Former CIA Director James Woolsey said Monday on Fox & Friends that political correctness ruins the ability of law enforcement to stop radical Islamic terror.
Woolsey was referring to the terror attacks in Seaside Park, New Jersey and New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, to which 28-year-old Ahmad Khan is linked. The blast in Chelsea injured 29 people. Police took him into custody after a shootout Monday. He’s now being immediately charged with attempted murder of law enforcement officers, while the investigation continues.
For Woolsey, the Obama administration’s stringent refusal to label the attacks as radical Islam is a huge mistake.
“As long as we have to talk about things in a politically correct way and we can’t say that it’s Islamic terror … we are causing ourselves a massive amount of trouble,” Woolsey said. “There’s virtually nothing that’s worse than political correctness if you’re trying to understand what’s going on in something like a movement like radical Islam.”
Woolsey added that the administration should not act as though terror attacks are just a simple public relations matter.
“It’s not just a PR matter. It’s not a matter of ratings. It’s a matter of life and death.”
Instead, Woolsey thinks it’s time to focus on the facts of the matter, namely that a “rather large chunk of Islam is radical and focused on violence and it doesn’t help to ignore that. It hurts a lot.”
Any other position that prioritizes a narrative is sure to end up with a distorted view on the world, he emphasized.
“As long as you operate in such a way as you start with a narrative and make the facts fit the narrative…that’s a sure way to deceive yourself into not taking the actions you have to take,” he said.
And ultimately, if the U.S. had fought World War II by holding fast to political correctness and public relations efforts, “we would be sitting around here pledging allegiance to Hitler’s heirs, I would think,” he added.
Woolsey, who served as CIA director during former President Bill Clinton’s administration, is now a Republican nominee Donald Trump supporter.
“I trust him to call it straight,” Woolsey said of Trump.
During Woolsey’s time as director, he was not able to get one-on-one meetings with Clinton and so clarified Monday he has no personal relationship with the Clintons.