Welcome to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Pompeo — the Latest Committee to Have Reason to Investigate Russia!

Yesterday, Rex Tillerson committed the one unforgivable sin on the Trump Administration: holding Russia accountable for its actions. While Trump and Sarah Huckabee Sanders equivocated, Tillerston strongly stated that the poison used in the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter obviously came from Russia.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal in Britain “clearly came from Russia” and “certainly will trigger a response.”

Tillerson says he doesn’t know whether Russia’s government had knowledge of the poisoning. But he is arguing the poison couldn’t have originated anywhere else. He says the substance is known to the U.S. and doesn’t exist widely. He says it’s “only in the hands of a very, very limited number of parties.”

Tillerson calls the poisoning “a really egregious act” and says it’s “almost beyond comprehension” that a state actor would use such a dangerous substance in a public place.

Today, Tillerson’s counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, drew the unenviable task of denying Russia’s involvement, even while the Russian Embassy and Putin himself barely hid their glee about the attack.

“Russia is not responsible,” Sergei Lavrov said during a televised press conference that marked an escalation of the standoff with the UK over the poisoning of the former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.

Lavrov also suggested Moscow would not comply with a Tuesday midnight deadline set by Theresa May to deliver an explanation or face retaliation. He said Moscow’s requests to see samples of the nerve agent had been turned down, which he called a violation of the chemical weapons convention outlawing the production of chemical weapons.

“We have already made our statement on this case,” he said. “Russia is ready to cooperate in accordance with the convention to ban chemical weapons if the United Kingdom will deign to fulfil its obligations according to the same convention.”

Trump did the predictable thing: Fired Tillerson by tweet, naming Mike Pompeo his successor and torturer Gina Haspel America’s first female CIA Director.

Of course, both those nominations require confirmation. And while it would probably be easy for Haspel to work as Acting Director for the foreseeable future, it may be far, far harder for Pompeo to make the move.

Admittedly, Pompeo was confirmed CIA Director with a 66-32 vote (this was before Democrats got bolder about opposing Trump’s more horrible nominees, and Pompeo was, after all, a member of Congress). But Pompeo likely faces a harder time even getting through committee. While Senate Foreign Relations Committee Dems Jeanne Shaheen and Tim Kaine are among the idiotic Dems who voted for Pompeo for CIA Director, SFRC Republican Rand Paul was the sole Republican voting against Pompeo. So even if just Shaheen and Kaine flip their votes, Pompeo will be bottled up in SFRC. But SFRC also includes several of the other Republicans who’ve been most skeptical of Trump and/or his dalliances with Russia: Bob Corker (who is retiring and has been chilly about Pompeo’s confirmation in the past), Jeff Flake (who is retiring), and Marco Rubio (who was hacked by Russia himself; though he has already said he would support Pompeo).

Since Pompeo’s last confirmation, he has done several things to coddle Trump’s Russia dalliance, as I laid out here.

Already, Pompeo’s cheerleading of Wikileaks during the election should have been disqualifying for the position of CIA Director. That’s even more true now that Pompeo himself has deemed them a non-state hostile intelligence service.

Add in the fact that Pompeo met with Bill Binney to hear the skeptics’ version of the DNC hack, and the fact that Pompeo falsely suggested that the Intelligence Community had determined Russia hadn’t affected the election. Finally, add in the evidence that Pompeo has helped Trump obstruct the investigation and his role spying on CIA’s own investigation into it, and there’s just far too much smoke tying Pompeo to the Russian operation.

Remember, too, that in his last confirmation process, Pompeo refused to rule out using hacked intelligence from Russia, something Rubio should be particularly concerned about.

Pompeo can also expect to be grilled about why he ignored the sanctions against Russia’s top intelligence officers so they could all come for a meet and greet earlier this year.

I’m not saying it won’t happen. But it will be tough for Pompeo to get through the narrowly divided SFRC, much less confirmation in the full senate.

House Intelligence Republicans yesterday made asses of themselves in an attempt to get Russian investigations off the front page. But by nominating Pompeo to be Secretary of State, Trump just gave an entirely different committee, one far more hawkish on Russia issues, reason to start a new investigation into Trump — and Pompeo’s — Russia dalliances.

74 replies
    • lefty665 says:

      Yeah Cotton would have been a execrable choice, but Haspel is worse for the rest of us. Directors of both CIA and NSA are outsiders, never insiders. The Deputy Directors are career people. The regular infusion of outsiders at the top is the only way we have any hope, however faint, of external oversight and control.

      In addition, Haspel has had her fingers in the worst of CIA’s malignancy in this millennium.  Like Rbt Gates she needed to be behind bars rather than in the Director’s suite.

      In the IC, and most of the public sector, promoting to the head job from within is a rookie mistake. It comes from not understanding government and the agencies the Prez is dealing with.

        • orionATL says:

          i’ve found over time that lefty has insight, into the nsa particularly, that are helpful in understanding what is going on in that never-transparent land of the federal gov.

        • Dev Null says:

          @Willis: fwiw (my opinion and $3.45 will get you a medium latte at Starbucks) I agree with orion: lefty’s insight is, well, thought-provoking. I think there’s a counter-argument, that (for some definition of “law-abiding”) a career agent is less likely to go off the rails than a Trump political appointee *cough*Tom Cotton*cough*. (Perhaps in a 51-49 Senate Cotton’s seat was thought too important to hazard against a special election.)

          But lefty’s point is a good one IMO.

        • lefty665 says:

          I will put it a little more explicitly and in short words for you WW. Among other things, Haspel supervised ran torture at a black site. That is a war crime. Haspel is a war criminal.  She belongs in the slammer jail or in front of a firing squad, not running the CIA.  Get it now?

        • orionATL says:

          from scott horton’s harper’s article:

          “… Former FBI agent Ali Soufan, receiving the Ridenhour Prize last Wednesday for his book The Black Banners, took direct aim at Rodriguez in his acceptance speech. The tapes were destroyed, he said, because they provided “evidence of [the CIA’s] unprofessionalism, and incompetence.” By destroying the tapes, Rodriguez gave himself room to fictionalize what happened during those interrogations sessions…”

        • lefty665 says:

          Nice to bring a little joy into your dreary life. I’d make a brain for you too, but that’s beyond my pay grade, so I’ll settle for bringing you some ‘glad’.

        • Karl Darx says:

          Waterboarding is not torture.

          If you think she should be executed for that, you are more heartless than she is. Far more.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Appreciate that.  As an alternative, we might have been able to offer Karl a one-minute seminar with Senior Chief Malcolm Nance.  But I don’t think lack of information or experience is KD’s problem.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Trump never was a fan of checks and balances, let alone hearing conflicting advice from over-achievers with different experience, points of view and networking styles. He hates them.  He hates learning new things, especially from people for whom that looks easy.  He cannot abide opinions that differ from his.  He is a poster child for the idea that ignorance is curable, stupidity is terminal.

        As for rookie mistakes, that’s Trump’s specialty.  He’s done it for decades; he’s a perennial rookie.

  1. Trip says:

    Flake defies Trump and his rampant fuckery by always voting for Trump’s rampant fuckery.  Maybe he’ll say an unkind word or sumthin’. That’ll show ’em.

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    When Puty calls, the Don has to act.  Otherwise, he might be replaced by another caporegime.  The SecState said unequivocally that, in effect, Russia attempted to murder the Skripals – and acted recklessly with regard to the twenty odd other people exposed to the chemical weapon.  Coming from America, that required more push back than Theresa May saying the same thing.

    It would be interesting if this firing becomes another fact Mueller can use to support a charge of conspiracy to defraud the US, based on a pattern of Trump acting in Russia’s interest rather than in America’s.

    • Trip says:

      I’m beginning to worry about Mueller’s future health status. This is out of control, beyond surreal.

    • sboog says:

      No, no. It says that they decided this transition days ago. And the press is reporting that this is, of course months in the working…so i, guess this rex hardline stance against russia is probably just a a spiteful act of an outgoing employee? what the fuck. this is bizarro world.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Because the White House chooses to characterize something as planned and reasonable, and claims that it fits some long-held strategery, doesn’t mean it’s true.  It is more often Sarah Sanders putting lipstick on Donald Trump’s chaotic farmyard animal.

      CNN and MSNBC, however, seem to like the comforting theme that “this was long in the works” and arose over “longstanding policy differences.”  Still manufacturing consent.

      • Dev Null says:

        A commenter at BJ asked what seems to me to be an apropos question:

        Will this be The Week of the Long Knives?

        We might see a slew / slough of cabinet and subcabinet firings should this be the first (well, second or third) release of the new Trump Unchained! production company.

        Perhaps I am being excessively naive here, but I have yet to see a personal statement by Tillerson or his spokesperson that survives plausible denial parsing.

        e.g. AP reports that Kelly told Tillerson twice (Fri/Sat) that if Tillerson didn’t step aside, he’d be pushed aside “imminently”. CNN reports almost the same but says that “timing wasn’t specified”, and that Trump decided Tuesday morning to fire Tillerson.

        I don’t find it difficult to believe that Tillerson knew by Sunday night that he was about to be pushed out, and just said “fsck it, I’m doing the right thing”. (That said, whether or not Tillerson was warned, whatever his reasons for contradicting Sanders, I don’t find it difficult to believe that Tillerson had no idea that he would be fired Tuesday morning.)

        In other news, Tillerson’s spokesperson was fired for contradicting the WH:


        You wouldn’t dare write this crap into a novel – you wouldn’t have a hope that an editor would think it publishable.

        • Dev Null says:

          More to the question “was TRex pushed out because he contradicted Sanders on Russia?”

          SteveM makes the sensible observation that even a competent administration would have difficulty making two major personnel transfers within 24-48 hours.which seems to me even more persuasive given that Cotton was reportedly lined up to take over as CIA director.

          Possible to slice the baby down the middle by arguing that TRex was about to be pushed out but his departure was accelerated because Russia.

          Not sure that it matters which narrative is truth, but why choose when the evidence is inconclusive? Unless there’s conclusive evidence I’m not aware of, of course.

  3. orionATL says:

    a koch devotee, tea party republican, trump-worshipper and sycophant has become the u. s. secretary of state.  lo, how the mighty have fallen :)

    pompeo represented the kansas 4th congressional district in congress. witchita, home to koch industries, is the largest city in the district. 

    from wikipedia:

    “…In 1998, along with other West Point alumni, Pompeo founded Thayer Aerospace and Private Security, which received a 2% investment fromKoch Industries.[16][17] In 2006, he sold his interest in Thayer, which was renamed Nex-Tech Aerospace, and became president of Sentry International, an oilfield equipment company, which was also a partner with Koch Industries.[16]…”

    “…Pompeo…  is of Italian ancestry. His paternal grandmother was born in Caramanico Terme.[11]… ”

    “… Pompeo…  attends Eastminster Presbyterian Church, where he serves as a deacon and teaches the fifth-grade Sunday school class.[66]… “

    • orionATL says:

      the kansas 4th congressional district (wikipedia):


      “… General history…

      “… The Kansas 4th Congressional District is historically a strongly Republican district,[2][3][4][5] almost exclusively represented, over the last half century, by Republicans—with the sole exception of a popular moderate Democrat, Dan Glickman (who lost his bid for re-election to a 10th term in 1994).[5][6]…

      As of mid-April 2017 (following a special election to fill the District seat left vacant by Mike Pompeo’s resignation to become CIA Director), no other Democrat has won election to the Congressional seat lost by Glickman,[7] which has since gone to conservative, anti-abortion Republicans,[4][8][9][10] routinely, by a roughly two-to-one margin in subsequent races…

      Abortion issues…

      Since the 1980s (and peaking with the 1991 Summer of Mercy protests), the District’s major city, Wichita (where most 4th District voters reside), is often referred to in national media as the center, or “ground zero,” of the nation’s anti-abortion movement[13][14][15][16][17][18] — a primary factor that Glickman has credited for his defeat,[19][20][21][22][8] — and which has remained a major influence in 4th District politics, with all three of Glickman’s successors (Todd Tiahrt, Mike Pompeo and Ron Estes) claiming strong anti-abortion views.[8][9][10] In the 2017 Special Election to fill Pompeo’s vacated seat, a critical factor in Estes’ unusually narrow victory over the Democrat (James Thompson) was a string of last-minute ads tying Thompson to his pro-choice stand on abortion.[4]… ”

      trump gets an ex-military guy, a worshipper, and a tea party christian as secretary of state, a far cry from general marshall.

      • osmill says:

        Minor quibble with wikipedia, but it doesn’t seem accurate to say that the Kansas 4th was “almost exclusively” represented by Republicans when a Democrat held the seat for 18 years, or over a third of that “half century” period.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        And wholly inexperienced in international affairs, except for what he learned eye-balling East Germans and lobbing shells in the first Iraq war, plus about a year running the brahma bull called the CIA.  Much of that would have been spent learning the bureaucracy.

        What better arrangement to placate Trump’s fundy base and to make it easy to take Puty’s lead in things that matter.  The ever shrinking State Department, and we, are in for a bumpy ride.

  4. SteveB says:

    BTW RE chemical weapon attack

    Lavrovs claim that the Convention requires the UK to provide Russia with a sample appears to me (albeit on a cursory reading of the relevant articles and annexes) to be bullshit.

    Perhaps someone with greater knowlodge could help clarify.

    BTW 2 a dead Russion on 12/3 in Kingston on Thames  being investigated by counter terrorist command. Named as Nokolai Glubchov, an associate of  the dead oligarch Berezofsky. Per skynews

    • orionATL says:

      maybe the may government and the metropolitan police will now go back and look at the cases of all the other dead russians who have showed up in london streets (and elsewhere) over the last few years, but whose suspicious death was declared not at all suspicious by the met police.

      • SteveB says:

        Sorry guys name is “Glushchov” , and as a Putin dissident repeatedly questioned the official characterisation of Boris Berezofsky’s death as suicide

    • bmaz says:

      NO!! And it never will. Anybody who even suggest this is nuts. It does not come close to fitting legally. Please, everybody, stop  with this insane treason shit.

    • Rayne says:

      Dude. Please don’t use the T-word; I hate it when I have to dispense sedatives around here.

      Just look at the law itself:

      18 U.S. Code § 2381 – Treason

      Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

      Bold mine. We are not in a state of formally declared war, therefore do not have a specified enemy. Until we do there’s no chance anybody is committing treason.

      I encourage you to consider how today’s actions fit into a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and various forms of obstruction — those are far more likely.

      • Dev Null says:

        IANAL, and (a la Wonkette) I (know I) am A Idiot, no need to rub my nose in my ignorance.

        But a serious question: does the legal calculus change in any way should Theresa May invoke NATO’s Article 5, and Trump (chose your adventure), er, I mean “Trump chooses your Adventure”?

        (May won’t, but s’pose she did … or s’pose there’s YACC (“yet another combustible condition”) that is so offensive that May invokes Article 5?)

        • Dev Null says:

          I don’t know – I don’t know enough about constitutional law and legal definitions of “war” and “enemies” to know what I don’t know.

          I assume that Britain won’t be declaring war on Russia… but presumably Britain could invoke NATO Article 5 without a declaration of war. (eg as happened on 12 Sept 2001.)

          Are there any circumstances short of a Congressional declaration of war (an AUMF-style resolution, perhaps) in which invocation of NATO Article 5 could open a path for treason prosecutions?

          For example, whether or not the legal community endorses the use of “treason” in this context, the NYT quotes LBJ and Dirksen on Nixon’s interference with the Vietnam peace talks: “This is treason”.

          I’m not pushing “treason”; I’m wondering about corner cases in which the historical / legal definitions of “war” and “enemies” might not be entirely aligned with the reality on the ground.

          Incidentally, Corn & Isikoff quote Biden as saying “It’s treason.”

      • Dev Null says:

        From the AP via NPR:

        “It is now clear that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia,” May told lawmakers in a statement on Monday. She said the agent has been identified as one of a group of nerve agents called Novichok, which Russia has previously produced.

        She added that there are just two explanations for the apparent poisoning — either Russia directly carried out the attack or it lost control of its supply of the deadly nerve agent. The Russian ambassador has been summoned to explain how this happened, May added, and has been asked to give a formal response by Tuesday.

        And if that response is not credible, May said, “we will conclude that this action amounts to an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom. And I will come back to this house and set out the full range of measures that we will take in response.”


        “[U]nlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom” sounds, er, a lot like “an act of war”, but as said IANAL.

        @Rayne, in an earlier comment thread today on an earlier emptywheel post, you said that you think that Putin is pushing his advantage as far as he can get away with.

        S’pose he goes too far for Theresa May (I know, I know …), and she invokes NATO Article 5.

        Trying to understand what your highlighted “war” and “enemies” mean in the current era.

      • orionATL says:

        i have no interest in treason or impeachment discussions. both are at base political decisions.

        but the logic of the “or” between “them” and “adheres” makes me curious.

        are “war” and “enemies” legally related to each other in some definition of “enemies” in the criminal code?

        if not then the two clauses could describe a behavior that involved an enemy but not a war, e. g., “enemy of the state”.

        is there a supreme court decision on the constitutional clause? i can’t find one.

  5. yogarhythms says:

    GKJames I agree so won’t take the bet. Kaine’s actions indicate an identification with moderation of status quo exemplified by his inclusion of Confederate R. E. Lee portrature in Virginia City Public Murals because Kaine says deleting R. E. Lee ” would be whitewashing history”. Kaine refuses to accept 2018 reality of real threat to US Constitution by enabling our Dear Leader’s nominations to move forward from SFRC committee preferring to live in a  comfortable past reality created pre-2016 sell by date.

    • Dev Null says:

      @GKJames @yoga: According to The Intercept (first google hit with roll call) 14 Dems voted to confirm Pompeo as CIA director:

      Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Dianne Feinstein of California, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Brian Schatz of Hawaii, Chuck Schumer of New York, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Mark Warner of Virginia, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island …

      plus Angus King of Maine.

      But that vote took place on 23 Jan 2017, there’s a lot of water under the bridge since then, and Pompeo at State could do a lot more damage than Pompeo at CIA *cough*Iran*cough*.

      Prepared to be wrong, but guessing that most of these Dems will vote against confirming Pompeo as SecState.

      Haspel’s confirmation seems even more problematic IMO: I could imagine both Graham and (should he be able to vote) McCain voting against, because torture.

      • GKJames says:

        You’re an optimist. First, in a number of respects, Kaine and Warner might as well be Republicans. Second, if other Democrats suddenly did locate a spine, it would be a shocker. Nonetheless, here’s to hoping that you’re right. In passing: Haspel confirms how bankrupt 63 million Americans’ view of law-abiding really is; precisely when it would be appropriate, there’s nothing about “Lock her up!”

        • orionATL says:

          “precisely when it would be appropriate, there’s nothing about “Lock her up!”…”

        • Dev Null says:

          @GKJames: Yours is an argument that could be deployed against almost any Democrat. Reminded of a bumper sticker a Texas friend sent me:

          Vote Democratic. We’re not perfect, but they’re nuts.


        • orionATL says:


          that’s the thing, all us ordinary people hate the actual, real-life, in-the-field practice of politics.

          i for one don’t like so many dem candidates being ex-military. reminds me of all the prosecutor/district attorney candidates for congress in the 90’s who ended up enacting unproductively harsh laws for criminal conduct.

        • GKJames says:

          Am aware that broad brushes, like false equivalents, are in fashion. But legal distinctions should still matter. Haspel, with her superior’s blessing (and his subsequent boasting about having done exactly that), destroyed evidence that a US District Court had ordered preserved. It’s hardly opinion, then, to say that she broke the law. That’s in contrast to merely strongly held beliefs that Clinton did this or that unlawful thing.

        • lefty665 says:

          Bingo, you got it right on the head. “Kaine and Warner might as well be Republicans.”  Plus, Kaine is up for re-election. He’s still so spooked that Warner nearly lost last time that there is no depth to which he will not stoop currying Repub votes.  Kaine and Warner’s recent support for the gawdawful bank bill is a pretty reliable indicator. Really too bad about Timmy, he was a good Mayor of Richmond and did a decent job as Guv. Warner was always a twit.

          “if other Democrats suddenly did locate a spine, it would be a shocker.” is right on the money too. Feinstein is already making noises that sound like she’ll vote for Haspel. She’s up this year too.

          Hey, I went for “Lock her up!” at the top of this thread.  The problem is that on 1/20/09 the last guy was all full of “Look forward, don’t look back”.  Not only did he not lock up any of the war criminals, but he left them in government jobs where they could metastasize, then he put people like Brennan in charge of them. Apparently his idea of  ‘forward’ was 8 years, and it expired leaving the country to deal with the residue. So much for “Change we can believe in” or a spine.

          For another little bit of joy the DNC/DCCC are pushing a bunch of ex CIA covert operators, ex military and govt candidates for Congress. If they win and the Dems take back the House fat chance we’ll get any IC reform or fewer neocon wars.  http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/03/07/dems-m07.html  (it’s a socialist site, don’t be shocked)

  6. HanTran says:

    Slightly OT:
    If 18 U.S. Code § 2381 – Treason requires “war” to be a formal Congressional declaration of war (has this question ever been adjudicated, seriously asking, not being cute?) then a charge of Treason has been impossible since the end of WWII. Congressional refusal, for nearly 90 years, both to declare war or to limit what a reasonable person would consider war even though it is undeclared, seems to have rendered this section of the Code rather impotent.

    • Rayne says:

      Impotent, or simply inapplicable at this time, having been narrowed by more recent laws addressing espionage and sedition? Seeing as Adam Gadahn, the first person charged in 2006 with treason after WWII was droned to death (extrajudicially executed?) in 2015, § 2381 hasn’t been adjudicated in non-war application. Because of the executive orders surrounding U.S. position on terror and al-Qaeda (ex. EOs 13129, 13224, 13239), and a Congressionally-issued AUMF, combined with the White House persistent rhetoric about the “War on Terror,” the treason charge probably would have stuck.

      Let’s take any more on this topic to the open thread, if we need to have any more elaboration at all.

  7. Rugger9 says:

    Karl Darx (5/13 at 5:49 PM):

    It’s against the Geneva Conventions (which as a treaty we ratified has the full force of federal law) and further we executed several Japanese soldiers that engaged in waterboarding in WWII. Those are facts. I wonder how long you’d last being waterboarded, maybe longer than Hannity did (it’s a trick question, because Hannity chickened out when Bill Maher offered $1000 per second for Hannity’s claim he could handle it).

      • Rugger9 says:

        Actually, the 1929 Geneva convention on POWs covered the topic, remember the Japanese were executed for this and the UN would not have been relevant to it.  However, for today this is mostly correct observing that common article 3 of the 1949 conventions also cover this topic.

        It’s also a violation of the Field Manual.

        • lefty665 says:

          Thank you Rugger9.  Those conventions and our observation of them are what stand between our servicemen/women and torture when they are captured, but you knew that.

          Loss of the expectation of protection occurred when the United States adopted torture as policy. That loss was compounded when the subsequent administration changed the policy but excused prior criminal conduct.

          The subsequent failure to uphold the law set the stage for the promotion of a torturer to Director of the CIA that is unfolding today. That endangers our servicemen/women anew.

        • Rayne says:

          Fastest way to turn me off is to preface a statement with “Actually.”

          UNCAT is an absolute backstop to the Geneva Conventions because of Article 2.2: No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political in stability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture. There is zero excuse for torture whether war or merely an annoying armed conflict under UNCAT, whereas Geneva Conventions could be contested if there was any wiggle room about war/not war.

          Field Manual isn’t international law and it’s difficult to apply to fucking government contractors working for non-military functions who may not have contracted to work under military code.

          I really hate having to revisit this crap. I hope like hell Pompeo’s deputy is denied by the Senate, but that means I’m hoping like hell +51 senators grow a fucking moral spine.

        • lefty665 says:

          Actually Rugger9, while I’ve had differences with you I absolutely respect that in the Navy you had very real reasons to be well versed in and respectful of the torture conventions and service regs implementing them. It was not either an academic issue or irritating crap to you. Thank you for your exposition on the topic here.

  8. x174 says:

    mahalo lefty665 for the link at March 13, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    millionaires and military spooks, oh my!

    • lefty665 says:

      My pleasure.

      It is a measure of how thoroughly the elite neolib, neocon Dems have crushed the forces of reform.  Bernie and his ilk are a nice fig leaf, but they have been purged. They are powerless to change the course of the Party.

      We are rightfully appalled at the ongoing, shambling, catastrophe that is Trump. But, being seduced into into the new McCarthyism, anti Russian hysteria that piggybacks on anti-Trumpism has kept otherwise good people from focusing on reforms and getting the country back on track.

    • Rayne says:

      Every SFRC Dem must be on board; can’t trust what Rand Paul said because he has a history of flipping. I’d aim for Rob Portman and Jeff Flake, hammer them on not standing with Trump. In Flake’s case, it’s a chance to grown a pair instead of just flapping his gums about Trump, especially since his seat’s up. Corker is another possibility but I wouldn’t bet the farm on him.

Comments are closed.