The Commission dedicates this report to the memory of Les Aspin, the distinguished former chairman of the Armed Services Committee of the House of Representatives, former Secretary of Defense, and former Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. He served as Chairman of the Commission from February 3, 1995 until his untimely passing on May 21, 1995.
Les undertook this inquiry with his usual intensity and curiosity, attempting to assimilate as many facts and opinions from as many people as he could possibly cram into a day's schedule. This particular undertaking was yet another of the intellectual puzzles Les so relished and was so good at solving. He infected us with his enthusiasm and educated us with his insights. While his loss was a severe blow, we followed the path he had laid out for us, and his example motivated us each step of the way. Les so eagerly anticipated bringing this report to fruition. It is, therefore, only fitting that we dedicate it to him now with a deeply felt sense of affection and gratitude.
The Commission also takes this occasion, as Les would want us to do, to pay special tribute to the men and women of the Intelligence Community who have given their lives in the service of their country. Their sacrifices, often made in anonymity, have made the world a safer place for us all.