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37 minutes | 14 hours ago
The Threat of Bioweapons: West Point Biochemist Dr. Kenneth Wickiser
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell speaks with Dr. Ken Wickiser, a biochemist and the Associate Dean of Research at the United States Military Academy at West Point, about his piece “Engineered Pathogens and Unnatural Biological Weapons: The Future Threat of Synthetic Biology.” Wickiser describes the growing influence of synthetic biology and what can happen if it gets in the wrong hands.
41 minutes | 8 days ago
A Firsthand Account of the Capitol Insurrection: Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA)
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell speaks with Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA). Spanberger, who previously served as an operations officers for the United States Postal Service and as an operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency, was inside the House chamber during the assault on the U.S. Capitol. She discusses how her CIA training prepared her for this unprecedented moment in U.S. history, and describes the crucial moments leading up to the evacuation of her and her colleagues.
36 minutes | 15 days ago
American Withdrawal in the Middle East: The Atlantic Council's Will Wechsler
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell speaks with Will Wechsler, the director of Middle East programs at the Atlantic Council, about why the Middle East is still of strategic importance to the United States. Wechsler discusses the perception in the Middle East that the U.S. is withdrawing, the influx of young men in the region, and the potential for more negotiations after the Abraham Accords.
34 minutes | 22 days ago
DECLASSIFIED: Former CIA Officer Marc Polymeropoulos on the Triple Agent
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews Marc Polymeropoulos, former senior CIA intelligence service officer who had a 26-year career in public service. Marc looks back to the day that seven service members were lost to suicide bomber Humam al-Balawi, who at the time, was working as a double agent. Marc talks about why it was important to interview al-Balawi in person, the mistakes that were made, and what important lessons he still keeps with him.
42 minutes | a month ago
A Closer Look at the Killing of Jamal Khashoggi: Filmmaker Bryan Fogel
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews director Bryan Fogel. Fogel won an Academy Award for his last film Icarus, and now previews his latest film, The Dissident: The Untold Story of the Murder That Shook the World. Set to be released on January 8th, the movie is based the murder of beloved Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Fogel describes how trust played a key role in obtaining his unprecedented access to Turkish intelligence transcripts on the murder, his inspiration for the movie and what change he hopes will come from the release.
40 minutes | a month ago
Disinformation as a National Security Issue: Former NSA General Counsel Glenn Gerstell
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell speaks with former General Counsel at NSA Glenn Gerstell about why tackling disinformation on social media is a national security issue. Glenn outlines legal, technological and policy approaches the new administration can take to combat the spread of disinformation on social media.
38 minutes | a month ago
Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) on Biden's National Security Team
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell speaks with Congressman Jim Himes, a member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and Chair of the Strategic Technologies and Advanced Research Subcommittee of HPSCI. Congressman Himes discusses coronavirus as a national security threat, re-building trust in the intelligence community, and his confidence in Biden’s national security team.
39 minutes | 2 months ago
Ambassador Ronald Neumann on Reducing Troops in Afghanistan
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell speaks with Ambassador Ronald Neumann, Former Ambassador to Afghanistan, Algeria, and Bahrain, about U.S. national security interests in Afghanistan as the Trump administration announces a reduction of troops in the region. Neumann discusses potential repercussions of lowering U.S. troops, advice to the Biden Administration, and the possibility of a civil war in Afghanistan.
30 minutes | 2 months ago
DECLASSIFIED: Former CIA Officer on the Anniversary of the First American Casualty in Afghanistan
In this episode of Intelligence Matters: Declassified, Michael Morell speaks with David Tyson, a retired CIA officer who served in Afghanistan after 9/11. Tyson joins Michael on the anniversary of the death of fellow CIA officer, Mike Spann, the first American casualty in Afghanistan. Tyson recounts the story of Spann’s death, the battle that lead to it, and how he honors Spann’s legacy today.
38 minutes | 2 months ago
North Korea's Impending Threat of Provocation: Korea Expert Sue Mi Terry
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell interviews Senior Fellow and Korea Chair at CSIS Sue Mi Terry on the threats North Korea poses to U.S. National Security. They discuss the growing advancement of North Korea’s nuclear missile program as U.S. attempts for negotiating denuclearization halt. Terry expresses concern over a potential provocation from North Korea during the Biden administration transition and recommends that President Elect Biden “send a signal to North Korea to not conduct a provocation.”
40 minutes | 2 months ago
The State of the U.S.-China Rivalry: Harvard Professor Graham Allison
In our series leading up to the inauguration, host Michael Morell evaluates the state of the field for top national security issues facing the U.S. in the next presidential term. In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Morell interviews Harvard Professor of Government Graham Allison about the enduring U.S.-China rivalry. Allison is a leading analyst of national security with special interests in nuclear weapons and China, and Former Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Clinton and Special Advisor to the Secretary of Defense under President Reagan. Allison describes a new climate change M.A.D. policy, China’s attempt to ascend to the centerpiece of the international order, and strategies to avoid a nuclear war with China.
39 minutes | 3 months ago
Lieutenant General (Ret.) H.R. McMaster on Post-Election Foreign Policy
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews Retired Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, a Senior Fellow at both Stanford University's Hoover Institution and its Graduate School of Business. A career U.S. Army officer and National Security Adviser to President Trump, he is also the author of a newly-released book titled Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World. General McMaster passes along advice on how the next president should handle relations with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, gives insight on the effectiveness of our handling of Russia, and shares his passion for helping those in Venezuela.
41 minutes | 3 months ago
Foreign Interference in the 2020 Election: Former FBI Special Agent Clint Watts
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews former FBI Special Agent Clint Watts, current Distinguished Research Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and Non-Resident Fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy and author of Messing With The Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians and Fake News. Watts offers his analysis of Russia, China, and Iran and their respective threats to election security. He discusses Russian disinformation on social media, concerns about China, and fears about the implications of the lack of unity inside the United States.
42 minutes | 3 months ago
DECLASSIFIED: Former CIA Analyst Kristin Wood on Post 9/11 Briefings
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."
42 minutes | 3 months ago
MBS and the Future of Saudi Arabia: Journalists Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck
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.
49 minutes | 3 months ago
Former CIA Director John Brennan on the Ethics of Intelligence & Challenges to Democracy
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.
40 minutes | 4 months ago
Former Daily Intelligence Briefer David Priess on the Past and Future of the PDB
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.
39 minutes | 4 months ago
Biden Foreign Policy Advisor Antony Blinken on Top Global Challenges
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.
47 minutes | 4 months ago
DECLASSIFIED: Ret. Adm. Bill McRaven and Michael Morell on the Raid on Osama bin Laden's Compound
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.
39 minutes | 4 months ago
Historian Hal Brands on COVID-19's Effect on World Order
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.
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