Tenet Resigns as CIA Director
"Anyway, the point is, John Michael is going to be a senior next year. I'm going to be a senior with him in high school. We're going to class together. We're going to party together. I'm going to learn how to instant-message his friends."
On a more serious note, Tenet only briefly acknowledged the agency's troubles.
"Our record is not without flaws," he said. "The world of intelligence is a uniquely human endeavor . . . and we all understand the need to always do better. We are not perfect, but one of our best-kept secrets is that we are very, very, very good."
Pavitt, who directs the agency's clandestine operations, has said he will leave his job in the summer as well. He is to be replaced by Stephen Kappes, who spent his career in covert operations before becoming Pavitt's deputy two years ago.
Several Florida lawmakers suggested Bush replace Tenet with Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.), chairman of the House intelligence committee and a former CIA case officer, who would have a good chance confirmation. Goss, 65, is retiring after 16 years in the House and said he had not ruled out such an appointment.
Bush kept the secret overnight even from some of his closest aides. No word of the news leaked out until moments before the president made his comments on the South Lawn at 10:26 a.m. as he headed toward his chopper, Marine One.
Bush had conducted a 17-minute media appearance in the Rose Garden with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, and no rumor about Tenet's decision got around the White House until the networks were told to set up microphones because Bush was going to talk on his way to the helicopter.
Tenet has said he would like to go into business, as well as write, lecture and teach at a university after he leaves the CIA job.
Staff writer Mike Allen contributed to this report.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
Director George J. Tenet announces at CIA headquarters that he will resign for personal reasons.
_____The New Director_____
The CIA's 'Anonymous' No. 2: CIA Deputy Director John E. McLaughlin, Tenet's longtime deputy, will become interim director.
Tenet Resigns: The Post's Walter Pincus narrates a gallery of images from the CIA director's tenure and resignation.
_____Complete Post Coverage_____
For Personal Reasons, or Is He the Fall Guy? (The Washington Post, Jun 4, 2004)
Tenet Leaves Legacy of Big Successes, but Also Big Failures (The Washington Post, Jun 4, 2004)
More Changes Are Needed, Democrats Say (The Washington Post, Jun 4, 2004)
CIA's New Acting Director Is Known for Analytical -- and Magic -- Skills (The Washington Post, Jun 4, 2004)
George Tenet's 'Slam-Dunk' Into the History Books (The Washington Post, Jun 4, 2004)