I didn’t think I’d ever leave the CIA. But because of Trump

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feral botanist
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21 Feb 2017, 10:06 am

I didn’t think I’d ever leave the CIA. But because of Trump, I quit.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... 20f1b59e0f

I didn’t think I’d ever leave the CIA. But because of Trump, I quit.
Why I left the CIA: 'There is a strong feeling of demoralization' under Trump Play Video3:18

Edward Price, a former analyst and NSC spokesman, said he thought he'd spend his career at the CIA. The Trump administration changed his mind. (Adriana Usero/The Washington Post)
By Edward Price February 20 at 5:26 PM
Edward Price worked at the CIA from 2006 until this month, most recently as the spokesman for the National Security Council.

Nearly 15 years ago, I informed my skeptical father that I was pursuing a job with the Central Intelligence Agency. Among his many concerns was that others would never believe I had resigned from the agency when I sought my next job. “Once CIA, always CIA,” he said. But that didn’t give me pause. This wouldn’t be just my first real job, I thought then; it would be my career.

That changed when I formally resigned last week. Despite working proudly for Republican and Democratic presidents, I reluctantly concluded that I cannot in good faith serve this administration as an intelligence professional.

This was not a decision I made lightly. I sought out the CIA as a college student, convinced that it was the ideal place to serve my country and put an otherwise abstract international-relations degree to use. I wasn’t disappointed.

The CIA taught me new skills and exposed me to new cultures and countries. More important, it instilled in me a sense of mission and purpose. As an analyst, I became an expert in terrorist groups and traveled the world to help deter and disrupt attacks. The administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama took the CIA’s input seriously. There was no greater reward than having my analysis presented to the president and seeing it shape events. Intelligence informing policy — this is how the system is supposed to work. I saw that up close for the past three years at the White House, where I worked on loan from the CIA until last month.

As a candidate, 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. On the campaign trail and even as president-elect, Trump routinely referred to the flawed 2002 assessment of Iraq’s weapons programs as proof that the CIA couldn’t be trusted — even though the intelligence community had long ago held itself to account for those mistakes and Trump himself supported the invasion of Iraq.

Trump’s actions in office have been even more disturbing. His visit to CIA headquarters on his first full day in office, an overture designed to repair relations, was undone by his ego and bluster. Standing in front of a memorial to the CIA’s fallen officers, he seemed to be addressing the cameras and reporters in the room, rather than the agency personnel in front of them, bragging about his inauguration crowd the previous day. Whether delusional or deceitful, these were not the remarks many of my former colleagues and I wanted to hear from our new commander in chief. I couldn’t help but reflect on the stark contrast between the bombast of the new president and the quiet dedication of a mentor — a courageous, dedicated professional — who is memorialized on that wall. I know others at CIA felt similarly.

The final straw came late last month, when the White House issued a directive reorganizing the National Security Council, on whose staff I served from 2014 until earlier this year. Missing from the NSC’s principals committee were the CIA director and the director of national intelligence. Added to the roster: the president’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, who cut his teeth as a media champion of white nationalism.

The public outcry led the administration to reverse course and name the CIA director an NSC principal, but the White House’s inclination was clear. It has little need for intelligence professionals who, in speaking truth to power, might challenge the so-called “America First” orthodoxy that sees Russia as an ally and Australia as a punching bag. That’s why the president’s trusted White House advisers, not career professionals, reportedly have final say over what intelligence reaches his desk.

To be clear, my decision had nothing to do with politics, and I would have been proud to again work under a Republican administration open to intelligence analysis. 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, Va., 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.



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I didn’t think I’d ever leave the CIA. But because of Trump, I quit.
Why I left the CIA: 'There is a strong feeling of demoralization' under Trump Play Video3:18

Edward Price, a former analyst and NSC spokesman, said he thought he'd spend his career at the CIA. The Trump administration changed his mind. (Adriana Usero/The Washington Post)
By Edward Price February 20 at 5:26 PM
Edward Price worked at the CIA from 2006 until this month, most recently as the spokesman for the National Security Council.

Nearly 15 years ago, I informed my skeptical father that I was pursuing a job with the Central Intelligence Agency. Among his many concerns was that others would never believe I had resigned from the agency when I sought my next job. “Once CIA, always CIA,” he said. But that didn’t give me pause. This wouldn’t be just my first real job, I thought then; it would be my career.

That changed when I formally resigned last week. Despite working proudly for Republican and Democratic presidents, I reluctantly concluded that I cannot in good faith serve this administration as an intelligence professional.

This was not a decision I made lightly. I sought out the CIA as a college student, convinced that it was the ideal place to serve my country and put an otherwise abstract international-relations degree to use. I wasn’t disappointed.

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The CIA taught me new skills and exposed me to new cultures and countries. More important, it instilled in me a sense of mission and purpose. As an analyst, I became an expert in terrorist groups and traveled the world to help deter and disrupt attacks. The administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama took the CIA’s input seriously. There was no greater reward than having my analysis presented to the president and seeing it shape events. Intelligence informing policy — this is how the system is supposed to work. I saw that up close for the past three years at the White House, where I worked on loan from the CIA until last month.

As a candidate, 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. On the campaign trail and even as president-elect, Trump routinely referred to the flawed 2002 assessment of Iraq’s weapons programs as proof that the CIA couldn’t be trusted — even though the intelligence community had long ago held itself to account for those mistakes and Trump himself supported the invasion of Iraq.

Trump’s actions in office have been even more disturbing. His visit to CIA headquarters on his first full day in office, an overture designed to repair relations, was undone by his ego and bluster. Standing in front of a memorial to the CIA’s fallen officers, he seemed to be addressing the cameras and reporters in the room, rather than the agency personnel in front of them, bragging about his inauguration crowd the previous day. Whether delusional or deceitful, these were not the remarks many of my former colleagues and I wanted to hear from our new commander in chief. I couldn’t help but reflect on the stark contrast between the bombast of the new president and the quiet dedication of a mentor — a courageous, dedicated professional — who is memorialized on that wall. I know others at CIA felt similarly.

The final straw came late last month, when the White House issued a directive reorganizing the National Security Council, on whose staff I served from 2014 until earlier this year. Missing from the NSC’s principals committee were the CIA director and the director of national intelligence. Added to the roster: the president’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, who cut his teeth as a media champion of white nationalism.

See what President Trump has been doing since taking office
View Photos The new president’s tumultuous first weeks have been marked by controversial executive orders and conflicts with the media.
The public outcry led the administration to reverse course and name the CIA director an NSC principal, but the White House’s inclination was clear. It has little need for intelligence professionals who, in speaking truth to power, might challenge the so-called “America First” orthodoxy that sees Russia as an ally and Australia as a punching bag. That’s why the president’s trusted White House advisers, not career professionals, reportedly have final say over what intelligence reaches his desk.

To be clear, my decision had nothing to do with politics, and I would have been proud to again work under a Republican administration open to intelligence analysis. 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, Va., 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.


The CIA will continue to serve important functions — including undertaking covert action and sharing information with close allies and partners around the globe. If this administration is serious about building trust with the intelligence community, however, it will require more than rallies at CIA headquarters or press statements. What intelligence professionals want most is to know that the fruits of their labor — sometimes at the risk of life or limb — are accorded due deference in the policymaking process.

Until that happens, President Trump and his team are doing another disservice to these dedicated men and women and the nation they proudly, if quietly, serve.



Jacoby
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21 Feb 2017, 10:24 pm

tl;dr

guy was a Clinton supporter who contributed thousands to her campaign

good to get him cleared out of the agency, too bad they can't fire all the Clinton supporters



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21 Feb 2017, 10:41 pm

Jacoby wrote:
guy was a Clinton supporter who contributed thousands to her campaign

good to get him cleared out of the agency, too bad they can't fire all the Clinton supporters


The swamp is draining itself.



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21 Feb 2017, 11:16 pm

the_phoenix wrote:
Jacoby wrote:
guy was a Clinton supporter who contributed thousands to her campaign

good to get him cleared out of the agency, too bad they can't fire all the Clinton supporters


The swamp is draining itself.


Exactly.



Nights_Like_These
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21 Feb 2017, 11:27 pm

EzraS wrote:
the_phoenix wrote:
Jacoby wrote:
guy was a Clinton supporter who contributed thousands to her campaign

good to get him cleared out of the agency, too bad they can't fire all the Clinton supporters


The swamp is draining itself.


Exactly.


Yep, and then it's being filled up again with Goldman Sachs executives. :lol: I'm amazed at how many people still think Trump is draining the swamp. It's definitely as swampy as ever; to think otherwise is pretty delusional.


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21 Feb 2017, 11:43 pm

Nights_Like_These wrote:
EzraS wrote:
the_phoenix wrote:
Jacoby wrote:
guy was a Clinton supporter who contributed thousands to her campaign

good to get him cleared out of the agency, too bad they can't fire all the Clinton supporters


The swamp is draining itself.


Exactly.


Yep, and then it's being filled up again with Goldman Sachs executives. :lol: I'm amazed at how many people still think Trump is draining the swamp. It's definitely as swampy as ever; to think otherwise is pretty delusional.


I was reading these sorts comments as soon as Trump began choosing people. I've asked a few times who he should have chosen that would equal draining the swamp, but no one has ever gotten back to me on that.



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21 Feb 2017, 11:49 pm

"I didn’t think I’d ever leave the CIA," but the special prosecutor just subpoenaed my emails and I got a great offer from the Clinton Foundation, so...

:lol:


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21 Feb 2017, 11:53 pm

EzraS wrote:
Nights_Like_These wrote:
EzraS wrote:
the_phoenix wrote:
Jacoby wrote:
guy was a Clinton supporter who contributed thousands to her campaign

good to get him cleared out of the agency, too bad they can't fire all the Clinton supporters


The swamp is draining itself.


Exactly.


Yep, and then it's being filled up again with Goldman Sachs executives. :lol: I'm amazed at how many people still think Trump is draining the swamp. It's definitely as swampy as ever; to think otherwise is pretty delusional.


I was reading these sorts comments as soon as Trump began choosing people. I've asked a few times who he should have chosen that would equal draining the swamp, but no one has ever gotten back to me on that.


Maybe your question was too draining for them ...



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21 Feb 2017, 11:59 pm

EzraS wrote:
Nights_Like_These wrote:
EzraS wrote:
the_phoenix wrote:
Jacoby wrote:
guy was a Clinton supporter who contributed thousands to her campaign

good to get him cleared out of the agency, too bad they can't fire all the Clinton supporters


The swamp is draining itself.


Exactly.


Yep, and then it's being filled up again with Goldman Sachs executives. :lol: I'm amazed at how many people still think Trump is draining the swamp. It's definitely as swampy as ever; to think otherwise is pretty delusional.


I was reading these sorts comments as soon as Trump began choosing people. I've asked a few times who he should have chosen that would equal draining the swamp, but no one has ever gotten back to me on that.


I'm not American, so i can't really answer that, but if I had to guess, then I would say he would need to appoint people who aren't among the ones that he criticised Clinton for being in bed with, time and time again. lol He's really not draining anything.


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22 Feb 2017, 12:02 am

EzraS wrote:
I've asked a few times who he should have chosen that would equal draining the swamp, but no one has ever gotten back to me on that.


You would think outsiders with no political experience, but he keeps getting flak for appointing outsiders with no political experience. It's almost as if people had made up their minds before he actually did anything...


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22 Feb 2017, 12:03 am

they wouldn't be whining so hard if it was business as usual



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22 Feb 2017, 1:01 am

EzraS wrote:
I was reading these sorts comments as soon as Trump began choosing people. I've asked a few times who he should have chosen that would equal draining the swamp, but no one has ever gotten back to me on that.


It's not my job to pick people for him.
But that doesn't change the fact that picking members of the Sicilian mafia for your administration is a bad idea if you want to decrease the influence of organised crime.

And I'm of the opinion that picking G-S, Citybank and HSBC, is a bad idea if you want to reduce banking corruption and cartel like behaviour.

The banks do not have a monopoly on economists.
I'm not familiar with the USA's anti corruption watchdogs, but I'd be shocked if you had none at all, he could have chosen someone from one of them, it would have made his claims to be against corruption, much more believable.

But he didn't.



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22 Feb 2017, 1:04 am

Whatever you say. lol It's still hypocrisy to say he's "draining the swamp," which was really my only point. I get that this may be hard for you to accept, but there it is...lol


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22 Feb 2017, 2:25 am

Dox47 wrote:
EzraS wrote:
I've asked a few times who he should have chosen that would equal draining the swamp, but no one has ever gotten back to me on that.


You would think outsiders with no political experience, but he keeps getting flak for appointing outsiders with no political experience. It's almost as if people had made up their minds before he actually did anything...


Like declaring him the worst president in history and insisting he be impeached weeks before he even took office?

And I'm supposed to take complaints seriously from people with that kind of mentality?



Last edited by EzraS on 22 Feb 2017, 2:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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22 Feb 2017, 2:26 am

Jacoby wrote:
tl;dr

guy was a Clinton supporter who contributed thousands to her campaign

good to get him cleared out of the agency, too bad they can't fire all the Clinton supporters



I found this :

"But while Price vows that his resignation was not politically motivated, we find it curious that Federal Election Commission records indicate that he donated the legal maximum of $2,700 to "Hillary for America" in August 2016 and another $2,300 to the DNC's "Hillary Victory Fund" on the very same day. But we're sure that doesn't mean anything."

It damn well is political. And the draining of the swamp continues........


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22 Feb 2017, 2:49 am

Nights_Like_These wrote:
Whatever you say. lol It's still hypocrisy to say he's "draining the swamp," which was really my only point. I get that this may be hard for you to accept, but there it is...lol


Well the problem I'm seeing is yet another in a long series of polar opposite contradictory complaints from the left.

On one hand the complaint is they're exactly the same type of people Obama had and Clinton would have chosen.

On the other hand they're all supposed to be the types of people Obama and Clinton never would have chosen, hence all the complaints about them.

My conclusion is the left can't make up their minds, don't really know what they're talking about and really just want to complain and protest as the worst case of sore losers in the history of the world.