Message from the Director of Central Intelligence
On behalf of the President, I am pleased to submit The 2003 Annual Report of the United States Intelligence Community. The period it covers was one of exceptional challenge to the security of our country.
As a nation, we are determined to meet threats to our safety and to seize opportunities to build a fairer, better world. The men and women of the United States Intelligence Community are at the heart of that effort. From the streets of Baghdad to the docks of Baltimore, we work with a single aim: to protect American lives and defend American freedoms. With skill, courage, and integrity, with the help of partners in our country and overseas, American Intelligence continued its global offensive against terrorism, against the makers and merchants of weapons of mass destruction, and against tyrants who pose a danger to those they oppress and to those beyond their borders.
We provided vital intelligence to the President, his top advisers, and our military before and throughout Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. That intelligence—gathered in the face of a closed and brutal dictatorship—reduced battlefield casualties and accelerated the fall of Saddam Husayn's regime. We continue to review our prewar performance in assessing Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. As professionals fully aware of the value and importance of our work, we are committed to honesty and to rigor—to learning from both our successes and our shortcomings.
Each day, in conditions of great complexity and risk, on issues ranging from counterterrorism and foreign nuclear programs to the worldwide implications of diseases like AIDS and SARS, the Intelligence Community does tremendous things for America. I am very proud of what we have achieved—with daring, creativity, and unprecedented cooperation across agencies and disciplines.
It is essential in our democracy that the American people and their representatives in Congress understand our difficult mission and how we strive to accomplish it. This unclassified report is a key part of that constant, vibrant process.
George J. Tenet