At CIA headquarters, Biden praises US intelligence for Putin’s warnings

LANGLEY, Virginia, July 8 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden on Friday thanked staff at Central Intelligence Agency headquarters for warning the world about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans to invade Ukraine, praising what he called the “quiet courage” of America’s spies.

On the occasion of the CIA’s 75th anniversary, Biden said he was involved with the agency for 52 of those years, first as a junior senator on a 1975 commission set up to investigate experiments with mind control and other abuses by the agency. .

Intelligence gathered by the CIA had exposed Putin’s plans and enabled Washington to warn other countries about the war, he said.

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“It was thanks to the incredible work of our intelligence services that we were able to warn the world about what Vladimir Putin was planning in Ukraine,” he said. Exposing Putin’s script cut a huge hole in pretension and discredited his lies about what we were doing in Ukraine.

Before the Russian invasion on February 24, when Russia mustered more than 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border, Putin repeatedly accused the United States and other Western powers of deliberately creating a scenario to lure Moscow into war.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation.”

Biden’s speech was in stark contrast to that of former President Donald Trump, who made his first speech as president at CIA headquarters, where he criticized the news media and his political opponents for the “wall of stars” commemorating dozens of CIA agents who died in service.

Biden noted that two stars had been added to the wall this year. “Your physical health and well-being are critical to me and to your leadership here at the CIA,” Biden said, in a possible reference to Havana Syndrome, a series of anomalous health incidents that affected some 200 U.S. diplomats and intelligence agencies. officers worldwide.

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Reporting by Jeff Mason in Langley, Va., Written by Andrea Shalal Editing by Heather Timmons and Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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