Past episodes
About Uncommon Knowledge

For more than a decade the Hoover Institution has been producing Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson, a series hosted by Hoover fellow Peter Robinson as an outlet for political leaders, scholars, journalists, and today’s big thinkers to share their views with the world. Guests have included a host of famous figures, including Paul Ryan, Henry Kissinger, Antonin Scalia, Rupert Murdoch, Newt Gingrich, and Christopher Hitchens, along with Hoover fellows such as Condoleezza Rice and George Shultz.

Uncommon Knowledge takes fascinating, accomplished guests, then sits them down with me to talk about the issues of the day,” says Robinson, an author and former speechwriter for President Reagan. “Unhurried, civil, thoughtful, and informed conversation– that’s what we produce. And there isn’t all that much of it around these days.”

The show started life as a television series in 1997 and is now distributed exclusively on the web over a growing network of the largest political websites and channels. To stay tuned for the latest updates on and episodes related to Uncommon Knowledge, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

January 19, 2009 | Recorded on January 14, 2009

Intelligence and Security with James Woolsey

Former CIA director James Woolsey

James Woolsey discusses the failure of the intelligence community in the run-up to the Iraq war and considers Barak Obama’s selection of Leon Panetta to head the CIA in light of the historical relationship between the president and the CIA director. He outlines the challenges the intelligent community faces in what he calls America’s war against “theocratic totalitarianism.” Finally, he asserts that it is imperative for us to destroy oil as a strategic commodity – not only for our security but also for the good of the planet. (36:56 ) Video transcript