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CIA veteran Burton Gerber speaks to interns

Washington, D.C., June 26, 2013 – IWP interns were fortunate to have a lecture by one of the Central Intelligence Agency’s finest, Burton Gerber. Mr. Gerber served with the CIA for 39 years as a case officer and Chief of Station in three communist countries. He currently is a professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies.

After sharing some details about his career as a spy, Mr. Gerber discussed with the group the question of whether, in light of the Edward Snowden incident, intelligence gathering is morally right or wrong. 

Mr. Gerber then explained that the three main activities in spying are lying, cheating and stealing. He described the origin of each of these activities in the realm of intelligence gathering, and emphasized that lying underlies much of intelligence gathering.  He asserted that every country spies on other countries to look for possible threats and problems, but then denies it publically.

He explained that a “finding” is a document signed by the President sanctioning an act of spying, and reviewed the Iran-Contra case during the Reagan administration, in which U.S. officials facilitated the sale of arms to Iran and a finding was signed after action was taken.  

-James Kazunas
IWP Intern