Tom Fingar Wins Sam Adams Award 242

The following press release is from the Oxford Union:

The Oxford Union will be hosting the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence award presentation on 23 January 2013. The ceremony will feature several individuals well known in intelligence and related fields, including, via video-stream, remarks by Julian Assange, winner of the Sam Adams award in 2010.

The annual award presentation provides a rare occasion for accolades to “whistleblowers” — conscience-driven women and men willing to take risks to honor the public’s need to know.

This year’s Sam Adams recipient is Professor Thomas Fingar, who is now teaching at Stanford University. Dr. Fingar served from 2005 to 2008 as Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis and Chairman of the National Intelligence Council.

In that role, Dr. Fingar oversaw preparation of the landmark 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran, in which all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies concluded with “high confidence” that Iran had halted its nuclear weapon design and weaponization work in 2003. The Estimate’s key judgments were declassified and made public, and have been revalidated every year since.

Those pressing for an attack on Iran in 2008 found themselves fighting uphill. This time, thanks largely to Dr. Fingar and the professional intelligence analysts he led in 2007, intelligence analysis on Iran was fearlessly honest. A consummate intelligence professional, Fingar would not allow the NIE to be “fixed around the policy,” the damning phrase used in the famous “Downing St. Memo” of July 23, 2002 to describe the unconscionable process that served up fraudulent intelligence to “justify” war with Iraq.

We are delighted to be welcoming several previous Sam Adams awardees, including Coleen Rowley, Katharine Gun, Craig Murray, Thomas Drake, and Julian Assange (by video-stream) — as well as other Sam Adams associates from both sides of the Atlantic, including Ray McGovern, Brady Kiesling, Davdi McMichael, Elizabeth Murray, Todd Pierce and Ann Wright.

We feel that the Oxford Union, dedicated to upholding freedom of speech and providing a platform for all points of view, is a fitting venue. The traditional acceptance speech by Dr. Fingar will be followed by briefer remarks by a few previous Sam Adams awardees. They will be followed by Julian Assange who will speak for 20 minutes immediately before the Q&A, during which the audience will be invited to put questions on any topic to any of the presenters.

Assange is clearly a figure who generates controversy for reasons ranging from the allegations made against him in Sweden, to the perceived recklessness of some WikiLeaks activities. We would therefore encourage those who disagree with him, or with any of our other speakers, to participate in the Q&A session.

Last but not least, we are happy to note that Dr. Fingar, will be with us for the entire term. Professor Fingar has just begun teaching a course at the University of Oxford on global trends and transnational issues, as part of Stanford’s Bing Overseas Studies Program. He will also give guest lectures and public talks while here at Oxford (January-March 2013).

Professor Fingar holds a PhD in political science from Stanford. His most recent book is Reducing Uncertainty: Intelligence Analysis and National Security (Stanford University Press, 2011).

242 thoughts on “Tom Fingar Wins Sam Adams Award

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  • Kempe

    Good morning all and thank you for your kind comments.

    Mr Farrell appears to have fallen for one of several conspiracy theories surrounding 7/7 and 9/11. Despite what some of you might think this is as far from the truth as anybody is likely to get. I’m sure the good people in South Yorkshire will now sleep easier in their beds knowing he no longer has any responsibility for their safety.

    “Truthers” have to explain why he wasn’t disappeared or stiched up with kiddie porn on his work laptop before he had a chance to go public.

    I wonder, was he trying to work an early discharge on medical grounds?

  • Mary

    I have just checked to see what Obama is doing about Mali. I began to think I had imagined the breaking news I reported seeing yesterday that he was going in to assist the ‘operation’. There is nothing on the BBC (strange?) but the LA Times and VoA both report it.

    U.S. moves to bolster French military campaign in Mali
    The U.S. is preparing to ferry more French troops to Mali and provide other help. The fight against Al Qaeda affiliates gained urgency given the rebel advances.,0,4876209.story

    US Prepares to Help France in Mali – With Caution
    Voice of America ‎- 6 hours ago
    The U.S. aim is to go after al-Qaida-linked militants in Africa. … The French intervention has come at the request of Mali’s interim leaders.

    Nothing much coming from the boy wonder in King William Street. He is being given a hard time on this twitter!

    He had said on his own feed:

    13 JanWilliam Hague‏@WilliamJHague
    Risk in #Mali is of a terrorist haven developing on Europe’s doorstep

    13 JanWilliam Hague‏@WilliamJHague
    The UK is providing logistical military assistance to help transport troops and equipment to #Mali quickly

    He has pushed off out of it to New Zealand. Probably fancied a bit of sun.

  • John Goss

    Again, let me thank you for the links Arbed. That David Allen Green is a nasty piece of work. From Birmingham too. Green does not answer questions regarding his manufacture of information. There was a time when the New Stateman was a worthy publication.

  • Fred

    “In early use, the word “naive” meant natural or innocent, and did not connote ineptitude. (Wiki)

    I like that colour of naive.

    BTW, Suhayl what does Schlobalob mean? I tried googling the word but it bowled me a googly.”

    Oh aren’t you the clever one, I bet your daddy’s really proud of you, does he know you’re playing with his computer?

  • Fred

    “In the absence of not being able to refute nor prove what either of these two are saying, we are left none the wiser.”

    Which for you is a crying shame.

  • Mary

    O/T Do not buy any gift vouchers from retailers.

    Jessops were said to have £850,000 worth in circulation which the administrators would not honour.

    Now the same applies to HMV.
    ‘The firm said it would not be accepting gift vouchers or issuing any more.’ BBC website

    I bet the figure is way higher than Jessops. So soon after Christmas, many vouchers would have been given as presents.

    Yet another rip off in rip off Britain.

  • Komodo

    Also O/T
    For those who were wondering about Mali, run, don’t walk to your stockbroker*,%20General%20Director,%20AUREP.pdf

    Wiki on the Tuareg Rebellion is worth a glance, too. Most of the oil claims are in the “rebel”-held South.

    And “Another commentator described the US as a catalyst for the rebellion, citing the training of Tuareg rebels by the U.S. (to fight Gaddafi -K) and the overthrow of Libya’s government in 2011.”

    The Law of Unintended Consequences again…

    *or your arms dealer

  • Villager


    I might join the counter-protest on the 23rd–what time is it slated for? Any ideas as to how we might recognise each other and actually meet? I know at the last time Clark was there with a placard but despite that people missed each other.

    Also, does anyone know if there is live streaming planned for the Oxford mtg and Assange’s address etc.?

  • Villager

    Giles i’ve noted that if you leave it blank in error and have to return to the screen, it doesn’t accept any answer, even a correct one. Then requires refreshing–perhaps thats a technical glitch that can be fixed?

  • Fred

    “Any ideas as to how we might recognise each other and actually meet?”

    Yes you’ll need someone to hold your hand while you cross the road.

  • Kempe

    “That David Allen Green is a nasty piece of work. ”

    Green was involved with the Simon Singh case and the Twitter Joke appeal. He’s probably done more to protect your freedom of expression than Julian Assange ever will.

  • David

    “Green was involved with the Simon Singh case and the Twitter Joke appeal. He’s probably done more to protect your freedom of expression than Julian Assange ever will.”

    In those days he was but a humble blogger. I even remember him writing something quite incisive about the emergent police state.

    These days of course he dines at corporate high table.

    Assange provides an insight into things that governments would prefer hidden. It’s not unreasonable to ask why so many so-called journalists seem to be against that.

  • A Node

    So in your opinion, David Allen Green is a good guy and Sizer and Farrell are bad guys.
    Hmmmmm. Yessss.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Conflict

    Investigative journalism and even citizen reporting is a corrupt State’s greatest fear. People like John Schindler, John Pilger and citizens Bridget and Ant(July 7th) all dig for the truth. These people are special, they are ‘conspiracy realists’ with probing minds.

    Governments are suffocating investigative journalism at an alarming rate through the abuse of Acts like the arcane Official Secrets Act, D-Notices, the Espionage Act of 1917 and more; acts more prone to be used to protect government secrecy than national security. These Acts has been used numerous times to go after whistleblowers and the journalists who protect and reveal their information.

    Hats off to your intention and dedication.

  • Arbed

    Villager, 11.20am

    The Oxford Union gives the start time of the event as 19.30 so I imagine the protests/counterprotests will be around then. Personally, I think I’ll go down to the embassy much earlier in the afternoon. Someone has printed 1,000 flyers of that factsheet I’ve linked above so I’ll help with giving those out to passersby, Harrods shoppers, etc, etc… 🙂

    “Any ideas as to how we might recognise each other and actually meet? I know at the last time Clark was there with a placard but despite that people missed each other”

    John Goss and I have met face-to-face – don’t know if that helps/whether he’s going/if you know him…

    Clark: if you’re thinking of attending, I know I missed you last time but you’ve got my email address – drop me a line so we can swap mobile numbers this time.

  • Fred

    “Less of your puerile sarcasm Fred. Are you sure you are on the right blog?”

    When in Rome Mary, when in Rome.

  • Arbed

    @JohnGoss, 9.03am

    “That David Allen Green is a nasty piece of work”

    David Allen Green knows his original article got it wrong and he can no longer justify it, but instead of either correcting it or being prepared to stand behind it, he just washes his hands and walks away:


    Justice4Assange put out a statement directly addressed to the Oxford LGTB (is that the correct acronym? Can’t be bothered to look it up properly) campaigner who’s taken it upon herself to organise the protest against Assange speaking at an awards ceremony dedicated to whistleblowers:

    That’s quite a ticking-off – Justice4Assange is usually very measured in its statements. They must be furious about this woman’s wilful idiocy.

  • Kempe

    I suspect that far from getting it wrong Green is simply fed up with trying to convince people who need to believe in the legal myths that they’re wrong.

    Whatever their motivation Oxford’s LGTB community are simply exercising their right to protest just the same as Assange’s supporters are. What right or authority has Justice4Assange to issue a “ticking off”? (That link doesn’t open by the way)

    It ought to be pointed out that Assange is not the whistleblower, Bradley Manning is the whistelblower, Assange is only the publisher. It’s also telling that anybody is even contemplating an anti-Assange rally, such a thing would’ve been inconceivable two years ago.

  • Mary

    If the Guardian had reported the truth, we would probably still be supporting them snd thus they and other newspapers would not be hitting the deck.

    ‘Why the Guardian is launching a digital edition in Australia

    The launch of the Guardian‘s digital edition in Australia is a milestone in the development of our global ambitions. It also illustrates the opportunities and challenges facing a newspaper industry that is undergoing a period of dramatic upheaval, brought about by rapid technological change, exacerbated by the current difficult macro-economic environment.

    In the last ten years, the Guardian has moved from being the ninth most read newspaper in Great Britain to an online presence that makes it the third most read newspaper website in the world. Over the same period, print circulation has declined inexorably and, with it, print advertising revenues; this trend will continue.

    At Guardian News & Media, we have a tradition of leading the way in digital. Our ‘open’ approach to journalism, which seeks to engage our readers in a much more collaborative relationship than traditional print journalism is able to do, is hugely popular with forward-looking individuals who are curious about the world and embrace technological change. This progressive audience leaves the Guardian particularly well-placed to develop its global reach; it is also very attractive to advertisers.

    However, the real challenge is to find a business model that supports the transition from print to digital – and the reality is that no one has yet been able to do this, not least because we are all still working hard to define exactly what a newspaper actually is in the digital age.’


  • Mary

    Goldman Sachs have had a twinge of conscience, or perhaps they were shamed into it. The payment of £9 billion !!! in bonuses will not now be deferred to avoid the higher tax rate.

    Westminster hits at Goldman Sachs bonus plan

    Goldman Sachs provoked a furious reaction in Westminster after it emerged that the US investment bank was considering a plan to delay its UK bonus payments to take advantage of April’s cut to the top rate of tax.


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