“The pundits forget that if we had been so fortunate as to interdict any of the nineteen 9-11 hijackers, months before the attacks, they might have been dismissed as a laughable bunch of losers who didn't inspire fear or confidence. The liquids plot saga turned out to be emblematic of my CIA career. If there was a common thread during my lengthy time at the agency it was that no good deed went unpunished. The liquid plot incident further drove home to me the importance of swift action, of nimble decision making, and of being able to hold and interrogate key terrorist suspects ourselves without relying on surrogates who have a different and uncertain agenda.

Throughout my career controversy followed me around like a hungry dog. I wish all my decisions and all my actions were universally supported and applauded, but I am comfortable with who I am and what I have done. I have been extraordinarily privileged to play a role in some historic events and believe I'm uniquely positioned to explode some myths and clarify some mysteries that have heretofore gone unexplained.

As memories of 9-11 faded, political correctness and timidity grew. The unanimity of support that the intelligence community enjoyed eroded and one by one the tools needed to fight those that wish to destroy our country have been taken away. Worse, those men and women who volunteered to carry out our Nation's orders in combating Al Qaeda found themselves second guessed, investigated, and shunned.”

Jose A. Rodriguez
Hard Measures: How Agressive CIA Actions After 9-11 Saved American Lives

“We have to speak for animals because they don't have a voice.”

Mom

“One morning in May, on the front page of The New York Times, there was a photograph of a soldier firing his rifle at Taliban attackers from the ramparts of Fire Base Restrepo in Afghanastan. An Associated Press photographer had captured Specialist Zachary Boyd defending his Fire Base dressed in helmet, body armor, flip flops, and pink boxer shorts with little red hearts in which were printed, ‘I Love New York’. I burst out laughing. Any soldier who goes into battle against the Taliban in pink boxers and flip flops has a special kind of courage, I said publicly. What an incredible innovation in psychological warfare. I loved that picture so much that an enlargement hung on the wall outside my office for two years.”

former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates
Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War