Obama – CIA First Visit
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Thank you for the extraordinary welcome. And thanks for those of you who prepared, from the CIA gift shop, the t-shirts, the caps, the water bottles. Michelle and the girls will appreciate that very much.
It is a great honor to be here with the men and women of the CIA. I’ve been eager to come out here to Langley for some time so I can deliver a simple message to you in person on behalf of the American people: Thank you. Thank you for all the work that you do to protect the American people and the freedom that we all cherish.
The CIA is fundamental to America’s national security.
And I want you to know that that’s why I nominated such an outstanding public servant and close friend, Leon Panetta, to lead — to lead the agency. He is one of our nation’s finest public servants. He has my complete confidence. And he is a strong voice in my national security team, as well as a strong advocate for the men and women of the CIA.
I also benefit from the counsel of several agency veterans — chief among them, Steve Kappes, who’s stayed on to serve as Leon’s deputy. He’s — and he’s done outstanding work.