FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2002
TDD (202) 514-1888
STATEMENT OF ATTORNEY GENERAL ASHCROFT REGARDING
THE WEBSTER COMMISSION REPORT
WASHINGTON, DC – Attorney General John Ashcroft issued the following statement regarding the Webster Commission report on the internal security procedures of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI):
"The FBI is the principal guardian of America's domestic security, and its internal security systems must be impervious to compromise. Regrettably, the report by the Webster Commission demonstrates how a trusted insider, through repeated acts of betrayal and treachery over more than twenty years, was able to exploit deficiencies in FBI internal security systems and procedures to cause grievous harm to the national security of the United States."
"While much remedial work remains to be done, I am pleased that FBI Director Robert Mueller already has instituted a number of important reforms to improve internal security at the Bureau. Under Director Mueller's leadership, a new Security Division has been established that will centralize responsibility for internal security at an executive level within the FBI. In addition, the FBI has taken steps to limit access to sensitive information, eliminate vulnerabilities of information technology systems, expand the use of polygraph examinations, and increase security awareness and training."
"I want to thank Judge Webster and the other members of the Commission for their service in conducting this review of internal security at the FBI and producing this valuable report. I also want to commend FBI Director Mueller for moving ahead with critical reforms in the midst of running the largest criminal investigation in our nation's history."
"The lessons learned from the Hanssen case present an historic opportunity to make substantial, durable improvements to the FBI's internal security. The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that all necessary security reforms at the FBI continue to be implemented as soon as possible."