Free Write Reflection: “Intelligence and U.S. Foreign Policy in the Post-9/11 Era”

I attended the interview of Dr. Scott Kessler on his experience in the CIA and the state of United States foreign policy. Kessler discussed his CIA past as a case officer. Case officers are the people on the ground getting human contacts in foreign countries for intelligence purposes. To gain contacts, case officers find ways exploit contacts through bribery for example. I found it very disturbing and the fact that personally, Kessler didn”t lose sleep over it. However, most case officers fail to recruit and exploit people to become contacts. Kessler focused on the Middle in his career, gathering intelligence on Iran and even going into Iraq before the US invasion in 2003. What I found most interesting from the interview was Kessler’s reaction to American rage post 9/11. Kessler was shocked by the misinformation, rage, and violence had toward the Middle East. Also while in Iraq, Kessler watch the reports from the UN that the US had evidence of WMDs in Iraq. Kessler and his team found nothing personally and they were wondering who these contacts were. Overall, it was very interesting and informative lecture.

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