Commentary Magazine


Who is Richard H. Immerman?

Is this a case of the fox guarding the henhouse?

Immerman is the man Mike McConnell, director of national intelligence, appointed back in September to the position of “assistant deputy director of national intelligence for analytic integrity and standards.” Immerman also holds the position of “analytic ombudsman.”

Immerman’s job is to ensure that intelligence reports are created according to accepted norms and are vetted properly for accuracy and lack of bias. He also investigates complaints by others of shortcomings in the production of intelligence analyses.

But before assuming this position, Immerman was a professor at Temple University, where he adumbrated some views that make him a peculiar choice for a position of such high responsibility. I explore them — and their possible connection to the recent botched National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s WMD program — in If Michael Moore Had a Security Clearance, which appears in the latest issue of the Weekly Standard.

Here are the questions of the day:

How exactly did someone of Immerman’s particular political persuasion come to hold such a critical position in the intelligence community?

Will Mike McConnell keep him in his job?

What do readers of Connecting the Dots predict?