Top 43 Malcolm Nance Quotes

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“For an old spy and codebreaker like myself, nothing in the world happens by coincidence.”

― Malcolm Nance

“Vladimir Putin understood, from the Communist era when he was a KGB officer, that the Russian propaganda system of targeting Western media – that in the digital world, you could easily pull the Western media around by a nose ring.”

― Malcolm Nance

“The attacks of September 11 were made possible, in part, by the fact that U.S. law enforcement had a bias that ‘rich Saudis are safe Arabs.’ Al Qaeda understood that bias and relied on it to operate freely in the United States for years, even when the terrorists were engaged in activities that the authorities considered suspicious.”

― Malcolm Nance

“The Republicans want an autocracy where the rights of minorities and others are not protected.”

― Malcolm Nance

“Whenever counterterrorism professionals see punditry and media make grand pronunciations on terrorism that defy all demonstrable evidence, an unrepeatable oath is usually muttered.”

― Malcolm Nance

“To help students steel themselves for captivity, SERE used a variety of ‘stress and duress’ techniques. The military’s encyclopedic knowledge of these techniques was paid for in American blood because it was gleaned from former POWs tortured by totalitarian regimes. One technique, waterboarding, was a historically well-known torture.”

― Malcolm Nance

“I was a part of the planning and attack package intelligence team for the strike against Syria in 1983 – in which we lost a pilot and had another one captured until Jesse Jackson got him out – and numerous other operations against Syria both before the Iraq war and during the insurgency.”

― Malcolm Nance

“Yes, ISIL is a terror-based insurgent army that seeks to establish a Caliphate, but the group’s actual end goal is far from political: ISIL believes that, through jihad, it will bring about the Day of Judgment. This is not true Islam.”

― Malcolm Nance

“SERE is a classified program, but every person informed of it is ‘read in’ to the details of the program. Even the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, which administers SERE, starts its PowerPoint presentation with a slide outlining the agency’s origins.”

― Malcolm Nance

“I saw the waterboarding device in Cambodia’s notorious Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh and did not see another until I was strapped down on an identical one at SERE. Waterboarding was administered as a ‘stress demonstrator’ to show that an enemy could make one say anything. And one does.”

― Malcolm Nance

“A militant’s profile lies not in his age, race, culture, or education; anyone can join or be adopted by the al Qaeda network, the only prerequisite being a willingness to accept the group’s radical, cultlike ideology.”

― Malcolm Nance

“Al Qaeda has dominated the battlefield of the soul among the disaffected, disenfranchised, and dissatisfied. It promises action instead of discussion.”

― Malcolm Nance

“Osama bin Laden has managed to replace fear of God and adherence to the Quran with his philosophy of jihad above all else. What’s behind that facade is the true philosophical intentions of al Qaeda: the establishment of a new Islamic caliphate that will defeat democracy as the greater of the two political orders.”

― Malcolm Nance

“Al Qaeda’s leaders seek to reverse what they claim are corrupt Islamic practices bookended by the Mongol invasions in 1256 and Ataturk’s ending the caliphate in 1924. Theirs is a fight to turn Islam’s clock back to the time of Prophet Muhammad’s original followers.”

― Malcolm Nance

“Identifying terrorists on the battlefield is relatively simple.”

― Malcolm Nance

“Across all U.S. intelligence agencies, there is a lack of cultural respect and a poorly tuned attitude toward foreign peoples and cultures.”

― Malcolm Nance

“Al Qaeda is a racially diverse organization that is well aware of its dependence on a labor pool dominated by Arab Muslim men. It also has an adaptable and fluid counterintelligence mind-set.”

― Malcolm Nance

“I have personally led, witnessed, and supervised waterboarding of hundreds of people.”

― Malcolm Nance

“In the media, waterboarding is called ‘simulated drowning,’ but that’s a misnomer. It does not simulate drowning, as the lungs are actually filling with water. There is no way to simulate that. The victim is drowning.”

― Malcolm Nance

“Waterboarding is slow-motion suffocation with enough time to contemplate the inevitability of blackout and expiration. Usually, the person goes into hysterics on the board. For the uninitiated, it is horrifying to watch. If it goes wrong, it can lead straight to terminal hypoxia – meaning, the loss of all oxygen to the cells.”

― Malcolm Nance

“Waterboarding should never be used as an interrogation tool. It is beneath our values.”

― Malcolm Nance

“I know waterboarding is torture because I have been on the giving and receiving end of the practice.”

― Malcolm Nance

“As a general rule, interrogations without clearly defined legal limits are brutal. Particularly when they have an imperative to get information out of a captive immediately.”

― Malcolm Nance

“Working in the Middle East, daily I face the questions, disbelief, and accusations about how Americans could violate the human rights which they once championed.”

― Malcolm Nance

“Intelligence officers are a peculiar lot. Whether they are active or retired, their brains are wired for a completely different way of seeing the world around them.”

― Malcolm Nance

“I started my career in Naval Intelligence when I entered as a Russian language interpreter sent to DLI, the Defense Language Institute.”

― Malcolm Nance

“For years before my Navy enlistment, I had studied the Soviet Union and the KGB’s history of political intrigue in preparation for a career in intelligence.”

― Malcolm Nance

“ISIL is not ‘radical Islam.’ Hamas, Hezbollah, Fatah, the Muslim Brotherhood – these are radical Islamic groups. They resort to armed struggle and terrorism to move toward their goals. But they are also deeply political organizations that have internal rules, standards, and codes of conduct.”

― Malcolm Nance

“Hamas and Hezbollah operate within geopolitical norms. They can be negotiated and reasoned with. ISIL is a different animal altogether – a religious cult an order of magnitude more extreme than even the most extreme Islamic groups of the past.”

― Malcolm Nance

“Referring to ISIL as a destructive religious cult rather than a legitimate theo-political ‘radical Islamic’ group is not just more accurate, it also exposes ISIL’s corrupt religious narrative.”

― Malcolm Nance

“We created NATO. It was a United States invention for the collective security of Europe. It has been a Russian desire since 1947 to break up NATO.”

― Malcolm Nance

“Republicans are so taken by and loyal to Trump that they will believe and do anything he says.”

― Malcolm Nance

“The goals of Russia since 1917 have been to destroy capitalism, discredit democracy, and show that Communist collectivism was the greatest social and political system in the world.”

― Malcolm Nance

“Vladimir Putin is creating an axis of authoritarian regimes that he will lead.”

― Malcolm Nance

“Russia’s a small country. It’s really poor. It has nothing other than oil and weapons sales.”

― Malcolm Nance

“I’ve been involved in air strikes against Syria and operations against Syria numerous times in my career.”

― Malcolm Nance

“One of the most missed components of the entire insurgency in Iraq was that Syria and Bashar al-Assad facilitated Al Qaeda’s operations in Iraq. They actually headquartered the Iraq Ba’ath Party and all of their escaped generals in Damascus.”

― Malcolm Nance

“It annoys me right-wing extremism is not equated to Islamic extremism.”

― Malcolm Nance

“There are no military options for Iran. Attack them, and they will destroy the Gulf States oil industries, rain hundreds of missiles onto Israel, close the Arabian Gulf, and shoot oil prices to $300 per barrel, which could cause our own economic downfall.”

― Malcolm Nance

“The global jihad movement ideology is a destructive religious cult. It is so un-Islamic that it is virtually anti-Islamic.”

― Malcolm Nance

“The 2003 war in Iraq may be considered the greatest error in American policy since the Civil War. Its ramifications are earth-shattering and will impact us and our safety for generations. It may completely unravel the entire Middle East forever.”

― Malcolm Nance

“I come from an African-American family that is predominantly Muslim. I have had to covertly operate in parts of the Middle East and Africa. I’ve lived a Muslim life and prayed in Mosques, Husseiniyahs, and shrines where needed. One must respect Islam to understand Islam. I’ve read the Quran through and through a half dozen times.”

― Malcolm Nance

“We have already seen ISIS use Donald Trump in their propaganda directly. I mean, I will go so far as to say Donald Trump is the ISIS candidate.”

― Malcolm Nance
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