Statement to the Workforce from D/CIA Brennan about President Obama’s Intent to Nominate Stephen Preston as DOD General Counsel
June 10, 2013
The White House today announced President Obama’s intent to nominate our General Counsel, Stephen Preston, to be General Counsel of the Department of Defense.
Over the past four years, Stephen has well and faithfully served three CIA Directors and the men and women of our Agency, not only as the chief legal officer but also as a leader among Executive Branch lawyers in confronting challenges at the confluence of law and national security.
Stephen played a major role within the Administration in developing a firm, common understanding of the legal framework governing the use of force in US Government counterterrorism operations abroad. He has been a strong advocate of explaining that legal framework to Congress and, within the constraints of protecting national security information, to the American people.
As my senior legal advisor, he has provided excellent legal counsel as well as sound judgment as a member of the Agency’s leadership team. In addition, during his watch, the Office of General Counsel has undergone organizational changes—relating to investigation support, ethics advice, and acquisition integrity—so that OGC can better meet the needs of the Agency.
Stephen was awarded the Distinguished Intelligence Medal and the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal last year in recognition of his efforts during the run-up to the operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in which Usama Bin Ladin was brought to justice.
On behalf of all of us at CIA, I wish Stephen the very best in the appointment process and thank him for his profound contributions to our Agency and to the Nation’s security, past, present, and future.
John O. Brennan