Mr. ScHUMER. Thank you, Mr. Brown. I want to thank the whole
[The prepared statement of Mr. Brown follows:]
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREARMS
Statement of James L. Brown
Chief, Explosives Division
Before the House Judiciary Committee
Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice
September 22, 1994
MR. CHAIRMAN, MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE. I AM JAMES L.
BROWN, THE CHIEF OF THE EXPLOSIVES DIVISION, FOR THE
BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREARMS (ATF) . PART OF
MY RESPONSIBILITIES IS TO OVERSEE ATF'S EXPLOSIVES AND
ARSON ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS. I AM HERE TODAY TO DISCUSS
ATF'S CAPABILITIES IN THIS AREA AND HOW THESE
CAPABILITIES ENABLE US TO RESPOND TO ABORTION CLINIC
SINCE 1982, ATF HAS BEEN INVESTIGATING AND TRACKING
ARSON AND BOMBING RELATED INCIDENTS DIRECTED AT
ABORTION CLINICS. FROM THE OUTSET, ATF HAS MADE THESE
INCIDENTS A TOP PRIORITY AND HAS INVESTIGATED THE
VIOLATIONS UNDER ITS AUTHORITY DERIVED FROM THE
NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT AND TITLE XI OF THE ORGANIZED
CRIME CONTROL ACT OF 1970.
TO DATE, 148 ABORTION CLINIC INCIDENTS INVOLVING EITHER
ARSON FIRES, BOMBINGS, OR ATTEMPTS HAVE BEEN
INVESTIGATED BY ATF. THE TOTAL DAMAGE RESULTING FROM
THESE INCIDENTS IS APPROXIMATELY $12 MILLION. WE
CANNOT BEGIN TO ESTIMATE THE IMPACT ON THE PEOPLE AND
THE EMOTIONAL TRAUMA THEY HAVE SUFFERED AS A RESULT OF
THESE CRIMES. SINCE 1982, OF THE 148 ABORTION CLINIC
ARSON AND BOMBING INCIDENTS REPORTED TO ATF, 67 HAVE
BEEN ADJUDICATED RESULTING IN CONVICTIONS, INDICTMENTS,
OR INCARCERATION IN A STATE MENTAL INSTITUTION. THOSE
ACTIONS RESULTED IN 51 INDIVIDUALS BEING BROUGHT TO
JUSTICE. THIS REFLECTS A CLEARANCE RATE OF
APPROXIMATELY 4 5 PERCENT, WHICH IS FAR ABOVE THE
NATIONAL ARSON CLEARANCE RATE. (1991 - 15.9 PERCENT)
ARSONS AND BOMBINGS ARE A NON-DISCRIMINATING CRIME.
THEY TRANSCEND JURISDICTIONAL BOUNDARIES WHILE THEIR
PERPETRATORS OFTEN TRANSCEND GEOGRAPHICAL BOUNDARIES.
WE MUST RECOGNIZE THE FACT THAT ARSON, LIKE BOMBINGS,
IS A VIOLENT CRIME AND NOT SIMPLY A PROPERTY CRIME OR
AN INSURANCE INDUSTRY PROBLEM.
SINCE 1982, 19 STATES HAVE NOT REPORTED ANY BOMBING OR
ARSON INCIDENTS. DURING THE SAME TIME PERIOD, THE
HIGHEST NUMBER OF INCIDENTS DIRECTED AGAINST ABORTION
CLINICS HAVE TAKEN PLACE IN CALIFORNIA (17), TEXAS
(13), OHIO (11), AND FLORIDA (11).
AS TO METHODS EMPLOYED, THE RECORDED INFORMATION
INDICATES THERE HAVE BEEN 112 ARSON INCIDENTS AS
OPPOSED TO 36 BOMBING INCIDENTS. SINCE 1990, 53
INCIDENTS WERE ARSON AND 6 INCIDENTS WERE BOMBINGS.
THE MOST FREQUENTLY EMPLOYED METHOD IS A CRUDELY SET
FIRE WHEREBY THE PERPETRATOR HAS INTRODUCED AN
ACCELERANT INTO A STRUCTURE THROUGH A FORCED DOOR, A
WINDOW, OR THE ROOF, FOLLOWED BY VARIOUS TYPES OF
IT IS NOT UNCOMMON TO OBSERVE A SCENE WHERE THE
ARSONIST HAS MERELY PLACED ONE OR MORE SMALL FUEL
CONTAINERS NEXT TO THE OUTSIDE WALL OF A CLINIC AND
IGNITED THE FUEL, PRESUMABLY HOPING THE RESU1.TANT
FLAMES WOULD ENGULF THE ADJACENT STRUCTURE.
TRADITIONALLY, ARSON AND EXPLOSIVES CRIMES HAVE ALWAYS
BEEN DIFFICULT TO INVESTIGATE DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE
RESULTANT FIRE OR BLAST WILL QUITE OFTEN CONSUME MOST
OF THE PHYSICAL EVIDENCE. ATF HAS MADE CONSIDERABLE
STRIDES IN THE CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION OF THESE
PROVIDING SUPPORT TO ATF'S INVESTIGATIVE EFFORTS IS ITS
NATIONAL LABORATORY SYSTEM, WHICH HOLDS THE DISTINCTION
OF BEING THE FIRST FEDERAL LABORATORY SYSTEM ACCREDITED
BY THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CRIME LABORATORY DIRECTORS.
THREE MULTIDISCIPLINED LABORATORIES LOCATED IN WALNUT
CREEK, CALIFORNIA, ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, AND ATLANTA
GEORGIA, SUPPORT ATF'S EXPLOSIVES ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM.
AS WELL AS PROVIDING THE FULL RANGE OF TRADITIONAL
FORENSIC ANALYSIS, THESE LABORATORIES ROUTINELY EXAMINE
BOTH INTACT AND DETONATED EXPLOSIVE DEVICES AND
EXPLOSIVES DEBRIS IN ORDER TO IDENTIFY DEVICE
COMPONENTS AND THE EXPLOSIVES USED.
ATF'S GREATEST ASSET IN PURSUING THESE VIOLATIONS ARE
THE SPECIAL AGENTS WHO HAVE A LONG AND WELL-RESPECTED
HISTORY OF AGGRESSIVELY INVESTIGATING BOMBING AND ARSON
INCIDENTS. ALL OF OUR SPECIAL AGENTS ARE TRAINED AND
EXPERIENCED IN THESE TYPE OF INVESTIGATIONS. SOME,
THROUGH ADVANCED TRAINING, HAVE DEVELOPED EXPERTISE IN
POSTBLAST ANALYSIS AND CAUSE AND ORIGIN DETERMINATIONS
WHICH HAVE PAID OFF IN THESE INVESTIGATIONS.
CURRENTLY, ATF HAS FORMAL TASK FORCES ESTABLISHED IN
THE CITIES OF SEATTLE, SAN FRANCISCO, HOUSTON, LOS
ANGELES, CHICAGO, BOSTON, NEW ORLEANS, NEW YORK,
PHILADELPHIA, PITTSBURGH, KANSAS CITY, NEWARK, DALLAS,
DETROIT, AND WASHINGTON, DC. IN FACT, 3 3 PERCENT OF
ATF'S CRIMINAL ARSON CASES ARE INITIATED BY THE TASK
EACH TASK FORCE IS UNIQUE IN CONFIGURATION, REFLECTING
SUCH VARYING FACTORS AS ENVIRONMENT, MANPOWER, AND
MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES. THE TYPICAL TASK FORCE IS
COMPRISED OF ATF SPECIAL AGENTS AND ARSON INVESTIGATORS
FROM STATE AND LOCAL POLICE AND/OR FIRE SERVICES
AGENCIES. IN ADDITION, THE U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE AND
THE LOCAL PROSECUTOR ARE INCLUDED FROM THE OUTSET AND
ARE AVAILABLE TO THE TASK FORCE DURING EACH STEP OF THE
ADDITIONALLY, A NUMBER OF SPECIAL AGENTS FROM
THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY HAVE BEEN SELECTED TO SERVE ON
ATF'S NATIONAL RESPONSE TEAM (NRT) . THE NRT IS OFTEN
CALLED UPON TO RESPOND TO THE SCENE OF ABORTION CLINIC
INCIDENTS TO ASSIST WITH CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATIONS.
THE NRT HAS BEEN SUCCESSFULLY EMPLOYED TO INTENSIVELY
EXAMINE THESE TYPES OF CRIME SCENES AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
AFTER THE OCCURRENCE OF AN INCIDENT.
THIS RESPONSE CAPABILITY CONSISTS OF FOUR TEAMS BASED
IN THE NORTHEAST, MIDWEST, SOUTHEAST, AND WESTERN
SECTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES. EACH TEAM CAN RESPOND
WITHIN 24 HOURS TO ASSIST STATE AND LOCAL LAW
ENFORCEMENT AND FIRE SERVICE PERSONNEL IN ONSITE
INVESTIGATIONS. THIS SPECIALIZED CONCEPT IS THE ONLY
ONE OF ITS KIND OFFERED BY A FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT
AGENCY. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THIS CONCEPT AND THE
EXPERTISE OF TEAM MEMBERS WERE MOST EVIDENT IN THE
RESPONSE TO THE WORLD TRADE CENTER BOMBING.
EACH TEAM IS COMPOSED OF VETERAN SPECIAL AGENTS HAVING
POSTBLAST AND FIRE CAUSE AND ORIGIN EXPERTISE, FORENSIC
CHEMISTS, AND EXPLOSIVES TECHNOLOGY EXPERTS. THE TEAM
WORKS ALONGSIDE FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL OFFICERS IN
RECONSTRUCTING THE SCENE, IDENTIFYING THE ORIGIN OF THE
FIRE, CONDUCTING INTERVIEWS, AND SIFTING THROUGH DEBRIS
TO OBTAIN EVIDENCE. AT THE DISPOSAL OF THE TEAMS ARE
32 FULLY-EQUIPPED RESPONSE VEHICLES STRATEGICALLY
LOCATED THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES .
ACCELERANT-DETECTING CANINES HAVE ALSO PROVED TO BE AN
INVALUABLE TOOL TO ARSON INVESTIGATORS. THESE CANINES
ARE A PRODUCT OF A JOINT ATF/ CONNECTICUT STATE POLICE
TRAINING INITIATIVE THAT RESULTED IN THE DEVELOPMENT
AND STANDARDIZATION OF METHODOLOGIES TO HONE THE
ACCELERANT IDENTIFICATION/DISCRIMINATION CAPABILITIES
OF CANINES. THE ACCELERANT-DETECTING CANINES, 3 6 OF
WHICH HAVE BEEN TRAINED, ARE PLACED WITH STATE AND
LOCAL AGENCIES TO SUPPORT THEIR ARSON INVESTIGATION
ACTIVITIES. THESE CANINES MAY ALSO BE CALLED UPON TO
SUPPORT THE EFFORTS OF THE NRT. OVER THE NEXT 2 1/2
YEARS, AN ADDITIONAL 3 CANINES ARE TO BE TRAINED.
CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIVE ANALYSIS IS ANOTHER TECHNIQUE
USED BY ATF IN FURTHERANCE OF OUR ENFORCEMENT
INITIATIVES AGAINST ABORTION CLINIC VIOLENCE. ATF
AGENTS ASSIGNED TO THE FBI'S NATIONAL CENTER FOR THE
ANALYSIS OF VIOLENT CRIME (NCAVC) ARE TRAINED IN THE
TECHNIQUES OF PREPARING ANALYSES ON SERIAL ARSONISTS
AND BOMBERS TO ASSIST LAW ENFORCEMENT IN IDENTIFYING
POSSIBLE SUSPECTS BASED ON CHARACTERISTICS PARTICULAR
TO INCIDENTS. RELATED CONCEPTS OF THESE ANALYSES CAN
ALSO BE SUCCESSFULLY APPLIED TO OTHER AREAS SUCH AS
INVESTIGATIVE AND PROSECUTORIAL STRATEGIES, AND SUSPECT
INTERVIEWING TECHNIQUES. CURRENTLY, A MAJOR PROPORTION
OF ARSON CASES SUBMITTED TO THE NCAVC ARE BEING
COMPLETED BY ATF.
THE INITIATIVE THAT HAS PUT ATF TO THE FOREFRONT OF
ARSON INVESTIGATION IS ITS CERTIFIED FIRE INVESTIGATOR
(CFI) PROGRAM. THROUGH THIS PROGRAM, ATF PROVIDES
EXPERIENCE, TRAINING, AND EDUCATION TO SELECTED SPECIAL
AGENTS TO ENABLE THEM TO DETERMINE FIRE CAUSE AND
PRESENT THEIR FINDINGS AND OPINIONS IN COURT IN A
TODAY, THERE ARE 48 CFI'S STATIONED THROUGHOUT THE
UNITED STATES. PRESENTLY, AN ADDITIONAL 15 SPECIAL
AGENTS ARE IN THE CFI TRAINING PROGRAM. IN 1993, THESE
MEN AND WOMEN PARTICIPATED IN APPROXIMATELY 1,700 FIRE
SCENE EXAMINATIONS INVOLVING 127 FATALITIES, 374
INJURIES, AND $317 MILLION IN DAMAGES. THE VAST
MAJORITY OF THESE INCIDENTS WERE EXAMINED IN RESPONSE
TO REQUESTS FOR ASSISTANCE FROM STATE AND LOCAL
THEIR EXPERTISE NOW ACKNOWLEDGED, THE CFI ' S HAVE
INCREASINGLY BEEN REQUESTED TO ASSIST IN FIREGROUND
INVESTIGATIONS, SERVE AS CONSULTANTS FOR CRIMINAL
PROSECUTIONS, OR ACT AS INSTRUCTORS. THE CFI ' S HAVE
RESPONDED AS REQUESTED TO ASSIST LAW ENFORCEMENT IN THE
AFTERMATH OF THE LOS ANGELES RIOTS, AS WELL AS TO
PARTICIPATE IN MANY ARSON TASK FORCE OPERATIONS ACROSS
ATF'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN THIS AREA NOTWITHSTANDING, THE
CFI PROGRAM WOULD NOT BE WHAT IT IS WITHOUT THE
TRAINING AND KNOWLEDGE DERIVED FROM ATF'S STATE AND
LOCAL COUNTERPARTS. ATF SEEKS TO COMBINE THIS
KNOWLEDGE WITH THAT OF THE SCIENTIFIC AND EDUCATIONAL
COMMUNITIES, AND ULTIMATELY SHARE WHAT IS LEARNED
THOUGH TRAINING AND CONTINUED CLOSE WORKING
EXPERIENCE HAS SHOWN THAT IN THOSE CASES INVOLVING
CONCURRENT JURISDICTION, A JOINT EFFORT ENSURES THE
MOST COMPREHENSIVE AND EFFECTIVE INVESTIGATION. THE
CORNERSTONE UPON WHICH ATF HAS ANCHORED ITS EXPLOSIVES
ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS IS THAT OF COOPERATION.
ON JANUARY 24, 1994, A MEETING WAS HELD WITH FBI
OFFICIALS TO DISCUSS OUR COOPERATION IN THE VIOLENCE
AGAINST ABORTION CLINICS. AT THAT TIME, IT WAS AGREED
THAT ATF AND THE FBI WOULD INITIATE A JOINT TASK FORCE
TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE. THROUGH THIS TASK FORCE
APPROACH, ATF WILL SHARE THE RESULTS OF OUR
INVESTIGATIVE EFFORTS, INCLUD^iNG COPIES OF REPORTS,
WITNESS STATEMENTS, REPORTS OF INTERVIEWS, AND OTHER
RELATED DOCUMENTS. THE FBI ALSO AGREES TO PROVIDE
COPIES OF ALL REPORTS STEMMING FROM THEIR INVESTIGATIVE
EFFORTS RELATING TO ABORTION CLINIC VIOLENCE. IN
ADDITION, OUR SPECIAL AGENTS WILL CONDUCT
INVESTIGATIONS WITH THE GOAL BEING TO PERFECT THE BEST
PROSECUTABLE CASES IN THE FEDERAL COURTS.
THE THREAT POSED BY THE CRIMINAL USE OF EXPLOSIVES AND
FIRE WILL NEVER BE COMPLETELY ELIMINATED. HOWEVER, THE
THREAT CAN BE LESSENED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT ON THE
FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL LEVEL WORKING TOGETHER. IT
IS IMPORTANT THAT WE NOTE, HOWEVER, THAT AS SUBSTANTIAL
AS OUR COMMITMENT IN INVESTIGATIVE SUPPORT RESOURCES
HAS BEEN, THEY HAVE BEEN AUGMENTED IN EVERY INSTANCE BY
OUR STATE AND LOCAL PEERS. THEY HAVE PLAYED A VITAL
ROLE NOT ONLY OVER INVESTIGATIONS, BUT HAVE ALSO HAD TO
BEAR THE BURDEN FOR RESPONDING TO THE NUMEROUS ANTI-
ABORTION THREATS AND INCIDENTS OF VANDALISM AND
HARASSMENT. UNTIL THE PASSAGE OF THE FREEDOM OF ACCESS
TO CLINIC ENTRANCES ACT OF 1994, THESE TYPES OF CRIMES
WERE NOT IN THE JURISDICTION OF THE FEDERAL AGENCIES.
MANY OF THOSE OFFICERS WHO WORKED WITH US HAVE BEEN
TRAINED BY ATF IN ARSON AND EXPLOSIVES INVESTIGATION,
AND WE WELL KNOW THEIR PROFESSIONALISM AND SKILL.
ATF HAS ALSO BEEN LONG COMMITTED TO PROMOTING AN
ADVANCED LEVEL OF EXPERTISE THROUGH TRAINING PROGRAMS
DESIGNED TO FOSTER INTERAGENCY COOPERATION AND ENHANCE
LAW ENFORCEMENT'S INVESTIGATIVE CAPABILITIES.
IN ADDITION TO ALL OF THE ASSETS THAT ATF HAS ACCRUED
IN ITS EFFORTS TO INVESTIGATE ABORTION CLINIC VIOLENCE,
ATF ENJOYS A HARD EARNED AND WELL-RESPECTED REPUTATION
FOR COOPERATION AMONG THE NATION'S STATE AND LOCAL
AGENCIES THAT ARE ALSO CHARGED WITH THE ENFORCEMENT OF
ARSON AND BOMBING STATUTES.
ATF HAS DEVELOPED A COMPREHENSIVE PROGRAM TO COMBAT
BOMBINGS AND ARSONS. IN THE LAST 10 YEARS, ATF HAS
DEVELOPED AND IMPLEMENTED A NUMBER OF INNOVATIVE
TRAINING PROGRAMS. THESE PROGRAMS ARE CONTINUALLY
MONITORED AND UPDATED AS PRACTICAL AND AS SCIENTIFIC
KNOWLEDGE DICTATES. TO DATE, OVER 2,000 STATE AND
LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS, FIRE INVESTIGATORS,
INSURANCE INDUSTRY PERSONNEL, AND FEDERAL AND STATE
PROSECUTORS HAVE ATTENDED THESE TRAINING PROGRAMS. THE
TRAINING CONCENTRATES ON INVESTIGATIVE TECHNIQUES
THROUGH WORKSHOPS AND ON-THE-SCENE TRAINING. ATF'S
FORENSIC CHEMISTS ALSO PROVIDE TRAINING FOR STATE AND
LOCAL CHEMISTS IN ARSON ACCELERANT DETECTION.
ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED BY ATF TO
PROVIDE SPECIALIZED SUPPORT TO ITS COUNTERPARTS ON THE
FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL LEVELS INVOLVED WITH ABORTION
CLINIC VIOLENCE. ONE SUCH PROGRAM IS THE EXPLOSIVES
INCIDENTS SYSTEM (EXIS) , A COMPREHENSIVE COMPUTERIZED
SOURCE OF INFORMATION PERTINENT TO ARSON AND EXPLOSIVES
INCIDENTS NATIONWIDE. DEVELOPED IN 1975, EXIS CAN BE
USED TO MATCH TARGETS AND MOTIVE OF BOTH TYPES OF
CRIMES AS WELL AS COMPARING SIMILAR EXPLOSIVE DEVICES,
AND CAN SHOW TRENDS OR PATTERNS IN A GIVEN AREA, STATE,
OR THROUGHOUT THE NATION. EXIS CURRENTLY CONTAINS
194,058 DETAILED RECORDS FROM 56,3 57 ARSON AND
EXPLOSIVES RELATED INVESTIGATIONS. EXIS IS ALSO ATF'S
REPOSITORY FOR INFORMATION REGARDING THEFTS, LOSSES,
RECOVERIES, AND SEIZURES OF EXPLOSIVE MATERIALS
ATF'S SPECIALIZED TRAINING PROGRAMS ARE NOT LIMITED TO
LAW ENFORCEMENT. WE HAVE LONG RECOGNIZED A NEED FOR
THE GENERAL PUBLIC TO BE EDUCATED IN AND HAVE A
PRACTICAL UNDERSTANDING OF HOW TO PREPARE FOR AND REACT
TO SUSPECT PACKAGES, BOMB THREATS, AND BOMBINGS.
WE HAVE TRIED NOT TO JUST RESPOND AFTER AN INCIDENT HAS
OCCURRED BUT TO BE PROACTIVE. WE HAVE WORKED CLOSELY
WITH NATIONAL GROUPS AND CLINICS AROUND THE COUNTRY AND
ADVISED THEM OF VARIOUS SECURITY MEASURES THAT THEY
MIGHT TAKE. WE HAVE ALSO DONE VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT
STUDIES OF NUMEROUS ABORTION CLINICS AND PROVIDED THE
INFORMATION TO THEM.
PROPER EDUCATION, TRAINING, AND PREPARATION BY THE
PRIVATE SECTOR CAN MAXIMIZE PERSONAL SAFETY AND
MINIMIZE PROPERTY DAMAGE. TO THIS END, ATF REGULARLY
CONDUCTS SEMINARS ON BOMB THREAT MANAGEMENT AND
PHYSICAL SECURITY PLANNING, AS WELL AS ON THE
IDENTIFICATION OF SUSPECT PACKAGES AND MAILED BOMBS.
ATF HAS ALSO WORKED CLOSELY WITH THE NATIONAL ABORTION
FEDERATION (NAF) AND PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION OF
AMERICA (PPFA) IN AN EFFORT TO INFORM AND EDUCATE
ABORTION PROVIDERS IN SECURITY AND PROTECTION
PROCEDURES AS THEY RELATE TO ARSON AND BOMB THREATS.
THIS CLOSE WORKING RELATIONSHIP IS EVIDENCED BY THE
RECENT ABORTION CLINIC ARSON IN FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA.
A $100,000 REWARD IS BEING OFFERED FOR INFORMATION
LEADING TO THE ARREST AND CONVICTION OF THE PERSON (S)
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ARSON.
THE REWARD IS BEING OFFERED BY PPFA AND THE NAF. ATF
HAS SET UP A NATIONAL TOLL FREE HOTLINE TO RECEIVE
INFORMATION RELATIVE TO THIS INCIDENT AND ANY PAST OR
PLANNED ACTS OF VIOLENCE. THE TOLL FREE NUMBER,
1-800-ATF-4867, IS AVAILABLE 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A
WEEK. ATF IS COMMITTED TO BRINGING THE FULL FORCE OF
ITS ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY TO BEAR AGAINST THOSE WHO
PERPETRATE THESE CRIMES.
TYPICALLY, PERSONS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ABORTION
CLINIC ARSONS AND BOMBINGS ARE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE
WILLING TO EXPRESS THEIR MORAL OPPOSITION TO ABORTION
VIA A VIOLENT AND ILLEGAL ACT. BASED ON PAST
APPREHENSIONS, MOST OF THESE INDIVIDUALS DO NOT HAVE A
CRIMINAL BACKGROUND. IT APPEARS THAT THEIR GOAL IS THE
DISRUPTION OF THE ABORTION PROVIDER'S SERVICE RATHER
THAN ANY PERSONAL GAIN OR NEED FOR RECOGNITION. IT IS
OBVIOUS THAT THE PERPETRATORS ARE AMONG THOSE WHO ARE
MORALLY OPPOSED TO ABORTION. HOWEVER, IT SHOULD BE
RECOGNIZED THAT A MAJORITY OF PERSONS WITHIN THE ANTI-
ABORTION MOVEMENT NEITHER PARTICIPATE IN NOR CONDONE
THESE ACTS OF VIOLENCE. CARE HAS TO BE TAKEN NOT TO
BREACH THE RIGHTS OF THOSE LAWFULLY INVOLVED IN
DISSENT, WHILE PURSUING OTHERS WHO BEAR CRIMINAL
ATP HAS MADE GREAT STRIDES IN ATTACKING THE CRIMINAL
USE OF EXPLOSIVES AND FIRE AGAINST ABORTION PROVIDERS.
WE CANNOT GUARANTEE THAT FUTURE ATTACKS AGAINST CLINICS
WILL NOT OCCUR AS LONG AS CERTAIN PEOPLE ARE DETERMINED
TO USE VIOLENCE. HOWEVER, WE CAN ENSURE THAT THESE
INDIVIDUALS WILL BE ARRESTED AND PROSECUTED TO THE
FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW. WE BELIEVE THAT SUCCESSFUL
PROSECUTION AND LENGTHY SENTENCES GIVEN BY THE COURTS
ARE THE BEST DETERRENT AGAINST THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO
ESPOUSE VIOLENCE. WHILE WE HOPE THAT THIS ACTIVITY
WILL ABATE AS THE MESSAGE OF SURE APPREHENSION AND
PUNISHMENT SPREADS, WE ARE PREPARED TO CONTINUE OUR
EFFORTS TO MEET ANY NEW OUTBREAKS WITH THE SKILLS AND
RESOURCES WE HAVE BROUGHT TO BEAR ON THIS PROBLEM TO
ATE IS COMMITTED TO FULFILLING ITS CONGRESSIONAL
MANDATE TO PROVIDE THE MOST EFFECTIVE AND PROFESSIONAL
INVESTIGATIVE RESPONSE AVAILABLE TO ARSON AND
EXPLOSIVES INCIDENTS. THE SUCCESS ATF HAS ACHIEVED
COULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCOMPLISHED WITHOUT THE CLOSE
WORKING RELATIONSHIPS AND COOPERATIVE ENVIRONMENT THAT
HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED WITH ITS COUNTERPARTS. ATF IS
CONFIDENT THAT IT CAN CONTINUE TO DRAW UPON THIS
ABILITY TO WORK IN PARTNERSHIP â€” COMBINING ITS EXPERTISE
AND TEACHING AND LEARNING FROM EACH OTHER â€” TO COUNTER
THE VIOLENCE THAT PREVAILS.
THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS OUR VIEWS ON
IHIS VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE.
NATIONWIDE ABORTION CLINIC HOTLINE
Tlic Planned PaxenUiood Federation of .\mcrica and die Xational Aljortion
Federation will pay a reward of up to $100,000 j)er incident for information
leading to the arrest and con\iction of tlie pcrson(s) responsible for arson
Ores, bombings, and serious acts of vandalism at abortion and family planning
The m^onetary loss resulting from reported incidents of abortion clinic
\'iolcnce is nearly Bl2 million.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has set up a
national toll free hotline to receive inibrmation on past or planned acts
of \-iolencc directed at abortion and family planning clinics.
Mr. ScHUMER. I guess the thrust of my questions are directed to
one issue, and that is since FACE has been signed we still see a
level of violence of a variety of sorts directed against clinics. In re-
sponse to some, there has been Federal action; in response to
many, there has not. I am trying to determine why there has not
been action in the others, what kind of guidelines ought to be set,
My first question relates to what happened this summer when
antiabortionists took part in blockades in Little Rock, AR, Milwau-
kee, WI, and in Dobbs Ferry, NY. FACE was enacted to deal with
these types of situations and, in fact, Operation Rescue stated that
the Little Rock blockades were designed to oppose FACE.
Arrests were made at all of the three blockade sites, and Planned
Parenthood has specifically asked the U.S. attorneys offices in Lit-
tle Rock and Milwaukee to consider filing FACE charges. The Fed-
eral Government chose to file FACE charges only in Milwaukee
and, therefore. Planned Parenthood filed civil actions under FACE
in Milwaukee, Little Rock. In New York, the attorney general of
New York State filed a FACE action.
My first question is, what distinguished Milwaukee to the extent
that the Department chose to file FACE charges there but not in
Little Rock or Dobbs Ferry?
Ms. Harris. I certainly am here to answer any questions with re-
spect to the task force, but I think we will find that it is more ap-
propriate for Mr. Patrick to address questions relating specifically
to these things.
Mr. ScHUMER. In whatever way you two choose to divide it up
is fine with me.
Mr. Patrick. She is punting. No, I am kidding.
As you know, Mr. Chairman, we cannot talk about matters or
specific instances that may or may not be under investigation. The
Federal action that you have seen has been â€” and that the public
has seen â€” has been in Milwaukee where the Federal indictments
came forward. That is not to suggest that there has not been or
does not continue to be Federal action in the other cases as well.
I think what I would point out is that we have several matters
under active investigation and that, for all of them on both the
criminal and the civil side, the determinations about what action
to take and when to take that action is made on a case-by-case
basis and is guided by several factors I can lay out for you.
Mr. ScHUMER. Please do.
Mr. Patrick. And they have to do with the strength of the evi-
dence in the given case, considerations about the relative State and
Federal interest, the extent to which the State has or has not taken
some action to address the issue, where the surest and swiftest and
most effective punishment may lie, and then complicating factors,
such as whether State law precludes a State prosecution that the
State is interested in if a Federal action goes first.
And then I want to remind that we have very much in mind the
first amendment in all of these matters. So we are considering the
extent to which the violations are in relative terms more serious
in some places than others.
Mr. ScHUMKH. Can you comment?
Mr. Sknsknhrknnkr. Will the gentleman yield at this point?
Mr. ScHUMER. I will be happy to yield for a minute.
Mr. Sensenbrenneu. This question fits into the question that
the chairman asked, and that is why I am asking it at this point.
In Milwaukee, the elected district attorney of Milwaukee County,
who is not a member of my political party, long before abortion
clinic demonstrations took place, issued written guidelines that
said that his office would prosecute, on State criminal charges,
picket line and demonstration violence only when an injury or a
death or another type of crime such as an arson occurred. And
mere blockading would not be prosecuted by his office. That would
be prosecuted as a municipal ordinance violation by the city attor-
ney's office where the maximum penalty would be a fine.
Now, are you saying, Mr. Patrick, in answer to Mr. Schumer's
question, that Milwaukee was selected for prosecution of â€” criminal
FACE prosecution in the country because of the guidelines of the
district attorney of Milwaukee County in not issuing State criminal
charges when there was no injury that occurred?
Mr. Patrick. I don't think that is what I said or that is what
I am saying. Congressman. What I am saying is that Milwaukee
was selected considering the factors that I outlined â€” all of the fac-
tors that I outlined, and that is the approach we take to all of the
incidents that are brought â€” or each of the incidents brought to our
It seems to me there is nothing wrong with a State either refus-
ing to prosecute under its own law or, if it does not have a law,
for the Federal Government to be more active in those States than
in a State that will be active if a Federal right is being
Mr. SCHIFF. If the chairman would
Mr. ScHUMl<]R. First, I would like to get an answer to that ques-
Mr. Patrick. I am simply saying, Mr. Chairman, that no one fac-
tor is determinant, necessarily, in any case,
Mr. ScHUMER. I don't want to step on any ongoing investigation,
but these three cases were rather similar to the outside observer
in terms of what happened. People have asked me, as author of the
bill â€” and this is out of my domain and that is why I am asking
you â€” why in one case the Government went forward and in the
other it did not. Were the factors related to the strength of the evi-
dence? I can understand if you do not have witnesses that will
come forward. Was an effort made in all three?
Mr. Patrick. Oh, yes. Oh, yes.
Mr. ScHUMER. OK. And there may be ongoing investigations in
some of those.
Mr. Patrick. That is right, Mr. Chairman. You know the long-
standing policy of the Department is not to confirm or deny the ex-
istence of an ongoing investigation.
Mr. ScHUMER. Right. That is why I said maybe.
Mr. SCHIFF. Would the chairman yield for one point?
Mr. ScHUMER. I would be glad to yield.
Mr. SCHIFF. I thank the chairman for yielding.
I want to point out one issue right here. Ms. Harris used the
words violent and violence time after time in her testimony before
us. The investigation or the prosecution in Milwaukee that you
have referred to, Mr. Patrick, or any other prosecution that has
taken place but particularly in Milwaukee, were these people ac-
cused of violent lawbreaking?
Mr. Patrick. In the Milwaukee case, there was an obstruction
that effectively shut down the clinic, but the response to your ques-