Despite the popular perceptions generated by Tom Clancy novels and James Bond movies, American intelligence gathering was not a Cold War invention: it has existed since the Republic’s founding. George Washington organized his own intelligence unit during the Revolutionary War, sending spies behind enemy lines and overseeing counterespionage operations. In 1790, just three years after the Constitutional Convention, Congress acknowledged executive prerogative to conduct intelligence operations and gave then-President Washington a secret unvouchered fund “for spies, if the gentleman so pleases”. Intelligence has been a component of American foreign policy ever since. More important for our purposes, America’s growing involvement in world affairs during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries led to the establishment of several permanent intelligence organizations….