This is ........ unsettling, and something I did not know. "Roger" (the name of his cover identity) is the chief of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center. He is a proponent of the drone strkes targeting violent jihadis, but how this convert feels about sharia, the subjugation of women, oppression of non-Muslims is left unsaid:
He is a "collection of contradictions," says the WaPo. He "presides over a campaign that has killed thousands of Islamist militants and angered millions of Muslims, but he is himself a convert to Islam." He converted to Islam to get married (Islamic law forbids a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man) and "is not demonstrably observant," but "he is known to clutch a strand of prayer beads."
It is impossible to tell from this how serious he is about Islam. The Washington Post, of course, follows the mainstream media line that Islam is a Religion of Peace that has been hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists, and so takes for granted that "Roger" has no loyalty issues, and proffers the drone campaign and the killing of bin Laden as proof. There is no exploration in the Post article of the implications of Roger's believing in the same religion that jihadists point to as inspiring and motivating their hatred of America and desire to war against it. There is no questioning him about the contradiction, or apparent contradiction, between his drone strikes and campaign against bin Laden, and his Islamic faith. No one thinks to ask him or dares ask him if he differs with bin Laden in tactics only, but not in overall goal. Everyone takes for granted that because Islam is a Religion of Peace, Roger's beliefs and values should not be subject to any scrutiny of any kind. His loyalty is beyond question. Even to ask Roger how his understanding of Islam differs from that of the Islamic jihadists against whom he is conducting a kind of war would be "Islamophobic."
The question is this: some might liken Roger to a top American official joining the Nazi Party during World War II. Others would liken Roger to a top American official marrying a German immigrant during World War II, and coming under unjust suspicion as a result. German Americans, of course, could oppose and fight against National Socialism unequivocally, without any lingering allegiance to it; Muslims who profess to reject and abhor Islamic terrorism, however, still profess belief in a book and a prophet that have inspired Islamic violence and supremacism worldwide, even among believers who have no institutional connection to al-Qaeda or any other jihad group.
Whatever the truth may be in Roger's particular case, there is no doubt of one thing: if Islamic supremacists wanted to subvert the U.S. defense against jihad terror, they couldn't do it more easily than by turning someone in a position like Roger's. The worst part of this story is that no one is even examining that as a possibility, for to do so would go against all the dogmas and pieties of the Washington establishment.
"At CIA, a convert to Islam leads the terrorism hunt," by Greg Miller in the Washington Post, March 24:For every cloud of smoke that follows a CIA drone strike in Pakistan, dozens of smaller plumes can be traced to a gaunt figure standing in a courtyard near the center of the agency’s Langley campus in Virginia.
The man with the nicotine habit is in his late 50s, with stubble on his face and the dark-suited wardrobe of an undertaker. As chief of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center for the past six years, he has functioned in a funereal capacity for al-Qaeda.
Roger, which is the first name of his cover identity, may be the most consequential but least visible national security official in Washington — the principal architect of the CIA’s drone campaign and the leader of the hunt for Osama bin Laden. In many ways, he has also been the driving force of the Obama administration’s embrace of targeted killing as a centerpiece of its counterterrorism efforts.
Colleagues describe Roger as a collection of contradictions. A chain-smoker who spends countless hours on a treadmill. Notoriously surly yet able to win over enough support from subordinates and bosses to hold on to his job. He presides over a campaign that has killed thousands of Islamist militants and angered millions of Muslims, but he is himself a convert to Islam....
He also married a Muslim woman he met abroad, prompting his conversion to Islam. Colleagues said he doesn’t shy away from mentioning his religion but is not demonstrably observant. There is no prayer rug in his office, officials said, although he is known to clutch a strand of prayer beads....
Along the way, he has clashed with high-ranking figures, including David H. Petraeus, the U.S. military commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, who at times objected to the CIA’s more pessimistic assessments of those wars. Former CIA officials said the two had to patch over their differences when Petraeus became CIA director.
“No officer in the agency has been more relentless, focused, or committed to the fight against al-Qaeda than has the chief of the Counterterrorism Center,” Petraeus said in a statement provided to The Post....
Given his attention to operational detail, Roger is seen by some as culpable for one of the agency’s most tragic events — the deaths of seven CIA employees at the hands of a suicide bomber who was invited to a meeting at a CIA base in Khost, Afghanistan, in December 2009.
An internal review concluded that the assailant, a Jordanian double-agent who promised breakthrough intelligence on al-Qaeda leaders, had not been fully vetted, and it cited failures of “management oversight.” But neither Roger nor other senior officers were mentioned by name....
‘A new flavor of activity’
But current and former senior U.S. intelligence officials said it is no accident that Roger’s tenure has coincided with a remarkably rapid disintegration of al-Qaeda — and the killing of bin Laden last year.
When Michael V. Hayden became CIA director in May 2006, Roger began laying the groundwork for an escalation of the drone campaign. Over a period of months, the CTC chief used regular meetings with the director to make the case that intermittent strikes were allowing al-Qaeda to recover and would never destroy the threat....