THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY GENERAL MICHAEL CARNS WITHDRAWING HIS NOMINATION TO DIRECTOR OF THE CIA
I desire to withdraw my name from consideration to be the next Director of Central Intelligence. An allegation that I failed to properly compensate a young Filipino who legally accompanied us to the United States appears substantially correct. I was not aware of this inadvertent error until a copy of a contract signed by my wife was shown to me this past Thursday, 2 March. My wife has no recollection of signing this document but we believe it is probably authentic. Moreover, I failed to ensure that I was conversant in detail with the terms of his visa issued in 1987 and I accept responsibility. I believe these innocent errors may not be properly understood and will be exploited to question my competency and suitability.
The former notwithstanding, the principal reason for my withdrawal is that a list of venomous and abusive accusations have been put forth -- all without merit -- which are aimed at smearing my wife and my children. This is conduct simply beyond the pale and kills any willingness on my part to proceed with the confirmation.
Unfortunately, in today's confirmation proceedings one is innocent until nominated. Thereafter one must struggle to prove innocence. This is a very serious and growing deterrent in attracting good people willing to serve their country.
These unwarranted attacks on family and well being far outweigh my willingness to be subjected to an innocence proceeding. Family comes first.
Finally, I am grateful to the President for believing I had the competence and the capacity to serve. If I had been confirmed, it would have been the challenge of a lifetime. Every best wish for success to the new Director of Central Intelligence.