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October Community Forum: Confessions of an Intelligence Failure

October 02, 2009

Category: Events


HaslerSusan Hasler spent 21 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, where she held a variety of jobs: Russian linguist, Soviet analyst, speechwriter for CIA Directors R. James Woolsey, John Deutch, and George Tenet, and counterterrorism analyst. She was working in the CIA Counterterrorism Center on September 11, 2001, and witnessed first hand our nation’s response to the worst terror attack in our history.

"Before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon," she writes, "CIA counterterrorism analysts were accused of hyping the terrorist threat. After 9/11, we were intelligence failures, the people who couldn’t stop 9/11. We were also failures in the eyes of the Administration for not giving it proof that Iraq was behind the attack — proof that was nonexistent."

Ms. Hasler's upcoming presentation for the October edition of the Catawba College Community Forum will look at what it was like serving in the CIA Counterterrorist Center during and after 9/11. Her talk will also address issues that still nag at our national conscience, such as the use of torture and indefinite detention against terrorism suspects.

In 2004, Ms. Hasler resigned from the Agency to devote full time to fiction writing. Her first novel, INTELLIGENCE, will be published next year by Thomas Dunne Books. Her short stories have appeared in the Hayden's Ferry Review, the Beloit Fiction Journal, and the 2005 O. Henry Festival Stories. Ms. Hasler lives in Singers Glen, Virginia with her husband Stephen White.

Join us on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. in Tom Smith Auditorium of Ralph W. Ketner Hall for an inside look at the challenges facing our national intelligence services in the age of global terrorism. The event is free and open to the public.