Former CIA Head: Political Correctness Hampering Anti-Terror Strategy

Steve Watson  |16  June 2016

The former director of the CIA and the NSA has warned that political correctness has become a significant hindrance when it comes to countering the threat of Muslim extremism.

Appearing on CNN, retired Gen. Michael Hayden made the point that the national security strategy is being hindered because there is now a hesitance to pursue some cases for fear of being branded a bigot.


“Is it possible that people are being politically correct” anchor Jake Tapper asked Hayden.

“You look at the Fort Hood case when the Army knew that Nidal Hasan had become extremist and they whitewashed his reports to make it sound as though it was a good thing he had all this knowledge,” Tapper added. “The FBI knew he had been talking to and emailing with Anwar al-Awlaki. Is there a hesitance to be branded a bigot?”

“I think the Army backed away from this because of, for want of a better term—I’ll use yours—, political correctness,” Hayden answered.

“They didn’t want to bite off the issue that they might have gotten into had they gone after Hasan given his religious leanings.” Hayden continued.

“Look, we’re all sensitive about religious liberty here. But in that case, Jake, I’m with you. I think we clearly did not do some things that we should have done.” the former head of the CIA under the Bush administration said.

Asked further if law enforcement officials have the tools they need to combat such threats, Hayden, who has previously claimed that the Fourth Amendment hampers such efforts, again brought up the issue of privacy.

“They need more authorities to use the whole rack of things they’re allowed to do in a criminal case, in a case that I described before to you, Jake, is not a criminal case. It’s an American about whom they have suspicions,” Hayden said. “So how far do you want the bureau to go in terms of invading that individual’s privacy? Do you want them to go into the Facebook account? Do you want them to go into the emails and so on? I mean these are very serious questions.”

Hayden then referred to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the failed underwear bomber.

“There was a national outcry that the National Counterterroism Center had far too many people on the no-fly list,” Hayden said. “By Christmas night, the national complaint was that there weren’t enough people on the no-fly list and so when this dies down, you’re going to have somebody else in here in this chair complaining about what the Federal Bureau of Investigation is doing.”

Hayden’s comments come in the wake of revelations that the Department of Homeland Security is operating under a brief that contends right wing Americans pose just as much of a threat to the country as Islamic extremists.

A report compiled by the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) has also revealed that The DHS has placed emphasis on avoiding being “disrespectful” to Muslims, rather than focusing solely on identifying terrorists and potential extremists.

In a further warning, current CIA director John Brennan acknowledged before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday that the “terrorism capability and global reach” of ISIS has not been diminished by US counter-terror efforts.

“The resources needed for terrorism are very modest, and the group would have to suffer even heavier losses on territory, manpower and money for its terrorism capacity to decline significantly.” Brennan said.


He also added that Islamic State militants are training and attempting to deploy operatives for further attacks on the West, adding that the terror group is mostly likely trying to smuggle them into countries among groups of refugees or asylum processes.

“Moreover, the group’s foreign branches and global networks could help preserve its capacity for terrorism regardless of events in Iraq and Syria. As the pressure mounts on ISIL, we judge that it will intensify its global terror campaign to maintain its dominance of the global terrorism agenda.” Brennan noted.


Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’, and

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