Trump Travel Ban 'Simplistic, Wrongheaded', Says Former CIA Chief
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The former CIA director John Brennan has described US president Donald Trump’s travel ban on visitors from Muslim countries as “simplistic and misguided”, predicting it would be counterproductive if implemented.
Brennan, who was director of central intelligence from March 2013 until the last day of the Obama administration on 20 January this year, was highly critical of a range of Trump policies and actions in an interview aired on Monday night.
He said the administration’s use of the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” served to legitimize terrorists in their own eyes, and warned that the president’s disparagement of US intelligence agencies would hurt morale and recruitment, the Guardian reported.
The former spy chief reserved his most critical remarks for the executive order (EO) stopping entry to the US for refugees and suspending entry for travelers from six predominantly-Muslim countries. Two successive versions of the ban have been halted by courts, most recently in Hawaii and Maryland, and the administration is appealing against those rulings.
“Their proposed EO really I think was too simplistic and misguided because it was identifying one’s nationality as being responsible for a potential terrorist act,” Brennan said. “It is wrongheaded and I don’t think it would enhance the security of our country.”
Asked if he thought the ban would be counterproductive for US security, Brennan said: “I do, because a lot of citizens from those countries who have very legitimate reasons to travel to the US are really going to see this as reflecting a very different tone from the US … To me, I think they’re going to see that as profiling specific nationalities.”