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Name: Allen, Charles
Current Position: Former Under Secretary
A native of North Carolina, Charles Allen began serving in August 2005 as the head of intelligence for DHS, first as Assistant Secretary for Information Analysis and Chief of Intelligence, then as Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis. Allen completed a bachelor’s degree as well as graduate studies from the University of North Carolina. He is also a distinguished graduate of the US Air Force Air War College. 
Allen has spent most of his six-decade career with the CIA. He began working in the CIA in 1958, holding a variety of positions of increasing responsibility, both in analytic and managerial capacities. This included a critical error in judgment he made in 1973 while reviewing intelligence that showed Egypt and Syria running military exercises along the Israeli border. Allen decided there was no reason to be alarmed and did not include any warning in his assessment to President Richard Nixon. Shortly thereafter, the two countries invaded Israel, launching the Yom Kippur War.
From 1974-1977, Allen served overseas in an intelligence liaison capacity and from 1977-1980 he held management positions in the Directorate of Intelligence (DIC). From 1980 to November 1982, he served as a program manager of a major classified project, which, according to a historical account of CIA activities, had to do with devising a continuity of government plan in the event a nuclear war destroyed Washington, DC.
In December 1982, Allen was detailed to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he held a senior position in strategic mobilization planning. In 1985, CIA Director William Casey asked Allen to return to the CIA in the capacity of a National Intelligence Officer (NIO) for Counterterrorism. In February 1986, he also was appointed Chief of Intelligence in the CIA’s newly established Counterterrorist Center. As NIO for Counterterrorism, he represented the Director of the CIA in a number of interagency committees, including the chairing of the Interagency Intelligence committee on Terrorism, and serving as a member of the Interdepartmental Group on Terrorism (IG/T) and the National Security Council’s Terrorist Incident Working Group.
While serving under Casey, Allen played an important role in the Iran-Contra Scandal. He reportedly told Casey that moderates in Iran could be approached based on intelligence that some CIA analysts found fault with. Critics accused Allen of “bending his views to political expediency during the Iran initiative.”
Following this assignment, Allen served as the NIO for Warning from 1988 to 1994. In this capacity, he was the principal adviser to the Director of the CIA on national-level warning intelligence and chaired the Intelligence Community’s Warning Committee. During the Gulf War, Allen supported the selection of bomb targets for US pilots. He coordinated intelligence with Colonel John Warden, who headed the Air Force’s planning cell known as “Checkmate.” On February 10, 1991, Allen told Warden that Public Shelter Number 25 in the Southwestern Baghdad suburb of Amiriyah had become an alternative command post and showed no sign of being used as a civilian bomb shelter.” Some military leaders refuted this assessment of Allen’s. Nevertheless, the Air Force bombed the shelter, killing hundreds of Iraqi civilians, mostly women and children. A BBC correspondent reported after the attack that the destroyed shelter showed no signs of military use.
From June 1998 until he joined DHS, Allen served as the Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Collection. In this capacity, he was responsible for Intelligence Community collection and requirements management and reported to the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (DDCI) for Community Management. During this period, two American embassies in Africa were bombed. Al Qaeda was suspected to have carried out the attacks. Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet assigned Allen the task of creating a special unit to track down leaders and headquarters of the terrorist organization. The special unit was made up of officers from the CIA, the National Security Agency and other intelligence-gathering agencies.
Charles Allen (SourceWatch)
Getting Serious (by Justin Rood, Government Executive)
Legendary Spy Charlie Allen Knows the CIA's Secrets (by Alex Kingsbury, U.S. News & World Report)
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