(Texts: White House, Woolsey statements) (630)

Washington -- President Clinton December 28 accepted the resignation of the

director of the Central Intelligence Agency, R. James Woolsey.

A written statement released by the office of the president's press

secretary said the resignation was accepted "with regret," but it did not

indicate when or why Woolsey had resigned.

But it also released a statement by Woolsey saying he had tendered his

resignation in a December 26 letter to the president and noting that his

family figured "prominently" in "making the decision to return to the

private sector."

In the White House statement, Clinton called Woolsey "a staunch advocate"

for maintaining intelligence-gathering at a high level of professionalism

and credited him with improving the quality of the analyses provided by the

CIA and with correcting "security and management lapses in the critical

area of counterintelligence," such as those revealed in the Aldrich Ames


Following is the text of the White House statement:

(begin text White House statement)

The president today announced that he had accepted with regret the

resignation of R. James Woolsey as director of the Central Intelligence

Agency.  In doing so, the president praised Woolsey's many accomplishments

in advancing the transformation of U.S. intelligence in the aftermath of

the Cold War.

"Jim Woolsey has been a staunch advocate of maintaining an intelligence

capability that is second to none.  He has taken initiatives to streamline

and improve costly collection systems, improve the quality of both analysis

and intelligence and correct security and management lapses in the critical

area of counterintelligence.  Jim Woolsey deserves the gratitude of all

Americans for his service to our country.  He has my deep appreciation,"

the president said.

The president reiterated the importance that intelligence plays in

protecting American interests around the world.

"Intelligence is a vital element of our nation's power and influence.  The

men and women of U.S. intelligence must know how grateful I am for their

1edicated and often unheralded service.  I remain committed to ensuring

that they have the support, resources and leadership needed to continue

their outstanding service to their country."

(end text White House statement)

(begin text Woolsey statement)

In a letter to the president on December 26, 1994, I tendered my resignation

as director of Central Intelligence.  I said that I was available to serve

as long as until the end of January, if the president wishes, in order to

assist in a transition.  Serving as DCI has been a privilege and an honor

and I remain grateful to President Clinton for the opportunity to be part

of his administration.  In making the decision to return to the private

sector, however, my family figures prominently.  For their patience and

understanding in the face of lost evenings, weekends and holidays, it is

time for recompense.

Intelligence remains vital to our national security.  We have taken major

steps in the last two years to reshape American intelligence and ensure

that the CIA and the intelligence community can support the president, his

policymakers, military commanders, and the Congress with intelligence of

the highest quality well into the next century.  As the administration and

Congress review the community, I intend to continue to contribute to the

discussion of its roles and missions in the years ahead.

Finally, I am grateful for the opportunity to have served with the

exceptional men and women of the intelligence community and of the Central

Intelligence Agency in particular.  Their patriotism, dedication, pride,

skill, and unpublicized achievements are hallmarks of the finest qualities

and accomplishments of the federal service.  They continue to be central to

the nation's security.  I look forward to introducing my successor to the

best of the best.

(end text Woolsey statement)