One of the great pleasures of being Attorney General is recognizing the important work of the men and women of this Department – work that does so much to advance both the security of the United States and the rule of law worldwide. I am extremely pleased to be here to honor these courageous public servants for their contributions in Iraq.
I have been to Iraq and have seen first-hand how important the Department’s programs are to establishing the rule of law there. I have also seen the difficult security conditions under which our personnel work every day. I am tremendously proud of the courage that these men have displayed in the face of difficult and dangerous conditions. I am also proud of the work they have done to bring peace and security to the Iraqi people.
This afternoon I would like to say a few words about the important missions of the Criminal Division’s overseas technical assistance programs. I would also like to highlight some of the things that these programs have achieved in Iraq in the past few years. The Criminal Division’s overseas programs are essential to establishing the rule of law and protecting human rights worldwide.
In Iraq, more than 360 jurists and prosecutors have been trained and case preparation and investigative techniques have been improved for the Central Criminal Court of Iraq.
The Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance & Training (OPDAT) – which focuses on prosecutorial development – assists countries with building, maintaining and improving viable criminal justice institutions. It has taken the lead in efforts to develop effective criminal codes, improve institutional structures, and enhance the professional capabilities of prosecutors and judicial institutions around the world.
The International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) – which focuses on police and correctional services – is equally important in the development of training of law enforcement personnel; improving the administrative and management capabilities of law enforcement agencies; creating and strengthening the capability to respond to new crime; and establishing professional and humane correctional services. ICITAP has developed short and long term police reform and rehabilitation plans in Iraq.
The work of the Department is especially important in Iraq, where we are providing integrated criminal justice training to the Iraqis from investigation, through prosecution and incarceration. By helping the Iraqi authorities to develop the capacity to police their streets, investigate crime, prosecute complex criminal cases and manage their correctional programs, these programs are helping the Iraqis to establish the rule of law from the ground up. And, their assistance and training emphasizes the importance of performing these law enforcement tasks in accordance with the rule of law.
The ultimate security and freedom of the Iraqi people depends upon establishing the rule of law and protecting human rights. The people we honor today have helped to do just that. I believe that the rule of law will triumph over terror in Iraq because of the courage of the Iraqi people and because of the hard work and dedication of today’s honorees.
On behalf of the President and the American people, let me extend my sincere congratulations to these brave public servants. You represent the very best of the Department of Justice and the very best of America. I am honored to present you with the Attorney General’s Special Commendation Award today.