Michael Krieger — Russia Insider March 26, 2018
Tuesday’s post, It’s Impossible to Overstate How Terrible Mike Pompeo Is, laid out the view that Trump’s firing of Rex Tillerson represents a major shift toward war footing for the Trump administration, with Iran the specific target. This pivot was easily predictable, and I wrote numerous articles doing just that during 2017. Nevertheless, forecasting it and then seeing the disastrous pieces being moved into place are two different things.
Trump’s push to install Mike Pompeo as U.S. Secretary of State is a crystal clear indication that he’s begun the process of building his war cabinet. The next steps, likely to begin over the course of 2018, is to walk away from the Iran deal. I suspect relentless war propaganda to be unleashed simultaneously as the neocon/neoliberal/mass media war-monger alliance plays its well-established role in selling the American public on another pointless and destructive war.
My prior post discussed Pompeo in detail, so I don’t want to be repetitive, but to revisit: Pompeo has contempt for the First Amendment, referred to torturers as patriots, wants Edward Snowden executed and is an extreme warhawk when it comes to Iran.In other words, he’s your typical neocon lunatic who’s just a bit more rough around the edges publicly. He represents the exact opposite sort of foreign policy to what so many Trump voters thought they were getting.
Switching gears a bit, today’s piece will zero in on Trump’s other desired appointment, Gina Haspel to head the CIA. Gina’s famous for running a CIA black site in Thailand where detainees were tortured. In fact, she performed her role with such gusto she was nicknamed “Bloody Gina” by some colleagues and also played a key role in destroying videotape evidence of the torture. Her promotion represents a bizarre way to “drain the swamp,” but I digress.
What’s most interesting and extremely disturbing about the Pompeo and Haspel appointments, is the lack of resistance from “the resistance.” If you’ve been paying attention, this won’t be surprising since the resistance has always been an unholy alliance of neocon/neoliberal war hawks, intelligence agencies and the mass media.
They don’t want to “resist” any of Trump’s genuinely bad policies, the entire purpose of this psyops of a movement is to ensure Trump continues with the insane imperial policies of his predecessors. Trump’s about to deliver in spades, and you can thank “the resistance” for paving the way for this administration’s upcoming belligerence.
Here’s what I mean. From The Hill:
This puts Democrats in a potentially powerful position to swing Haspel’s confirmation.
Yet early signs suggest that the minority is prepared to offer support, despite her controversial record, fierce opposition from human rights activists and the fact that she is a Trump nominee.
The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), on Wednesday cited a “very good working relationship” with Haspel, currently the agency’s deputy director. Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), a red-state Democrat who also sits on the Intelligence panel, said he was “very much open-minded.”
Even one of the Senate’s harshest critics of “enhanced interrogation techniques” and the architect of the so-called torture report, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), signaled a surprisingly open reception to Haspel that could pull others off the fence.
“We’ve had dinner together. We have talked. Everything I know is she has been a good deputy director,” Feinstein said on Tuesday, adding, “I think, hopefully, the entire organization learned something from the so-called enhanced interrogation program.”
Feinstein in 2013 blocked Haspel’s promotion to run clandestine operations at the agency over her role in interrogations at a CIA “black site” prison and the destruction of videotapes documenting the waterboarding sessions of an al Qaeda suspect there.
Did you catch that? Feinstein blocked Haspel in 2013, but now, under Trump, she’s open to an even bigger promotion.
A few lawmakers have come out in opposition to Haspel – most prominently Paul and Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) – but it’s unclear how much influence they will wield. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that he is not whipping votes to oppose Haspel.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet “the resistance.”
It’d be funny if it wasn’t so sad.