When terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, Michael Morell was with President George W. Bush at an elementary school in Florida as the CIA’s daily briefer. The events that unfolded on that fateful day are just some of the many national security emergencies the former acting director of the agency, has been at the center of since 9/11. The veteran intelligence official has spent much of his 30-year career out of the public eye, but he’s stepping out of the shadows to talk about his new book The Great War of Our Time: The CIA's Fight Against Terrorism — From al Qa'ida to ISIS.
VICE News met with Morell at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California, and spoke with him about the Iraq war, the CIA’s “interrogation” program, and what he refers to as "the new era of terrorism."
In which the man who was in charge of briefing the president on the morning of 9/11 and delivered the intelligence packets which led to the Iraq war admits that there were, on average, about 2.6 mistakes in the president's daily briefing every single day:
MIKE MORELL: I grew up on the analytics side of the agency, and we produce the president's daily brief for the president, and in there we probably make 10-12 analytic judgements every day. Big judgements.
And we look at whether those judgements turn out to be right or wrong a year after we make them, and we say 'Were we right? Were we wrong? Can't we tell yet?'
And our batting average is 75-80%, which is not bad, right, when you're trying to look at the world that somebody is trying to keep from you, or you are looking into the future.