GV to host U.S. intelligence panel

GVL/Kevin Sielaff
Dr. Jonathan White, professor of interdisciplinary studies.

GVL/Kevin Sielaff Dr. Jonathan White, professor of interdisciplinary studies.

Conor Wolfgram

Grand Valley State University will host a discussion panel featuring experts in U.S. intelligence on Tuesday, Sept. 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m in the Cook DeWitt Center.

The panel will consist of author Don Markle, as well as several GVSU professors and other local U.S. intelligence experts.

Gleaves Whitney and Jonathan White are faculty at GVSU and will be part of the panel. Whitney is director of GVSU’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies. White is a professor of interdisciplinary studies and teaches classes on terrorism, counter-terrorism and intelligence analysis. They hope the discussion will provide a full exposition on U.S intelligence and spark understanding and interest in politics and history among students who may not know a lot about U.S intelligence.

The panel will analyze tensions in a post Sept. 11 world and address recent issues in U.S. intelligence, such as the recent National Security Agency scandal.

“This discussion is important because every student should know the rights and duties in the constitution,” Whitney said. “If people who are for civil rights are not careful, we may open ourselves to future terrorist attacks. We need intelligence gathering to prevent future attacks. We have to be smarter.”

U.S. intelligence is not without its complications and is a prime topic for debate. White and Gleaves said there are various types of U.S. intelligence that will be discussed. They include national security, law enforcement and civil rights.

“If people who are for national security get too much leeway, we may lose rights, but if civil rights gets too much leeway, we may lose national security. Can we reach a compromise” Whitney said.

White, who has been working with U.S. intelligence since the early 1980s, stresses the importance of national security.

“After Sept. 11, I was on loan from Grand Valley for three years,” White said. “I’ve also worked closely with law enforcement agencies. I know that national security works outside our borders and manages all threats against the nation.”

The discussion on Sept. 16 will follow a keynote featuring Don Markle, a former U.S. intelligence officer, Smithsonian Institute lecturer and author. The keynote will be at 7 p.m. on Sept. 15 at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids.

“Donald Markle is the real expert,” White said.

Markle worked in the U.S. Department for 34 years and donated a vast collection of reference materials to the Hauenstein Center in 2010. His book “The Fox and the Hound: The Birth of American Spying” will be another focal point in the discussion.

The event is free and LIB 100 approved, but seats are limited. Those wishing to attend the discussion panel can RSVP at www.hauensteincenter.org.

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