Former CIA Director General Michael Hayden recently retweeted a meme that said he equated the Taliban to President Trump’s supporters in the United States.
The image was a split screen with the top portion showing Islamic militants clad in black and waving flags and guns from a line of trucks and cars.
The caption read, “Their Taliban.” The lower portion of the split-screen pictured a line of pickup trucks with flags waving high, including “Trump 2020” flags. The caption read, “Our Taliban.”
Gen. Hayden is a retired U.S. Air Force four-star general who has also served as the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the National Security Agency, and his position as the Director of the CIA.
While some responses to the tweet seemingly agreed with Hayden’s sentiments, the overwhelming majority were critical.
“The CIA is a joke,” read one tweet.
“Wow, with all of your experience, if you can’t tell the difference between a real threat and media hype…and retweeting this crap? Swampier than most” criticized another.
“Wow. Hate much,” tweeted one user.
Hayden’s tweet came as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan after the U.S. military’s withdrawal from the country after 20 years. Hayden is known for frequently retweeting posts bashing Trump, his supporters, and any posts about Americans who may be vaccine-resistant or skeptical.
Earlier in the year, the CIA tweeted a recruitment video widely derided as being “full of woke propaganda.”
Hayden: Send unvaxxed Trump supporters to Afghanistan
After the overwhelmingly negative response to his tweet, Hayden did hold back from controversy.
In response to a tweet about Afghans fleeing on a U.S. military transport plane as the Taliban took over, a Twitter user asked, “Can we send the MAGA wearing unvaxxed to Afghanistan? No use sending that plane back empty?”
General Hayden tweeted, “Good idea,” in reply.
Hayden has been an active critic of President Trump and Trump supporters, often retweeting memes critical of Trump supporters and the unvaccinated.
The backlash of responses to Hayden was fast and furious.
Indiana Republican Representative Jim Banks wrote that it was “sad and unbecoming even from you, Mike.” Republican Florida congressional candidate Jose Castillo tweeted, “This [clown] was a general? Mind you, the head of the CIA. Explains a lot.”
But Journalist Glenn Greenwald went even further, saying, “George Bush and Dick Cheney’s former CIA/NSA Director — and current CNN favorite — endorsing the idea that people who wear MAGA hats and aren’t vaccinated should be forcibly shipped to Afghanistan. The U.S. intelligence community has always been led by sociopaths.”