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tv   Reel America President George H.W. Bush Farewell Visit to CIA Employees  CSPAN  August 24, 2022 6:08pm-6:22pm EDT

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a time of reactionaries. and what qualities led him to be such a revolutionary figure in terms of spreading a vision of democracy that continues to inspire people because it was based on reconciliation? because he was someone who met hate with love, and brought a new testament leadership, i think, in some respects, so the national and international stage. >> watch the full program anytime online at c-span.org slash history by searching john avlon or lincoln and the fight for peace.
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[noise] [applause]
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>> ladies gentlemen, the president of the united states accompanied by the honorable robert m. gates. [applause] ♪ ♪ ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, our most distinguished alumnus, the president of united states. [applause] >> welcome home!
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listen, thank you very much. [applause] i know, anything to keep from having to go back to work, i know how it is. but, listen, it is the other way around, i came out here to thank you all for fantastic support for your country in so many ways. of course, i want to thank bob gates, my right hand person and trusted adviser when at the white house, and then thank him for the superb job he has done out here. it is great to be back at langley, the last time i was out here was when bob gates was sworn in as a
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dci. i have loved this warm welcome back, wandering through the halls out there, and now this. i just cannot get over it. i feel very welcome, and i want to thank each and every one of you. you know, last november, when bob became director, i noted that the men and women of the intelligence community faced a new mission, and a dramatically different the world. i stated then, and i would like to just repeat now, that we must not diminish our intelligence. big changes, i think the world may be perceived to be more peaceful, but, in my view the need for intelligence is as great as ever and you are doing a great job. i will try to be a voice after i leave in a few more days for keeping this intelligence community the strongest, the best in the entire world, which it is now.
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i do think there have been dramatic changes. i had a chance to visit with some of the analysts and operators upstairs. we talked about the visit that barbara and i had to the soviet union. what used to be the soviet union, i have to learn to say russia now. but, with yeltsin, i think that the work of this agency and of the intelligence community through the years really, probably, will never get the credit that it deserves for affecting these changes. for your role in bringing about these changes. and having presidents, hopefully, make informed decisions on the world we face. but we did manage to work out with yeltsin a treaty over there, finalize a treaty.
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, many here, and one way or another, contributed to it. it does provide hope for a better and safer world. i'm very happy that we were able to conclude that treaty before i go back to houston, texas on january 20th. but we can't fool ourselves. those who would challenge us, we're seeing right now as we try to decide what we should do over in iraq. those who would challenge freedoms gains are many, and we continue to face threats in the world of terrorism, where a lot of good work has been the anti-terrorist work and intelligence contributing to that out here. it's fantastic. many here are concerned about and worked on weapons of -- weapons proliferation, and of course, i remain very much concerned about that. i had a briefing on just a
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corner of the world on narcotics trafficking, and here, the agency and community is doing a superb job on intelligence for that. economic security, i salute those who were involved in the economic side of our intelligence. all of these things must continue, must be -- all of these accounts must be strongly serviced. so i come back to the point that the faith -- threats we face are real. we need more intelligence, not less, if we are to meet the challenge. and we have to have the best possible intelligence as we work for peace and decency and respect for the rule of law. i wish all of you could've been with me on this visit to somalia. it was very moving, and we're doing the right thing. i'll tell you, when you say respect for the law, there isn't any there. we've got to conduct ourselves in such a way as in the last days of our administration. i'm sure the new president will
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feel the same way, to demonstrate americas lasting respect for law. and again, this agency, and all the people here in one way or another, i think point out that we must work for peace and decency and respect for the rule of law. so this is not a time to claim victory and turn our backs on the intelligence needs of the future, and as we face a more turbulent and unpredictable world, and as our military forces are being reduced, i just don't think that we ought to be contemplating significant reductions and intelligence budget, and i'm gonna be glad to convey that to those who follow -- bob gates and me. let me just say that the work you've done has always been hard, no question about. that i think the operation side, particular, it's true on the intelligence side and
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everything. the dangers we face as a country are reopen. i still get a motion only convinced of that when i see the stars in this building. i think that -- very fortunate to have the service of everybody here. you don't get to sit at the head table as much as i have in my last incarnation. we don't get saluted as much as others indifferent departments. but you deserve it greatly, i give you credit. i came to say thank you. now before i depart, i have one last matter that i want to do -- bob, is becky out here. she's right in fright. becky, come on up here and the kids as well. i want to get the gates family here. it gives me great pleasure surrounded by people who've worked with bob to honor him
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here as a distinguished public service by an -- national security medal. this is the highest battle that a president can get for national security. [applause] [applause] and i have a long list here that some very thorough speech writer wrote out about bob gates's accomplishments, his record, his service to his country. i expect people here know this better than most. you want to know how much i trust him, admire him, and
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respect him. [applause] -- so, this is a national security medal. it's one that's been well deserved, well earned, it's one that i present now with great pride to bob gates. director of central intelligence. [applause] >> we're out of here, thank you all very much. thanks a lot. [applause] ♪ ♪ ♪
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