George Tenet's remarks on retirement
For the past nine years, I have been privileged to be part of a great American family, the family of American intelligence. I have lived in the heart of the CIA family. In that long and eventful time, we have shared moments of success and disappointment, of happiness and sorrow. Today, I share with you news that I gave the president last evening. I have decided to step down as director of Central Intelligence, effective July 11th, the seventh anniversary of my being sworn in as DCI.
I did not make this decision quickly or easily. But I know in my heart that the time is right to move on to the next phase of our lives. In an organization as vital as this one there is never a good time to leave. There will always be critical work to be done, threats to be dealt with, and challenges that demand every ounce of energy that a DCI can muster.
We have thrown our hearts into rebuilding our intelligence community and I have been richly rewarded with the gratification of working with the finest group of men and women our nation can produce.
I want to say a word of special thanks to President Bush. On entering office he immediately recognized the importance of rebuilding our intelligence capabilities. He spends time with us almost every day. He has shown great care for our officers. He is a great champion for the men and women of U.S. Intelligence and a constant source of support. It has been an honor for me to serve as his Director of Central Intelligence.