Doris Duke Charitable Foundation discussed on Morning Edition

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Sustainable and just more at gun foundation dot org and by the Doris Duke charitable foundation whose building bridges program works with U. S. Muslims to increase mutual understanding and well being among diverse populations for the benefit of building stronger more inclusive communities this is morning edition from NPR news I'm Rachel Martin and I'm Steve Inskeep how to members of the U. S. intelligence community do their secretive work during a pandemic these are people who can't exactly work from home NPR national security correspondent Greg my rejoins us Hey there Greg good morning Steve I guess we should mention your working at home so that's good but what makes it so hard for the CIA to do that well they should have a built in disadvantages the CIA and the other intelligence agencies they can't take classified papers out of the office they can't use home phones or computers they can have a meeting on zoom all for security reasons they can't use classified information so a small number do you work at the office keeping their distance avoiding meetings and they they sort of work in rotations and shift some work other stay home with a very strict mandate to stay healthy and then they rotate in and out but it just means fewer people working so that's at headquarters but I'm thinking about somebody in the field in some other country and I mean how do you get a whisper a secret to someone or I get them to hand you a document while staying six feet away from them at all times well exactly so I spoke with Paul Colby he's a former CIA officer who served in Moscow and other places he now runs the intelligence project at Harvard's Belfer center and he said this is very hard for for CIA officers to do what they normally do which is meat sources build contacts recruit spies a lot of time meetings are held in third countries so the travel shut down is is harming that but in contrast to the C. I. A. which deals and human intelligence a lot of the time the National Security Agency kinda loves it when people are communicating by phone or computers or virtual meetings in other countries they're focused on electronic service surveillance and this creates lots of opportunities for them well other than just doing less work as you mentioned has the intelligence community fundamentally changed how they work well I keep hearing about this need to look at the cascade effect so we have this health crisis that still in motion but so far the the impact has been mostly on the rich countries in Asia and Europe and in the U. S. it's starting to hit developing country so there is a need to look at what kind of impact will it have there what kind of economic impact will it have in these countries could this also lead to political turbulence you know so far the pandemic has tended to push crowds and protesters off the streets but we just may not last we've seen that the effort to impose lockdowns in in some Muslim countries which are now going into Ramadan Pakistan in particular is having having an issue with this so this is just one thing to be looking at in the in the coming weeks within the United States we've been asking should we have had more personal protective equipment on hand should we have had more ventilators are people in the intelligence community asking questions about being prepared for this kind of event yeah they're talking about the need to be prepared for these extremely rare events which we sometimes call black swans you look at the biggest shocks in the past twenty years and they were really weren't traditional military threats or national security threats this pandemic the Russian interference in the twenty sixteen election the global financial meltdown in two thousand eight even of the nine eleven attacks here's Paul Colby the former CIA officer blacks won't happen and then we should be thinking about other things that haven't happened but which nonetheless could and we shouldn't assume that they won't happen because they haven't sold things like nuclear conflict the development of weapons of mass destruction by terrorist organizations they really talk about this being a global challenge and it will require a global solution something you don't often hear from intelligence agencies and just read my re thanks my pleasure it's N. P. R. news station for the California report lily Jamali will have that for you in a minute Joe with a traffic report on that Caltrans work on one oh one at the two eighty connector south one oh one at two eighty one lane is open your shift over to the new north bound one of the new north bound lanes they build out but to its and confusing enough for ccps running a traffic break they say they're they're intimately doing breaks certain tell people get used to it the northbound side those completely close no confusion just have to get off the two eighty south on nineteenth Avenue through the park all jammed up because of construction at Lincoln there's one construction so going on a wall the creek on six eighty south the north main.

Coming up next