Rand Paul is going to war with Republicans. He will make it very difficult for the President’s nominees to get through. He’s more than irate and said he can’t support neocons.
The senator from Kentucky will do ‘whatever it takes’ to prevent Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel from being confirmed. He told Jake Tapper he would filibuster, especially as it concerns Ms. Haspel.
In an op-ed for Fox News, he wrote:
According to published reports, Gina Haspel – who President Trump wants to become the next CIA director – oversaw one of the CIA’s notorious “black sites” in Thailand and was directly involved in the destruction of videos documenting the torture that took place there. One former CIA official has also stated that she was “one of the architects, designers, implementers and one of the top two managers of the [Enhanced Interrogation Techniques program] and a true believer, by all accounts, in the ‘Global War in Terror’ paradigm.”
We’re not simply talking about a run-of-the-mill CIA agent here. Haspel was someone in a position of power who presided over practices that epitomized the abuse of that power. Allowing her to now run the CIA will only invite even more distrust and suspicion of what is going on behind the scenes at the agency.
Going forward, we should be able to know for sure that our CIA director should be someone who would refuse to allow certain methods because he or she knows them to be wrong – not just because they are illegal.
Unfortunately, current CIA Director Mike Pompeo has also defended such actions in the past, once having to apologize to former Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., for saying that the committee’s release of its report on the CIA’s use of torture was “a narcissistic self-cleansing that is quintessentially at odds with (Sen. Feinstein’s) duty to the country.”
Now Director Pompeo is the nominee to follow Rex Tillerson as our next secretary of state, and I still have the same concerns about Pompeo’s appointment as when I opposed his nomination to lead the CIA last year, especially his consistent defense of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) unconstitutional spying programs.
Lindsey Graham called Rand Paul an “outlier” in the party. In any case, it’s fodder for the left and we really need these positions filled. But both nominees are going to have a tough time getting through. This is an administration that’s had most nominees blocked by Democrats with little help from Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate Majority Leader.