Devine offers inside look into the CIA for the Assembly Series

‘Importance and Ethics of National Intelligence’ begins at 5 p.m. Sept. 16

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. In the case of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), it also may be challenging to uncover.

At 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept.16, the Washington University in St. Louis Assembly Series will offer a rare look inside one of the United States’ most secret organizations courtesy of Jack Devine, retired acting director of CIA operations.

Devine’s presentation, “The Importance and Ethics of National Intelligence,” is the annual Elliot Stein Lecture in Ethics and is co-sponsored by the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy in Arts & Sciences, and student organization WU Political Review.

The lecture is free and open to the public, and will be held in Steinberg Hall Auditorium on the university’s Danforth Campus. A book signing will follow.


For more than three decades and under eight presidential administrations, Devine was America’s top spymaster. He was at the helm of every major covert initiative, from “Charlie Wilson’s War” in Afghanistan to Allende’s fall in Chile to Iran-Contra, among others.

In addition to serving as a memoir, his book, “Good Hunting: An American Spymaster’s Story,” is a warning about what Devine sees as the degradation of our nation’s ability to spy, and the misuse of citizens’ private information.

During a conversation with Elliot “Skip” Stein, son of the late Elliot Stein, Devine will debunk some of the myths surrounding the CIA as well as reveal the ethical standards to which he adhered during his administration and the danger he believes the country faces when the institution strays from those standards.

For more, read the Amazon review on “Good Hunting” or listen to Devine’s interview with New York Public Radio.

For more information on this and other Assembly Series events, visit