Remarks of CIA Director Pompeo at CSIS

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CIA Director Pompeo outlines the life of a CIA agent,
the role of the Agency as a foreign policy advisor
and discusses the harm various disclosures
such as Wikileaks and self-seeking officials make,
do to the national interests of America.

August 26, 2017
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Remarks of CIA
Director Pompeo at CSIS

An Excerpt of Remarks
delivered by CIA Director
Mike Pompeo to the Center
for Strategic and International Studies

The Daily Walk with Miracles, republished August 26, 2017, by Paul Evans. This is a verbatim excerpt of a speech delivered by Director Pompeo on April 13, 2017. It was his first major speech made as Director, which you can also listen to in the YouTube video of Director Pompeo’s speech to CSIS. CIA Director Pompeo outlines the life of a CIA agent, the role of CIA and discusses the harm various disclosures such as Wikileaks (and various self-serving officials) make do to the national interest of America:

Also see The CIA is a “Good Shepherd,” as Opposed to the Evil of the New World Order, The Daily Walk with Miracles, May 23, 2017, by Paul Evans. “The New World Order would include major changes in the family, the workplace and religion which are utterly unacceptable to a Christian.” This fact may be what mistakenly guides entities such as Wikileaks and Assange, against which Mike Pompeo speaks so strongly (and correctly) here. Here is Director Pompeo:

As a policy, we at CIA do not comment on the accuracy of purported intelligence documents posted online. In keeping with that policy, I will not specifically comment on the authenticity or provenance of recent disclosures.

But the false narratives that increasingly define our public discourse cannot be ignored. There are fictions out there that demean and distort the work and achievements of CIA and of the broader Intelligence Community. And in the absence of a vocal rebuttal, these voices—ones that proclaim treason to be public advocacy—gain a gravity they do not deserve.

It is time to call these voices out. The men and women of CIA deserve a real defense. And the American people deserve a clear explanation of what their Central Intelligence Agency does on their behalf.

* * * *

First and foremost, we are an intelligence organization that engages in foreign espionage. We steal secrets from foreign adversaries, hostile entities, and terrorist organizations. We analyze this intelligence so that our government can better understand the adversaries we face in a challenging and dangerous world.

And we make no apologies for doing so. It’s hard stuff and we go at it hard.

Because when it comes to overseas threats, CIA is aggressive in our pursuit of the information we need to help safeguard our country. We utilize the whole toolkit at our disposal, fully employing the authorities and capabilities that Congress, the courts, and the Executive Branch have deemed lawful and appropriate, and consistent with our American ideals.

We do these things because it’s our job. It’s what we signed up to do. And if we didn’t, we’d have a tough time justifying our budget to the American taxpayer.

One of the few heartening things to come out of the disclosures debate is the realization that much of America does understand the important role we play. As the CEO of a security research firm recently noted, CIA appears to be doing “exactly what we pay them to do—exploit specific targets with limited attacks to support our national interests.”

Our mission is simple in concept yet difficult in practice. We work to provide the best information possible to the President and his administration so that they can advance our national interests and protect our country.

It is a mission that CIA has carried out for years, quietly and effectively. Our accomplishments generally remain classified, but a few special ones are known to the world.

For example, CIA has been a crucial player in the global campaign against nuclear proliferation. We’ve helped unravel the nuclear smuggling network used by A.Q. Khan, assisted in exposing a covert nuclear facility in Syria, and gathered intelligence—with the help of our liaison partners—that persuaded Libya to abandon its nuclear program.

CIA has also been at the cutting edge of incredible technological innovation throughout our history. We led efforts to develop the U-2 aircraft and orbiting satellites—endeavors that allowed us to surveil activities in rival states that were otherwise closed to us.

We’ve pushed back the boundaries of the possible in ways that have benefited both the security and welfare of the American public. For example, when we needed long-lasting power sources for certain operational missions, in the 1960s our scientists helped to develop the lithium-ion battery—technology that ultimately has powered pacemakers and cell phones alike. More recently, CIA investment in a technology venture in 2003 led to the development of what we know today as Google Earth.

My first few months on the job have only reaffirmed for me that this innovative spirit is very much alive and well at CIA.

* * * *

So I’d now like to make clear what CIA doesn’t do. We are a foreign intelligence agency. We focus on collecting information about foreign governments, foreign terrorist organizations, and the like—not Americans. A number of specific rules keep us centered on that mission and protect the privacy of our fellow Americans. To take just one important example, CIA is legally prohibited from spying on people through electronic surveillance in the United States. We’re not tapping anyone’s phone in Wichita.

I know there will always be skeptics. We need to build trust with them. But I also know firsthand, from what I saw as a member of a Congressional oversight committee and from what I see now as Director, that CIA takes its legal restrictions and responsibilities with the utmost seriousness. We have stringent regulations, an engaged and robust Office of the General Counsel, and an empowered and independent Office of Inspector General to make sure of that.

Moreover, regardless of what you see on the silver screen, we do not pursue covert action on a whim without approval or accountability. There is a comprehensive process that starts with the President and consists of many levels of legal and policy review and reexamination. Let me assure you: When it comes to covert action, there is oversight and accountability every step of the way.

I inherited an Agency that has a real appreciation for the law and for the Constitution. Despite fictional depictions meant to sell books or box-office tickets, we are not an untethered or rogue agency. So yes, while we have some truly awesome capabilities at our disposal, our officers do not operate in areas or against targets that are rightfully and legally off-limits to us.

At our core, we are an organization committed to uncovering the truth and getting it right. We devote ourselves to perfecting our tradecraft. We work hard to maintain truly global coverage, operating in austere, far-flung areas that demand both expeditionary capabilities and spirit. We spend hours upon hours collecting information, and poring over reports and data. We experiment and innovate so we can dominate our adversaries in both the physical and cyber realms.

And sure—we also admit to making mistakes. In fact, because CIA is accountable to the free and open society we help defend, the times in which we have failed to live up to the high standards our fellow citizens expect of us have been cataloged over the years, even by our own government. These mistakes are public, to an extent that I doubt any other nation could ever match. But it is always our intention—and duty—to get it right.

* * * *

And that is one of the many reasons why we at CIA find the celebration of entities like WikiLeaks to be both perplexing and deeply troubling. Because while we do our best to quietly collect information on those who pose very real threats to our country, individuals such as Julian Assange and Edward Snowden seek to use that information to make a name for themselves. As long as they make a splash, they care nothing about the lives they put at risk or the damage they cause to national security.

WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service. It has encouraged its followers to find jobs at CIA in order to obtain intelligence. It directed Chelsea Manning in her theft of specific secret information. And it overwhelmingly focuses on the United States, while seeking support from anti-democratic countries and organizations.

It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is – a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia. In January of this year, our Intelligence Community determined that Russian military intelligence—the GRU—had used WikiLeaks to release data of US victims that the GRU had obtained through cyber operations against the Democratic National Committee. And the report also found that Russia’s primary propaganda outlet, RT, has actively collaborated with WikiLeaks….

Read the full speech here.

CIA Director Pompeo’s Speech

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