For twenty years now I have been arguing the obvious: namely, that as early as 1997, the Islamist problem was too big and too lethal for any U.S. intelligence service or law-enforcement agency to defeat. At that time, I suggested to my superiors at CIA that we either get permission to kill Osama bin Laden immediately — and thereby probably shatter or at least drastically weaken a still-developing al-Qaeda — or inform the president that he was facing a quickly growing Islamist enemy that would soon not only would require conventional forces to eradicate, but could not be defeated by any other force or combination of forces. I also said that to believe that the Islamist movement was either limited in its capacity to grow in numbers and spread geographically or was unrelated to the faith of Islam could not be substantiated by fact or logic, and that to tell the American people that was so would be a knowing, and its own right, a lethal lie. This, I hasten to add, took no brilliance to see. It was clear as day in 1997; it is — I think — just as clear today.
General Michael Hayden is a man I respect and admire, but one with whom I disagree on several issues. Some are ephemera, but two that do matter are defending and abiding by the Constitution and answering the question “Why does America wage war?” In a recent television interview with Bill Maher, General Hayden words were described as follows by the New York Times:
The disloyal Israel-First/Neoconservative (IF/NC) crowd seems to be having a collective and hopefully fatal seizure over Mr. Trump’s pledge to be strictly even-handed and neutral in the ongoing war between Israel and the Arabs — a war both sides clearly intend to fight to the death.