Doubling Down On Irony

As a former criminal investigator and intelligence officer I’ve been trained to be impartial, gathering facts to create a clear picture of what happened, or might be happening in the future. Playing devils advocate with personal opinions when confronted with hard truths on what actually transpired. Obviously its more of an art than a science, and some of us do it better than others. Case in point with former Central Intelligence Agency 7th floor executive Michael Morell’s 5 August 2016 piece in the New York Times endorsing Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president.

I cringed as I read through Morell’s opinion piece, wishing he had stayed neutral in his political leanings, as he stated he did during his career. Not because I disagree with a lot of his points, in fact I think he makes some pretty good ones with regards to Putin and Trump, but because the irony of his position on Clinton with regards to his time working within the classified world of National Security seems to have totally been lost on him.

Morell is cherry picking time spent in the same room with Clinton to state that she has the experience we need in a president. He’s lending creditability to Clinton based on his three decades in the CIA. The one ironically glaring omission in his recollection are the undisputed facts brought to light in the Clinton email investigation conducted by the FBI.  How could Morell honestly back someone who knowingly mishandled classified information? I won’t run through the evidence discussed by FBI Director Comey in the last month, but its clear to anyone who’s ever held a security clearance that what Clinton and company did is at the very least mishandling classified information. More directly, if Mr. Morell had done anything similar to what Clinton did, with regards to handling classified information, he would be writing his opinion pieces from inside Federal Correctional Institution Loretto, and rightly so.

Which brings me to Morell’s comments on Trump with regards to Russia. I happen to agree with him that it appears Putin is influencing Trump. Directly or not doesn’t really matter, as it’s a concern either way. To say that “that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.” however is making a factual jump that just hasn’t been found. This is why career intelligence officers (or ones who even just spent time at the CIA, a-hum) cringe when the big heads start pushing their versions of the “facts” in the media. I cringe the same way whenever Retired Lt. General Michael Flynn writes an opinion piece. 

I'm disappointed in Morell for stooping into the political fray, but even more so for his dipping into religion AND politics. Do we really need to bring up former Chief CTC’s religion to make a political point? Isn’t it more succinct to state that he’s an American, working an extremely difficult job, regardless of any personal religious beliefs? How base do we have to get to make out point?