HPSCI Chairman Reyes Honors D/NCS Jose Rodriguez
August 16, 2007
On Tuesday, 16 August 2007, during the 4th annual "Border Security Conference" in El Paso, Texas, Congressman Silvestre Reyes presented Jose Rodriguez, Director of the National Clandestine Service, with a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol in recognition of his three decades of dedicated service with the Central Intelligence Agency. Here is an excerpt:
CHAIRMAN REYES: Thank you very much, General. Before I bring up to the podium a very special guest who is going to wrap up our conference – and I consider him a personal friend, although we’ve been working together a very short six months, but I feel like I’ve really got an opportunity to know, Director Mike McConnell – I thought it would be appropriate to honor an individual. And when we honor this individual, we normally don’t get an opportunity to thank the people that worked so hard on behalf of our national security. By the very nature of their job, they have to stay in the shadows; no one ever knows who they are and nobody ever gets an opportunity to thank them.
We have an individual here that Mike Delaney tells me was the impetus to – I hope all of you are familiar with the TV series “24.” This gentleman that I’m about to thank was really the genesis – with a few liberties that Hollywood takes – the exploits of Jose Rodriguez are documented in the series “24.” So he admitted to me that he likes fast cars. I won’t tell you about the women, but I will tell you about the fast cars. (Laughter.) He is a connoisseur of fine wine. I said, well, in my experience, coming out of Camp Fear was I know the difference between Mogen David and Ripple.
He’s been through El Paso once before, and I consider him an American hero. And we thought we would honor Jose Rodriguez. And by honoring him, we honor the thousands of other employees of the Central Intelligence Agency that we never get to know. And I hope that the message gets back to them that we appreciate their work, that we appreciate their commitment; we appreciate their dedication; we appreciate their professionalism, because they have a difficult job and they do that job day in and day out in some of the most God-forsaken places on earth. I know because I’ve had the honor to visit with them in these different places around the world as a member of the intelligence committee.
So I would just like our good friend and American hero to come up and accept a flag flown in his honor over the nation’s Capitol. Please come up, Jose. And this is a certificate that reads, this flag is presented in honor of your commitment and devotion to the United States of America and your service to our country. It is presented on behalf of all of us here and a grateful nation that will never forget your hard work and your sacrifices. Mr. Jose Rodriguez, Director of National Clandestine Service. Please give him a big round of applause.
JOSE RODRIGUEZ: When I said yesterday that I was a little nervous because I was dropping trou – I didn’t mean it in the “24” series sense; I meant it in dropping cover. But I am truly honored, Congressman. I don’t know what to say. I am truly honored. And what I will do is I will go back to my service and I will tell the people who work there with me, my colleagues, about this honor that you have given us in front of so many people. Thank you. It’s not often that we get recognized. And to be recognized like this is just very unique. And I thank you so much. Thank you so much.
REP. REYES: Okay, now, thank you very much, Jose. Thanks for your 30 years of dedicated service to our nation.