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Letter Accepting the Resignation of William J. Casey as Director of Central Intelligence

February 02, 1987

Dear Bill:

It is with profound regret that I accept your resignation as Director of Central Intelligence.

When I nominated you to this post just over six years ago and you took your seat as a member of my Cabinet, the United States faced an array of foreign policy challenges. Many of these challenges flowed naturally from America's position as leader of the Free World. Others, however, were of our own making, reflecting the relative decline in our military strength and the steady erosion of our intelligence capabilities. We came to office determined to restore that strength and those capabilities, the keys to a future of peace and freedom for ourselves and for all mankind.

To achieve these goals, we needed first to remind ourselves both that our mission was worthwhile and that we were worthy to succeed in it. At such a time, America could not have been more fortunate than to have at its service a person of your experience and courage. First and foremost, you brought to the Central Intelligence Agency a keen sense of history, a deep understanding of the geopolitical forces at work in the 20th century. With the Office of Strategic Services in World War II, you guided intelligence activity in Eisenhower's theatre of operation. You saw the value of sophisticated intelligence during one of the most critical periods in our Nation's history. You saw firsthand what pride and morale mean to those on the front lines of freedom. I know that nothing gives you greater satisfaction than the knowledge that, forty years later, you have helped restore that sense of pride and morale to America's intelligence services during another critical hour.

America has been blessed to have the service and the spirit of Bill Casey. You have given your fellow citizens your very best not only in my Administration, but in all the varied roles you have taken on during your distinguished career. As a businessman, lawyer, author, professor, and public servant, you consistently achieved great success through hard work, a sustained vision of the public good, and fidelity to the values that make our Nation great.

From the days of the campaign in 1980 through the transition and halfway through this second term, I have been fortunate to have you by my side. Your commitment and your achievements will continue in the institutions of government which you led so well and in the cause of liberty you so proudly served.

As you know, I am holding open for you the position of Counsellor to the President for whenever you feel your recovery is sufficient to assume those responsibilities.

On behalf of all Americans, thank you for all you've done. Nancy and I send you and Sophia our warmest wishes.



29 January 1987

Dear Mr. President:

I herewith submit my resignation as Director of Central Intelligence effective this date, January 29, 1987. It has been a great honor serving you.



Note: The original of Mr. Casey's letter was not available for verification of its contents.

Ronald Reagan, Letter Accepting the Resignation of William J. Casey as Director of Central Intelligence Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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