James Clapper On His Five Decades In Intelligence Operations

James Clapper On His Five Decades In Intelligence Operations

3:54pm May 23, 2018
Intelligence Leaders Brief Senate On Worldwide Threats To U.S.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper waits for the Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing to begin on February 9, 2016.
Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images

When James Clapper retired from his post as Director of National Intelligence in January 2017, a former colleague said: “I think history will be kind to Jim Clapper.”

And Clapper lived through quite a history.

A retired Air Force lieutenant general and intelligence specialist, Clapper served under presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. His tenure under Obama saw the raid on Osama bin Laden, the Benghazi attack and the Snowden leaks. And, just as he was leaving office, the intelligence community concluded that Russia carried out a cyber campaign to sabotage the 2016 election.

Clapper’s new book, Facts and Fears, examines the five decades of his career in national intelligence operations, including these last tumultuous years. What does he regret? What is he proud of? In his announcement that he was writing the book, Clapper said he would take a “warts and all” approach.


James Clapper, Former U.S. Director of National Intelligence (2010-2017); former Air Force lieutenant general

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