I should have said something right then. After all, I hadn’t exactly been shy when it came to asserting myself to leaders in other administrations. I’m not sure it would have made a difference, but maybe I should have told the new team about the norms of behavior, developed over generations, in fits and starts, to try to keep politics out of intelligence, to ensure that the president gets the best facts, whether he likes them or not, and to insulate the intelligence community from charges that its conclusions are politically cooked. Thinking that intelligence leaders would willingly contribute to a conversation about how to do PR in support of any presidential administration was at best a naïve notion, reflecting a misunderstanding of our role. Thinking that members of the outgoing Obama administration would be part of such an effort was just dumb.