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Speeches of Former Ambassador Thomas Hull

Ambasador's Speeches

FBI Workshop on Basic Intelligence Analysis and Development

AUGUST 18, 2006

Good afternoon and congratulations to all of you who are completing this workshop on Basic Intelligence Analysis and Development.  You are a very special group of workshop participants, and that is why I have come today to participate in your graduation ceremony.

Today’s graduation is notable firstly because it concludes the first law enforcement workshop by the FBI in Sierra Leone.  I expect that it is only the first of many more to come.  As I presume you all now know, the FBI or Federal Bureau of Investigation is the premier law enforcement agency in the United States of America, and many would say in the world.

Since the British have generously provided the Horton Academy as the venue for the workshop, I will avoid an argument on this point by noting that the United Kingdom also has a reasonably good law enforcement agency known as Scotland Yard.  More seriously, the cooperation that has taken place between the U.S. and UK to make this course possible is an indication of our much broader collaboration in helping Sierra Leone rebuild after a civil conflict that brought anarchy and criminality on a horrific scale.

Sierra Leone is also our partner in this endeavor.  Another reason for my presence today is to thank the Government of Sierra Leone for its participation and support for this workshop.  Forty-three members of the CISU, SLP, and RSLAF have participated in the course.  I am told that you have been very inquisitive students, which is exactly what we were hoping for.

This workshop has yet another international dimension that makes it significant.  We have had two participants from the Liberian National Police.  Since both Sierra Leone and Liberia are emerging from lawlessness, I hope that you have been able to learn from each other’s experiences.  I look forward to the day when the FBI will hold workshops in Monrovia and Sierra Leoneans can then go there to observe your situation first-hand, just as we recently had Sierra Leoneans attend an FBI workshop in Lagos, Nigeria, again with British assistance.

There is one final point that I want to make about the significance of this workshop, and that is its symbolic importance to the fight against crime.  While the substance of what you have learned about analyzing intelligence and developing it into a criminal investigation is of utmost importance, the simple fact of your successful participation in the course sends a message that Sierra Leone is serious about combating lawlessness and criminality.  I read many articles in newspapers these days about citizens’ complaints about armed robberies and break-ins and about the spread of youth gangs in Freetown.  Your graduation from this training course today should tell your fellow citizens that the Government of Sierra Leone is committed to raising the professional qualifications of law enforcement officials to address their concerns and fears.

The success of this workshop would not have happened without two excellent instructors from the FBI, Ms. Glenda Brown and Mr. Nathan McGillis.  Thank you for traveling to Sierra Leone to make this event possible, and thank you for your efforts on behalf of the students.  The work you have done this week will have lasting impact.

This workshop has also been made possible by the Legal Attache Office in the American Embassy that is staffed by Special Agent Alvie Price, who recently arrived in Freetown to open the office permanently.  Although Mr. Price’s primary responsibility is to liaise with Sierra Leonean and Liberian authorities to solve transnational crime and prevent terrorism, an immediate benefit is the training, like this workshop, that the FBI can offer.  For that I want to thank the FBI on behalf of the American Embassy.

As I said at the beginning of my remarks, this workshop has been special for many reasons that I have described.  To all of the graduates, I say again congratulations.  The honor of being here with such dedicated participants is entirely mine.  Thank you for including me in this memorable occasion.  I wish you well as you leave here and use your new skills to make Sierra Leone safer and more secure for everyone.