Monday, January 30, 2017

Former intel official: Trump immigration ban makes Americans less safe

A former intelligence official said President Trump’s executive order temporarily banning refugees and also blocking travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries will actually make Americans less safe at home and abroad by serving as a recruitment boon for ISIS, and he warned that the Trump administration needs to “start making policy like adults.”

Michael Morell, a former deputy director and acting director of the CIA, told “CBS This Morning” that, contrary to making America safer, the Trump executive order “is going to make the threat worse. It is going to make us less safe.”

Morell said the policy misses its mark. “First of all, the biggest problem we face is homegrown terrorism. Of the roughly 100 people who have been indicted by the FBI for ISIS-related crimes over the last three years, 85 percent were American citizens. This doesn’t get at that at all,” he said.

Morell also noted that none of the attacks in the U.S. since and including 9/11 would have been affected by this travel ban. None of the 9/11 terrorists came from countries on this list, and the gunmen in more recent attacks in San Bernardino, Orlando and Fort Hood were all born in the United States.

What is more, he said, the Trump immigration order will make Americans less safe both at home and abroad by serving as a recruitment tool and an enhancement to ISIS propaganda, Morell said.

“It’s playing right into the ISIS narrative. ISIS has not said anything about this yet, but people around ISIS who amplify its message are talking about it, and they are saying, ‘See? We told you, this is a war against Islam.’ So this is going to be a recruitment boon for ISIS.”

On “Face the Nation” yesterday, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus defended the travel ban, saying that the seven Muslim-majority countries on the list — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — had been identified by the Obama administration as “sources of terror.”

“The Trump administration keeps on pointing to the seven countries saying these countries are on Obama’s list, right?” Morell said. “This was actually part of a program to enhance the security of the visa waiver program for people traveling from European countries. So they enhanced it. They already enhanced it. There was no evidence that there’s any weakness to it.”

Morell was also asked about a new development within the president’s National Security Council. On Saturday, Steve Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief political strategist and the former head of Breitbart News, was named to the group, while both the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence were removed from the council’s Principals Committee. In memo issued over the weekend, Mr. Trump said they would only be invited when “issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed.”

Morell described the move as “unprecedented, both putting a political adviser on, and unprecedented taking off the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the DNI. I have never been to a principals’ meeting where the views of the DNI and the views of the Chairman are not relevant.

“Every principals’ meeting starts with an intelligence briefing by the DNI. And having somebody like Bannon in the room brings politics into a room where there should be no politics.” [...]


  1. At least Trump is forcing migrants to flee to canada - though in some cases it nds tragically like in this story.

    "'I lost all my fingers': Asylum seekers make dangerous border crossing"

    This is what 50% of Americans voted for.

  2. Actually, 26% of eligible voters.

  3. About half of the eligible voters voted. And about half of that voted for trump. ok - 26% sounds about right!


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