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CIA press release, CIA Director Honored at Farewell Ceremony

8 July 2004



McLean, VA, 8 July - The CIA's work force bid farewell to Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) George J. Tenet - the second longest serving DCI in the Agency's history -- at a ceremony at CIA Headquarters this morning.

The ceremony, which was attended by more than 1,500 CIA employees and was broadcast on the Agency's closed-circuit television system, was hosted by John E. McLaughlin, the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence. McLaughlin will become Acting DCI when Tenet formally steps down from the post on July 11th, his seventh anniversary at the helm of CIA.

Speaking in the quadrangle in front of the building's main entrance, Tenet told CIA employees: "I am convinced that if the American people were fully aware of what you do-around the clock, around the world-they would line up at that front gate and in huge, record numbers, come in here and say thank you."

"The patriots who make up this Agency put it all on the line," Tenet said. "Against the odds. Often in tough conditions. Always on tough challenges. And all to keep America and Americans as safe as they can be.

"That is the Central Intelligence Agency that I know so well and love so much. The Agency that should make all Americans proud."

Among the other speakers at the event were DDCI McLaughlin, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, and Tenet's senior deputies, highlighting Tenet's accomplishments in rebuilding the clandestine service, applying advanced technology to intelligence challenges, building morale, and bolstering recruitment efforts.

The DCI's and DDCI's remarks will be posted on CIA's public website this afternoon.