President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for CIA Director Mike Pompeo concerns Rand Paul.
“I would say that with Pompeo, he’s going to have to also answer to my liking whether or not he’s still for torture, whether or not he’s for waterboarding,” the senator said on CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday.
“That’s important,” Paul added.
“We don’t torture,” President George W. Bush said in 2006. Unfortunately, the 2014 Senate Committee’s Report on the CIA’s Use of Torture showed otherwise.
That report revealed that the CIA had engaged in behavior that could be defined as torture, including waterboarding; a gruesome practice called “rectal feeding;” the detainment of a mentally-challenged man who was recorded crying which was played to his family; detainees were left to die from hypothermia; the report detailed broken limbs, sexual assaults, black sites and “Salt Pits;” we learned some of the torture techniques were so horrible that CIA agents broke down; and there was more.
At the time, Pompeo defended the agency, “Our men and women who were tasked to keep us safe in the aftermath of 9/11 — our military and our intelligence warriors — are heroes, not pawns in some liberal game being played by the ACLU and Senator Feinstein.”
“These men and women are not torturers, they are patriots,” Pompeo said. “The release of this report makes our nation less secure,” he added.
Sen. Paul also has concerns about Pompeo’s views on mass surveillance, and wants to know if there are secret programs that even Congress is unaware of.
“Many of the NSA powers were done, I think, in secret without the knowledge of most members of Congress,” Paul said.
“We ought not to take that tool away from our intelligence community while the threats are as great as they are today,” Pompeo said.