En­dorse­ment

Mus­ings are thoughts, the thought­ful kind. For the pur­pose of th­ese ar­ti­cles, a-mus­ings are thoughts that might amuse, en­ter­tain and even en­lighten.

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Michael Walker

Michael J. Morell was the act­ing di­rec­tor and deputy di­rec­tor of the Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Agency from 2010 to 2013. He re­cently spoke his mind about the 2016 Elec­tions in the USA.

“Dur­ing a 33-year ca­reer at the Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Agency, I served pres­i­dents of both par­ties — three Repub­li­cans and three Democrats. I was at Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush's side when we were at­tacked on Sept. 11; as deputy di­rec­tor of the agency, I was with Pres­i­dent Obama when we killed Osama bin Laden in 2011. I am nei­ther a reg­is­tered Demo­crat nor a reg­is­tered Repub­li­can. In my 40 years of vot­ing, I have pulled the lever for can­di­dates of both par­ties. As a govern­ment of­fi­cial, I have al­ways been silent about my pref­er­ence for pres­i­dent. No longer. On Nov. 8, I will vote for Hil­lary Clin­ton. Be­tween now and then, I will do ev­ery­thing I can to en­sure that she is elected as our 45th pres­i­dent.

“Two strongly held be­liefs have brought me to this de­ci­sion. First, Mrs. Clin­ton is highly qual­i­fied to be com­man­der in chief. I trust she will de­liver on the most im­por­tant duty of a pres­i­dent — keep­ing our na­tion safe. Sec­ond, Don­ald J. Trump is not only un­qual­i­fied for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our na­tional se­cu­rity. I spent four years work­ing with Mrs. Clin­ton when she was Sec­re­tary of State, most of­ten in the White House Sit­u­a­tion Room. In th­ese crit­i­cally im­por­tant meet­ings, I found her to be pre­pared, de­tail-ori­ented, thought­ful, in­quis­i­tive and will­ing to change her mind if pre­sented with a com­pelling ar­gu­ment. I also saw the Sec­re­tary's com­mit­ment to our na­tion's se­cu­rity; her be­lief that Amer­ica is an ex­cep­tional na­tion that must lead in the world for the coun­try to re­main se­cure and pros­per­ous; her un­der­stand­ing that diplo­macy can be ef­fec­tive only if the coun­try is per­ceived as will­ing and able to use force if nec­es­sary; and, most im­por­tant, her ca­pac­ity to make the most dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion of all — whether to put young Amer­i­can women and men in harm's way.

"Mrs. Clin­ton was an early ad­vo­cate of the raid that brought Bin Laden to jus­tice, in op­po­si­tion to some of her most im­por­tant col­leagues on the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil. Dur­ing the early de­bates about how we should re­spond to the Syrian civil war, she was a strong pro­po­nent of a more ag­gres­sive ap­proach, one that might have pre­vented the Is­lamic State from gain­ing a foothold in Syria. I never saw her bring pol­i­tics into the Sit­u­a­tion Room. In fact, I saw the op­po­site. When some wanted to de­lay the Bin Laden raid by one day be­cause the White House Cor­re­spon­dents Din­ner might be dis­rupted, she said, ‘Screw the White House Cor­re­spon­dents Din­ner.'

“In sharp con­trast to Mrs. Clin­ton, Mr. Trump has no ex­pe­ri­ence on na­tional se­cu­rity. Even more im­por­tant, the char­ac­ter traits he has ex­hib­ited dur­ing the pri­mary sea­son sug­gest he would be a poor, even dan­ger­ous, com­man­der in chief. Th­ese traits in­clude his ob­vi­ous need for self-ag­gran­dize­ment, his over­re­ac­tion to per­ceived slights, his ten­dency to make de­ci­sions based on in­tu­ition, his re­fusal to change his views based on new in­for­ma­tion, his rou­tine care­less­ness with the facts, his un­will­ing­ness to lis­ten to oth­ers and his lack of re­spect for the rule of law. The dan­gers that flow from Mr. Trump's char­ac­ter are not just risks that would emerge if he be­came pres­i­dent. It is al­ready dam­ag­ing our na­tional se­cu­rity.

“Pres­i­dent Vladimir V. Putin of Rus­sia was a ca­reer in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer, trained to iden­tify vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties in an in­di­vid­ual and to ex­ploit them. That is ex­actly what he did early in the pri­maries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump's vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties by com­pli­ment­ing him. He re­sponded just as Mr. Putin had cal­cu­lated. ‘Mr. Putin is a great leader,' Mr. Trump says, ig­nor­ing that he has killed and jailed jour­nal­ists and po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents, has in­vaded two of his neigh­bors and is driv­ing his econ­omy to ruin. Mr. Trump has also taken pol­icy po­si­tions con­sis­tent with Rus­sian, not Amer­i­can, in­ter­ests — en­dors­ing Rus­sian es­pi­onage against the United States, sup­port­ing Rus­sia's an­nex­a­tion of Crimea and giv­ing a green light to a pos­si­ble Rus­sian in­va­sion of the Baltic States. In the in­tel­li­gence busi­ness, we would say that Mr. Putin had re­cruited Mr. Trump as an un­wit­ting agent of the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion.

“Mr. Trump has also un­der­mined se­cu­rity with his call for bar­ring Mus­lims from en­ter­ing the coun­try. This po­si­tion, which so clearly con­tra­dicts the foun­da­tional val­ues of our na­tion, plays into the hands of the ji­hadist nar­ra­tive that our fight against ter­ror­ism is a war be­tween re­li­gions. In fact, many Mus­lim Amer­i­cans play crit­i­cal roles in pro­tect­ing our coun­try, in­clud­ing the man, whom I can­not iden­tify, who ran the C.I.A.'s Coun­tert­er­ror­ism Cen­ter for nearly a decade and who I be­lieve is most re­spon­si­ble for keep­ing Amer­ica safe since the Sept. 11 at­tacks.

“My train­ing as an in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer taught me to call it as I see it. This is what I did for the C.I.A. This is what I am do­ing now. Our na­tion will be much safer with Hil­lary Clin­ton as pres­i­dent.”

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