It was the right decision to force out ex-Navy Secretary Richard Spencer after he went around Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to discuss with President Donald Trump a plan to restore Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher's Trident pin, former CIA Director James Woolsey told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.
"I think it's a small matter, but an important one," Woolsey told "Newsmax Now" host John Bachman. "I think that Secretary of Defense Esper is right on this."
And while the current issue was "not a hugely important thing," if there were other circumstances and there were many lives at stake, "one might want to rethink how exactly everything should be done," Woolsey said.
It is, however, "relatively rare" a president would take such a hands-on approach to the situation, but there are circumstances where personnel policy for the military services will be "extremely harsh."
Gallagher was acquitted of several war crimes, while convicted of posing with the corpse of a dead ISIS fighter, and Woolsey said that was not a good idea.
"You don't treat enemies like that, even a terrorist," Woolsey saod. "We don't treat them as if they were a moose that you had bagged on a hunting trip."
Woolsey also commented on the ongoing unrest in Iraq, including the chances a U.S. military base could be directly attacked, which he does not think is close to happening.
"They are trying to push and shove and elbow their way into being taken seriously," Woolsey said. "The only reason anyone would take them seriously is if they, in fact, have a nuclear weapon or are very close to one . . . it is a bad situation because they will take risks and do crazy things if they are not constrained more readily."
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