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 Home > News & Policies > December 2004

For Immediate Release
December 15, 2004

Global Message

From remarks by President Bush at the Presentation of the Medal of Freedom awards, 12/14/04

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the United States' highest civil award given to men and women of exceptional merit, integrity and achievement. CIA Director George Tenet, General Tommy Franks, and Ambassador Paul Bremer received the award on Tuesday.

CIA Director George Tenet: -Acted quickly and aggressively to rebuild the Central Intelligence Agency's capabilities and made new talent recruitment a top priority; -Was one of the first to recognize and address the growing threat to America from radical terrorist networks; and -Was immediately ready after the September 11th terrorist attacks with a plan to strike back at al Qaeda and to topple the Taliban.

General Tommy Franks: -Served in Germany, Korea, at the Pentagon, at the Army War College, in the Persian Gulf War, and in Vietnam; -As the commander of CENTCOM, was responsible for defending American interests in some of the most remote and difficult terrain in the world; and -Led the forces that fought and won two wars in the defense of the world's security, and helped liberate more than 50 million people from two of the worst tyrannies in the world.

Ambassador Jerry Bremer: -Will be remembered for his superb work in laying the foundations of a new democracy in the Middle East; -Worked to stabilize Iraq, help its people rebuild, and to establish a political process that would lead to justice and liberty. -Earned the respect and admiration of Iraqis, and helped assemble Iraqi leaders for the country's Governing Council.