U.S. response to Iranian attacks ‘should be lethal,’ says former top CIA official [VIDEO]

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
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America has not responded forcefully enough to Iranian attacks against the United States, a former top CIA counter-terrorism official told The Daily Caller.

Henry Crumpton, a CIA officer who was deputy director of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center and headed America’s covert invasion of Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11 attacks, said that Iran has repeatedly attacked the United States — but the U.S. has failed to respond appropriately.

“It’s been an unrelenting campaign, a lethal campaign against the United States and U.S. allies,” he said during an interview at TheDC’s Washington offices about his new book, “The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIA’s Clandestine Service.”

“And I think we have not responded in the forceful way that was required. … We need to be more aggressive, more precise and more specific in our response. And I think our response in some cases should be lethal.”

Crumpton cited a litany of Iranian-sponsored attacks against the United States, including the Iranian regime holding American officials hostage after the 1979 Islamic revolution, the bombing of America’s Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 243 American servicemen in 1983, and the Khobar Towers attacks that killed 19 American servicemen stationed in Saudi Arabia in 1996, among others.

“The list is long,” he said.

“More recently, the Quds force, an element of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps operating in Iraq, [has been] directly responsible for the deaths of Americans. And just in the last few weeks press reports about this attempt against U.S officials in Azerbaijan, a country next door to Iran.”

Asked what would be worse, Iran obtaining nuclear capability or the consequences of an American attack against Iranian nuclear facilities, Crumpton said, “I do not think we should allow Iran to have the nuclear weapon.”

“However, I do not advocate an overt military strike, a conventional strike — an air raid has been discussed,” he added.

“In our strategies we must remember the most important ally we have are the Iranian people. The 2009 Green Revolution, it has been repressed, but it has not been extinguished.”

Crumpton said American policy should ultimately be to seek regime change in Iran.

“We need to, frankly, be seeking regime change by empowering the Iranian people,” he said.

Asked whether the Iranian sponsored and created terrorist organization Hezbollah has operatives in the United States, Crumpton said he would be “shocked” if it didn’t.

“I can’t speak to the current situation, but I would be shocked if they were not,” he said.

Check back to TheDC for more of Crumpton’s comments about the state of Afghanistan and much more. Also, check out his take on what should happen to those responsible for leaking classified intelligence.

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