Primer for Presidents, Congress, Media, and Public,
May 1, 2003
Mark M. Lowenthal
Mark Lowenthal, who today is the Associate Deputy Director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production (ADCI/A&P), was briefly (for a year) the President of OSS USA (I created OSS Inc., the global version). So much for disclosure and “conflicts of interest”. The previous review, after a year of being irritatingly present, needs to be corrected. Dr. Lowenthal was for many years the Senior Executive Service reviewer of intelligence affairs for the Congressional Research Service, then he went on to be Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence & Research (Analysis), and then he became the Staff Director for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he supervised one of the two really serious really excellent studies on all that is wrong with intelligence and what needs to be fixed. OSS was lucky to have him contribute to its development for a year before he moved on to another corporation and then to the #5 position in the US Intelligence Community. He needs no help from me in either articulating his ideas or doing good work.What the previous reviewer fails to understand is that Dr. Lowenthal’s book represents the *only* available “primer” on intelligence that can be understood by Presidents, Congressmen, the media, and the public. While my own book (The New Craft of Intelligence) strives to discuss the over-all threats around the world in terms meaningful to the local neighborhoods of America, Dr. Lowenthal’s book focuses on the U.S. Intelligence Community itself–the good, the bad, and the ugly. He is strongest on analysis and the politics of intelligence, somewhat weaker on collection and counterintelligence covert action. There is no other book that meets the need for this particular primer, and so I recommend it with enthusiasm. It is on the OSS.NET list of the top 15 books on intelligence reform every written.