An ex-CIA operations officer wrote this piece in the NY Times regarding the affront she and other officers felt when our president stood in front of the wall of stars at the CIA honoring those who gave their life for this country.
The 81st star belongs to Gregg Wenzel, clandestine officer, and former Dade County Assistant Public Defender. We've written about Mr. Wenzel here and here.
From the NY Times:
When the 81st star was carved into the wall in 2003, the fallen patriot’s name was not added to the accompanying Book of Honor. At the time, his C.I.A. affiliation was classified, as it remained for nearly six more years. I will never forget seeing his family at the ceremony, knowing they could not tell their loved ones the truth about his death. He died with nobody knowing who he was or what he did for our country. But I believe that is how he would have wanted it, because, as the former C.I.A. director Leon E. Panetta said when finally revealing my friend’s name in 2009, “He lived for a purpose greater than himself.”
Gregg Wenzel left his law career to serve his country after Sept. 11, 2001. He died at 33 years old, in Ethiopia, while working tirelessly in pursuit of information needed to help protect this country. I don’t know if he was a liberal or a conservative; I don’t know whom he voted for. I know only that he was dedicated, loyal, adventurous and a jokester. And he welcomed me as a sister when we met overseas, knowing nothing more than that I was a colleague and shared his sense of mission.
Make no mistake about one thing in our day and age: character counts. Character is what you do and how you act when no one is looking. Gregg Wenzel had character, honor, integrity. He believed and lived and died for the credo Duty; Honor; County.
There are just some people who have not earned the right to even stand before the 81st star, the 80 stars before the 81st, and those that have come and will sadly come in the future.
See you in court.
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