December 31st, 2009
12:36 PM ET
9 years ago

Panetta releases statement on CIA casualties

(CNN) - CIA  Director Leon Panetta has released a statement on the suicide bombing in Afghanistan Wednesday that killed seven CIA employees:

“Those who fell yesterday were far from home and close to the enemy, doing the hard work that must be done to protect our country from terrorism,” Director Panetta said in a message to employees. “We owe them our deepest gratitude, and we pledge to them and their families that we will never cease fighting for the cause to which they dedicated their lives—a safer America.”;

Full statement from the CIA after the jump

Statement on CIA Casualties in Afghanistan

CIA Director Leon E. Panetta informed the Agency workforce today that seven of their colleagues were killed and six others were injured on Wednesday at a Forward Operating Base in Khost Province, Afghanistan. The casualties were the result of a terrorist attack.

“Those who fell yesterday were far from home and close to the enemy, doing the hard work that must be done to protect our country from terrorism,” Director Panetta said in a message to employees. “We owe them our deepest gratitude, and we pledge to them and their families that we will never cease fighting for the cause to which they dedicated their lives—a safer America.”

“Families have been our Agency’s first priority,” Director Panetta added. “Before sharing this information with anyone else, we wanted to be in contact with each of them. This is the most difficult news to bear under any circumstances, but that it comes during the holidays makes it even harder. In coming days and weeks, we will comfort them and honor their loved ones as a family. They are in our thoughts and prayers—now and always.”

Due to the sensitivity of their mission and other ongoing operations, neither the names of those killed nor the details of their work are being released at this time.

“Yesterday’s tragedy reminds us that the men and women of the CIA put their lives at risk every day to protect this nation,” Director Panetta said. “Throughout our history, the reality is that those who make a real difference often face real danger.”

Director Panetta credited US military doctors and nurses with saving the lives of those wounded in the attack. In honor and memory of the dead, he requested that the flags at CIA Headquarters be flown at half-staff.

Filed under: CIA
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. SC mom

    "Mixed signals" is painting it mildly! It was a total meltdown in one was doing his job.

    December 31, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    My condolences go out to the families of the fallen.

    December 31, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    "And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free."

    December 31, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. democratsruinwhattheytouch

    Thank you for the words Mr. Pannetta. I am sure that the idiot president will have something snarky to say about this being the fault of Bush. Typical democrat, no responsiblility, it is what unions and the NEA stand for.

    December 31, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  5. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    My question is: Were they Operations? Or Intelligence? If Intel, fine, the more hard intel we get from that part of the world, the better. If Ops, however, we kinda do have to ask why those people were sent there in the first place.

    December 31, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. Robin

    Thank you, Mr. Panetta for calling it what it is. TERRORISM, and not a "man made disaster."

    December 31, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. Concerned Democrat

    Our hearts and prayers are with their families and they are with all the soldiers and civilians currently serving our country. May God bless them and keep them safe.

    December 31, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. Padraig

    May God look over them and their families.

    December 31, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. Silence Dogoode

    My sympathies to those families who have lost a family member. it is not easy to serve your country and place your life on the line. You are the real and those serving in the military, police and fire....

    December 31, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. Dr. K

    As the Administration begins moves to throw the CIA "under the bus," we should remember the difficult and patriotic work of these operatives who risk it all for their country. As the terrorists in Gitmo are questioned in Lazyboy recliners, these patriots were killed by their Muslim brothers in some desolate hellhole, fighting a war many of us pretend doesn't exist.

    December 31, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  11. Terry from West Texas

    Dealing with global terrorism is not a war. This is not World War II. More people died this year of flu than were killed by terrorists during this century. More Americans were shot and killed by Americans than by foreign terrorists. More Americans die from preventable and controllable diseases than die every year from terrorist violence. Terrorisism is more akin to criminal behavior than it is warlike. Muslims love to use warrior language because Islam is a warrior religion. Dealing with terrorists is more like dealing with organized crime.

    In war, to armies face each other and fight it out. In crime, police try to protect innocent parties from criminal violence AND arrest or kill the perpetrators.

    December 31, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. Chris D.

    God Bless the fallen. I for one feel that all Americans civilian, intelligence, and military, are, need to keep up, and continue to fight the good fight.

    December 31, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. Hammerer

    Fighting for a "safer America" with one hand tied behind their back.
    Bound by political correctness, threats of being second guessed at every turn, threats of prosecution for following policy, and not have support of supervisors. But when the chips are down expected to preform without a flaw.

    December 31, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  14. jaxxsn

    yeah, says the man who cleared the way for undercover agents to lose thier lives!!!!!

    December 31, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. RichP the Pocono's

    More stars for the wall. Rest in peace

    December 31, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. IndyVoter

    My Sympathies. God bless our brave men and women in harm's way.

    December 31, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  17. Patrick

    God Speed, patriots.

    December 31, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. A. Smith, Oregon

    In the 1980's the CIA created the Taliban to fight against the Russian troops in Afghanistan. The CIA instructed and trained the Taliban to create and use IED's. The CIA instructed and trained the Taliban to torture captive Russian troops to gain information.

    Thousands of American troops have been killed by the SAME people the CIA trained to build and use IED's.

    It is a refreshing dose of KARMA when a group of CIA Agents get's blown up themselves in Afghanistan by a suicide bomber.

    December 31, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. Jeff

    I don't mean to deny any honorifics or acknowledgment of those killed, however I don't believe that Director Panetta is authorized to have flags at CIA Headquarters be flown at half-staff. I believe that only the President may order flags flown at half-staff on Federal installations.

    December 31, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  20. Liberal wingnut

    Didn't Panetta say America was better off with Obama? How many attacks have we had since his terrorist denial took over Washington?

    December 31, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. gramma 73

    Heartfelt sympathy to the families of the fallen CIA personnel.
    If the US had a real leader we may not be in the mess we find ourselves.
    The blame for this loss is going to bho. He and his let's shake hands and be friends crapola. Ain't gonna work!!! the world is laughing at the US and he sits in Hawaii–to bad he doesn't cut his vacation short and be a president. Ha Ha!! Now that was a good laugh!
    God help the USA and our protectors. Obama is not our protector, he is our emeny within. He is destroying our country and the men and women that are doing their best to protect us.

    December 31, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. Dale

    They gave their lives fighting for the safety of all. We all owe them our thanks.

    December 31, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. Pledge to be alert....

    The obama administration is just not behind the ball to keep the country less pledging and more watching......!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 31, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  24. Joe M

    I would not beleive Panetta if he told me played with himself...He is another Obama political hack job just like Obama, Janet, just like Rahm and all the rest of the crooks in this crooked administration..The need to start profiling and start with OBAMA.

    December 31, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |