Devotion to Duty
Directorate of Intelligence (DI)
“No, but we’re going to make it right.”
– DI officer, asked by his 4-year-old son if he was going to
“fix the planes…and the people…and the buildings…"
Tell Me What I Need To Know
Tasked with providing information and assistance to policymakers, starting with the President, DI analysts cover issues worldwide, from politics to economics, and personalities to technology and terrorism. CIA’s analytic ranks are filled with critical thinkers trained to sift and test information from all sources.
After September 11th, the DI reorganized to focus even more of its efforts on counterterrorism and Afghanistan. Officers who had been covering other parts of the world were reassigned to CTC—the focal point at the Agency for the war on al-Qa’ida. Many of those who went to work on Afghanistan brought valuable experience from other hotspots, such as the Balkans and Iraq.
DI analysts hunkered down for the long days and nights ahead. They would work 10 to 12-hour shifts to ensure constant coverage. Some spent the first few days entirely at CIA Headquarters, sleeping on whatever cot or sofa they could find. Walking through the hallways, one could see pizza boxes and makeshift beds everywhere.
Our government’s appetite for the latest information was insatiable. For weeks, regional analysts covering Afghanistan provided around-the-clock briefings. DCI Tenet gave the President critical intelligence as events developed. A CTC analyst identified two al-Qa’ida figures on the manifest for Flight 77, confirming that organization’s role. Analysts prepared DCI Tenet for marathon planning sessions at Camp David the weekend after the attacks.
New officers arrived to help meet the enormous demands on the Agency. The enthusiasm and vigor of the new analysts was a boost to officers who spent days and nights after September 11th poring over information and putting together the varied pieces.
After a long shift at work, many officers would leave late in the evening or early in the morning. They would drive under overpasses with American flags waving gently in the breeze—reminders of what their long work days were all about.