[February 19, 2016] I write this while on the road traveling across the southern states of the U.S. The trip brings me in close contact with all sorts of people, mostly interesting. And so it was when I met a staffer of U.S. spy chief James Clapper while en route to Houston, Texas. Our discussion revolved around what it meant to be in the U.S. intelligence services today and the recent assessments of worldwide threats from the views of staffers in the White House.
Clapper showed moral courage when he provided a critical assessment of the dangers affecting the United States and other Western nations. While the president and his staffs downplay threats to the nation’s security, the intelligence chiefs tell a different story. In a meeting with lawmakers, Clapper said “I cannot recall a more diverse array of challenges and crises than we confront today.” He specifically mentioned: North Korea, Iran, Russia, China, ISIS, violent extremists, and the ever present unpredictable and violent instability.
James R. Clapper, Jr. is currently the director of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) for the United States. His tenure in the intelligence services goes back decades. As many of my military peers can attest, he is super smart, dedicated, and wise leader who you can intimately trust. When he says something you can be sure he can back it up with a laundry list of facts. In short, he has credibility. Humorously, I listened to some young White House staffers the other day talk about how Clapper was not the right person to be in the intelligence services.
Clapper’s moral courage is refreshing and the U.S. is lucky to have a man like him in office. Our respect goes out to him and the NIA. They help keep us safe and Clapper is one of the people in the vanguard of fighting violent extremism worldwide.
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