The Senate confirmed Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump's pick for CIA director, on Monday night.
The vote was 66-32 in favor of confirmation, with Pompeo picking up some Democratic backing. The only Republican in opposition was Sen. Rand Paul.
The vote was held open longer than normal in an effort to let Senators delayed by the storm in the Northeast reach Washington, but it was gaveled closed before Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal could arrive.
Vice President Mike Pence swore in Pompeo, a Kansas congressman, after the vote at the White House.
"I just want to remind our colleagues that our country continues to face incredible threats, and they are not hitting the pause button," Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said in a statement issued before he voted in support of Pompeo. "The President needs his national security Cabinet, and particularly his CIA Director at his side, a Cabinet position integral to keeping our country safe."
Pompeo's view on electronic surveillance and torture drew the ire of some Democrats.
But Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Democratic Socialist from Vermont, cited Pompeo's support for the broad collection of metadata in his vote against the CIA nominee.
"What we are talking about is the United States government having in many ways more information about us than we may even understand about our own life," Sanders said. "In many ways, it sounds to me like we are moving toward an Orwellian society."
Who voted for Pompeo? Our old red state Dem friends Joe Manchin, Claire McCaskill, Joe Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp of course, but also blue state Dems like Chuck Schumer, Sheldon Whitehouse, Amy Klobuchar and Brian Schatz.
Who voted against? Bernie and Rand Paul. Go figure. If you were expecting the CIA to start poking around in Trump's Russia connections, well with pro-torture Pompeo now in charge, the agency's rank and file just got bought off by Trump this week.
The Trump administration is preparing a sweeping executive order that would clear the way for the Central Intelligence Agency to reopen overseas “black site” prisons, like those where it detained and tortured terrorism suspects before former President Obama shut them down.
President Trump’s three-page draft order, titled “Detention and Interrogation of Enemy Combatants,” and obtained by The New York Times would also undo many of the other restrictions on handling detainees that Mr. Obama put in place in response to policies of the Bush administration.
If Mr. Trump signs the draft order, he would also revoke Mr. Obama’s directive to give the International Committee of the Red Cross access to all wartime detainees in American custody – another step toward reopening secret prisons outside of the normal wartime rules established by the Geneva Conventions.
And while Mr. Obama tried to close the Guantánamo prison and refused to bring new detainees there, the draft order directs the Pentagon to continue using the facility “for the detention and trial of newly captured” detainees – including not just more suspected members of Al Qaeda or the Taliban, like the 41 remaining detainees, but also Islamic State detainees. It does not address legal problems that might raise.
So the Trump regime's back in the torture game, guys. And Dems did nothing to stop it. We could have closed Gitmo under Obama years ago, but Dems screwed Obama over on that too. Now Trump will make sure America tortures suspects for no actual law enforcement, legal, or moral reason.
Oh well. At least we didn't elect that awful Hillary, right?
New tag: Mike Pompeo. I figure we're going to need it.