"The CIA's been treated like a pinata the last 15 years. So for him to come out and say, 'I'm going to back you,' that's pretty good."
What The President Needs To Hear Right Now
After John's disastrous second briefing with George W. Bush, he returned to the CIA feeling "radioactive." He felt like everyone was a little scared to be around him. But he also received missives from Mike Morell, the president's CIA briefer, basically saying, "That was tough, but you did the right thing by telling the president how you felt. Kudos."
I asked John what he'd do if he were briefing 45, particularly in those first 30 seconds before the questions started or he became distracted by today's Twitter feud.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Besides including a lot of hashtags and ending sentences with the word "SAD!"
"I would tell him that Iraq is representative of a number of Middle Eastern countries that are on the edge of failing, and it represents a broader trend in the region ... if you want to solve Iraq, you're going to have to solve Iran as well. You need to come up with a policy on Iran. You decide what policy is, the CIA doesn't, but our country has not really had a policy on Iran since 1978, and we've just been in this position of opposition, every now and then with bouts of cooperation ... You have to come to some sort of realization that either you want to work with these people, that ignoring these people is not based on reality, or that you are going to go the other way, and you need to come up with some very creative methods to contain their influence, knowing that doing so is going to create some frictions."
Majid Saeedi/Getty Images
No matter what a candidate's speech promises, there are no easy answers to this little problem.
John would want to stress to the president that, while the military's a real good way to solve certain problems, it can only be part of any solution we have in Iraq and Iran. "Those solutions are political in nature. They have a military component, but you have to have a political solution as well. One of the things I think is so very important, and I would say this to the president immediately, is that just using your military to solve problems ... look where it has gotten us."
What kind of tragic fucking idiot wouldn't listen to advice like that?
John Nixon wrote a book, Debriefing The President, about his interrogation of Saddam Hussein. It's really good, y'all.
Robert Evans has a completely non-political book about how prostitution, drugs and general debauchery built human civilization. You can buy A Brief History Of Vice now!
Also check out 8 Things I Learned As An American Governor In Occupied Iraq and Here's What Soldiers Fighting ISIS Asked Us To Tell You.
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