Legend has it that when dawn breaks vampires and other creatures of the night scurry into the shadows, but as the IC’s number two man recently suggested, it might be time for shadow-dwelling spooks to become daywalkers:
A top intelligence official says he wants to pull back the curtain of secrecy to let Americans see more clearly what it is intelligence agencies do, and how they do it.
“We’ve allowed our detractors to frame the national debate and cast us as the villains,” said Donald Kerr, the No. 2 official in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. “We in the intelligence community are not winning hearts and minds in the U.S. We’re not even trying. That’s what bothers me most.”
I’ve said on numerous occasions – most recently here – that a little sunshine in this business goes a long way. Simple “outreach” efforts, like letting subject matter experts teach college courses, would expose intelligence analysts and scientists for what they are: analysts and scientists. The CIA’s old scholar-in-residence program was an early albeit unintentional effort along these lines, but it was far too small. Doing away with some of the more outmoded OPSEC practices (if dad works late every time something goes “boom” in the world, the neighbors have probably already figured out what he does for a living) would help as well.
When you’re only nominally better thought of than the TSA, you’ve got to try something. You’ll never convince the cool-aid drinkers, but de-bunking a few myths for the clear-thinking has a big up-side.
Go Don, Go!