The Kelly File on January 5, 2017 interviewed Ambassador R. James Woolsey about his alleged leave taking from the Trump team. In the course of which he gave his views about Obama era ‘reforms’ placing the “OSS-legacy” Clandestine Service underneath the Analysis bureaucracy silo at the CIA. Kelly who is relentless about questioning media treatment used The Washington Post report as a means of eliciting Ambassador Woolsey’s response on his status with the Trump team.
Woolsey indicated that he had been involved with the Trump Presidential campaign acting to clarify positions on national security in media interviews, but was not part of the subsequent Trump transition team. Given his several decades of valued service to this country under four administrations he had the requisite experience to formulate his own views about reform of the nation’s intelligence services. Especially when he was Director of the CIA transitioning from Bush 41 through the first term of the Clinton Administration. He has been critical of the Obama Administration encumbering the Clandestine Service by placing it under the Agency bureaucracy and Analysis Division. As he states in The Kelly File interview he had argued for the Clandestine service at the CIA to return to the pro-active OSS covert service origins enshrined in the National Security Act of 1947.
Evidence of Woolsey’s concerns for vital reform of the CIA and other elements of the intelligence community are reflected in investigative journalist Ken Timmerman’s 2008 book, “Shadow Warriors: The Untold Story of Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender.”
Someone involved with the Trump transition, who knows firsthand what both Ambassador Woolsey spoke of and Timmerman wrote about, is former US UN Ambassador John Bolton. Bolton confronted politicization of national intelligence estimates and WMD while an official at the State Department. That was prior to his pocket recess appointment as US UN Ambassador by Bush 43. Bolton, by dint of his own experience and assessment of the effects of the Obama Administration implementation of intelligence reforms, may be acutely aware of the necessity for reform suggested by Ambassador Woolsey.
Note these comments of Ambassador Woolsey during the Fox News Kelly File interview:
Former CIA Director James Woolsey appeared on “The Kelly File” tonight to address a Washington Post report that claimed he has resigned from President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team.
Woolsey, a veteran of four presidential administrations, explained that he worked as a senior advisor to the Trump campaign during the election, but he was never actually an advisor to the transition.
He said he felt it was important to clarify that, since he was still being referred to as “senior advisor to the Trump transition” when he made public or television appearances.
Megyn Kelly pointed out the Washington Post reported that Woolsey stepped away due to growing tensions over Trump’s vision for intelligence agencies and the fact that he had been excluded from discussions on intelligence matters.
Woolsey acknowledged he was not called upon to attend meetings or participate in discussions in recent weeks, but he would not confirm that he took issue with Trump’s reported plan of revamping the country’s intelligence framework
“I think it’s important to realize that there [is] more than one way to reform intelligence,” Woolsey said, adding that he disagrees with many recent bureaucratic, post-9/11 intelligence reforms.
As for whether he would support Trump’s plan for U.S. intelligence agencies, Woolsey said that would “depend where it goes.”
WATCH the FoxNews Kelly file interview: “Former CIA Director Woolsey Explains Why He’s No Longer Advising Trump Team”:
We got to know Ambassador R. Jim Woolsey several years ago when I participated in an early webcast on the Electronic Magnetic Pulse threat to our electrical grid with he and other experts.
During my stint as co-host and co-producer on the former Lisa Benson Radio Show on National Security, that association deepened when we addressed with his expertise matters ranging from EMP, to the lack of an adequate Ballistic Missile Defense and airport ‘security’.
Given his service on intelligence and ballistic missile negotiations under four US Presidents culminating in his role as CIA director under former President Clinton in the early 1990’s he demonstrated integrity. His role as a senior adviser during the Trump campaign lent gravitas as an elder statesman to discussions on national security.
We have noted in various articles and posts the history of intelligence community being politicized on these current and previous issues. That was particularly concerning to many of us with the faulty National Intelligence Estimates on the Iranian nuclear program, especially the 2007 NIE and WMD during the Second Gulf War. On the latter matter I happen to think based on the independent assessments of experts we highly value that Saddam Hussein transferred some critical CBW materials to Syria, perhaps with Russian Spetsnaz assistance. Ken Timmerman and others have written about that. Certainly Dr. Jill Bellamy knows the Biowarfare side of the Iraqi WMD capabilities that were transferred.
After all, both countries had Ba’athist dictatorships, despite the Assad family being an Alawite Shiite sect and Hussein a Sunni. We also know that former Hussein Ba’athist officers and intelligence officers formed the security spine of the Islamic State after the 2013 ‘jailbreak’ in Iraq. They were also familiar with the use of chemical weapons from the 1988 campaign against the Kurds that killed thousands and knew where certain caches were located.
On FoxNews, CNN and PBS interviews with Ambassador Woolsey he acquitted himself ably in addressing trump views on intelligence reform, allegations of Russian cyber hacking and interference with the 2016 Presidential election.
Thus, we commend him for his integrity for stating that he was no longer serving in the capacity as a senior adviser for the Trump team as the election campaign is past. That is sad to see occur. The incoming President deserves to have the widest possible range of informed views to assist in formulating coherent national security policy for the protection of our international security interests and fellow citizens.