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Why Has Fox News Analyst Lt. Col. Ralph Peters Left the ‘Propaganda Machine’?

Lt. Col. Ralph Peters has resigned from his long-held role as a Fox News analyst, telling colleagues he is done being a "propaganda machine" for President Donald Trump.

In an email obtained by BuzzFeed, Peters told colleagues he was "ashamed" of his association with Fox after it "degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration." 

The retired lieutenant colonel accused Fox of "wittingly harming our system of government for profit" and "assaulting our constitutional order and the rule of law, while fostering corrosive and unjustified paranoia among viewers." 

RALPH PETERS Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters said he was "ashamed" to be connected to Fox News Fox News

"Four decades ago, I took an oath as a newly commissioned officer," he said in an email. "I swore to 'support and defend the Constitution,' and that oath did not expire when I took off my uniform." 

"When prime-time hosts—who have never served our country in any capacity—dismiss facts and empirical reality to launch profoundly dishonest assaults on the FBI, the Justice Department, the courts, the intelligence community (in which I served), and, not least, a model public servant and genuine war hero such as Robert Mueller—all the while scaremongering with lurid warnings of ‘deep-state’ machinations—I cannot be part of the same organization, even at a remove."

Peters, who was a fiery critic of former President Barack Obama's foreign policy and was suspended by Fox in 2015 for calling the 44th U.S. leader a "total pussy," also hit out at the network for "advancing" Russian President Vladimir Putin's agenda. 

Read more: Fox News Host Shep Smith Says Network’s Opinion Commentators Are ‘Strictly’ for Entertainment and ‘Don’t Really Have Rules’

"As a Russia analyst for many years, it also has appalled me that hosts who made their reputations as super-patriots and who, justifiably, savaged President Obama for his duplicitous folly with Putin, now advance Putin's agenda by making light of Russian penetration of our elections and the Trump campaign," Peters wrote in his email. 

"Despite increasingly pathetic denials, it turns out that the 'nothing-burger' has been covered with Russian dressing all along," he added.

The longtime analyst added that "as an intelligence professional, I can tell you that the Steele dossier rings true," referring to the series of memos written by British former intelligence officer Christopher Steele containing allegations of misconduct and collusion between the Trump campaign team and Russia before and during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. 

"That's how the Russians do things," Peters wrote. "The result is that we have an American president who is terrified of his counterpart in Moscow."

Despite his criticisms against Fox News, Peters added that he still "deeply" respects "the hard news reporters at Fox, who continue to do their best as talented professionals in a poisoned environment," calling them "some of the best men and women in the business." 

In a statement Fox News said: “Ralph Peters is entitled to his opinion despite the fact that he’s choosing to use it as a weapon in order to gain attention. We are extremely proud of our top-rated primetime hosts and all of our opinion programming.”