In a New York Times (NYT) op-ed entitled “I Ran the C.I.A. Now I’m Endorsing Hillary Clinton,” Michael Morell claims he’s a completely non-partisan public servant who has “always been silent about [his] preference for president.” Now, however, the former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is coming out for Clinton in a big way–even though he previously expressed certainty that her illicit email server was hacked by foreign intelligence services.
A year ago, Morrell was saying Clinton did not use “very good judgment” in setting up her server, and that it had most likely been hacked by Russia, China, and/or Iran, a judgment with which former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates pointedly agreed.
But now, he does not even deem it worthy of mention because Morell is brimming with outrage at Clinton’s Republican opponent, Donald Trump. Most of his op-ed is an anti-Trump screed, mixed with a few half-hearted, and downright weird, attempts to find something good to say about Clinton.
For example, Morell praises Clinton’s “commitment to our nation’s security; her belief that America is an exceptional nation that must lead in the world for the country to remain secure and prosperous; her understanding that diplomacy can be effective only if the country is perceived as willing and able to use force if necessary; and, most important, her capacity to make the most difficult decision of all – whether to put young American women and men in harm’s way.”
Hopefully, no one tells Morell about what Clinton did to Libya. It would ruin his whole day.
He also praises Clinton as “an early advocate of the raid that brought bin Laden to justice,” saluting her for supposedly slapping aside those who wanted to delay the Abbottabad raid because it might disrupt the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Wow, that’s a really tough call. Not many people would have the guts to choose killing Osama bin Laden over attending the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
While we’re on the subject of gutsy calls, wasn’t the bin Laden raid supposed to be Barack Obama’s gutsy call, the bold stroke that he alone had the foresight to make? Did Morell clear this op-ed with the Obama Legacy Project?
Also, despite presenting himself as a no-nonsense, no-politics guy, Morell was quite willing to serve up whoppers on Benghazi to protect Clinton and Obama. He had a hand in editing the phony Benghazi “video protest” talking points, even though he knew they weren’t true. Also, since leaving the CIA, he’s been working for a company founded by a top Hillary Clinton adviser. Somehow, he forgot to mention all that when he was puffing his chest and declaring himself non-partisan at the beginning of his op-ed.
But Morell didn’t really come to praise Clinton; he came to bury Trump. His op-ed is one-third Clinton applause and two-thirds Trump-bashing. There’s nothing he likes about Trump – from “the character traits he has exhibited during the primary season” to his proposal for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, which Morell says would jeopardize national security because it “plays into the hands of the jihadist narrative that our fight against terrorism is a war between religions.”
Most of all, Morell is livid that Trump is too cozy with Russian President Vladimir Putin:
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was a career intelligence officer, trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them. That is exactly what he did early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump’s vulnerabilities by complimenting him. He responded just as Mr. Putin had calculated.
Mr. Putin is a great leader, Mr. Trump says, ignoring that he has killed and jailed journalists and political opponents, has invaded two of his neighbors and is driving his economy to ruin. Mr. Trump has also taken policy positions consistent with Russian, not American, interests — endorsing Russian espionage against the United States, supporting Russia’s annexation of Crimea and giving a green light to a possible Russian invasion of the Baltic States.
In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.
Out of curiosity, what do they say in the intelligence business when a corrupt secretary of state works out a deal to sell Russia 20% of America’s uranium supply?
It’s interesting to see Morell still pushing the “Trump wants Russia to hack America” canard, long after that supposedly urgent crisis was quietly dropped by the Democrats and their media. (Remember when the Dems were going to form a posse and haul Trump to the hoosegow for violating the Logan Act?) Evidently, nobody told Morell that was yesterday’s talking point.
Hillary Clinton was among the worst secretaries of state in American history. Much of the world lies in flaming ruins because of her duplicity and appalling judgment. It will take years to calculate the damage done by her email hijinks. Morell has to make a fool of himself to praise her because he can’t admit that he sees her as the lesser of two evils.