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CIA Director John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 16, 2016 (AP photo J. Scott Applewhite).

Can U.S. Intelligence Restore Public Trust on Balancing Secrecy and Openness?

Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016

Last week, the CIA held its third annual conference in conjunction with George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security. The agency’s director, John Brennan, who moderated parts of the proceedings, expressed his deep personal commitment to improving the conversation between the intelligence community and the American public.

Earning the public’s trust is an obligation in a democracy, and as a practical matter, a lack of openness only leads to very distorted perceptions of the intelligence function. Brennan spoke of the need for secrecy, not for its own sake, but strictly as required for safety and security. ...

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