Recently retrieved from a wastebasket in the Oval Office of The White House:
Dear Mr. President:
It is with great regret that I offer my resignation. It has truly been an honor and a pleasure working under you these last six years.
No matter what people say, I think we can both be proud of the things we accomplished. I know I will always cherish the many near misses and our occasional brush with success.
Some observers will undoubtedly criticize me for rushing into projects unprepared. That is their right.
But if fools rush in where wise men fear to tread, then I’m proud to be labelled a fool. And I’m doubly proud that you, sir, were right there at my side.
I will always admire your abundance (some would say overabundance) of that quintessential American quality called sticktoitiveness. You were never afraid to declare "mission accomplished" even before the job was completed.
I am saddened that you have faced public criticism for some of my decisions. Just because the ultimate authority always rested with you should never detract from the fact that I and others were actually calling the shots.
Frankly, sir, it comes as somewhat of a relief to be done with my job. It is very frustrating to be criticized day after day by people who have no patience and measure success in completely different ways from you and me.
We know that any job worth doing is worth doing over the course of decades, not just years. Those who believe in the quick fix or the so-called slam dunk will never understand what real work means.
Let’s face it, sir, small minds cannot achieve greatness. They would have us explore all options and plan for every contingency before taking even the smallest of baby steps.
But to achieve true greatness, risks must be taken and rules must be broken. Not only did we think outside the box, we even questioned the box’s very existence.
We in our business know that it’s a dog eat dog, take no prisoners world out there and that our seat of the pants, anything goes attitude will, in the end, always come out on top. And if we were to take prisoners, we’d make them sorry they ever surrendered. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
Someone once said "A man’s reach should exceed his grasp or what’s a heaven for?" I don’t know what the heck that means but somehow I feel that that is just what we were doing.
I know that some of our competitors will take joy in my departure. But if they think my leaving will deplete our team’s ranks of single-minded, unilateral risk takers, they are sadly mistaken.
Some will no doubt speculate that you asked me to resign and will read all kinds of things into my decision. But you and I both know that you didn’t ask for my resignation, at least not directly.
Finally, let me just say how proud I am to have contributed to the success of your administration in whatever small, insignificant way that I could. Thank you for your almost unwavering support and good luck in pursuing whatever goals you have in mind. May freedom and democracy flourish wherever you go.
Please carry on your mission without me knowing that, whatever else happens in my life, I will always have a special place in my heart for the Iraq that might have been.