John Kiriakou is a former CIA agent who exposed the agency's torture program.
Donald Trump's efforts to build a national security team have ricocheted between abject chaos and extreme conservative ideology. There's no reason for progressives to be optimistic about retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser or Rep. Michael Pompeo, R-Kan., as CIA director. Trump's national security transition advisers have proven so far to hold extreme anti-democratic and anti-Muslim views. It's not going to get any better.
The real question is whether Trump's appointees will refuse to reinstate former President George W. Bush's illegal and immoral torture program or whether they'll carry out the president-elect's campaign promises to bring back waterboarding and "a hell of a lot worse."
We know already that Trump's choices do not constitute the "A" team in intelligence circles. Eliot Cohen, a senior State Department official under George W. Bush, wrote in The Washington Post that although he had been a part of the "Never Trump" movement, he had urged fellow Republicans to accept jobs in the new administration's national security structure because the president-elect needed all the help he could get.
But after an exchange with a close friend on the transition team, Cohen tweeted, "After exchange w/Trump transition team, changed my recommendation: stay away. They're angry, arrogant, screaming 'you LOST!' Will be ugly."
After exchange w Trump transition team, changed my recommendation: stay away. They're angry, arrogant, screaming "you LOST!" Will be ugly.