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Retired CIA officer talks to area students

By Angela Yingling
Published On: Dec 24 2013 09:14:07 AM CST
Updated On: Oct 07 2013 03:45:50 PM CDT

As a 26-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Buchanan has seen many parts of the world and knows secrets that will never be shared with most Americans.

BRISTOL, Tenn. -

As a 26-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Buchanan has seen many parts of the world and knows secrets that will never be shared with most Americans.

Buchanan can't share many details, but what he can talk about he's telling students at King University. "I did do some assignments where I served permanently overseas. All in all I served in about 50 different countries, either permanently or in temporary capacity," says Buchanan.

One of the most memorable nights for Buchanan came in May 2011."I was the director of the Situation Room on the day that we killed Osama bin Laden," he told us.

In fact, Buchanan is in the famous photo taken that night in the Situation Room. "I was standing in the doorway. You can't see my face but if you look closely in the doorway you can see my shoulder, just behind the chief of staff Bill Daley," he said.

While at King, Buchanan is speaking four times. His visit is sponsored by the King Security and Intelligence studies group, or KSI, a group senior student Ryan Nichols is part of. "It’s absolutely incredible. To have someone who was head of the situation room who works directly with the president, it's pretty awesome."

When looking at careers after college, Nichols says getting to hear from someone like Buchanan is the opportunity of a lifetime. "I'm Definitely not going to get all of this stuff in a textbook," he said.

Buchanan retired from the CIA in September 2011. He says he doesn't do speeches often, but had a family connection to this region and King University.