Statement by CIA Director Leon E. Panetta on the Passing of Congressman John Murtha
February 8, 2010
The CIA and the intelligence community lost a champion today with the passing of Congressman John Murtha (D-Pa.). A decorated Vietnam War veteran, Murtha was a faithful representative of the people of his hometown, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, for 36 years. As a former intelligence officer, he understood CIA’s unique contribution to national security and regularly called on our Agency to provide our expertise and our judgment. For the past 20 years, Murtha oversaw the subcommittee responsible for the CIA’s budget. As an overseer, he asked tough questions and demanded straight answers.
Above all, Jack Murtha was a friend. He was a friend to me when we served together in the House of Representatives and when I went on to work for President Clinton. He was a friend to me as Director and an advocate for all of the professionals at CIA. And he was a friend to America, the country he loyally served with distinction and loved with all his heart. He will be deeply missed.