Society

Ex-CIA Officer: Obama 'Lost Control Of The Middle East'

| by Nik Bonopartis
Former CIA officer Gary BerntsenFormer CIA officer Gary Berntsen

Regardless of who will take control of the White House in January, President Barack Obama is leaving that person a Middle East "in flames" according to a former CIA officer.

Gary Berntsen weighed in on Obama's handling of the Middle East during an appearance on "Fox & Friends" on July 15, a day after a terrorist plowed into a crowd of thousands of Bastille Day revelers in Nice, France, with a 20-ton truck.

The attacker, identified by CNN as 31-year-old Tunisian-born Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, killed at least 84 people and injured more than 200, leaving a path of gore behind him and staining the white refrigerated truck in shades of crimson and pink with the blood of his victims.

"This is going to get very, very ugly," Berntsen said, reported The Hill. "The president of the United States, as [former Speaker of the House] Newt Gingrich has stated, has failed in his responsibilities to defend the United States. He has lost control of the Middle East."

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For France, it was the third major terrorist attack in 18 months, and the deadliest since terrorists pulled off a coordinated attack on Paris in November of 2015, killing 130 people and injuring almost 400 others with a combination of suicide bombers and gunmen striking at cafes, restaurants and a concert hall.

Berntsen, a decorated former CIA station chief and counterterrorism expert who served 23 years in the agency, also criticized Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for telling Fox's Bill O'Reilly that there is not "enough intelligence cooperation" among European intelligence agencies and their counterparts in other countries.

"What a bunch of nonsense," Berntsen said, reports Politico. "We have had liaison relationships with our European partners since World War II. These are deep relationships with significant cooperations."

Neither Clinton nor her campaign had responded to Berntsen or acknowledged the interview as of late afternoon on July 15. Clinton's Twitter feed was topped by a dozen tweets about Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Trump's reported vice presidential pick, and one tweet linking to a statement about the Nice attack.

"Every American stands in strong solidarity with the people of France," Clinton wrote, "and we say with one voice: we will not be intimidated."

Sources: The Hill, Politico, CNN / Photo credit: CNN

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