Dan Coats To Purdue Defense Panel: We Have Info, But Not Enough Means To Process It

May 14, 2019

Director of National Intelligence – and former Indiana Senator – Dan Coats says the nation’s intelligence apparatus isn’t harmed by a lack of information, but by a lack of ways to process it efficiently.

That was Coats’ message Tuesday during a speech at a Purdue University symposium on using artificial intelligence for military purposes.

Coats didn’t talk much about AI, but did say he worries about a perversion of what he calls the “liberal order” of the world.

“This liberal order enfolds representative democracy, limits on government power, the rule of law, free markets, respect for the rights and responsibilities of nation states,” Coats says.

Though he didn’t appear to be taking a swipe at his boss, Donald Trump’s administration has been criticized for eroding all of those in the past two years.

Coats did mention the need to stop foreign powers from meddling in U.S. elections, but criticized what he called “jihadist” ideologies for terrorism that takes American lives, even though multiple analyses point out the majority of mass killings in America are done by white men.

Coats, who oversees 17 information-gathering agencies, says some universities are doing enough to keep the country safe, while insisting protests at others are harming national security.

“Many universities understand why it’s necessary. Purdue is one of them, MIT is another, I could go on. I won’t name the names of those who are doing demonstrations outside or in their quad or whatever in terms of you can’t trust the government, you can’t trust anybody.”

He allows that U.S. elections were tampered with in 2016 and 2018, but stayed mostly away from criticizing Russia in his 15-minute talk.

Coats was returning to the state to attend the Wednesday funeral of his former Senate colleague, Richard Lugar.