Friday, November 18, 2016

Senators, Oppose Mike Pompeo as CIA Director

Congressman Mike Pompeo
The following is the text of a letter I sent to Nevada Dean Heller, asking him to vote against Donald Trump’s nominee for the post of CIA Director.
Dear Senator Heller,
I am writing to express my dismay at President-elect Donald Trump's nomination of Congressman Mike Pompeo to the directorship of the Central Intelligence Agency.  I hope that you will use all of your influence and all of your power in the senate to reject--and urge your colleagues to do the same--what I believe to be a dangerous nominee.
Congressman Pompeo has devoted much of his time in Congress on committees to investigating what was repeatedly proven to be the non-existent Benghazi scandal.  Congressman Pompeo's partisan obsession with this episode demonstrates both rank ignorance of how the diplomatic and national security structures of our government function, and wildly misplaced and deeply uninformed priorities.
Congressman Pompeo has also been highly supportive of the secret NSA surveillance, about which intelligence leadership lied directly to Senators charged with providing oversight.  Congressman Pompeo's support for these programs and for the secrecy and dishonesty with which they were executed suggests that he is likely to continue the unacceptable tradition of hiding critical information about programs that impact privacy from you and your colleagues who provide oversight, and from the public at large.
Congressman Pompeo moreover attacked whistleblower Edward Snowden, whose efforts are the only reason we know about these dangerous programs.  In attacking Snowden, Congressman Pompeo suggested that he hoped the whistleblower would face a death sentence if he returned to the United States.
Congressman Pompeo has also attacked Islamic leaders in the United States, suggesting that any such leader who failed to denounce terrorist actions would be "potentially complicit" in terrorism.  Logically and morally, this is a repellent statement.
Finally, Congressman Pompeo has opposed the closure of Guantanamo Bay and the movement of prisoners to the United States to face justice.  This is effectively a vote of no-confidence on his part in the efficacy of the federal government he would like to serve in this new capacity and the justice system and constitutional structure to which we are all accountable.
Congressman Pompeo's misguided priorities, ignorance, support for the violation of civil liberties, attacks on whistleblowers, lack of faith in the system he desires to serve, and Islamophobia in the wake of a presidential campaign defined by religious bigotry and racism make him unfit to act as Director of the CIA.
As you know, many Nevadans wear a libertarian stripe, while others identify as liberals.  What these two ideologies that define most members of our state community have in common is a belief in the importance of individuals rights and liberties.  Among these are rights to privacy and rights to information about what our government does in our name.  Congressman Pompeo poses a threat to both these rights, and I think many other Nevadans would join me in opposing his nomination.
Thank you for your consideration, and please let me know whether you feel able to oppose Congressman Pompeo's nomination to this post.
Jeff Schauer
Las Vegas, NV

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