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Tenet's letter: 'I should step down ... and retire'

George Tenet talks Thursday with members of the CIA staff at the agency's headquarters about his resignation.
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Tenet comments on his resignation as CIA Director

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The following is the text of the resignation letter CIA Director George Tenet gave to President Bush. The letter is dated June 2, 2004.

"Dear Mr. President:

I am honored to have served for nearly nine years as Deputy Director or Director of Central Intelligence for two Presidents. After thoughtful deliberation with my family over the past several months, I have reached the difficult decision that I should step down as Director of Central Intelligence and retire from Government service effective 11 July 2004.

I am proud of what we have accomplished in revitalizing the Central Intelligence Agency and restoring critical capabilities to our Intelligence Community. Your leadership and steadfast support have allowed us to accelerate the modernization of the entire Intelligence Community, thereby enhancing our operational, analytic, and collection agility around the world. I am especially proud of our focus on rebuilding human intelligence. As a result, American Intelligence today rests on a solid foundation. The men and women of the Intelligence Community continue to perform with great skill, dedication, and passion, often at great personal risk. They represent the most important advantage we have in protecting America's families and interests. As I leave my position, I know that most of all, I will miss the men and women with whom I have had the privilege to serve.

My tenure as Director of Central Intelligence has been the most challenging and rewarding experience I could ever hoped to have had. I will forever be grateful for the honor and opportunity you have given me to work closely with you on behalf of our Nation.

Finally, I want to thank you for the great care you have shown for the men and women of American Intelligence. Your leadership has made an enormous difference to us all.

Stephanie, John Michael and I thank you for the support and kindness you and Mrs. Bush have extended to our family.

With deep respect,

George J. Tenet"

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