Monday, November 21, 2016

45's Spy Guy

Mike Pompeo was born in Orange, California, the son of Dorothy (née Mercer) and Wayne Pompeo. He attended the U.S. Military Academy where he majored in Mechanical Engineering, graduating first in his class in 1986 and subsequently serving in the Regular Army as an Armor Branch cavalry officer from 1986 to 1991. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He then worked as a lawyer for Williams & Connolly.

Pompeo has been on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and Committee on Energy and Commerce, and the following 3 subcommittees: the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, the Subcommittee on Energy and Power, and the Subcommittee on the CIA. He is also on the House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi

Pompeo supports the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, characterizing the agency's efforts as "good and important work." In March 2014, Pompeo denounced NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's inclusion in the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, and called for Snowden's invitation to speak via telecast at the annual Texas event be withdrawn, lest it encourage "lawless behavior" among attendees. In February 2016, Pompeo said Snowden "should be brought back from Russia and given due process, and I think the proper outcome would be that he would be given a death sentence." 

Pompeo has advocated for rolling back post-Snowden surveillance reforms, saying "Congress should pass a law re-establishing collection of all metadata, and combining it with publicly available financial and lifestyle information into a comprehensive, searchable database. Legal and bureaucratic impediments to surveillance should be removed. That includes Presidential Policy Directive-28, which bestows privacy rights on foreigners and imposes burdensome requirements to justify data collection."

On July 21, 2015, Pompeo and Senator Tom Cotton alleged the existence of secret side agreements between Iran and the IAEA on procedures for inspection and verification of Iran's nuclear activities under the Iran nuclear deal. The Obama administration denied any clandestine or secret actions. Administration officials acknowledge the existence of agreements between Iran and the IAEA governing the inspection of sensitive military sites, but deny the characterization that they are “secret side deals,” saying instead that they are standard practice in crafting arms-control pacts and that the Administration had provided the information on them that was at its disposal to Congress.

In a 2013 speech on the House floor, Pompeo said Muslim leaders who fail to denounce acts of terrorism done in the name of Islam are "potentially complicit" in the attacks. The Council on American-Islamic Relations called on Pompeo to revise his remarks, calling them "false and irresponsible".

Pompeo opposes closing Guantánamo Bay detention camp. After a 2013 visit to the prison, Pompeo said, of the prisoners who were on hunger strike, "It looked to me like a lot of them had put on weight."

Pompeo has criticized the 44th administration's decision to end the CIA's secret prisons (so-called "black sites"), and the administration's requirement that all interrogators adhere to anti-torture laws.

On November 18, 2016, the President-elect announced that he would nominate Pompeo to be the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.