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Mission First

Mr. Leiter is held in high regard in many quarters, which makes this story, if true, exceedingly disturbing:

The top official in charge of analyzing terror threats did not cut short his ski vacation after the underwear bomber nearly blew up an airliner on Christmas Day ... Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center since 2007, decided not to return to his agency's "bat cave" nerve center in McLean, Va., until several days after Christmas, two U.S. officials said.

Granted, its the information age and working remotely is a reality for a lot of people; I just don't think the head of NCTC is one of those people.

At the risk of casting an unwarranted aspersion, it used to be that you'd cancel evening or weekend plans if you even thought that something was going to happen, and you purposefully left gaps in the calendar during periods when you knew things could get hairy (such as major holidays). Being an intelligence officer means making sacrifices. That doesn't mean you can't have a life, but it also means you lead a life interrupted for as long as you answer the call.

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