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HOUSTON (AP) — Former President George H.W. Bush reasserted his confidence in the work of the CIA despite a Senate Intelligence Committee finding that it torture was part of its post-9/11 interrogation program.

Bush served as CIA director in the last year of the Ford administration in 1976. In a statement released through a spokesman, the former president said of the agency’s men and women that he “learned firsthand that they are among the very finest people serving in the United States government — whose selfless and often dangerous work, always behind the scenes, went unheralded.”

He said he felt compelled to reassert his confidence in the agency “and to thank those throughout its ranks for their ongoing and vitally important work to keep America safe and secure.”

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