Yikes: Clapper Says Trump's CIA Pick Gina Haspel 'Is A Tremendous Intelligence Officer'

Chris Menahan
Mar. 13, 2018

This is not a good sign.

From Free Beacon:
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Tuesday expressed is support for President Donald Trump's pick to replace Mike Pompeo as CIA director.

Clapper did not hesitate to praise the "tremendous" Gina Haspel, whom Trump tapped to replace the outgoing Pompeo as he gets ready to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Haspel has served as Pompeo's deputy director at the CIA, and Clapper said he supports her because of his experience with her.
"I think the world of Gina," Clapper said. "I think she is a tremendous intelligence officer. I've worked with her on occasion when she served overseas. She had a second hat as the DNI representative and she was great, so I think she will be good for the agency."

[...]Former Obama administration CIA Director John Brennan also offered support for Haspel, albeit in more qualified terms.

"Gina Haspel has a lot of integrity," Brennan said. "She has tried to carry out her duties at the CIA to the best of her ability, even when the CIA was asked to do some very difficult things in very challenging times."
I really question how much control Trump has over what's supposed to be his own foreign policy. During the whole Syria strike debacle it really seemed like the deep state was forcing his hand.

Michael Flynn and Steve Bannon were the only people in his cabinet who agreed with him on foreign policy and both were forced out.

Foreign policy analyst Professor John Mearsheimer talked about it in an interview in January:
Mearsheimer: I think ... one of the problems Trump faced when he took office was that there were not many foreign policy experts who shared his worldview and were in favor of the policy positions he articulated as a candidate. It was sure to be very difficult for him to challenge the establishment without a team of lieutenants who really thought about American foreign policy the way he did. The few people he could find, like Michael Flynn, ended up getting themselves into all sorts of trouble right away. Steve Bannon is another case in point.

Those few people in Trump’s White House who shared his worldview ended up losing their jobs rather quickly and being replaced by establishment figures. Almost all of them are generals, but nevertheless they represent the status quo. He’s now surrounded almost completely by establishment figures who are going to great lengths to make sure he hews to the establishment line. He gets around that to some extent with his rhetoric, but rhetoric is not policy and the policy pretty much remains the same as it was under his two predecessors.

We should remember that President Obama was elected because he said that our foreign policy was bankrupt and he was going to change it. He was someone who had opposed the Iraq War, arguing that it was a foolish decision. Nevertheless, once he became president he ended up adhering to the “Washington playbook.” He made it clear in his interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in his last year in office that, basically, the establishment had beaten him down. What you see happening with Trump is very similar.
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