Statement by CIA Director Michael V. Hayden on Agency's 60th Anniversary
Those who founded the Central Intelligence Agency 60 years ago understood they were creating something entirely new: a secret civilian intelligence service, its place in government central, its judgments free of departmental influence. They also knew the times demanded it; Pearl Harbor was a recent memory, and the Iron Curtain a new reality. America, no longer a reluctant player on the world stage but the Free World's champion, faced global responsibilities and threats--and needed a Central Intelligence Agency.
In 2007, it still does--more than ever. We confront a very different range of challenges than our founders did, but we approach them with the same expeditionary spirit, unrivaled expertise, and deep patriotism. Eighty-seven stars on our Memorial Wall attest to the sacrifice and resolve of our heroes from every generation, qualities that are a constant in the life of the Agency. As CIA fights a new kind of war--one that uniquely demands the resources and tradecraft of a clandestine intelligence service--we do so confident that we uphold and defend the values of our free society, to which we are fully accountable as we strive to enhance its security.
This week, we are celebrating the achievements of the Agency through 60 years of service to our nation. Yesterday, CIA had the honor of welcoming back to Langley a man who helped shape both the Agency's history and that of our nation, former President George H.W. Bush. This afternoon, we officially received our A-12 OXCART, the fastest, highest-flying plane ever to take to the skies--and one of the greatest technical achievements in the CIA's history.
Some 130,000 Americans in each of the past couple of years have applied to join CIA. Sixty years out, we're more critical to the nation's security than our founders, even with their wisdom and foresight, could ever have envisioned.