[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1993, Book I)]
[July 20, 1993]
[Pages 1115-1117]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks Announcing the Nomination of Louis Freeh To Be FBI Director
July 20, 1993

    Good morning. Please sit down. Mr. Vice President; Attorney General 
Reno; the Acting FBI Director, Floyd Clark; former Director of the FBI, 
Judge William Webster, we're de-

[[Page 1116]]

lighted to have you here. Senator D'Amato; Judge Robert Bonner, the DEA 
Administrator; the representatives of all the law enforcement agencies 
who are here and the friends and family of the nominee to be the next 
Director of the FBI.
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is the Federal Government's 
cutting edge in the fight against crime. Its agents are the best trained 
in the world. Its sophisticated technology enables law enforcement 
agents to catch criminals with a fragment of a fingerprint. As we saw 
only recently in the remarkably swift arrest in the World Trade Center 
bombing, the Agency continues its preeminent place in the law 
enforcement world. The Agency itself must clearly adapt to new times. It 
must continue the progress of opening its ranks to minorities and to 
women that began in recent years. It must work cooperatively with other 
agencies in the United States and in international partnerships against 
crime with police forces of other nations.
    Yesterday I announced my intention to appoint a new Director of the 
FBI. Today I am pleased to nominate a law enforcement legend to be the 
Director of the FBI, Judge Louis Freeh. Judge Freeh knows the FBI. He is 
a highly decorated former agent and supervisor. He has investigated and 
prosecuted some of the most notorious and complex crimes of our time. He 
is experienced, energetic, and independent. He will be both good and 
tough, good for the FBI and tough on criminals.
    It can truly be said that Louis Freeh is the best possible person to 
head the FBI as it faces new challenges and a new century. He has spent 
his career in the Federal justice system. After working his way through 
law school, he became an FBI agent. He knows the Agency as only an agent 
can, working the dangerous streets. He helped lead the waterfront 
investigations that led to the criminal convictions of 125 people, 
including leading organized crime figures.
    From the FBI, Judge Freeh became a Federal prosecutor in New York 
City. He prosecuted and won convictions against the leaders of what was 
then the largest heroin importation case in our history, the legendary 
``Pizza Connection'' case. The trial lasted over a year. Among other 
defendants, Judge Freeh sent the head of the Sicilian mafia to jail. 
Observers were dazzled. He was called, and I quote, ``one of the 
Government's toughest investigators, a ramrod-straight and ferocious 
crusader against the mob, an investigative genius.''
    Three years ago, as Judge Freeh neared the end of his work as a 
prosecutor, the Department of Justice selected him to head a special 
task force in one of the most notorious and difficult criminal cases of 
our day. A mysterious bomber was at work in the South, mailing parcels 
that killed Federal Judge Robert Vance near Birmingham, Alabama, and 
civil rights leader Robbie Robinson in Savannah, Georgia. Many predicted 
that the case would never be solved. But led by Louis Freeh, the task 
force tracked down the bomber, and Freeh himself prosecuted the case and 
obtained convictions. The bomber is now serving seven life terms in 
prison. In recognition of his service to the law, President Bush 
appointed Louis Freeh to the Federal bench. Now Judge Freeh has agreed 
to leave that lifetime post to serve his Nation once again in a 
difficult new job. There are few jobs in our Government that are more 
    Our Federal law enforcement agencies face an ever-changing array of 
threats. Drugs continue to ravage our young people and our streets. Law-
abiding citizens can be caught in the crossfire between gangs, today 
equipped like armies. White-collar swindlers practice inventive forms of 
what Al Capone once called ``the legitimate rackets.'' And our Nation, 
so long immune from the terrorism that has plagued the world, now faces 
that threat, too.
    With Attorney General Janet Reno, Drug Policy Coordinator Lee Brown, 
and now, we hope, FBI Director Louis Freeh, our administration has a 
street-smart front line against crime. These law enforcers did not learn 
about crime in theory books, they learned about it on the streets and in 
the courtroom. And they have learned the best lessons of State and local 
enforcers. With all of their hard-won experience, this crimefighting 
team can work hard every day to protect the American people's right to 
safety in their homes and in their communities.
    I must tell you that I am very proud and very grateful that Judge 
Freeh was willing to leave his lifetime appointment on the Federal bench 
for the somewhat less secure work that the rest of us find in the 
executive branch. [Laughter] I hope the American people will be

[[Page 1117]]

grateful as well, and I look forward to his speedy confirmation.

Note: The President spoke at 9:27 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White