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Unreliable CIA

September 24, 2016

University students during the era of the Cold War were subjected to the many ideologies that roiled civil society in the 1960s and 1970s. The dominant ideology–Liberalism–assumed that traditional concepts of limited government and religious values were “overdone” and we should be open to new ideas, government policies and non-traditional lifestyles. I published an account  of that experience which shaped my political philosophy and subsequent career.

I was seeking understanding of why my professors were so wrong about present and future America and after graduating I went to the University of Notre Dame where a significant percentage of my professors had emigrated to the United States to escape persecution in Nazi Germany and in, one case, communist Hungary.

I learned from their experience to reject Nazi and communist ideology and I, with many of my colleagues, took a two semester course in which we studied a great many of the writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao.

Two of my colleagues became specialists in intelligence and one was hired as a researcher at the CIA. There he found that his colleagues were uninformed about communist ideology and he quickly moved to another agency. His disbelief that CIA analysts were so mistaken about the ideological motives of the Soviet Union left him shaken to his core. My other colleague published a series of books analyzing American intelligence practices and in one he argued that ” intelligence failures in the past pale in comparison with the deep malaise affecting the entire service today.”

While in the Reagan Administration and later when working in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall, I learned that if I wanted an informed interpretation of events, I should avoid U.S. Embassy personnel and the CIA.

Three days ago, I came across a report that the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, has revealed that he was admitted to service as a young CIA research analyst even though he admitted that he had voted for Gus Hall, the Communist Party candidate for President, in 1976.

That was about the time that my colleague was so upset by the views of his CIA colleagues that he had to transfer to another agency because he simply did not fit in with other CIA officers who did not have a similar understanding of Marxism-Leninism.

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