Intelligence officers – good ones – have a certain way of viewing the world. We are often called upon to perform assessments, make judgements and analyze situations with sparse, often conflicting information. Sometimes scenarios arise when we must act on our evaluations or risk great peril; more often we operate under uncomfortable deadlines to provide secrets to the people that count.
In all cases we are trained to view things objectively – and provide truth – no matter how uncomfortable it may be – to our superiors. Emotion and hyperbole have no place in work like this. Intelligence officers are used to bearing bad news; we are painfully aware of the expression, “shoot the messenger”. This acquired operational acumen is rarely “unpacked” – it is part and parcel of who I am, and is an automatic part of my decision process.
Experience overseas, 12 years in the former Soviet Union with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), allowed me to hone this ability. Daily involved in the craft of espionage, I grappled with human nature – and its foibles. The failure of the Clinton campaign in the recent election is instructive, in my view, given the basic intelligence principles that they ignored – with now famous results.
Let’s start by saying that I am partisan – a Donald Trump “early adapter” and Republican Convention Delegate, no less – but this did not prevent me from observing “ground truth”, methodically collecting information, using “street sense” and arriving at a calculated prediction months ago that Mr. Trump was very likely to win this race.
So what mistakes in “spy speak” did the Clinton campaign make, anyhow? After all, She had the money and infrastructure, the mainstream media joined to her hip – even the indirect assistance of the Never Trumpers. Her allies, overpaid media “analysts”, were continually proven wrong time and time again – not to mention the consistently wretched polling. How did it all go so wrong?
This report’s original title is “How Hillary Clinton’s disregard for these rules doomed her candidacy.”