Tags: Benghazi Scandal | Exclusive Interviews | Homeland Security | Newsmax TV | The Hard Line | War on Terrorism | Michael Morell

Michael Morell: Stop Dragging CIA Into Policy Debates

By    |   Friday, 22 May 2015 10:03 PM

The CIA is increasingly — and dangerously — being dragged into the middle of debates on policy and politics, a trend that's "unhealthy" for both the nation and the agency, says Michael Morell, who served as both former deputy director and acting director of the CIA.

In an interview with "The Hard Line" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV on Friday, Morell, author of "The Great War of Our Time: The CIA's Fight Against Terrorism — From al-Qa'ida to ISIS," said it's nothing new that the agency is always "the meat in the sandwich."

"What does being the meat in the sandwich mean? It means people take bits of what we say and use it to their advantage. We've always found ourselves there," Morell said. "But it has gotten worse. Benghazi is a great example of that, and I don't think it's healthy for the country, I don't think it's healthy for my agency, and it's not a comfortable place to be."

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Morell has previously blasted speculation that the Benghazi, Libya, CIA base was being used to move weapons to Syrian rebels before the Sept.11, 2012, attack on the U.S. outpost there.

"I used to have to tell my analysts, don't pay any attention to it, go back to work, call it like you see it. That's your job," Morell said.

Morell said his new book also tries to make it clear that the CIA is "a kind of misunderstood place."

"One view is kind of a James Bond view of the world, that there isn't a secret that we can't find, there isn't a plot we can't stop — that's a myth," Morell says. "There's another view out there that everything we touch falls apart, there isn't anything we can do right. That's a Maxwell Smart view of the world. That myth is wrong.

"Then the third is that we're a rogue organization, that we operate without the guidance of the White House, without the oversight of the Congress. That's wrong. The reality of this is incredibly dedicated, hardworking people trying to protect the country who get most things right, but like any organization, get a couple things wrong."

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The CIA is increasingly — and dangerously — being dragged into the middle of debates on policy and politics, a trend that's "unhealthy" for both the nation and the agency, says Michael Morell, who served as both former deputy director and acting director of the CIA.
Michael Morell, CIA, policy, debates, Benghazi, The Hard Line
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2015-03-22
Friday, 22 May 2015 10:03 PM
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