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Our First Line of Defense: Presidential Reflections on US Intelligence

Presidential Reflections on US Intelligence (published 2007)


Until World War II, the conduct of foreign intelligence activities by the United States Government was sporadic, and most Americans were not aware of them. Presidents of the United States, who have always borne the responsibility for the national security, have made statements, particularly in recent years, that have both acknowledged the existence of US intelligence activities and revealed their importance in support of governmental policies and functions.

Selected Presidential statements dealing with US intelligence activities have been extracted for presentation in this pamphlet. Statements in this pamphlet include the observations of Presidents Washington, Polk, Wilson, and all presidents from Franklin Delano Roosevelt through William Clinton (1996).

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