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Senior CBP Officer Todd Owen on Agency's Main Missions and State of U.S. Border Security

9/17/2019
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In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Todd Owen, Executive Assistant Commissioner for Field Operations at U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Owen and Morell discuss the agency's main operational components and the state of U.S. border security. Owen explains the focus and range of the agency's efforts on counterterrorism and narcotics interdiction, addresses migration and asylum trends exacerbating security and humanitarian concerns on the U.S. southern...

Duration:00:34:42

Remembering 9/11: Author Garrett Graff on New Oral History Book

9/10/2019
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In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with journalist and author Garrett Graff about his new book, "The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11." Graff and Morell discuss a number of the little-known details contained in the book, which were offered by hundreds of people who lived through the events of September 11, 2001. On the eighteenth anniversary of the attacks, as the day slips "from memory to history," Graff discusses the importance of collecting...

Duration:00:37:25

Former CIA Officer Kristin Wood on the Production, Delivery and Value of Analysis

9/3/2019
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In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with former CIA officer Kristin Wood, who served in three different directorates over a two-decade career at the agency. Wood and Morell discuss the process, substance and value of the agency's analytic work and describe how it is delivered to top policymakers. Wood also discusses the growing importance of open-source data to the intelligence community and explains how an Internet-facilitated "firehose of information" has...

Duration:00:40:37

Pentagon's Former Top Intel Official on U.S. Afghanistan Strategy

8/27/2019
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In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with former Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers about recent developments in Afghanistan, the site of America's longest war. Morell and Vickers review the evolution of security challenges in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and discuss the current status of U.S.-Taliban peace talks. Vickers reviews the main pillars of the talks and offers perspective on the potential risks...

Duration:00:35:16

CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto on 'Shadow Wars' Involving Russia, China

8/20/2019
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In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto about his new book, "The Shadow Wars," about how Russia and China are leveraging different tools, strategies and battlefields to counter the United States below the threshold of armed conflict. Sciutto explains how emerging domains including cyber, submarine technology and space are increasingly contested by great powers in their pursuit of dominance. Morell and...

Duration:00:37:13

What’s Next for Venezuela? A Conversation with Latin America Expert Juan Cruz

8/13/2019
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In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Juan Cruz, former special assistant to the President and senior director for Western Hemisphere affairs at the National Security Council, about the ongoing humanitarian and security crisis in Venezuela. Cruz explains the origins of the instability, the U.S. government's response to date, and discusses possible "day after" scenarios that could follow the fall of Nicolas Maduro and the installation of a transitional...

Duration:00:34:20

Office of the Director of National Intelligence: What It Does, Why It Matters

8/6/2019
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In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Michael Allen, a former majority staff director for the House Intelligence Committee and senior director at the National Security Council under former president George W. Bush, about the provenance and purpose of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Allen, who wrote a book documenting the office's post-9/11 stand-up, discusses how it came into being and the ways in which it coordinates activities...

Duration:00:35:18

Preet Bharara, Former U.S. Attorney, Offers Takeaways from Mueller Testimony

7/30/2019
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In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and 'Stay Tuned' podcast host Preet Bharara about the findings and testimony of former special counsel Robert Mueller. Bharara and Morell review the implications of Volumes I and II of Mueller's report, discuss the health of the rule of law throughout the United States, and the effects of the potential erosion of trust in U.S. institutions. Bharara also recounts...

Duration:00:42:04

Former Top Envoy Dennis Ross on Prospects for Middle East Peace

7/23/2019
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In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Ambassador Dennis Ross, former Middle East peace envoy and top negotiator, about the prospects for resolving the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ross, who served multiple presidents of both parties over the course of a career spanning over three decades, retraces his efforts to broker a peace agreement under presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and explained how early missteps during the Obama...

Duration:00:38:45

PDDNI Sue Gordon on the Intelligence Community's Imminent Information Challenges

7/16/2019
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In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon, the country's number two U.S. intelligence official, about the proliferating and accelerating information threats facing the intelligence community. Gordon explains how agencies are preparing to confront a novel set of challenges related to the 2020 presidential elections - in part by boosting transparency - and how it is bolstering relationships with the...

Duration:00:39:52

Head of State Department's Intelligence Arm on Assessing Foreign Leaders

7/9/2019
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In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Ellen McCarthy, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR). As head of INR – the oldest all-source U.S. intelligence agency, and among the smallest, within the 17-member community – McCarthy leads a cadre of about 250 analysts at the State Department who provide assessments to the Secretary of State, relevant policymakers and the President. She explains how INR analysts arrive at...

Duration:00:37:12

National Counterterrorism Center Deputy Director on Enduring Extremist Threats

7/2/2019
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In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Russ Travers, deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Travers offers an overview of enduring and evolving terrorism threats facing the U.S. from extremist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda as well as known state sponsors of terror Iran and Pakistan. He also outlines how technological shifts are compounding challenges of counterterrorism intelligence...

Duration:00:36:23

Top Cybersecurity Official Chris Krebs on Protecting U.S. Infrastructure

6/25/2019
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In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Chris Krebs, Director of the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Krebs details the department's efforts to defend U.S. systems, elections and infrastructure from foreign adversaries' cyber incursions and influence operations. He explains the nature of strategic threats from Russia, China and others and how CISA is working to boost the resilience of the country's...

Duration:00:36:47

Bonus Pod: "Situation Room" Dialogue on Responding to Iran

6/21/2019
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In this bonus episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell holds a mock "situation room" dialogue with Ambassador Bill Burns, former deputy Secretary of State and President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Jim Miller, former Under Secretary is Defense for Policy and senior fellow at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, on U.S. diplomatic, policy and military options for responding to Iran amid escalating tensions.

Duration:00:34:46

Kim Jong-Un's Surprising Rise to Power: Washington Post Journalist Anna Fifield

6/18/2019
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In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Washington Post journalist and Beijing bureau chief Anna Fifield about her new book, "The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong-Un." Morell and Fifield discuss her years of reporting from inside Pyongyang and her conversations with the North Korean leader's elusive inner circle. She describes how she obtained first-hand accounts of Kim's childhood and family relationships. Fifield...

Duration:00:36:13

Former CIA Targeting Officer on the Post-9/11 Hunt for Terrorists

6/11/2019
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In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with former CIA analyst and targeting officer Nada Bakos about the post-9/11 hunt for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the low-level jihadist and eventual head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, ISIS's predecessor organization. Morell and Bakos discuss the intense political pressure some analysts felt as they worked to identify links between Iraq and Al Qaeda in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. Bakos also describes how targeting officers...

Duration:00:36:01

CIA's Former Chief of Disguise Jonna Mendez on How to Hide Spies

6/4/2019
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In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews Jonna Mendez, who spent nearly three decades at the CIA and was its Chief of Disguise until 1993. Mendez tells Morell about the fundamentals of disguise, deception and illusion, including what kinds of spies were the hardest to hide. Mendez also discusses her time with her husband, Tony Mendez, a celebrated CIA officer who was famously portrayed in the movie, "Argo." She explains why both of them have pushed for greater...

Duration:00:41:07

Russia Expert Angela Stent on What Drives Vladimir Putin

5/28/2019
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In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Russia and foreign policy expert Angela Stent, who is director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies and a professor of government and foreign service at Georgetown University. Stent and Morell discuss Russia's primary global objectives today, and the centuries of history that have shaped its trajectory. Stent also traces President Vladimir Putin's rise to power, and offers an assessment of the...

Duration:00:39:16

Ex-Mossad Director Tamir Pardo on Israeli Intelligence and Regional Dynamics

5/21/2019
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In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews Tamir Pardo, who served as Director of the Mossad, Israel's intelligence service, from 2011 to 2016. They discuss the Mossad's relationship with the CIA and current regional dynamics involving Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the possibility of arriving at a two-state solution. In a rare and wide-ranging interview, Pardo tells Morell about his career trajectory and pivotal moments during his tenure as director.

Duration:00:41:25

NYT's David Sanger on the Perils of Cyber Conflict

5/14/2019
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In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with David Sanger, national security correspondent for the New York Times and author of “The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age.” Morell and Sanger discuss the technological and geopolitical challenges of the cyber domain, including forthcoming developments like 5G networks, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and expanding opportunities for offensive operations. Sanger also offers his...

Duration:00:43:21