Newsweek

Trump’s Pressure Points

Former intelligence analysts say CIA director Mike Pompeo seems willing to bend to Trump on Russia and Iran.
Vice President Mike Pence (right) swears in Mike Pompeo—flanked by Pompeo's wife, Susan—to be director of the CIA in Washington, D.C., on January 23.
Pompeo CIA

Updated | In early November, Cynthia Storer sat down and started sketching out her next lecture for an online course she’s teaching for Johns Hopkins University. The topic: the politicization of intelligence. The ex-CIA senior counterterrorism analyst, one of the famous “sisters” who tracked Osama bin Laden, has firsthand memories of the constant pressure from Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bush administration officials to come up with proof that Saddam Hussein had ties to Al-Qaeda. With White House encouragement, the agency also came up with evidence that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. In that sad episode, George Tenet, then CIA director, told Bush he could make a “slam dunk” case for attacking Iraq. As it turned out, Bush’s sales pitch was successful, but the intelligence was a bust: No nuclear, chemical or biological weapons were found.

Perhaps it was only a coincidence, but the timing of Storer’s lecture was ideal, given the lengthening string of evidence that CIA Director Mike Pompeo has been bending the agency to his boss’s will

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Newsweek

Newsweek3 min readSociety
Jill Soloway Reflects on 'Transparent' in New Memoir
In "She Wants It," Soloway tells the story of the hit Amazon show—from the beginning to its messy end.
Newsweek7 min readPolitics
How a Social Media Post in Russia Can Land You in Jail
It was just before 6 a.m. when police officers raided Daniil Markin’s apartment in Barnaul, a small Russian city some 2,000 miles from Moscow. Markin, a film student who was 18 at the time of the July 2017 raid, had no idea why police had burst into
Newsweek2 min read
How Superheroes Cope With Saving The World
“You can’t live a life of violence and not feel the violence deep in your heart and your soul.”