Today, Secretary Rice delivered farewell remarks to the State Department press corps. During her last press briefing at the State Department, Secretary Rice said:
"So many times around the world, I’ve found myself in discussions about democratic institutions, democratic change, the need to respect human rights, the need to give liberty and freedom to peoples who are living in tyranny. Many times, throughout discussions with countries that are trying to break free of authoritarianism or in cases where countries are still under authoritarian rule, I’ve found myself defending the free press. I’ve found myself talking about specific reporters who have been held, about internet bloggers who have been charged with crimes. I’ve found myself defending newspapers. I’ve found myself talking about journalists who, just in their pursuit of truth, have actually paid the final price in the greatest measure.
And because of those conversations, I think it has, for me, affirmed and reaffirmed again and again what I’ve always known, and that is that America is very fortunate indeed to have at its core, from its founding, and until now a press that takes seriously its responsibilities to democracy, seriously its responsibilities to hold officials accountable, and seriously its responsibilities to tell the truth. And in working with each and every one of you, I see that professionalism and that commitment. And it’s been really a great honor and a great pleasure not just to represent the United States of America, but to do it in the glare of your cameras and your pens. (Laughter.)
Thank you very, very much."Read the Secretary's full statement.