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Statement by DCI Tenet on the Death of Ambassador Richard Helms

October 23, 2002

With the deepest sadness, I have learned of the death of Ambassador Richard Helms. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time of grief.

The United States has lost a great patriot. The men and women of American intelligence have lost a great teacher and a true friend.

His service to country spanned more than half a century. But his career and contributions are not simply measured in history, they changed it.

As a young Naval officer in the Second World War, Richard Helms found his place in American espionage. From that moment on, in posts of increasing responsibility, in times of conflict and in peace, he shaped the intelligence effort that has helped keep our country strong and free.

As Director of Central Intelligence for almost seven years, he steered a bold and daring course, one that rewarded both rigor and risk. Clear in thought, elegant in style, he represents to me the best of his generation and profession.

To the very end of his life, Ambassador Helms shared his time and wisdom with those who followed him in the calling of intelligence in defense of liberty. His enthusiasm for this vital work, and his concern for those who conduct it, never faltered.

I will miss his priceless counsel and his warm friendship. But the name and example of Richard Helms will be treasured forever by all who work for the safety and security of the United States.

Historical Document
Posted: Apr 12, 2007 07:57 AM
Last Updated: Jun 17, 2008 03:17 PM