Former acting Director of the CIA Michael Morell speaks with top leaders of the U.S. intelligence community as they reflect on their life, career and the critical roles they play in shaping national security policies. As a central figure in the most significant U.S. counter-terror efforts of the past two decades and a former CIA intelligence analyst, Morell is uniquely skilled at taking industry leading knowledge to make connections that provide deep insight into complex security events – helping decode intelligence officials’ key priorities and providing perspectives on how to achieve national security objectives. Morell is the author of “The Great War of Our Time” and a vivid account of the Central Intelligence Agency, a life in secrets, and a war in the shadows.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters DECLASSIFIED: Spy Stories from the Officers Who Were There, former career CIA analyst and non-proliferation expert Maja Lehnus tells the story of one of the intelligence community’s most important discoveries of the last decade – a covert nuclear reactor in the Syrian desert, likely built with support from North Korea. Lehnus tells Morell how U.S. intelligence agencies first acquired intelligence indicating cooperation between North Korean nuclear entities and high-level Syrian officials, and ultimately presented intelligence to the President that the reactor was part of a Syrian nuclear weapons program. Lehnus explains the confidence levels attached to each of the IC’s judgments, as well as why the CIA took the rare step of sharing its findings with the public. Intelligence Matters DECLASSIFIED is a series dedicated to featuring first-hand accounts from former intelligence officers.