Ex-CIA station chief says America is ‘a lot safer’ from terrorism than it was four years ago

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Ex-CIA station chief says America is ‘a lot safer’ from terrorism than it was four years ago

On the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Americans should "be thankful" for the work of the military, the intelligence community and diplom

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On the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Americans should “be thankful” for the work of the military, the intelligence community and diplomats in combating terrorism around the world, former CIA station chief and Fox News contributor Daniel Hoffman told the “Fox News Rundown” Friday.

“It’s a teeny, tiny, small percentage of our population out there on the front lines protecting us,” Hoffman told host Gillian Turner. “This is not World War II or Vietnam. We’ve got teeny, tiny numbers of troops and intelligence officers and diplomats and intelligence community writ large, and it’s a time to remember them and be thankful for what they’re doing.”

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With fewer than eight weeks remaining until the presidential election, Hoffman said the U.S. is “a lot safer” from the threat of terrorism than at this time four years ago.

“I think there’s a lot of good reasons for that,” he explained. “Certainly, destroying the physical caliphate, the ISIS caliphate, which the Obama administration began and the Trump administration ended … They also gave our military the wherewithal to do what they needed to do in a far more expansive capacity than Obama administration did. I think destroying the Al Qaeda leadership and the ISIS leadership also makes us safer.”

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However, Hoffman added, “it’s important for us not to be complacent and [to] understand that there are many out there in the world who seek to do us harm. Not just state actors like Iran and North Korea, not to mention China or Russia, but disaffected terrorists who seek to target us worldwide.

“And that’s the essence of why we have these brave patriots who, for them, all that matters, the only mission that matters is keeping us safe here in the homeland. That’s how they measure success.”

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Discussing the mission that led to the death of 9/11 mastermind Usama bin Laden in 2011, Hoffman said he didn’t fault then-Vice President Joe Biden for his reported opposition to the operation.

“He was, I think, justifiably concerned about putting our SEAL team members at risk and flying into Pakistan without telling the Pakistanis that we were doing that, with a kinetic operation on their territory,” Hoffman said. “There were huge risks there.

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“I think from a political standpoint President Obama looked at that [the intelligence] and thought, ‘If it’s a 50-50 chance that he’s there, how am I going to explain this to my constituents that I didn’t act?’ And I think, frankly, being there, I can tell you, I think that had an impact on him. But the intelligence wasn’t certain. And it’s a classic case of making a a very important decision without perfect information.”

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