Kim Johnson ReportingThe person who briefs President Bush on intelligence matters was in town today, and today it was University of Utah students who were briefed.
Her name is Jami Miscik; you might say she's the real Jack Ryan you've read about in Tom Clancy novels, and seen in movies. She's charge of all the CIA's intelligence analysts, and she decides what intelligence matters are important enough to discuss with the President. Today she talked to some students about the CIAs' role in foreign policy.
No trench coat, or dark glasses. Just pearls and a power suit for Jami Miscik, who says she's still in awe of what she gets to do every day.
Jami Miscik, Deputy Director of Intelligence/CIA: “If you ever lose that special feeling of walking into the oval office and thinking this really is an amazing opportunity, there would be something exceedingly jaded about that."
It's her job to analyze information, then warn, inform, and provide context for the nation's policy makers. The CIA does NOT, she emphasizes, make policy.
On the question of Iraq, Jami says the search for Saddam Hussein's weapons isn't over, that there is still a lot of work ahead to find the truth.
Jami Miscik, Deputy Dir. of Intelligence/CIA: “From an intelligence perspective, from an intelligence analysts perspective, I'm equally interested in the answers if they don't have the weapons. How were we led to believe that he did? What were we looking at that we should not have been looking at? What should we have been putting more weight on?”
Although her job description doesn't include consulting with movie makers, she has coached Ben Affleck for his role in the spy thriller "Sum of All Fears" and she's helped get Harrison Ford ready for his spy thrillers.
Jami Miscik: "Harrison Ford has played me in the movie ‘Clear and Present Danger’ where he played the deputy director of the CIA. It's the moment in the movie where he pulls up and shows his business card and the guy says, ‘Yeah, you can rent the helicopter, not problem.’ That would be me."
This real-life Jack Ryan arrives at work at three in the morning to prepare to brief President Bush on intelligence matters. She likens her job to studying for final exams with the hope she can answer all his questions.
Jami Miscik: "The vice president is usually there. The national security advisor is there. We finish up and I feel really good about it for maybe thirty minutes, no maybe an hour. And then I realize, I've got to do it again tomorrow."
Jami is a native of Redondo Beach, California. She joined the CIA as an economic analyst in 1983.