Mark Stout is the International Spy Museum’s Historian.
He worked for thirteen years as an intelligence analyst, first with the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research and later with the CIA. He has also worked on the Army Staff in the Pentagon and at the Institute for Defense Analyses. In addition, Mr. Stout is a Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences where he teaches course on intelligence and strategic studies. He has degrees from Stanford and Harvard Universities and in 2010 he completed his PhD in history at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom where he wrote his dissertation on American intelligence in World War I. Mr. Stout is the co-author of three books and has published articles in Intelligence and National Security, Studies in Intelligence, The Journal of Strategic Studies, and Studies in Conflict and Terrorism.
World War I saw the first flowering of modern American intelligence. In France, the US Army was flying aerial photography missions and breaking the codes of the German Army. Back home, the Army, the Navy, and the Justice Department’s Bureau of Investigation secured the nation against spies and saboteurs—both imaginary and real. Meanwhile, the State Department was conducting daring espionage missions abroad. Learn about this little-known period of American history and hear how it still echoes today.
In this era of terrorism, Americans are being forced to consider whether they wish to exchange any of their freedom and privacy for physical security. Many people fear that we are seeing the creation of an oppressive and intrusive national security state whose power gains can never be reversed. It is often forgotten, however, that this is not the first time that such issues have arisen in the United States. Has the US population been inexorably losing its liberties to the intelligence and security agencies over the last century? Or, has the balance between liberty and security tilted back and forth as threats have changed? Explore these questions and consider how their answers help us think about the challenges we face today.
Intelligence contracting is much in the news, but this is not a new topic. In fact, on several occasions in the twentieth century the United States contracted private companies to conduct espionage overseas, even behind the Iron Curtain. Examine these experiences and consider what lessons they may hold for us today.