Thursday, December 31, 2009

Panetta confirms seven CIA employees killed in Afghanistan

Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta confirms that seven CIA employees were killed and six others injured in yesterday’s terrorist attack at a base in Afghanistan.  From Bloomberg:
The attack occurred at a forward operating base in Khost Province, CIA Director Leon Panetta said in a message to employees, according to the statement. The names and details of the employees’ work won’t be released “due to the sensitivity of their mission and other ongoing operations,” the agency said.

“Those who make a real difference often face real danger,” Panetta said.

U.S. military doctors and nurses saved the lives of those wounded in the attack, according to the statement. The Pentagon yesterday said eight civilians had been killed.
The President sent a letter to all CIA employees earlier today, saying in part:
I write to mark a sad occasion in the history of the CIA and our country. Yesterday, seven Americans in Afghanistan gave their lives in service to their country. Michelle and I have their families, friends and colleagues in our thoughts and prayers.

These brave Americans were part of a long line of patriots who have made great sacrifices for their fellow citizens, and for our way of life. The United States would not be able to maintain the freedom and security that we cherish without decades of service from the dedicated men and women of the CIA. You have helped us understand the world as it is, and taken great risks to protect our country. You have served in the shadows, and your sacrifices have sometimes been unknown to your fellow citizens, your friends, and even your families.
My heart goes out to the families of these brave patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice for us.

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