“You’re a Liar . . . You Have Blood in Your Hands.”

“You’re a Liar . . . You Have Blood in Your Hands.”

© David Burton 2019

The War on History

     A hard fact of life in the 21st century is that survival is the gut reason for American spying. Enhancing survival means reducing the likelihood that enemy surprise attacks like Pearl Harbor and 9/11 will succeed. Let’s face it - America's spies and its intelligence agencies stand between the American public and a nuclear 9/11. They also stand between America and several thousand other deadly threats from all corners of the earth. But, American intelligence agencies all too often receive bad press for what they do, what they don’t do and for alleged offences with which they are unfairly charged by unknowing people or by those with ulterior and dishonorable motives. Because of the very nature of their work, they most often do not or cannot respond to such accusations. Most activities conducted by these agencies must remain secret. Above all, these agencies must be able to perform their duties to defend these United States against adversaries, many of whom have no regard for international laws, rules of common decency nor any concept of basic humanity or morality. And, there are times when actions enter the realm of questionable legality, e.g., “waterboarding”, “enhanced Interrogation Techniques”, the “CIA rendition program”, etc. I contend that, within these grey areas, protecting America and the lives of American citizens has to be the guiding principle in a war against those who play by no civilized rules. “While Amnesty International continues to protest against the use of torture, the families of those who died on September 11 have no such qualms. As Ray Downing, whose firefighter son was killed in the Twin Towers attack says: ‘They should cut off their fingers one by one until they talk.’ “ (Ref. 1)

     “The United States Intelligence Community (I.C.) is a federation of 16 separate United States government agencies that work separately and together to conduct intelligence activities considered necessary for the conduct of foreign relations and national security of the United States. Member organizations of the I.C. include intelligence agencies, military intelligence, and civilian intelligence and analysis offices within federal executive departments. The I.C. is headed by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), who reports to the President of the United States.
     “Among their varied responsibilities, the members of the Community collect and produce foreign and domestic intelligence, contribute to military planning, and perform espionage. The I.C. was established by Executive Order 12333, signed on December 4, 1981, by U.S. President Ronald Reagan.” (Ref. 2)

The Role of Intelligence

Excerpted – and edited - from Ref. 3:

The functions and missions of intelligence will fluctuate according to the world situation, the availability of resources, and the needs of the Government. Such fluctuations make it essential that senior policymakers devote frequent, if not constant, attention to updating the priorities and collection capabilities that will ensure that the United States retains a strong national security posture.

The Functions of Intelligence

U.S. intelligence has two broad functions - collection and analysis - and one relatively narrow one, covert action. An additional function – counterintelligence - is integral to the entire intelligence process. While the need for collection and analysis is generally understood and accepted, there is less acceptance of covert action as an appropriate intelligence function and less understanding of the critical importance of counterintelligence.


Through various means, intelligence agencies collect information about foreign persons, places, events, and activities that is needed by the U.S. Government but cannot be (or is not easily) obtained through publicly available sources or diplomatic contacts.

In practice, however, this role involves numerous complexities. For example, intelligence analysts need publicly available information to perform analysis, identify gaps in their knowledge, and to task intelligence collectors.

Intelligence managers in each of the principal collection disciplines - signals intelligence (SIGINT), imagery intelligence (IMINT) and human intelligence (HUMINT) - sometimes need to use elaborate collection management systems for each of the disciplines that establish validated requirements and priorities. Together, intelligence professionals and representatives from the policy agencies attempt to weigh competing requirements, and assess the availability of relevant open source material.

All intelligence collection must be weighed in terms of overall U.S. foreign policy interests. When collection activities are contemplated against allied or friendly governments, there should be a rigorous weighing of the political costs against the benefits. Senior policy officials must be involved in this process.


In theory, intelligence analysts take information provided by perhaps all three collection disciplines, combine it with information from publicly available sources, and produce "all source" analysis for the customer. Because the analysis contains information obtained by intelligence sources, it is typically classified.

Covert Action

Covert actions (as distinguished from the covert collection of information) are used to influence political, military, or economic conditions or situations abroad, where it is intended that the role of the U.S. Government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly. These might consist of propaganda activities, support to political or military factions within a particular country, technical and logistical assistance to other governments to deal with problems within their countries, or actions undertaken to disrupt illicit activities that threaten U.S. interests, e.g. terrorism or narcotics trafficking. Such actions complement and supplement parallel overt measures (e.g., diplomacy, trade sanctions, or military activities) undertaken by the Executive branch. By law, covert actions can be undertaken only in support of an "identifiable" foreign policy objective.

Responsibility for carrying out covert actions rests with the CIA, whose Director is charged by the National Security Act of 1947 to "perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security as the President or the National Security Council may direct." By Executive Order, CIA alone is specifically authorized to undertake covert actions that are individually authorized by the President, although other departments and agencies may also be directed to undertake or support covert actions as the President may authorize.

It is essential for the President to maintain covert action as an option. The need to disrupt the activities of a terrorist group, hamper the efforts of a rogue state to develop weapons of mass destruction, or prevent narcotics traffickers from manufacturing drugs for shipment into the United States, requires that the United States should maintain a capability short of military action to achieve its objectives when diplomacy alone cannot do the job.

There are many risks and dangers associated with covert action. But we must live in the world we find, not the world we might wish. Therefore, covert action cannot be abandoned, but should be employed only where clearly essential to vital U.S. purposes and then only after a careful process of high level review. The laws governing covert actions contemplate a "careful process of high level review," including approval by the President and notification to Congress.

Covert action must be consistent with specific U.S. foreign policy objectives in the targeted area. Covert actions should be undertaken only where there is a compelling reason why U.S. involvement cannot be disclosed. Further, the range of covert action options should be weighed to ensure that the methods employed are only as aggressive as needed to accomplish the objective(s). The costs of disclosure must be carefully assessed, and, where such costs are significant, the operation should be initiated only in the most compelling circumstances.

Theresponsibility for paramilitary covert actions should remain with the CIA. The CIA has extraordinary legal authorities and an existing infrastructure that permit the secure conduct of clandestine operations, whereas the military does not. The military should provide support to paramilitary covert actions as needed but should not be given responsibility for them.


The counterintelligence function involves protecting the country, as well as intelligence agencies, from the activities of foreign intelligence services. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has principal responsibility for countering the activities of foreign intelligence services within the United States in order to protect both classified U.S. Government information and proprietary information held by U.S. industry. The CIA is responsible for coordinating U.S. counterintelligence activities abroad. Each of the military departments also has a counterintelligence element that operates domestically and overseas.

Each of these elements has offensive and defensive missions. Offensively, they attempt to recruit agents within foreign intelligence services to ascertain what, if any, operations are being undertaken against the United States; they monitor the activities of known or suspected agents of foreign intelligence services; and they undertake operations to ascertain the targets and modus operandi of foreign intelligence services. Defensively, they investigate cases of suspected espionage and prepare analyses for government and industry concerning the foreign intelligence threat. The FBI has principal jurisdiction to investigate suspected espionage within the United States, although all intelligence agencies maintain internal capabilities to undertake preliminary inquiries of their own employees. Military counterintelligence elements have concurrent jurisdiction to carry out counterintelligence investigations of their respective military personnel.

A policy board, reporting to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs has been established to coordinate counterintelligence activities and resolve interagency disagreements, and a "national counterintelligence center" was created to share and evaluate information regarding foreign intelligence threats.

Because counterintelligence is so crucial to the success of the entire enterprise, however, the Intelligence Community must sustain the renewed emphasis recently placed on this function. Counterintelligence must be viewed not as an annoying intrusion but rather as an integral part of the intelligence process. It must focus not only on protecting our own sensitive information, but equally on efforts to manipulate our collection and analysis, through double agents or other means. This requires a certain openness of mind and a willingness continually to balance the conclusions drawn from intelligence with the possibility of deliberate deception by a target.

The Missions of Intelligence

Support to American Diplomacy

Supporting American diplomats and foreign policy decisionmakers continues to be a principal mission for U.S. intelligence.

This support entails providing advance warning of developments in other countries that will or could affect U.S. interests. Such advance warnings give U.S. policymakers the time to frame an appropriate response and, if possible, to avoid conflicts that might require the introduction of U.S. forces.

Intelligence can also provide information that assists policymakers in determining which of several diplomatic steps may be most effective. Ideally, the best intelligence is precisely that information that provides U.S. policymakers with the leverage to achieve U.S. objectives in international affairs without the commitment of U.S. forces. Intelligence also provides information that serves as the basis for U.S. diplomatic initiatives in bilateral and multilateral treaty negotiations.

Support to Monitoring of Treaties and Other Agreements

Intelligence is essential for monitoring the multitude of treaties, agreements, and sanctions to which the U.S. is a party or has an interest, for example, the dismantlement of the nuclear arsenal of the former Soviet Union, economic sanctions against Iraq and other countries, and agreements prohibiting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Support to Military Operations

Another traditional mission of the Intelligence Community is to provide support to U.S. military operations. This mission encompasses not only warning of attack on U.S. territory and installations, but also providing information needed to plan for and carry out military operations of all kinds. In the past, this has largely involved the provision of order of battle information on opposing military forces: their size, nature, location, morale and capabilities. In recent years, however, this mission has rapidly expanded.

U.S. military operations since the Cold War have been carried out largely in the context of multilateral commitments of forces, increasing the need for joint planning and execution.

It is important to have intelligence that allows the United States to achieve its goals and yet avoid the commitment of military forces, whether that is accomplished through diplomatic action or other means.

Support to Defense Planning

U.S. intelligence continues to support defense planning, another traditional mission. This mission entails providing information on foreign military capabilities in order for defense planners to shape the size, nature, and disposition of U.S. military forces. It also includes necessary information to guide military research and development activities and future military acquisition decisions. It encompasses information about foreign military tactics and capabilities, which can then be used to train and protect U.S. forces.

Economic Intelligence

The Intelligence Community collects and analyzes economic information. This activity focuses on those areas that could affect U.S. national interests, including the economies of foreign countries, worldwide economic trends, and information to support trade negotiations. While much of this information is available from public sources, there are many countries where such information is restricted or not readily available. In such instances, intelligence fills a considerable void.

While other countries have used their intelligence services to spy on U.S. and foreign businesses for the benefit of their national industries, U.S. intelligence agencies are not tasked to engage in "industrial espionage," i.e. obtaining trade secrets for the benefit of a U.S. company or companies.

Increasingly, however, the Intelligence Community has become involved in identifying situations abroad where U.S. commercial firms are being placed at a competitive disadvantage as a result of unscrupulous actions, e.g. bribery and "kickbacks," undertaken by their foreign competitors. When intelligence agencies discover such cases, they advise the Departments of State and Commerce, whose officers may then choose to take diplomatic action with the government concerned to correct the situation.

Countering Activities Abroad That Threaten U.S. Interests

U.S. intelligence has been particularly active in collecting and analyzing information to counter certain "transnational activities" that threaten the lives of U.S. citizens, U.S. installations abroad, and U.S. national interests. These newer missions include:
  • Counterterrorism. Intelligence efforts focus on identifying threats to the United States and its citizens and facilities abroad, but also frequently provide warning to other countries of terrorist activities within their territory.
  • Counternarcotics. Intelligence seeks to provide information to U.S. drug enforcement authorities to prevent drug shipments from reaching the United States and to assist other governments in shutting down production in countries where illegal drugs destined for the United States are produced.
  • Counterproliferation. Intelligence agencies provide information on nations that have developed, or may be developing, weapons of mass destruction, and/or ballistic missile systems to deliver such weapons. Intelligence agencies attempt to identify efforts by countries to build or acquire such weapons and/or their delivery systems where they violate international law or threaten U.S. interests. On occasion, intelligence agencies participate in actions to prevent such activities from taking place.
  • Countering International Organized Crime. Intelligence focuses upon international organized crime principally as a threat to U.S. domestic interests, attempting to identify efforts to smuggle aliens into the United States, counterfeit U.S. currency, perpetrate fraud on U.S. financial institutions, or violate U.S. intellectual property laws. It also attempts to assess international organized crime in terms of its influence upon the political systems of the countries where it operates.
In all of these cases, intelligence information has provided the basis for U.S. diplomatic initiatives, supported U.S. law enforcement efforts to prevent and prosecute such activities, served as the basis for military responses in some cases, and has often been key to the efforts of other governments to bring such activities under control. Frequently, intelligence agencies provide assistance to other governments beyond mere information, for example, by providing training or specialized equipment to cope with certain threats. On occasion, intelligence agencies are authorized to undertake covert operations to counter them.

Support to Criminal Justice and Regulatory Agencies

In addition to providing information to law enforcement agencies about terrorism, drug trafficking, international organized crime, and weapons proliferation, intelligence agencies also frequently are asked to collect or provide information they may have regarding foreign persons or entities who are the subject of criminal investigations within the United States. Intelligence agencies also respond to requests from a variety of U.S. regulatory agencies for intelligence information they may have pertaining to foreign persons or entities who are subject to regulation under U.S. law.

Collecting and Analyzing Environmental Information

The unique collection capabilities of the Intelligence Community are occasionally put to use to obtain information on threats to the world's environment, such as the dumping by the Soviets of radioactive substances in the Arctic or the nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl. Environmental hazards can directly threaten the security of the United States and its citizens, and environmental conditions in other countries can have an indirect effect by causing regional conflicts over scarce resources, uprooting foreign populations, and destabilizing foreign governments. The Community also monitors international compliance with environmental treaties, and provides information and imagery to cope with natural disasters both within the United States and abroad. Analysis of this environmental information is performed on a limited basis.

Collecting and Analyzing Information on World Health Problems

Information on world health problems and the capabilities of foreign countries to cope with t hem has become increasingly relevant to the ability of the United States to predict and respond to crises in other countries and to protect the health and safety of U.S. military forces and humanitarian workers who may be sent to assist. The movement of dangerous diseases to the United States is another major concern, and health problems can pose threats to the stability of foreign governments.

Information Warfare

"Information warfare" refers to activities undertaken by governments, groups, or individuals to gain electronic access to information systems in other countries either for the purpose of obtaining the data in such systems, manipulating or fabricating the data, or perhaps even bringing the systems down, as well as activities undertaken to protect against such activities. U.S. intelligence agencies have been involved in aspects of information warfare, both offensive and defensive, for many years. New impetus has recently been given to these roles, however, by the explosion in information systems and information systems technology.

Government and public communications, transportation, financial, energy, and other industrial systems have become critically dependent on a complex set of interconnected automated information and control systems. Many of these systems are potentially vulnerable to computer-based disruption, manipulation, or corruption by hostile individuals, groups, or countries.

Collecting information about "information warfare" threats posed by other countries or by non-governmental groups to U.S. systems is a legitimate mission for the Intelligence Community. Indeed, it is a mission that has grown and will become increasingly important.

     America’s intelligence community is extremely tightly controlled by the legislative and executive branches of our government as a consequence of the near paranoid distrust by U.S. citizenry of anything that smacks of secrecy. The “primary Executive oversight is performed by the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board {FIAB}, the Joint Intelligence Community Council {JICC}, the Office of the Inspector General {OIG}, and the Office of Management and Budget {OMB}. Primary congressional oversight jurisdiction over the IC is assigned to two committees: the . . . House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence {HPSCI} and the . . . Senate Select Committee on Intelligence {SSCI}. The House Armed Services Committee {HASC} and Senate Armed Services Committee {SASC} draft bills to annually authorize the budgets of DoD intelligence activities, and both the House and Senate appropriations committees annually draft bills to appropriate the budgets of the IC.  . . .” (Ref. 2) The Judicial branch of government is also involved with IC oversight with the Justice Department ruling on what is legal and illegal and the courts of the land, including the Supreme Court, having the last word on what is legal and constitutional.

     Unfortunately, with respect to America’s intelligence agencies, there are many among us who listen but do not hear. Their minds are closed to anything but their preconceived opinions and prejudices. The facts are irrelevant, as is any reasoning that does not conform to their biases. For such individuals, our intelligence agencies are evil, corrupt and intent on taking away American’s individual freedom. They have bought into Hollywood’s all-to-often portrayal of the CIA and other intelligence agencies as a bunch of power-hungry fanatics, intent on taking over our government.

     One example of such a closed-minded preconception occurred following a debate at CPAC, the Conservatives Political Action Conference in 2015. As former CIA head, Michael Hayden, was leaving the stage following the debate, one female shouted, “You’re a liar, Hayden. You have blood on your hands.”[4; Pg 431] The heckler had sat through the debate without hearing anything but what she wanted to hear. She lived in her own world, one where no one spoke the truth if what she heard was different from her biased preconceptions. Facts be damned, along with those who dared to present them!

     In interviews presented in the TV program "The Spymasters: CIA in the Crosshairs, 12 living CIA directors, including a former president of the United States were interviewed. (Ref. 5) Perhaps to the surprise of many, these former CIA directors came across as honorable Americans intent on protecting the United States from a variety of dangerous and vicious enemies. They were not the power-hungry, unscrupulous sociopaths that some detractors of the Intelligence Community would portray them as. They were essentially unanimous in describing the work conducted under them as necessary, lawful, targeted, and vital to the defense on the United States. They oversaw and directed government agencies that obeyed the laws of the land and were under the control and direct of the President (the executive branch), Congress (the legislative branch) and the Courts (the judicial branch). They operated within the constraints of U.S. laws, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the oversight of all three branches of our elected and appointed government. At the same time, they faced ever-changing and growing new threats to America and the rest of the world and an accelerating growth in new technologies, especially with respect to communication.

     Among those screaming about abuses committed by America’s spy agencies are the conspiracy theory crowd. They believe the Hollywood depictions of the CIA. For, them the CIA is run by shadowy all-powerful individuals who operate above the laws of the land. All CIA personnel are daring James Bond types who kill without compunction. The actual facts of how the CIA and the other constituent parts of America’s intelligence community are completely unknown to them and, most importantly, the facts are irrelevant. They are convinced that heinous conspiracies are routinely being committed and nothing can be said or done that can convince them otherwise. They are firmly convinced that all members of the intelligence community, particularly the heads of these agencies, are daily committing criminal acts and all should be thrown in jail and the key thrown away. They all lie and they all have blood on their hands.

     Too many of us think of America’s intelligence services as being composed of either Jason Bourne (played by Matt Damon) type super-hero CIA assassins, of evil minded scientists or of power-hungry madmen like the fictional CIA director Robert Dewey (played by Tommy Lee Jones) in the Jason Bourne movie series. “While the CIA may have cool spy tools that even James Bond would be proud to use, such as a robot fish that samples water and insect-sized listening devices, the CIA is a lot different than Hollywood portrays it to be.” (Ref. 6) To be realistic, fiction does not imitate truth in this case.

     In my previous life as an engineer, I often had the opportunity to work on projects that involved the CIA, the FBI and various organizations within the Department of Defense. I can unequivocally state the people within these organizations who I met and worked with/for were not the Rambo or James Bond characters portrayed by Hollywood. Most people working for the CIA are not spies as many people think of them. Most are analysts, engineers, technicians and such. They work in offices, most right here in the U.S. They are no different than you or I. They are not the blood-thirsty supermen, devoid of any conscience, that the conspiracy theorists and publicity hounds would try to have one believe. They have the same values and respect for the laws of this land that you and I do. But, in several very important respects, they are very different from you and me – every single day, they bear the burden of defending this country; what they do or don’t do may mean the lives of hundreds or thousands of people; and, by and large, they can’t tell us (or our enemies) what they are doing.

     Much has been written and said in the media by unknowing parties who, for whatever their reasons, object to our intelligence collection agencies collecting intelligence – an oxymoron, if ever there was one. What, in fact, is being collected by our spy agencies has been identified as metadata as opposed as to the raw data, conversation or information in the transmission. So just what is metadata? What you are now reading is the raw data or the message that I am, conveying to you. In this case, the message consists of unencoded words, sent from my computer through the internet to your computer. What you don’t see is the metadata, which in this case, are words or identifiers that I entered and which are not included in the text you are reading. This metadata is used by search engines to find sources of relevant information. For example, some of the metadata that I entered for this article are: CIA, intelligence, spying, government, and constitution. So if you asked your search engine to find articles about the CIA, your search engine would search for articles in which CIA was included in the article’s metadata.

     What the intelligence community has been telling us is that it has been collecting metadata and not the raw material. The metadata allows them to establish links between potential enemies, threats and terrorists. Such links are often referred to as threads. For instance, suppose terrorist A contacted person A who contacted person B. Next, suppose, terrorist B sent a message to person C who relayed the message to Person B. Authorities would then have reason to investigate or keep track of person B. All of this could be accomplished without ever reading the messages being transmitted. As a practical matter, it would be impossible for the intelligence services to read, listen to, and view all the raw material that they are conceivably capable of collecting – there is simply too much raw material being transmitted in today’s modern world. And that applies to unencrypted and unencoded data transmissions – America’s enemies encrypt and encode their secrets. An unencrypted terrorist message to set off a bomb at 10:00 am tomorrow might read as: “Be sure the surprise present arrives at 10:00 tomorrow morning in time for the birthday party.”

     It's easy to sit in the comfort of one’s living room and pontificate about what’s right and what’s wrong in the world of intelligence and spying. It’s not so easy if the lives of hundreds or thousands of people depend on your decisions and actions. If you had to break the law to save a person’s life – would you? If you had to break the law to save the lives of 10,000 people – would you? If you had to take one life to save the lives on 100,000 innocent people – would you? Espionage can be a dirty business, but someone has to do it!

     The Bill of Rights, Amendment IV states:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” (Ref. 7) Under the protection of this amendment and, despite, the claims to the contrary by the conspiracy theorists, most of us need not overly concern ourselves with the fear that the CIA will be reading all letters, e-mails, text messages and listening to our private phone conversations. Those of us who do have a genuine concern are most likely the ones who should be the objects of intense scrutiny by our intelligence services!

     To put it in simple terms, The world of intelligence/espionage ain’t what it used to be!“ The world of espionage is facing tremendous technological, political, legal, social, and commercial changes. The winners will be those who break the old rules of the spy game and work out new ones. They will need to be nimble and collaborative . . .
      - - -
     “. . . {Today,} intelligence agencies in democratic countries no longer enjoy the legitimacy bequeathed on them in the past or the glamor that rubbed off from Hollywood and spy fiction. . . Spymasters increasingly have to justify what they do and accept unprecedented levels of legislative and judicial scrutiny.
      - - -
     “As Western spymasters seek to manage the challenges presented by new technology, they are facing far greater political and legal constraints than their adversaries. Indeed, authoritarian states have an advantage over liberal democracies.
     “Many Western societies are fiercely debating the issue of intelligence oversight—and that debate is healthy. But for all their flaws, there is a categorical difference between the way big Western agencies operate—under judicial, legislative, executive, and other constraints—and the means and methods of their counterparts in places such Russia or China. Getting access to mobile phone records in the West takes more than a mouse click. It typically requires a warrant, which must be sought through a bureaucratic process. In Moscow and Beijing, it’s easy. Indeed, China’s national security law expressly requires every individual and corporation, state-run or not, to aid the intelligence services.
      - - -
     “As political scrutiny intensifies, Western intelligence agencies are operating in an unfamiliar and increasingly hostile environment. Public concerns about privacy have mushroomed because of the intrusive and careless behavior of tech giants. Trust in governments has fallen. Spies—in most democratic countries—cannot take public acceptance of their activities for granted. They must also assume that public opinion will continue to shift against them.
     “Spies today increasingly need to work with lawyers, both to counter adversaries’ reliance on lawfare—the use of the legal system to delegitimize an enemy or win a public relations victory—and to test the legality of their own operations. Even if national security exemptions apply to the details of sources, methods, and intelligence material provided to decision-makers, the legal environment is intrusive and constraining. A Western intelligence officer can no longer go on so-called fishing expeditions, trawling through emails and other private material in the hope of finding clues that will help steal secrets or catch spies. Instead, the breach of privacy has to be justified in advance and is also subject to retrospective review.
      - - -
     “Intelligence officials must also reckon with the fact that sanctioned illegality today may get them into trouble tomorrow. Extraordinary rendition of suspected terrorists, for example, has been the subject of intense legislative scrutiny in the United States. . .
     “Such legal worries would have been unheard of during the Cold War, when no explicit legal framework governed spy activities. Now, due to freedom of information legislation in many countries, intelligence officers must reckon with the possibility that in 30 years’ time—when documents are declassified—they may be held accountable for decisions that seem entirely justifiable today but will be highly questionable by the standards of the future.” (Ref. 8)

     Today, more than ever, America needs an unbiased, apolitical, and extremely effective intelligence community to protect us against an ever-growing world-wide set of threats. The intelligence agencies need to be totally objective and independent of any and all political influences. They need to be able to present facts, analyses, and conclusions independent of preconceptions or biases. They must have leadership strong enough to stand up to our all attempted influences from the congressional and executive branches of our government. Above all and at all cost, America’s intelligence agencies must work in concert to protect the United States of America and its people. They must do this in the face of misconception, misrepresentation, political agendas, prejudices, and utter stupidity. Today’s world is too dangerous to have it any other way!

     In the very dangerous world in which we find ourselves today, America doesn’t need a president who considers himself to be a civil libertarian purist. You can't be president and be a civil libertarian purist; in a life and death crisis, the president's job can get very dirty. America doesn’t need an egotistical president who believes that he knows more about espionage than the professionals tasked to do America’s spying, one who ignores the experts’ analyses and recommendations in favor of his own ill-informed opinions, biases and preconceptions. Perhaps, above all else, America’s intelligence agencies need a supportive president who understands the realities of and need for intelligence gathering, espionage and all the other necessary functions of our intelligence services.

  1. CIA will do what needs to be done, SpaceBattles.com, 11 March 2003.
  2. United States Intelligence Community, Wikipedia, Accessed 24 May 2016.
  3. The Role of Intelligence, Federation of American Scientists, https://fas.org/irp/offdocs/int006.html,
    Accessed 27 June 2019.
  4. Playing to the Edge, Michael V. Hayden, PENGUIN PRESS, 2016.
  5. "The Spymasters: CIA in the Crosshairs,", CBSN, 17 November 2015.
  6. Hollywood Myths vs. the Real CIA, Central Intelligence Agency: News and Information, 30 April 2013.
  7. Bill of Rights, History.com, Accessed 25 May 2016.
  8. The Spycraft Revolution, Edward Lucas, Foreign Policy, 27 April 2019.
  18 July 2019 {Article 369; Suggestions?_26    
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