Guarding Against Politicization

Remarks by Robert M. Gates (16 March 1992)


The following remarks by the Director of Central Intelligence were made on 16 March 1992 in the CIA auditorium.

Bourne Cockran wrote to Winston Churchill in 1895 that, “What the people really want to hear is the truth-it is the exciting thing-speak the simple truth.” Twenty years later, Churchill himself wrote, “The truth is incontrovertible; panic may resent it; ignorance may deride it; malice may destroy it, but there it is.” Truth, insofar as we can determine it, is what our work is all about. Indeed, our own main entrance is dominated by the chiseled words, “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” And because seeking truth is what we are all

about as an institution, as professionals, and as individuals, the possibility-even the perception-that that quest may be tainted deeply troubles us, as it long has and as it should.

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