Today is an historic occasion for the Department of Justice and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share it with members of the Justice family gathered here in the Great Hall.
In addition to our special guests, who Paul welcomed, Ken’s family… is here, and I want to recognize them as well:
Ken’s wife, Elizabeth, and her mother, Betty Joe Haynie. Also, Ken’s daughters Mackie and Ellie, his brother Richard and his dad, Leonard.
The Wainstein family, like the families of so many in public service, sacrifices time with a husband, a father, a son and brother in service to our country. This sacrifice is an act of patriotism. Thank you for what you give.
In just a few minutes, Ken will take an oath of office that he has taken before, and one that all of us in the executive branch have taken as we embark on our jobs. The words in it are simple, yet profound, and considering the job to which Ken has been appointed, I believe they will take on special meaning for all of us today.
He will swear to support and defend our country and our Constitution “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
Indeed, that is what the National Security Division is designed to do – to protect our country against its enemies.
Ken, I speak on behalf of the Department and the President when I say that we are proud to have you taking this oath today. As the President said when he nominated him, “Ken is an effective leader, who will play an important role in our efforts to combat terrorism.”
Ken has inspired the admiration and confidence of his colleagues in law enforcement at every stage of his career as a public servant. He is a career federal prosecutor who has shown equal skill in the gritty details of prosecution, as well as in the broader challenge of organizational management.
Ken’s leadership of the National Security Division will take place on a foundation of success: that of the Department’s Criminal Division and the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review.
In the days, weeks and now years following September 11th, the Criminal Division’s prosecutors, working with FBI investigators, adapted quickly, worked tirelessly, and succeeded. They brought charges in cases involving terrorist acts abroad against U.S. nationals; terrorist attacks against mass transportation systems; visa and document fraud; prohibitions against financing of terrorism; and participation in nuclear and weapons of mass destruction threats to the United States, among other charges.
Since the September 11 attacks, nearly 300 defendants have been convicted or have pleaded guilty in terrorism or terrorism-related cases arising from investigations conducted primarily after September 11, 2001.
Alice Fisher and her team have helped keep our country safe, and that accomplishment cannot be over-emphasized. We owe Alice and the Criminal Division a debt of gratitude and ongoing respect.
The Office of Intelligence Policy and Review, ably led by Jim Baker, also responded to the September 11th attacks with an increased workload and a terrific record of success.
For example, over the past five years, the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review has significantly increased the coverage obtained under FISA. This reflects both the increased focus on counterterrorism and counterintelligence investigations and the improvements that this office has made to the FISA process.
I appreciate Jim’s leadership and the work of the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review, and am certain it will continue to flourish and deliver critical work under the new structure of the NSD.
Working side by side with other federal agencies, as well as state, local and international law enforcement, it is clear that the Justice Department has not rested in its efforts to safeguard America. For us, every day is September 12th. And to the credit of all who have stood watch, there has not been a terrorist attack on American soil in five years.
In our work, we seek to prevent terrorist attacks. And while prevention has always been one of the goals of law enforcement, it did take on a particular meaning and urgency after September 11th.
The establishment of the NSD recognizes your work of prevention and brings focus to the job of preventing terrorist attacks.
Establishment of the NSD was recommended by the WMD commission and made a reality by the USA PATRIOT Act Improvement and Reauthorization, signed by the President in March. Its creation serves as an example of how intelligent analysis can lead to compelling ideas and, ultimately, effective reforms.
The NSD will bring the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review and the Criminal Division's Counterterrorism and Counterespionage Sections under one authority, allowing the Department to fight threats to our national security more effectively.
Under the National Security Division, the resources of the Department of Justice team will be more concentrated. The new division will lend a better structure for the creativity and energy I know you all put to use every day.
The NSD will also strengthen the network of law enforcement and intelligence that works closely together to defeat the terrorist network every day. In sum, it will help government to collect and connect the dots – and ultimately prevent attacks on our country.
In my daily security briefing, I see the relentless commitment of the terrorist network to strike the West, especially the United States. Al Qaeda-directed cells and homegrown terrorist networks are woven together by a common purpose. The added elements of creativity and commitment add up to a formidable, ongoing threat.
In response, our network must be stronger, and I believe that a successful network will excel in three key areas:
First, a successful network must have outstanding coordination of partners and resources. Second, that network must possess constant flexibility.
And third, perhaps most important, a winning network must have an infinite passion to prevail.
Our side has these characteristics, both within the Department and in our relationships with other federal agencies and our partners at the state, local and international levels.
I believe that Ken and the new National Security Division will help bring our network of protection to its next level. This historic restructuring will help us stay one step ahead of the network that seeks to destroy us.
As we congratulate Ken today, we wish him and his NSD colleagues the strength, commitment and agility they will need in their day-to-day jobs.
As for the passion this group will need – I know that Ken and the team that will make up the NSD already have it.
And that is why we will prevail. We will prevail because our ideas of hope and freedom are stronger than their ideas of fear and intolerance. For the sake of our children, we will prevail because we must.
Ken, if you will step forward and if your family will join you on stage… Judge Silberman will administer your oath.