Published on: March 13th, 2024

AWC Lecture: J. Michael Waller, The Political Weaponization of the CIA and FBI

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Washington D.C.—J. Michael Waller, Senior Analyst for Strategy at the Center for Security Policy and President of Georgetown Research, joined Hillsdale in DC on Wednesday night to discuss his new book: Big Intel: How the CIA and FBI Went from Cold War Heroes to Deep State Villains. As a scholar and former CIA operative, Waller offered thoughts on how to recover American freedoms being undermined by "Big Intel."

Mr. Waller began his lecture discussing the foundation of intelligence agencies saying, “There’s a constitutional basis for intelligence services, going all the way back to George Washington and the founders to collect foreign intelligence and inform our leaders.” However, he also noted the importance of breaking up the bureaucracy in the CIA and FBI by delegating responsibility back to the smaller agencies– such as the U.S Marshalls, ATF, and more.

Waller shared actions that everyday citizens can take to affect change in their local area. He encouraged voting for sheriffs and officials who appoint police chiefs, that are distinctly making an effort to keep the FBI out of regional jurisdictions and let investigations be settled at the local level.

One of the attendees commented on his interest to join tonight’s lecture: “I was interested because I am a strong believer in the constitutional system and the original intent of the constitution, and while I am a proponent of having a strong intelligence apparatus, I do believe it’s a system that needs to answer directly to the elected President… and I wanted to hear what Mr. Waller had to say.”

About Hillsdale in D.C.

Hillsdale in D.C. is an extension of the teaching mission of Hillsdale College to Washington, D.C. Its purpose is to teach the Constitution and the principles that give it meaning. Through the study of original source documents from American history—and of older books that formed the education of America’s founders—it seeks to inspire students, teachers, citizens, and policymakers to return the America’s principles to their central place in the political life of the nation.

About Hillsdale College

Hillsdale College is an independent liberal arts college located in southern Michigan. Founded in 1844, the College has built a national reputation through its classical liberal arts core curriculum and its principled refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies, even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans. It also conducts an outreach effort promoting civil and religious liberty, including a free monthly speech digest, Imprimis, with a circulation of more than 5.7 million. For more information, visit