Ex-CIA chief quips ‘good idea’ to suggestion to send unvaccinated to Afghanistan

Former intel chief frequently retweets posts bashing Trump and his vaccine-skeptical supporters

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Monday 23 August 2021 20:09
<p>General Michael Hayden speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016 at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on May 11, 2016 </p>

General Michael Hayden speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016 at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on May 11, 2016

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Ex-CIA chief General Michael Hayden quipped that it would be a “good idea” to send unvaccinated Trump supporters to Afghanistan.

In response to a tweet about Afghans fleeing the country on a US military jet, a Twitter user asked: “Can we send the MAGA wearing unvaxxed to Afghanistan, no use sending that plane back empty?”

“Good idea,” Gen Hayden replied.

General Hayden, who headed the CIA from 2006 to 2009 during the final years of the presidency of George W Bush, was quickly bashed for his comment.

RepublicanIndiana Representative Jim Banks wrote that it was “sad and unbecoming even from you, Mike”.

The general retweeted another user who said: “Mr Banks, General Hayden doesn’t need to hear from you.”

Gen Hayden has actively criticised former President Donald Trump and his supporters on Twitter, retweeting memes critical of MAGA fans and the unvaccinated.

“He’s an a**hole. Pure and simple,” Gen Hayden tweeted about Mr Trump on 19 August.

He also retweeted a meme that said that Trump supporters were “our Taliban”.

Gen Hayden also served as the director of the National Security Agency as the principal deputy director of national intelligence.

In 2014, he was accused of falsely describing the CIA’s interrogation techniques by California Senator Dianne Feinstein, accusations that Gen Hayden has rejected.

Republican operative Scott Parkinson tweeted that “what started out as calling Trump supporters deplorables has escalated into… Former CIA director Michael Hayden RT’d a tweet comparing Trump supporters to the Taliban. Tell me about the Deep State again”.

Republican Florida congressional candidate Jose Castillo tweeted: “This [clown] was a general? Mind you the head of the CIA. Explains a lot.”

Journalist Glenn Greenwald added: “George Bush and Dick Cheney’s former CIA/NSA Director – and current CNN favourite – endorsing the idea that people who wear MAGA hats and aren’t vaccinated should be forcibly shipped to Afghanistan. The US intelligence community has always been led by sociopaths.”

Sebastian Gorka, who served as deputy assistant to the president in 2017 during Mr Trump’s tenure, made fun of Gen Hayden’s military service and called him a “seditious hack”.

Mr Trump held a rally in Alabama on Saturday, slamming Mr Biden for the handling of the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“This was not a withdrawal, this was a total surrender, for no reason,” he told his audience. “He surrendered our airbase, he surrendered our weapons, he surrendered our embassy.”

Despite hospitals in the South straining under the pressure from Covid infections mostly among the unvaccinated – a group who lean conservative – no health restrictions were in place at the Trump rally.

Gen Hayden endorsed President Joe Biden in 2020 and the former intel chief frequently retweets posts bashing the unvaccinated as well as Mr Trump.

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