Polemics & Exchanges

On the Intelligence Crisis

As the “legendary agent” mentioned so prominently in Dr. Philip Jenkins’ article (“The Next Intelligence Crisis,” Vital Signs, June), I would like to make a few points of my own.

I agree with much of what Dr. Jenkins says, particularly that “the United States needs a much stronger and more proactive intelligence apparatus.”  I also subscribe to the point touched on throughout his piece, that intelligence agents (or “case officers,” as they are known in the CIA) move by necessity in a corruptive environment and need to be alert to its dangers.  We were warned in training and repeatedly throughout our careers to avoid “being corrupted by the tools of the trade.”  Some failed to heed the warning, and their names are mentioned in Dr. Jenkins’ article.

However, I am perplexed by Dr. Jenkins’ willingness to cite David Corn, an editor of the extreme-left Nation.  As a contributor to the “paleoconservative” Chronicles, Dr. Jenkins demonstrates the kind of neutrality that an historian must always strive for.  However, to rely so exclusively on the uncorroborated word of a partisan journalist reveals a painful absence of skepticism.

Some of what Corn had to say about me in his book is true.  Some is...

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