Remarks Prepared for Delivery By Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey at the Oregon Anti-Terrorism Conference and Training

PORTLAND, Ore. , Aug. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following are remarks prepared for delivery by Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey : Good morning. I'd like to thank Karin Immergut for arranging this conference and for inviting me...


These new guidelines will also contain standards, procedures, and authorities to reflect that the FBI is an intelligence agency. The guidelines will help the Bureau carry out both intelligence collection and intelligence analysis in order to function as a key participant in the U.S. Intelligence Community.

For example, the new guidelines will recognize the need for the Bureau's intelligence activities to become more flexible, more proactive, and more efficient in order to best protect the homeland and contribute to the United States' crucial decisions. The revised guidelines will provide clear and comprehensive authorizations for the FBI to engage in intelligence analysis and planning -- so we can gather, analyze, and use all lawful sources of information. They will recognize that our national security efforts require coordination and information sharing with other components and agencies with national security responsibilities. The new guidelines will also remove unnecessary barriers to coordination and cooperation, and will recognize the coordinated approach we have at the federal level and the frequency with which we work with our federal partners.

Some may object to these new Guidelines precisely because they expressly authorize the FBI to engage in intelligence collection inside the United States . There are two responses to this. The first is that this authorization isn't new; the FBI has long had the authority to collect intelligence in the United States , by statute and by executive order. This document clarifies the rules by which the FBI conducts its intelligence mission, but the FBI's intelligence mission is not a new development.

The second, and more important, response is that this mission is essential--and it is also precisely what we asked of the FBI after September 11, 2001 . The terrorists who attacked us on that day did so from within the United States ; and it is for that reason that there was clear-eyed and bipartisan recognition after the attacks that we needed to be able -- and allowed -- to collect intelligence in the United States . Indeed, there was a loud demand for it. As I mentioned, the 9/11 Commission, the Silberman-Robb Commission, and the Joint Congressional Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities each concluded that the FBI had to become more nimble and effective at collecting and analyzing intelligence. I understand and agree with the central premise of these reports: which is that we have to take the concept of intelligence collection in the United States seriously.

As I mentioned briefly above, we are in the process of explaining the guidelines to Congress. Our staff has now met with each of the relevant committees to explain why this is an important undertaking and what changes we are making to the way the FBI will conduct its activities domestically. Perhaps equally importantly, we are explaining what works now, what we are keeping, and what we are not changing.

So, let me now mention to you a few things they will not permit. They will not alter the previous Department rules that forbid predicating an investigation simply based on somebody's race, religion, or exercise of First Amendment rights. The guidelines will require all activities to have a valid purpose, and will require the FBI to carry them out in conformity with the Constitution and all applicable statutes, executive orders, and Department of Justice regulations and policies.

Finally, the guidelines will include robust and effective oversight measures involving many Department of Justice and FBI components, which have been adopted to ensure that all Bureau activities are conducted in a way that is consistent with these laws and policies.