Retired four-star Air Force General and former CIA Director Michael Hayden has given an insightful and revealing interview to Business Insider. In the interview, Hayden harshly criticizes the Donald Trump Administration for buying to an “illegitimate worldview” peddled by fake-news outlet Breitbart and the Russian state.
Hayden, an intelligence and security expert, is deeply disturbed by Trump’s willingness to listen to right wing extremist lies instead of America’s highly skilled intelligence professionals. He asks the disturbing question,
“It’s kind of scary — a post-fact world. How does intelligence survive in a post-fact world?”
Hayden lambasted the Administration for relying on the baseless conspiracy theories and hateful lies spread by Breitbart and other similar outlets:
“There are some outlets that have incredibly powerful lenses by which [Administration officials] view the facts they collect. I think the Breitbart and the likes are off the chart in terms of shaping data to meet the preconceptions.”
All Breitbart does is manipulate information from other sources to support conclusions that are far removed from the original facts. It cherry picks statements from various sources that can be sewn together in a Frankenstein-like article.
“Breitbart doesn’t do any creative journalism — it just moves the parts around. And I haven’t done this personally, but I’ve heard others say, when you dig into the Breitbart sources, the articles don’t really say that.”
Disturbingly, the narratives espoused by Breitbart and prominent pro-Trumpers like Sean Hannity that show “amazing consistency” with the worldview of Russia’s autocratic government. Suddenly the American right wing is dominated by extremists that think the way deliberately manipulative Russian propagandists want them to think.
“There are powerful parallels between the Russian narrative and things being said [by Trump and his supporters].”
Fundamentally, Trump is listening to Bannon and spurious partisan “news” sources, not the expert intelligence services that exist specifically to help him make informed decisions.
Hayden told Business Insider exactly what he thinks of the dubious information Trump is using:
“I think it’s an illegitimate worldview, and I think it’s a non-fact-based worldview. It’s a worldview in which preexisting visions seem to be being used to distort the fact pattern that exists.”
He could not have put it more clearly. Trump does not respect intelligence experts and he endangers America by making security decisions based in falsehoods. This has to stop.
Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.