Tenet quits as CIA boss

President George W Bush accepted the resignation and said he would miss the “strong and able” Mr Tenet as head of the CIA.

The CIA has been at the heart of criticism over faulty intelligence in the run-up to the Iraqi war and over whether 9/11 could have been prevented.

Mr Tenet will leave the CIA on 11 July when Deputy Director John McLaughlin will take over temporarily.

The 51-year-old fought back tears as he bid farewell to staff at CIA headquarters saying he was leaving to spend more time with his family.

Mr Bush announced he had accepted the resignation at a hastily convened news conference just before he left for a major trip to Europe.

He said Mr Tenet had announced the news at a White House meeting on Wednesday night.

“He told me he was resigning for personal reasons. I told him I’m sorry he’s leaving. He’s done a superb job on behalf of the American people,” said Mr Bush.

Analysts said no permanent replacement is expected until after the November 2 presidential election.

Any new nomination before the election would require Congress confirmation hearings that could reopen the wounds over Iraq and September 11.

In a speech to CIA employees, Mr Tenet described the resignation as “the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make.

“And while Washington and the media will put many different faces on the decision, it was a personal decision and had only one basis in fact: the well-being of my wonderful family, nothing more and nothing less,” he said.

Mr Tenet, appointed by then-president Bill Clinton in July 1997, was the second longest serving head of the world’s most powerful spy agency.


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