Stansfield M. Turner (born December 1, 1923 in Highland Park, Illinois, USA) was an Admiral and Director of Central Intelligence. He is currently a senior research scholar at the University of Maryland, College Park School of Public Policy .
He served as president of Naval War College from 1972 to 1974, where he successfully introduced a radical improvement of that College's curriculum, introducing educational approaches based on his experience as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. Principle among his innovations at the Naval War College was the introduction of Thucydides' Peloponnesian War as a major book of study, a reading that remains central to the Strategy and Policy curriculum today. After serving as Commander, United States Second Fleet, he commanded the Southern region of NATO and was subsequently Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) from 1977 to 1981 in the administration of his Naval Academy classmate, President Jimmy Carter. He was a member of the Monsanto board of directors. He is now a senior research scholar at the University of Maryland, College Park's School of Public Policy.
One exception to Turner's preference for non-human intelligence gathering involved the use of a psychic. In the January 2006 issue of GQ magazine, former President Jimmy Carter reportedthat Turner hired a psychic to help locate a US plane that had been lost in Central Africa. When Turner's preferred TECHINT and SIGINT approaches both failed to find the missing plane, Turner reported to the president that the agency hired a psychic to help find the plane.
During Turner's term as head of the CIA, he became outraged when former agent Frank Snepp published a book called Decent Interval which exposed incompetence among senior American government personnel during the fall of Saigon. Turner accused Snepp of breaking the secrecy agreement required of all CIA agents, and then later was forced to admit under cross-examination that he had never read the agreement signed by Snepp. Regardless, the CIA ultimately won its case against Snepp at the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court forced Snepp to turn over all his profits from Decent Interval and to seek preclearance of any future writings about intelligence work for the rest of his life. The ultimate irony was that the CIA would later rely on the Snepp legal precedent in forcing Turner to seek preclearance of his own memoirs, which were highly critical of President Ronald Reagan's policies. Turner, who was not a lawyer, did not understand the concept of precedent, and did not grasp the broader implications of pushing the U.S. Department of Justice to take an aggressive stance against Snepp.
During his tenure as Director of Central Intelligence in the early 1980s when asked on an NPR interview program about 'domestic spying', he said, "Americans are not a source of much intelligence."
In the documentary "Secrets of the CIA" Admiral Turner commented the MK ULTRA project.
"It came to my attention early in my ten years as director, and I felt it was a warning sign that if your not alert, things can go wrong in this organisation."
Turner has been sharply critical of the Bush administration handling of the Iraq invasion. In September 2003 he wrote that "most of the assumptions behind our invasion have been proven wrong: The intelligence did not support the imminence of a threat, the Iraqis have not broadly welcomed us as liberators, the idea that we could manage this action almost unilaterally is giving way to pleas for troops and money from other nations, the aversion to giving the UN a meaningful role is eroding daily, and the reluctance to get involved in nation building is being supplanted by just that."
In November 2005, after Vice President Dick Cheney had lobbied against a provision to a defence Bill that Republican Senator John McCain had passed in the senate banning "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of all US detainees, Turner was quoted as saying "I am embarrassed that the USA has a vice president for torture. I think it is just reprehensible. He (Mr Cheney) advocates torture, what else is it? I just don't understand how a man in that position can take such a stance." Cheney countered the bill went well beyond banning torture and could be interpreted by courts to ban most forms of interrogation.
Turner also serves on the Military Advisors Committee for the Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities, whose mission is to reduce the amount of the discretionary budget going to the military by 15% and reallocate that money to education, healthcare, renewable energies, job training, and humanitarian aid programs.
Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit with two Gold Stars
Bronze Star Medal with V Device
Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation
Navy Commendation Medal with V Device
Navy Meritorious Unit Award
American Campaign Medal
World War Two Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Service Star
Korean Service Medal
United Nations Service Medal
Hansen Information Technologies. (Worth Telling).(Dick Armey, Stansfield Turner will speak at the 2003 Innovative Government Forum)(Brief Article)
Mar 01, 2003; * Hansen Information Technologies announces that Dick Armey, former House of Representatives speaker, and Stansfield Turner,...