Mike Leiter: Intelligence

Mike Leiter: Intelligence

By Chuck Rosenberg, NBC News

Mike Leiter grew up in Englewood, New Jersey, where his extraordinary public service career began early – in high school – when he worked as an Emergency Medical Technician.  After graduating from Columbia University, Mike served as a Naval Flight Officer before attending Harvard Law School, where he was one of only four military veterans in his class of more than 500 students.  At Harvard, Mike was elected President of the prestigious Harvard Law Review – a job once held by Barack Obama.

After clerking on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit for Judge Michael Boudin and then on the United States Supreme Court for Justice Stephen Breyer, Mike worked as a federal prosecutor.  He left that job to become a key staffer on the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Commission - which examined substantial US Intelligence Community failures in the lead up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Ultimately, Mike directed the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) under Presidents Bush and Obama – the organization responsible for analyzing terrorism threats against the United States and its interests, at home and abroad.

Mike shares with host Chuck Rosenberg fascinating insights on the US intelligence community, as someone who studied it on the WMD commission and as someone who ran a vital part of it at NCTC.  You can find a link to the final report of the WMD Commission here:


And you can read Mike's Washington Post Op Ed here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/07/06/weve-briefed-many-presidents-uncertainty-comes-with-job/

If you have thoughtful feedback on this episode or others, please email us at theoathpodcast@gmail.com.

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