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DCI Statement on the Death of Lt. General William Quinn

September 11, 2000

I am saddened by the death of Lt. General William Quinn, a leader and visionary who played an important role in preserving America's foreign intelligence capability.

When the wartime Office of Strategic Services was disbanded on 1 October 1945, then Colonel Quinn recognized the importance of a peacetime centralized intelligence organization. In the fall of 1946, he became Director of the Strategic Services Unit, a CIA predecessor, with the task of reducing the number of people from 9,000 to 2,000 within five months.

Faced with the danger of destroying this nation's unique clandestine and counterespionage talent, Colonel Quinn managed to preserve a core of trained officers that would become the heart of similar capabilities in the CIA. His preparations ensured that the country maintained some vital intelligence resources when chilled relations with the Soviet Union expanded into a Cold War.

It was with great pride that the CIA presented Lt. General Quinn with the Agency Seal Medallion in March 1997, for his crucial contributions to the mission of CIA.

I want to express my deepest condolences to the Quinn family on behalf of all the men and women of the Intelligence Community.

Historical Document
Posted: Apr 12, 2007 07:55 AM
Last Updated: Jun 17, 2008 01:02 PM