Edward Price, a CIA analyst wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post, citing President Donald Trump's "disturbing" approach to security intelligence made him quit a career he chose 11 years ago.
Price said that he had worked "proudly" for many Republican and Democratic presidents, and that he couldn't serve the current administration in "good faith." He said:
"As an analyst, I became an expert in terrorist groups and traveled the world to help deter and disrupt attacks...Donald Trump’s rhetoric suggested that he intended to take a different approach. I watched in disbelief when, during the third presidential debate, Trump casually cast doubt on the high-confidence conclusion of our 17 intelligence agencies, released that month, that Russia was behind the hacking and release of election-related emails."
Trump had denied that 17 intelligence agencies had tried to influence the election, and said that no one could confirm if it was from "Russia, China or anywhere else." Despite intelligence agencies confirming that Russia was in fact behind many hacks, Trump denied it. Only much later, Reince Priebus said that Trump is "not denying that entities in Russia were behind this particular hacking campaign." Referring to FBI, CIA and NSA report on Russian interference, Priebus said: "I think he accepts the findings."
Price, in his piece for The Washington Post, said even Trump's visit to the CIA after inauguration as an effort to repair relations was "undone by his ego and bluster." Price said that Trump wasn't addressing the agency personnel, but he was "addressing the cameras and reporters in the room." The "final straw" for Price was when the CIA director and the director of national intelligence were missing on the NSC's prinicipals Committee, instead Stephen K Bannon, president's chief strategist was added — a man Price referred as "who cut his teeth as a media champion of white nationalism."
Price believes that Trump's White House didn't need career professionals, intelligence professionals who might prefer truth over power and could oppose Trump's 'America First' approach. Even with this, Price said his resignation had nothing to do with politics:
"I served with conviction under President George W Bush, some of whose policies I also found troubling, and I took part in programs that the Obama administration criticized and ended. As intelligence professionals, we’re taught to tune out politics. The river separating CIA headquarters in Langley, from Washington might as well be a political moat. But this administration has flipped that dynamic on its head: The politicians are the ones tuning out the intelligence professionals."
Price concluded his op-ed by saying that any administration must accord due deference to intelligence professionals, who risk their lives, in the policy-making process. And because Trump and his team are not doing that, they are "doing another disservice to these dedicated men and women and the nation they proudly, if quietly, serve."
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Updated Date: Feb 22, 2017 11:14:44 IST