Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: You Can Count on the CIA

… to behave just as it’s always behaved. Tea Party alumni and Saudi Arabian monarchy fan Mike Pompeo showed up at the neoconservative Foundation for the Defense of Democracies to thrill the #NeverIran activists with his display of America’s Big Stick(tm). But first, he needed to back up his current master’s Big Lie…

His comment suggested — falsely — that a report released by U.S. intelligence agencies in January had ruled out any impact that could be attributed to a covert Russian interference campaign that involved leaks of tens of thousands of stolen emails, the flooding of social media sites with false claims and the purchase of ads on Facebook.

A report compiled by the CIA and other agencies described that Russian operation as unprecedented in its scale and concluded that Moscow’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process and help elect Donald Trump.

But the report reached no conclusions about whether that interference had altered the outcome — an issue that U.S. intelligence officials made clear was considered beyond the scope of their inquiry…

Former U.S. intelligence officials voiced concern over Pompeo’s statement.

“This is another example of Pompeo politicizing intelligence,” a former senior U.S. intelligence official said. Pompeo “is the most political CIA director since Bill Casey” during the Reagan administration, the former official said. “This significantly undermines the intelligence community’s credibility.”…

Pompeo also threatened “leakers”:

… Pompeo also criticized former U.S. intelligence officials for their television appearances, implying that they violated their oaths and potentially contributed to the leaks of sensitive information.

“There are an awful lot of former CIA talking heads on TV,” Pompeo said, adding that their obligation to remain quiet about their work “far extends beyond the day you turn in your badge.”

His comment seemed to be aimed mainly at former senior intelligence officials in the Obama administration, including James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence, who said in a recent interview that Russia’s interference had “cast doubt” on Trump’s win.

“Our intelligence community assessment did, I think, serve to cast doubt on the legitimacy of his victory,” Clapper said in an interview on CNN last month. He added that he worried Trump’s perceived focus on the issue “transcends, unfortunately, the real concern here, which is Russian interference in our political process.”…

Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Martin Heinrich (N.M.), both members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, rebuked Pompeo for his Russia comments. Wyden said in a posting on Twitter that Pompeo’s views on Moscow had “shifted with those of the president.”

Pompeo’s mischaracterization of the intelligence report was the latest in a series of statements from the former Republican congressman that have seemed aimed at minimizing the significance of Russian interference in the 2016 election…

The libertarian Washington Examiner is very excited that Pompeo went on to threaten Wikileaks, among other “non-state actors”:

The former Kansas congressman countered a suggestion that leaks — most of which have not led to prosecution under President Trump — have gained an unstoppable momentum.

“We’re good. We’re America. We’re the CIA. We can protect our stuff,” Pompeo said. “I’m confident we can do it. We will devote the resources to it, we will make sure that the people who are working for the agency have an understanding of what that means.”

Later, Pompeo — who has controversially called WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service” — described the primary-source publisher as an “enormous threat.”

“It’s not just the Russian info ops,” he said. “I talked about these non-state actors, and it’s not just Wikileaks. Indeed I may have overemphasized them — they are an enormous threat, we are working to take down that threat to the United States as well, to reduce the threat from all of it. But Hezbollah, ISIS, al Qaeda, none of them sit at the U.N., these are all non-state actors.”…

I wouldn’t mind a cage match between Pompeo and Assange, but to a neoconservative audience “non-state actors” more often means ‘Palestinians, Kurds, and other annoying fringe populations that make trouble for our Saudi Arabian brothers-in-arms’.

If it goes beyond mouth-flapping — and, under Trump, fortunately that’s unlikely — “accepting more risk” and “increased presence of agents in hot spots” probably just means more hotshot American hostage targets for freelance terrorists from Syria to Pakistan to Niger. Argo-fuck-yourselves!

46 replies
  1. 1
    Yutsano says:

    I wouldn’t mind a cage match between Pompeo and Assange

    As much as it pains me, I have to go with Pompeo here. Assagne is just way too doughy. Although rooting for injuries is the best route.

  2. 2
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    First two links in your long Post excerpt are broken. I presume they go to the story linked in the tweet just above.

  3. 3
    Mike in NC says:

    Fucking Pompeo probably the worst of Fat Bastard’s choices for government jobs …

  4. 4
    NotMax says:

    It’s apparatchiks all the way down.

  5. 5
    Chris says:

    In its early years, the CIA was frequently a target for right-wing hostility, from people who accused it of being full of card-carrying communists and/or liberal elitist un-Americans. At some point, that changed when the wingnuts realized that they could simply put a politicizing troll at the head of the agency who could rewrite his own analysts’ conclusions, put politically vetted people in key positions, the works. Casey, Porter Goss, now this guy.

  6. 6
    danielx says:

    Fucking Tea Party windbag, sitting in Allen Dulles’ chair. While holding no brief for his slimier deeds, at least Dulles was a competent evil mastermind. Among other things, he didn’t announce his priorities and goals to the press.

  7. 7
    NotMax says:

    @Chris

    Don’t forget G. H. W. Bush.

  8. 8
    jl says:

    Since open thread, GOP budget resolution passed on party line vote tonight, with big Medicaid and Medicare cuts. It is procedural and largely symbolic, IIRC, just lays done Congressional plans for future legislation. But I think a signal that the super rich person’s super tax slash scheme will start rumbling through Congress soon.

    The noble Collins and Murkowski apparently voted for it, despite the cuts. Were they given sops for their states?
    I’ll have to check into the details tomorrow.

    Anyway, a signal we have to start calling Congress again. Their last big offensive of the year has started.

  9. 9
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Steeplejack (phone): Dang! Better now?

  10. 10
    jl says:

    Also, not only do I think Kelly’s speech today was disgraceful, but also his behavior. I read that he would only take questions from people who had some connection to a Gold Star family. That is not a knock on Gold Star families, but his refusal to entertain questions from anyone else was disgraceful, and Kelly committed an overt act that implicitly placed military above civilians in this country. Disgraceful speech and action, unforgivable, and very dangerous.

    General Kelly’s Paean to MAGA
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/e.....an-to-maga

    Edit: I don’t care what Kelly thinks he is up to, and what his history is, he is a disgraced Trumspter now.

  11. 11
    Ruckus says:

    You know that many worry about the football. But this is the way it will kill us. Bit by bit, incompetent, rotten asshole by incompetent, rotten asshole. As has been said on other threads, no one worth a shit would work for drumpf. All that will come forward will be incompetent, rotten assholes, who know nothing about what they are supposed to be doing, don’t give a shit about learning it or doing it well or even just minimally. They want to destroy the federal government, because it is what is keeping them from stealing everything and stopping them from owning slaves. They don’t want there to be employees, just slaves and rich people.

  12. 12
    jl says:

    And Kelly’s ugly attack on Congresswoman Wilson may have been based on totally wrong history.
    Gosh golly gee, there may even be proof that Wilson never said what Kelly accused her of.
    I guess there will be more news about this tomorrow.

  13. 13
    NotMax says:

    @jl

    Turns out Nixon was a piker when it came to a White House enemies list.

  14. 14
    jl says:

    @Ruckus: The feckless infantile incompetence always toddles along with their swaggering braggadocio and thuggery. How a toddling infant can keep up with the swagger is a marvel, but we see it now every day.

  15. 15
    No Drought No More says:

    If Pompeo was a paid Russian agent taking orders directly from Putin, he could hardly do more damage to the credibility of the United States with such reckless and gaudy patter.

  16. 16

    Have we brought back torture yet?

  17. 17
    TriassicSands says:

    Screw Pompeo and his vicious CIA — I’d rather it were intelligent, wise, and clever. As with most, if not all Trump appointees, Pompeo doesn’t realize how stupid he sounds.

    Today the Washington Post has a much better story coming out of the CIA. It’s about Lulu the bomb-sniffing dog-in-training who flunked out of bomb-sniffing school because “she just didn’t care.” To the CIA’s credit they let Lulu go and she now enjoys a more normal dog’s life with a family, a backyard, and squirrels.

    I’ve never been comfortable with people using animals — dogs, porpoises/dolphins, etc. to do their dirty work. Lulu is a black lab and 99% of all black labs are superior to most of humanity when it comes to decency. Why should Lulu risk getting blown up, when it is human beings who are making the bombs, not labs, golden retrievers, or even pit bulls? Let Mike Pompeo become a bomb-sniffing weasel.

    Apparently, Lulu realized that there was no future in sniffing out bombs and her lack of interest meant that she wasn’t going to be an effective bomb sniffer. Good for Lulu.

  18. 18
    Mnemosyne says:

    He said the CIA would be accepting more risk when it carries out its mission and the presence of agents in hot spots would be increased.

    Isn’t that how Benghazi, aka The Crime of the Century, happened?

    I guess dead CIA agents only matter when a Black man is president.

  19. 19
    CaseyL says:

    It is impossible for me to understand why anyone who isn’t a Trump supporter or a member of the GOP can’t see that his intention is to destroy the US.

    I’m not someone who automatically faults Democrats for not doing exactly what I want to them to do, but even I don’t understand why they aren’t shouting this from the housetops. Why our Reps and Senators don’t begin and end every utterance they make in Congress with a declaration that Trump is determined to destroy the country.

  20. 20
    Duane says:

    @Mike in NC: How did Pompeo ever get confirmed? CIA directors may be a lot of things, but not incompetent and stupid.

  21. 21
    Calouste says:

    @jl: KKKelly’s speech was Full Frontal Fascism with the way it elevated the military over civilians.

    I expect KKKelly to start wearing his son’s Gold Star, which will be followed by other medals and decorations by him and others.

  22. 22
    bjacques says:

    @Duane:

    GOP Senate majority.

    Hope this helps!

  23. 23
    Ruckus says:

    @CaseyL:
    Their intention isn’t to destroy it, it is to steal it and then turn it into a third world country of the 16th century. With them having all the perks of 21st century life while you and I slave for them, or even better yet just die off. drumpf may be one the worst examples of a toxic narcissist but he isn’t close to the only one around.

  24. 24

    @Mnemosyne:

    Isn’t that how Benghazi, aka The Crime of the Century, happened?

    Yes.

    I guess dead CIA agents only matter when a Black man is president.

    Yes.

  25. 25

    @Ruckus:

    With them having all the perks of 21st century life while you and I slave for them

    Ah, doing what? Can’t be making stuff since no one will be able to buy anything.

  26. 26
    Ruckus says:

    @Duane:
    Incompetent and stupid are the only traits that drumpf knows, so that’s who gets the jobs. Anyone who isn’t incompetent and stupid will show him up as the exceedingly incompetent and stupid fuck that he is. And being a toxic narcissist he can not have that. It’s incompetent and stupid all the way down from here on out.

  27. 27
    NotMax says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA

    Big future in pedicures. Yuuge.

    ;)

  28. 28
    Ruckus says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:
    No one said it is a brilliant plan.
    No one said it is a good plan.
    No one said it will work at all.
    Don’t forget, they are after all, fucking incompetent and fucking stupid. Not to mention fucking evil.

  29. 29
    Ruckus says:

    I’m looking at that first tweet and I swear that FDD stands for Fucking Dumb Dipshits.

  30. 30
    NotMax says:

    @Ruckus

    They shot a tax plan into the air
    It came to rest in the middle class’ rear

  31. 31
    Ruckus says:

    @NotMax:
    I’d laugh if my butt didn’t hurt from all that tax relief.

  32. 32
    Amir Khalid says:

    When Pompeo accuses someone like Clapper of leaking secrets on the TV, is he offering evidence? It seems to me that past CIA directors, like Clapper, indeed anyone who handled any sensitive info or did anything politically sensitive while in service, would be bound by lifetime nondisclosure orders with serious penalties for any violation.

  33. 33
    Ruckus says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    These numnuts have no concept of decency, honesty, service to country, service to humanity….. They are lacking in each and every positive category that can be mentioned. Their only concept is to get richer and make their benefactors even wealthier than they already are. And the only way they can do that is lie, steal, cheat and fuck up. Unfortunately they are good at these 4 things. If you were to write the anti ten commandments you could easily find 8 or 9 that each one of the assholes that drumpf has put in place holds as a code of anti-ethics.

  34. 34
    Betty Cracker says:

    @TriassicSands: I saw the Lulu story and was similarly cheered. :)

  35. 35
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’m spending a pleasant afternoon getting acquainted with my new guitar multi-effects pedal. I’m already very pleased; it seems to work as advertised. I bought after seeing a very enthusiastic review on the YouTube channel of Anderton’s, a music retailer run by YouTube personality Lee “The Captain” Anderton. It was a steal at RM213 (US$50) online including GST, and shipping was free; Anderton’s online store lists it for £99 (US$130) before VAT and shipping from Britain.

  36. 36
    Arclite says:

    So does this mean that the CIA the will go back to overthrowing governments? Because that worked out so well in the past.

  37. 37
    Amir Khalid says:

    @TriassicSands:
    Agreed. The CIA’s mission isn’t to be vicious. It’s to keep up with what’s really going on in the world, so that the US’s actions are well-informed as they can be. (Being well-informed is of course no guarantee of wise action; that’s up to POTUS, and with the one in office you dare not hope for much.) Perhaps Pompeo meant to say “aggressive” in seeking out info, but even that can be problematic: Some information needs to be carefully teased out rather than extracted by brute force.

  38. 38
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    I’m late back, but, yes, they’re working now.

  39. 39
    boatboy_srq says:

    Pompeo wanted to run the Stasi, but Lord Dampnut hasn’t formed them yet, so he’s making do.

    #NotPatriotic

  40. 40
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Arclite: They’ve got a good head start on the US’ own, and Pompeo seems ready to finish the job. Others are sure to follow.

  41. 41
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Ruckus: Does anyone remember the 1978 Buck Rogers? Welcome to the wrong side of New Chicago.

  42. 42
    J R in WV says:

    I’m pretty sure that new CIA guy meant exactly what he said: “Vicious!”

    They plan to kill people on the street anywhere there is any opposition to Trump’s “gentle” rule over his Dominion, the Earth.

    Bang, Bang! from the back of a motorcycle, then zoom away to a safe house, where they will be evacuated by a black silenced helicopter at 3 am.

    Rinse, Repeat!

    Vicious is exactly what his concept of secret agency does best and the most of. Gathering intelligence? Not needed, they already know who has evil towards Trump in their hearts. Or who supports Real Democracy, even. Because they don’t support democracy at all, No No No!!

  43. 43
    Chris says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Agreed. The CIA’s mission isn’t to be vicious. It’s to keep up with what’s really going on in the world, so that the US’s actions are well-informed as they can be.

    Unfortunately, one of the most oft-recurring problems of intelligence agencies seems to be that they tend to gravitate to their fantasy mission of running black ops instead of their actual function of gathering intelligence.

  44. 44
    JGabriel says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Fucking Pompeo probably the worst of Fat Bastard’s choices for government jobs …

    Pompeo, DeVos, Mnuchin, Gorsuch, Miller, et al. … there’s an intense competition for Fat Bastard’s Worst Choice.

  45. 45
    JGabriel says:

    @Arclite:

    So does this mean that the CIA the will go back to overthrowing governments?

    Only those governments that are opposed to Russia’s interests … and opposed to Trump’s interests too, maybe, if Putin is feeling magnanimous.

  46. 46
    Bill says:

    @Amir Khalid: It was an Anderton’s video that hipped me to to my now-favorite band. Watching Lee interview Ian Thornley was amazing. Here’s a guy in the music biz, and he’s met everybody. Watching him go all fanboy on Ian had me thinking, “who is this guy, and how good a guitar player is he?”

    Oh. he’s that good. Check out Big Wreck if you haven’t already.

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