Pillar of Georgetown

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Not many would link the CIA acronym with academia but there is a surprising overlap between them, not just among the graduates who graduate from the latter to the former but among CIA veterans who retire from the agency to teach.

Thus, for former CIA agents and administrators, where the first world ends, the new one begins. It helps if they were predisposed towards the new world order to begin with. Such a predisposition may even be a precondition for employment.

Cliff Kincaid of our sister organization, Accuracy in Media, may have come across such a chap at a conference he attended a few months ago.

“Literature at the conference announced a March 9-10, 2013 ‘National Summit to Reassess the US-Israel ‘Special Relationship,’” Kincaid wrote in a column distributed on October 29, 2012. “One of the ‘confirmed speakers’ is Paul R. Pillar, a 28-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency who is now a visiting professor at Georgetown University for Security Studies. He wrote an article, ‘We Can Live With a Nuclear Iran.’”

“Professor Pillar retired in 2005 from a 28-year career in the U.S. intelligence community, in which his last position was National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia,” according to the professor’s  university web page. “Earlier he served in a variety of analytical and managerial positions, including as chief of analytic units at the CIA covering portions of the Near East, the Persian Gulf, and South Asia. Professor Pillar also served in the National Intelligence Council as one of the original members of its Analytic Group. He has been Executive Assistant to CIA’s Deputy Director for Intelligence and Executive Assistant to Director of Central Intelligence William Webster. He has also headed the Assessments and Information Group of the DCI Counterterrorist Center, and from 1997 to 1999 was deputy chief of the center. He was a Federal Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institution in 1999-2000. Professor Pillar is a retired officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and served on active duty in 1971-1973, including a tour of duty in Vietnam.”

“Sometimes comes across as condescending, but good professor,” Pillar’s one rating on Rate My Professor.com reads.  “Good at managing class discussion and brings good combination of theory and experience to bear.”

Another CIA veteran who went on to teach at Georgetown is George “Slam Dunk” Tenet, who provided the weapons of mass destruction intelligence to his last government supervisor of record—President George W. Bush. The former chief executive is still taking grief for the WMD that never materialized.

In passing we should note that a former CIA director who many former agents credit with gutting the agency—Stansfield Turner—also retired to a career in a Washington metro area university—The University of Maryland at College Park.


Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org.



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