America’s peacetime intelligence services were created after World War II because it was widely understood after the horrors of that war that the world had become much more dangerous. It was widely recognized that permanent peacetime U.S. foreign intelligence services that would break the laws of other states to monitor their communications and steal their secrets was needed to protect American security and freedom.
These new intelligence services were not supposed to spy on the American people or break Americans laws. There have been uproars in our country when U.S. intelligence agencies violated these restrictions because this goes against an important founding principle of these agencies.
Beginning with the Obama administration, there have been a series of serious violations of the requirement that U.S. intelligence agencies not spy on Americans and stay out of U.S politics when these agencies were weaponized to target and/or undermine Americans to promote political agendas.
Center for Security Policy President Fred Fleitz hosted an important webinar to discuss abuses of U.S. intelligence with Peter Hoekstra, former U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands and former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and national security journalist and China expert Bill Gertz.
Fleitz began by discussing the scope of these abuses, noting they included the weaponization of U.S intelligence to target the 2016 Trump campaign and the politicization of intelligence to undermine the Trump presidency. He asked Hoekstra about recent reports of possible new abuses of U.S. intelligence by the Biden administration to use U.S. intelligence agencies to target American conservatives.
Hoekstra said these reports are very troubling and noted former CIA Director John Brennan called for the use of American intelligence agencies to investigate so-domestic extremists which are actually political enemies of the Left. Hoekstra noted Brennan said such “extremists” could include libertarians. Hoekstra said this fit a pattern of prior misuse of U.S. intelligence for political reasons and that these abuses do serious damage to the trust of Americans in our intelligence services.
Bill Gertz then discussed politicization of intelligence analysis of China. He explained recent reports by former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and the DNI politicization ombudsman that intelligence analysts and mangers politicized analysis of Chinese efforts to meddle in the 2020 presidential election to avoid producing analytic conclusions that supported President Trump’s polices. Intelligence mangers also suppressed the views of dissenting analysts. Gertz said this was done because many intelligence officers disliked President Trump and did not want to produce analysis that would help his administration.
Gertz explained this was a violation of the U.S. Intelligence Community’s mission to provide the best possible intelligence to help the president make sound national security decisions. He noted this is one of many examples he has covered over the years of politicized intelligence analysis of China.
The panel then had an extensive discussion of the politicization of U.S. intelligence and how to combat it. This included Hoekstra relying on his experience as former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and Gertz discussing his assessment that House Intelligence Committee member Eric Swalwell had been compromised by a Chinese agent.
This intriguing panel covered many other intriguing topics related to the politicization and weaponization of U.S, intelligence.
Please watch the full video to learn more.
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