The Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security (DMGS) commenced its new ME ‘Spike’ Bowman Distinguished Lectures series in Intelligence and National Security Law this Monday with Admiral Bobby R. Inman, United States Navy (retired). Endowed by the Center for National Security Law, University of Virginia (UVA), the series features high-profile experts providing insight into current national security and intelligence issues. Admiral Inman examined the challenges, opportunities, and experiences he faced during his intelligence career in influential roles including Director of the National Security Agency, Director of Naval Intelligence, Vice Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence.

Central to Admiral Inman’s analysis was the question of how the intelligence community can obtain and retain public support for the activities necessary for intelligence gathering. “How do you protect your ability to access and to gain access?” Admiral Inman asked. He also discussed his role in establishing the FISA court system with the purpose of reassuring NSA and its employees that what they were doing was clearly authorized under the laws of the U.S. Admiral Inman drew special attention to the issues of access, legality, and the media when it comes to preventing intelligence leaks. “The facts of what we know can often be released without doing critical damage,” Admiral Inman explained. “It’s how we know that’s the most critical thing to protect. And on the human side, the lives of individuals can be threatened.”

After Admiral Inman’s presentation, DMGS’s Intelligence Chair, Prof. Ronald Marks, interviewed Admiral Inman about relevant issues including the emergence of cyber as a national security threat and the challenges and benefits of a national security career. “There is no going back to a world of not having some entities regularly examining what you’re doing,” said Admiral Inman in response to an audience member’s question during the closing Q & A session. After the event, DMGS students, faculty, and staff had the opportunity to network with Admiral Inman as well as other campus visitors while enjoying a catered lunch.