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Michael Morell swears in prior to testifying in front of the House Select Intelligence Committee in 2014. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Ex-CIA Chief and Torture Defender Endorses Clinton—Why Are Democrats Cheering?

'Whose endorsement would Democrats not treat as a benefit, at this point? How bad of an actor does someone need to be?'

Nika Knight Beauchamp

In a New York Times op-ed, former CIA head Michael Morell on Friday endorsed Hillary Clinton by arguing that the former secretary of state is "highly qualified to be commander in chief" because "she will deliver on the most important duty of a president—keeping our nation safe."

Morell went on to praise Clinton's "more aggressive approach" to the conflict in Syria and to accuse Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump of being an "unwitting agent of Putin." (Morell doesn't disclose that he currently works for a PR consulting firm run by longtime Clinton ally Phillippe Reines.)

Morell has in the past defended torture, most publicly in a book published as a retort to the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the CIA's torture program during George W. Bush's presidency.

And while many in the mainstream media have focused uncritically on the op-ed's Putin-phobia, progressives have expressed alarm that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party are not only celebrating an endorsement from a defender of torture, they are actually using such praise from neocons and war hawks to promote Clinton's candidacy:

Indeed, earlier this week, the Clinton campaign released an ad in which neoconservatives describe why they will be voting for the former secretary of state in November. Watch:


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