Politics

Retired CIA Officer Fears the U.S. Is Facing Its Greatest Crisis Since the Civil War

Meghna Chakrabarti of WBUR Radio Boston interviewed Tuesday former CIA officer Glenn Carle to talk about the agency's assessment that Russian hackers attempted to swing the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump - and the president-elect's public rejection of the findings.

What Carle told Chakabarti was so alarming that she wrote on Twitter highlights from the interview, along with some context.

The 23-year veteran of the CIA retired in 2007 while holding the position of deputy national intelligence officer for Transnational Threats. While Carle participated in the "enhanced interrogation" techniques that became a hallmark of the "War on Terror," he later became extremely critical of the agency, writing a book highlighting the failures of both the intelligence community and the Bush Administration.

In unflinching terms, Carle told Chakrabarti that however bad things got during the Bush years, the Trump years have the potential to be far worse - and potentially catastrophic to the republic.

According to Carle, the already-growing distrust between the intelligence community and President-elect Trump, who has admitted he prefers the council of himself and cable news shows on foreign matters, threatens to disrupt the ability of the CIA to carry out basic aspects of its mission.

Glenn Carle

Glenn Carle

While others have ascribed danger to the prospect of what Trump will do to American intelligence services, Carle goes beyond that - according to him, this is a crisis of a magnitude the nation hasn't faced since the secession of the Confederacy.

Even with Carle's criticism of the CIA and its shadowy role in America's defense, he sees the rejection of the hard-won viewpoints of individual officers as an insult to their sacrifices.

After a long discussion of the CIA's failures, particularly in regard to weapons of mass destruction and Iraq (in which Carle freely admits the CIA was wrong), the conversation turned back to Trump and the Russian attempt to swing the election.

When asked if he agreed with a high-ranking admiral that trust between the Trump administration and the CIA can be rebuilt, Carle is unflinching:

Carle, then, makes one final point: 

Carle said he believes America and its intelligence community are in a crisis.