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McLean, VA 22101-0427




Council on Intelligence Issues


Educating on Intelligence Issues,

Challenges, and Legal Resources









CII’s programs increase the public's understanding of   intelligence challenges and risks faced by people working for the CIA and other intelligence agencies.   




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CII and its network help CIA and other intelligence officers with legal concerns arising from their service to the Nation.  




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 CII welcomes financial and other donations including legal, analytic, operational, or other support. CII is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, and  contributions are tax deductible.  





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CII's Intelligence Awareness and 

Legal Resources

Reading Board

Intel Basics

This site contains articles, reviews, and other information on many of the core intelligence issues, with a particular focus on risks and challenges in intelligence collection, analysis, and covert action. Information about intelligence challenges and the relationship of intelligence to policy and operations will provide readers a broader understanding of CIA, the intelligence community, and the people who serve.

Director of National Intelligence releases the 2019 National Intelligence Strategy

How 9/11 Revealed the Importance of the President's Daily Brief

Top 10 CIA Myths (From CIA's website)

Former CIA expert discusses what makes a good disguise for spies (From the AFIO Newsletter and Wired, October 2018)

Readers may be interested in expert opinions related to national security that are not limited to intelligence issues and topics, but that touch upon such matters on occasion. Topics address foreign policy or legal matters, for example, and that information may be found at:

  • Intelligence Matters presents radio interviews of top intelligence community leaders by former CIA deputy Michael Morell on a variety of intelligence and other national security topics (sponsored by CBS News).
  • The Standing Committee on Law and National Security of the American Bar Association hosts National Security Law Today podcasts, ABA's NSL Today, on a wide variey of national security legal topics including rule of law, surveillance challenges, and more.
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Expert insights presented in selected articles, guidance, and other material can help current and former intelligence officers identify and deal with complex legal and other challenges arising out of their employment. 



Balancing Government and Employee Interests in Disputes?

Selected highlights from January 30 panel of experts who shared insights about handling disputes involving classified information.  The event was sponsored by the Bar Association of the District of Columbia at the law firm of Reed Smith LLP and was moderated by the Council on Intelligence Issues:

  • In disputes involving classified information, it's important to manage expectations early so that conflicts in litigation can be minimized.
  • Counsel outside government often don’t know the rules for getting access to and protecting information, which often leads to confusion, misunderstandings, and frustration.
  • There’s a need for more training or other education about the rules.
  • Rules for civil and criminal cases differ and parties to the litigation are not always sure what they are and why.
  • Sometimes outcomes can be or seem unfair because the rules are what they are.
  • It can be important to avoid alienating employees and creating toxic situation with potential CI or security risks.
  • Government officials don't like to see opposing counsel go to the press or Congress to make their cases, but opposing counsel sometimes think that's the only way to get the Government's attention to help the client.
  • Often the most important element in dealing with and minimizing conflicts: the individuals involved and how well they handle situations.
  • Generally the government attorneys and opposing counsel involved in IC-employee litigation may disagree but are operating in good faith. 

For information about this event and its partipants, see Event Archive


Justice Department Regulations for Representation of Government Officials by Department of Justice or Private Counsel 


Regulations that govern acceptance of process and production of CIA records (CIA Regulations)


For in-depth legal analysis of "How National Security Can Trump Individual Rights" (Read Here)

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What's Happening -- CII Alerts

Featured Alerts


Read selected letters, opinion pieces, or articles by the Council on Intelligence Issues or current and former intelligence officers, as well as other announcements and items of interest relating to intelligence and national security.




The Director of National Intelligence testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on the Intelligence Community's World Wide Threat Assessment.  (See DNI Statement on WWT, January 29, 2019)


New CII Board of Directors 

We have updated our CII website and expanded the Board of Directors as part of the exciting steps being taken to become a vibrant and effective voice to support CIA and other intelligence officers for their good faith service to the Nation.  The new Board consists of John Gannon (Chairman), George Jameson (President), Bill Murray (Vice President), Chuck Campbell, and Mary Corrado.  Darlene Connelly serves as the Secretary.  (See more about CII's mission, vision, and directors and officers.)


Listen to Federal News Radio's interview with CII's co-founders about CII (broadcast September 7, 2018, here's how FNR characterized CII: "Occasionally intelligence practitioners find themselves caught in legal trouble not totally of their own making. That’s the idea behind a new legal referral service called Council on Intelligence Issues.").



Gina Haspel outlined CIA priorities in her first major speech (click for link to full text).


CIA's chief information officer stresses the need for a data-savvy CIA workforce (December 4, 2018).

Executive Actions


Announcements, reports, directives, regulations, decisions, and other actions of the executive branch that affect or relate to intelligence employees, intelligence issues, or have national security implications. 



DNI Coats issues Security Executive Agent Directive 7 mandating security clearance reciprocity (9 November 2018)


The National Insider Threat Task Force (NITTF) released the Insider Threat Program Maturity Framework (November 1, 2018)


Joint Statement from the ODNI, DoJ, FBI, and DHS  on Combatting Foreign Influence in U.S. Elections  (October 19, 2018)


See DNI Coats' Statement on the National Strategy for Counterterrorism (October 4, 2018)

Congressional Interests


Congressional actions, legislation proposed or enacted, and other actions of the legislative branch that affect or relate to intelligence employees, intelligence issues, or have other national security implications.  


SSCI Vice Chairman Mark Warner introduces legislation to improve security clearance processing (December 6, 2018)


See (July 11, 2018) SSCI Report to Accompany FY '18 & '19 Intelligence Authorization Act 


See also (July 12, 2018) House passes intelligence authorizations for FY'18 and '19


See (July 3, 2018) SSCI's Initial Findings Regarding IC's Assessment of Russian Interference into 2016 Election

Court Watch


Court decisions and other developments in court cases that relate to intelligence employees, intelligence issues, or that  otherwise are of national security interest. 


Former Air Force Intelligence Agent charged with Spying for Iran (NYTimes, February 14, 2019)

Ex-CIA contractor gets 90 days for unauthorized retention of classified material (From AP News)


Former CIA employee pleads not guilty to leaks charges (From AP News) 


Citizens group wants prosecutions over rendition program 

Other News


Selected items not covered in CII's executive, court, or congressional  alerts. These may include information concerning foreign governments or international organizations, state or local  governments, and the private sector.


Security Clearance Reform Overdue Overhaul, April 15, 2019 by Sina Beaghley

"Former CIA Officer Writings About Intelligence, Policy, and Politics, 2016-17"


Statement by Former CIA officials, tribute to George H.W. Bush 

CIA Remembers George H.W. Bush


Statement by Director of the CIA Gina C. Haspel


“We’ve lost a great champion of the Agency—an accomplished Director, faithful advocate, and dear friend—with the passing of former President George H.W. Bush. As a heroic Navy pilot in the Second World War, a skilled statesman who deftly managed the collapse of the Soviet Union and liberated Kuwait from Saddam Husayn’s aggression, and a committed citizen who remained engaged in public service throughout his later years, President Bush exemplified the virtues of patriotism, duty, and compassion. Officers here at the George Bush Center for Intelligence and deployed around the globe honor the memory of a great American. On behalf of the men and women of CIA, I extend our heartfelt condolences to the Bush family.”



Secrecy in U.S. National Security: Why a Paradigm Shift is Needed.  (This RAND publication summarizes an examination of the current security classification system, identifies what works and what doesn't, and provides the authors' recommendations for improvement.) 


New 9/11 Memorial at CIA Headquarters. Read Here


Former national security officials express concerns about the revocation of former CIA director John Brennan's security clearance. [Read Here]


Former DDCI writes "Why so many former intelligence officers are speaking out."



Potomac Officers Club 6th Annual CyberSecurity Summit

Date and Location

Wednesday May 8, 2019

7:30 am - 12:30 pm

Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner

For More Information


Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) Symposium 

"The Role of Intelligence In A Free Society"


Event Dates & Location


May 9 & 10, 2019

International Spy Museum


For More Information


Past Events

Bar Association of the District of Columbia (BADC) Panel Discussion, Moderated by the Council on Intelligence Issues



Topic: "A Practitioner's Guide to Balancing Government and Employee Interests in Disputes Involving Classified Information"


Shreve Ariail
Deputy General Counsel for Litigation & Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney, E.D.N.Y.

Steven Cash  

Partner, Day Pitney LLP with extensive Hill experience, including former Chief Counsel, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee and Counsel to Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; former CIA attorney

Bill Di lorio
Deputy General Counsel for Litigation, Defense Intelligence Agency

Robert Litt
Of Counsel, Morrison & Foerster LLP
Former General Counsel, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Former Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General

Mark Zaid
Founding Partner, Mark S. Zaid, P.C.
Founder, James Madison Project

W. George Jameson, Moderator
President & Co-Founder, Council on Intelligence Issues
Former Senior Official, CIA


A panel of experts with extensive experience handling national security legal issues at the CIA, CIA, Department of Justice, Congress, and the private sector will discuss best practices in resolving disputes where classified information is involved.


Event Date


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.


Admission is free.  Reception and refreshments are included.  


Reed Smith LLP

1301 K Street, NW

Suite 1000, East Tower

Washington, DC 



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Council on Intelligence Issues Upcoming Event:

Save the Date - June 24 


"Intelligence Operations in a Digital Age."


A panel of former intelligence officials will address the impact of cyber and related national security threats and how technological advances challenge intelligence policy, operational, and legal officials and affect operations. 

Panelists will discuss practical, policy, and legal factors that can influence the planning and conduct of intelligence operations, including privacy and property interests that can be affected by operations, the obstacles to operating clandestinely in an increasingly transparent world, and the operational and personal liability risks that confront intelligence officers and others seeking clarity in what applicable laws and policies allow.


Event Date:

June 24, 2019

5:30 - 8:30 PM

Includes Reception


Hosted by

Steptoe & Johnson LLP

1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20036

Additional information about the event and how to register will be available at a later date.










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About Us

The Council on Intelligence Issues (CII) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2010 to educate intelligence personnel and the public about important intelligence and other national security interests.  CII helps current and former officers, employees, and families of the CIA and other intelligence community agencies who may need legal counseling or other assistance in connection with their intelligence service.

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