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William H. Webster

At the Legion's Legislative Conference in Washington in 1987, Past National Commander James Dean presented Webster, then CIA director, with the Legion's Distinguished Service Medal.

After serving in World War II as a Navy lieutenant and again in the Korean War, Webster returned home to St. Louis and a private law practice. In time, he entered public service as a U.S. attorney, then became a U.S. district judge and an appellate court judge.

Webster is the first person to have directed both the FBI and the CIA. President Carter named him the sixth director of the FBI in 1978, where he served until President Reagan named him the 14th director of the CIA in 1987. He served the agency until he retired in 1991, at 67.

Currently, Webster serves as chairman of the Homeland Security Advisory Council. Appointed by George W. Bush in 2002, he continues to serve under President Obama. He has been chairman since 2006.

Webster also sits on the Middle East Institute's Board of Governors. He has received several awards for public service and law enforcement, and holds numerous honorary degrees, including one from the Institute of World Politics in 2008.

In a 2002 debate on national security and personal liberty, Webster remarked: "Security is always seen as too much until the day it's not enough ... Order protects liberty and liberty protects order."

During that same appearance, Webster praised President George W. Bush for not reacting rashly to the 9/11 attacks. "He did not launch seven ballistic missiles. He didn't even launch one." But he stressed the need for a strong U.S. diplomatic reaction: "We need to work harder at getting our values out to those parts of the world that are most hostile to us. You can call it public propaganda if you want. I call it public diplomacy."

For more on Webster, click here (http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/structure/biography_0077.shtm).

 

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