On Friday, Trump announced that Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo was his pick to run the Central Intelligence Agency. Pompeo, who supports NSA surveillance, has previously called for the execution of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
As True Activist reported last week, it didn’t take long for President-Elect Donald Trump to back-track on some of his campaign promises and rhetoric, particularly his promise to ?drain the swamp? of Washington DC corruption. As Trump works with his transition team to select the people who will form part of his administration, the picks announced so far have drawn ire from Trump supporters and detractors alike for being too close to ?the establishment.? Most recently, Trump announced that Kansas congressman Mike Pompeo would take over as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Pompeo, like many of the people now associated with Trump’s transition team, is a controversial figure, known for his support of policies that are unpopular with many Americans and, in some cases, unconstitutional.
In 2014, Pompeo accused Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower that exposed the NSA’s unconstitutional program of mass surveillance, of ?intentional distortion of the truth that he and his media enablers have engaged in? and called him ?a traitor” who should be “given a death sentence.” Pompeo’s dissatisfaction with Snowden’s work on behalf of the US public is likely due to his strong support for the NSA program that collects the bulk data of millions of innocent Americans. Pompeo has called for an end to legal barriers for the NSA (the Constitution, perhaps?) and has raised concern repeatedly from civil liberties advocates for stances he has taken while serving on the House Intelligence Committee.
He has also sought to undo the few changes to the NSA’s ?Big Brother? surveillance program that were realized after Snowden’s revelations by calling on Congress to allow the NSA to resume its phone records program and to ?pass a law re-establishing collection of all metadata, and combining it with publicly available financial and lifestyle information into a comprehensive, searchable database.? Pompeo even supports a ?fundamental upgrade to America’s surveillance capabilities.? It should come as no surprise, then, why Pompeo and the man who hopes to appoint him have called for Snowden’s execution were he to return to the US from Russia, where he currently has political asylum.
In addition to his ardent support for the NSA’s unconstitutional surveillance program, Pompeo is also a staunch defender of the controversial US prison at Guantanamo Bay, which he has called ?an important national asset.? He has further argued that closing the facility would endanger the lives of Americans. Pompeo has also defended the CIA’s abhorrent torture program, arguing that ?the programs being used were within the law? and that those employed by the program ?are not torturers.? He also referred to the 6,000-page torture report commissioned by the Senate as ?some liberal game being played by the ACLU and Sen. Feinstein.? The report, released in full in 2014, revealed nightmarish abuses against CIA detainees that were found to be both brutal and ineffective, though the worst of the abuses were kept classified and thus not part of the report. The fact that the man who is set to run the CIA believes that ?rectal feeding,? 180 hours of sleep deprivation, sexual abuse, and mock executions do not constitute torture is something that should concern all Americans, particularly in light of the fact that the US military-industrial apparatus has become more and more focused on ?domestic terror” in recent years.
If Pompeo is confirmed, the CIA under his leadership could be a nightmare for American muslims just for that reason. Pompeo has accused Islamic faith leaders and American muslims of ?condoning terror,? even going so far as to say that American imams were ?potentially complicit? in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings despite the fact that numerous Islamic leaders within the US condemned the attacks. Some groups that avidly supported Trump should also be concerned as Pompeo is likely to continue the US intelligence community’s trend of characterizing Americans who are ?suspicious of centralized federal authority? and ?reverent of liberty? as ?extreme right-wing terrorists.? With a CIA director who disrespects the rights of citizens enshrined in the constitution, all Americans are in danger.
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