One of the mysteries of the intelligence world is why the redoubtable Charlie Allen of CIA was always so popular with line analysts and so unpopular with management. In the book Long Strange Journey, Patrick Eddington its author recounts his experiences in a course on warning intelligence that Allen initiated when he was the National Intelligence Officer (IO) for Warning. Eddington came away from the course impressed with Allen’s energy, enthusiasm, and, although he did not specifically so, seriousness of purpose. Reading this and remembering my own impressions of Allen the solution to the mystery of Allen’s popularity with the working stiffs became apparent.
Like the actual collectors and analysts, Allen actually treated the production and dissemination of accurate intelligence as important and serious matter. He treated the analysts and their mission as something that really mattered. He raised so much ire among the IC senior management (including CIA) because they did not and, I suspect, still do not take the production of accurate intelligence as important at all compared to what they see as their principal responsibility which is to continually increase the size and budget of their agencies. Allen as a senior himself was looked upon at best a eccentric because his priorities ran against the grain of his fellow seniors. I had hoped that General Clapper (USAF ret.) would recognize the current charade and try to turn things around, but this clearly in not in the cards.