Adding to the list of questionable picks to head government agencies, Donald Trump‘s nomination to head the CIA is raising a few eyebrows, considering his religiously-tainted views when it come to the war on terror and other subjects.
U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) has a history of saying things that call into question his ability deal with matters of intelligence in a rational manner, especially within the context of the War on Terror. Speaking to a Wichita church group in 2014, Pompeo framed the fight against terrorism as a battle between Islam and Christianity. Speaking about radical Muslims, Pompeo said that Christianity is the only force that can effectively confront extremist Islam. He then told the audience that Christians are a prime target of jihadists, who will “continue to press against us until we make sure that we pray and stand and fight and make sure that we know that Jesus Christ is our savior is truly the only solution for our world.”
From The Intercept:
The Kansas lawmaker has frequently appeared on Christian right radio, including on a program hosted by the Family Research Council — a group, like Gaffney’s, that has promoted fears about Islam. Pompeo is an opponent of gay marriage, and was among a handful of legislators to demand that the Air Force return the phrase “so help me God” to its military oath.
He also likes throwing stuff out there, like the idea that Obama’s preferences tend to favor Muslim nations over the U.S. During an event last year, Pompeo was asked why President Obama wants Iran “to win.”
“Every time there has been a conflict between the Christian west and the Islamic east, the data points all point to a singular direction,” Pompeo replied, according to The Intercept.
“It is very clear that this administration — and when I say that, a very narrow slice inside the leadership regime here in Washington has concluded that America is better off with greater Iranian influence certainly in the Middle East, but I think around — certainly it’s tolerated around the world. But if you ask me why they think that, I’ve listened to them intently and I cannot with any certainty provide you an answer to that,” he continued.
— Mike Pompeo (@RepMikePompeo) November 19, 2016
Of course, Pompeo’s evangelical Christianity makes him stridently pro-life, and he makes no secret of the fact that he’s against abortion even in cases of rape or incest. He’s also voted to defund Planned Parenthood, calling the health organization the “largest commercial provider of abortions in the United States.”
Pompeo is also stridently pro-torture. When a portion of a report on the CIA’s alleged use of torture techniques against detainees was released in 2014, he dismissed it as a “liberal game being played by the ACLU and Senator [Dianne] Feinstein.”
“These men and women are not torturers, they are patriots,” he said in a statement. “The programs being used were within the law, within the constitution, and conducted with the full knowledge Senator Feinstein. If any individual did operate outside of the program’s legal framework, I would expect them to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
According to a report by POLITICO, the techniques included “waterboarding … the use of electric shocks, dogs, nudity, hypothermia and mock executions.”
Glancing down a list of other positions he’s taken on various things (he thinks Edward Snowden should be put to death, he wants to revive NSA spying programs, he’s a stickler for Benghazi), Pompeo’s brand of politics is at worst a whirlwind of World Net Daily-fueled paranoia and at best a throwback to the Bush years.
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