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Attn: Chairman Richard Burr and Vice Chairman Mark Warner ID: LFG-2018-0001

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

211 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Sent via: Mail

Attn: Chairman Devin Nunes and Ranking Member Adam Schiff

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

Capitol Visitor Center HVC-304

US Capitol Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Sent via: Mail

January 16th, 2018

Re: Opposition to the nomination of Mr. Tom Cotton as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

Chairman Richard Burr, Chairman Devin Nunes, Vice Chairman Mark Warner, Ranking Member Adam
Schiff and Senator Dianne Feinstein,

I am in opposition to the nomination of Mr. Tom Cotton, a potential soon to be pick by President
Donald J. Trump, as the new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Currently as you already know,
the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency is Mr. Mike Pompeo. It appears as if President Donald J.
Trump may make the decision as to replacing Rex W. Tillerson with the current Director of the Central
Intelligence Agency, Mr. Mike Pompeo, and to then put Mr. Tom Cotton as the Director of the Central
Intelligence Agency.1 Like many other unwise domestic and foreign policy decisions that the White
House has made on many different issues, I believe that replacing Mr. Mike Pompeo with Mr. Tom
Cotton as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency would be an extremely unwise decision.

To be clear, I do not wish to see the Central Intelligence Agency being subjected to politics,
political influence or political interference by any political figure or by any political party. While this does
not mean that congressional committees should not provide oversight as to the activities and the
operations of intelligence agencies of the United States, this however means that the United States
cannot afford to have a political intelligence community. It does appear as if Mr. Tom Cotton is a
member of the Congress of the United States and it also appears as if he is a member of the Republican
Party of the United States. While certainly it would be wrong to prevent prospective candidates of

1
The White House under the direction of President Donald Trump should not be creating hostile or undesirable
working environments for diplomats or for diplomatic staff members of the United States Department of State. It
does appear as if President Donald. J. Trump may terminate Mr. Rex Tillerson’s employment for political purposes
instead of for legitimate purposes.
intelligence agencies of the United States, such as the Central Intelligence Agency, from being employed
due to their asserted political ideology, I do however believe that once employees of the Central
Intelligence Agency are on the clock, that their political affiliation should go out the door.

Another reason why I am in opposition to the nomination of Mr. Tom Cotton as the Director of
the Central Intelligence Agency, is due to the fact that I do not believe that he has enough experience as
to fully and faithful serving in an intelligence agency position of the United States. I believe that would
certainly be a needed experience employment requirement in order to be employed as the Director of
the Central Intelligence Agency. While I do not believe that Mr. Tom Cotton has ever been an employee
of the Central Intelligence Agency or any other intelligence agency of the United States, I do believe that
his lack of experience could have extremely negative consequences as to the operations of the Central
Intelligence Agency. By Mr. Cotton not knowing all of the positions of the Central Intelligence Agency, in
which the Director of the Central intelligence Agency would need to already know and be familiar with, I
believe that inexperience has the potential as to crippling the daily activities of the Central Intelligence
Agency. Let us look at this issue the same as a normal job, even though one could assume that working
for the Central Intelligence Agency would be different from a typical job. If a person wants to work at
some fast food restaurant or even at another typical job, a prospective candidate would not be qualified
for a position as having the position of being a supervisor over the employees if he or she did not have
any type of experience in working that type of job or being knowledgeable as to being familiar with the
job positions and the job descriptions in which are of a non-supervisor capacity.

Ethical reasons is another reason why I am in opposition to Mr. Tom Cotton being nominated or
having his nomination being confirmed, so that he will be able to serve as the Director of the Central
Intelligence Agency. To my knowledge and understanding, Mr. Tom Cotton has been a defender of
waterboarding, sweeping surveillance powers, jailing journalists, and he is believed to be an advocate
the United States withdrawing from Iranian Nuclear Agreement in which the White House under the
direction of President Barack H. Obama helped accomplish as a sole executive agreement.2 As with
regard as to officials of the United States waterboarding the accused, Mr. Tom Cotton stated that
"Waterboarding isn't torture," in which was a statement that he made to Cable News Network. By Mr.
Tom Cotton ignoring torture as defined by international law, one could argue that Mr. Tom Cotton has
the potential as to being deliberately indifferent to international law that prohibits countries from
torturing individuals. As an attempt to stop officials of the United States from waterboarding the
accused, Senators John McCain and Senator Dianne Feinstein proposed an amendment to ban officials
of the Central Intelligence Agency from torturing detainees. When this proposal was voted on, Mr. Tom
Cotton voted against the proposal. This is very ethically concerning because since he did vote against the
proposal, a reasonable person would speculate that Mr. Tom Cotton would bring back illegal
interrogation techniques to the Central Intelligence Agency, if his nomination and hopefully not, was
confirmed by the Congress of the United States, in which would be in violation of international law.

By essentially confirming the nomination of Mr. Tom Cotton as the Director of the Central
Intelligence Agency, I believe that this move would certainly in some way bring back torture as an illegal
interrogation techniques in which cannot be tolerated. Torture I believe in which is committed by an

2
Just like some other political figures in the United States, there appears to be some individuals that believe that
trying to repeal everything that President Barack Obama stood up for is somehow patriotic. This is extremely
saddening
intelligence officer during an interrogation, sets the norm around an intelligence agency of the United
States that it is not imperative for an intelligence officer to listen to their enemy. This I believe is surely
wrong because I believe that intelligence officers of intelligence agencies of the United States must
always listen to their enemy. I believe that possible misunderstandings being resolved, peaceful
settlements being established, and treaties being agreed to are always a possibility if the United States
or let us say other countries around the world, listened to one of their adversaries. It is also possible that
a adversary of one could restore a relationship with the other if both parties agreed to respectfully listen
and to address the concerns that the parties had towards each other in a way that is respectfully.

As part of something that I would hope to see the United States reform with respect to the
Central Intelligence Agency, I would like to see veteran employees of the Central Intelligence Agency
serving on the role as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. I want veteran employees of the
Central Intelligence Agency to be the first candidates for that position because they know how things
run and operate at the Central Intelligence Agency. I am a bit skeptical of any political figure being
nominated by the White House through the President of the United States to serve as the Director of
the Central Intelligence Agency. This is because political figures in the United States are supposed to be
political. Political figures typically serve and advocate for some interests of a political party in which they
are a part of. Advocating for the interests of a political party of the United States is not the proper place
to have it occur with respect to employees working “on the clock” at intelligence agencies of the United
States.

There are so many things that I would like to see the United States accomplish to help ensure
that the United States will do its best to become a perfect union. While the United States is in no way a
perfect union, I believe that whenever reforms or whenever suggestions are requested that will have
the possibility as to helping ensure that the United States is a perfect union to the best of our abilities, I
believe that those things need to be listened to, analyzed, noted and discussed. As far as this issue is
concerned, I am hoping that you all as members on the congressional intelligence committees of the
United States will be in opposition to the nomination of Mr. Tom Cotton as the Director of the Central
Intelligence Agency, if President Donald J. Trump nominates that individual. Like many other unwise
domestic and foreign policy decisions that have occurred under the direction of President Donald J.
Trump, I believe that this soon to be nomination by the current President of the United States would not
be a wise decision, especially due to the lack of experience that Mr. Tom Cotton has and ethical
concerns that I believe are associated with Mr. Tom Cotton. As an effort to help ensure that the Central
Intelligence Agency never gets political, I am also hoping that you all will also help ensure that veteran
employees of the Central Intelligence Agency will be the individuals that will be the first set of
candidates for the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency position when it comes up. Please
remember that being the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency is a privilege and is not a
constitutional right!

Respectfully,

Isaiah X. Smith3

cc: Senator Dianne Feinstein

3
www.isaiahxsmith.com