Trump Names Bellicose Figures to Top National Security Posts
November 19, 2016 Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
President-elect Donald Trump has named a handful of picks for top positions in his incoming cabinet, tapping former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn for the position of National Security Adviser, Sen. Jeff Sessions to Attorney General, and perhaps most controversially of all, Rep. Mike Pompeo to director of the CIA. Pompeo has called for the execution of whistleblower Edward Snowden and ending the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran.
Trump Names Bellicose Figures to Top National Security Posts Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(November 18, 2016) -- President-elect Donald Trump has named a handful of picks for top positions in his incoming cabinet, tapping former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn for the position of National Security Adviser, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to Attorney General, and perhaps most controversially of all, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) to director of the CIA.
Flynn was a former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), who in 2014 claimed he was forced into retirement for questioning President Obama's narrative on the war on terror. Flynn has subsequently run a lobbying firm, which was believed to be lobbying on behalf of Turkey's government.
Flynn backed Trump throughout the campaign, and supported his position on NATO, saying that the US can and should insist on reciprocity from other member nations as a condition for military support.
Flynn's position on US-Russia relations is somewhat less certain, as he's been labeled "Russia-loving" by critics, but also has written that Russia is part of a major "global axis" of nations and forces arrayed against American interests. In appearances on RT, he has called for the US and Russia to "work together," but a lot of the allegations of him being in league with Russia are likely focused on him agreeing with Trump on NATO, as NATO is loudly opposing any US rapprochement with Russia.
Rep. Pompeo is seen as likely to be an even more contentious pick, heading from the House Intelligence Committee into the CIA. Pompeo is an outspoken advocate of NSA surveillance, who has called for the execution of whistleblower Edward Snowden for making the surveillance known to the American public. He has also called for ending the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, saying after the election that he "looked forward" to destroying the deal.
Pompeo's position on Syria is likely to loom large in his appointment, as he is said to be in favor of ending the CIA's arming of Syrian rebels, but was also an eager supporter of a direct US military attack on Syria's government in 2013. Trump is planning to end the rebel arming scheme, but doesn't appear to want to impose regime change in Syria either, instead talking up focusing the fight on ISIS.
Pompeo generated further controversy in 2013 by claiming that leaders of America's Muslim minority are all "potentially complicit" in terrorist attacks because they don't spend enough time publicly condemning those attacks. He followed this up with demands that all American Muslims "refute terrorist theology."
Pompeo is seen as being put in charge of the Trump Administration's effort to roll back reforms made at the CIA in recent years. The reforms include a number of moves made in response to the 9/11 report's statements on the intelligence gaps.
Sessions is also seen as eager to make major changes at the Justice Department as the new Attorney General, with cracking down on immigrants likely to be a major focus for him. Sessions is also seen as a right-wing hardliner who identifies with his former position as a prosecutor and will be eager to aggressively enforce laws.
Sessions' nomination has been criticized by many, including the NAACP, who Sessions previously condemned as an un-American group teaching anti-American values. Sessions was also accused of calling both the NAACP and the ACLU "Communist-inspired" groups.
Flynn was always expected to get a significant role like the National Security Advisers, while Sessions had previously been mentioned as a possible Defense Secretary before being put in the Justice Department. Pompeo is the most surprising of the three appointments, as he had not been widely reported to be in the running for anything.
(November 18, 2016) -- Trump's CIA Chief pick Rep. Mike Pompeo on the Syria crisis on Fox News in 2013. Pompeo called himself a "libertarian conservative" and said that is why he supports Congress authorizing an attack on Assad.
Wootendw (November 17, 2016)
Bashar Assad is a secular Alawite who is married to a British-born/raised Sunni. Both the husband and wife are highly intelligent -- he is an ophthalmalogist and his wife has a degree in computer science and French literature and has worked as an investment banker.
It's an absolute travesty that the Pentagon, State Department and CIA have armed terrorists to destroy Syria just to get rid of Assad. If Pompeo still supports this, Trump is making a mistake hiring him. Russia supports Assad.
Of course, Syria is allied with Hezbollah and the USG considers Hezbollah to be terrorist although that is actually not true. Hezbollah may have some terrorists among its members but the organization itself is primarily a Lebanese political party and militia group that defends Christians in Lebanon as well as Shia and other groups.
I also want to know what kind of ties Pompeo, as a former defense contractor and oil equipment maker, has had with the Saudis, Qataris and other (Sunni) Gulf States. The Saudis have been buying weapons and influence in the US for four decades -- even funding 'think' tanks like the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Atlantic Council, Brookings, and the Middle East Institute. They also give money to US and British universities (and not because they are believers in education). The Qataris have invested heavily in bringing down Assad by supporting ISIS terrorists.
It is possible that Iran might agree to stop making missiles capable of reaching Israel if only US arms makers would just stop selling arms to these Gulf States which threaten Iran. With the price of oil dropping, the Gulf States won't be able to buy as much anyway.
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