Charlie Allen on following the conventional wisdom:

“Don’t listen too much to what others are telling you,” Mr. Allen said. “Constantly re-examine your assumptions.”

There was a time not that long ago when he backed the ideas of a few obscure folks who thought there was intel gold in what others said was a mountain of garbage: He/We were right and they were wrong, again.

If would also like to say that if anyone is going to make DHS intel work – and it has been broken from the get-go – it’ll be Charlie, but then I thought that about Gen Hughes too, and it’s not like the latter was some kind of slouch.

At a time when most of his peers are pretending they can still golf or contemplating the fine print in their long-term care plans, he’s still slugging it out for 15-hours a day. He could have sold out long ago and lived off the fat of his Rolodex, but there is a different beat playing on his mental iPod.

I still think a purge is in order, but if you had to make exceptions . . .

2 thoughts on “Indefatigable

  1. I’ve known Charlie for 46 year or so. “legendary work ethic” isn’t sufficiently descriptive. I’d just say the man (or is he more a legend?) hasn’t seen a lot of natural sunlight in the last 30 years. He is way beyond normal. He is damaged.

  2. I had enough contact with Charlie Allen (back in the 90s, when I was detailed to the National Intelligence Council) to recognize that he was one of the giants of the IC, along with the fact that he could be hard to live with, for those both above him and below him in the hierarchy. He could also be spectacularly wrong about things, but was right more often than wrong, always interested in finding new & better ways to do analysis, and never boring. His legendary work ethic, which you note, made me feel guilty for wanting to “have a life.”

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