Speeches & Interviews 2016

Speeches & Interviews 2016

Black lives matter. Let’s start with that simple, positive assertion – black lives matter. I cannot in 2016 come to Morehouse College, one of the most respected historically black colleges in the nation, Dr. King’s alma mater, and a school that is so active in the black lives matter movement that you dedicated all of your Crown Forums this year to it, and not make that clear. So I want to thank Dr. Wilson for inviting me, so that I can say here today – black lives matter.

Over the past few years, certainly over my tenure as DNI, we’ve held a very public conversation about our work – the work of the Intelligence Community – and how we should conduct it. I believe, a lot of what has been lost in the public debate about how we conduct intelligence is why we even do intelligence in the first place. Why does any nation-state conduct intelligence?

Today marks an interesting and very American anniversary, a 1935 event that, in 2010, Sports Illustrated called, “The Greatest 45 Minutes Ever in Sports.” I’m betting most people around our nation have never heard of it. Any guesses?  Eighty-one years ago, today, at the 1935 Big Ten Track and Field Championships, in the span of about 45 minutes, Jesse Owens first tied the world record in the 100-yard dash and then broke world records in the long jump, the 220-yard dash, and the 220 low hurdles.

When I was president of SASA, the predecessor to INSA in the 1990s, I tried to promote a combined symposium with AFCEA, but I could never pull it off. This event now marks the third year in a row for this joint summit. So I want to congratulate everyone who is involved in both organizations, AFCEA and INSA, in putting these things on, and now they're becoming a custom. So it proves that over time, things do change. But I think we can safely say it's an idea whose time has really come and that you've made it stick.

As many of you know, we started this symposium when I was NGA director in 2003. In 2004, the Geospatial Intelligence Foundation took over, and it is really remarkable what USGIF has done to grow this into our nation’s largest gathering of intelligence professionals, a terrific celebration of geospatial intelligence, and a great opportunity to share and grow the tradecraft and foster intelligence integration.