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13 May 1998

Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 14:53 -0400
From: The White House <>
Subject: 1998-05-12 International Crime Control Strategy

                            THE WHITE HOUSE

                    Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                                       May 12, 1998



International crime is a serious and potent threat to the American
people at home and abroad.  Drug and firearms trafficking, terrorism,

money laundering, counterfeiting, illegal alien smuggling, trafficking
in women and children, advanced fee scams, credit card fraud, auto
theft, economic espionage, intellectual property theft, computer
hacking, and public corruption are all linked to international criminal
activity and all have a direct impact on the security and prosperity of
the American people.

Americans spend billions of dollars annually on cocaine and heroin, all
of which originates abroad; in 1997, there were 123 terrorist attacks
against U.S. targets worldwide, including 108 bombings and eight
kidnappings; each year, approximately one billion dollars worth of
stolen cars are smuggled out of this country; annually, U.S. companies
lose up to $23 billion from the illegal duplication and piracy of films,
compact discs, computer software, pharmaceutical and textile products,
while U.S. credit card companies suffer losses of hundreds of millions
of dollars from international fraud; and several hundred U.S. companies
and other organizations have already suffered computer attacks in 1998,
resulting in millions of dollars of losses and significant threats to
our safety and security.


The International Crime Control Strategy (ICCS) addresses this
increasing threat by providing a framework for integrating all facets of
the federal government response to international crime.  This first-ever
strategy reflects the high priority accorded international crime by this
Administration and builds on such existing strategies as the National
Drug Control Strategy and the Presidential Directives on alien
smuggling, counter-terrorism and nuclear materials safety and security.

The ICCS is also an important initiative in terms of enhancing the
ability of U.S. law enforcement officials to cooperate effectively with
their overseas counterparts in investigating and prosecuting
international crime cases.  At the upcoming Birmingham Summit, G-8
leaders will discuss international crime as one of the most pressing
issues related to increasing globalization and rapid technological and
economic change.  President Clinton will highlight the new ICCS in
underscoring the U.S. commitment to close cooperation with all nations
who are mobilizing to confront this increasing threat.


The ICCS is a plan of action containing eight broad goals with thirty
implementing objectives.  The ICCS expresses President Clinton's resolve
to combat international crime aggressively and substantially reduce its
impact on the daily lives of the American people.

The Strategy's eight goals and related objectives are:

1.   Extend the First Line of Defense Beyond U.S. Borders by 
     (a) preventing acts of international crime planned abroad before 

     they occur, (b) using all available laws to prosecute select 
     criminal acts committed abroad, and (c) intensifying activities 
     of law enforcement, diplomatic and consular personnel abroad.

2.   Protect U.S. Borders by (a) enhancing our land border inspection,
     detection and monitoring capabilities, (b) improving the 
     effectiveness of maritime and air smuggling interdiction efforts, 
     (c) seeking new, stiffer criminal penalties for smuggling 
     activities, and (d) targeting enforcement and prosecutorial 
     resources more effectively against smuggling crimes and 

3.   Deny Safe Haven to International Criminals by (a) negotiating new
     international agreements to create a seamless web for the prompt
     location, arrest and extradition of international fugitives, 
     (b) implementing strengthened immigration laws that prevent 
     international criminals from entering the United States and 
     provide for their prompt expulsion when appropriate, and 
     (c) promoting increased cooperation with foreign law enforcement 

4.   Counter International Financial Crime by (a) combating money
     laundering and strengthening enforcement efforts to reduce inbound 
     and outbound movement of criminal proceeds, (b) seizing the assets 
     of international criminals, (c) enhancing bilateral and 
     multilateral cooperation against all financial crime, and 
     (d) targeting offshore centers of international fraud, 
     counterfeiting, electronic access device schemes and other 
     financial crimes.

5.   Prevent Criminal Exploitation of International Trade by (a)
     interdicting illegal technology exports, (b) preventing unfair and
     predatory trade practices in violation of U.S. criminal law, (c)
     protecting intellectual property rights, (d) countering industrial
     theft and economic espionage of U.S. trade secrets, and (e) 
     enforcing import restrictions on certain harmful substances, 
     dangerous organisms and protected species.

6.   Respond to Emerging International Crime Threats by (a) disrupting 
     new activities of international organized crime groups, 
     (b) enhancing intelligence efforts against criminal enterprises, 
     (c) reducing trafficking in human beings and crimes against 
     children, (d) increasing enforcement efforts against high tech 
     and computer-related crime, and (e) continuing to identify and 
     counter the vulnerabilities of critical infrastructures and new 
     technologies in high tech areas.

7.   Foster International Cooperation and the Rule of Law by 
     (a) establishing international standards, goals and objectives to 
     combat international crime and by actively encouraging compliance, 
     (b) improving bilateral cooperation with foreign governments and 
     law enforcement authorities, and (c) strengthening the rule of law 
     as the foundation for democratic government and free markets in 
     order to reduce societies' vulnerability to criminal exploitation.

8.   Optimize the Full Range of U.S. Efforts by (a) enhancing executive
     branch policy and operational coordination mechanisms to assess 
     the risks of criminal threats and to integrate strategies, goals 
     and objectives to combat those threats, (b) mobilizing and 
     incorporating the private sector into U.S. government efforts, and 
     (c) developing measures of effectiveness to assess progress over 


Highlighted below are ten Administration initiatives to further our 
efforts to fight international crime.

1.  International Crime Control Act of 1998:  Proposed legislation
containing significant new law enforcement tools for the fight against
international crime.

2.  Comprehensive Threat Assessment:  A comprehensive assessment of the
threat to the American people posed by international crime, to be 
completed within six months.

3.  International Conference on Upholding Integrity Among Justice and
Security Officials:  An international conference to address upholding
integrity among key justice and security officials worldwide, to be
organized by the Vice President within the next six months.

4.  High Tech Crime:  An action plan, building on the work of the G-8
justice and interior ministers and the creation of the U.S. National
Infrastructure Protection Center, to protect interconnected U.S.
communications and information systems from attack by international

5.  Border Law Enforcement:  A program to enhance border law enforcement
through deployment of advanced detection technology and investment of 
new resources.

6.  Financial Crimes:  A commitment to employ aggressively new tools to
deny criminals access to U.S. financial institutions and to enhance
enforcement efforts against financial crimes.

7.  International Asset Forfeiture and Sharing:  A U.S. call for new
criminal asset forfeiture regimes worldwide and new asset forfeiture
sharing agreements with our international partners.

8.  OAS Treaty Against Illicit Trafficking in Firearms:  A program to 
work with our OAS partners to implement fully a hemispheric convention 
to combat the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, 
ammunition and explosives.

9.  Economic Espionage and Theft of Industrial Property:  A commitment 
to use the Economic Espionage Act to increase U.S. investigations and
prosecutions of individuals and companies who attempt to steal U.S.
proprietary information.

10.  Strategic Communications Plan:  A plan to engage the private 
sector in assessing the impact of international crime on that sector 
and in determining its appropriate role in countering this threat.

The White House Virtual Library

White House Press Release


                            THE WHITE HOUSE

                     Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                                       May 12, 1998

                           The Briefing Room           

11:00 A.M. EDT

      MR. RUBIN:  Good morning.  This is going to be a 
briefing on the President's International Crime Control Strategy.  
The speaker will be Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder.  Also with 
him is Assistant Secretary of the Treasury James Johnson; Deputy 
Assistant Attorney General Mark Richard; Deputy Assistant Secretary 
of State Jonathan Wiener and NSC Director for global issues, Fred 
Rosa.  Thank you.
      DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  Good morning.  Today, 
the President announced the release of the United States' first-ever
international crime control strategy.  The strategy is a blueprint 
for the United States law enforcement community and our foreign law 
enforcement partners in the fight against the growing threat of 
international crime.
      The strategy will have a direct and positive effect on 
our job -- protecting Americans from criminals, both foreign and 
domestic.  It's important to keep in mind that this strategy is not 
about a distant threat.  Every day, United States cities and 
communities are impacted by international crime, whether in the form 
of drug-related violence, terrorist attacks, or financial scams that 
target our elderly citizens.
      The growth in international crime is fueled in large 
part to changes that are fostering economic and political 
opportunities, improved computer and telecommunications technology, 
easier movement across national borders and the globalization of 
trade.  The facts speak for themselves, and I'd like to share some 
facts with you.
      Most of the illicit drugs consumed in this country, 
worth tens of billions of dollars, are grown elsewhere and are 
brought here by foreign organized crime groups.  Two-thirds of all 
counterfeit currency detected in the United States is created abroad.  
About 200,000 of the cars stolen in the United States each year, 
worth over $1 billion, are taken across our land and sea borders.  
Economic espionage against U.S. businesses, often involving foreign 
competitors, is increasing.
      Computer crime and attacks on our critical infrastructures are up 
with the method used increasingly, using the Internet.  And Americans 
continue to be the targets of choice for terrorist groups and 
      These are the clear and present threats we in the law 
enforcement community are addressing every day.  This strategy 
responds aggressively and forcefully to this threat.  The strategy is 
an innovative action plan that will serve as a road map for a 
coordinated, long-term attack on international crime.  And let me 
stress that this strategy is the product of an outstanding 
inter-agency effort to identify the most serious forms of 
international criminal activity and to reduce their overall impact on 
      Can we do more?  Of course we can.  And the strategy 
sets the course for our future efforts as well.  As the President 
said today, we cannot win the battle without the continued 
cooperation of our international partners.  But there are certainly 
things that we can do that are well within our own control.  We are 
already devoting additional resources to the fight against 
international crime.  We are expanding our overseas law enforcement 
presence, we are increasing the resources devoted to interdiction 
along our borders.  We have created, in February, a national 
infrastructure protection center, headquartered at the FBI, to 
counter attacks on our critical infrastructures.
      Another thing we can do is to give law enforcement  -
federal, state and local -- the additional tools they need in the 
fight against international criminals -- and the International Crime 
Control Act is a good start.  It would allow for the prosecution here 
in the United States of organized criminals who victimize Americans 
abroad and of criminals who commit financial crimes abroad affecting 
U.S.-based financial institutions.  
      It would make it easier for our immigration officials do 
deny entry to suspected narcotics-traffickers and alien-smugglers.  
The bill will provide new tools to combat contraband smuggling across 
our borders in both directions, including enhanced border search 
authority and a new felony that would apply to smugglers who try to 
evade border inspections by speeding through border checkpoints and 
endangering law enforcement and civilians.  It would make -- that is, 
the bill -- will make it easier to transfer to the United States 
defendants and evidence, including witnesses, so we could prosecute 
crimes committed here in the United States even when the case has 
international ties that complicate prosecution.  And the bill will 
also provide new authority to investigate computer crime.
      We know what the problem is, we know what our job is, 
and we have a strategy to get us where we want to go.  Now, we must 
move forward in the same cooperative spirit that helped forge the 
strategy and continue our work toward a better, safer world in which 
Americans and our friends and allies abroad can prosper in peace.
      Thank you, and we would be glad to respond to any questions that 
you might have.
      Q   Are all your computers being brought up to date to not have 
any problem in the year 2000?
      DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  Well, that's certainly 
an administration-wide effort.  I can say that the Justice Department 
is on track with regard to that effort, and it is something that is 
constantly monitored.  The President has made a special effort, the 
administration has made a special effort so that when we get to the 
year 2000 all the government's computers will be able to make the 
appropriate transition.
      Q   The legislation that you're describing that would 
make it easier to prosecute criminals who I guess would be overseas, 
wouldn't that also require some cooperation from other countries?  
Or, can you go into a little bit more about what the problems are?
      ASSISTANT SECRETARY JOHNSON:  Thank you.  That's a very 
good question.  We have a variety of methods and techniques to 
facilitate acquisition of defendants and facilitation of prosecution 
in the U.S.  What the bill will do will enable us to obtain prisoners 
who have been found extraditable, for example, who are sitting in 
foreign countries awaiting termination of their sentence before 
coming here.  
      The bill, if enacted, will enable us to work with other 
countries to, in effect, borrow the body for purposes of prosecution 
in the U.S. and on condition that they be returned for completion of 
their sentence abroad after the completion of our prosecution.
      Q   Is that currently barred by U.S. law?
      ASSISTANT SECRETARY JOHNSON:  It's not barred, but it 
requires a special article in a given treaty, and rather than have it 
solely dictated by treaties -- and we have over 100 treaties -- this 
statutory authority would enable us to do that absent a treaty 
      Q   Deputy Attorney General Holder, there are seven or 
eight new proposals in this package; how many require new legislation 
and how much money are you going to ask to implement them?
      DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  I'm not sure how many 
just off the top of my head would require new legislation.  With 
regard to money, there is not really the need for new money.  There 
is, contained in the budget request that we have made, and 
specifically with regard to the Justice Department's budget, the 
necessary funds to support the effort that the President has 
announced today.
      Q   Mr. Holder, in response to the Herman independent 
counsel decision yesterday, the President said it was required by the 
act that the independent counsel be appointed.  What you know of the 
thinking behind this, was it that there were facts in the case that 
required it, or the statute is so strict that there wasn't much 
choice in terms of  -
      DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  I really wouldn't want 
to get into that matter.  That will be something that is ongoing and 
I was recused from that matter as well.
      Q   But you had to know something about how the act itself acts.  
Is the act so specific, maybe not referring to this case, that it's 
hard to avoid appointing an independent counsel in a case like this?
      DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  We at the Justice Department 
look at the act and apply it to the facts and the law -- the facts as 
we develop them, and the Attorney General makes those decisions on a 
case-by-case basis.
      Q   What new authority are you seeking to investigate 
computer crime?
      ASSISTANT SECRETARY JOHNSON:  As you know, the wire-tap 
statute is applicable to specified offenses.  The proposed act would 
add computer crimes to those lists of authorized predicates, if you 
will, for acquiring wire-tapping authority.
      That is only a portion of the total effort to deal with 
computer crime.  The Attorney General last year met with her 
counterparts in the G-7, P-8 setting and came up with an action plan 
for dealing on the international level with computer crime crossing 
the national boundaries.  And that is set forth in the strategy, I 
believe, articulating the plan and what additional steps that are 
being taken to respond to computer crimes.
      Q   Does anyone know why Mayor Barry was at the event this 
      DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  Well, I think one of 
the things you have to understand is that although this is an 
international crime bill, the things that we are attacking, or hope 
to attack, have a very profound effect on the average American.  And 
that's why I think the Mayor was here as well as members of the D.C. 
City Council.  
      One of the things that you have to understand is that in 
terms of drug-trafficking, that obviously has an effect on a 
day-to-day basis on the lives of average Americans.  The number of 
cars that are stolen every year obviously has an effect on our 
insurance rates, among other things; and that is why there were local 
representatives here as well as members of law enforcement.
      Q   Will all these ideas be new to the people at the G-8, G-7, 
whatever it is?
from the State Department.  No, as a matter of fact, we've been 
discussing most of these ideas within the context of the Eight over 
the last several years.  At the Halifax Summit in Canada some three 
years ago, the heads of government decided that there were 
potentially substantial gaps in our international efforts to combat 
serious transnational organized crime and asked us all to start 
looking at it -- representatives of State and Justice and Treasury 
and all of the law enforcement agencies have been working with their 
counterparts in the three years since then.  
      And the crime summit that's taking place in Birmingham 
follows a Lyon summit two years ago where 40 recommendations were 
adopted by the Eight to combat crime and the Denver summit, where 
some specific commitments were made to start looking at illicit 
firearms smuggling, border control and smuggling in people, the need 
for an international convention to combat transnational organized 
crime and further steps to take against high-tech crime.  And, in 
fact, I think the Eight will be announcing a series of commitments in 
that connection following on the commitments made in Denver last 
year.  So this is very much complimentary to the work we're doing 
      And, in fact, as the President and Vice President both 
made very clear, these strategies cannot work in isolation.  No 
country -- not even the United States -- can protect itself solely 
through domestic means.  International cooperation is absolutely 
required to deal with the transnational phenomena.  There's no 
      Q   Are there any countries that are refusing to cooperate?
      ASSISTANT SECRETARY WEINER:  In fact, what we are 
building right now is literally a global network of international 
cooperation.  And if you talk about the countries where there is 
substantial international trade, there is also substantial 
international cooperation on law enforcement.
      ASSISTANT SECRETARY JOHNSON:  I wonder if I could just 
point out that the International Crime Control Act that will be 
submitted has significant impact on state and local authorities as 
well, because they are impacted.  It's not just a federal problem, as 
the Deputy indicated.  This is a problem that reaches out to all 
levels of government and various provisions of the act specifically 
impact on state and local capabilities, including the ability to 
acquire fugitives from state and local cases as well as providing a 
mechanism in order to supplement on a budgetary basis their ability 
to fund extradition, mutual legal assistance requests abroad.
      So it is a bill that contains a variety of provisions 
that impact significantly, we think, on the ability of state and 
local officials to respond to this problem.
      Q   Will the new bill include new measures against 
drug-trafficking and terrorism?  Could you be more specific about it 
for those?
      ASSISTANT SECRETARY JOHNSON:  There are a variety of 
provisions that will impact on all types of crimes, all serious 
crimes, including drugs and terrorism.  Our provisions for dealing 
with the extradition, for forfeiture, for dealing with the border 
protection -- all of these impact on a variety of offenses, including 
terrorism, drug-trafficking, as well as arms-smuggling and the like.  
So they're not necessarily just directed at terrorism or drugs, 
although specific provisions are in that category.  But many of the 
provisions will be applicable to a whole range of crimes, including 
terrorism and drug-trafficking.
      Q   You had said -- when I asked you about the appointment of the 
independent counsel -- I'm sorry -- but you had said that you would 
look at the facts and apply the law.  Was there a difference of opinion 
in the Justice Department whether, even under the law, the independent 
counsel is necessary?  The Attorney General took until the very last 
moment.  And also, is the law written in such a way that the 
independent counsel is -- often have to be sought -- I mean, as a 
former prosecutor looking at the case on the facts, would you without 
the independent counsel statute have gone forward in a prosecution, 
say, for instance?
      DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  Well, again, I don't 
want to comment too much on that matter other than to say -- I mean, 
there is always, within the Department of Justice, a free exchange of 
ideas and thoughts about a whole variety of matters, among them the 
independent counsel matters, that we have to consider.  
      Then again, we just look at the facts as we develop them, look 
at the law as it has been given to us by Congress and then make the 
appropriate decision.  
      One of the things I'd like to just maybe amplify to give 
you some statistics -- before, people had asked me about why were 
some local representatives here.  If you look at some of the 
international problems that, as I said, have a local effect, you will 
see that in 1997, $50 billion -- Americans spent more than $50 
billion on cocaine and heroin, all of which originated obviously from 
abroad; 123 terrorist attacks against U.S. targets worldwide; $1 
billion worth of stolen cars taken from the United States.  United 
States companies lost up to $23 billion from the illegal duplication 
and piracy of films, compact disks, computer software and other 
      So you can see that at that level, this has a very dramatic 
effect on, as I said, average Americans.
      Q   Can you tell us where the money is coming from to 
implement this and how much will it be?
      DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  The money is contained 
in the budget requests that have been submitted to Congress for 
Fiscal Year 1999. 
      Q   And how much will that be?
      DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  Well, it's embedded 
money.  I guess at least at the Justice Department we have about $280 
million I think that has been allotted for this.
      Q   Why did you have to recuse yourself from the Herman decision?
      Q   Personal friend?  
      DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  Yes, I've known Alexis 
for a number of years.  My wife's family has been very close with her 
for a good number of years.  She spoke at my installation as Deputy 
Attorney General.
      Q   Mr. Holder, back on the Herman issue.  The question 
of race was brought up yesterday to Mike McCurry, and what are the 
thoughts about the fact that many minorities in the administration 
have been probed by the Justice Department?  Is there a possibility 
that race is playing a part in some of these investigations?
      DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  We get allegations, we 
examine those allegations.  The conduct is always examined in a 
race-neutral way.  The decisions that are made by the Attorney 
General are made in a race-neutral way.  Anybody who would look at 
the record of this Attorney General and the way in which she has 
conducted herself not only in Washington but in Florida, I think 
would be hard-pressed to say that anything that she has ever done is 
done for racial purposes.
      Q   Just a question generically on the independent 
counsel law.  Do you feel that it does trigger -- that there is a 
presumption in favor of appointing an independent counsel the way the 
law is written now?
      DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  Don't you guys want to 
talk about international crime?  (Laughter.)  I think we 
obviously -- the act expires in the middle of next year, I guess June 
of 1999 and I think there are certain parts of the act that we need 
to look at and see whether or not they need to be redone.
      Q   Like what?  (Laughter.)
      DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  International crime.  
International crime.  
      Q   Mr. Holder, do you think it will be renewed next 
      DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  International crime?  
      Q   No, sir, independent counsel  -
      Q   Mr. Holder, what about  -
      MR. RUBIN:  If there are no more questions on international 
crime, I think we'll wrap it up.
      Q   What would you say to Microsoft who continues to say that the 
government intervention would stop them from developing new technology 
on the Internet?
      DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  The Justice Department's 
enforcement efforts with regard to Microsoft have all been designed to 
give the American people choice when it comes to the computer products 
that they would select.  We have no intention, no desire to in any way 
inhibit the growth of that very important industry to the nation 
generally, or to the efforts of Microsoft to grow and to prosper 
      Q   And when is the Justice Department going to announce its 
steps against Microsoft?
      DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:  I would not say that we 
can anticipate that the Justice Department is going to do anything 
against Microsoft.  We are pretty close to making a decision as to 
what we will do, if anything, in that regard, though.
      MR. RUBIN:  Okay, thank you very much.  I'd like to thank our 
guests for coming. 
             END                          11:22 A.M. EDT

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