Quantcast
Connect with us

‘Burn it all down’: Ex-intelligence officials appalled Trump may install ‘clueless’ Cotton as CIA head

Published

on

In a stunning report published Thursday, the New York Times revealed Donald Trump’s White House has formulated a plan to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo. According to the report, the administration has landed on installing Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) as the next CIA head.

Cotton is a vocal advocate of waterboarding and critic of Iran who’s recently downplayed the seriousness of allegations Trump colluded with Russian during the 2016 presidential election.

Former CIA officials on Thursday expressed dismay over the potential shakeup. Ned Price, who retired from the CIA in protests over Trump’s administration, called Cotton a “political ideologue” whose appointment would prove the White House does not care about the intelligence community.

Paul Pillar, a 28-year veteran of the CIA, called a possible Cotton appointment “awful,” arguing he’s “not well suited to lead an agency part of whose core mission is objective analysis.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Robert Deitz, former senior councillor to CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden, likewise criticized the report, telling Business Insider’s Natasha Bertrand that Cotton “knows absolutely nothing about the intelligence community.”

ADVERTISEMENT

As the Daily Beast reports, former CIA operations officer Glenn Carle blasted Cotton as “wholly unfit to be CIA director.”

“Those of us with some knowledge and objectivity have pointed out endlessly that torture does not work, is illegal, is unnecessary and harms the perpetrators of it,” Carle said, adding he believes his “colleagues at the agency will be dismayed” is the senator is appointed.

“We have frankly, at the best, far-right ideologues in leadership positions who frankly have fascistic tendencies,” Carle said of Cotton. “It is difficult to serve the executive, and serve a superior, with views that are fundamentally un-American.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Intelligence officials outside the CIA were likewise concerned of news Cotton might head the CIA, pointing specifically to the Republican senator’s stance on torture. Last year, Cotton insisted “waterboarding isn’t torture,” telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer the president will have to make a “tough call” about the interrogation method.

“If experienced intelligence officials come to the President of the United States and say we think this terrorist has critical information and we need to obtain it and this is the only way we can obtain it—it’s a tough call,” Cotton said. “But the presidency is a tough job. And if you’re not ready to make those tough calls, you shouldn’t seek the office. Donald Trump’s a pretty tough guy, and he’s ready to make those tough calls.”

Former Navy interrogation-resistance instructor Malcolm Nance—who’s been waterboarded—told the Daily Beast he believes Cotton is “clueless about torture.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“He seems to base his beliefs on the efficacy of torture on B-movies and dog-eared Tom Clancy novels,” Nance said.

“I’d like to think the rhetoric is just rhetoric,” former FBI counterterrorism analyst Dan Jones said.

“Behind closed doors there is broad consensus that the CIA interrogation program was ineffective, damaging to our standing in the world and detrimental to the safety of our military,” Jones, who was the lead investigator and author of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture, told the Daily Beast. “The Committee’s near 7,000-page study of the CIA program, and the CIA’s own internal Panetta Review, leave no doubt as to what are the facts of this matter.”

ADVERTISEMENT

And yet another former CIA employee was steadfast in his disapproval of Cotton, telling journalist Yashar Ali if Trump installs the GOP senator, “let’s burn it all down.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Here’s how lawyers enabling Trump’s obstruction can have their livelihoods stripped from them — by anyone

Published

on

In a column for the Daily Beast, a former Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives laid out a simple way to force lawyers advising aides to Donald Trump to defy Congressional subpoenas -- or avoiding one themselves -- to stop giving bad advice by moving to have them disbarred.

According to Brad Miller, who represented North Carolina in Congress between 2003 and 2013, the way in which former President Bill Clinton's impeachment was handled -- and the penalty he eventually received -- is a road map for legal retaliation even if Democrats in Congress won't do it.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Lara Trump snarls at critics of ‘send her back’ for pushing a ‘biased, racially-charged narrative’

Published

on

Lara Trump, the wife of President Donald Trump's son Eric, has accused CNN anchor Anderson Cooper of pushing a "biased, racially-charged narrative" after he criticized her recent defense of the Trump administration over the "send her back" scandal.

This article first appeared on Salon.

"Anyone insinuating that there was some premeditated plan to orchestrate the “send her back” chant is obviously desperate to continue pushing a biased, racially-charged narrative. #FakeNews," Trump posted to her Twitter account on Saturday. She included a link to the Washington Examiner, a right-leaning newspaper which included a quote from Cooper blasting Trump for supposedly "lying" about her role in whipping up a crowd to chant "send her back" about Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

Trump’s trade war with China has led to foreign investments in the US drying up: report

Published

on

Not only are U.S. manufacturers and farmers feeling the devastating brunt of Donald Trump's ongoing trade war with China -- among other countries -- now the New York Times reports that foreign investors no longer see America as a safe bet to park their money.

According to the report, "the once steady flow of Chinese cash into America, with Chinese investment plummeting by nearly 90 percent since President Trump took office."

With the report stating, the drop-off "stems from tougher regulatory scrutiny in the United States and a less hospitable climate toward Chinese investment, as well Beijing’s tightened limits on foreign spending," one analyst blamed the increasingly hostile trade relationship between the two countries.

Continue Reading
 
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

Join Me. Try Raw Story Investigates for $1. Invest in Journalism. Escape Ads.
close-image