Here’s the bottom line: I staunchly oppose the appointment and confirmation of Mr. John Ratcliffe — a man with insufficient national security experience — as the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the leader responsible for coordinating the efforts of the intelligence community and personally shaping the President’s understanding and consumption of intelligence information.

As you may have gathered from my writing portfolio or bio, I come from a primarily intelligence background, with a stint in Special Operations. It’s been an eye-opening experience and one I’m grateful for, despite a few downsides (countless formal briefings, frustration at decision-makers, and the need to be very patient, to name a few).

As an intelligence professional, I take pride in the craft of intelligence and its value in informing decision-making and speaking “truth to power.” This is not always an easy task. It requires planning, gathering, analyzing, exploiting, and sharing often hard-won information that allows leaders to make informed decisions. That job becomes more difficult when you learn that leaders are in no way obligated to listen to or act upon the information you provide them, no matter how damning it may be.

Yet, there is a freedom in this ability to remain non-partisan, apolitical, and objective in one’s proceedings. To be “above the (political) fray,” as it were.

Naturally, there are always elements of cognitive or other biases that enter into our work. Extensive professional training seeks to identify these biases and mitigate them to the best extent possible. However, the Intelligence Community prides itself in providing the best, least-politicized information they can to decision makers, regardless of their political affiliation or opinions. It is what keeps the 17-member agency community professional, respected, non-partisan, and effective.

Former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Allen Dulles, once opined on a few rules of the intelligence game. He said the greatest vice in this game is that of carelessness, as mistakes “generally cannot be rectified.” The next greatest vices are vanity, whose offshoots “are multiple and malignant,” and finally, the man with a “swelled head [who] never learns… [for] there is always a great deal to be learned.”

When former Texas congressman John Ratcliffe was recently confirmed as the new Director of National Intelligence, I could not help but question the validity of the President’s decision to appoint him in the first place. Now, who am I, a lowly peon, to question the President’s authority and decision-making, especially given that he is my Commander-in-Chief?

I am a concerned citizen who does not appreciate the appointment and confirmation of the top intelligence official position to an inexperienced partisan.