William Burns

How to Question William Burns, Biden’s Pick to Head the CIA

In virtually all previous confirmation hearings, there were no probing questions on CIA transgressions or the purpose, role, and even necessity of the CIA in the post-Cold War world. It is essential that the committee and the American public get some idea of Burns’ impressions on these important matters, particularly in view of his distinguished career and his thoughtful writings. What can be done to improve the production of strategic intelligence? What is the proper role for covert action in the 21st century? What can be done to improve oversight at the CIA and to ensure cooperation with congressional oversight?

Biden’s CIA director pick ‘a sterling choice’

The selection of Mr. Burns will reverse the decades of lackluster and mediocre CIA directors, who often have been afterthoughts on the part of recent presidents who have hoped that nothing controversial would reach them from the CIA.

Burns at the CIA

For the past 40 years, incoming presidents have typically made the choice of director of the Central Intelligence Agency their last selection. These choices have been mediocre for the most part, which helps to explain the current crisis of credibility and integrity that confronts the CIA. President-elect Joe Biden has made his last major selection in naming former deputy secretary of state William Burns to be CIA director. This is a sterling choice that should receive unanimous support from the U.S. Senate.

An Open Letter to Biden: Selecting a CIA Director

I’m assuming that you and your team are still debating the selection of a director for the Central Intelligence Agency. I hope that you don’t think me presumptuous for making some suggestions. I’m doing this on the basis of my 24 years of experience as a CIA intelligence analyst as well as my candid testimony before the Senate intelligence committee several decades ago regarding the confirmation process.

Recent News and Latest Book

Biden’s Possible Strategic Blunder

Donald Trump’s wretched national security inheritance for President Joe Biden included some low-hanging fruit that is being addressed.

Opinion: The ‘war scare’ and the CIA

The Feb. 18 news article “Newly released documents shed light on 1983 nuclear scare with Soviets” was an important reminder of the dangers of any military exercise that involves nuclear weapons, but it omitted a very important detail.

Containing the National Security State

Containing the National Security State