CIA Director George Tenet
Message to CIA employees
Washington, D.C.
September 14, 2001

Today, Americans of every background and every faith are joining together across our great, grieving country to remember the brothers and sisters taken from us this week by the vile, vicious hand of terrorism.

Thousands of families—among them our friends, colleagues, and neighbors—are struggling with the sorrow of loss, the pain of injury, and the ache of uncertainty.

Millions more, though, stand with them and with all the victims of these atrocities. For in this noble nation—bloodied but most assuredly unbowed—good has answered evil.

Good in the heroism of rescuers, relief workers, and in every American who has stepped forward to offer every kind of care and comfort. You are firmly and honorably among them.

But the men and women of the Central Intelligence Agency—along with our partners throughout the government—have an additional, decisive task.

To us belongs the mission of unmasking the authors and sponsors of this evil. Those who on a seemingly ordinary Tuesday attacked decency itself. Those who have defiled every standard of humanity.

The road ahead will be neither short nor easy. Yet it is one we must take without hesitation. Indeed, we have already taken the first steps, as a nation and as an agency.

Part of our response can be seen around you. The task forces, the heightened tempo of our global operations, the surge in support and security.

But there is a crucial part that cannot be seen. The determination that is cut into our hearts, the resolve that is burned into our minds.

Ours is a shared commitment to a single goal: To do what we can—to do what we must—against the sort of unspeakable horror that has now invaded and shattered so many, many lives.

Those we remember deserve no less. May our prayers be with them, and may God bless you all.