Rerun: The Intelligence Professional (2)

Continuing my thoughts on intelligence as a profession:

Many Americans cite intelligence failures. It’s an imperfect discipline and not always successful. But I posit that for every failure one can name, there are literally hundreds of spectacular successes about which the public knows nothing because sources and methods must remain secret.

To me, intelligence is an honorable profession. Its purpose is to uncover and reveal the truth. I take great—and to me completely justified—pride in the work I did during my thirty-five year career in the business. I saved many lives by discovering what our enemies were up to. I could have saved many more had the decision-makers listened to me when I warned them about what was going to happen. Instead, the Cassandra Effect took its toll.

So I plead with Americans to honor spies who risk everything, even their lives, to provide the truth to our leaders. And I ask our leaders to listen to their intelligence experts before they act. I worry that our current president may court disaster by ignoring and even attacking his intelligence professionals. Thus blinded and deaf to threats from other nations, we could well face catastrophe.

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