An Open Letter to the Men and Women of the U.S. Intelligence Community

By Congressman Adam Schiff

Rep. Adam Schiff is an eight-term Congressman representing California's 28th Congressional District.  He is the ranking member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.   He previously served in the California State Senate and was a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles.

Editor’s Note: The ongoing debate over the intelligence involving the Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee is highlighting a lot of other underlying issues when it comes to our Intelligence Community, what we expect from them, and how policymakers use the information they gather and assess.  Congressman Adam Schiff, in his open letter to the Intelligence Community, quotes Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who wryly said, “there are only policy successes and intelligence failures.”  The Cipher Brief will keep this conversation going by offering differing perspectives as we move into 2017.

Today, and every day, tens of thousands of you are working across the nation and around the globe to keep our leaders informed and your fellow Americans safe.  You do not trumpet your achievements from the rooftops. There are no public accolades for the terror plots that you disrupt, for the drug cartels you help to take down, and the vital political information that you uncover.  There are no welcome home ceremonies and parades with high school bands and local officials when you return from duty overseas.  And when you lose a colleague, you grieve in private. 

“The Cipher Brief has become the most popular outlet for former intelligence officers; no media outlet is even a close second to The Cipher Brief in terms of the number of articles published by formers.” —Sept. 2018, Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 62

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