Let's face it, working the overnight shift on Christmas Eve stinks. And apparently CIA Director Mike Hayden knows that. So what did the spy chief do on Monday? At exactly 11:45 p.m., we hear, he sent a Christmas Eve thank-you message via E-mail to all hands on deck around the globe. His missive:
"One of CIA's defining qualities is the willingness of our officers to put country first and Agency before self. Tonight, hundreds of you give meaning to those words. Manning duty stations across the globe,you represent the very best of what our agency promises to be--an alert and steady guardian, protecting the American people. Jeanine and I, along with the rest of your colleagues, have you in our thoughts tonight. We are sincerely grateful for your dedication and selflessness. Please also convey our appreciation to your families. Merry Christmas."
And it didn't end there. He also sent a video to everyone associated with the spy agency. In that, he and his wife continued the charm offensive the spy boss has pushed since taking over at the agency. Here's the text of that video:
"General Hayden: Jeanine and I feel very privileged to be part of the CIA family, and we send all of you warm wishes for a joyous holidayseason. It's a time to appreciate what we work so hard to protect--our families, our friends, and our American way of life."
"Jeanine Hayden: For those of you posted far from home, Mike and I offer our deepest gratitude for your service and dedication. Please pass along our thanks to your families, whose sacrifice, understanding, and support make such a strong contribution to the success of our Agency. And may the season's spirit of peace and fellowship be with you wherever you serve."
"General Hayden: Looking back on the year, each of us can be proud of what CIA has achieved. You have helped guide our nation's leaders in meeting challenges overseas. You have served with distinction in Iraq, Afghanistan, and everywhere our mission demands. Above all, you have kept the American people safe. That's the ultimate measure of our work,the product of great skill and deep devotion to our country. Last week, at our holiday reception here in headquarters, Jeanine and I had the opportunity to thank many of you for your service. And we hope all of you enjoy the warmth and cheer of the season. In our home, we share that joy by saying Merry Christmas. We wish you and those dear to you that same happiness, throughout the holidays and into the New Year."
By Paul Bedard