Co-sponsored by the Institute for Human Ecology and the Intelligence Studies Program.

Espionage is the collection of national security intelligence through human means. One person, the spy–typically a foreign national with access to information–passes it to another person, called a handler or case officer. At the heart of this activity is the relationship between the spy and his handler. This panel of former CIA case officers explored the nature of that relationship through exploration of a variety of questions:

  • What does it mean to persuade another human being to break the trust he has with his own country and work for the benefit of the United States?
  • What obligations does the U.S. government have in such situations?
  • What is the personal connection between spy and case officer–is it totally cynical, or is there an authentic relationship?
  • How do we mitigate the risk to human dignity in the conduct of this intelligence activity?

Moderator Nicholas Dujmovic (assistant professor and director of the University’s Intelligence Studies and 26-year veteran of CIA, having served as an analyst, manager, editor of the President’s Daily Brief, and CIA staff historian) was joined during the evening by John Bennett, a former director of the National Clandestine Service at the CIA; Juan Cruz, a former career CIA operations and case officer; Gil Kindelan, a retired case officer with 34 years of government service in the US Army and the CIA; and Scotty Skotzko, who served 40 years as a CIA operations officer with eight oversea postings.