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13 September 2001

Transcript: CIA's Tenet Says U.S. Must Find the Terrorists

(He says CIA will seek out those responsible) (910)
The important thing is for the United States to run to ground the
terrorists behind the attacks on the World Trade towers in New York
and the Pentagon in Washington, says George Tenet, director of the
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
"The terrorists behind these atrocities -- and those who give them
shelter and support -- must never know rest, ease, or comfort," Tenet
said September 12 at CIA headquarters in northern Virginia. "The last
word must not be theirs."
Tenet told CIA staff that it is important now for them to do their
jobs "to run to ground a vicious foe."
"This is a time for us to come together," he said. "To bring all our
talents to bear in a steely determination to do what we are called to
do -- protect our fellow citizens."
Following are the excerpts of Tenet's  remarks released by the CIA:
(begin text)
CIA Headquarters, Langley, Virginia
12 September 2001 
Good afternoon.
Yesterday, the entire American people -- joined by men and women
around the globe -- recoiled in horror at the barbaric acts against
our country.
In my hometown of New York, at the Pentagon, and in the skies over
Pennsylvania, the bloody hand of evil struck again and again, stealing
thousands of innocent lives.
As the devastating toll of terror comes into focus, we are sure to
find among those who were lost friends, colleagues, and others we hold
Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims, with those
searching and caring for them, and with those who mourn them.
I urge all of you to take the time to think of brothers and sisters
that we, as Americans, have lost and to pray for those who survive
The images of fire and destruction are forever etched in our minds.
And in our hearts, amid the numbing shock, there has been profound
grief and renewed resolve.
As President Bush said last night, the search for the sponsors of
these unspeakable acts has already begun. Our Agency is among the
leaders of that search.
The fight against those who use the weapon of terror to menace and
murder is necessarily hard. The shield of fanaticism-wielded by those
ready to forfeit their lives to achieve their twisted dreams -is not
easily pierced.
But it has been pierced before, and it will be pierced again.
Though we did not stop the latest, terrible assaults, you -- the men
and women of CIA and our Intelligence Community -- have done much to
combat terrorism in the past.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of American lives have been saved by the
brave men and women of our Counter-Terrorism Center, our Directorate
of Operations, our analysts, our scientists, our support officers --
all who work relentlessly every day against this difficult target.
I know that together, we will do even more in the future.
The response yesterday -- from our Counter-Terrorism Center, the Ops
Center, Global Support, our entire Security Staff, and many, many
others -- was absolutely magnificent. Today, I am -- as I always have
been -- very, very proud of all the men and women in this
The important thing for us now is to do our job. To run to ground a
vicious foe -- one without heart or pity. A foe who has killed
Americans, but who hopes in vain to kill the ideals and values that
define all of us as Americans.
The terrorists behind these atrocities -- and those who give them
shelter and support -- must never know rest, ease, or comfort. The
last word must not be theirs.
For the future must belong to the champions of freedom, not its
enemies. That is our aim -- today, tomorrow, always.
This is a time for us to come together. To bring all our talents to
bear in a steely determination to do what we are called to do --
protect our fellow citizens.
It is our turn again to step up to a challenge, and to meet it as we
meet all challenges: With commitment and courage.
Put some spirit in your step, square your shoulders, focus your eyes
... we have a job to do.
Many years ago, Winston Churchill -- a giant of democracy -- recalled
his reaction on hearing the news of another surprise attack on
America, this one at Pearl Harbor:
There were, he wrote, "many, not only in enemy countries [who] might
discount the force of the United States. Some said they were soft,
others that they would never be united. They would fool around at a
distance. They would never come to grips. They would never stand
But, Churchill concluded, "I had studied the American Civil War,
fought out to the last desperate inch. American blood flowed in my
veins. I thought of a remark which Edward Grey had made to me more
than thirty years before -- that the United States is like 'a gigantic
boiler. Once the fire is lighted under it, there is no limit to the
power it can generate.'"
Indeed there is not.
I thank you all very, very much for your hard work. May God bless you
(end text)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site:

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