FBI would do it, because it was very
important that people who had those allegations made
against them know that the case was closed and that they
had found to be either -- if they were valid, of course,
they heard about it, but if they were not valid they were
entitled to know it was over.
And the Department at that time said, well, if
you're going to do it, then the Department will do it, and
what I am hoping is the Department is still doing it.
GENERAL RENO: Well, I think eternal vigilance
is the standard. I think one of the things that one
learns is, you've just got to constantly review it and
monitor it, look at the processes that are in place, make
sure that we haven't built up one layer of process on
another so that they're meaningless, and then really make
sure we carry out those processes, and that is what our
whole self-assessment is all about, trying to make sure we
have something in place that is fair, I think.
Another thing we are doing that just touches on
this, there was a tremendous FOIA backlog, and we've
established goals, aided and abetted by Congress that said
you had better do it, and we are making some significant
progress in reducing those backlogs and weeding out
material that doesn't have to be covered under FOIA so
that we can get it out.
I'm trying to make the Justice Department as
open as possible, consistent with privacy interests, so
that people can have confidence in what we do.
PROFESSOR DAHLIN: Mr. Chairman, could I ask a
question? I really appreciated both of your statements.
I think they are an excellent reminder as we really get
down to work on the need to be forward-looking as we
I particularly was interested in the comments,
which seemed certainly sensible and right, about the
growing internationalization and globalization of what's
happening in the world.
I have taught at the undergraduate level
international law a little bit, and I am still struck by
the salience of the notion of nation-State, and I wonder
if you have any guidance for us as we begin our work as to
where we ought to look, and how we ought to tackle what
seems to be an incredibly difficult problem.
GENERAL RENO: I think we would like to come
back and make some presentations to you, or have some of
our experts, and I think you might like to hear from them,
hear from the cyber people about just how borders become
meaningless in terms of the cyber criminal, but hear from
Director Freeh about what he has done in terms of the
establishment of more offices.
One of the keys I think in this area is
something that Secretary Albright and I are engaged in. I
think training and institution-building, and the Treasury
Department is involved in this as well, that that is
absolutely one of the keys to everything we do, mutual
respectful training opportunities and efforts at
It is very difficult to do that when you don't
have a planned curriculum over a period of time. If you
were conducting your university in an ad hoc way -- well,
we'll have a course here, maybe a course here, well, we
won't have a next semester here -- it's very difficult to
plan a faculty that is distinguished and excels.
And so what we are trying to do is identify and
prioritize the training needs around the world, see what
State has in terms of dollars through its various
entities, see what Justice Department and Treasury have,
assign responsibility, and develop a priority list over
5 years, so that together the Treasury Department and the
Justice Department could provide faculty that really fit
the needs of these training opportunities.
I think you might want to hear from somebody at
State in this regard, and I think that is a key place to
We are doing a lot in terms of focusing on the
issue of extradition. We have got to, if law enforcement
is to work around the world in this next century, make
clear to the criminals that there's no safe place to hide.
There's a reluctance on the part of many nations
to extradite nationals, I think for sovereignty reasons,
because they think the United States was once the big bad
ogre that wouldn't give their nationals a fair trial.
Now, as we enter into international agreements
and NAFTA-type relationships that are based on trust,
we're going to have to trust, and any prosecutor knows
that a case should generally be prosecuted in the place
that it was committed, where the people, the witnesses are
there, and that there are only rare exceptions when there
is a change of venue.
We are making some headway in terms of
acceptance of that knowledge, but the extradition process
is still so fraught with different procedures and some
treaties back to 1910 we have got to do a lot in working
But I think training, that effort, the
development of common statutes -- we are spending an awful
lot of time with the OECD, and we had the first minister's
conference on this issue of cyber crime last December,
where the ministers of justice from the eight countries
came, and we had an excellent meeting, and so there are
steps underway, and we would be happy to brief you on that
and have staff brief you, however you wanted to do it.
But it is clearly -- I think in 25 years we're
going to have to have standard forms, and I think the EU
and other entities, with what we do in this hemisphere,
with the way we work things out in a more collective way,
we can have an impact.
GENERAL RENO: One other factor that came up
with respect to the recent death penalty issue is how in
this Federalist Nation, how the States work together on
this. That is so confusing to foreign countries when they
say, well, you entered into this treaty. What do you
mean, you can't enforce it?
SECRETARY RUBIN: Let me give you an example.
We had our money-laundering conference in Argentina with
every nation in the hemisphere but one, Cuba, and there
was tremendous enthusiasm about the statutes and
regulations and everything else.
On the other hand, most -- much significant
money laundering today has a foreign piece to it, and it
is cyber-conducted. Well, some of it is, some of it
isn't, but some of it is, so it's an increasing problem.
On the other hand, as I looked around the room I
thought to myself, even if you have statutes and you have
regulations, how much of this is going to be undone by
corruption, and it's not irrelevant to our interests,
quite the contrary. How we get at all of this in some
effective fashion seems to me is indeed complicated but a
critically important set of issues.
Can I add one thing n the coordination, Mr.
Chairman, that occurred to me? You all probably thought
of this, but there are examples of coordination not just
at the headquarters offices but in the field that are
working, and I know the Attorney General knows more about
this than I do, but I've heard this described by various
people, including her, and there are examples where
coordination doesn't work very well, but it seems to me
very valuable to have people in from the field who have
had success coordinating across Justice and Treasury
Bureaus to see if the things can be replicated.
Secondly, there are people that have ideas about
creating new entities and superstructures to accomplish
these purposes. My instinct would be to be fairly wary of
creating new layers and new entities, as opposed to trying
to work within the existing entities to create a more
JUDGE WEBSTER: That's a very important point,
and one that I was just about ready to ask a question of
the two of you, and I suppose this comes under the general
category of federalization of crime which produces
increasing numbers of Federal law enforcement agencies.
Your testimony this morning and your comments
indicate that a good working relationship has existed, and
gets better all the time, between Treasury and the
Department of Justice.
Does it concern you that in almost every other
Department of Government and also in other major agencies
or bureaus we have designated law enforcement officers,
that is AT-11's, who have a right to carry a gun and have
an accelerated vesting, but many of these do not appear at
least to be operating under any general national norms
such as Treasury and the Department of Justice operate
under, and it is perhaps unfair to ask you for solutions
now, but is this something we should be interested in?
GENERAL RENO: I think this is important, and we
have tried to do outreach.
For example, I met recently with the Inspectors
General of the various Government agencies, and I am
trying to do everything I can in terms of outreach. It
moves awfully slow, Judge Webster, because just take
Treasury and Justice -- well, let's just take Justice.
The FBI calls its S-A-C's S-A-C's, DEA calls its
S-A-C's SACS. You have some of the old school that didn't
really talk very much, and that filters up and down, and
it's a slow process of getting the agencies to work
As the Chief and President Gallegos can tell
you, a lot of law enforcement is based just on personal
contact, that people know each other and respect each
other, and it works.
I think one of the issues we face is that you
have such a turnover in SAC's. I think when I was in
Miami I had seven or eight SAC's in the 15 years I was
State Attorney, and that makes it difficult to build
rapport and understanding.
We have a long way to go just within the
Department of Justice but I think it really is happening,
sometimes a lot slower than I would like. Again, we're
trying to do the outreach for those other agencies and
bring them in to some standards and some norms while at
the same time supporting their specific mission.
JUDGE WEBSTER: The FBI got along well for many,
many years, even before it became the FBI. It was just
the Bureau of Investigation, on a single paragraph, as I
recall, that said the Attorney General shall have a Bureau
Now, I see statutes developed which are coming
out which designate either the FBI or some other agency as
being the primary person, the primary agency responsible
for dealing with special situations such as presidential
assassinations, or attempted assassinations.
One of the things we might be interested in
knowing is whether this congressional designation is
helpful, or whether it is producing a scramble of
authority, and whether it is proliferating the agencies,
as Secretary Rubin warned against.
I don't know if you have any comment on that at
this time, but we would be grateful if you would be
thinking about that.
GENERAL RENO: Well, I for one, when people
start tinkering with the structure to solve a problem, I
am immediately suspect, because I think it is important
for Federal law enforcement to sit down and make it work.
There is no reason why the current system
shouldn't work. We've got more than enough to do, and
more than enough credit to go around. It is frustrating
when one agency is designated as the principal agency for
the investigation of terrorist activities, and then
another agency is designated as the principal agency for
the investigation of bombings, and then they have a to-do
between the two that comes up to Washington. I hear about
And I hope that is quickly becoming a thing of
the past. We should not have to worry about what goes
where and who does what from that point of view, when
we've got enough to do otherwise.
So the more we can just say what I've been
saying, which is, let's not tinker with structure, let's
just sit down and get the job done, and anything you can
do by report or otherwise to suggest that we do that, it
SECRETARY RUBIN: Could I identify with that one
second? It can be tempting, and I've seen this in the
corporate world, to think you've got an existing
structure, you've got a problem, you create a third
structure to help it, but whenever you create a third
structure you have a whole new set of individuals, and I
would like to identify something, what the Attorney
General said. There are problems in the coordination.
It seems to me the way to figure it out is to
identify it with your existing structures, and it may be
that you need different interfaces and you will find
people who can do it, but I do think every time you create
a new structure it will carry with it a whole bunch of
other issues that sooner or later has potential to create
a lot of difficulty.
GENERAL RENO: Let me put one other matter on
your plate that goes directly to this, and that is the
whole issue of the Southwest border with respect to
Customs, INS inspectors, the border patrol.
You have now -- when we first took office, the
first concern was undocumented aliens, and now the drug-trafficking issues with respect to that border are
That has tremendous impact on local law
enforcement along the border and on the local community,
so that there are law enforcement and immigration issues
and customs issues that overlap and need coordination, and
the Secretary and I are working on that, but that is an
example, I think, of what he is talking about.
JUDGE WEBSTER: Thank you.
CHIEF STEWART: Do I hear you say, then, you
think we should look more at the mission than structure,
or are you saying, then, that we should be looking at
whether or not there -- being a State agency head for some
time working with all the Federal agencies I was actually
stationed in the U.S. Attorney's Office for 7 years
coordinating joint State and Federal cases before I became
Chief, that we should be looking at possibly duplication
of effort as opposed to structure, problems with
duplication of effort?
SECRETARY RUBIN: What I think I was trying to
say, and maybe not very well, was that if you have two
entities -- just take Justice and Treasury as an example.
Take anything you want. You have two entities, and if
there are coordination issues, which there always will be,
then it seems to me the best and most effective way to
deal with that is to figure out within the context of
those two entities how better to relate them.
I think there is a temptation to think, well, we
will create another thing, and I think that tends to bring
with it a whole bunch of problems that may not be within
the eyes of the person, or in the eyes of the original
advocates. That's all I was saying.
GENERAL RENO: What I would -- I mean, what I
always appreciate is people looking at us objectively and
saying, why do you both have to be doing this, couldn't
you use your resources better, and tell us what you think
is inefficient about the operation and how it can be more
effectively, or that you feel that it can be more
I would hate to see you say, create another
agency to work it out, or to eliminate it, but I think the
more we can identify problems -- it was a State
commissioner of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations that
came to me and said early on, you should look at ATF and
the FBI and see why they're fussing and fuming about drug
fire in IBIS, and we looked at it, and we looked at it,
and I think we finally got it resolved.
You could press us a bit.
JUDGE WEBSTER: Thank you.
Attorney General Reno and Secretary Rubin, we're
very grateful for the time you've spent with us this
I should have recognized that we had with us
Under Secretary Ray Kelly, who coordinates your law
enforcement in Treasury, Secretary Rubin. We're very glad
to have him, and we're counting on him to continue our
contacts, if we may, as well as with others in the Justice
I think you've given us a very good start, and a
good deal to think about, and we look forward to hearing
from some of the officials in your agencies who are
directly and continually involved in the law enforcement
aspects, and we hope that we will be able to see you all
again later on, as we get closer to understanding where we
are in this problem.
GENERAL RENO: I will make myself available
whenever you need me, and we want to try to provide all
the information possible.
JUDGE WEBSTER: Thank you very much.
(Whereupon, at 10:15 a.m., the meeting