On Wednesday afternoon, Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet spoke to CIA employees about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Tenet is the leader of a national intelligence community whose efforts have been sharply attacked and criticized since the blasts. A number of intelligence agency officials have said the assaults took them by surprise. "Though we did not stop the latest terrible assaults, you--the men and women of the 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 the Counter-Terrorism Center, our Directorate of Operations, our analysts, our scientists, our support officers--all who work relentlessly every day against this difficult target," Tenet said. "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 organization." Tenet also set the task ahead for CIA staff: "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." Of those responsible, Tenet said, "The last word must not be theirs," and added, "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." Tenet also made an effort to buck up CIA employees for the job ahead, saying, "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."
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