Robert Steele spent 30 years in the classified world and gave a four-hour lecture at the fifth HOPE (Hackers on Planet Earth) convention about reforming the intelligence community. His thesis is that most of what politicians and citizens need to know to make informed decisions is not secret. So while covert spying has its place, we should be paying much more attention to open sources of information. These sources include newspapers, websites, speeches, studies, etc, and this methodology is called Open Source Intelligence, or OSINT. For an example, listen to the Taking on the CIA clip, which is possibly the best single part of the lecture.
I highly recommend listening to the entire thing, which can be found here. After staying up all night to finish this four-hour lecture, I went to sleep and then woke up the next afternoon and immediately listened to it all again. However, for people who are too busy to spend that many hours on this, I've compiled twenty-two short clips of what I feel are the best parts.