Tuesday, March 25, 2014

George Washington, Father Of American Intelligence: Peter Earnest On AMC's Historical Spy Drama "Turn"

Peter Earnest, former CIA officer and the executive director of the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., was interviewed at amctv.com about the upcoming historical spy drama Turn.

Q: George Washington is considered to be one of the founders of American spycraft. What did he do to earn this legacy?

A: Washington is considered the father of American intelligence because he had a very keen sense of intelligence, of what it is and how to use it. He readily embraced gathering intelligence because he was commanding a very meager force. Great Britain had the most powerful military in the world, and they were here in a colony dealing with these colonials, who they looked down on. The Americans were the insurgents. The “war of the flea” is a phrase that’s used when a small force is battling an overwhelmingly large one, and that’s what Washington was up against. So he had to make the most of what he had. Interestingly, Washington recruited spies personally and questioned them personally about their operation. He didn’t just push it down for someone else to do.

You can read the rest of the interview via the below link:


You can also read my Counterterrorism magazine interview with Peter Earnest on the myth, the mystique, and the history of espionage via the below link:


The AMC miniseries Turn is based on Alexander Rose's Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring. 

1 comment:

  1. Brian Kilmeade's book on Washington's spy network is also a worthwhile study.