CIA director Gina Haspel
CIA director Gina Haspel

A former CIA officer sounds off in the  Just Security blog about Gina Haspel’s applause for President Trump during the State of the Union.

Douglas London, a retired operations officer who now teaches at Georgetown University, wrote:

Those of us who have worked with Haspel over the years had little expectation that she would push back against this president. It’s not been in her nature to take such stands against authority, as the record shows in her ascendency. Neither will the images of her enthusiastic applause during the president’s State of the Union speech be lost on CIA’s workforce, particularly when juxtaposed with the absence of any such visible hero worship betrayed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were also in the audience.

The CIA’s ability to recruit intelligence sources is in danger, says London

CIA’s foreign agents and international partners are also watching the potential impact Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham might have in their investigations of the Intelligence Community. Certainly such politically inspired initiatives send chills down the spines of every intelligence officer whose mantra is to protect sources, speak truth to power, and keep faith with our constitutional oath.

Haspel’s appearance will inhibit the work of the agency’s intelligence collectors, he concludes.

Espionage might seem unethical to those looking at it from the outside, but in reality, it’s a people business in which everything depends on reliability and relationships. Your word is your bond. Foreign agents and international partners do not have to like us, or always agree with our views, but they have to trust us in order to assume the risks we ask of them. How will other governments react when their sensitive cooperation is declassified and exposed for political purposes given the political ramifications for them at home?

Source: The CIA in the Age of Trump – Just Security

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