In this episode of Intelligence Matters: Declassified host Michael Morell interviews Kristin Wood, career analyst and manager of analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency. Wood looks back at the time she spent as Scooter Libby's briefer and Vice President Cheney's backup briefer. Both roles she played during the time of the 9/11 attacks. Post 9/11 there was a push by top officials to connect Iraq with al-Qaeda's role in the attacks, a push that led to the "Murkey Water Papers" being published. A report she says now, in hindsight, she would not do. "It was written in the context of some of the administration using questionable intelligence reports to justify their views that Iraq was somehow complicit in the 9/11 attacks."
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck, reporters for The Wall Street Journal and co-authors of Blood and Oil: Mohammed Bin Salman's Ruthless Quest for Global Power, about the leadership style and strategic decision-making of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS). Hope and Scheck offer their assessment of the "dichotomy" of MBS, explaining how he has behaved as both a great reformer and ruthless dictator. They also discuss MBS’s likely awareness of the murder of dissident Jamal Khashoggi, his views on political reform, and attempts to diversify the Saudi economy.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews John Brennan, career intelligence officer and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Brennan, who led the agency during the Obama administration from 2013 to 2017, offers new insights into the intelligence community's assessments of Russia's interference in the 2016 election, shares concerns about the potential politicization of the community's work, and discusses the merits of pursuing a career in national security. Brennan, now retired, also discusses details included in his new memoir, UNDAUNTED: My Fight Against America’s Enemies, at Home and Abroad.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews David Priess, former daily intelligence briefer, CIA officer and now Chief Operating Officer of the Lawfare Institute, about the history, content and aim of the President's Daily Brief (PDB), one of the intelligence community's most valuable and highly classified products. Priess, whose book “The President’s Book of Secrets” delves into the history and recipients of the top-secret document, explains how it evolved, what goes into producing it, and how presidents have consumed it. Priess and Morell also discuss the process for briefing presidential candidates and concerns about the politicization of intelligence.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Antony "Tony" Blinken, former deputy Secretary of State and current Foreign Policy Advisor for the Joe Biden for President campaign. Morell and Blinken discuss a potential Biden administration's foreign policy priorities and its likely approach to top global security challenges, including climate change, armed conflicts, and strategic threats from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea. Blinken also details the Vice President's likely approach to the U.S. intelligence, diplomatic and military communities. A corresponding interview request has been extended to the Trump White House, and is pending.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters DECLASSIFIED: Spy Stories from the Officers Who Were There, CBS News Intelligence and National Security Reporter Olivia Gazis interviews Michael Morell and retired Admiral Bill McRaven about the raid on the complex in Abbottabad, Pakistan that brought Osama bin Laden to justice nearly a decade ago. Morell and McRaven discuss the initial tip obtained by the CIA, the agency's development of the intelligence, the initial briefings of President Obama, and the military operation devised and executed by the Joint Special Operations Command. They also offer behind-the-scenes details about key players and pivotal moments in the raid. This episode was produced in partnership with the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government. Intelligence Matters DECLASSIFIED is a new series dedicated to featuring first-hand accounts from former intelligence officers.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Hal Brands, historian and the Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, about a new compilation of essays dedicated to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on international security and world order. Brands, who co-edited the volume with colleague Francis Gavin, outlines the its major themes and observations, including how the outbreak may pose opportunities as well as challenges and how it may lead to a global counterbalancing coalition against a rising China. Brands also tells Morell how U.S. leadership, both domestic and international, will be pivotal to ensuring successful near- and long-term outcomes.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews Rodney Faraon, a former China analyst and 15-year veteran of the CIA, about how he transferred skills he developed at the agency to a variety of roles outside of government. Faraon, now a partner at Martin+Crumpton Group LLC, also held roles at Walt Disney Company and in the film and investment industries. Faraon tells Morell about his experience briefing former Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet and drafting testimony for the annual Worldwide Threats Hearing,
In this episode of Intelligence Matters DECLASSIFIED: Spy Stories from the Officers Who Were There, host Michael Morell interviews former CIA Senior Clandestine Services Officer Daniel Hoffman about the FBI and CIA's decade-long hunt for ten Russian "illegals" living and operating in the United States. A former Chief of Station, Hoffman tells Morell how a group of Russian intelligence officers came to pose as American citizens all over the country, and spent years stealing secrets to send back to Moscow. Hoffman explains how they were monitored and eventually caught, and details the negotiations that ultimately led to a prisoner swap with Russia. Intelligence Matters DECLASSIFIED is a new series dedicated to featuring first-hand accounts from former intelligence officers.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Anne Neuberger, Director of the National Security Agency's Cybersecurity Directorate, details her trajectory from the agency's Chief Risk Officer, to the lead on election security in 2018, to the head of the agency's newly revamped cybersecurity mission. She tells Morell what lessons were learned about deterring Russia during the 2018 midterm elections and how the Cybersecurity Directorate seeks to help the public and private sectors defend themselves against foreign cyber threats. She also explains why the NSA is looking to shed some of its secretive reputation, and adjust to a rapidly changing technological environment.